YOUR New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve made my resolutions, now it’s time for me to help you make yours!

These, of course, are suggestions that you can take or leave but if you’re looking for inspiration or confirmation, this is it.

  1. Find a type of exercise you actually love. Story time: my mother is one of those people that wanted to do something about her current fitness level and tried to sign up for gym memberships and even beginner volleyball classes but nothing stuck and all motivation would peter out quickly. Just 3 months ago, she signed up for some aquafit classes at the local YMCA because she heard it was good for your back and she’s been going around 3 times a week since then! She’s become one of those people that complains when she had to miss a class! So you CAN get fit or lose those pounds, you just need to find your method! The gym is not for everyone, it might be competition or environment that gives you a reason to keep coming back to it.
  2. Read one book per month. Reading is something that people feel like they don’t have time for but books are, in my opinion, a great part of life and important to expand your imagination. So by setting aside your commute to listen to audiobooks or before bed to read a chapter or two, it is definitely plausible to get through at least one book each moon cycle. Definitely try to get a diverse selection from fantasy to non-fiction because the world is huge and there’s no telling what you might learn.
  3. Invest in friendships. You have no idea how important this is. It’s so easy to let great people slip out of your lives or to not initiate getting to really know someone because you already have your family to talk to. Coffee dates are easy to plan, letter writing is not dead and potlucks are really fun. You don’t have to become a social butterfly but do hold on to the friends you have and make sure they know that they are important to you! That isn’t done enough in my opinion.
  4. Create. Totally open-ended, totally depends on what you enjoy and what you’d love to try. I believe we all have something inside of us that needs to create things whether it be an elegant computer code, your very first knitted scarf or a story. I’m sure there’s something that you’re passionate about and if you’re passionate about it you will totally be able to make the time for it in this coming year!

These are my tips to making your year a success (hopefully), let me know what you would have added to the list or what you’re taking from mine!

Technical Writing and I

It’s a struggle.

I’ve always loved writing. Ever since I was a kid, I would fill notebooks up with random stories usually centered around my current favourite animal and document my day, journal-style. I was a voracious reader and for a good portion of my childhood, I thought I had it in me that I could one day be a famous author. That or a pet shop store owner, that it.

Fast forward to my first year of university where I get to take a wonderful, joyous and soul sucking class about technical report writing.

It could be the fact that it took place at 5pm on a Friday but it could also be the fact that we relearned basic grammar and got reminded that anything imaginative and unprofessional was not needed.

The one thing that I’m actually thankful that I learned in that class was the proper use of the word “whom” which says a lot about everything else that was taught.

Right now, I’m actually required to do a lot of technical reports and summaries for my coop job which feels a lot different from that writing class in that people are going to actually read them and need them to be at a certain level while in class, the only person I had to impress was the TA and only enough to get a decent grade.

The part that is similar is that it’s still like pulling my own teeth in order to produce something other people would consider a professional technical report. I still do love writing as a way to get my thoughts out on paper (hello! I have a blog!) but I find the methods completely different.

I have to go through an entire process where

  • I first ramble out what I want to say in this sort of format, bolding and italicizing words and sections in the process (bold means “is this really important enough to add” and italics means “I’m too busy to find a good synonym right now but there is no way in heck that this word is going to be in the final draft”)
  • Then I need to go back through it and make better sections and subheadings in order for things to be clearer. My saving grace turns out to be bullet points because everyone loves their easy, informative layout but I also don’t have to put together sentences that actually flow!
  • Finally, I correct everything by reading it out loud to myself under my breath and rearranging everything until it is actually good. And I always have to remind myself to go through the bolded and italicized text to fix what past me left for future me.

I think in my time here I have improved on my writing skills just from sheer volume of writing and that those professional connector words like moreover and consequently are slowing worming their way into my textular vocabulary.

I would love to actually go back and read that report on Composite Parts for Automobiles I handed in for my final grade in that class to see how bad it looks from my newly experienced eyes.

Food Day

If you hang out with me and my best friend for max 3 days, you will at some point hear us discussing “Food Day”.

This was a tradition we made up last semester where once a week we each take turns picking a restaurant or food-selling location to go to and treat ourselves.

parks-and-rec-treat-yo-self

We’re engineering students, right, so our schedules are completely packed not to mention all the work and studying that needs to get done. Also we’re pretty conservative with our money and normally pack a lunch/supper so that we don’t have to buy food on campus. But at the beginning of each semester we sit down with our class schedules (which are pretty much identical luckily) and pick a time period where this outing will happen!

It’s a really great motivator because it isn’t something that happens at all except for that day and you get to look forward to it and use it as a reason to get things done. Like “if I don’t finish my lab in time I won’t be able to go to food day”

Also, during it we end up having actual girl talk conversations which really isn’t a normal occurrence. Normally we’re discussing which of our classes has the most heating vents or giggling about how we always race to get out of a certain door first but in this food experience boys actually get talked about and it’s weird but nice.

Our friends think we’re massive nerds because we count down to it and plan it way to much for what it is.

But who cares, it makes our week amazing and food and friendship is amazing.

Procrasti-peeing

Oh hello friends. Let’s pretend there wasn’t a 5 month hiatus on this blog and get straight to what we like talking about most: procrastinating and peeing.

I am currently trying to finish a paper for my business class that is actually worth 20% of my final grade and seriously I had this assignment from the beginning of the school year yet it is only in the last week that I have actually looked at it. Go me. I’ve already gotten tired of perusing social media in attempts to distract myself so at this point I have resorted to reading my own blog and drinking water.

I’ve literally peed 4 times in the last hour and then read an article on how too much water is actually bad for you so my water bottle is going to remain untouched for the next few hours.

What a great way to ease back into the blogging life. I bet this post will get everyone excited for what’s to come. Who doesn’t want to read about someone’s bathroom habits???

Man I get sarcastic when I’m stressed.

Happy Dance

Today I found out that I had the 4th highest mark in my mechanical engineering class!! This is a real pick-me-up after school being pretty tough for the past while!

April Fool’s was yesterday. I got pranked once but it wasn’t even that good and then I was on guard the entire rest of the day so I saw through all the internet ones out there.

Youtube and Goodreads went hardcore with theirs though!!

What about you guys, prank anyone? Did you fall for anything??

Taking “Make Yourself Comfortable” To A Whole New Level

Pyjama style.

Let’s start from the very beginning. (a very good place to start. when you read you begin with abc when you sing you begin with do-re-mi….anyways) Today is Pi Day. The 14th day of the 3rd month of the year, making it 3.14!

The Christian group on campus that I’m part of had the brilliant idea of having a Pi-jama Party where we melded celebrating everything Pi – which included eating a wackton of pies and watching Life of Pi (yes we majorly milked it) – with making a blanket fort and wearing our pyjamas!

Part two of the explanation story is that last week, my economics prof cancelled our 7-10pm lecture (yay) and rescheduled it to 5-8pm on a Friday (boo)

So we come to the conclusion which is probably not as exciting as I hyped it up to be. We figured that since we had to go to the pyjama party right after the lecture and since economics is not the most fun of classes that we would spice it up by wearing our pyjamas to it! Got some weird looks but man were we comfy.

Spelling Queen

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we?

Back in the 8th grade, when the end of the school year still meant watching movies and zero stress, I was a pretty decent speller. (But only bak then. Now I’m horible with werds and kan’t speil to safe my live.) Decent enough that I won my class’s mini spelling bee to see who would represent them in the schoolwide one. The winning word was brackish.

Side Note: my best friend at the time got eliminated from the running by the word sugar. I remember being so disappointed in her.

Anyway, fast forward to the big auditorium (and by big auditorium I mean the gym with a stage on one side and everyone sitting on the floor) with all us representatives from every class from the big grade 8s down to the lowly grade 4s in rows on the stage. I forget what my number was. I could go check my yearbook that has those horribly unflattering pictures documenting that moment in time but there is legitimately a cat on my lap right now so I can’t. I’m sure you’re all devastated.

Insert the really uneventful process of elimination in which we each took our turn and stood in front of the mike while a teacher sitting at a table – with a binder of words and a legitimate bell that they ring when you get a letter wrong and simultaneously bring dishonour on your family – told us which word to spell. Some people asked for definitions and languages of origin not because it actually helped them but just so that they could look cool.

ACTUALLY scratch that one of my words was “kernel” which is no big usually except you know how for some inexplicable reason colonel and kernel are homonyms so I actually had to ask for the definition. And plot twist the definition was like “the leader of a group” or something random like that and NOT “an unpopped popcorn” or “some guy in the military” which are your standard two definitions so I went with the popcorn spelling and got it right.

I remember being nervous as heck since public speaking was and still is so not my forte and literally shaking as I went up to spell my word. I also remember spelling everyone else’s words in my head to make sure I was totally in the spelling zone (I was)

This went on for a long time until there was only 2 of us left and I got my word wrong. But let’s make it clear: I misheard them say probable instead of probably. Which, let’s be honest, is probably the lamest way to go out. Luckily, the other kid, some 4th grader, got his word wrong too so I was back in the game. We sparred for what seemed like forever until I realized what would happen if I won: I would have to go on to Regionals and there would be more people and possibly televised and oh gosh that was exactly the opposite of what my 12 year old introverted self wanted so when my word to spell was goatee I went up there and confidently said “Goatee. G-O-T-E-E. Goatee.” The sweet little ding of freedom sounded and it was up to my opponent to spell this next word right plus one more to seal the deal of his victory.

The last word was tutu. It was a great victory for him and I was quite happy with my second place.

My friends were kind of disappointed in me when they learned of my planned escape from winning but hey, if they wanted to do the whole spelling in front of strangers thing, they should’ve beaten me to it and gotten to second best speller in the whole school themselves.

Cancelled Class

You don’t understand, this isn’t a thing that happens in engineering.

Except for the fact that it’s happened twice this week. And the best possible times too. I have a 7-10 night class on Thursday and it’s economics which I usually dread and then I only have one class Fridays total and that one’s vanished as well!

The only thing now is that I’m slightly stressed about the material we have to catch up on later…

Night Owl

That describes me to a tee.

I am the most comfortable when it’s dark out, the most motivated when a normal person would have gone to bed and the most energized once it’s time to settle down. I am a night owl. I tend to get things done just as time seems to be running out pretty much.

The funny thing is that the other people in my house (my mother and my sister) are both early birds. While I may stay up until 4 in the morning finishing homework, my sister will wake up at 4 to complete it. And her brain is actually able to function.

It’s kind of unhelpful that I have the best ideas and am completely ready to turn my life around by the time it hits 1am but the world doesn’t work on my schedule so I always try to sleep before 2am so that I can get at least 6-7 hours of sleep a night.

The best is Tuesday nights though because I don’t have class until 5:30pm the next day. This is when I start reorganizing my room, planning how I’m going to eat super healthy from now on and can’t keep up with the number of ideas I’ve got for blog posts. It’s a fun place to be where somehow my eyes taking extra long blink but if I wanted to I could be asleep within 6 seconds.

Really the only downside is I can’t tweet anything because everyone else is asleep.

What about you guys? Would you call yourself an early bird or a night owl? What do you usually do with your morning or night?

Teachers

They really do make or break your school life.

I think everyone who went to school and had either an amazing teacher or a horrible teacher knows that this is true. It’s actually amazing how much  of an impact they have on your life.

If a teacher is enthusiastic about the subject and cares whether or not their students learn and understand the material, no matter what you’ll enjoy yourself there more than if the teacher is just doing the bare minimum and you can tell. Even if you’re an English superstar and less than good at math, if your math teacher takes the time to make the lesson fun and easy to take in chances are you’d rather be in that class than if your English teacher just went around the class asking each student a random question from their homework and then slapped some notes on the board for everyone to copy down. Doesn’t mean you actually like math more, it just means the atmosphere is better when the teacher puts in effort.

They also can influence where your passions go. I, for example, had absolutely amazing math teachers all throughout high school. They were funny and warm and always wanted everyone to excel. This included making hilarious practice questions that, if you were lucky, had your name in it, and helping students with their questions outside of class hours. It made me want to make them proud of me and pushed me to do well and eventually fall in love with the subject.

It’s actually crazy how much of your life is shaped by teachers though. You spend the majority of your day with them for long months and it’s not surprising that they basically mold who you are. Makes me wonder how much of my personality is the way it is. Maybe I hate french because my grade 3 french teacher was super annoying. Who knows!

Just some food for thought.