Learning Challenge: Reading out Loud

This seemed like a good challenge to try for the week because I was taking notes over different ballads of Robin Hood. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to read a ballad silently, but it’s hard. They’re meant to be sung and, while I wasn’t about to try and sing them, I could at least read them aloud to get a feel for the rhythm and meter. I think it helped a lot! I was far less likely to zone out or start skimming if I was reading out loud.

I actually do this in a lot of classes if I don’t really want to do the reading, but I know that I need to. Reading out loud doesn’t just ensure that I’m paying attention. It also increases retention of information and just makes it more fun! The only drawbacks are, if I forget to make sure I’m alone, people might stare at me funny, and I have to drink a lot of water since I’m talking so much!

Image: Index by Negative Space. Source: Pexels

Wikipedia Trail: From Maid Marian to my Favorite Book!

Maid Marian or Marian Fitzwater is such an iconic part of any Robin Hood retelling. She is also super inspiring and I love that the “old fashioned” tales have a strong feminist character. I read about Robin Hood and Maid Marian for the reading this week, so I started here for my Wikipedia trail!

Among all the cool information about the legends of Robin Hood and Marian, there was a list of literary adaptions, including one by Robin McKinley. I followed that link, because she is the author of some of my favorite books! My personal favorite book that she wrote is called The Blue Sword. It’s set in a fictional world called Damar (McKinley has written several stories and books set here) and about a girl named Harry who has to learn to be a soldier and help save her home. It’s kind of awesome! So I obviously had to follow that link on McKinley’s Wiki page.

Honestly there really weren’t that many links on The Blue Sword’s Wiki page (whoops), but there was a link to The Hero and the Crown, which was the sequel to The Blue Sword and the first Robin McKinley book I ever read – although the book itself is technically a prequel to the events that happen in the Blue Sword. Researching these books makes me want to read them, and other classic books like them, all over again. Maybe I’ll find time to do that over winter break!

Image: The Blue Sword book cover. Source: Wikimedia



Famous Last Words: Are We There Yet?

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m currently relaxing at my parents house for Thanksgiving break and I can’t help but thinking, are we there yet? I get to this point every semester, where it seems like I’ve been taking the same classes for much longer than the three-ish months it has actually been. I’m ready for finals and I’m ready for a longer break with no homework! But I also know myself pretty well, and I know that about 5 minutes into Christmas break I’m going to get very bored and want the spring semester to begin.

I’ve enjoyed the classes I’ve taken this semester – Geography of Wine was particularly fun. But I’m also looking forward to getting back into my Chemical Engineering coursework in the spring. I feel like this semester, and last spring to an extent, were almost a vacation. I wasn’t taking any engineering or hard science classes and was instead working on my International Studies degree. But, since I want to go into medical research, it felt like I was taking a lot of classes for no reason. As difficult as they might be, I am happy to throw myself back into the Engineering grind.

But first I do have to finish this semester. I’ve already finished my Geography of Wine class, and I’m pretty close to ta king care of Mythology and Folklore. I think that all I have left in Model UN is one paper, and then the finals for Microeconomics and Microbiology. My microbiology lab also has two more assignments and and exam and lab practical. It’s not a ton, but it will sure keep me busy for the next couple weeks. I’m still aiming for that 4.0 GPA and as long as I study hard for my finals, I think I can do it! And then I’ll be that much closer to next semester!


Image: Legs by Greyerbaby. Source: Pixabay

Reading Notes: Robin Hood (B)

  •  I’ve read plenty of stories about Robin Hood pretending to be a beggar or sheppard or anything under the sun. I’d like to see one where he pretends to be himself, but no one believes him. Or one where he pretends to be someone rich and powerful instead of impoverished, just for variety.
  • Little John going begging makes no sense. How could he have gotten 300 pounds from beggars?
  • I like the story of Robin switching places with the old woman. It seems the most similar to the Robin Hood stories I’m familiar with.
  • I like this version of Maid Marion! She didn’t wait around and fret about Robin Hood, she disguised herself as a man and went searching for him! If I write a story, it’ll probably be about Marion and what she was doing as she looked for Robin
  • The trickster is tricked! I like the king and how he was able to fool Robin Hood. I feel like Robin and the Sheriff wouldn’t be able to make up though.
  • I find it interesting that there is several different versions of Robin Hood’s death, but I prefer the one where he dies fighting, even though him shooting an arrow to mark his grave is nice imagery

Bibliography: Bibliography: The English and Scottish Popular Ballads collected by Francis James Child.

Image: Lucy Griffiths as Maid Marion. Source: Fanpop

Growth Mindset: Lesesucht

I love reading. I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember – my whole life, if you ask my family. Today I found out that the German word “Lesesucht” means a reading addiction. Sounds about right to me!

I’m the type of person that doesn’t go anywhere without a good book. If you catch me staring at my phone for a while, then I’m reading. I even have a countdown until the release of few novels I’ve been waiting for! I have a reading list longer than my arm and, if I could, I’d sit at home all day everyday working my way through that list, one by one. I’m not antisocial, I just love reading!

When I was working on making growth mindset motto for an assignment, I was wandering through the internet, waiting for something to jump out at me, and this quote definitely did. It’s something that Oscar Wilde once said. It may not be overtly related to growth mindset, but I think that it speaks to someone who is always wanting to know more. That’s what reading is, right? Every book you read can teach you something; that’s why I love books so much.

Image Source

Reading Notes: Robin Hood (A)

  •  I’ve always seen Robin Hood portrayed as a great guy, but here he kind of isn’t. It might be interesting to write a story that explains why he became a good guy, or a story where he really is a villain.
  • Does Robin Hood adopt every person that wanders into Sherwood?
  • I wonder what Allen a Dale’s bride was thinking as all this happened. Or how she felt about moving to Sherwood
  • I like that Robin comes across as more of a trickster in these stories. Trickster tales are some of my favorites!

Bibliography: The English and Scottish Popular Ballads collected by Francis James Child.

Image: Robin Hood and Little John by Louis Rhead. Source: Wikimedia

Famous Last Words: Procraftinating

Yup, you read that title right. ProCRAFTinating is something that I’m really good at, and it’s that time of the semester again. My friends made up that word to describe what I do every semester for the few weeks leading up to finals. I love crafting and I find it really relaxing, so it makes sense that toward finals I always find myself painting, sewing, or knitting. Or embroidering, like I did all weekend instead of homework or studying, which was really fun, even if my hand kind of aches from holding the needle for so long.

It’s kind of a vicious cycle, because once I’m done crafting I’m immediately swamped with the stress I had before, as well as additional stress because I just “wasted” so much time. But I love crafting so much! Sometimes I just need a break from homework and everything else to make something for myself or a friend! It’s hard to find a good balance. Taking time for myself is important, but so is school and my GPA. Which is more important? Should I prioritize one over the other?

The answer to that is “probably not.” I feel kind of like a pendulum that keeps swinging from one side to the other when I should be in the middle. On the bring side, the laws of motion say that the pendulum will loose momentum (due to drag and such) and will eventually come to rest in the center. And, until I find that wonderful balance, I’ll have some really awesome crafts to give all my friends!

Maybe I should allot myself a little time every day or every other day for crafting, so that I can de-stress without losing an entire weekend. It sound like a happy medium, if I can convince myself to stick to it! 🙂

Image: Personal photo of the craft I made this weekend

Learning Challenge: The Happiness Jar (Part 2)

Last week I wrote a post about something I found while browsing the class blog called the Happiness Jar (read my first post here) and I decided to try it. Now I get to tell you how it went!

My first thought is that this was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Paying more attention to the nice things going on around me was great, but trying to remember to write them down and keep track actually added stress to my days. I was hoping this would be a calming or relaxing thing to do, but it wasn’t. Maybe because it was for class?

Try as I might I didn’t get every day like I hoped I would. Here’s what I did record:

Monday –

Tuesday – I cleaned my room! I love walking into a clean and well organized room!

Wednesday – I went to the gym! I also got my Econ exam back!

Thursday – I got free dinner! I also got some good news about grades!

Friday –

Saturday – I got to set up and participate in a wine dinner/tasting

Sunday – I actually accomplished a lot of things, and finally got something done that has been on my to-do list for weeks!

Obviously I didn’t start the week off strong with missing Monday, but I’d say that 5 out of 7 days really isn’t that bad. Over all I think this was nice – looking back at my week just now was really cool, and it’s nice to remind yourself of the good things that happened. But I think because I was forcing myself to do it (not well obviously) it was more stressful than it should have been. I don’t think that I’ll keep up with this, but I’m glad I did it for a week!

Image: Positivity by MartaZ*. Source: Flickr

Week 12 Story: The Raven

The Hatter sat at his table, feeling a bit lonely. Time had finally forgiven him and tea time was over. The Door mouse and the March Hair both returned home. At least that bothersome girl had also disappeared. Honestly it was quite rude of her to invite herself to tea and interrupt the Door mouse’s story as she did. She was constantly saying things she didn’t mean and meaning things she didn’t say. It was honestly quite rude. She didn’t even bother to tell him why on earth a raven is like a writing desk.

On top of all that, she decided to grow so unbearably big during the trail of the knave of hearts (why did he have to steal those tarts?). It was quite uncivil. To top it off she just disappeared in the middle of presenting her evidence, frightening the King of Hearts out of his wits! Although, to be fair, he never had many wits to begin with. That girl with the awful hair.

“What was her name?” The hatter asked himself, quite cordially.

“How in Wonderland am I supposed to know if you do not?” he answered himself with a disgusted shake of his head. Really, the questions some people asked.

“Oh I remember now!”

Now you remember. You have such horrible timing.”

“Don’t you go bringing time back into this. He just let us out of tea time!”

“Does he know the girl’s name?”

“What girl,” the hatter asked himself. The hatter was thoroughly confused at this point, but it is rather hard to carry on a conversation with oneself.

“The strange girl that didn’t explain why a raven is like a writing desk!”

“That’s right, Alice never did explain that. Why is a raven like a writing desk?” the hatter asked himself again.

The hatter shrugged and lifted the plate of crumpets so that he could eat them. Why get your hands dirty when you can just move the plate to your face? Underneath was a sentence written with butter in the hatter’s handwriting. Butter is a very good writing utensil after all, the hatter thought to himself as he squinted, trying to read his message.

Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat, and it is nevar put with the wrong end it front.

The hatter nodded to himself – it made perfect sense. Since it was written down he should never forget it again!

So happy was the hatter with his discover that he set the plate of crumpets back down on top of it, and he wandered off to share the news with his friends. Five minutes later the hatter had forgotten the whole thing.

Author’s Note: This story is loosely based off Alice in Wonderland, where Alice first meets the Mad Hatter. He asks her why a raven is like a writing desk. When she can’t answer, he reveals that he also doesn’t know the answer. I’ve always wondered about it, and when I was reading the story for this class I decided to Google it. I thought I would just find some interesting theories, but apparently Lewis Carrol did reveal the answer himself, which is what is included in this story. I know that it may be difficult to follow, but since the hatter is mad, I made the story a bit confusing to emphasize that.

Bibliography: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol. Web Source.

Image: “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” by Dustin Gaffke. Source: Flickr


Reading Notes: Nursery Rhymes (A)

  •  Why were the children taken to the woods in Babes in the Wood? Did they do something wrong or misbehave?
  • I feel like Robbin the Bobbin is secretly the story of a cannibalistic serial killer
  • Lady Wind would make a good story if it was told from the wind’s point of view’
  • Taffy was a Welshman could also be a fun story, no matter who’s point of view it was from
  • The rhyme about sneezing would be a funny premise for a rom com. Someone sneezes on a Tuesday and accidentally meets the love of their life
  • I love the Monday’s Child one! It’s something that my grandmother said to my mom when I was born on a Wednesday
  • I wonder what little Bo-peep was doing when she lost her sheep
  • Tom, the Piper’s son is kind of mean, but I bet I could make a fun story out of that
  • The pretty maid goes a-milking is awesome and I’d love to write that up longer
  • It’s kind of funny to see the Queen of Hearts, since I also read Alice in Wonderland this week
  • The trip to St. Ives would make a cool story

Bibliography: The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang. Web Source.

Image: Nursery Rhymes by Edward Cogger. Source: Wikimedia