Please Excuse my Progress/Day 7

wpid-wp-1428683924321.jpeg

I apologize for missing Day 7 of my photo challenge, innovation, as you can see I’ve been a little busy. I am currently working on 3, count it, 3 websites. The one above being one of them. Yes that’s right I am moving. Well not me, just my blog. The Student Stupor is relocating to Wix. Don’t get me wrong I love all of my WordPress followers and appreciate that you guys take the time to read what I ramble about. But it is time for a change and so to Wix I go. I hope to be up and running on Wix by the end of the month and in the meantime I will continue to post here. I hope that you guys are willing to accompany me on my trip but if that is not the case then let us enjoy the posts we have left.

Writing Styles and Ethics

Consider this, you are tasked with the responsibility of writing a piece on what the people around you are doing. Sounds easy right? Sally eats a sandwich, and Bob reads a newspaper, done. But wait, the piece that you are writing needs to be in the form of a scientific report. Well, this little detail changes everything.

This semester I wrote a workplace analysis ethnography for my capstone course and it was probably the most frustrating experience that I have ever had writing anything. I am used to adapting my writing to fit the style that the paper has been assigned (MLA, APA, etc.). Typically if I am using MLA I write in a more personal and humanistic way, I use personal pronouns, and I use pathos to persuade my audience. On the other side of that, when I use APA I am usually writing a paper that includes research so I talk less about the personal characteristics of the people involved and more about whatever research was done on them.

The ethnography report that I wrote felt like an entirely different animal. As I wrote the paper I found myself painfully aware of the coldness of it. Scientific writing most often uses APA style but there is, I have found a big difference in a typical research centered article and a scientific article. I tried to structure my paper to resemble that of a science article, cold, clinical, void of any emotion and in doing so found myself questioning the ethics of the way that scientists construct present their arguments.

Let us not forget that the articles, and reports that we take as “fact” are indeed arguments, even the reasoning behind the style of scientific writing is an argument. Language and writing are ever-evolving. Charles Bazerman says in his essay “Codifying the Social Scientific Style,” from The Rhetoric of Human Sciences  language is “a human accomplishment,” which “must be constantly reevaluated and remade as the human world changes” (125). Science hasn’t always been as detached as it is today, it has changed and I’m sure scientists would like to think that it has evolved. Audubon for example was a scientist who recorded his findings on birds and plants in essays that he sometimes wrote in the forms of letters. This old style of scientific writing was accessible; one reading it could see the argument being made and then decide whether or not to accept it.

Today scientists construct reports that are unintelligible to most people. Why? Because scientists have an agreed understanding that the best way to communicate their findings is to remove any trace of pathos or humanizing qualities. If people don’t understand what they are reading they won’t question it right? But there is an ethical problem with this writing style. When information is presented in a way that the audience cannot understand they are cheated of the ability to make their own decisions about the information they are receiving. Scientific writing often assumes that the audience either knows nothing about the subject or knows quite a bit. Where does that leave us, your everyday people?

I cannot say that I agree with the style of scientific writing, or that I particularly enjoyed writing in the style, as I wrote I was faced with the overwhelming urge to change the style to something more reasonable. I understand the motive behind the control technique, but as a writer and a technical communicator, I say there has got to be a better way to communicate scientific information. Luckily, as Bazerman noted, language grows and changes as people grow and change. Maybe one day writers and scientists can find a middle ground between the old style and what is used today.

Day 6: Memories

memories 2

One crazy day in D.C. I didn’t even get to climb the stairs.

Day 5: Knowledge

image

Just trying to absorb as much as I can.

Day 4: Clothing

image

A glove counts right?

Day 3: Spring time

image

Happy Easter everyone!

Day 2: One Last Meet

image

Last time looking at this piece of technology before graduation.

Image

Day 1: Some Really Exciting Words

image

Keeping with Creativity

doing thisI recently made a list of things that I hope to accomplish this year, no not a list of resolutions but a list of simple goals that I believe will bring me long term results. Some of the things on my list are health related, there are a few things I’d like to do here at Auburn before I graduate, some of the goals are job related (as in get one!), and then there are those things that I think will help me to just be a better me.

I’ve been learning so much in my capstone course about technical communication, and I am thrilled because graduation is looming closer each day and I feel that I am in a place where I have a strong foundation of knowledge and skills that to offer any employer. With that being said I don’t want to ever lose touch of my creative side. I write everyday, as I promised myself that I would, but I have also taken a strong interest in photography recently. I have taken courses in which I have had to design websites and manuals, and all sorts of things and I always see the phtography that I use and think “wow I wish that I could do that!”

So I have decided to take my little digital camera (it’s nothing fancy), or my phone, and do the 30-day gratitude photo challenge. Unlike most of the other photo challenges that I have seen, this one isn’t about me. This challenge doesn’t ask me to take a single image of myself, and will allow me to explore photography and to expand my ability to think outside of the box. Why do it? Because above all of the things on my list I want to stop wishing I could do things and just do them. Everyday I will take a photo and post it here. No matter how good or bad the quality of the photo.

I apologize in advance.

Bridging the Gap Between Art and Science

Sometimes the best way to understand how to move forward is to take a look back. Looking back over some of the papers that I have written over my college career I discovered some things that I could have done better, and a few mistakes. I also found some things that I did really well. Two years ago I took an Environmental Literature course. We spent the first half of the semester studying Audubon and writing short essays about what we learned. For the latter part of the semester we took class trips to the university arboretum, sometimes with a guide and other times exploring on our own.

Throught the course of the class I learned how to take my writing skills and combine them with the scientific knowledge that I was learning. The professor was enthusiastc about teaching us how to write about science in a way that was creative and full of emotion and passion, something that I hadn’t realized was possible in writing for science.

This new approach to scientific writing inspired the topic of one of my essays for the course. In the essay I wrote about how scientific writing doesn’t always take the form of the cold, clinical statistics and technical jargon that we are used to. I used Audubon’s Birds of America to provide examples for how scientific writing can be aesthetic and more importantly how English, in regard to writing, and science can sometimes have signifigant overlap.

“In the world of writing it is common for the scientific and the aesthetic to be compared, and in most cases dismissed as completely different entities. But why is this, is one better than the other well certainly not.”

For my paper to be effective I needed to use some of my rhetorical skills. I needed to establish a level of ethos in order to make my discussion relevant. To do so I used what I can now define as Nullius in Verba or “On the word of no man”. I quoted Audubon to support my argument, in the hopes of gaining some authority for myself in the eyes of my audience. To establish Logos I asked the question, as you can see above, what makes one field better than the other and then went on to attempt to explain the ways in which the two fields can work as compliments.

The best part about reflecting over old papers is discovering how far I have come. In the essay that I wrote I didn’t discuss the ways in which technical writers bring English and science together as they create documents. I wasn’t aware that I, an English major, could build a website for a scientific, or any other company that is technically sound as well as aesthetically pleasing. I didn’t fully understand the range of English, and the skills that I would gain in studying it, would give me.

Thanks to a few great professors I understand now. So when my friends studying various sciences joke about my English degree, I laugh right along with them because little do they know we could be working together in the future.

Who am I and What Can I do for You?

In the hi-tech media-centered world of today if you do not have an online presence you are pretty much invisible. Sure you can still find a job the old fashioned way, mailing or even e-mailing an employer your resume, but having an online presence is essential to making yourself known. When employers search for me online they will more than likely find my Facebook page, and might come across my blog, here. However these two representations of me do little to promote my technical communication skills, or to promote me to future employers.

Thankfully it is a requirement for my capstone course that I create an e-portfolio and publish it for everyone, and anyone to see. YIKES! I am grateful that this assignment, something I might not have thought to do on my own, has been given to me. I get to create a website with the cushion of a professor that will help me every step of the way. I wish it were that simple.

There are endless benefits to having an e-portfolio. An e-portfolio allows you to get more personal than is generally acceptable on a résumé, you can add images of yourself that further illustrate your accomplishments, it’s easy to find, and most of all it’s permanent.

PERMANENT!? As in never ever goes away.

So, you see, it is of the upmost importance that I build a website that shows off all of my skills and accomplishments in the best possible way. No pressure. Thankfully this assignment is due at the end of the semester so I have plenty of time to make it the best that it can be. I assumed going into this assignment that it would be easy to create something about myself.

Wrong!

It is stressful to write about yourself when you know that the world can see it and it could be the difference between you getting or not getting a job. I have always been aware of my presence on social media and the repercussions  that could follow a bad decision on Instagram or Facebook. I steer clear of any photos that could jeopardize  my future, and feel just as strongly about what I put on my e-portfolio. Like anyone else I want to show my bestself online. I want to show what I am capeable of and how I can be beneficial to future employers.

So as I sit down to write the text for the about me page I ask myself, in a professional sense, who am I? And what do I bring to the table?

Reading is Power

Ever wonder why there are books on just about everything? We all had a favorite book that we read, or that our parents read to us, when we were children. If asked to explain why that book was our favorite one would learn the value in which we had ascribed to the story. Whether your favorite book taught you about good and evil, to never give up, or about the importance of friendship and sharing (like my personal favorite Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister) it taught you something. Books codify knowledge into a valuable, tangible object that can be reused and shared. Putting it simply the information found in books is the key to the spreading of knowledge.

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-high-quality-resolution-downloads-public-domain-archive-10As we grew our parents sent us off to school everyday where the same method of transmitting knowledge was applied by our teachers. Young, eager, and ready to absorb information with our sponge like brains we were handed more books. We got older and the books got thicker holding more information, more power. By the time I reached high school, the primary way to learn a subject was to read the textbook given on it. Why? Well if my above explanation wasn’t enough Bernadette Longo states in Spurious Coin “To summarize, we could (over)simplify this characterization to say that textbooks contain knowledge that purports to be exhaustive, important, useful, standardized, idealized, for the public benefit, and encouraging of systematized social stability through science” (p.71).

So by the time we hit college we understand one thing for certain if we know nothing else, and that is to read the book. The book holds all of the power by this point in our lives because we understand it to hold all of the information. The professors are people who are new to our lives and yes, they have to prove and protect their authority before we are willing to be swayed by their lectures.

Professors teach concepts, and then to prove why we should trust their authority on the subject, assign readings that reiterate what they say. It is true that the professor decides our fate on the grade in the course, to a certain extent, but the book is the key to information and the keeper of knowledge. Anyone who has taken a college course can attest to the fact that sometimes professors never use the book they assign, which creates a power struggle between the professor and the textbook and is extremely frustrating for the student, but that’s another conversation.

The point is by the time we have made it out into the working world we have developed a need for evidence, and we ascribe authority to whichever source can prove it’s information to be true. By adulthood we have adopted a way of knowing that has been shaped by our academic experiences, and more specifically the books that we encountered along the way.

I trust that there is a superior way of doing things because that is what my years of ascribing authority to textbooks have taught me. I trust that if I can’t figure something out there is a document or a book that can help me solve my problem. I put faith in the books that are assigned for me to read because my professors, authority figures, defer the power that they have onto the books that they recommend. I question what people claim to be “fact” until I can find hard evidence for myself. For this dependency on proof in the form of written evidence I thank the guy who said hey, maybe we should write this down.

Longo, B. (2000). Spurious coin: A history of science, management, and       technical writing.SUNY Press.

SHR, Graduation, and All Things Stressful.

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-vintage-book-childrens-thumbelina-illustrations-floral-1Today in my capstone course Aaron Alford, the Managing Editor for Southern Humanities magazine, came to speak to the class. Southern Humanities is the quarterly, literary, journal staffed by graduate students based right here in my beloved Auburn University, and until today I had no idea it existed. (That last statement isn’t entirely true, I had heard of the journal in passing but I didn’t really know much about it.)

Mr. Alford offered advice on everything from following your dreams of editing literature, to how he got started. The discussion was something that I very much needed to hear. Everyday I get just a little bit closer to graduation and the closer the day gets the more stressed out I become.

I appreciated the talk that Mr. Alford gave today. He mentioned different experiences that he has had working for Southern Humanities and I found comfort in the fact that I have had some of the same encounters working for the Circle. The biggest takeaway that I got from today’s talk was to be confident going out into the workforce.

Most people don’t really understand my major or what I can and intend to do with it. Everyone usually tries to persuade me to pursue something more “practical” a technical writing job to follow my technical writing degree.

That’s exactly what I’m doing people!

The day to day for a technical writer/editor might seem dull to you when I explain that in a job I will codify information and write and or edit it for the consumption of an audience, but that is exactly what I plan to do. I work with all forms of writing technical and otherwise. What I have learned over the years is that people don’t typically associate non-technical writing with monetary success, unless of course the writer in question is on a bestsellers list. There is the starving writer character, such as portrayed by Bradley Cooper in The Words that struggles to make ends meet that I can see pop into the mind of a person when I tell them what I do. That reaction can be discouraging, especially when it comes from those who are already secured in their careers. Mr. Alford was the opposing voice today, telling us to trust our capabilities as writers, and assuring us that they are not only sufficient but highly seemed after in the professional world.

The point is not every young writer/editor struggles to find work. I am confident that my skills in technical writing and editing will lead to success, and thanks to Mr. Alford I can stress a little less and focus on graduation and applying for positions. Maybe it’s corny but the follow your dreams talk is one that I firmly believe that everyone should hear, especially those of us who are just leaving the comforts of college.

Today was a good day.

The Problem With Writing in College

Recent efforts to write for myself more often have proven that I have become a little rusty. The problem, I have found, is that I don’t know how to approach writing anymore if it isn’t for a professor. As I mentioned in a previous post, last semester I took a creative non-fiction class in which the only assignment was to write a thirty page portfolio. We could write about anything that we wanted, there were no real rules or limitations, other than the stories had to be true. I struggled in the beginning to find my footing, but once I had the content I still had no clue how to actually put it on paper. I have written a good bit of fiction over the years, and more essays for professors than I can remember. But I had never written any non-fiction and I had no clue what I was doing.  When I presented my first draft to my professor, and he called my work a collection of personal essays, I was completely thrown for a loop.

I didn’t think of my work as an essay at all. Sure I was writing it for my professor but I didn’t think of it as the stiff, highly researched, blah blah blah essay that I have become accustomed to writing in college. Don’t get me wrong I’ve learned some interesting things over the years in my research for essays. But if I’m being honest I get bored writing essays more often than not. But I’m an ENGLISH major! I know, I know. There are usually so many restrictions and rules to essay writing in an academic setting that I get caught up in trying to make sure the structure is perfect and I end up feeling like I could have done better in the end, no matter what grade I earn. As the semester went on my professor noticed that several of us were struggling with choosing between  letting our work speak for itself or guiding it in a way that resembled an essay tailored for a professor.

The subject that I wrote about was pretty personal and the process of telling my story and telling it in a way that clearly communicated the emotions that needed to be shared was difficult. One day my professor told the class that we needed to each figure out who we were writing for. Well of course as we went around the table we all answered that we were writing for him only to be told that if he was our intended audience, we needed to re-evaluate our approach to the assignment. I went home that day and really thought about what he had said and realized that he was right.

Audience is extremely important when writing any type of document.  For someone like me who wants a career in technical writing and editing, understanding the audience that will read and use the document is imperative.  If I hadn’t finally realized that I was writing my pieces for my mother the essays would have been less effective, I wouldn’t have gotten an “A” in the course, and I probably wouldn’t have thought I deserved it. Moving forward it is important that I continue to put an emphasis on audience analysis in everything that I write. Over the years I have found writing for professors to be both a hindrance and useful. While every professor is different there is an overarching expectation from them that I have come to know very well. I have had the cushion of writing for them, and knowing exactly how to approach it, for five years. But as a technical communicator and a writer it is time that I give up the cushion and embrace all different audiences. Writing effective documents for different people that clearly communicate the message is the task of any writer, technical or not.

Stop! Write a minute.

Boardwalk

With graduation looming closer and closer everyday, this week I have made it my mission to reach out to people who hold job positions that I would like to one day have the privilege of holding myself. This afternoon, as I wrote letters and questions to ask these people I found myself becoming sidetracked. I have to admit, I did find myself veering off to Facebook once or twice but what really stole my attention were the multiple opportunities that I found to complete Artist residencies. Artist you ask, like drawing? I draw, not well enough to make a living off of, but the opportunities weren’t just for that sort of artist. There are organizations that provide days and weeks of training to people looking to better perfect their craft. Artsmith for example offers an up to four week residency where artists can write, paint, and sketch their hearts out on Washington State’s San Juan Island. Yes I did just imply that a writer is an artist, because we are! This lavish residency might sound more like a retreat or vacation but the truth is I think it is, the best vacation ever! Think about it, doing what you love and at the same time getting things accomplished, in a beautiful and relaxing setting. Sounds amazing right?

Like most of my fellow senior students, I have been stressing over finding a job, and making connections in preparation for graduation. I have been emailing editors, researching publishing companies, and in doing so have neglected to do the one thing that well makes me, me. Going through Brevity and Rock & Sling reading all of the amazing works reminded me that the one big success that I hope to one day achieve is to write something worthy of publication. I don’t really have the luxury of being able to attend such a retreat as the one offered by Artsmith, so as hinted at by the very cheesy title of this post, I have resolved to take out a minute of every day to write something for me. Of course a novel can’t be written in a single  minute but dedicating myself to at least a minute of personal writing everyday will form a habit that I hope to carry with me long after I graduate and get a job, and that is to never stop working towards achieving my dreams in writing.

So You’re Going to Teach Right?

In the five years that I have been here at Auburn there has been one constant. I have made friends, lost friends and even found some friends for life. However the one thing that has not changed is that whenever someone asks what I plan on doing with my degree when I graduate, no matter how much I explain, they always circle back to the assumption “Oh, so you’re going to teach right?” I have found this infuriating at times but I always try to remember, when I feel that the situation is hopeless, that for a long time I too had no idea what I could do with my degree. When I graduate with my English degree in Technical and Professional Communication my main goal is to be hired in an editing position. I would like to work for any type of magazine, fiction book publishing, or in a technical editing or writing position. That word technical that I keep throwing around is, what I believe, throws most of people off when I talk to them about my degree. After first hearing the word English, their minds automatically go to teaching, which is another talk for another post.

So what is a technical/professional communicator? Well it is actually as simple, and complex, as it sounds. The experience that I have obtained in the process of earning this degree has prepared me to write technical documents. Technical documents include anything from the manuals that come in your Ikea desks telling you how to assemble your new furnitpublic-domain-images-free-stock-photos-vintage-kids-toys-books-fisherprice-1ure, to government documents. The role of a technical communicator is one that comes with with many responsibilities. For instance technical communicators often find themselves working for companies that require them to write and edit documents about things like science and engineering. This means that we need to become familiar with the different fields but most importantly we have to know the user, and understand how they will process different pieces of information. I once had a professor that worked for a company where her job was to edit manuals that engineers would use on the job. She, like I, graduated with an English degree in Technical Communication so to successfully complete her job she had to find out how engineers process information and shape the documents in a way that would best communicate that information. The point is we have to understand that people’s minds work differently and shape documents to successfully communicate information to multiple different people at one time.

Because technical communicators are in the business of understanding and sometimes working to guide people’s thoughts in certain ways, it is very important that we understand and can recognize when something is unethical. I have taken persuasion and Anthropology classes, these are two different fields but I have found that they overlap somewhat with technical communication. In my persuasion course we talk a lot about coercion and propaganda and how to spot and steer clear of them which is very important when creating technical documents. In the Anthropology course we learned how to comprehend the differences of people across cultures, which of course is extremely important in creating technical documents. All of this being said, when I graduate I will have obtained a lot of the experience and knowledge necessary to communicate with all kinds of people from all over the world, and honestly I’m pretty excited to get started!

Getting it out

Alder Favorit Typewriter

I am in a Non-fiction class this semester and the only assignment that exists for this class is to write a thirty page portfolio. That’s it, any type of non-fiction, any subject. I chose to write about the death of my mother when I was nine years old and my attempts to save her, and at the risk of sounding like a cliche, I must say that maybe it chose me. Writing this portfolio has been crippling , nearly impossible and all over enlightening. I have written about a subject that I cannot verbally talk about. My professor, who has more confidence in my writing than I do, has led a couple of conferences with me, each of them more difficult than the last. Today was exceptionally hard. I found myself in a bad mood later that I cannot explain. Part of me regrets writing the pieces in the first place and the other part of me is just happy to have it out there. In the end I’m just so grateful for the power of words. I am able to write what I can’t say.

Growing up

I’ve been told, as I am sure we all have, that growing up is hard. Suddenly you are responsible for keeping the power on, and paying rent, and buying groceries. These things that, for years, had all been taken care of by someone else are suddenly your responsibility. They, those older and wiser people that we thought had no idea what they were talking about for many of our young years, tell us to try to stay a child as long as we can because being an adult can really be tuff sometimes.

What they don’t always tell us is that one of THE hardest parts of growing up is watching people pass in and out of your life. When I was a freshman I was lucky enough to meet a really great group of people. We had a pretty big group and did almost everything together. By the second semester of my freshman year it became pretty obvious that not everyone that was in the group would stay in the group. But that was okay because those of us that continued to hang out realized how much we really valued each other’s friendship. I am still friends with two of those girls today and I am so happy that I met them and got to experience college with them. But one of those girls graduated last May and the other will graduate in this coming December, whereas I will not graduate until May 2015.

We are all headed in separate directions and while we promise to keep in touch, the fact is that more often than not, people in our situations eventually lose touch. People get married, and have children, and life just happens. My best friend and I have been really talking about our future plans lately because this is my last year at the university. I plan to try to find a job in Atlanta after school and then hopefully someday in New York City. She doesn’t plan on leaving the state. And while I am happy that she has possibly found that someone, I would be lying if I said that the thought of all of that change didn’t scare me. When you have a person in your life that you see everyday, and that knows you better than anyone in the world, and gets your odd sense of humor, and shamelessly gushes over a tv show with you it’s hard to think of not being around them anymore.

I consider myself lucky to have already met so many wonderful people, and to have gotten to learn from them and experience great friendships. But, for me, the hardest part of growing up has been learning to accept the fact that people come and go in your life, and that you just have to enjoy the time that you have with them and be grateful that you had that time. Change is a good thing. And who knows, maybe someday I will be in New York City celebrating my bestseller and my friends will be right there by my side.

Under Pressure

“Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man ask for
Under pressure that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets”

Sitting at my desk reading roughly one hundred pages worth of material for class, and pounding my brain for things that can set me apart as I apply for internships, this stirring song by Queen and David Bowie comes to mind. It is in my nature to take on big jobs and carry a lot of responsibility, I like the challenge! I like the feeling that I get when I surprise myself and others around me by succeeding. So being the glutton for being busy that I am, I took on a full eighteen hours this semester. I have finance, marketing, professional editing (the hardest and best class ever!), business writing, and renaissance literature.There is a TON of reading, some editing, business writing, and well then there is that business minor stuff that I really just spend hours beating my head against the wall about.

In all I am swamped!

I admit it is overwhelming and while I have been waking up just as exhausted as I went to bed, I love it! Okay I sound crazy, maybe I am, but I enjoy being busy. Being the dreamer that I am I hope to land a job as editor-in-chief at a publishing agency, while at the same time writing my first bestseller.

I want the go, go, go lifestyle only interrupted by small breaks of slowdown. I guess I just like the pressure.

I’m not saying it isn’t hard, or that I don’t want to rip my hair out at times, I’m just saying that I embrace the work because I know that the reward is always worth it.

Gallery

I just want a book

  After possibly the toughest semester that I have had in my college career I am home for the holidays. My family hasn’t done anything big for a couple of years now. We usually just hang out around the house, … Continue reading

Gallery

You Suck!

Dear fellow bloggers,     Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t the “you sucks” supposed to start after you graduate? I am in an Environment and Literature Course this semester and for those of you who think “Oh that … Continue reading

Diamonds are a girls best friend?

In bed by 12:00 a.m. and up again at 6:45 a.m. to start another day. The first thing that I do when I get out of bed is go to the kitchen and start my coffee pot. The truth is that I am worthless without my morning cup o’ joe. I feel sluggish and exhausted, but the moment I take that first sip I know that I can get through the rest of the day. Luckily one of the perks of living on campus is that there is coffee everywhere, in the dining halls, in the library (best idea ever) and everywhere in between.

I hereby

The stuff is honestly a mild form of crack for those like me who can not seem to function without it.

When studying I find coffee to be an absolute necessity if I am truly hoping to get anything done. None of that sweet stuff either, nope, give me a strong cup of black coffee. Monsters and Amps claim to have the same affect as coffee but as an experienced caffeine enthusiast, (a.k.a a college student) I have to argue that they are nothing like coffee. These products give half of the caffeine buzz and contain a ton of sugar.

Now that the seasons are changing and Starbucks has a pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha advertisement on tv every five seconds I have found myself giving in and trying some of the sweet treats. I have to say that the Gingerbread concoction is very good and gives you that nice fall feeling. The point that I am trying to make is that coffee is by far my favorite, and most loyal friend. It has never let me down and has always been there for me when I have needed a boost.

After that morning cup I am invincible, nothing can stop me, and I am a whole new, more kind, person. Coffee gives me wings. Sorry Marilyn you can keep your diamonds, this girl just wants her coffee beans.

College sucks.

college boundWelcome, beware, and lighten up, because I can not promise that you will agree with everything that I say but I’m going to say it anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way a pessimist or an ill natured person. I am a college student and if that doesn’t explain it I don’t know what else will. I love college! Ok let me rephrase that I love being a student. Not quite, I love Auburn! Yeah that sounds better. I am a student at Auburn University and I have loved every second of being here. That being said, I’m sure those of you reading this who are currently students, or have not so long ago graduated, can attest to one simple fact. College sucks! And while that statement might sound harsh it, in my opinion, it is true. Now before you all become outraged let me explain. I came to Auburn in 2010 which just happened to be the year we won the national championship. I will never forget that year, the spirit around campus was electric. Weekends seemed to be a never ending extravaganza from the moment Friday began. Everyone was happy and school pride reached a whole new level. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have been accepted to a school where people cared about strangers just as much as they did their blood relatives. I was definitely feeling the love. And then life hit, sophomore year came and I remembered that I was in school and needed to maintain the GPA I had secured the year before. And as they should the courses got harder and harder. This I expected, but what I didn’t expect was that what was even harder than my classes was life. I had been under some naive assumption that the people I met freshman year would be the people I would retell drunk stories with when my grandchildren asked about their grandmother. But oh was I wrong. That’s life I have learned and college merely filters the toxins. So here I am watching my friends prepare for graduation and setting my eye on similar plans for next spring and all I can think is how much it all sucks. Most people in this day and age believe that to be successful and to have a career that is worthy of your mothers raving to her friends at church and lunch dates, requires a college degree. Most that is, but alas that is another story for another post. But really I have come to this wonderful institution, learned amazing things, picked up numerous skills, and yet as an English major in the field of Professional and Technical communication I fear that I will still never obtain that dream career. That is no fault of the university for which I owe my eternal gratitude, but life, life instead is the culprit to my squashed dreams. So that brings us full circle college taught me so much and made me the intellectual that I am today but I fear that once it’s over I will be left with empty memories and a job bagging groceries. I came I saw and I would like to think that I will conquer life but my future is unknown. When they drop you of at college they tell you how great it will be but they don’t tell you that it sucks. It sucks to make a life to get into a good rhythm and learn who you are, and just as you have erase it all because college is over and the world awaits.

Skip ahead Day 17: Weather

Life is busy, I’m behind. But I’m not going to quit this challenge. It’s rainy in Auburn but April showers bring lovely flowers.

image

Day 4: Clothing

image

A glove counts right?