Thursday, December 6, 2012

Exams: The Art of Procrastination and a Consideration of the World Around Us

So, as I am sure many other college students are experiencing right now, I am currently doing my best to avoid studying for my finals even though I know full well that I need to do amazingly on them to get the grades I want this semester. Sorry for that obnoxious run-on by the way. But seriously, I can never focus.

This morning was great, I met up with one of my friends and we walked to a bridge downtown and got to see the sun come up over Raleigh. Which, I am proud to say, is developing a skyline of sorts. There is something about getting up before the sun and getting to see the city wake up around you. Feeling the bridge you're standing on shake under feet with every passing car. Standing in the quiet with a good friend that helps you see that the world is bigger than the bubble that you put yourself in. Mine is currently NC State and all that entails. Actually, I would realistically say that I have multiple bubbles: my family at home, then more exclusively my sisters and myself, as well as my bible study through my church, another bible study a friend introduced me to, then there is the Honors Program, the Ben Franklin Program, and finally the United Way club. I'm sure there are more, but I am not going to try and list them right now. We put ourselves in these bubble and forget that the world will keep going without us if we stop paying attention. Then, when we catch a glimpse of reality it can knock us off our feet.

Living in and growing up in today's America, we are taught to focus on ourselves, to make sure that things work out for us, often at the expense of others. If you want to go deeper with that, the "American Dream" is really a one man on top scenario in the first place: You can't have everything without taking something from someone else. Lets call that the Conservation of Things. Anyway, that tells us that living in a bubble is completely acceptable, and keeps us from developing a fully formed idea of what the world is really like. Without understanding the world around us, we are content to simply think that we are the best and couldn't possibly have anything to learn from anyone else.

I find this to be extremely sad, and am often disappointed with the problems that America thinks it has. When I look at the news and the most pressing issue in America (that is spoken of) is that of marijuana being legalized while other places in the world are dealing with massive natural disasters and drastic social revolutions I can't help but think that we are ignorant in our wealth. I say wealth to mean that most have food enough to eat and a place to sleep at night, not to mention the amazing technology we have at our fingertips almost every second of the day.

It seems that this post has developed in a way that I wasn't expecting, and I'm not sure what the point I'm trying to make is, but thank you for reading this far.

...still thinking..

.. To all of you college/university students out there going through finals with me, just remember: Although studying is important and I'm not advocating for unpreparedness, the world is bigger than you probably realize. In the long run, this one set of finals will most likely not have that great of an impact on the rest of your life.


Good luck everyone, and God bless,

Mo

Monday, September 17, 2012

Keeping Perspective

This is my fourth year in a highly competitive academic environment, and I think I am finally getting a handle on the fact that grades, though important, are not everything.  I have let my grades basically rule my life for so long, and been thoroughly stressed out the whole time. It's exhausting, really.  Every time my friends and family who aren't at school with me see me, they comment on how tired I look.  Actually it's usually one of the first things that my Mom says every time I see or talk to her, whether I see her, or am even talking on the phone.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to put in the effort, still work for those good grades.  I'm just trying to make them have less of an impact on my life.  The sobbing breakdowns on the phone with my mother do not need to happen. They are as unpleasant for her as they are for me.  My first year living at school, it literally got to the point where my Mom didn't want to talk on the phone with me because it usually ended with me bawling my eyes out about some assignment that seemed to important at the time, but now I see that it was so trivial.  The work is still necessary, you will still find me furiously taking notes in class and when I do assigned readings.  I will still be doing all of the homework and practicing as much as possible.  But there are so many other things that are important too.

Family is definitely one of those things.  Now that my middle sister is also away from home, and Dad is  always traveling with work, just leaving the littlest one with Mom, it seems so important to me that I stay in touch with everyone.  I love the phone conversations where there can be a break in the conversation for what some would think is an awkwardly long amount of time, but we don't care because that's how comfortable we are with one another.  I will be the first to admit that I am horrible at keeping in touch with my friends and family. That is something that I have been working on, maintaining relationships with people that I love, and it's not easy.  Not only am I bad at keeping up, the communication skills that I have in regards to emotions are severely lacking.  I just hope that the people in my life can see how important they are to me, and how much I love them.

Other activities, such as Bible study, and volunteering with the NCSU Student United Way, that I am the president of (which, by the way, still blows my mind) take up a bit of time. That was something that I used to feel guilty about on some level, because it took away from my studying. But seriously, those things are just as, if not more important than hitting the books.  I'm going to look back at my college experience in twenty years and not remember how dedicated I was, or how long I spent studying.  I'm going to remember the people and the times that had an impact on my life, and I am grateful for that.

People have been telling me for a while now that I work too hard, and I'm just now realizing how right they are.  I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been here by my side to support me, and to try and keep my head where it should be.  Mom has always told me two things: 1) Everything happens for a reason, 2) You've got to keep perspective.  I didn't realize the impact that those two statements would have on me and my thinking, but I think I'm beginning to.  Thank you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Home with the Cat

I've been home since the 8th.  While that is a good thing in the sense that I actually have a break before diving in to my planed activities for the summer, it hasn't been  the most exciting time of my life.  Lately I've just been sitting at home watching TV or playing a number of games on my iPod/computer.

Okay, I just want to make it clear that I am one of those people who never had any type of gaming equipment as a child.  No gaming consoles, not even a GameBoy. That's right. Honestly, it's probably a good thing, seeing how awkward I am in the first place. I can only imagine that my awkwardness would have been majorly enhanced by those kinds of things.  Well.. we did have a couple of kid-friendly computer games, like Harry Potter (Quidditch was my favorite part of that game) and one Lego game.  I think it was Lego Island, but I could never figure out how to catch the prisoner after you release him with that spicy pizza...  Yea, so my childhood was mostly made up of spending hours outside with the sisters, real life Legos, and almost weekly trips to the local library.  During the summer we would go spend the afternoon at the lake down the road with what few other kids there were in our tiny little town.

That being said, I am now extremely susceptible to being sucked into a game, and since I have nothing else to do, play it for at least a couple of hours at a time.  So that is a lot of what I have been doing for the past two weeks.  Someone in the Honors Quad posted a link to an online GameBoy emulator on our facebook group page.  That was at least 2 days right there.

Yesterday there was a Warehouse 13 mini-marathon on Syfy, which of-course, I watched most of.  For those of you that don't know, Syfy actually has some really good shows.  Their movies are getting better too.  One show of theirs that I have been curious to see but haven't gotten a chance is "Face Off".  I think the show is a competition to find the next great makeup artist for them to hire.  But don't quote me on that, because I'm not positive.

In other news, I spent three days last week being a proctor for the middle school that my dad works at. Definitely not the most exciting three days of my life, but it really wasn't that bad.  I definitely suggest that if you have nothing better to do (like I didn't) that you go volunteer your time at a local elementary/middle school and proctor for the EOGs. They can always use the help.

So my cat is actually kind of irrelevant in this post, but I didn't want the title to be "Home Alone" or something depressing like that.

Have a great week!

Mo

PS. Hopefully I will find the will power to get into C. S. Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters" soon.  I've been wanting to read it, but I know his books are really dense and haven't yet.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Winding Down

No, today was not my last day of classes.  But it was pretty darn close.  Friday will officially be the last day of the semester, and all I have between now and then is some homework, that I should probably be doing right now instead of writing this.  On second thought, the only reason I am writing this is because I am waiting up until 10:00 to have a skype date with one of my best friends from high school.  That's right, I would be asleep right now if it weren't for that.

What a change right?  Not too long ago I had one night where I was up until four in the morning, working on a presentation for Spanish, that I ended up not even presenting the next day.  Luckily all of my classes for next semester start at eight in the morning.  Which means that I have no reason to be up late at night.

Anyway, that is not what I had planned to talk about.  What I meant to talk about is how the year is coming to a close.  I have two more days of class and three exams left.  All of the decor is off of my walls, and I am slowly packing my things to send the first load home this weekend.  My goal is to only have here what I will need for a week.. even though I will be here a little longer than that.  I think going to boarding school for two years of my high school career has influenced my ideas of dorm-room decoration, but I just don't understand how people can live in a room for a whole year without covering up the bare, white walls.

I have finally started connecting with a group of friends outside of class and Bible Study (not that I don't love my Bible study, I just don't get to see them as often as I would like), but we have like a week and a half left to spend together.  This is all so very bitter sweet.  I am so ready for summer, but at the same time, I wish I had more time to get to know all of these people, because I don't know how much of them I will get to see of them next year.  Especially since they are all design majors and I am in engineering and humanities.

The only thing I know to do is to be thankful that my year has been good, that I have been able to make some new friends, bond with my roommate, and have almost an entire two months at home with my family before I start working this summer.  I haven't been home for that long in three years, and I think it is time for a break.


Mo

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Hunger Games

Now, I don't know how others who have read the books feel about the Hunger Games movie. Admittedly, it was a good movie. But I must admit that I was slightly disappointed.

Recently I have really become a stickler when it comes to movies based on books actually following the book, and leaving the same impression in me as the book did.

In this case, the movie did, for the most part, an excellent job at following the plot line of the book. I just have one main issue. There were of course some details from the book that were missing, but most of those were minor. What I had an issue with was the way the movie came off as being mostly about the kids killing each other. Yes, that is a large, important part of the story, but I saw a larger picture in the book that was not conveyed through the movie.

The book showed a bigger picture, one of the struggle of an oppressed people, just beginning to realize as a whole that they can stand up for themselves. All of the character interactions that show this at the beginning of the book, such as Katniss selling to the Peacekeepers and the power that the Capital has over the rest of the districts is left for the viewer put together themselves. They show an uprising in District 11 as a result of the way Rue was treated when she died, but it doesn't clearly tie to the overall rebellion growing among the people. All of the story that makes the Hunger Games what it is was left until the end of the movie, like when Haymitch tried to explain to Katniss that she had upset the Capital, so it didn't have the full effect that it has in the book.

While I did enjoy the movie, the book was infinitely better. But, one must keep in mind that I am a bit of a bookworm.

Thanks for reading,

Mo

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Violated

Last night, between the hours of 12am and 7 am, my laptop disappeared from my room.  Well this may not seem like a big deal to some. But the fact that I was there, in my room, in my bed, asleep, while my lovely MacBook Pro disappeared, puts it on a whole other level.

I am not one to put too much value in material things.  Yes, I hate that my laptop is missing, but I can replace a laptop.  It may be inconvenient and a little costly, but it can be replaced.  The fact that some creeper was in my room while I was asleep in my bed and I didn't know is extremely disconcerting.  I feel so violated, like someone was in my safe zone, and I wasn't the one that let them in.  That may not be a very good metaphor, but it's the best I've got at the moment. The world I come from is not one where these kinds of things happen.  I was raised to believe that people are usually good, I'm not saying that I'm completely na├»ve, but I never thought that this would happen to me.

Given that nothing else in the room was touched, they didn't take the charger, the TV was fine, my roommate's laptop was also fine, and my purse was untouched, including my debit card, I know that this was a crime of opportunity, not against me in particular.  But, with my personality, I can't help but take it as a personal attack.  What did I do to someone to make them do this to me?  Was it something I didn't do?  I generally get along with everyone, so I can't imagine someone disliking me enough to do something like this.  I want to be angry, I really do, but I want my anger to go to the deserving target.  Since I have no idea who did this, or why it happened, it just keeps falling back on myself.  What did I do wrong?

Yes, I have followed all the right channels, and have filed a report with the police, but still.  This is very much a personality trait of mine, sometimes it's good, sometimes, not so much, but I like to handle my own problems.  There is no way that I could handle this myself.

So, time to pray about it, put it behind me, and move on.

1st step: Do some research on a new Mac. (because I do love them, no Windows for this girl).



God Bless,
Mo

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Who needs sleep anyways...

Lately I have had quite a bit of school work.  What, with spring break coming up, midterm season is just getting started good.  Being the great adventurer of academia that I am...  I have decided that working out (most days) and getting my homework done is more important than going to bed at a reasonable hour.  Is this the smartest decision?  I will be one of the first in line to say that it's not, but that is the way that it is.

I have been told that reaching a certain point of sleep deprivation is the same as being intoxicated, and I am inclined to believe them.  There will be weeks, or, more normally, a couple of weeks where the amount of sleep I get is way below the amount that I need, and I can get pretty loopy.

Writing this, I have realized the irony of my sitting here doing this instead of going to bed, but I'm at the point where it's going to be a battle to get up in the morning no matter what, so I might as well just use my time.

For those of you who are interested, the weather in Raleigh, and probably over the whole of North Carolina is kind of crazy right now.  Maybe three days ago*?* it was sleeting and snowing, and today it was a balmy sixty degrees and sunny.  Now, it's thundering, threatening to storm if it's not storming already.  While I heard that the weather doesn't really have anything to do with catching a cold, or a cough, I find it easier to just blame it on the weather that there is now a frog living in my throat.  I wake up in the mornings, and the first few words I say, I sounds like a man.  If I were, in fact, male, that wouldn't be a problem, but since I'm not, I would really appreciate it if this frog would just leave me alone.

In other news,  I am getting a hair cut over spring break.  Not like a trim, or a couple of inches.  Right now my hair is down to my mid-back, straight, and blonde.  After this cut, it will still be straight and blonde, but it'll only be a couple of inches long.  I'm going for a drastic change with a pixie cut.  I'll try to post some before and after pics if I remember to.

And now, I should probably go to bed...


God Bless,

Mo

Sunday, February 19, 2012

NC SOUL 2012: Orientation

As my job for the summer I will be working with a program through the North Carolina Yearly Meeting called SOUL.  SOUL stands for Serving Others Unleashing Love.  It's kind of a day camp/missions things, where we will be running sports camps in the morning, and then taking kids to do service projects in local community.

Friday afternoon and all of Saturday we had staff orientation.  That was a great experience.  Our theme this year is "(abandon)" and I am so excited! We're going to be talking about abandoning the things of this world, and abandoning our worldly selves to follow God.  It's kind of an intense topic, but I think it will be a great thing to be so real with the kids, and show them that Christianity is not an 'oh I think I want to do this while it's easy' kind of thing.

Last year we only had one location, but this year we are having two.  There is one staff for each location. One location is Mobile, AL which is where the program originated.  The other staff will be conducting camps in two locations in North Carolina, and I'll be on that team!

Getting to know all of the other staff members that I'll be working with was great.  We played some silly games, and did some get-to-know-you sort of activities.  We also assigned roles for the summer, I am on a team of three who will be in charge of planning Sports Camp, and for getting the flyers made, and for talking to different companies and making sure that we will have the necessary equipment for all of the sports.

It is going to be a lot of work, but it will also be a life changing experience.


God Bless,

Morgan