2013: A Year In Review

Facebook doesn’t accurately highlight my year. Not everything that happened was declared in a status.,

32 Things I learned in 2013:

  1.  Graduation ceremonies are overrated.
  2.  I’m a very horrible party planner.
  3.   AOSS (Awkward Older Sibling Syndrome) is a very real and prevalent disease.
  4.  Summer quarter is no fun.
  5. Handwritten letters are a dying art. I’m still struggling to enter the twenty-first century.
  6. “It’s only awkward if you make it awkward” is a true statement. That being said, I’m guess awkward is my specialty.
  7.  I’m an ISFJ.
  8.  Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha is starting to taste like toothpaste.
  9.  Spontaneous trips to Chipotle with the siblings will be missed.
  10.  Facebook debates are immature.
  11.  Skype is probably my favorite technology.
  12.  Time and distance are the ultimate tests of friendship.
  13.  Awesome friends ask you challenging questions.
  14.  Chivalry is not dead.
  15.  I don’t recommend procrastinating on essays that are worth 10% of your grade unless you work well under pressure. (Thankfully, I do most of the time).
  16. Textbooks are expensive.
  17. God is very good to me.
  18. We have so many things to give.
  19. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness.
  20. If you want to hear God, you need to listen.
  21. Many people won’t agree with you.
  22. If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry too much.
  23. Small acts of kindness have huge impact.
  24. God has a strange way of placing people in our lives. Sometimes it takes awhile to discover why they’re there.
  25. “EVERYONE” and “I’M THE ONLY ONE” are some of the most destructive phrases.
  26. Miracles happen.
  27. My sister picks out good Christmas trees.
  28. I don’t like being an adult.
  29. It’s OK to let go of those autographed Jump 5 posters.
  30. AT&T is annoying.
  31. His mercies are new everyday, not January 1st.
  32.  I cannot function without coffee in the morning.

Also in 2014:

  1. I chopped off all of my hair and donated it to Locks of Love.
  2. I graduated from Highschool.
  3. I got accepted to Washington State University. Go Cougs!
  4. Remembered  Windy<—read his story!
  5. Started this blog!
  6. Drank coffee with some pretty great people.
  7. I went 107 days without a single seizure.
  8. I had a successful  surgery .

I’ve always been somewhat on the fence about New Year’s resolutions. Nonetheless, here are some things I want to be more consistent in! (Not just in 2014).

  • Joy. In the worst of times, and in the best of times.
  • Writing.
  • Reading.
  • Pursuing God. He pursued me first! Before I knew Him, He wanted me? Why? Because our God is full of grace.
  • Love more.
  • Worrying LESS.

Have a fantastic New Year! I hope to see and hear from you during Coffee Shop Talk 🙂

-Kayla-

Facebook-Like-Button

I’ve noticed a recent influx of articles from various venues such as Relevant Magazine and USA Today College telling me I should give up or attempt weaning off of the internet.

For example, I watched a 10 minute long video promoting #nointernetweek (see video No Internet Week). And yes, it was worth my time. Believe me, I have a short attention span and am convinced I’m slightly ADD when left alone to be “productive” or at least appear productive.

Did I mention I had seven tabs on Google Chrome, Outlook, and Microsoft Word open? Twitter, Facebook, and just to balance things out a bit Wordle and Dictionary.com were among a few things I was reading/skimming over.

But, come on, I had Microsoft Word open. I was being productive! In fact, I was multitasking A.K.A. being “multitastic” as my little brother enjoys calling it.

OK, point taken. I’ve been using the dumb phone excuse for two long now. New Year’s resolutions: evaluate my face-to-Facebook ratio, write more, read more, experience more. I’m pretty sure people could survive without me posting a daily status or changing my profile picture. Everyone knows it there was snow on the ground in Washington yesterday.

These Things Are Good

I’ve broken my reputation. I drank tea. Not for the first time, but for the first time in a long while. This is a big deal. I love coffee and hot chocolate. Even better, caffeinated hot chocolate. Simple. Hot coco mix+sugar-free creamer= a dose of heaven in a mug. But lemme tell you,  there is nothing more disappointing than drinking a cup of Joe and then finding out it is decaf. That is not coffee. Tonight,  I decided to try something new. I drank decaf, Wild Sweet Orange Tazo tea. Let me tell you, it was delicious and invigorating. You know you your mom is an R.D when she says, “If you’re still tired and have stuff to do tonight, maybe you should take a short walk, drink some hot tea, and get comfy in your sweats.”  Even without the caffeine. It was still good. Now, I’m not saying tea is my new favorite thing, I’m saying that regular coffee isn’t going to do you any good late in the evening. I’m not quite ready to change Coffee Shop Talk to Tea Room Chit Chat. My friends, I think I have found my  healthy alternative. I’m declaring myself no longer coffee dependent.

While I’m on the subject of new things, in celebration of finishing our first Spanish 122 chapter test of the quarter, my friend and I celebrated-quite naturally with Mexican food. Here’s the deal, they didn’t have enchiladas or taco salad on the menu. These are my usual go-to Mexican dishes. Therefore, I was forced to try something new. Flour flautas. Yes they were amazing. My friends, if you ever find yourself driving up 196th towards Edmonds, I must exhort you to stop and  check out Taqueria La Raza. I’m talking homemade salsa and guacamole. I was also pleasantly surprised that my food wasn’t greasy. This ain’t your average Taco Bell.  It’s reasonably priced and college students get discounts on burritos and quesadillas.  You should be salivating right now. I’d recommend making a microwave quesadilla and helping yourself to some  Costco tortilla chips and salsa. I do it practically every night. Except for tonight. Because I broke my reputation and whetted my appetite with tea and my mother’s delicious pumpkin-spice-cake-butterscotch chip muffins.

I love fall. I love the vibrant colors of leaves changing. The falling of the leaves represent room for new beginnings. The smell of wood smoke in the air. I could have sworn I smelled Snickerdoodle cookies in the air when I went for a stroll to take a break from studying. It signals the beginning of a new quarter/semester, new classes, new friends, new foods, and a new exercise plan to keep from gaining the freshman fifteen. JUST KIDDING.

Have you tried anything new lately?

-Kayla-

P.S The recipe for the muffins consist of only three ingredients: 1) Canned pumpkin 2) Spice Cake Mix 3) Optional Butterscotch chips. Yes, something this good can be that simple.

Did You Feed Me?

From Left to right: Me, Kay, and Brianna.

Meet Kay. Kay turned 86 in May. For over twenty years, Kay has been serving the homeless men and women of Downtown Seattle. Mission: serve the soul, not just the stomach.

Kay’s ministry is titled The Lord’s Table. The location is at 6th and Columbia, directly underneath the freeway. On the second Thursday of every month, my church: Northshore Baptist Church in Kirkland serves with Kay. Our branch of the ministry is called Isaiah 58.  Sixth and Columbia is home to many big hearts of the people who flock from the Union Gospel Mission, Pioneer Square, and all (literal) corners of Seattle for a warm meal of hearty Spanish rice.

Kay's 86th Birthday

In sixth grade, my friend and I were both looking for a ministry to become involved in. We stumbled upon Isaiah 58 after asking our youth pastor’s where we could serve locally. We’ve missed a few months here and there, but we both agree that it seems just yesterday, Kay was 80. I suppose it’s because her stamina and passion hasn’t wavered from year to year.

Kay thrives off of this verse:

Isaiah 58: 6-7

Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

A cup of coffee is capable of going a long way. Or tea. Or water. Or Kool Aid. Jesus constantly reminds us that the issue isn’t a matter of liquids. It’s a matter of the heart. The Lord of the universe can dwell in your heart if you allow Him to. He is the only free gift on earth that you don’t need to work towards. There is no checklist to acceptance.

Seattle wants Jesus. They crave Him.  They flock to 6th and Columbia because Jesus is evident in Kay. She treats them like her equal. She doesn’t turn anyone away.  She knows many patrons by name. More importantly, she bleeds the gospel.

Over the years I’ve encountered many fun characters. Seattle is a colorful place. I remember the man who could pop both eyes out of his sockets, the woman who asked me if I could give her pet mouse, Phoebe, a chocolate cookie. The regular  who walked through our line and always asked for “Bill’s Famous Tea.” I remember gazing up through a space in the freeway where the two lanes came apart and feeling as if I were in the movie The Dark Night. I remember when in junior high, Brianna and I collected donations from the youth group to buy Christmas gifts. I remember the British security guard with an Australian accent. Did I mention he dressed in a way that made him look as if he were the captain of a fine vessel? We’ve seen some interesting characters walk through those food lines.

I tease Brianna endlessly for passing out too many desserts. To say Kay is frugal would be an understatement. “Just ONE cookie Brianna” and  “Oh those  will  last until Monday,” is common phraseology around her. Her influence (among others) has made me think twice about waste. I’ve poured perfectly filtered drinking water down the drain with my only pretense being that it had been sitting out too long.  Thrown away food because I’m too full. Ditched socks because of one hole in one toe. Once monthly, for almost seven years I’ve served with Brianna. Last month I served with her ONELASTTIME. (Indefinitely).

New volunteers have made their  appearances! Over the years as the youth has been a part of this great opportunity and we’ve begun spreading the word through social media,  a large variety of people show up each month. It’s always exciting to see volunteers come and go. But to see those who stay? Ahhhh, now that is quite a joy to see.

While Kay may never be replaced, the organization is looking for a new leader to take over all responsibility. The vocation has become an immense responsibility for just one person. We trust in God’s provision. Always.

This one is for you Kay!

Kayla

For the Fresh Peoples

I learn as I go. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten anything right the first time. I’ve learned more by making mistakes than I think I would’ve if I hadn’t made them.  I believe it is my duty to impart with some little snippets of wisdom.  From one fellow grammar Nazi to another, please, feel free to keep any corrections to yourself. I only drank one cup of coffee today.  WARNING: SARCASM INTENDED. STOP HERE IF YOU CAN’T LAUGH AT YOURSELF.

So, without further ado, here are a few things you should know about college:

  1. you no longer have the ability to be the teacher’s pet. you are ONE fish in one very large school.
  2.  friends will come and go. some people are placed in your life for a season. Others for longer. the latter are usually able to stand two tests which either make or break  friendships: 1) distance 2) time.
  3. i’m assuming a majority of you drink coffee or some caffeinated liquid. look at your class schedule. plan accordingly for caffeine crashes. if all of your classes are in the morning, by all means, help yourself to a cup of Joe, tea, your chock-full -of-energy drink of choice. If you intend on accomplishing your homework in the afternoon, you might wanna have a second cup after lunch. believe me. i’ve learned all of this by trial and error. don’t be that person who orders three extra shots of caffeine in their coffee. if you’re that desperate, there is a cure. it’s called sleep.
  4. summer classes. i took a fifteen credit load in the summer. entirely online. i spent 130+ hours on one five credit math homework. imagine a year-long math class, then a semester class and then a quarterly class and the an 8 week class. 130+hours for one class alone. plan accordingly so that you do not have to put yourself through something that stressful.
  5. you’re only human. not everybody places into calculus first semester the way ALL freshmen are supposed to. it’s OK. i placed into Algebra. i worked hard and received a B. better to work hard and receive a B than not work at all.   worth ethic will get you a LOT farther than 4.0’s.
  6.  in case of an emergency, take a tip from Gracie Lou Freebush. A.K.A, Miss Congeniality, Gracie Heart, Sandra Bullock etc.  and just S.I.N.G! Solar Plexus, Instep, Nose, and Groin 😉 Congratulations. You’ve just mastered your first self-defense lesson.
  7. ask questions.  find out EXACTLY what your teacher wants. make sure things are crystal clear. For example, does your math teacher expect things done a certain way? Let’s face it, most teachers prefer assignments done a particular way. if you can’t  ask  your teacher, ask the TA, if you can’t ask the TA, ask someone who has been in the class before, if you don’t know someone who has been in the class before, ask a different teacher in the SAME DEPARTMENT. your math teacher may know your English teacher, but his or her English skills probably won’t be that great.  don’t try to cozy up to your teacher so much that you become that extremely obnoxious person who sides with the teacher concerning everything. there is no such thing as a stupid questions. except, well y’know…..i just won’t go there.
  8.  english class. always give constructive feedback to classmates. the least helpful thing for a person to hear is “oh that’s cool,” or “oh that’s stupid.” Always answer the five W’s.
  9.  notes are important.  i’ve learned that the hard way this quarter. however, note taking is  only of good use to you if you a)  number the pages b) preferably keep them in a spiral notebook. neat writing is kind of pointless if you have half of your lecture notes in a binder and the other half somewhere on your desk.
  10.  you’re sharing a room with someone you’ve either never met before, share nothing in common with, will only keep their room clean until the first day of school starts, or is TOTALLY AWESOME. Be prepared for anything. you can only stalk a person on Facebook so much. the “e-harmony” of roommates only works so well. how do I know this? i talked with a friend at a going away party and she said her current roommate is actually on the waiting list for a  single room. #awkward.
  11.  amazon isn’t always cheaper. i recently recoiled in horror at this terrible revelation. i found out that one of my school textbooks is actually half the price at the school bookstore than online. this is the first time it has happened in five quarters so…..
  12.  if you aren’t the type of person who annotates and underlines frantically (like me) you should try renting books.  so step 1) figure out how you best retain information.
  13.  so, sometimes you can find the older version of a textbook for a lot cheaper simply because it’s a different edition. e-mail your professors and they may let you make copies of material not included in the older editions. not many people do this. mainly because they’re too lazy to make the extra effort and ending up spending more money than they’d like. and honestly, not many teachers are happy with their salaries and may therefore sympathize with your insane materials cost.
  14.  hopefully you are at school for an education so, try to come away educated. harsh, but y’know.
  15. Finals: UGH.  here’s my best advice. Set a tentative game plan. take out your handy-dandy planner schedule out the week preceding finals carefully. follow that as closely as possible.  then be prepared for that entire plan to completely failed. so after plan A fails, choose the class most vital to your degree and make sure to not fail that one class. 
  16.  academic integrity. let’s get serious.  you can bet I’ll write a separate post on this issue because I feel so strong about this issue. don’t cheat. please. it’s not worth it. i know “everybody” is making the decision to Google answers to that take home test. well guess what. you are not everybody. i could probably be an honors student if i weren’t an honest student. life isn’t fair. the bell curve isn’t fair. but YOU MUST think about how the decisions you make now will decide your future. don’t fall into that peer pressure. here’s the deal, many times people will try to justify cheating simply because things aren’t communicated clearly between your professor and the class-directly. look at your class syllabus. look at your test and/or homework instructions. if something seems fuzzy, clarify with your teacher. ASK if you can use extra. there’s nothing wrong with that.
  17. student accounts : “welcome! you’ll need our services for the next four years of your life at (insert school name) please expect delays from day one of account creation. we no longer communicate via paper. WE’RE ADVANCED. therefore, from here on out, we’ll have our IT department open 24/7, because the best part about our services is that nothing EVER works perfectly. expect unexpected changes to occur with each  log in and lack of communication and understanding from your teachers. we’re hoping that these dire circumstances will increase creativity among our students, who we desire to be as well-rounded as possible.” sincerely, The Team at ( insert name of school and account type).
  18. scholarships. brag away, because we all know that YOU are the reason YOU are here today. i.e 2.0 G.P.A, that one time you did that one thing with ASB. ahh but here is an idea! my third cousin twice removed was one-quarter Cherokee Indian. SCORE. no. just no.
  19. FAFSA. congratulations you are just rich enough but just poor enough that this one $5,000 Stanford student loan POSSIBILITY will hardly make a dent in the $200,000 + you’ll be paying for school. welcome to the middle class. WE ARE THE 99%.
  20. Need a Monday pick-me-up? Watch a Blimey Cow YouTube video. They recently started doing podcasts as well!
  21. Find your jam. And crank it up.

-Kayla

eldest of eight, recent High School graduate, current community college student and future transfer at God-knows-where (He does)

Jeremiah 29:11

What to Write When You Can’t Write

I’m going to cut straight to the chase. I hate writing prompts. “What is your earliest childhood memory?” or, my personal favorite,“Write about a memory associated with a certain smell.”Um, what?!With all the books and websites out there dedicated to overcoming writer’s block, I’ve found very few helpful.  Not only are these prompts unhelpful, they’re also constricting. Instead of using the bank loaded with our own ideas, prompts tend to produce cookie cutter results. Where does all the extra dough go?! With roughly 15,700,000 search results for “writing prompts” on Google alone, I expect more original and fresh ideas. Writing often feels more complicated than it actually is. Depending on who you’re writing for–yourself, an audience, or both– you shouldn’t feel the constant need to crank out a novel every time you sit down with a piece of paper. Every bestseller, freelancer, blogger, and journal-keeper had to start somewhere. So, instead of suggesting cliche writing prompts, I’m going to take you on a trip back to the basics. 

I’ve come a long way in my writing–at least I’d like to think so–but one thing I know for sure is that I still have an incredibly long way to go. My starting point included lists of my favorite foods and games of MASH from long, hot, and non-air conditioned bus rides to camp.  My journalism journey–if you even consider lists and games of MASH journalism–moved from the Little League team to the All Star team. I waved goodbye to “listography,” and in ninth grade  I committed to being more consistent. I wrote down as many details, big and small, that I could remember from each day. Although I was fairly consistent, the amount of content in my entries varied. I found that when I attempted to write lengthy and wordy entries, I ended up writing LESS. I had to face the fact that some days, my most exciting activity might very well be having a dissection in science class.

Moral of the story? There is no shame in lists and “Dear Diary” entries. Trust me, inspiration doesn’t fall from the sky the way rain falls in Seattle. That would be waaaay to easy.

What to Write When You Can’t Write

1. Lists– lists and sub-lists are great ways to brainstorm.

2. Thought bubbles.

3. One line a day. This can be useful if you feel you don’t have time to keep a journal. I often leave space in mine to go back and expand on entries. Record something such as a Facebook status or something that will trigger your memory when you go back. Try and be specific. Just writing “I ate Cheerios for breakfast today” isn’t going to be of much assistance to you if you plan on going back and expanding.

4. The Method (Writing Analytically by David Rosenwasser). This is an exercise my English 101 teacher in college had us do often. This really helps turn gears. I don’t read poetry, but we had an in class essay where we read a poem and analyzed what we read. The Method asks four questions. 1) What repeats? 2) What goes with what? (strands) 3) What is opposed to what? (binaries/opposites) 4) What doesn’t fit? (anomalies). For all of these questions, ask the “SO WHAT?” question. It sounds like homework, but trust me, it is a really helpful tool.

5. Your mom’s grocery list.

6. Book reviews/reports/summaries.

7. Letters. There is nothing I love more than receiving a handwritten letter. I’m sure you know someone who would love to receive one.

8. Stories. If you want to make yourself known, sign up for a free account at cowbird.com, it’s a pretty awesome website.

9. Your school schedule.

10. Take notes in class. This is just a good habit. It doesn’t necessarily spark creativity, but repetitive learning skills improve memory.

What to Read When You Can’t Write

1. Garner’s Modern American Usage. The title is sounds big and scary, but it is a WONDERFUL reference. If you’re experiencing writer’s block, you might as well take the time you’re not using to write to improve your grammar.

2. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. Etymology at it’s best. Great for advancing vocabulary.

3. Books, books, and more books. If you don’t read, you’re writing is lacking its full potential.

4. The Newspaper. If I were you, I would choose something more wholesome than the Seattle Times. But, that’s just me. Flipboard is a great FREE app if you’re on the go often.

5. Word Dynamo (dynamo.dictionary.com). This is what nerds like me do over Christmas Break: expand their vocabulary count to and estimated +30,000 words.

6. Magazines. Try out Relevant: Faith, Culture & Intentional Living

7. Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty. This is a great book and very easy to read. I have yet to finish it!

8. Read a picture. I bet you didn’t know you could do that! “A picture is worth a thousand words”~Napolean Bonaparte.

Where to Go When You Can’t Write

(Breaks in recurring schedules are very relieving)

1. NOT Facebook.

For those in the greater Seattle area:

2. Green Lake Park. I went here just the other day. It had been forever since I’d been there. Which is a shame considering it is only about a fifteen minute drive from my house.

3. Alki Beach. If you have a lot of time on your hands, this place is awesome.

4. St. Edwards Park

5. Bothell Landing

6. Seward Park

7. A coffee shop. I find inspiration in listening, talking, and observing. The Aloha Cafe in Edmonds or The Lyon’s Den in Bothell are ideal–unfortunately for me only one of these two is convenient. Because Starbucks is overrated, just more convenient.

I don’t splurge very often, but when I do, I consider the small indulgences as money well spent. If you’ve never owned a Moleskine notebook, I highly recommend investing in one. I usually use college ruled spiral notebooks, but these often give me motivation, especially if I’m close to wrapping up a notebook. I’m sort of obsessed with gel pens as well. They bring a whole new meaning to “color the rainbow.” (I especially enjoy using them for my school planner). They add some excitement. My #1 tip is to keep a notepad with you at all times. There is nothing worse than letting a great idea slip through your finger tips. My #2 Tip is to share your writing–whatever type of writing it may be– with other people. Tip #3 Not everyone scrapbooks. I am one of those who does not. instead, I tape memorabilia into my journals with photo adhesives and/or scotch tape. You’ll be glad you did! Last, but certainly not least, Tip #4! If you’re writing for an audience, big or small, DO NOT cater your words solely to their tastes. Many people try so hard to keep up with the newest trends in the media and whatnot that their writing loses its passion. Especially non-writers. Your writing probably has a bigger effect on people than you think. We are often our biggest critics. Every expert in any field of work began with the basics. Don’t forget to review them!

P.S. I need to take my own advice more often.

I hope this inspires you!

Kayla

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, and More Coffee!

According to Wikipedia,  since its grand opening in 1987, Starbucks has whet the parched tongues of coffee consumers by launching an average of 2 new coffee shops,  every single day. There are now 20,891 of these coffeehouses in 62 countries. Almost half of these are in the United States. That’s a lot of coffee floating around. I live in Seattle, where coffee is an idol, and people just can’t seem to get enough. There are enough coffee shops–not limited to mainstream chains–within a five-mile radius of my house to fulfill any avid coffee lover’s dreams.

Unlike the average high school or college student, I refuse to drink more than one cup of coffee a day–with exceptions– and have never paid for an extra shot. I pretend to like drip coffee, when in reality, I always stir in a bit of hot coco mix and powdered creamer. I was convinced coffee had more of a psychological effect than anything else. Until I went to Starbucks with a friend one Tuesday. At four O’clock in the afternoon. The problem is not coffee at four o’clock in the afternoon, the problem is the caffeine. I ordered a caramel macchiato! My friend on the other hand, ordered a straight drip coffee. Now that was a sight to see.

Regardless of the insane numbers of Starbucks populating the area, the one I suggested we go to was probably the most crowded. That was a bad decision on my part. However, we successfully found a table. There is something about the atmosphere of a coffee shop that is inviting–be it crowded or not. It’s not the coffee that makes it a good time, it’s the people you’re with and the conversations you have. Just give me some spare time and I could talk and listen for hours on end. The jokes, the laughter, the honesty, the memories, and even the unplanned call from the mother of the kid you’re supposed to be babysitting, they are all things which make a good cup of coffee a good cup of coffee.

Rian Aditia once said, “There’s nothing sweeter than a cup of bitter coffee”— (Click to tweet)

This is my exhortation to you: make some time in your schedule, go grab a friend, and drink some good coffee 🙂

Now be filled, and go grab some coffee!

Much love,

Kayla

S is for Seattleite, Sleet, Snow, Sunshine, Spring Break, and Other Such Things

Snow and Sunshine
Kaylab Photography

When I first rolled out of bed at 8:00 am this morning, snow was  falling. Washington’s seasons seemed to have been mixed up.  I wasn’t all that surprised. the past few days we’ve had everything from sun to sleet. Once I drank my morning mocha and ate my Nutella toast, I tried not to let the weather get the best of me. How could one possible be upset with such a well-balanced meal?!

Snow and all, the beginning of a bluebird day was on the horizon.

Right now my feelings regarding this type of weather is neutral  Not one day of school was cancelled during the winter quarter. Now that I have a nice long spring break, it is 38 degrees outside with a chance of snow, rain and thunderstorms. Funny how that works

This picture was taken around 8:30 am or 9:00 am and now-pushing 3:00 in the afternoon- everything is exactly as it was yesterday.  Wet and Cold. This combination seems to be the perfect excuse to not be productive. However if every seattleite chose that easy way out it would not be a pretty picture.

 You Know You Are A Seattleite When:

  • It’s February and fifty degrees outside and everyone orders their beverage of choice at the coffee shop iced. 
  • In March your Facebook news feed is filled with instagram pictures, phone pictures, tweets, and statuses complaining about classes not cancelled, pictures  of snow either present in your yard or absent, and road-trippers on their way to Disneyland or some other warm sunny place.
  • Residents wear flip-flops beginning in February at the first glance of sun.
  • Within the same day of snowfall,the phrases “spray tan” and “yay it’s snowing are used interchangeably.
  • You take Zertec and Vick’s because your allergies are awful and you think you might be coming down with a cold as well.
  • Your vitamin D level is thirty, which would be normal if you lived anywhere BUT Seattle. The “new norm” is fifty. (Not even joking, my doctor put me on a daily supplement.)
  • Breaking of the “normal” weather cycle is actually normal.
  • On a near daily basis you comment to your friend,
  • “Aw man, it’s raining outside.” They reply, “What’s new?”
  • If you live in the suburbs, umbrellas are reserved for tourists and foreigners only, except on rare occasions.
  • Groundhog’s Day means nothing to most people. It merely remains a great excuse to watch the movie.
  • Being snowed in on spring break is very easily a potential problem.

The Feeling of Impending Doom

Charlie BrownHmmm have I ever experienced the feeling of impending doom? Yes, yes Linus indeed I have. I would certainly say that during the two – three weeks leading  up to finals contain a certain feeling of impending doom. No matter how well or how awful I’ve done in a class there is still that lingering fear  that makes me question whether your current grades in the class are high enough to leave you room if you are not in fact entirely successful. In other words, I have not neglected this blog for no reason at all. In fact everyday it has been in the back of my mind and it has been tricky to prioritize.

I have found that the keys to surviving finals is  to 1) stop studying when you have reached the point where you are no longer studying, but just staring at a page. It’s OK really. I promise.2) Make yourself some coffee, tea, or other beverage of your choice and then 3) turn on your favorite Pandora station and/or 4) watch one, two, or three episodes of Psych. (However many it takes.) Laughter is the best medication. “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down” Mary Poppins rightfully tells us.

Anyhow, stay tuned because “Living>Surviving” will be returning next week on Friday, March 16!  Josh Taylor from Blimey Cow will be sharing with us who inspires him and why he thinks you should choose to live and not just survive!

P.S Please do survive finals. If I can you certainly will!

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