Midterms are No Fool

October is here…and so are midterms.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone NOT study for a final; any student that didn’t intend on graduating that is.  Though, midterms are different.  Sometimes the more important duties as a student are completing midterms because the assignments, papers, and group projects accounted for 60% of the grade, leaving the ‘BIG ONES’ being a game changer with 40% on the line.  It’s simply not fair, but isn’t that the overall lesson?  Life’s not fair, so keep on studying and the semester will end before you know it.

Face it; midterms are rough.  Senior life adds to the stress of exams.  There is so much weighing on us the closer we get to commencement.  One evil word to remember during both midterms and finals: comprehensive.  Comprehensive is where a student takes a semester’s worth of studies and crams it within a week’s time.  This information has to (not needs; has to) stick all the way up to the moment we take a desk and fill out the scantron.  Being a college senior is nothing as it’s stereotyped: no studying, skipping classes and more tailgating.  Seniors are put under more pressure, possibly because we are so eager to leave university life.  It’s important to try to turn that stress into motivation.

We’re so close to that degree and all the hard work is about to pay off.  We go through kindergarten and 12 years of schooling to prepare us for an additional four years of higher learning through a university(have you tried A-State?)  To be realistic, in today’s America it is taking about six years to achieve that four-year degree.  Whatever the circumstances, our learning environment takes us on a long journey only to help us begin what we like to call: life (which apparently doesn’t start until age 24.)  The hard work does pay off because not only do we get a brain filled with knowledge, but we end up doing what we love as a career.  Nice set up for life, don’t you think?

Some forms of stress relief I found (besides a glass of red wine, or two) for the struggling senior include a mixture of exercise and baths (which go hand-in-hand if you ask me.)  Taking a quick run helps writer’s block and helps clear the head.  More importantly, when the anxiety hits exercising like jogging forces the heart to pump harder, easing the butterflies away.  The other technique I encourage you to try is the bath.  Hopefully this isn’t a new concept but keep in mind, a long quiet bath is best.  Sometimes listening to music is soothing but during midterms week, take it down a notch (or two, or three.)  Silence provides clarity and instead of using bubbles to fill the tub, try a fragrant bath oil to soothe.  Whatever it takes to get through this week, the hard work will pay off…as long as you exercise and bath?

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When Fall Attacks

Ah, the sun has shone through summer and winter is nearing.  The trees are turning rust-colored and the flowers are gone.  The squirrels are busy foraging nuts while the early birds get the worms.  Pollen is in the air as it dusts our vehicles in the yellowish-green powder appearance.  Ragweed, hay and pollen from the buttercups are stirring up hay fever around northeast Arkansas.  Whilst we continue to mow the lawn, trim the hedges and burn the last of the leaves, our allergies begin to storm.  If you’re like me, allergy attacks are in full force this fall.

I love when the weather is not too hot and just breezy enough to crack open the window above the kitchen sink.  The curtains wave with the wind and the smell of fresh air fills the house.  And then I begin to sneeze…and itch…and swell.  We experienced a long, dry summer and it looks like we’ll have a fall before winter (that’s a first down here!)  Mother nature just couldn’t wait to get back into the swing of things after her sun-baked summer.  So here we are, able to venture out and enjoy the mid-temps outside.  I think it’s grand that we are dedicating our time to improving the foliage.  We weed-eat our yards so trim and nice, while the city bush-hogs the ditches for clean, short greenery. So much beauty in the environment…but at what costs?

I will tell you that my day spent outdoors yesterday, was one of the worst possible days my allergetic-self could be outside.  I took one Loratadine pill, a drop of antihistamine in each eye with drops, and a spray in each nostril of the newly over the counter Flonase.  I made certain that even though I would be sweating, I put on yoga pants and a long-sleeve shirt so that my entire body was covered (it’s okay, I doubled up on the deodorant!)  So I may not wear my shades to improve my style, but in addition to blocking direct pollen into my pupils, I was stuntin’.  Last accessory is a mask that covers my nose and mouth…so maybe my look is a little less than pure awesomeness.  After it was all said and done, I am finding myself in arm’s reach of the tissues perfecting my wastebasket b-ball skills tonight.

So, what can I do?  It seems I took every possible necessary precaution to preventing an allergic reaction.  The truth is, if you have allergies, you will have an allergy attack at some point.  Using allergy medicine and covering your body both help block allergens.  But did you know through Pollen.com you can have an Allergy Alert sent straight to your smart phone via email?  The alert gives you an allergy index for that day in your local area.  So when the pollen count is high (like it was yesterday) pollen-allergic peeps like myself, can take a day to clean indoors, not out.  Good luck on now fighting against the dust bunnies everyone!

Jane the Virgin

Ok, this sounds like the silliest possible idea that was transformed into a show but hear me out: Jane the Virgin has made a dent in the American soap opera industry.  Jane the Virgin is a television show that features a Hispanic young woman, freshly a college graduate (valedictorian), saving herself for marriage….but who is also accidently inseminated during a routine OB visit.  As horrific as this sounds, this show brings comedy with a telemundo twist as Jane’s story unfolds.  Success in reaching the most dramatic situations in the most practical ways, Jane the Virgin is addicting and I love it!

So if you were put in a situation like Jane’s, what would you do? Sue the hell out of the gyno, right? As bizarre as being in her shoes, don’t worry, she sues the doctor…who is her inseminate-ees sibling.  What a twist right?  Oh but there is so much more.  What if you were Jane’s mother, what would you do?  Encourage abortion or accept an A-student who is every bit of humble, is set back dramatically on her road to success?  If you are a male, what if you were Jane’s boyfriend, who by the way, just proposed?  Would you stay in the relationship because of a fluke on no fault of your own?  Would it cause problems in your relationship?  You see, you want to know the answers to these questions now, huh?

More importantly, Jane the Virgin has taken Hispanic telemundos and thrown it onto the CW channel with ‘Americanized’ pieces.  More Americans are watching comedy as a form of entertainment and the Hispanic community has picked up on that.  I am intrigued by this show, the culture it brings, the drama it creates and the ridiculous laughter that fills the room when the show is airing.  I couldn’t think of a better mix of situational experiences for young women to sit back and enjoy.  

Jane the Virgin asks serious questions about life and as Jane announces to keep her child, there are major steps to triumph.  Being a parent must be tough as is, but to find out the moment you graduate a university that your virtue is still intact but life growing inside your body?  Now that must take strength, courage and a lot of support.  The show is wholesome and avoids vulgarity and obscenity (with the exception of the case of drug lord Sin Rostro that is.)  Murder, romance, humor, what else could a girl ask for in a television show?  I may not be one for supernatural shows with vampires or werewolves but the young-pregnant-Latino-virgin-writer is what I’ll accept. Won’t you? 

Check out the trailer ————–>     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgDz0s7xw8A 

May the Fourth Be with You

Every Star Wars fans favorite holiday is May the fourth.  No, the movie was not released on May the fourth.  It is simply a pun made, by the Prime Minister of the UK in 1979, that formed this non-traditional holiday.  This holiday has thus spiked interest in comic cons and day-long marathons on May 4 since the 1980s.  And yet, everyone suppresses the Kent State shootings that occurred that very day in 1970.

It should be no surprise to me that society’s thought’s on history consist more of who Luke’s biological father was, and less on actual US movements during a time of war.  Though, someone needs to give an insight on a day where there are endless light saber battles.  On April 30,1970, President Richard Nixon announced the launch of the Cambodian Campaign.  This was an invasion into Cambodia to attempt to rid the People’s Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong forces.  Keep in mind that this was during a time where Nixon was assuring the citizens that troops were being pulled out and US involvement would digress.  After that slap in the face, protests broke out on universities across America.  One particular protest at Kent State in Ohio on May 4, 1970 ended with almost 30 US guardsmen shooting 67 rounds in 13 seconds, killing four student and wounding nine others.

From that day on, protests broke out and this is what we are thinking about when we hear “1970s protests.”  They were very real, and at times, very gruesome and unnecessary.  What happened in Ohio should not be forgotten for it created a major impact on how the US was perceiving the Cambodian Incursion and ignited tense US military-student relations.  Five days after the shooting at Kent State, 100,000 people protested at the nation’s capital.  Without this tragedy, it would have taken longer for Congress to get troops out of Cambodia.

When the American people stand up for something, it should be noted.  May the fourth should be noted.  If that’s not enough, Neil Young’s recording of “Ohio” should intrigue the history fanatic in us all.  Remember, it’s not all about the space and Chewy references, because the massacre that occurred at Kent State needs to be acknowledged by all generations.   Carry on galactical Lucas fans and May the fourth be with the US.