Archive | May, 2010

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.

31 May

Ok, so maybe not the latter, but it certainly is summertime in the world of Meg.

Summer is when I live. The other seasons often see me down, depressed, and stressed, but rarely does that happen in the summer. As soon as the sunny, warm days start to appear, it’s like someone dropped happy pills into my morning coffee and I can handle anything life wants to throw my way. In fact, in the summer I don’t even need that morning coffee!

Summer is when I am motivated.  I struggle all through the academic year not feeling motivated to do anything, and feeling like I’d rather just hibernate. When the days start getting longer, and I can lie here in my bed, with the window open and the fan on, in a t-shirt and spandex shorts, and the sun still pouring in at 8:30pm, I feel motivated to work, write, make videos, read, go for walks, and all the other things that I should feel motivated to do all year round.

Summer is when I snap back. I always get a burst of energy and excitement in September, when school recommences, which slowly dwindles until November when every year I contemplate dropping out of school. Enough about November. A number of people I have spoken to have suggested that perhaps I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Probably. But what is important right now, is that it’s SUMMERTIME! When I feel like I’m myself again. And I’m so, so happy. In fact, that is one of the reasons I decided to start blogging regularly. Not because I think I have anything important to say, or much to say at all really, but because I wanted to. So often in the winter I think of things that I want to do but just don’t bother to because I lack the drive. My attitude in the summer transforms into “You know what? I’m just gonna do it!” So sorry folks, at least for now you’re stuck with me writing here (if you’re a fan of this, you can click the little grey “Yes please :)” button up there in the sidebar to subscribe ;] ).

Getting back to the first line, the livin’ really isn’t easy right now. I have less money than I need to pay my upcoming bills, and no job offers despite the abundance of resumes and applications I have out there. I finally have the time  and motivation to go out and do things with friends and Randall, but no money to do the things I’m invited to do. Here’s to hoping I get a job soon!

It’s kind of shitty but it doesn’t bother me too much because it’s SUMMERTIME and, mentally/emotionally, the livin’ is much easier than it has been. Or at least it’s much easier to live my life 🙂

To steal the catchphrase of my friend, Hannah, I adore you.

Cheers!

xx

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Ease vs Effectiveness

30 May

This is a dilemma I find myself in far too often.

A lot of people who know me also know that I am ridiculously lazy. The easy way of doing things is VERY appealing. A lot of these people also know that I am a perfectionist and have a fear of failure. Therefore the way of doing things that would be the most effective is equally as appealing. This tends to cause inner conflict and frustration.

Part of me screams “OH MY GOD THIS IS SO GOD DAMNED MUCH WORK! I HATE THIS! GAH! JUST BE DONE ALREADY!” while another part of me thinks “God, this really is taking too long, but if I just add these three more things, and change that, and reformat those, it. will. be. perfect.” That part of me always wins.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I enjoy completing the task, just because I am taking the time and making the effort to get it as polished and as perfect as I can. I simply cannot bring myself to share something with a peer, teacher, colleague, etc. without it being the absolute best that it can.

Recently, this issue has been working its way into a project that I’m collaborating on, The Guide to Nerdfighting. It had a bit of a rough patch with people not pulling their weight, a lot of the staffers being too busy to give 100%, and a slight feeling of hopelessness (for me) that we’d never get the promotion we need and never achieve what we’d set out to do.  I didn’t share these fears with many people, but I felt them and I know I wasn’t the only one.

Because of this, my new attitude on this project is focus, focus, focus, work, work, work (being a perfectionist with a goal and free time is like being a heroine addict with a great dealer and cash to spare). However, that is only because I enjoy the work that must be done. One of the conversations today was discussing whether we should proceed with a task in the quickest and easiest way, or create a little more work for ourselves in the hopes of greater results in the end. If the task weren’t something I liked to do, my opinion probably would be to do it the easiest way possible. Otherwise it would feel like a chore, or homework–ew, and, really,  defeat the purpose of the whole endeavor. I hadn’t even thought of this until talking to one of the other staffers about it afterward. My bad, I didn’t acknowledge where other opinions were coming from, and I should have.

The dilemma of ease vs effectiveness also plagues my entire academic career. This past year it played a serious game of rivalry with my mind and mental well-being. Not only was I completing assignments for professors, but I had to PLAN and TEACH lessons and units to ACTUAL KIDS! Having never done this, the easy way of doing things (throwing together boring lessons that aren’t engaging, interesting, or fun) seemed, honestly, like a divine offering to calm my troubled soul (trust me, this is not an overly melodramatic statement. If you went through this with me–you know who you are–you know this). But the idea of presenting such a piece of shit to my students… I just couldn’t. I sacrificed a lot in my attempt to make the most of things, to really teach something, to be effective. God damn it, Meg! Why can’t you just let me be a guilt-free slacker once in a while!

This post really wasn’t supposed to be so long. If you’ve followed me this far into my mind, congratulations. You win a golden sheep and a map back to reality, as soon as I learn the directions myself. Really though, I feel like this is one of my biggest frustrations in life. I HATE putting effort into most things. I HATE being imperfect at anything. It’s a rather unhappy marriage. I think the entire concept of having to choose between making something easy (and sacrificing quality), or making something effective (and sacrificing time, energy, [a social life…]) is something that comes up in pretty much every aspect in life. Except caffeinated beverages. Easy AND effective.

But seriously, if someone could forward me the divorce papers…

Adventures in Nowhere Land

29 May

As I type this I am sitting in the passenger seat of my boyfriend’s car, driving down an old twisty road through sweeping pastures and picturesque farmlands. Such a different life from my own. One that I’m sure I’d love, if I grew up that way. But then again, I grew up in a small town and want nothing more than to live in an overpriced, too-small flat in the Big Apple. But in any case, that’s another blog post.

The reason we are driving through the middle of nowhere, is because we wanted to go on an adventure. Randall is slowly becoming an amateur photographer and we both love local history, so we’re off to visit a place called Courthouse Hill (in East Gore, Nova Scotia. I’m not making that name up.) where there used to be the county courthouse, and subsequently hangings. The cool thing about this place is that it is, as the monument there states, a “topographically significant” location. It sits at a fairly high altitude and is ideally located for a view of five counties on a clear day. We’re not there yet, and I’ve never been there before, but it’s a brilliantly sunny day and I’m excited. I imagine the view will be spectacular, if you can see five counties from a single location.

It’s about a 40 minute drive to this place, so you might ask why on earth we would make the trek. Well, because adventure is fun, right? Sometimes there’s nothing better than hopping in the car with great company and driving to random places, learning about them, seeing them for yourself, taking some great photos, and moving on. I don’t imagine this will be the only place we visit today, and I hope it’s not. I enjoy seeing new places and practicing aesthetic photography.

Well, we have arrived, so I will perhaps be back in a bit 🙂

xx

So it was a less spectacular view than I was hoping, but still lovely. We took some pictures, I’ll post a few below. Afterwards we continued driving around the countryside and getting lost, pulling over to take photos and just generally having a good time. After a quick pit stop to buy some soy burgers, we’re on our way to the cottage for a barbeque and perhaps a polar dip. As sunny and warm as it’s been recently, the lake is still too cold for any sane person to consider swimming. Ah well, we all know I’m not 100% sane.

I don’t plan on using this blog as a personal log of my daily activities, but I do want to write as frequently as I can, whether I’ve been thinking about something very significant or not. Perhaps tomorrow the subject matter with be more interesting, but for right now, I’m off to face bikini fears.

xx

Teacher, can I major in Web 2.0?

28 May

Why, certainly, my child. Certainly.

People are always going on about how the world’s (mainly younger) inhabitants are turning into desensitized, selfish, and ignorant robots because of growing developments in technology. Some people think kids aren’t reading enough because they spend too much time online. Many of these people also think that Twitter and Google and social media shouldn’t be at the center of schools.

I say why not? These are the ways kids have started to learn naturally–in a dynamic, collaborative, social, web 2.0 kind of world. Let’s be honest, no one should still be doing book reports, and isn’t there more to learn when kids can hash out and peer edit their works via blogs and wikis and learn about collaboration, creation and editing? Aren’t those skills kids need today? Of course it is still important to be able to critically read and comprehend some of the complex and symbolic works that make up the almighty English literary canon, but why not go about it in a way that also infuses technology and online collaboration? Who says school work has to stay in the school when it can involve the global community? Oh my, I’m getting excited now.

Okay, I went on a bit of a spiel there when really it all just stemmed from my wondering if the same sort of people-rely-too-much-on-technology! attitude saw a similar peak when stories, history, education, and communication shifted from being primarily oral in nature to largely text-based? Were there dissenters who said “people will stop talking to each other and just read books (newspapers, scrolls?) all day! This is a disgrace to our social nature!” ?

I don’t know. Probably. Just something that was on my mind.

See my inspiration here: Teach Paperless Blog

YouTube, Bi fears and Homophobia

28 May

As pretty much everyone that knows me knows, I love YouTube. Not just watching videos, but the interaction, the community, the sharing, the support,… I could go on. I recently posted a video about homophobia in honor of International Day Against Homophobia and had such positive feedback and saw so many great ideas and discussions in the comments and video responses. As a youtuber with a rather small following, I was touched at the reaction.

It’s an issue that is very close to my heart, and while I didn’t say specifically in my video, the generic situations I mention are actually pulled from my life and my family. I am a bisexual, my brother is gay. We grew up in a baptist family (not like the crazy extremist baptists that give us a bad name, but even so, homosexuality was viewed as a chosen lifestyle and wrong).

Most people I interact with online and in real life know that I’m bisexual, but I’ve never discussed it with my parents. If they were to look at any of my online profiles, a number of videos, even Facebook, they would see that, and maybe they have, but if so they’ve never mentioned it.  My dad would have no problems with it. That just wouldn’t matter to him and he wouldn’t care what anyone else thought. But I’m too much of a coward to tell my mother.

My mother found some racy letters I exchanged with my first girlfriend when I was about 13 (mind you, I’d be worried too, we probably shouldn’t have been writing things so sexually explicit at that age, but I’m sure you all remember being 13). In any case, she didn’t tell me she found them, but I knew anyway. This girl was also one of my best friends, along with her twin sister, and happened to live next door. We all used to hang out after school and on the weekends, our parents were close friends as well, and we always went camping together and generally were together a lot. After my mom found out that we were doing a little more than gossiping, my parents would no longer allow us to be alone together. Ever. We all used to hang out in a tree house behind my house, but suddenly she and I weren’t allowed to be alone there and even if whoever else was with us decided to go inside to watch tv or do something else she and I would be told to, “Hey now, come down out of there. No playing in there right now!” We were never given any explanation, and the root of the situation was never once addressed. To this day. Because of homophobia.

Wow. My intentions for this post were just to give a little intro and embed my video but it seems to have turned into a bit of a diary entry/therapy session. Perhaps I’ll enjoy this blogging every day thing more than I thought.

Peace and DFTBA

xx

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