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Monday
05/08/17

Frozen in the Song

Posted by bostonki on May 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

For me, time is stuck in songs.  I can listen to a song I’ve heard before and place what time period of my life that song was from, what was going on in my life, who I had a crush on, who my friends were, etc.  For a couple minutes, I can travel back to that time, which depending on the song makes me want to throw up or is quite pleasant.

‘Best Love Song’ by T-Pain and Chris Brown?  I was warming up for volleyball games my junior and senior year of high school.  We’d be running through hitting drills to this song and you got bonus cool points if you smacked the ball particularly effectively the moment the bass dropped.

‘Party in the USA’?  Talk about a middle school throwback.  Everytime my friends and I were at a dance and you heard the beginning guitar riff (correct word?) everybody would scream and conglomerate and as my grandmother puts it, “does that jumping up and down thing”.  Embarrassingly, my friends and I even had a special dance where we made butterflies out of our hands.  Miley Cyrus was legitimately our idol.. repeat, was.

‘Girlfriend’ by Avril Lavigne takes me back even further.  I had a friend in elementary school that was obsessed with Avril and had like the whole wardrobe – pink and black striped knee-high socks, black short skirts, converse, etc.  She’s like so whatever, you can do so much better.  I honestly forgot how fun this song was.  What ever happened to her?  Did she fall off the face of the Earth?

I asked my boyfriend if he thinks of intensely specific time periods or events whenever he hears a song, and he looked at me like I was crazy.  I guess it’s a girl thing?  Music was always how I processed events.  No matter how many songs you have on your iPhone (I have like over 400), the vividness comes back each time you listen to it.  Or maybe I just have a really good memory.  I tend to scare people with the extent I can recall knowledge.  I remember the date and time I last got pukey sick, for example.  January 27th, 2007 at 5:30 AM.

Ooh, Sk8er Boi came on next.

It’s just a blog, I’m just a girl, can I make it any more obvious?  We are in love, haven’t you heard, how we rock each others world?

LOOK AT THIS HISTORICAL ARTIFACT.

 

Tuesday
05/02/17

Rethinking Facebook

Posted by bostonki on May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

At such a politically turbulent time for our country, I’m rethinking the use of Facebook.

I was reading a Buffalo News story this morning about the anti-Robert Spencer protest last night (which I proudly went to because I believe in things like truth and equality, ya know..) and all the commenters were absolutely destroying liberal college students.  Some even called liberalism a “mental illness”.  I kept reading these all day despite my frustration and anger, and by the time five o’clock rolled around I could feel a punch ready to spring from my arm.

Another article talked about a cop a few weeks back at the Walden Galleria mall who suffered a concussion and infected hand from being assaulted by a 16-year old trying to break up a fight.  Those comments were both racist AND again, generational.

So I angrily texted my aunt some expletives about older adults (thank you, generational divide), but I came to a stunning conclusion.  In a world where a majority of the Facebook users I see are pro-Trump older adults spitting all over our liberal, free, awesome vibes (that’s why we’re all cynical, dad), maybe I should just stay away from Facebook.  What comments I can’t read about me being an uneducated ‘snowflake’ (lol) can’t hurt me.  I think it’s worth noting that for the record many of the folks who call us dumb in fact cannot use their/there/they’re properly and can’t figure out how to turn off the caps lock.

I’m really angry.  I haven’t been able to concentrate since last night’s protest.  All of this political junk has just been weighing on my mind, making me excited to leave the country in a month and enter a Trump-and-religion-free zone (Australia’s atheist population makes up about 25% of the country, versus America’s average of 16%).  For five weeks I can at least pretend to be a citizen of a somewhat mellow country where people aren’t wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats.  I feel like an Aussie already!

I’ll probably still post on Facebook, though.

 

Tuesday
04/25/17

She’s a wonderful woman. Fantastic. Great, nice, woman.

Posted by bostonki on April 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

Now that I’m a sophomore, it’s not my job to worry about SAT scores and applications.. but it is my job to help those who have to worry about it.  I took a job answering phones in Admissions a couple of months ago.  I love it!  It’s a relatively easy job with great coworkers, and not to mention it’s a glimpse I’m getting into the education field.

But folks… please.. if you need to call UB for anything, don’t just google ‘UB phone number’ or ask Siri for it.  It will take you right to us and we don’t like sifting through the directory to connect you with John Smith of the Transnational Studies department.

And please, open and read your emails and mail that we send you.  It’s actually quite easy to complete the admissions process start to finish without making a single phone call!  I managed to do it.

Please please don’t call us for recommendations about nearby hotels, airport information, or how to get to Toronto (yes, that happened once).  Google is actually quite proficient in all of these.

And calling every other day to check the status of your application will not only annoy us and those working to process it, but it will not get done any quicker.

On the happier side (now that I’ve scraped all the goo off of my heart), I got to work my first Accepted Students’ Day this past weekend.  I find that I really enjoy talking to prospective students about my experiences, and seeing all the excited students made it surprisingly easy to have a chirpy attitude at 7:15 on a Sunday morning.  I helped students with check in (but still managed to get yelled at by a furious parent who claimed we gave them the “wrong” directions) and stood in the Union for awhile answering questions mostly about where the nearest restroom was.

My boyfriend, who is a College of Arts & Sciences Ambassador, even gave a short speech at their presentation about some of UB’s great opportunities!  And I somehow had the courage to walk up to CAS Dean Schuzle and engage her in a ten-minute conversation about Australia and how she got her start in higher ed.  As Donald Trump would probably say, “She’s a wonderful woman.  Fantastic.  Great, nice, woman”.

I crashed later that day in my room and slept for a blissful three hours.

My only regret was not stepping inside the Victor E. Bull suit.

This pic of Mike is supper blurry but you can tell he’s really revving up the crowd with the Italian hand thing going on.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
04/18/17

WaWa and Golden Corral are really impressive

Posted by bostonki on April 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

I introduced my Jersey roommate to sponge candy the other day.  I think she liked it (I hope she liked it).  For those not native Buffalonians, sponge candy is hard to describe.  The interior flavored chocolate kind of resembles human spongy bone, and it tingles and melts on your tongue.  The outside is hard milk chocolate.  It’s heaven on Earth.

Anyways, this got me thinking more and more about how each of us come from someplace with its own little treasures.  Buffalo has Tim Hortons, Loganberry pop (NOT soda, sorry), Sponge Candy, Food Truck Tuesday, and Mighty Taco.  Mighty Taco’s meat probably should be under suspicion, but it is a delicious calorie-empty, finals-week treat nonetheless.  And most people I ran into from out of state aren’t terribly impressed with Tim Hortons.  But that’s fine, just suffer with your overpriced Starbucks and less-than-satisfactory Dunkin’.

Last summer in Philly, I came upon the great, the powerful, WaWa.  I was told we were going down to the convenience store for breakfast and I thought, “Oh great, some greasy, 45-grams of fat breakfast sandwich but NO, WaWa is a gift from the gods.  The fruit was fresh and there was a sandwich/bagel station and the coffee probably didn’t taste like tar.  Another friend from Jersey (hey, at least it’s a variation on the everyone’s-from-Long-Island trend) brought this up on a car ride last weekend.

Another mouth-watering joy was discovered the last time I visited Florida in the form of Golden Corral.  Oh, my.  The buffet was impressive and delicious (and cheap, from what I can remember).  Cornbread (my first real love, sorry boyfriend) and soups and salads and meats and desserts and pastas and tacos and it’s basically a college student’s heaven.

Too bad the closest location is in Rochester.  Oh well, that warrants another road trip I suppose (what a shame, can I stop at the Museum of Play again like I did over spring break?)

What are some of your regional food treasures?

 

Tuesday
04/11/17

Ooooh, this is an S.O.S

Posted by bostonki on April 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

Don’t wanna second guess

This is the bottom line

it’s true, I gave my all for you

Now my heart’s in two

And I can’t find the other half

This (really) old Jonas Brothers song is of course about love, but I think it applies pretty thoroughly to my school life right now.  Which leads me to today’s thought – HOW does one successfully adult in the face of a never-ending to-do list?

I have two papers for one class, worth in total about 60% of my final grade due within the next three weeks.  WHO DOES THIS??

I have to apply for my visa and begin planning my Australia/New Zealand excursions.

I have to figure out what I’m even taking next semester.

I should probably clean my room while I’m at it.  Disastrous room = disastrous life.

But I work and have class and readings to do.

Oh well.  Guess it’ll be another caffeine-induced night.

Did I shower yesterday?  Can’t remember.

Buzz buzz buzz.  My brain is everywhere.

I wish I still had time to go to the gym.  Time flies by every day.  I need more hours.

Yet I’m sitting here typing away, thinking about how I only have five weeks left in Greiner until I’m halfway done with college and I have no more excuses to not know what I want to do with my life.

This semester has been great, though.  I’ve loved my classes.  I know and feel that I’m in the right major/minor combination.  I have a job that I like.  This blog.  Netflix.

Changing my major hasn’t made my days any less exhausting or excruciating, but it makes them much more bearable.  I can at least be thankful that I’m not enrolled in Orgo II and utterly miserable like my floormates.

Seriously, I don’t know anybody who enjoys organic chemistry.

I would like to end this trainwreck of thoughts with a quote from Tina Belcher of Bob’s Burgers. 

“I’m no hero.  I put my bra on one (insert female secondary sex characteristic here) at a time like everyone else”.

 

 

 

Tuesday
04/04/17

Quinoa pancakes and frozen snakes

Posted by bostonki on April 4, 2017 in Australia, travel, Uncategorized

I’ve calculated it.  Eight planes.  I will be taking eight planes in my journey to and around Australia and New Zealand.

Buffalo to New York.  New York to LA.  LA to Brisbane.  Brisbane to Auckland.  Auckland to Sydney.  Sydney to LA.  LA to New York.  New York to Buffalo.

There aren’t many drawbacks to this trip, but the planes definitely are one.  Fourteen hours each way across the Pacific.  I hope Quantas offers good hourly wifi rates.

What am I going to do for fourteen hours?  Netflix, for sure.  Read a book? Maybe.  Facebook everybody back home and brag about what an awesome time I’m having? Definitely.  But there’s just a certain point where I imagine you begin to feel claustrophobic and pray that you don’t enter into a full panicked state.

Getting lost in JFK airport is another concern.  So is dying of dehydration in the middle of the Outback and being left to the poisonous snakes.  But this is a faculty-led study abroad trip, these sort of things don’t happen… right?

I’m sure anybody who has studied abroad before has felt this way.  Totally excited about their experience but also extremely nervous about being halfway around the world with people that you’ve literally just met.

Maybe it’s the mystique of Australia that’s making me feel this way.  Nobody I know has been there (while EVERYBODY I know has been to Italy, of course).  Nobody knows what kinds of secrets and surprises the land down under holds.

I had several dreams over the last several weeks about Australia that reinforced these fears.  In the first, I went to a diner for breakfast and had these repulsive pancakes.  When I asked the waitress what was in them, she answered “quinoa”.  Those repulsive little grains that are shaped like a certain contraceptive if you look at them really close up.  In the other, I was grocery shopping at a local supermarket.  Instead of frozen fish in their freezers, they sold frozen snakes.  ‘Nuff said.

So I have my fears and doubts alongside my excitements, but as the trips grows closer I find I need to shove those fears aside.

Scholarship applications are done, travel guides checked out from the library, books on Australian art rented, and orientation happening across the state this Saturday.

Hopefully they won’t serve pancakes with quinoa.

By the way, upon Googling a suitable picture of quinoa to include with this post, I came across this MONSTROSITY.  According to the recipe, they’re Coffee Quinoa Pancakes with Carrot Frosting.  I’m sorry, but I could have sworn that was meatloaf  with cheese-from-the-can dumped on top.  I wonder what level of Dante’s Inferno hell these are from?

 

Sunday
03/26/17

“Spring Break”

Posted by bostonki on March 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

Saturday: Nothing.  Bliss.

Sunday: Studying, papers, homework.

Monday: Required classroom observations at my old middle school.  *shivers*

Tuesday: Took the day off and went to Rochester with my boyfriend.  I’m not scared to admit that I dragged him along for the Museum of Play (which I have a feeling he enjoyed) and some awesome BBQ from Sticky Lips in Henrietta.

Wednesday:  More classroom observations.  Teacher had to explain to 7th graders why they couldn’t use ‘i’ as a variable.  The horrors of Algebra 2 may never cease to haunt me.

Thursday:  Full shift at work.  On the plus side, Beauty and the Beast (which was AWESOME, by the way).

Friday:  Stayed up until 3 in the morning to work on schoolwork so my weekend would be free, so I ended up working a half day and leaving because I felt sick beyond belief.

Saturday:  Grey’s day.  I think I hammered out six or seven episodes.  But I’m still only on season 7.  I may never finish.

Sunday:  Laundry, cleaning EVERYTHING, packing, and now writing this.  Will likely be forced to write a paper tonight since I have four due in the next week and a half.

The motto: Classifying something with the word “break” does not necessarily make it so.  Nonetheless, it’s been a good week and I hope everybody is ready to hammer out the next eight so we can go into that blissful thing called summer… and I can go to that blissful beach on Australia’s sunshine coast.

 

Tuesday
02/28/17

Why My Science Major Failed to Make Me Smarter

Posted by bostonki on February 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

I’ve been a decided psychology major/education minor since maybe November, but I’ve already heard my share of downgrading from others who presume their “hard science” choice is better than mine.  “Oh, so you’re taking the EASY route!”, was an actual statement out of somebody’s mouth.  No sir, I’m taking the route that’s ENJOYABLE for me.

Anyways, a third of the semester has already passed us by, and I am well aware of one fact.  The courses I’ll be taking from here until the end of my college career will make me so much smarter than any of my hard sciences courses (biology, chemistry, calculus) did the first year and a half.  I feel more intelligent, feel as though my brain is forming new synaptic connections.  I leave a study session with one of those good headaches.

This is not at all to downgrade any hard science course.  We need exposure to some of those rigorous ideas in our education at some point.  But continuing on with it felt stagnant.  It truly was rote memorization, and in many cases, formula application.  There really was no thinking on my own, no coming up with new ideas or questions.  In science courses (especially introductory ones), the professors feed you the information and you’re expected to churn them out on the exam.  Many important concepts from introductory chemistry and biology have been lost on me at this point.  There are some who love the ideas and do engage themselves fully in questioning and thinking logically, but it was not for me.

Flash forward to this semester, in particular my ‘Introduction to Education’ course.  There is a great deal more of reading, where we are exposed to multiple ideas and standpoints about a topic.  There are in-class and online discussions, where we have to think about an issue and identify potential problems, come up with possible solutions, and have working knowledge of a mass of phenomena in order to achieve this goal.  We juggle multiple variables and attempt to put them together to understand the big picture.  We apply these to real world settings through required classroom observation.  I present conflicting ideas in discussions that people may not have even considered.  We look at the evidence to decide if Common Core is really working or not.  We do so much thinking in that course, so much so that I had to ask if we could take a break after an hour and a half because my brain was frying up.  I leave class feeling like I’ve made some personal advancements and feeling like my brain’s grey matter actually grew a bit.

That’s a class that’s going to make me smarter.  Most classes this semester are like that.  And if they are that familiar lecture-style, the professors don’t post the notes online to ensure you’re coming to class and engaging.  Most of the science professors I had didn’t seem to hold the students too accountable.  They’d throw the slides online and half the class wouldn’t be showing up by week 5.

And this is why I believe that my psychology major and education minor will make me smarter.

 

 

Monday
02/20/17

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba

Posted by bostonki on February 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba”.  Sound familiar?  It’s Zulu for “here comes a lion, father”, and I’m going to use it to help describe why I love mornings.

Last night I had trouble sleeping.  I don’t think I entered REM sleep until 2:30 in the morning.  That was probably due to the extensive nap I ended up taking after dinner.  Nonetheless, I woke up around 5:45 wide awake and ready to grind the morning out at Starbucks (I succeeded with the help of a sweet cream cold brew).  So, I got to watch the sunrise from my bed.

It starts out as a thin orange glow at the line of the horizon, and as the Earth rotates the sky becomes a rainbow of dark sky, light blue, and yellow-orange.  A bright glow reminiscent of the “Circle of Life” scene from the Lion King pops up and glints off the windows of South Lake Village in the distance and the semifrozen lake.  Fog rises from the hills on the walk to Starbucks and the dew makes the grass nice and crunchy.  The air at this point in the year smells crisp, fresh, and sweet.  Like the flowers are slowing thawing and the spring air is almost here.  It provides a nice but not unbearable zing to your nose.  You arrive to an empty Starbucks and get some iced coffee and a hot croissant straight out of the oven.  The air smells of cocoa beans and sugar, inviting a morning of productivity.  Music twinkles in your ears.

I am much more a morning person than one of nighttime.  I hate the sunset – it means that night is setting in, and the dark invites unwanted anxiety and occasional depression.  The morning, though, is full of promise.  You can make the day how you want it.  It’s a fresh start, and it’s especially peaceful when you’re seemingly the only one up.  You feel as though you have the whole world to yourself, just for a little bit.  I think on the walk from my room to Starbucks at 6:30, I only saw one person and they were riding a bike.  You know you look at too many memes when you see that they’re wearing very loose black clothes and immediately think of this guy:

Well, Happy Monday folks.

 

Tuesday
02/14/17

Spring 2017: The Test of my Stress Resources

Posted by bostonki on February 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

4 classes.  One which involves extensive paper writing and classroom shadowing on our own time.  11 hours of paid work every week.  7 or 8 study abroad scholarships to submit by the end of March.  An online Australia orientation, and masses of paperwork to fill out.  Fall 2017 academic and housing planning.  The next three months are promising to be a workout of all the stress coping-resources I’ve gained since the start of freshman year.

I’ve heard it gets worse.  Harder classes, grad school applications, research, actually living in an apartment and being responsible for your own cooking (the audacity), and probably much more that my fellow junior and senior friends can fill in the gaps with.  Point is, it never gets easier.  So now is the time to learn how to healthfully deal with stress.  Some of my favorites I’ve listed below – I’ll let you know at the end of the semester if I actually managed to follow through with them and if they helped keep my stress levels at bay (but so far in week #3, we’re looking good).

1.) UTILIZE THE GYM/FITNESS OPTIONS

UB has athletic facilities in alumni (which I don’t use) but I assume they have the standard treadmills and weights.  They also have a swimming pool and racquetball court (which I find very zen-like on its’ own).  At the Richmond gym, there’s cardio and weights.  The school offers so many different levels of free yoga classes at night.  And outdoor basketball and tennis courts.  And ice skating in the winter.  The campus is also extremely bike-friendly.  The point is, it’s so easy to get active and exercising is associated with lower stress levels, so do it.  Duh.

I mean seriously, it cannot get more zen than this.

2.) Hit up Edgy Veggies

You’ll want to here.  Just not the prepackaged ones unless they’re from Au Bon Pain.  Hit up Edgy Veggies every once in awhile, you’ll be glad you did (psst.. try the Seneca Apple Chicken Salad, please).  I’m also proud of Au Bon Pain’s soup offerings.  At least three different kinds of intense veggie soup and some heartwarming broccoli & cheddar for those that want to at least convince themselves they’re eating healthy.

3.) Get lost in the shelves of Lockwood

I’m the type of person who gets relaxed in the presence of books.  If you’re a fan of musty-smelling books and those on really obscure topics, try traipsing through the aisles of Lockwood.  All five floors are filled with books and it would take days to look through the collection thoroughly.  I could have sworn there was a section about the Walt Disney Company on the fifth floor.  Also, fiction novels like a community library.  And yes, you can check things out.  Pretty much forever as long as no one needs them.

Lockwood’s awesome but does not beat the Beast’s library. *sigh*

4.) Take advantage of tea

If you’re in the Honors College, come take advantage of the consistently free tea, coffee, and hot cocoa in the lounge.  Attend Elevenses if you’ve always wanted to raise your pinky in the air while you sip.  Also, the Health & Wellness Center (is that what it’s called) located by the UB theatre in the Union has a really nice dark lounge with tons of magazines and free tea.  I’ve heard there are massaging chairs and free massages, but I cannot confirm this.

I’m sure there are so many more things available to UB students to help with stress reduction, but my brain cells are fried so I’m going to log off and crack open Eat, Pray, Love.  After, you know, I do my readings for class tomorrow.