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One year more. It's going fast. Am I taking advantage of every opportunity? You betcha.

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Archive: January 2013

Sick @ Home: News Edition

In my last post, I informed you that I am home sick. Now, from my partially upright position I bring you a bit of the news.

If you own a radio, TV, or computer and use them regularly you have probably heard about the woman in India who was violently raped on a bus. A horrific event, it has managed to lead to a positive movement in a nation long beholden to gender inequality in the law. Protests have broken out across the country, an event that is being described as “an unprecedented moment in India’s history” (Guardian).

Another moment revealing the strength of women under incredible duress comes from Pakistan, where a girl by the name of Malala Yousufzai was shot by the Taliban for “Western thinking,” and has subsequently become an international symbol for women’s rights (USAtoday). She has recently been released from the hospital.

The saddest moment in the battle for respect and fair-treatment of women comes close to home. A video surfaced of a group of high school students in Steubenville, OH laughing at the rape of a 16 year-old girl. While it’s easy to acknowledge that the Taliban doesn’t have a foothold in the US, that doesn’t indicate that the culture of disrespect or abuse has vanished. It is a world-wide battle in every sense of the phrase, and shouldn’t be ignored or overlooked.

Sick @ Home Part 1

Lying in my bed completely sick, I wonder what to do. I also wonder: How on earth did I get through an entire semester at Butler without being sick? That’s right, I didn’t fall ill once this fall. I’m not saying that Butler is unsanitary, just that when you bring thousands of students together from around the country, you’re going to be exposed to more varieties of sickness.

So while I lay in bed, guzzling throat lozenges, and hydrate the crap out of myself, I’ll take a moment to reflect on the upcoming semester, my last semester. The semester to end all semesters. It’s going to be busy. I’ve got applications to fill out for my post-grad plans, 17 credit hours finishing up my major, my work in the honors program, and my core classes (bit of advice: don’t leave your science class till the last semester!)

On top of that I have my honors thesis to complete, the ultimate frisbee club team to manage, and my social life to upkeep. Although I could just lock myself in my room or library from now until May, I’d rather get out once in a while in order to, you know, stay in touch with those friends who I will be seeing considerably less after graduation. All in all, I’m excited! Here’s to efficient time management!

Also I really hope all traces of my sickness are gone by the time I get back to school. I don’t want the start of my semester to look like this: YouTube Preview Image

Resolute in the New Year

It’s very easy to be swept up in the celebrations of the new year. And why not? It’s the end of one cycle, the beginning of another. This has been part of the celebration since the time of Julius Caesar (wait, isn’t he the salad guy?) when the first month of the year was dedicated to the Roman god Janus, the god of gates, doors, and new beginnings. He was depicted as a god with two faces, one looking forward and one looking backwards. (Don’t believe me? Check out my incredibly legitimate source.)

Here’s one way people are looking back: YouTube Preview Image

It shouldn’t be a surprise that people take this moment to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. I’m surprised at the grief that new year resolutions can receive. My sister said she wasn’t going to bother with them because it seemed pointless, how the whole world could get swept up in positive change that inevitably failed after a few months.

I immediately wanted to respond that the failure of others shouldn’t be the cause of not trying yourself. But I thought about it a little more and realized that the idea wasn’t flawed, only the system through which it was implemented. Find out how you can create lasting change in yourself and your daily routine here.

Resolutions the Right Way

Here’s an example of one of my new year’s resolutions. I’m not buying any fruit snacks for the coming year. That’s it. I’m not even saying that I cannot eat the delicious gummy treats. I am only going to resist the purchase. So let’s see how I got to this point, and why it’s going to be so much more effective than the traditional goals.

1) Name my goal: Putting it in broad terms is the first step. Do you want to lose weight? Live a healthier life style? Start creating that masterpiece you’ve always had in mind? Find that and write it down. For me, I hope to live a healthier life style.

2) Break it down: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Nor was any city, large or small. In fact, very few accomplishment worth mentioning came from a day of preparation. If you are going to improve yourself, write down all of the various modes of accomplishing this. To live healthier, I could exercise, eat more of some stuff, eat less of others.

3) Easy attainable goal: I could try and overhaul my entire diet. Or, instead of over reaching, becoming frustrated, and quitting, I could find something manageable to move towards my goal and accomplish that. I chose fruit snacks because I spend a considerable amount on a product that is 80% packaging, 19% sugar, and just a dash of vitamin C.

The most important part of this comes in the continuation of the process throughout the year. Maybe every month I could focus on something new. Don’t stop here. Always be improving. By next new year, your hope should be that you can look back and list all of the improvements that you have brought upon yourself.