Is it going to be worth it?

I’m sitting at my dinner table in my parent’s house following our basketball team’s incredible win in the Final Four that sends us to the National Championship.  This hasn’t happened in 20 years, and I am at home with my cat attempting to study physics but mostly wanting to cry over the fact that I am not in Ann Arbor (or Atlanta) with my fellow wolverines.  I’m home because I have a physics exam next week that I need to ace to save my grade, and I knew that being in Ann Arbor would keep me from studying.  Now I’m asking myself if it is going to be worth it in the end.

If I didn’t have an exam this coming week, I would probably be in Atlanta right now.  No, I’m not the world’s biggest basketball fan—I honestly didn’t watch many games until March Madness—but I knew what making it to the Final Four meant, and I know what this win today means.  I was 6 months old the last time Michigan went this far in the tournament, and now it has happened while I am actually a student here.  I don’t know if this will happen again.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take the weekend off.  Being pre-med is tough.  It brings a lot of stress, not only because of the class load but also because of the looming application process that will focus so heavily on my GPA.  I’ve missed a lot of important things to study for exams, and while I always try to convince myself that in the long run it will be worth it, I really question that sometimes.

I missed my best friend’s 21st birthday studying for my first physics exam.  Luckily, she understood, and I was able to celebrate with her later.  I missed my grandmother’s funeral studying for my second exam.  I don’t get to re-do that, and I still feel this overwhelming guilt when I think about not being there.  And now I have missed seeing our team advance to the championship game (and potentially win that championship game) attempting to study for this third exam.

It’s true that I am here at U of M to get an education.  But this year more than ever, I’ve really started to regret not being able to experience things that I wish I could.  I will never spend a semester abroad, because being pre-med doesn’t really allow for that.  I spend a lot of Friday and Saturday nights at the library.  I’ve accepted that my career of choice requires this of me, and for the most part, I am proud that I work as hard as I do.

On nights like tonight, though, I wonder.  I wonder if I’m going to be so happy with where I am in 20 years that I’ll forget about the experiences I passed up on.  I really hope so.

For now, all I can do is try to focus on these electromagnetic waves and hope that our boys in blue make us proud on Monday.  I’ll be cheering them on with my physics notes in front of me.  Go blue.

Bagel

I originally wrote this for our “Where I’m From” prompt on the first day of class, but since the Wednesday Word is bagel, I thought this was appropriate to post.

Bagel Master

In the center of the town of Syosset sits Bagel Master– a modest-sized building with a giant flickering neon sign advertising their “Hot Bagels.” Over the years, however, residents have watched as the once bold letters slowly burned out, leaving behind nothing but dull letter-shaped shells. The letter T was the first to go, followed by E and L, so that today, the store advertises something shockingly different: Ho Bags.

Upon entering the joint, customers are greeted by the fishy smells of smoked salmon and baked tuna, masked by the cheap cologne scents worn by the workers behind counter. In the small seating area near the entrance, you can’t help but overhear the talk of the town in between gusts of wind let in by the open door: Sandy’s nose job, the Greenberg’s lawsuit, and of course, the occasional “This is like, way too much cream cheese. I thought I asked for a shmier.”

If you’re just passing through, chances are you won’t be taking your pit stop at Bagel Master. If anything, you’ll hit up the Dunkin’ Doughnuts next door. Only true Syosset residents know that there’s nothing like a Ho Bag to spruce up a Saturday morning- especially after a late-night bar mitzvah Manischewitz bender.

Bagel Master

Bagel

When I eat a bagel I like to take things slowly. Sometimes I want cream cheese, other days, I don’t. Sometimes I want it toasted, other days I don’t. Sometimes I even want a sweet cinnamon swirl bagel, other days I (you guessed it!)…want a plain one. The main question here is: Are all bagels edible? Are they literal pieces of food consumed with coffe or yogurt, OR, can they be used in different contexts, still consumed just in a different aspect?

Considering this wednesday word, I could go the all natural route and tell you all about the ever-so popularly discreet Free Bagel Wednesday at the Alumni Center. But I digress. I’ll instead tell you about my faboulous Saturday evening at UMMA (U of M Musuem of Art).

Spriit of Detroit was performed by the students of RCHums 390 in which Kate Mendeloff was the director.  This play, similar to my consumtion of a bagel, took many routes. Instead of me stuffing my face with information, I chose to take this bagel slow, chew every piece, and swallow with a taste of hope in my mouth, awaiting another chunck. A handful of directors and designers took the responsibility of the play and with tremendous help from the students, the play consisted over a 2-day period (beginning Saturday, March 23-Sunday, March 24).

Taking place in the late 50’s to more recent 2007, Sprit of Detroit followed experiences by two childhood friends, Anthony and Lucy. Being seperated as children because of their race, fate placed them side by side during the 1967 riots in Detroit, Michigan. The play goes through life changes between both character’s childhood, future, and present times. They were both put through a lot of emotional and physical stress during this time in their lives, but managed to come together and make sure each other was safe and sound towards the end of the riots.

 

Though this play is far from over due to the lingering emotions and knowledge learned through its viewing, it is still very beneficial to understand. Before Saturday, I’d give tours about a building on campus (Fleming Administration) that was riot-proof because of the politically active era of the 1960’s. I never knew or even thought that this reason was because of a specific riot here in Michigan. To my surprise, the 12th Street Riot and the Algiers Motel Incident seem to be two prominent riots and civil disrurbances back in 1967. The riot lasted for 5 days caused by a police raid in an after-hours, unlicensed bar. 43 deaths, over 400 injuries, and approximately 7,000 arrestes occured because of this outburst. One of the most interesting parts of this whole ordeal is that my great-grandmother has lived on 12th street and Virginia Park for more than 50 years. (I wonder if she was around during the riots because THAT would be something to write about).

This play took not only an inspirational note, but a historical, metaphorical, and spritual note as well. Sometimes that’s what a bagel will do to you, it’ll start with one purpose, and finish with another.

My Little Plushie – Sewing Is Magic

Spring may be just around the corner they say, but Lyra Hearstrings knows it’s still time to bundle up.

Who would have thought that I would be able to turn my obsession with a children’s show into a profit? After a good two weeks of hard work, I am proud to present my second fan made plush to the world. This little girl here is none other than Lyra Hearstrings, resident unicorn and musician of Ponyville. Just in case you’re wondering, this character comes from the 2010 children’s show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. When I first became a fan of the show, I quickly fell in love with the fan base market. It was full of talented plushie makers from all around the world, cranking out  beautiful and show-accurate plushies of the show’s character. Naturally these fan made plushies don’t come cheaply , but fans seem to be willing to spend the extra money on the fan-made stuff. Naturally Hasbro, the show’s sponsor, has their own brand of official plushies as well. These plushies are significantly cheaper, but when it comes to quality well

Now how did I become a plush maker? My first handmade plush was less than successful (no such thing as a failure if you tried).  After that I went back to the drawing board, and after several trial-and-error designs I made my second plush. This was the first one I put up for sale on eBay. It took 3 auctions, but in the end I managed to auction it off for $380 – a success in my books. My latest plush (pictured above) was probably the most difficult of the three, which is surprising considering that this was the first to not use tedious hand-embroidery (machine embroidery is MUCH easier and faster – I’m talking an hour of work vs. 3 days of work per design.) In the end though, I am very pleased with the result.

If any of you happen to be interested in buying this plush, go here for the auction (up until this Sunday 3/20/12 evening around 9 pm).

I was born on this day…*spring

Some claim to argue whether the first day of spring is March 20, or, some like myself stay with the non-proved fact of it being March 21. Ever since my second grade teacher Mrs. Morgan showed me a calendar with First Day of Spring on the same day as my birthday (March 21), I was convinced. Convinced that Spring was on my date of birth, and ever since that cold tuesday morning in Mrs. Morgan’s class, I’ve been one of the first to tell about my amazing birth….on the first day of Spring. My mom doesn’t remember of course, me being her first child, she wasn’t excited about the thought of a nice spring day back then, but more so happy to finally push me out three days after being in the hospital. I was pretty stubborn.

Sad to say, even though my birthday is tomorrow, it doesn’t feel like….Spring. I feel like I’m about to “spring” into 21 years of age, I feel like I’m going to “spring” onto the stage tomorrow night at the Rihanna concert (cake cake cake cake cake) and, I even feel like I’m going to “spring” out of bounds on the thought of legally buying wine. I mean, the weather isn’t giving me much of a spring-y feeling besides all of those reasons.

How about you? Will you wish me a happy birthday? Will you now think about me every time this spectacular day comes to mind? Or will you cringe at the thought of fighting against the wind tomorrow morning as you trud to class or cramp into Beanster’s line for an iced caramel latte. I would love to know: Spring insists!

 

 

ps: i love chrysanthemums if you want to get me a gift…(hint, hint)

Blue

The only thing I thought about when reading our Wednesday Word were babies. Okay, to be precise, I thought of Blue Ivy Carter (Beyone & Jay-Z’s daughter) because she so such a wittle cutie whose face is crafted together with the purity of Beyonce and sternness of Jay Z. But, of course, since I haven’t met Blue yet, it would be kind of weird to actually write an entire blog dedicated directly to her. Nonetheless, I do have another cute wittle baby to write about, and it’s only because I love him too much and he makes me feel all tingly inside.


My baby brother Braxton is 8 months, and in this picture, I can honestly say that he was indeed feeling blue. I went home last weekend to visit and he wasn’t his normal happy-go-lucky self, because he was just getting over a minor cold. It struck me deeply (look at my facial expression) when he didn’t want to play with my phone, pull my hair, or, most importantly smack me in the face. I was saddened, taken aback, and ironically, feeling blue. My little man looked at the camera like he wanted to slobber on it and did not want to do anything but eat and sleep. Just like a man!

Any who, it caused me to stay the night at my parents and make sure that I got all of the kisses I needed before I came to the realization that he, like us all, has his own personality, even at 8 months. He is his own little person, and gosh darnit, when he doesn’t want anything more than his paci, blanket, and animated characters on the tv screen, you give it to him!! Who can resist that little face feeling blue anyway?

Blue

Blue was the color my childhood bedroom was supposed to be.

I was three when my family moved out of our Manhattan apartment and into our current suburban Long Island home. In comparison to my crowded bedroom overlooking 86th street, my new, spacious bedroom felt like my very own castle. I was at the peak of my princess phase, after all. I wore tiaras, carried a wand, and refused to respond to any name other than Cinderella. For this, it was no shock to my mom that when given a choice of wall color, I chose pink without hesitation. My mom is an artist, and thus took it upon herself to create the most beautiful walls a young princess could ask for: sponge painted pink complete with a delicate daisy vine trim. It was perfect- for a three year old, that is.

As I grew old, so did my pink walls. Around the age of ten, I entered into my tomboy phase. I played basketball, wore baggy clothing, and loathed anything pink. I remember heated arguments with my mom, begging her to change the color of my walls. I felt like an outsider in the one room I could call my own. Eventually my mom gave in, but under one condition: the daisy trim had to stay.

I remember weeks spent sleeping on an air mattress in my unfurnished, unfinished room. After moving all my furniture into storage, my mom single-handedly re-sponged painted my walls, pressing blue paint over the pink. She worked meticulously and diligently, making sure the daisy trim remained untouched by the blue coloring. Finally, after weeks of work, my mom and I stood back and observed the final product. My walls, once princess pink, were finally…

…purple.

The blue paint had mixed with its pink base to form a pale purple color. I still wonder to this day how we failed to notice the mixing of the colors during the month-long painting process. Although I still wanted blue walls, my mom didn’t care. She was not about to spend another month painting my walls for a third time. Anyway, she considered the paint job a success: along the edges of my new purple walls, remained the original delicate, daisy vine trim.

Blue

First, a little explaining about this post.  It was last week, and we had just finished coming up with the brilliant idea of doing this #WednesdayWord thing.  “Blue” popped into my head, and I knew I wanted it to be the #WednesdayWord one week.  Fast forward a couple hours to me sitting in my Evolution discussion, and all I could think about was blue.  Although I really wanted to pull out my computer and start typing away, I knew that I shouldn’t make it super obvious that I was paying absolutely no attention.  I started handwriting in my notebook, something I haven’t done in years.  It was really cool to see how everything played out on paper, with little scratch-outs and add-ins.  This week, I rushed to class to put “blue” on the board.  (I also rushed to class to be able to buy Beyonce tickets right at 10 am…no luck though.)  This post isn’t super long or deeply thought out, but here are my initial thoughts on the word blue.

The Big House.  My homecoming dress from junior year of high school.  The veins so clearly seen on the inside of my wrist that carry deoxygenated blood.  My physics notebook.  The stripes on the shirt I’m wearing as I write this, the flowers on my scarf, and the pencil with which I am handwriting this.  Blue—all of these things are blue.

Blue has been my favorite color since I snapped out of the pink and purple phase that consumed much of my early childhood—I blame Barbie for that.  My room went from pink with teddy bears to a bright aqua blue with butterflies (embarrassing) and my walls have housed some shade of blue ever since.  As I got older, I found that I was gravitating towards this color that I now yell after the word “go” at football games.

Something about the color blue speaks to me.  It can be a bright blue, reminding me of that perfect ocean shade you can only seem to find in the Caribbean.  It can also be a rich, deep blue that calms you and grabs you at the same time, commanding your attention.  It’s almost bright, even though it’s dark.

Blue is so much more than a color, though.  As a life-long Michigan fan and U of M student, it has become a pride thing.  Blue is our color.  It shows up everywhere, from the streets filled with (maize and) blue on those glorious football Saturdays when the sun shines bright, to the blue signs that direct us around campus.  It is heard in the shouts of “Go…Blue!”   Blue surrounds us, and it defines us.

Sure, there are a lot of colors out there.  Crayola has managed to come up with some pretty clever names—Purple Mountain Majesty, anyone?—but I don’t need anything fancy.  Go blue.

Nincompoop

When Kelsey first proposed “nincompoop” as the Wednesday word, I was a bit taken aback. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d heard someone use that word—it sounded so foreign! But as the week progressed, I found myself using it in conversation (much to the surprise of my unsuspecting friends). After a few days of throwing the word around in casual conversation, I decided to do a little research into it’s origin. I needed only to click around on the internet for a few minutes to realize that there isn’t one hard or fast conclusion about where the word came from. In fact, it seems as though every etymology-obsessed blogger has a different answer.

Before delving into a history lesson, we’ll cover the definition and current usage of the word. Merriam Webster defines nincompoop as a “fool, simpleton.” Urban dictionary defines a nincompoop as “a silly, no brain, fool.” On a side note, I also learned from that nincompoopery is a word too—try working that one into conversation this week!

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, we can move on to the more interesting stuff. Some say that nincompoop has its origins in latin (shout out to all you latin scholars) and the phrase “non compos mentis” which translates to “not of sound mind”. Others claim that the word comes from French, and was derived from the phrase “ne comprend pas,” meaning he does not understand. A third theory is that the word actually comes from the dutch phrase  “nicht om poep”  which translates to “the female relative of a fool”.

Another common argument is that the the word is tied to biblical roots. The word sounds strikingly similar to the name of a biblical character, Nicodemus, who naively questions Jesus Christ in the gospel.

From what I gather from my cursory internet search, there has been hot debate over the true etymology of the word since in first came into usage in the late 1600’s. Today, the debate rages on, and the truth about the origin of the word remains largely uncertain. However, there is a growing school of scholars who believe that the word may simply be an invented word– in essence, a combination of silly sounds and parts of words thrown together. Still, the stories make for an interesting google search. So next time you’re stuck in an awkward dinner table conversation (and you’ve already discussed the weather), ask people if they know where the word “nincompoop” comes from. Try tossing out some of these theories- or even invent your own!