HAHA. Yes.

So complaining about the fact that most of us graduates will end up in office jobs, working in a cubicle, surrounded by misery and austere managers is a pretty cliche past-time for twenty-somethings like myself. But I think this picture does it in a pretty hilarious, and surprisingly motivational way. 

Image (http://themetapicture.com/ignore-your-books-if-you-want/) TheMetaPicture may or may not be my favorite website to just scroll through almost pathetically regularly. 

Anyway, while the whole dinosaur reincarnation metaphor is hilarious, it is actually pretty darn accurate. While that is a little implausible, it represents the dream of fulfilling those aspirations that definitely do not reside behind a computer screen (unless that’s what you aspire to. If so, no offense). Part of this reason I think I find this so important is that I’m not really sure what I want to do yet. Or where I want to be “One Day” when dinosaurs are alive and well again. I certainly know it’s not working for The Man. Whoever that may be. 

In all actuality, it’s probably safe to say I will still be saying “Man, I wish I did (insert really cool hindsight inspiration here) before I got lame and set in my ways,” but hopefully it’s something as ridiculous as reinventing the stegosaurus, and not an important, life altering course of action. That would be fine. 

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This holiday season, give a little gender neutrality

As a girl growing up with barbies and mud-pies at my disposal, I can’t say I really understand why little boys can’t play with dolls or why girls are discouraged from catching frogs in the neighborhood pond.  I find that I have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. I want to give everyone books, personally, but my 13 year-old cousin informed me recently that he doesn’t want a book this year, and instead wants a video game. Typical. But I find that even books are gendered. There are books for girls, books for boys, books that “everyone can read.” Bah humbug with the lot of it. If you think a child would enjoy a book, or get something out of it (or any toy for that matter), buy it for them, regardless if it’s “meant” for one sex or the other. My other cousin, also a boy, loves cats and used to carry a little stuffed kitty around with him everywhere, which I thought was the cutest thing in the world. Who cares if it was fluffy and white and had a little bow. It’s what he liked, let him love it as any girl should be able to love a dump-truck filled with sand.

This video, with 4 million+ views, pretty much expresses what I have to say about the absurdity that is gender-stereotyped toys, but it comes out of the mouth of a little girl.

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Psychology Thoughts

 

 

 

 With finals coming up, the end of the semester approaching fast, here are some fine words of wisdom to consider. Stress management is important in any student’s life, but if you can master those skills in college, they will benefit you for the rest of your experiences as well. Image It is also important, says researcher and health psychologist Kelly Mcgonigal, to view stress as a positive thing, to think that it makes “your body energized and it’s preparing you to meet this challenge,” in her TEDtalk this September. Instead of thinking of stress as an enemy to be defeated, consider it an ally, enabling your body to overcome whatever hurdle you are approaching. The study of Psychology helps us to understand the way our brain works, why our body reacts the way it does to certain situations, and figure out how to better cope with problems. This TED page also outlines other ways of combating the negative effects of stress, like helping people, and enumerates ways that stress can be good for you (in “moderate” amounts)! All good things to consider, when finals are coming and stress is mounting. When that paper is due in an hour and you don’t know what to do, take a deep breath and keep working at it, but remember that this one moment does not spell disaster, and your pounding heart and sweaty palms are a sign of your vitality, not your immanent doom. 

 

PS: 

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Veterans Day

Today is the day we are told to honor the veterans of the American Armed Forces. Children get the day off from school (though they really don’t know why), some colleges (but not mine….) take the day off as well (for overcoming their weekend hangovers without missing class) and everyone posts on facebook about their “gratitude.”

Maybe I’m a little pessimistic about all of this, but why can’t we be gracious of our veterans (and those men and women still in the service), ALL THE TIME? Why do we need a special day to honor them and thank them for all they have done, are doing, or will do, for our nation? Veterans Day was initially conceptualized so that we could celebrate and remember the first world war and it’s end. It was called “Armistice Day,” and was designed to honor those who served in the WW1 (and to celebrate the peace achieved by the resolution), but after WW2, it was obvious we had to make some changes, as WW2 “required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history,” (US. Dpt of Veterans Affairs) creating A LOT of veterans who definitely deserved some gratitude. 

Today is a a day to remember Peace, and those individuals in our lives who have fought or served in our nations armed forces to that end. But ask any veteran if they experienced peace, or felt that they were creating a more peaceful world by fighting, killing, or hurting other people, and I guarantee that they will tell you a different interpretation. They may believe that they were working for the greater good, but there is no way peace was at the forefront of their minds when they were pulling the trigger aimed at another human being.

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Just keep that in mind when you are thinking about your loved ones who served. They fought for the safety you have today, they did it for YOUR future, but at the expense of their own. That’s what Veteran’s Day is about.  Appreciating the sacrifices made by those who served, appreciating what freedoms you have thanks to them, rather than who can write the nicest facebook post about how great your granddaddy was. Call him and tell him that you realize what he did for you, rather than exalt the actions he took as a soldier under orders. 

 

Beauty is in the eye of….

THE MEDIA. 

 

You were definitely expecting some inspirational, wonderful, “be yourself” shenanigans, weren’t you? Sorry. All I’m saying is that the mainstream media, led by fashion magazines and skinny bitches with 8 pounds of makeup, dictates what you wear, how you wear it, and how people perceive your level of attractiveness. The most shameful part of that whole scheme though, is that those models, advertisements, and TV commercials have hordes of stylists, photoshop wizards, and actual wizards working hard to demolish any trace of reality. Take a look at these before and after photos. It’s a little bit disturbing. 

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I’m sorry, the fact that even this woman’s freckles are eradicated is just absurd. When women are being told on a daily basis that they should be absolutely flawless, with dewy cheeks and glamorous eyes for every moment of every day, but also that looking beautiful will get you raped, I just want to kick over every magazine stand ever. 

There’s also the gem of misogyny and racism baked into one tasteless cake called skin-lightening. Studies, and the media, suggest that lighter-skinned individuals are viewed as more attractive. Not only is it suggested that darker-skinned people should endeavor to lighten their skin, but magazines and adds will do it for you! Elle magazine was recently criticized for this picture of Gabourey Sidibe (Precious, 2009):

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Her skin tone, naturally quite dark and not at all unappealing, was lightened several shades for the cover on a series of young women who were “changing the world.” Yeah, but she can’t be presented the way she really looks. 

So overall, I guess I’m saying be yourself, but don’t be surprised when yourself happens to look like everyone else. Be positive in your own image, and if it happens to represent the fads of the day, oh well. It sucks, it’s often cutthroat and horrible, but until everyone is aware of the travesties, nothing is going to change.