Your Life in Six Words

How would you explain your life in six words?  Could you do it?

The legend of the six-word memoir began with Ernest Hemingway.  The author was challenged to write a story in six words. His response: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” 

This “challenge” has become a movement across the nation. Last year, SMITH magazine asked its readers to submit their own six-word memoirs.  The memoirs that were submitted ranged from bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) to hilarious (“I like big butts, can’t lie”).   Now a published book entitled “Not Quite What I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs from Writers Famous and Obscure,” people across the nation are submitting their own six-word life descriptions.

These are some of my favorites that I’ve found online and ones that I thought were most compelling:

Making it up as I go.

Enrolled in life. Lost the syllabus.

Took the road less traveled. Skinned knees.

I waited.  Now it’s too late.

I lost my shoe…it happens.

One spectacular train wreck after another. 

Ate too many cookies, felt guilty. 

Surprised it turned out this good. 

Me against the world. I’m winning.

Spent life waiting.  Nothing ever happened. 

To be continued. Dot. Dot. Dot. 

Find myself reflected by song lyrics.

Spending money like I’ve got it.

Went to rehab. It didn’t help. 

Gave up on men, got dog. 

Googling my name gets zero hits. 

I write simply because I can.

Sitting thinking about what never happened. 

Broke your heart, saved my own.

Center of attention. Spotlight too bright.

Succeeded in forgiving; failed to forget. 

Did right things at wrong times. 

 

After looking through these memoirs, I was compelled to come up with a few on my own…

Wanting to do many great things.

Anxious to leave, wanting to stay.

I am a smart blond. Contradiction?

Love New York, living in Iowa.

22 years old. What comes next?

Addicted to Diet Coke and coffee.

Waiting for the next best thing.  

He still was not the “one”.

 

In an effort to continue the movement, I challenge you to come up with a description of your life in six words. Although it might sound tough, “you might be surprised by yourself.”

More blogging about blogging

This blog is a response to Tyler’s blog about blogging, and Quinn’s response to that blog (if that makes sense).

As a public relations major myself, I think the blog is an interesting medium that is now being used to reach the public, and as Ty said, “break through the clutter.”  The real question is though, does it?  Even though blogs are targeted to a very specific audience, sometimes that specificity is what you need. If nothing else, a blog is another way to get your message out there, even if it’s only to a few people.

When it comes to my personal thoughts on blogging, when I look back at it, I have truly enjoyed the assignment.  I think that if it were put in a different context, however, I would enjoy it even more.  The idea of blogging this semester sometimes felt like an assignment, as it was usually on my “To Do” list along with all my other homework.  I agree with Ty when he said that blogging about anything is difficult in an “assignment” context as it makes it less enjoyable and your thoughts sometimes forced.  However, as I move past this class, graduate, and venture into the real world, I would like to think that my blogging may continue.  It probably won’t be as often, but as Ty said, posts can be anything from concerns, rants or random thoughts, and surprisingly, people like to read that stuff.  If nothing else, releasing your thoughts in words is a thing I often do.

In response to Quinn’s response, I don’t think that the blogging assignment failed.  For one, look at the magnitude of responses that we’ve all posted.  Whether or not it was an “assignment,” as students, blogging gave us a chance to develop our writing skills, and overall, be creative.  I believe this to be a very important tool when entering the workforce.  For example, just last week I was on a job interview and was asked to write a sample press release in 15 minutes.  While I pull a lot of my foundation for that from my PR and traditional writing classes, I would like to believe that the chance I’ve had to express myself more creatively (through this blog) has helped me in becoming a more diverse writer.

And he makes an excellent point…would we have really wanted to write a 20-page rhetorical analysis on a blogger of our choice?  Doubtful.  I’ve been in classes where each week we are required to post WebCT discussions about the topics discussed in class.  Believe me when I say this….it sucks.  And again, when I look back at this assignment, it wasn’t all that bad.  The freedom of structure and topic while blogging was a welcomed change from that 12 page research paper on the Holocaust or that 10 page Literature Review in Psychology of Intimate Relationships. 

In this class, I think that an “assignment,” whatever it’s requirements, related to blogging is necessary.  In a class about writing for the web, the blog is the most readily available form of online writing, and I don’t feel the class would be as well-rounded without it.  

So Quinn, next semester when you’re deciding you curriculum, and the question is, “To blog or not to blog?,”  I say blog.

Do you remember when?

As the Holiday season approaches, I’m beginning to think about what I’m going to put on my Christmas list. These days, it’s almost easier to just ask for cash and avoid the awkward exchange when your grandparents give you that sweater. You know, the one you’ll only wear when they’re around? 

Remember when it was easy?  Remember when your list consisted of toys that didn’t have to involve batteries or a computer?  We were children of a much simpler time.  So take a moment, sit back, and remember these toys.

  • Nintendo.  Notice that there is not a prefix or suffix to this.  Just plain, simple, bare-boned Nintendo.  These were the days of Mario, Duck Hunt and that running pad.  We always thought we were being so slick during the Long Jump, when instead of jumping up, we jumped off the pad.  Yes, we were finding ways to beat the system even then, no cheat codes needed. 
  • Starter Jackets.  Oh yes.  I don’t know about you, but these were a coveted item in my school.  For boys, it was about the team.  For girls, it was about the colors.  I owned a Phoenix Suns jacket.  The team was probably terrible, but I liked purple and orange.
  • Beanie Babies.  I still don’t understand how these became all the rage.  Nevertheless, I was (and still am) guilty of owning over a hundred.  Maybe we thought they’d be worth something someday.
  • Polly Pocket.  Talk about a toy on the go.  Who needs a Nintendo DS when you have Polly?  Now there’s a girl who’s ready to go anywhere, anytime.
  • Tamagotchi Pets. Don’t lie, you know you had one.  Imagine if these were still in.  Instead of professors asking us to put our cell phones away, they’d be asking us to put our pets away. 

When I graduate…

Today I started thinking about all the things I’ll get to do when I graduate.  This is of course assuming there will be a period of time after graduation before entering into the real world…

  1. I can finally finish that book I started last summer.  I’ve tried and tried to finish it, but it so happens that my “reading times” are so far apart that I often find I have to start over to remember what I’ve been reading.  With no more textbooks to read, I should have plenty of time for that.
  2. Make the most of my Netflix.  Netflix is a great thing, amazing actually.  It defeats the purpose, however, when I sit on the same DVD for two months. Yep, with work and homework, I can hardly remember the last time I turned on the television, let alone watched a movie.  Maybe after graduation I’ll be able to get my money’s worth.
  3. I’ll have time to clean my apartment.  This becomes an after thought when I think of all the assignments I have coming up.  With no assignments, I should be able to keep my apartment clean all the time.  Well, most of the time anyway.
  4. Time to travel.  I’ve already booked my ticket to go to New York after graduation.  I’d like to think that a week in NYC to spend some of that graduation money is well deserved.
  5. See my best friend.  We both graduate in Decemeber, but for the past four years, have lived six hours apart.  Maybe now, we can actually make time to see each other.
  6. Keep dancing.  Up until this semester, I was very involved in dance.  I loved it and would dance 4-5 nights out of the week.  You know what that number is now?  It’s zero.  That definitely needs to change.
  7. Catch up on all the TV episodes I missed out on. Grey’s Anatomy, The Hills, House and Heroes are just a few of my guilty pleasures.
  8. Read my magazines.  I think I have a stack of about 20 fashion magazines on my coffee table that have yet to be cracked open.  I see them on the rack, buy them with every intention of reading them, and then somehow find myself staring at a textbook instead.
  9. Visit my mom.  She currently lives down in Richmond, VA.  Apparently, it’s beautiful down there and when I have a free weekend, I have a plane ticket waiting for me.  If only there was a free weekend.  In six weeks there will be!
  10. Train to run a 10K.  It’s sad, but exercise gets put on the backburner as well when it comes to school.  The only thing that’s kept me in shape this semester is enrolling in MS150x (the class where you work out with ROTC at 6 am). Maybe after graduation I can find motivation on my own.

On my Honor…

So here I am, six weeks from graduation.  SIx weeks from walking across the stage at Hilton Coliseum and accepting my diploma.  Six weeks from graduating as an honors student…or so I thought.

Let me back up for a moment.  When I began at Iowa State in 2004, I was accepted into the LAS Honors program.  To be an honors student, the following requirements are asked of you.  A student must complete a lab class, two honors classes, two honors seminars, 60 credits or more of 300 level or above classes, and an honors project in their senior year.

 Now in the final weeks of my senior year, I’m in two honors classes, one honors seminar and was in the process of completing my honors project.  However, it came to my attention the other day that there was a “problem” with my honors status.  I received an e-mail from the head of the LAS Honors Program stating that  the Honors Program has no record of me ever submitting an honors project proposal.  These proposals, which were due last February, detail the extent of your project, your adviser, and what you intend to accomplish.  To the best of my knowledge, I am positive I submitted a proposal.  Nevertheless, the Honors program has no record of it and removed me from the “Honors List.”

This is not the real problem.  To be honest, the Honors program is kind of a load of crap.  I don’t mean to offend anyone who is in Honors, but let me tell you this.  While sitting across from the Honors Chair this morning, I matter-of-factly asked her, “Are there any resulting benefits of the Honors program other than different color chords and a certificate saying you graduated with honors?”  Her response was no. 

The problem is not whether or not I graduate with honors.  My GPA is in high enough standing that I will graduate Magna Cum Laude, and honestly, I could care less what color chords I have.

My problem is this.  According to the Honors records, I was dropped from the program last February after the proposal deadline.  However, I never received any kind of formal statement, letter, or an inpromptu e-mail, stating that I had been removed from the Honors program.  The Honor’s chair response to this when I asked her why I hadn’t been informed was simply, “We assumed you no longer wished to be an honors student.”  Yep, she guessed it.  I wasn’t busting my ass this semester to take all 400 level classes to graduate with Honors…nah, that was just for fun.  I didn’t enroll in two Honors classes and one Honors seminar so they could drop me from the program and not notify my….nah, that was just to make the most of my education.  To me, that sounds like a load of crap too. 

If the Honors program had notified me of my standing, I have a good feeling this semester’s stress level would have dropped from a 10 to a 5. Just think, instead of PSYCH 484 and PSYCH 490H, I could be taking anything…Walking for Fitness, perhaps.  Okay, that was a joke, but still, you get my point.

A puzzling question

Something has always puzzled me.

 

Do you ever walk into the bathroom and someone has forgotten to flush the toilet?  Believe me, if you haven’t encountered this, it is not a pleasant experience. 

 

If you’re one of those people that “fail to flush” I have to ask…why??

 

Is it laziness? Is it forgetfulness? Have you expended so much effort while going to the bathroom that to push the flushing knob is exhausting?  Or worse, do you enjoy the thought of the sickening feeling you give people when they see the “remains” you left behind?

 

Maybe it’s a form of germaphobia.  Just a tip; wash your hands.  The sink and soap are in there for a reason. Better yet, use your foot to flush it.

 

Whatever the reason, it’s disgusting.  Toilets were made to flush for a reason.

 

All I can say is that amidst your laziness, I hope you remembered to wipe.

 

A week of chaos…

Last week was hell.  Three midterms, two projects and a community wide food-drive to plan.

Going into the “week of chaos,” as I like to call it, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  As far as the midterms went, I had been to class everyday but was behind on my readings.  The projects were underway but were in need of some serious attention if my plan was to get a decent grade.  And the food drive (Stuff the Bus) had been in the works since summer, although the week prior is always the most hectic; organizing five grocery stores, five buses, and over 200 people is no small feat.  

After many late nights and a constant addiction to diet coke and coffee, I made it out of the week, sleep deprived but alive.

Putting the sleep deprivation aside, the stress of midterms got me to thinking…why are midterms necessary?

Before I go on, I’m not saying that tests are unnecessary.  I just don’t understand the concept of cramming a multitude of tests into a matter of two weeks.  During midterm week, library attendance skyrockets and students begin cramming to memorize everything they’ve learned thus far in the semester.  For the students with 18 credits, that means six midterms.  As in my case, that could mean additional projects as well.

The point I’m trying to make is this: how do professors expect students to succeed with so much on their plate?  In addition to school, my guess is that many students have second jobs.  With tests spaced so closely together, students are expected to cram multitudes of information into their brain, an often ineffective study technique that only allows information to sustain long enough in the memory to take the test.  If a student crams, remembers the information long enough to take the test and then immediately forgets it afterward, doesn’t this defeat the purpose of teaching?   

Now, I’m not expecting the concept of midterms to change.  I understand that they are in place to measure the students learning halfway through the semester.  Nevertheless, the stress that I encountered last week is something I never care to repeat.  I can only hope that finals won’t be nearly as bad.