Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 3 in which I start with no point, but gradually find one.

I am drinking the biggest cup of tea right now. Seriously, it's as big as my face. Clearly we need to run the dishwasher if I'm using this mug. The other day I was standing in the kitchen, making tea and looking out the window into the garden and the air from outside wafted in through the window. The smell of it reminded me of summer, last summer in particular, and I asked myself, "since why did I start drinking tea? When did I start thinking of the back yard as a garden?" So much has changed. Next thing you know I'll probably be watching football every night and eating Marmite. Not likely.

So, day 3 of blogging for two weeks. Good thing I posted about the conference earlier today, otherwise nothing much of interest would be up today. Two in a day is allowed, by the way. But that does not mean I get to skip a day (I’m making up the rules as I go).

Today was as boring as yesterday was exciting. I went to work, counted postcards and note cards for 6 hours straight, and then went home and blogged all night. That was my day. It rained a lot, but never when I was outside, and nothing was open because it’s Sunday. I made it home in record time, almost exactly a half hour, chatted with James and Rose, but for the most part spent the whole evening in my room. Which is a mess. But I just cleaned it. How does this keep happening. I neglected the question mark because it’s not really a question. I know exactly how it happened.

Tomorrow I have to get up at the crack of crack, be at work at 8:30am, and stay all day counting again. Counting counting counting. When you count things for so long, you sort of forget how to count, then you daydream in the middle of counting and lose your place and have to start all over again. I hope I get something big to count, like mugs or wallets or basically anything not made of paper. I think I’m hurting my eyes looking so closely at card stock for so long.

There is one thing I have to talk about actually. Twitter. I don’t have one, and this is the first week ever where I’ve felt like this might be a bad thing. However, there are two sides to Twitter, both of which I have drastically different opinions on. I feel that if I’m going to join Twitter, I need to make sure everyone knows what I still don’t like about it. Because, what I think matters, right? Not really, but whatever, it’s my blog, so on here it does.

Alright, so Twitter. Here is why I’ve been avidly anti-Twitter every since it first Tweeted its way into popular culture. Initially, Twitter was just a website that consisted solely of people’s status-like updates about their days.

“OMG I’m brushin’ my teef, it’s gonna be a good one!”

While no one can contest the importance of good dental care, I just don't care about this. And for a while, this is all it was. People posting 140 characters about their everyday lives, many times using poor grammar, and vastly uninteresting. At that point in time, and up in till this year, I was very turned off by the idea of Twitter.

What's the difference between Twitter and blogging you ask? For one thing, I can't contain my opinions in 140 characters, I'm far too long winded. For another thing, not a lot actually. In this blog I write about my every day life, at least that's how it started, back when I was fairly certain that no one was reading it anyway. It was just for me, just a little fun. Then I started learning more and more about writing and loving it more and more, (well, I loved it before I started this, but started learning about non fiction more) and my blogs started having more of a point. Not every time mind you. Those of you who have been with me from the beginning know very well that sometimes I just blog to read myself write.

Anyway, now I use my blog for a few things. I use it to keep my family and friends in on what I'm up to while in England. I use it to write about things I feel strongly about that I want other people to read and think about. And occasionally my blogs have very little point at all, and are purely for fun. I try to be funny sometimes, but usually if someone laughs, it's was a happy accident on my part. None of these things would translate through Twitter, unless I updated a million times a day. But that would be so fragmented. I like telling fuller stories, and blogger gives me the space to do it.

Another issues I have with Twitter is basically the same one, but from a different angle. I worry about the whole 140 character restriction and what it's doing to the world. You may laugh, may think that's a silly thing to say, but think about it. Many people would look at my blog about Save The Children next to a 140 character post about, I don't know, say about carpet cleaners, and read the carpet cleaners post instead. Why is that? Besides the fact that this imaginary person may just have a desperately dirty carpet, it's mainly because many people don't have the attention span for reading something longer. Restricting people to 140 characters cuts a lot out, and people are starting to like things better this way. I read a secret on PostSecret's blog that said something along the lines of, "I'm starting to think in 140 characters or less." This is not funny, not even a little bit.

Children are starting to have shorter and shorter attention spans due to video games and TV. Even games on the Wii that get you to move around are not nearly as beneficial as good old fashion playing outside. Are we growing a generation of people who think in 140 characters, who stop voicing their opinion because it is to wordy? Clearly there is no place for me in this world. This blog is ample evidence of that.

This is why Twitter never appealed to me in the past, I like words too much to restrict myself to so few. However this past week has opened my eyes to a whole other way to use Twitter that I had never really thought about. NETWORKING.

There are SO many people on Twitter. If you post something, you have the potential of reaching thousands of people with your words, depending on how many followers you have. My article was posted to the Young Adult Fantasy Guide last week (which I'm still super stoked about and will probably mention a million more times, just to warn you) and I've been told that it's generating lots of buzz on Twitter. What buzz? Where? I'm missing my own buzz! I can't believe I made buzz and I can't even take part in the discussion. Because that's one thing Twitter seems to be very good for, conversations.

Another reason for getting on Twitter is still the same reason, but again, in another way. There are communities on there, communities of writers, readers, activists, just about anything in the world you are interested in is represented on Twitter somehow. You just have to find it. If you want to do anything creative especially, networking is one of the most important tools you can have in your utility belt. Right next to the retractable zip cord, but to the right of the throwing stars. Never underestimate a good throwing star in a sticky situation.

All this being said, it seems almost silly for me to not have a Twitter. SO although I still have major issues with it, I'm in it for the networking. Facebook is for the fun, Twitter will be for the contacts.

Alright, so now that I've talked myself into getting a Twitter account, who wants to teach me how to use it? All those #s and @s just look like curse words to me, so clearly I'm going to need a little help.

Time to sleep. Dreams of giant tea cups with fangs dripping Marmite dancing in my head. Gross. So much for sleeping.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Save The Children Blogging Conference

Sometimes I get so warpped up in the fantasy of my life that I forget about the rest of the world. Sure, I know bad things are happening everywhere, but they are in the background to me, things that don't directly affect me so therefore can be put aside while I write another chapter or read a few more pages or drop it all and go watch a movie with my housemates. Especially lately, with the crap week I just had, I admit that I've spent a lot of time thinking of myself. I wish it wasn't true, but it honestly took going to the Save The Children conference to snap me out of it, to remember that there is a world outside of the comfort of my life, one that needs constant help. Spending five seconds in the presence of such passionate and selfless people made me want to drop everything I am doing and go help their cause, and you all know how much I love what I'm doing.

For those of you unaware, Save The Children is a charitable organization that gives aids all over the world. They focus on child poverty, children's rights, education, health, hunger and protection as well as give aid to children in areas devastated by all sorts of emergencies. Basically, they are givers. They give their time, energy, money, love and support to children who need it, enabling the next generation of the world to live and fulfill their full potential. These are very, very good people.

The day kicked off with a few talks from the leader of the Save The Children global campaign, Adrian Lovett and the Director of Emergencies, Gareth Owen. Lovett set the the scene with an awesome quote from a lady with an awesome name (which I will be using), the founder of Save The Children, Eglantyne Jebb:

"We need to make known the facts in such a way that captures the imagination of the world."

I don't really think I need to say that I love this quote, but I will anyway. I love this quote. This might just be my new motto, new mission statement for life, or just new favorite quote. I'll decide later. Right now I'll just love it.

Gareth Owen talking about Haiti.

Gareth Owen talked a lot about the things Save The Children does when emergency strikes, like natural disasters. He talked about the power of blogging and social networking, how one person sitting in their living room on a laptop has the power to reach millions of people with their words and their message, if written in a passionate way. I am going to use the word passion a lot in this blog, bear with me. Yes, I have heard of a thesaurus, but none of it's synonyms do the job in the right way ('zealous' just sounds scary, not loving).

Love this guy.

I love passionate people. I collect them, in my head. They inspire me. I love hearing people talk about things they love. I believe that Gareth Owen may be one of the most passionate people I've ever had the pleasure to see speak. He talked about how he is severely inpatient when it comes to saving childrens lives. He said that he gets incredibly frustrated when things cannot be done immediately, when children affected by disasters have to wait one single second for help. You could see it in his face how much he loved his job, and he told us so as well. He said that he has the greatest job in the world, that he wakes up every day excited that he gets to spend his day saving lives. He spoke of the power of hope, how hope goes a long way when all else seems lost. When people only have the clothes on their backs and each other, just smiling and showing that you care can lift them up like magic. The world needs more people like Gareth Owen.

Next we had workshops. I chose the one about how to become an activist through blogging, and that's exactly what it was about. They showed us examples of successful campaigns such as the It Gets Better Project started to support LGBT kids and assure them that it's ok to be themselves. The workshop was basically about PR, about ways to get your message out to the world in creative ways. I grabbed another good quote from the workshop about being a follower:

"The first follower is what transforms a loan nut into a leader."

Super, super awesome people.

You never think about it, but this is so true. The first follower gives the leader all their power. Without that first follower, a leader is just a person trying to do something that no one cares about. Showing that someone else cares makes other people care. All of this just made me more and more interested in PR.

Masterclass with Melvin.

After this was the masterclass with Melvin Burgess. There were about sixty people at the conference and only eight won spots in the masterclass (not that all of them entered for it, but whatever, I'm just telling myself that most of them did). I had to write a blog about what I was born to do and submit it. All blogs were judged by Melvin himself, and I am extremely grateful he chose mine. Part of our prize was the chance for Mr. Burgess to read a few pages of whatever we were working on and get his advice and comments (how cool is that?). We sat in the room and he talked about writing for teens, about his books and about writing in a voice that is not your own. He answered questions and we talked about having the confidence to write. When asked how to get that confidence, he replied that you have to just write. Just do it, there is no other way (Jackson Pearce agrees too. Click HERE for her fantastic 'tough love on writing' vlog). He also talked about writing about tough issues in books for teens like sex and drugs and abuse (things he has written about a lot and gotten crap for) and said this:

"There is no such thing as a 'too difficult' idea, only poorly expressed ones."

He stressed the importance of keeping things simple, because the simplest forms of expression make the biggest impact. He referenced George Orwell. You can't argue that Animal Farm is genius.

Such a small group, best (and only) prize I've ever won for writing.
And ps, that's a painting of Eglantyne Jebb on the wall in the middle.

After the masterclass, Melvin talked to the whole conference in his keynote speech. "It's all about the kids," he kept saying while talking about his trip to the Congo with Save The Children. He told local kids Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs in exchange for their own folk stories and formed a sort of collection. The kids liked The Three Pigs the best because he got so animated when the Big Bad Wolf huffs and puffs and blows the house down. Burgess said we are all creatures of stories. I like that. I like being a story creature. That's what he meant by that right? No? Oh well, he's right however you spin it.

Keynote speech.

Burgess also brought up some interesting facts about writing for teens. He said that if you were to make a movie about teens today that was realistic, about the sort of things that teens actually go through in the world, that teens would not be allowed to watch it. But they can read about it, interestingly enough. His book Junk is described as Trainspotting for teens, and as such got a lot of negative press. However the newspapers were the only ones who seemed to care, he never received one hate letter in the mail. Not a single one.

I love my camera. Thank God it wasn't stolen too. And I love Melvin.

And that was the end. I had a lovely dinner with Jen at a pub down the street and headed home, back to Oxford and my fantasy life. I sat down to work on my final project for a little while last night, but felt a twinge guilty. I felt guilty that I was sitting there, comfortable and well fed, writing about magic and crazy things when there are kids out there with no food, no homes, and absolutely no magic in their lives. Thoughts like this will make you crazy.

BUT, then I remembered this fantastic video a friend of mine posted on facebook last week. It's a presentation by John Stevenson, Director of Kung Fu Panda, all about being creative and loving what you do. I've never done it before, but I'm going to try and actually attach the video to the bottom of this blog. Anyone with high speed internet out there (sorry parents) should really watch this, it may be long, but it's well worth it if you have ever embarked on anything creative, or if you have ever had to choose between doing something you love and something that makes you money. I loved this video so much I literally took notes from it, wrote down quotes and hung them on my walls. Whatever works.

I swear this relates to what I was just talking about, wait for it. In the beginning of his presentation, John Stevenson talks about when he was young and how he saw all the awful things happening in the world and wanted to do something about it. He said he would actually get depressed because there were so many causes to support, so many bad things he wanted to help fix, but he felt powerless and ended up not doing anything. However, he decided one day that the way he could make the world a better place was by doing everything he decided to do in life 100%, and thus make the world a better place by putting all of himself into his projects and putting creations into the world that were as good as they could be. Just watch it, it's fantastic.

So while all I can do right now is blog about the importance of Save The Children from my bedroom in Oxford, I can do it to the best of my abilities and maybe someone else might read it and be inspired to help. I can spread awareness, and make the world a better place by writing my book as well as I can in the hopes that one day a young person (or adult, or old person, or martian) reads it and it makes them smile.

Now go out there readers, go do a good deed, go watch this video, go donate money to any cause you feel believe in, go act, go write, go blog, go tweet if that's what your into, go create. Go make the world a better place, as Save The Children says, by doing what you were born to do and doing it as well as you can. Go be passionate.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 2 teaser in which I only allude to what I actually did today.

I have so much to say I can't get my head around it all. I'll write a proper blog later all about Save The Children and how awesome they are and the blogging conference and Melvin Burgess later, so I can do it justice, but right now I am going to write about some other general things. I wrote pages of notes today on my way to London, in London, at the conference, during breaks, about London, all over the place.

I discovered today that I am in fact living like a 100 year old women because I do not own an Iphone or have a Twitter account. I've been very anti both of these things, but today I felt a little left out when every single person around me at the conference was Tweeting or however you say it while the conference was going on. I had been sitting down for about five seconds talking to people and my picture was taken and put on Twitter ("Oxford-bird not on Twitter" as I'm now known. If I get on Twitter, I might have to use that). This was the most well documented conference of all time, which was to be expected since it was all about the importance of social networks to raise awareness and connect people. But because I did not possess the proper technology, I was so not connected. For the first time ever I felt silly sitting there, taking notes on a yellow legal pad. I'll never give it up, there's nothing better than a legal pad, but I still felt like I was using some sort of archaic technology. I was taking pictures with a real camera that was in no way also a phone and wrote people's names down instead of adding them instantly online. How positively stone-aged!

Although the focus of the conference was social networking, I was still a little annoyed that people were literally Tweeting as they talked to me. Conversations went generally like this (from what I observed): "Hello, nice to meet you, what's your name on Twitter?" People were adding each other or following or whatever it is you actually do on there before they even knew each other. I guess it's a different beast than good old facebook and knowing the people in real life is not as important, but it seemed a little strange to me. Again, maybe i'm just old fashioned, I don't know.

My mind raced in a million different directions today, which is the sign of a good conference, all of which I will write about tomorrow. However one thing I will leave you with is a quote that one of the speakers put up in regards to getting people to support your cause, or getting people to do anything:

"If you want to build a ship, don't gather people together to collect wood, don't assign them tasks and work, but instead teach them to long for the sea." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I like this a lot. Basically, all it comes down to is passion. People need to have passion for what they do/make/support, or nothing will happen. I met lots of passionate people today, all of which I will write about tomorrow.



Do you ever have one of those weeks where you doubt you can actually function as a member of the human race? Where everything goes wrong to the point that you start to think that maybe this 'being a grown up' thing is really not for you? That's what this week has been like for me, until today. Here was my week in a nutshell:

~Last Thursday: received possibly soul crushing feedback on final project idea in a workshop by someone who actually matters.

~Last Friday through Tuesday: Stressed, worked and reworked final project idea, looking at it from every angle humanly possible, trying to force it into working. Failing daily.

~ Wednesday: Finally worked out my idea by talking it out with my friend Charlie, wrote it all down, mapped it out, drew a plot arc and everything. Typed it up.

~ Wednesday night: Went to poetry slam at a local cafe, had entire backpack stolen which included my little computer, external hard drive, camera, ipod, American phone, planner and two notebooks full of ideas, one of which i've had for five years.

This is just me looking at all the bad parts of the week, the parts the mind seems to remember the best. Thanks a lot mind, give me a break whydon'tcha? I've been over it and over it, trying to tell myself that all that stuff is just stuff, that the ideas are still in my head somewhere, and that it will be ok. Today I finally started to believe myself.

I drank a cup of coffee with Shobha and Rose today in the kitchen and said to them, "drinking coffee makes me feel very adult." I think this is because the smell of coffee reminds me of my parents, of how they would always get me to make them coffee for them, which just involved pouring it and putting in the milk and sugar. I would complain, like I do, but ultimately I always did it, wondering how anyone could drink juice comes from beans.

So, I kick-started my grown up day with coffee, then sat down to work. I worked all day on my final project, typing up everything I could remember from what Charlie and I talked about and from what I furiously wrote down on scraps of paper in the cafe the moment I realized my bag was gone for good. In a way, not having my big notebook of ideas was freeing. I still wish I had it (there were other story ideas in there as well), but one of the major problems I was having with the story was that I had the hardest time letting go of the story I had made already, of the one that did not work. This way, without it in front of me, I was able to let it go and make something new out of my old characters. I think the idea morphed a lot today from what I came up with Wednesday, but I also think it transformed for the better. It was freeing.

I feel better now. I'm excited about my story again. I worked and did laundry and cleaned my room and listened to Opera and sent e-mails and did all sorts of things grown ups do.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, I got published! You can read my article HERE on the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. I may be writing for this fine site in the future as well, so stay tuned.

If this blog seems rather disjointed, that's because it is. It's about 2.30am and I have to get up in a few hours to go to London, and I can't quite seem to get my paragraphs to relate to each other.

This random London trip just came together today as well. Busy day. I got an e-mail from the Save the Children Blogging Conference letting me know that I won a spot in the masterclass with Melvin Burgess. I called work, sort of begged someone to cover for me, and because I have the greatest co-workers in the world, my wish was granted. So off to London I go, at 6am, which is nearing at an alarming pace. I am literally writing this from bed, and here's why.

This week in my Writing Lives class we talked about journal writing. I love journal writing, thus the blog. Our assignment for the next two weeks (because next week is reading week and thus, no class) is to keep a journal and write every day. We were instructed to write every day about our days as if every single thing we do matters, as if we know someone will read this in the future and look back on our lives and see the importance in our every day lives. I find this really interesting because the act of writing a journal is an extremely private thing, and by writing it with the idea in mind that someday it will be read by someone takes that privacy away and changes the things you are likely to write, taking away what makes a journal a journal.

I decided that if our assignment is to write as if every day matters and as if someone is going to read it, why not have someone read it right away? SO, lucky you, I'm going to write all my journal entries in this blog for all the world to read, so that they really do matter. I would warn you that this may be an extremely boring two weeks for you, hearing about my every day life, but luckily for you I'm going to Wales on a writing retreat next week. Things are bound to happen.

But for now, I need to go to sleep. I'll see you tomorrow.


PS. I think this blog sort of comes off dreamlike. You know how in dreams, you drift from one section to the next and at the time it makes perfect sense, but later when your remembering it you don't know why? That's how this felt to me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Before you do anything else today, before you have your coffee or do your early morning sit-ups or think about what you are going to do on this glorious Saturday, before you do any of that, read this and sign it:


This is super important. I realize we're broke and they are just trying to make up for it, but honestly, find another way. Planned Parenthood is important, leave it alone! I think the government needs more creativity, there has got to be another way to figure out this whole debt problem. I mean, I don't have the answer, but I still refuse to believe this is the only way.

Thanks friends. Now onto less important things. Like my new tattoo idea.

This way, the next time someone asks me why I don't own a Kindle, all I'll have to do is smile sweetly and hold up my wrist. I thought about a few variations of this idea, of 'I (picture of a heart) books', and 'I love books', and 'I LOVE BOOKS' and the grammatically correct 'I like books.' I even thought for a split second of doing 'I <3 books,' but as much as I like joking about emoticons on here, I don't really think I want one on my body forever. Punctuation marks correctly used, sure, but not an emoticon.

One of these days, this is happening. Till then i'll just get someone to write it on me in sharpie like this (this one is Shobha's handy work, because I can't write on my own wrist with my left hand) and try it out. It's already washed off and I miss it, so this one might be the one. We'll see, it's not like I have the money for a tattoo right now anyway.

It's been a good month for me and mail. These snowman peeps I got for Christmas from my grandparents, but I couldn't fit them into my suitcase so mom mailed them to me. They are too sugary to eat on their own, and that should really tell you something since it's coming from me (I LOVE MARSHMALLOWS), so Rose had the idea to make hot coco. Great idea, and rather adorable.

This my dear Kelseykins sent me the other day. Thanks Kelsey! I'm keeping that lid forever.

Alright, worked yesterday, today off, work tomorrow and the next day. Yesh, lazy grad school Maria is not used to this much structure in her life. But I love it. And I'm actually not lazy, for once, i've got 15 million things to do today. Not the least of which is writing a story about characters and stories put in a drawer and then set on fire by their author, as I was told to do recently with one of my stories. It will have a happy ending, I assure you.



Thursday, February 10, 2011

heart shaped emoticon

I know that the card companies made Valentine’s Day. I also know that you shouldn’t have to have a candy selling ‘holiday’ in order to treat your significant other to all the romantic benefits of being in a relationship. Why pull out all the stops for that one day? What about all the other days of the year? I know, I get it. The actual St. Valentine (of which there were several, says Wikipedia) didn’t even have anything to do with love. He was a martyr; one of them got their head cut off for whatever reason. So while the act of being martyred does involve a sort of love, love or passion or commitment to whatever you are dying for, there are still little connections to the real Valentines through history and the day we all know now that makes most people either roll their eyes, get upset/depressed or stress out to find the perfect thing for that special someone.

So yes, I understand all the reasons why everyone hates Valentine’s Day so much. However when I get a package in the mail from my Grandparents with an adorable stuffed lion in it, I find it really hard to find anything wrong with the day or the sentiment behind it.

Yeah yeah yeah, maybe I’m just buying right into the card companies plan to take over the world. In fact, I am, because every February I get excited for the day despite the fact that I’ve never had a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. Instead of getting all depressed, I can’t help but get happy. It’s not just a day for couples; it’s just a day in general to tell those in your life that you love them. And sure, you should probably tell them that all the other days of the year too, but what’s the harm in having a special day to go the extra mile? I honestly don’t see the harm in it. I mean if you think about it, the same can be said about every single holiday. If you’re going to be all cynical, which I don’t think is a super healthy way to live anyway, you could say that every holiday was designed by the man in order to make you spend your money on stuff no one needs, a chance to celebrate materialism and kill trees with cards. OR, (and this might be too radical, I know) you could all just shut up, fold a piece of paper in half and write I LOVE YOU on the front, xoxoxoxoxoxo on the inside, and give it to someone. Done, day over, stop complaining. I mean, it’s a day about love for goodness sake, just go with it!

And for all the single ladies out there (I hope I just got Beyonce stuck in everyone’s heads), I don’t want to hear anything about this so called ‘Singles Awareness Day.’ If you care enough about being single to be depressed about it, then everyday for you is Singles Awareness Day. This I cannot help you with.

Alright, rant over, for now anyway. Dear friends scattered all over the world, I love you! When I’m rich and famous, I’ll buy you all ten pound chocolate hearts (vegan ones for the veggie eaters) and cards full of glitter so you are covered in sparkles all day (more in the boy’s cards, hahah) and forced to think of me any time the light catches your hand and blinds you. It’s going to be that kind of glitter that’s really tiny and gets stuck in your pores (you all know the kind I mean), and then ends up in your hair, and stays there for a week, possibly resurfacing years later. That being said I think I’ve probably deterred any of you from buying my first book to try and stop me from becoming rich and famous. I’ll buy you yachts too, don’t worry.

In other news, my computer ate my itunes, and for some reason didn’t like the taste, preventing me from downloading it again. It probably got fed up with me playing the Avenue Q soundtrack on a loop, interrupted occasionally by Adam Lambert, and just snapped. (“ENOUGH is enough Maria! Get better music taste!” ~ Murry, my computer. So harsh…) Some sort of something about not having the right blah blah blah to install it, which is clearly a lie because I used to have itunes and used it every day. I still have all my music files, just the program has vanished. Honestly, I’m not surprised. It was only a matter of time before something happened with my computer. This is probably the longest I’ve ever gone without a computer problem, and this is not even a debilitating problem, just an annoyance. Anyway, if anyone knows how I can either a) find itunes again or b) download it again, please fill me in.

I finished my brick of Dickens last night, leaving me with more knowledge than I ever cared to have about old Charlie and subsequently no reason to read any of this books having just had them all spoiled for me. I spent the week reading about why he killed so and so and what was going on in his life when he was writing about whatsit going down, only just realizing last night what this was doing to me. I HATE having things spoiled for me, but in my frenzy to finish the brick I did not even notice it was happening. Blast!

Alright, I better get ready for class now.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

LOVE, major7th

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hit by a brick (of Dickens).

So today it hit me. And by today I mean literally ten seconds ago. Regardless of when, it just hit me that I am, although covertly hidden under the title ‘society,’ on a dance team. How did that happen? I am still trying to work tap classes into my schedule and just started learning a dance that Alisha choreographed, just for fun. Before, when I was just in tap, I could pretend I was still just a random girl learning the motions from the shadows, not really a part of it. However now, being a part of two dances, I can no longer deny it. I’m on a dance team. Here’s why this is funny.

We used to make fun of the dance team! In high school anyway. Why? Because I was on the color guard, the most unpopular and unrecognized form of visual art of any high school, and that’s what we did. Made fun of people. Mostly it was the cheerleaders we would ridicule, pretending that what they were doing was so below what we did (I’d like to see any of the guard attempt to throw a girl into the air and then catch her again). However back then, and to be honest, still now, it was somehow important to make fun of the more popular, prettier, bendy-er girls in order to feel better about ourselves. Before you gasp in shock that Maria could ever be so mean, take a moment to recognize that everyone does this. Yes, you do too. At heart, we’re all bitches.

But now here I am, in the Oxford Brookes Dance Society, barraged daily by at least 1.2 million facebook messages about classes and socials, t-shirts and tickets. The girls I previously believed to be stuck up and snobby (because I was jealous that I couldn’t kick my leg over my head like they could. This blog all is about honesty.) have turned out to be very sweet, hard working and welcoming gals. Sure, they like to party, and wear belly shirts, but to be honest, if I had abs like that, I probably would too.

So, I’m sorry dance teams of the world! I should have never called you sluts behind your backs. I was wrong. Hear me universe? I was wrong, and you better be listening, because I’m not saying it again. The moral of this blog is this; watch who you judge, because life is funny, and you never know when you might become the very thing you previously scoffed at.


Ps, Oh yeah, forgot to mention. My course started at last. Very excited about it despite the fact that I have to read a 580 page brick about Charles Dickens this week having never read any Dickens in my life. Final project ahoy!