Sunday, October 6, 2013

Why You Should Hang out with an English Major

1.) Our discussions in class usually revolve around sex and drugs.

2.) Your republican parents will hate what your English professors have to say about politics.

2.) Even we bs our way through papers.

3.) We love to analyze people, and we normally know what a person's problem is before he or she becomes aware that there is a problem.

4.)  If we find you interesting, we will make a mental note about you and will include you in one of our future stories.

5.) If we find what you say interesting, we will make a mental note about what you said and use it in one of our future stories.

6.) We can proofread your papers for you. (Although sometimes, we use this ability as leverage.)

7.) We like to talk about fictional characters until they seem real.

8.) We aren't clingy. We are perfectly fine with staying in and reading a book or writing a paper than going out on a Friday night.

9.) We enjoy trying new things and experiencing different cultures. We love to incorporate what we learn into future stories.

10.) We catch all of those puns and references you make that other people don't understand.

11.) We compare seemingly unrelated movies to books. (Like Lion King and Hamlet.)

12.) If we aren't careful, we can turn into hipsters faster than you can say "type writer and oxford shoes in the park."

13.) Blatant grammar mistakes make us twitch like schitzos.

14.) We recommend books that you will actually enjoy.

15.) We hate when condescending people ask us about our post-graduation plans. (I dunno, maybe I'll work at Starbucks like every other graduate from every other major who can't find a freaking job right now.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

How to Write a Paper Rachel-Style

1) Think deeply about the topic.

2) Format paper in MLA-style except for line spacing. (I like to surprise myself with how much I have written by making it all 2.0 at the very end. It's a magical confidence booster.) 

3) Look up how to spell the professor's name for the fifth time.

4) Ponder whether or not the professor goes by his first or middle name. 

5)Develop a thesis statement.

6) Write 3-5 topic sentences. 

7) Completely rewrite thesis statement.

8) Word-vomit a rough argument onto the page. 

9) Hopelessly comb through mind for the perfect, relatable introduction. 

10) Tie in introduction into conclusion. 

11) Do a happy dance. 

12) Eat a celebratory Oreo.

13) Command S. 

14) Email to self. 

15) Command P. 

16) Grade self by writing notes in margins and marking through typos. 

17) Read out loud to wall. 

18) Email to someone for them to read over it for dumb grammar errors.

19) Fix edits.

20) Turn in. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Grandparent Lingo 101

As a child, I was lucky enough to be raised with two sets of grandparents that both lived under 10 minutes away. Due to this proximity, my grandparents became my "secondary parents," but they were cool because the never got me in trouble, and they made my brother and I snacks after school. 

The only downside to being raised partly by grandparents is that I picked up on lingo and jargon from a different era. And, like every other Texan, my accent did not help the matter. I don't know how many times my classmates have looked at me like I am a character off of Little House on the Prairie. 

As apart of my healing process, I have composed a list of the most common things I have heard my grandparents say. Enjoy. 

1) "Now just add a scant of salt." -- Memaw

My memaw has given me recipes using "scant" as a measuring unit many times. By process of trial and error, I have learned that a "scant" of something will barely fill the cusp of your palm. It is bigger than a "pinch", but smaller than a "just eye-ball it."

2) "Cube the cows." -- Granddady

Contrary to pop culture's infatuation with building worlds out of cubes, a "cube" in this instance refers to a cylinder-shaped type of food given to cows that looks something like this. 

Mind boggling, huh? They should just say, "Scatter out that cylinder-shaped cow feed." 

3) "You are as handy as a shirt on a pocket." -- Grandma

Every time I took out the trash, vacuumed, or completed any other minimum effort task, my grandma would give me this compliment. I used to tell my grandma that this did not make sense, but now I know that she did it on purpose. My grandma is such a kidder, you guys. 

4) "Do you need to sit on the pot?" -- Memaw & Grandma

According to both of my grandmothers, numerous ailments can all be solved by simply sitting on the toilet for long periods of time. It's like the toilet is magical or something. 

5) "That's just one of them deals."  -- Pawpaw and Granddady

Every time something bad happened, my grandfathers would tell me this phrase in the hopes  to make me understand why bad things happen to good people. Now that I am a young adult and have been exposed to the evils of the world for myself, I don't understand the phrase at all. Maybe one day I will. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Mostly-Happenstance Guide to Weight Loss

I used to struggle with my weight. As a kid, I was a firm believer in the "finish your plate because there are starving kids in China" rule. Over my childhood and up to the start of my senior year, my weight fluctuated around 150 to 160 pounds. During my senior year, though, I managed to lose 20 pounds and keep it off during my freshman year at college. No one really notices my weight loss until they creep on the pictures on my Facebook page. You be the judge. 


I would like to share with y'all my secret to success, but sadly, there is no secret. No Atkins diet. No Weight Watchers. No "Eat cabbage soup and bananas for 2 weeks." Just me, making small changes in my eating habits and learning how to exercise. In the list below, I have composed a list of things that may or may not have been why I shed the pounds. 

1.) Don't schedule time to eat. During my senior year, I became very involved, and my excess free time came to a stand-still. I started a routine of coming in at 9 p.m. and eating microwave meals or cup-a-soup. After a few months of having no time to eat, my clothes started to fit looser and I began to wonder if I really could lose the weight. 

2.) Remove an organ. In February of my senior year, I got sick and had to have an appendectomy. I lived off of instant mashed potatoes and saltines for about 2 weeks after the surgery. The surgery really kicked off my diet, like the Special K cereal diet. 

3.) Lift weights. I am ignorant when it comes to lifting weights, so I only use the machines that look like individual bow-flexes. Even though I look like a complete moron and have to stare at the equipment for 15 minutes before figuring out how to adjust the seat, I am happy with the results after just lifting weights for a semester. 

4.) Train for a 5k, like every other woman in America who has lost weight. I am currently in training for my first 5k this fall. It's been slow going, but the exercise keeps me busy and makes my workouts productive. 

Results may vary. Please see a physician before trying ANY diet, including one that promotes becoming too busy to eat, having surgery, running 5ks, and not eating cheese. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Michelle Obama Arms

Dear Mrs. Michelle Obama,

You have nice arms. Never mind all the gains you have made to end childhood obesity -- you will go down in history for pulling off sleeveless dresses with muscular grace.

I just have one question: do you even wear sleeves? Like ever?

One day I will be as toned as you. I swear on the greatest, bestest country in the whole world, the U.S. of A. 

I go to the gym every day. (Okay, I can't lie to you... I try to at least go 3 times a week.) But when I do go to the gym, I go hard. I do reps on the arm machine until my legs are shaking. (Sometimes, my legs start shaking after the first rep, though, so I just call that good enough.) Afterwards, I know I have done a good job when I can hardly lift my fork, but I manage to finish my plate anyway. 

I am a firm believer in rowing machines, especially rowing machines that have games on them. My favorite game is this one where I am a fish, and the faster I row depicts whether I am eaten by the big, ugly black fish or whether I can eat a small, cute white fish. 15 minute can pass by, and I don't even realize it because I am busy being a fish. 

I even go kayaking occasionally with my friend Cheyenne! Last time, we kayaked all the way out to that invisible bridge in my picture. You can't see it, but it's there. We must have gone 2 miles or more. 

If I weren't so afraid of drowning, I would paddle faster, but a main concern for me right now is to maintain balance and to keep from steering into the reeds on the side of the lake. (I am not the best swimmer.) I am considering hiring someone to kayak behind me while playing the banjo to scare me into paddling faster. I'll keep you updated if that method works out well or not. 

I guess it is too soon to see if my attempts have paid off or not. All I know is to keep repping, fake-rowing, and kayaking. 

Maybe one day I will buy a sleeveless dress and everyone will say, "Hey, your arms are so toned and so lean! What is your secret?" 

And I will tell them, "Oh, you know... Just doing the Michelle Obama Work Out." 

And they will say, "Now that you mention it, she does have great arms."

Told you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to make it through your freshman year of college in one piece

In 3 weeks, I will wrap up my first year at college. The weather is growing hotter, my motivation is growing smaller, and my final exams are growing closer. 

The whole ordeal has gotten me all worked up and emotional. College has definitely treated me well, and I am sad to see my time here fly by. In honor of my successful first year, I have compiled a list of advice from mistakes I have witnessed and mistakes I have made. Hopefully this list will help incoming freshmen have an even smoother transition into college than me. 

DON’T be a vegetarian. (Or, try really hard not to be.) You will eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the UC every day, twice a day for the whole semester.

DO visit the Media Center in the library. They have “Magic Mike” to rent for free! 

DON’T postpone writing assignments to the last minute. It’s a lie – you don’t do your best work at 3 a.m. in the morning.

DO buy an Ethernet cord if you live in a dorm.

DON’T tell your roommate you will stock toilet paper for the rest of the semester. It will seem like a nice gesture at the time, but after 3 weeks, you will judge them secretly every time you hear a flush.

DO get lost while driving around. This is the best way to get to know the city. 

DON’T use too much soap in the washing machines in the dorms. The washing machines will retaliate and refuse to drain your clothes, leaving you with a huge, soapy mess.

DO befriend the food service ladies and gentlemen. They will make sure you don’t get crunchy tortillas for the rest of your time at college. 

DON’T room with your best friend if you want to keep them as your friend at all.

DO report problems to the maintenance department in a polite and civilized way. If something is wrong with your dorm, it deserves to be fixed. 

DON’T rush into a job before you know how you can balance schoolwork and your social life. 

DO befriend your RA. They are for the most part normal people, and will give you helpful advice. 

DON’T text while riding your bike on the sidewalk. You will fall down, and handsome guys will see it.  

DO use Don’t ruin your semester by accidentally signing up for the toughest Spanish professor. 

DON’T pull through the parking spaces. It’s a classic freshman mistake, and you will get a ticket before you turn off the engine.

DO buy rain boots. It may not rain in your part of the world often, but when it does, you might as well swim to class. 
DON’T give extremely religious people your phone number.

DO download the MyFitnessPal app and go to the gym often.

DON’T buy an expensive $30 planner. Odds are, you will forget it in your dorm. Instead, use your phone to save due dates using your Calendar app and to write notes using the Reminder app. 
DO buy Twin XL sheets when possible. They are impossible to find during the school year.

DON’T gripe about members on group projects on Facebook or Twitter. You will get called a “cyber bully” and will feel like a terrible person.

DO take time to decorate your dorm room, but don't go overboard.

DON’T overpay for water. At HEB, you can get a gallon of water for 25 cents using their dispenser outside of the building.

DO follow your college's Facebook and Twitter accounts to get notifications for free t-shirts and other cool stuff. 
DON’T cook cinnamon rolls in the microwave. If you don’t know how microwaves work, don’t use them at all. You will make the smoke detector go off, and everyone will hate you.