What’s a Millennial to do without Internet?

It has been awhile since I have posted and I have a really, really good reason. I have been on Christmas Break and my parents’ house does not have Internet. I know. It’s ridiculous, but it’s just the way it is.

What did this Millennial do without Internet? Let me tell you.

  • For a while, I was super bummed, and in my darkest hours I stared at my computer in defeat, but I wasn’t sad for long. How can someone be sad with three dogs wanting you to pet them all at once? The answer, you can’t. After four months away, it was wonderful to play and take care of my lovely pups.
  • But it wasn’t all puppy love, I also worked at Target. It was great to be back with my coworkers and not having to do homework everyday.
  • I also have started to learn how to knit. I’ve been making mug cozies. It’s been a struggle to learn the patience and various techniques.
  • When my family was home, I forced them to play card games. The Donahue family does not shy from competition.

So my break wasn’t filled with Netflix and Internet surfing, but it was relaxing and fun. In all actuality, it was nice to get away from the Internet. I think everyone could benefit from some time away from technology, even if it is just for an evening.

Next week, I’ll have a better post for you. I promise.

4 Key Ways to Stay Stress Free

We all hit those times, where we want to pull our hair out, because everything needs to be done and it needs to be done now. Well, these past few weeks I have been taking test, finishing projects, creating study guides–all for my college finals. But somehow, I am able to keep my stress levels low.

Here are some ways I use to stay as stress free as possible:

  1. I set my own deadlines and stick to them. If I have an essay due in two weeks. I make sure I have my research done by a certain day. It’s beneficial because I know my schedule better than anyone else therefor I know how to space my time better than others.
  2. On a similar note, I break down big projects. By taking it step-by-step, it feels more manageable and at the end I am able to look at the bigger picture.
  3. I set aside my own time, where I make sure not to schedule anything. It’s an hour that I get to myself, where I can watch Netflix, cook or just simply be with my friends without the worry of work. It’s a no-work time.
  4. I embrace my inner 4-year-old. I play with play-dough, break out my markers and color. I do simple crafts. It’s a lot of fun. 4-year-olds don’t worry.

With those 4 ways, I am able to stay (mostly) calm and collected for my finals. Do you have any strategies that you stick to when you are stressed?

The Impact of The Hunger Games on Our Society

Like many of those, this past weekend I contributed to the $130 million dollar first weekend showing of Mockingjay Part 1 (which was amazing, by the way). The Hunger Games is more than just an entertaining franchise, it has value to the world around us.

Through satire, The Hunger Games series (books or movies your choice, though the books have more depth) points out the flaws of sensualist media, the power in unification, and complete government control, just to point out a few.

The themes and messages are so strong that they are impacting the world. Countries, like Thailand, have banned Mockingjay Part 1 from showing in their theaters. Why? Because of the fear of revolt.The political activism was a major contribution to the banning of Mockingjay.

In Thailand, young people are even using the three finger salute as a symbol of protest against General Prayuth Chan-ocha.  According to Washington Times, the three finger salute itself is now grounds for arrest.

But the impact is not restricted international countries, it is also affecting the United States. Monday night after the grand jury decision of Daren Wilson and Mike Brown, protestors expressed their dismay. Across an arch in Ferguson, “if we burn you, burn with us” was graffiti-ed. Now, if you haven’t seen the movies or read the books, you should know that this is a slogan for the revolt. No matter how you feel about the situation, the pop culture reference is there.

The Hunger Games is more than entertainment. Like most dystopian novels, it is a critique on society and people have understood this and applied it to the world around them. It will be wondrous to see how the 2nd part, which contains most of the revolt, will be received. (It’s not a spoiler. There’s a book.)

A Much Needed Pick-Me-Up After the Elections

Wew, the midterm elections are over. No matter who you voted for, we can agree on one thing: Political ads are over. Thank God. I don’t know about you but I need a pick me up.

A list of light-hearted TV Shows that are worth your Netflix weekend:

  • Want a throwback to the late 90s, where Ash Ketchum is just starting his journey? Well, you are in luck Pokemon is available. There are a variety of different seasons of Pokemon, so if you want to branch out of the 90s you can watch what little Jonny is down the street with Pokemon Black and White.
  • Remember those talking Dragons? The ones that dance and sing and go on walks in rainbow canyon? I do too. Dragon Tails  is available to stream all 94 episodes on Netflix. I know what I’m watching this weekend.
  • Arthur and Buster are back. All 4 seasons of PBS’s Arthur. The after school special brings back memories of grabbing juice boxes after school and turning on the TV. I wonder if Arthur ever made it out of the 3rd grade.
  • Halloween is over but its not too late to dress up as Red Power Ranger and sit on the coach. There are a variety of versions of the Power Rangers‘s series.
  • Though its still a bit outside of my childhood, I treasure Phineas and Ferb. It’s an amazing throwback to traditional cartoons emphasizing positivity, creativity, and productivity.

These amazing children’s shows will keep the evil of politics away. No matter if you believe you won or you lost, we all need a pick-me-up. These shows will surely do the trick for your weekend binge-watch.

Fear Mongering: The Media’s New Weapon

The new fad has hit the news media: fear mongering. What is fear mongering? According to Oxford Dictionaries, fear mongering is “the action of deliberately arousing public fear or alarm about a particular issue”. Can you guess what issue the media is focusing on now? You got it! Ebola.

By picking and choosing the facts they want to publish, the news media curbs people’s opinions. This is unethical and against most principles of journalism. Journalists are supposed to be watchdogs of the government, informers of the public. They aren’t supposed to be slanting the article to direct the reader’s opinion. Journalists should give accurate information so that the reader can come up with their own view point.

Though we are just consumers of news, there are ways we can prevent fear mongering from touching us.

  • check the news source. Has it been reliable in the past? Does it get mocked constantly by commentary news shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (*cough* Fox News *cough*)?
  • Another way you can prevent being influenced, get the news directly. Associate Press is one of my favorite news sites and Twitter channels. Why? It’s articles are used by thousands of newspapers in the United States. These articles are accurate, well written, and are unbiased.
  • You can always take the news into your own hands. Want to know what WHO is really doing about Ebola? Look at their website. Getting the official statements for yourself cuts the middleman out.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the news media has equipped itself with fear mongering and it won’t be the last. But being mindful of what the news is doing can help us find the real information for ourselves.

Additional Information: Salon was nice enough to create a list of past instances fear mongering was used by the Republican Party. You can check out the article yourself here. The Huffington Post too has an article about politicians and fear mongering here. The British newspaper, The Guardian, has critiqued America about fear mongering just last month here.

Why isn’t America Doing More to Battle Ebola?

Ebola has become an international hot button topic. With no true treatment or vaccine, it feels as if Ebola will only continue to expand. But I believe, we can come together to help ourselves, West Africa, and the world.

America ignored Ebola’s crisis in West Africa until we could no longer. Ebola came to the home-front. We had taken in aid workers, but the inevitable happened. Cases of Ebola are popping up in the United States.

West Africa has been raked over the coals with this epidemic. Through NPR, updates from CDC, and CNN, I have been watching the virus spread throughout the Summer. According to CNN, Ebola has killed almost 4,000 people so far. The numbers are only escalating, and still America has not reached out to help West Africa and the WHO. If Africa had access to simple hygienic measures, such as sterilizers, and warm water, many of these deaths could have been prevented.

Original cases of Ebola have been reported in America. At the first sign that America could be in danger, we freak out. We go out and buy face masks, debate if we should work from home, and refuse to shake hands. News sources blare with Ebola symptoms and lack of vaccines. And America is finally involved.

It’s about time. If we consider ourselves to be such great international leader, we need to act like it and step up. Yes, Africa has many problems and many of them we can’t solve, but we can pool our resources and solve this one.

I was frustrated as I watched the news, learning about the spread of Ebola. But with it now past our front door and sitting in the living room, America is forced to recognize it and act.

Though we do overreact with precautions and Ebola may not be as contagious as Measles, it is important to take action. (NPR’s graphic that I love) Not for our national benefit but for the world.

I’m not a scientist or a doctor. I don’t have the experience to solve this disease. But I believe out there in the world, we can beat this. I’m just begging for America to give more.

Cases of Ebola have now reached Spain. What is it going to take to help our fellow humans?

Extra reading: Firestone has worked to contain Ebola 

Any thoughts? Feel free to contribute to the conversation.