What’s a Millennial to do without Internet?

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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.

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The Impact of The Hunger Games on Our Society

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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

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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.

The Truth in Banned Books

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Books are meant to be read. I do not agree with censoring knowledge from our youth. When I was in 7th grade, I was reading at an upper high school level. I have to say, I would not be the person I am if I was unable to read and expand my mind at my own pace.

The week of September 21st-27th is banned book week.  I scoured my way through ALA’s list of popular banned books from the 2000s until today. So here are the banned books I have read:

  1. Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling banned because: anti-family, occult/Satanism, religious viewpoint, violence
  2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck banned because: offensive language, violence
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee banned because: offensive language
  4. Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily von Ziegesar banned because: homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language,
  5. The Giver by Lois Lowry banned because: violence,
  6. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson banned because: language, religious veiw-point
  7. The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Machler banned because: offensive language, sexually explicit,
  8. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley banned because: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini banned because: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause banned because: sexually explicit
  11. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien banned because: language, voilence
  12. Junie B. Jones (series) by Barbara Park banned because: I didn’t find a true reason.
  13. The Lovely Bones banned because: sexually explicit, and language
  14. Crank by Ellen Hopkins banned because: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
  15. The Hunger Games (trilogy) by Suzanne Collins banned because: sexually explicit, and violence, anti-family, anti-ethic
  16. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer banned because: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  17. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie banned because: language
  18. Looking for Alaska by John Green banned because: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

It shocks me how revealing banned book reflect the problems of our culture. Many of the “sexually explicit” reasoning is because of a vague rape scene or a female teen embracing her sexuality. The Kite Runner‘s homosexuality too is rape. Many of the “offensive language”s are because the book is a product of its time. Quite a few of the violence is because of suicide. All of these things are apart of life.

Someday I want to write a book so true it is a banned book.

I used this ALA article and this one too.

Check your Packing List – Emotional Baggage

I check my packing list and boxes multiple times, making sure I have all of the essentials for my third year of college. I have my shower shoes, my caddy, my mattress cover, my free-read books, my school notebooks, my textbooks, and all of these things are important. But emotional baggage is just as important as physical baggage, if not more.

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What I believe is emotionally important to bring with you to college:

At college, I encounter a lot of different people, so it’s important to keep an open-mind. Everyone comes in with a past, and different lessons they have learned. These lessons and experiences are usually vastly different from my own.

No question is stupid. I’m living in a dorm traditionally filled with freshmen. My neighbors will probably have lots of questions about campus, traditions, and life. These questions may seem tedious to me at times but to them it is all-new. These questions do not determine their intelligence or who they are as a person. I will have questions too. Everyone deserves respect.

The way you treat others is very important, but one need to remember to take care of yourself. Maintaining a positive outlook for the semester, social life, and self is important for my mental health. It’s the little things that count and ones mentality is one of them. Thinking positive and staying positive is something I struggle with, but it is a mentality that can be very beneficial.

Staying focused on the self, overscheduling is easy in college. Everything sounds fun, and inspiring, so it’s easy to over commit. Overcommitting can make anyone’s grades and health suffer. It is okay to say no. It is easier to say no once I establish that I can’t give it the attention it needs.

These are the four traits I am packing in my emotional baggage. Whether it is your first year or your third, your emotional outlook impacts your experience far greater than your physical possessions.

Did I miss anything? If you have any additional thoughts, please comment. I would love to hear what you pack emotionally when you go to college or work.

The Scare

Have you ever had a moment that changed the way you thought about everything: your life choices, the way you speak to people? A few weeks ago, I did. 

I went to my family doctor for a simple procedure, the removal of four moles. At an earlier appointment, she was sure they were normal. But once she got a better look at them, she decided they needed testing for cancer.

She told me, this was only precautionary. She just wanted to be sure. And my mentality changed. It wasn’t an instantaneous alteration. These changes popped up sporadically.

It all started almost a week after the extraction. I still hadn’t heard from pathology. I was at work and I had just finished scanning a woman’s items and was applying coupons, when the computer would not accept a coupon. She did not have the right amount of the product. She threw a rich white woman tantrum. All I could think was, Well, at least you aren’t dying of cancer. It came out of nowhere.

And there it began. That one thought spurred many more: If I have cancer, can I still go to school?; how will I pay for treatment?. As I worked through the day, I just wanted to leave and devote myself to my passions: writing and art.

Not only did I begin to question my life more, I became grateful for the things I had. The material: house, college education. But I was once again reminded why those things don’t matter. It’s the dogs barking when I get home and licking my feet. It’s being able to text my parents about the wonderful breakfast they made me. It’s about eating a wonderful peach. Those little things are what matter most to me.

I believe everyone gets these moments of clarity, and I think they define us. I have had a few so far in my life, when I needed them the most.

With my third year of college beginning, I have been dwelling on the future, unable to let myself live in the present. This scare jerked me into the present and reminded me of what is important to me.

My moles came back normal, but my thought process and priorities are jostled, hopefully back into focus.

It’s not about the fear of death. It’s about my time on this earth. Use it wisely.