Tag Archives: motivation

Why I despise hateful words…

9 Mar

Derogatory terms, racial slurs, hateful words… they come in all forms.  They hurt so many people.

And yet people use some of these words in everyday situations to describe people they don’t like or who piss them off, even in playful ways.  Yet, by showing that these words mean something negative still even in a friendly setting people are perpetuating this hate.  Even if you do not think that being gay is wrong or bad, calling someone a “Faggot” continues the allowance of this hate.  Even if you are not racist, calling someone any racial slur continues the allowance of hate.

Until there is no one getting the shit kicked out of them because of a hate crime, these words are not acceptable in any way.

Through those wonder “six degrees,” the person in the above video is someone that I know.  Technically only two degrees, my best and first friend from elementary school’s close friend.

Said best friend is mixed race, and the fact that I have to even mention race in this day and age makes me upset but there is a point to it.  My second best friend in elementary school was black. We hung out a lot and did a lot together.  And can you actually beleive that I heard my neighbors scolding my mother for letting me get into a car full of black people who were taking me to the Michigan State Fair?  I didn’t understand it then.

Honestly, the biggest shock of my life was that racism still existed and didn’t end with the civil rights movements.  I think that that has been one of the key factors for my worldview ever since.  Seeing this hate disgusts me. It’s interesting to note how many people don’t realize the significance because they haven’t been discriminated against. For the course of the year that he wore his hair in dreadlocks, he had never recieved so many stares and scathing glances, and was just shocked (and somewhat delighted to finally have an understanding) when he wanted to cut them off and the lady at the salon told him that they’d have to be brushed out first because of company policy and the other young woman working actually questioned her saying this as we left.

I don’t know what more I can do as a single person.  I question peoples’ speech and text when they use such words and reprimand them for it.  In most cases of those who I know that use the words, I ask them to at the very least never use them in front of me.  I’m a open supporter of cultural diversity as well as wearing my Allies and Advocates badge proudly on my backpack to let others know that I’m a safe person to talk to.  But what kind of world do we live in where the “safe” people are the ones who have to be marked?

My SO has marks against our gamer profile on Xbox Live because he openly asks, and quite calmly as I’ve witnessed, others not to use those types of words.  Some people are like, sorry dude and don’t.  Other get on him, start calling him those names… until he points out that the gamer profile is set up mainly as me but with both our names.  Yet he gets marks against being “Unsportsman-like.”  This is paradoxical.  He’s getting points against him for asking people to be nicer to each other? To create a friendlier environment?  You should hear the kinds of derogartory things thrown my way when some find out that I’m a girl or think that because our avatar is a girl that Kit is too.  They’re awful and terrible and things that are so hurtful that I can’t imagine where they even came from.

I feel like I can’t do any more than this, so I’m asking everyone.  Please watch what you say, even if you think the company understands the context and what you mean.  Please ask others why they use these types of words.  Please, try to make the world a place where everyone can feel safe.

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Motivational Music

11 Feb

Everyone has a favorite song.  Something for pick-me-ups, or something to relate to when sad.  Lyrics that they love to belt out.   Do people have a song that just makes them inspired to be great?  Personally, I do.

Right now, I’m feeling miserable. I’m stressed to all get out, on the verge of tears even, and with the stuffiest nose and sorest throat I’ve had in many months now.  I had to wake up at 6am (normal for me is 9 or 10 – boohoo) to finish career research papers I’ve had weeks to do which will decide my continuation in the McNair Scholars Program.  Another boo to me!

But when I hear Beethoven’s 9th Symphony the world seems a little better.  Its a story.  A getting going, a grand adventure, some loss and losing of the way, but in the end triumphant.  I can make an argument with myself that the 2nd Movement (Scherzo) is my favorite, but it really is the context of the other movements that make it.

If you got a lot of time, listen to the whole symphony.  If not, take a taste of this below. (And as a note, this isn’t the complete 2nd Movement.)

Perfectionism, the source of all (my) evil!

7 Feb

As part of the McNair Scholars career seminar at Grand Valley, we were to read a short article on procrastination.  I found it really to be quite a good blog posting on the issue and can be found here.  And as I won’t be talking much about it since I feel that that covers it, I implore you to read it.

Perfectionism doesn’t only lead to procrastination however… It can lead to so many more terrible things.  Pessimism, depression, academic nihilism, self-destruction, lethargy among many others. And when they’re all mixed together, it makes for some bitter soup.

For me, these are especially true.  Let me tell you a little story.

Not all that long ago, and for the better part of my life I sought to be acknowledged for the intelligence that I possess — I felt that it’s what made me stand out.  I didn’t get good grades, mostly due to that nasty thing called perfectionism.  I procrastinated, I didn’t get work done.  Work I did do, I didn’t turn in because it wasn’t good enough and I thought I’d be judged.  My grades started their gradual downfall during 6th grade for me.  I didn’t even care that I got a detention for every 2nd assignment I didn’t turn in.  But then I started hearing “I’m disappointed in you” and “I know you’re smarter than these grades” and “Why can’t you do better?” at the parent-teacher conference (on both sides).  Thus began my fears that I would never be good enough to please those that I sought the praise and acknowledgement from.

And I didn’t do the work except which interested me.  So, I got A’s in a few classes per semester in Jr. High and High School… and that pulled me along.  There was a school I had really wanted to go to for college — because all along this I still valued knowledge as the most important trait one could have — but my high school grades were nowhere near good enough for Grand Valley.  I pulled up my GPA just a little and managed to send out some applications to other places.

And I got accepted to Wayne State.  But the classes didn’t interest me or they were too hard.  I withdrew from all but on by the end of the semester and managed a C in that last one.  Then I didn’t both signing up for the classes for the next semester.  I went to community college.  And it was easy, and I took classes that interested me and got As.  I worked at a couple and were surprised that I could do well.  After a couple of years dilly dallying with nothing to really show for it except some new random knowledge about all sorts of things, I finally got enough credits and a high enough GPA to apply as a transfer student to Grand Valley.

There I was… first year transfer.  Shy, roommate from a foreign country who liked to hang out with other SE Asians, and without my family or friends that I had been hanging out with for the past four years. Alone. Depressed.  The worst depression that I had felt since a little stint I had in a hospital.  I would like to blame outside sources of turmoil for my failings there, but it really was me and my attitudes that caused it.

Then, I missed a few days of classes because I didn’t want to leave my room, much less my bed. I fell behind.  I couldn’t find the will in me to catch up, but I talked to people and I tried.  I was given a second chance and I made the effort to make up past work.  But then time came again when I just didn’t want to get out of bed again… different this time.  I just couldn’t see how I could possibly get an A now, and for me an A was all that mattered.

Over Winter break between semesters, I got some supporting words.  I was told that hey, if Grand Valley didn’t work out I could always try for Oakland University which would be closer to everyone.  I contemplated it for a bit.

I can’t remember if it was over time or right away I realized my splitting path.  I also remembered one of my favorite poems — Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

It’s always held some significance for me.  Being independent, creative, a treader of new or less travelled paths.  I take that to heart.   In this moment that I’ve been describing however… it was clear that one was the easier of the two to navigate, safer.  I could stay with one of my parents, be close to home, attempt to get the degree from somewhere else where it was just easier to do.

But no, I told myself, slapped myself really.  No.  This is the school you have been wanting to go to since you were 15.  This is the school that you dreamed about.  This is what you want.  You will always wonder what could have been. You will always wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t given up.  You will never ever be satisfied with yourself if you take that safer path.  This would be something that you’d regret for the rest of your life.

So prove yourself, I yelled at me. Prove that you’re worth something.  And who gives a damn if others will never give you their approval. Just freaking do it!

And I did. Two years after that first semester, I’m taking my last make-up class finally.  I learned that I do have what it takes to be an archaeologist (but that’s another story all together — maybe next time).  I learned that I can.  I can.  From a first semester with two W’s and two E’s -> two semesters later, Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honor’s Society -> two years after that first semester, three A’s and an A- and the Dean’s List.

As cheesy as it may sound, I learned that anything is possible as long as the willpower and understanding that the path won’t be easy. 

And maybe a little more importantly,  a ‘B’ is good enough.

Short summary of the rest of the week…

22 Jan

Car broke down.  Got it towed.  Missed classes because walking 3 miles in -2F didn’t sound so safe to my health. Especially when I don’t know where my ear covers are and my coat doesn’t close.  I also missed my McNair seminar because of the situation, but I have plans to get caught up on that.  And, I’m getting a new (for me) car tomorrow, courtesy of SO’s parents and my dad.  It is quite exciting.  My dad is coming to do a minor fix on the old car that I was driving while bringing the new one, then taking that one home. 

I’ve been busy doing a lot of reading and playing with statistics and graphs for many of my classes.  I ordered two books on amazon, using gift cards I earned through things like internet surveys and Swagbucks.com.  The Early Mesoamerican Village by Kent Flannery and Ungendering Civilization by K. Anne Pyburn.  The first is for ARC 400, the latter for ANT 405.  Both seem pretty interesting, we’ll see.

I’m feeling… down.  In general, stress of everything and missing classes and bad things happening.  Plus SO not having a job at the moment.  Its all very tiresome to me.  I’ve lost myself in not doing schoolwork these past few days.  I need to make a list.  Lists make me feel better for some reason… just knowing exactly what to do and what needs to be done, then ordering it, and checking it off as they are accomplished.  In and of itself its stress relieving.  I’m going to go do that.

Preparation

9 Jan

So what I have been doing to prepare for classes starting tomorrow?

Normally, I would reset my sleep schedule to match my classes.  I tend to be a night owl, but because I rarely take night classes it just doesn’t work out.  Resetting usually involved staying up all night and allowing myself to go to bed when is appropriate or using some aid to go to sleep earlier.  I’m with someone now… who doesn’t like to sleep at all apparently yet sleeps in extremely late. (2pm now and I predict he’ll be in bed for another hour or so…)  And we have this thing about going to bed together.  And after all this time, I now find it quite hard to fall asleep without him – plus the bed is cold!

Luckily for me, my classes don’t start until 11am.  Mind, I’m used to waking up at noon-1pm now.  I’ll be a little tired tomorrow, but overall a little coffee will help me get through.  I’m also dieting to keep my energy up…

More on that diet.  First:  SparkPeople.com is an amazing site.  Now, not everything is accurate.  For example, it lists certain specifications for something like creamy peanut butter, while my particular brand has slightly more calories and protein but less fat.  It is a good way to see what you need to balance, and to be fair they give you a range of cals, carbs, fats, etc that you should be eating probably to correct for those variabilities.  If you are hardcore, you can enter the foods yourself so you know exactly whats what in your daily nutrition.    Second: I really want to be a healthy weight.  I want to be able to be active without needing a break or trailing far behind.  I want to be able to be in the field as long as my body lets me, because archaeology truly is my passion and motivating force for life.  And I want to look damn good in a wedding dress and not slow down a honeymoon in Belize.   Third:  I’m a snacker and a late-night muncher.  Especially when I am stressed, and ooh boy will I be stressed these next 8 months or so.  I want to gain some control over myself, like reaching for carrots instead of cookies, pita and hummus rather than chips.

In turn, this blog is directly related to knowing I’m going to be under lots of stress.  I can talk about these things and stay on track by putting these words out here.  And who knows, maybe I’ll connect with someone in a similar situation as me.  🙂