Five or Ten Minutes

It can be difficult for people to discuss mental illness, especially with those who are close to them (friends or family). I have close friends who suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar etc. and have seen them try to go through their day as though everything is okay. Some of them put off getting help for far too long, because others told them that how they thought or felt was “teenage hormones” or “just the blues.”

If more people were educated on mental health, they wouldn’t have brushed them off and my friends would have at least had someone listen to them for five-ten minutes.

We can all spare five or ten minutes to talk to someone we care about.

#BellLetsTalk

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End of the School Year

The school year is coming to an end. It feels like September was last week, and I was this slightly nervous kid worried about making friends.

This year I have been blessed with many great new friendships, amazing professors and an endless amount of laughter. I’m looking forward to next year and all the excitement and adventure it will bring.

Although school ending is a little bitter-sweet, I am looking forward to going home to see my family and friends.

I’ll be working on a pretty big project this summer, and when its done I’ll let you all know what that is. I’m extremely pumped about this…still slightly shocked but I’m definitely excited. So updates on that will be happening once I’m finished exams and have all the details ironed out.

I’m still plowing through two more assignments, but after Wednesday I’ll be finished, and will have more time to be creative, read my books and blog, and do all that fun stuff that I’ve had to put aside for a couple of weeks. Of course I have exams I need to study for but personally, I already feel well prepared for those. I love writing exams. Other people think they’re stressful and I see them as a chance to show myself (and my teachers) everything I’ve learned throughout the year and to put that knowledge to the test. Perhaps its because I’m working towards becoming a teacher myself? I don’t really think about grades when I work on an assignment, I mainly think about how much effort I’m putting into my work and if I’m producing something of good quality. Yah, weird I know…but I just don’t let grades define how I think about myself. A number does not define my self-worth and it does not define my intelligence. Sure, I get bummed out when I do a poor job on an assignment but I usually know if I haven’t done my best work and therefore take it as a learning opportunity. For example if I write an essay the night before its due, I don’t expect a 90%. If I procrastinated and put it off until the last possible minute, then it is my own fault and I need to learn not to do that again.

Well, that’s enough teacher-talk…or student-speak. I like alliteration.

Anyway, I just wanted to share how I’m feeling right now with school ending and with this absolutely fantastic project that I’m doing the last week of April.

All the best!

— R.

Running Weather

I’m actually going out for a run today. The weathers beautiful. I can’t pass up this chance. Plus with all these essays and presentations and so forth, a run will definitely clear my mind and get me thinking.

Not to mention I seriously need to get back in shape.

This New Year

There are many goals that I have for myself this new year. I want to do well in school, I want to continue to build long lasting relationships with my friends, I want to lose that last bit of freshman fat I’ve still got lingering on my belly and of course I want to complete my novel.

I started handwriting my novel back in 2013. I was actually shocked when I realized this. The first six novels I wrote took around three months each to complete…although I started those in the 7th grade when I had a lot more free time on my hands. I suppose I also didn’t spend much time focusing on my education, like I have been doing over the last four or five years. I can definitely say that I’ve come a long way academically.

I’ve done a lot of work on my three personal writing projects during the winter break. I like to put a lot of effort into the world of the novel, which is why I think my first novels only took me three months to complete and this one has taken around three years. Before I didn’t do any research or planning. In the 7th grade I simply sat down on the carpet by the radio with a pencil and some paper and I wrote. There was no such thing as writers block and I sure didn’t stress out over any accidental plot holes. In high school I became more serious about my work and started to teach myself how to write better, how to edit and how to research (the library is an excellent tool). I’ve written many things in my lifetime but this year I’m ready to finish this novel and get it published.

I’m looking forward to an awesome new year.

Wishing you all the best!

Don’t get swindled into those diet and work out commercials though. Walking for an hour a day will help you lose weight just as well, and it wont cost a fortune. I’m just saying…especially for those of you who are on a tight budget.

Happy New Year everyone!

— R.

First Big Writing Assignment of the School Year…Yikes!

So this week my class is starting our first big writing assignment, which is our short story assignment.

Now I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before on my blog but short stories aren’t my strong point when there is a limit as to the number of pages I can have or the word count. I’m stronger when it comes to novels and writing lyrics. Actually many of my novels have songs written into them so that when they’re adapted into films there will be an awesome soundtrack. I’m being serious. I actually have soundtracks for my novels of songs that I’ve written about characters, chapters and if my character is a musician then I actually record the songs that my characters perform in the text. I go all out. It is not just a book. It is…like…a living breathing thing. I guess that sounds over the top.

My sister thinks it’s kind of cool but she also gets annoyed when I record these songs while she’s trying to sleep. I’ve had things thrown at me and no, I’m not a bad musician. I don’t suck! My sister just has to hear me all the time. We actually write a lot of music together and perform it. I’m teaching her to sing because our voices automatically complement each other. She’s the one person that I enjoy harmonizing with because the sound it makes… I can’t even put it into words. Whenever we sing together and harmonize perfectly off the bat we both react like this

Me: WHOA!

Lil Sis: That was…AWESOME!

Me: REPLAY THAT! REPLAY!

And then we have to stop the recording because we usually interrupt our flow due to the fact that it sounded good. It also has to do with the fact that my sister thinks she’s a horrible singer.

ANYWAY back to talking about the short story thing. So the first big assignment is a short story assignment. It’s a story on whatever I want it to be which is great because I get to be creative with it. However, as I just said short stories aren’t really my go to thing.

I do like to write children’s books but those to me are sort of…well they’re for my nieces age group. That’s who I’m writing for. I write those for her. She’s in kindergarten (age’s 4-6 in Canada).

To me, short stories and children’s literature are in two different sections. Perhaps that’s simply because I separated them in my own head but because children’s books tend to have pictures, are not too lengthy and are geared toward a specific audience I place them under their own category outside of the short story category. Does that make sense? I hope so….

I’m not sure of how I want to approach this assignment. I have readily made written material for novels, however I don’t want to have to convert that material into short story material. It’s almost like…I have to plan out the format based off of the idea and if I’ve already decided on a format that I would like to present my idea in then it’s difficult to change it. I mean… that’s why we have different forms of writing. Not all films should be adapted into novels and not all novels should be adapted into screen plays. They were written a certain way for a reason. Now most books make great films, but of course for those of us who read the book before seeing the film it can be pretty difficult to separate them.

I had an interesting discussion with an upperclassman about it the other week actually. I’ll share that another time though.

Well…as you can see I’m stressing over an assignment that should be fun. Hopefully before I have to bring in my rough notes on Friday, I will have come up with something. I might see if there’s any guidelines for my assignment before I make any notes. My professors are being extremely loose on the formats and guidelines as this is a creative writing course. They’re just awesome like that. They’re really…fantastic. I’m so happy I took this course.

— R.


Yes, that is the Pharaoh. Yes, his hair is pretty awesome. Yes, I do watch LittleKuriboh.

If someone actually styles their hair like this with the different colours and everything that would be really cool. Someone needs to do this. They would look like the coolest kid in all of…well the world. Okay I’m done. Got some writing to do…obviously. Can we just…admire his awesome hair. I always wanted cool hair like that but nope I got stuck with my plain generic black hair. Oh well…I’m thankful I have hair. Better not complain. I don’t wanna go grey early like my dad did. Ha….yah. I love you hair…but still…his hairs so cool.

Writing Tip: Drawing and Writing

I’m apologizing once again for not blogging as often. I haven’t been doing much other than work.

Novel wise, I decided to do some character sketches. Which I highly suggest. It helps you visualize your characters look and personality. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures are capable of telling stories within themselves. It came help you form a characters background and it gives them more depth. The reason I suggest drawing them rather than searching up say…brown haired girl on Google, is because using an actual image from the internet takes away from your own creativity. What you visualize your character looking like won’t be found on Google (that is unless you chose a specific model and based your novel around them). It is better to draw your character. You don’t need to be artistic. What you might see and what someone else sees on that paper is going to be different. If we were not taught in school to over analyze the world of art and weren’t told that only ONE way of seeing things was the RIGHT way, then each and every person that saw your image would see something different.

It is just like when you finish watching a film or reading a book. You might have enjoyed it very much, but another person might not have gotten that same effect.

By drawing your characters you can remain in control. You won’t try to fit them into someone else’s image. They’ll remain apart of your world. You also wont feel the need to over describe them.

This is why we don’t procrastinate…

So I finally typed up my essays and I’m still short words after all that editing. My time is limited… I thought about how much stuff I still had to do and my head began racing.

This is why we don’t procrastinate. This is why we start the essay the day we get it versus a month later.

We’ll never learn though.

At least I started them a week before they were due. Why I chose to finish editing them and typing them up the same week as the due date…beats me. This is basically my last week of school before exams. If I can get all my work done today and tomorrow then I’ll be free to relax for a day or two before I jump into exam mode.

Good luck to anyone else going through this…end of the year essay madness. Why not give these assignments to us in February? I’d rather hand them in, in March…or like have several small assignments versus one big one and an exam. Ugh…maybe I need to take a break. I feel burnt out right now.

Sorry to complain to you guys but I suddenly felt like I was gonna start screaming or something because I can’t seem to think of what else to add to my essays right now. This is why I hate having assignments all due on the same day. It forces me to go back and forth between them. It’s like trying to write two different novels at the same time. It shouldn’t be done…but in this case I’m being marked so it has to be done.

Oh well…I’ll keep doing my best. I’ll probably grab dinner, and take a nap. Then I’ll get to work again whenever I wake up. I’m really worn out right now…. I don’t think school work has made me exhausted before.

Reading Plays for School

Back in elementary school and high school (primary and secondary), whenever we would read a play, we would read it aloud and act it out.

Last semester, when I started university, we read two plays, which our professor had playing on the screen for us. We would read along. Sometimes he would read each passage two us. The entire time we read the plays together. He said, “Plays are meant to be heard and seen, not just read.” He told us of the importance of acting out the play and explained that it was the only way one could be impacted by the play.

Even this semester, our professors tell us that the best way to understand a play is to read it aloud. They say that it is easier to hear the characters voice that way…however in our lectures and seminars we rarely read anything aloud. Why? Because everyone thinks that we students do not want to.

Yes there are people who loathe the idea of reading aloud in front of the class…especially if they have to act. However there are people who do enjoy it. So why not have those people perform a scene then have the rest of the students discuss it? It’s a win, win for everybody. We would all benefit, as the actors would be in character, therefore understanding the play that way and the audience would get an understanding of the play by watching it.

It’s so odd not actually reading anything aloud to one another or acting things out. My first year is practically over and though I’ve enjoyed all of my classes, I feel as though we should either have some sort of way to properly approach plays, or not even bother studying them. I mean, what’s the point of simply opening up a play and reading the dialogue? I’m almost positive that a lot of people pop it open and only read the dialogue. They don’t really care about the stage directions. Why do they matter if they’re not acting it out? It’s just extra reading to do, and when you’ve got 4 other books to read on top of that the play seems pointless.

If the play is interactive (as it was meant to be), then people take more interest in it and maybe I’m just being bias here but I think they enjoy it more.

You should not and cannot simply read the lines of a play. It has to be approached the way it was meant to be performed. If it isn’t done that way then there’s absolutely no point in reading it at all. It is impossible for people to completely understand a play by just skimming the dialogue.

Well, that’s my little rant for the day but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this? Feel free to answer one or all of those questions in your comments.

Do you agree or disagree? Are plays just a pain in the but to study period (whether performed or simply read)? What was your favourite play to study in school?

Why I Watch Kids Movies During Exam Time

Watching movies may not sound like the most productive thing you could do while you have several exams to prepare for. You’ve got to review everything you know about Tap Water before you can even think about going anywhere more than 2 seconds from your room.

Sleeping, eating, drinking, social interaction; these things that we need in order to survive no longer matter.

The only thing we care about is passing so that we can move on with our lives and never have to think about the complexity that is Tap Water again.

So why on earth would I watch movies during a time where my main focus should be on learning everything I need to know for the exam? The answer, though it may not seem like it, is very simple. Watching movies, specifically kids movies allows me to relieve stress. After being awake between 8am and 3am for almost two weeks, with one meal a day and little to no social interaction outside of the classroom, I decided while in my zombie-like state that I wanted to watch something…specifically something that would make me laugh, and so I began watching shows.

When I reacted the final of each of the shows I was watching/catching up on, I realized that the shows were themselves stressful to watch as some of the episodes would leave me near tears due to some of the subject matter.

Then I decided, “I will watch a movie I haven’t seen in years!” and started searching up all of these kids movies that I hadn’t seen since I was maybe…well whenever I last saw them. A lot of the movies that I like came out around the time I was born, which makes sense now because my mother would say that I looked like a character from one of those films when I was maybe 5 or 6?

Ever since I began watching these happily ever after, funny, annoyingly corny movies, I’ve been in good spirits about writing my exams and I also ended up forgetting how incredibly tired I was…or am. I’m still tired but I’m about to watch An American Tail 2. I’ve never seen this one, and my little sister and I used to sing that one song that Fievel and his sister Tanya sing when my sister got this doll, and it was the only doll of that kind that she owned…so we pretended her doll was waiting for her family to come to our imaginary toy land. Our stuffed monkey Zoboomafoo (r.i.p D’:), was like her caretaker and he’d carry her around the town and stuff…this is becoming a totally random slightly off topic thing. Anyways it was a great song and the movie was pretty cute. Plus I like history…so I know I’ll learn something from it. I’m Canadian so I’d rather watch A Canadian Tail but that doesn’t exist…and well, Canadian television is finally stepping up its game. I think it will be a while until we have another good film. Our documentaries are pretty great though. Yah…I seriously should just write for television so we’ll gain more popularity. I have so many scripts that my sister and I have made over the years and our friends really liked them. However I’m more of a novelist…who likes to use a pen name because I’m kind of shy and my mom recommended it even though she doesn’t know anything about writing…or really care about it all that much.

Okay my eyes are literally burning…and now they’re watering. I think I should watch my movie and go to bed right after.

I may be less active for a few days I may not…depends on how confident I am after tomorrow.

Good luck to those with exams…and just some friendly advice….don’t stay up until 3 am everyday with only one meal in your belly. It is painful…and you will end up eating very unhealthy in order to pretend you aren’t starving.

Oh and don’t tell yourself you’re fasting because like…you’re not, you’re just choosing not to eat because eating requires leaving your studies and you know that if you walk away you are not coming back until like the day before the exam okay?

My dad was right I do say like a lot.

I have a stomach ache.