March 30, 2010

Paper Moon

I was listening to Nat King Cole the other day, and this song has been stuck in my head ever since: "It's Only a Paper Moon". I've loved it for ages now, falling in love with it at first listen. I enjoy belting it out at the top of my voice, not caring that my neighbours or passerby-ers on the street may be bothered by this. I adore the vibe the song gives off. It's so upbeat, hopeful, and full of love. It shows that what seems imaginary or too good to be true can be real if you believe. Though this song is clearly focused more on love I like to think that it can apply to anything. All of those things you wish for -- whether adventure, friendship, or romance -- are possible if believe in them.

Said it is only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea,
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me.

Say it is only a canvas sky
Hanging over a muslin tree,
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me.

Without your love,
It's a honky-tonk parade.
Without your love,
It's a melody played in a penny arcade.

It's a Barnum and Bailey world,
Just as phony as it can be,
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me.

March 26, 2010

Dear Casey...

To my most loyal reader:

I love you lots. I hope you know that I'll always be there when you need an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or arms to wrap you up in a warm embrace. I have silliness to make you smile, courage to keep you strong, and memories of our adventures to warm your heart on cold days. Thanks for always being there when I need you, and never forget that I'm here for you too. I know I remind you of this often, but I want to make sure it's engrained in you. If you ever feel that I'm not there and you're in need of a friend, a rock, an adventure, or absolutely anything else just say the word. Let me know, and I'll be right by your side as fast as I can.

Love,
Bee

March 25, 2010

Measuring Success

Success should not be measured by the amount of money in your bank account or the size of your house. It should not be measured by the prestige of your job or the luxuriousness of your vehicle. Success does not depend on the attractiveness of your spouse or looking ten years your juniour.


Instead, measure success in the number of lives you've made a difference in. It can be measured in the beauty of your actions and the things you've experienced. You can only truly have success once you have truly lived.


I really like Ralph Waldo Emerson's take on this in the following passage:


To Have Succeeded

by Ralph Waldo Emerson


To laugh often and love much;

To win respect of intelligent people

And the affection of children;

To earn the approbation of honest critics

And endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To give one's self;

To leave the world a little better,

Whether by a healthy child,

A garden patch,

Or redeemed social condition;

To have played and laughed with enthusiasm

And sung with exultation;

To know even one life has breathed easier

Because you have lived...

This is to have succeeded.

March 24, 2010

Love Me Although...

The ones who truly love you do not simply love you because. They love you although.

These are the people you need to surround yourself with. Nobody is perfect, so take a moment and think about the people in your life who love you despite your imperfections. Be sure to thank those people for sticking by you even on your off days and through your not-so-bright moments. Then try to remind yourself to be accepting of others quirks and faults.

I'm so thankful for those people in my life who've been there for me through thick and thin. I hope they realize just how grateful I am to have them around.

March 23, 2010

You Are What You Do

The other day I heard someone say, "You are what you do." They were quoting someone, but I'm not sure who it was. However, I do know that those words spoke to me quite a bit.

"You are what you do."

You are your actions. Don't think that your behaviour isn't a representation of who you are, because in many cases it is the only representation of who you are. People judge you and form opinions of you based on your actions, so keep that in mind next time you're contemplating doing something rude or hateful.

Do you want to be a kind, thoughtful, generous person?
Hold the door open for the stranger walking behind you. Say please and thank you. Share what you can, be it time, money or possessions.
Do you want to be a happy and welcoming person?
Let yourself open up to others. Smile. Laugh as often as you can.

Think of who you want to be, and then act accordingly.
Just keep in mind, "You are what you do."

March 22, 2010

Celebrating Oddities

This is my reminder to celebrate who you are. Remember that all those quirks and hidden talents are the things that must be celebrated, as without them we'd all be far too similar. Here's a little poem I found that I think is adorably touching. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

------------------------------------------------

Kids Who Are Different
by Digby Wolfe

Here's to the kids who are different,
The kids who don't always get A's.
The kids who have ears twice the size of their peers,
And noses that go on for days.

Here's to the kids who are different,
The kids they all call crazy and dumb.
The kids who aren't cute and don't give a hoot,
Who dance to a different drum.

Here's to the kids who are different,
The kids with the mischievous streak.
For when they have grown,
As history's shown,
It's their difference that makes them unique.

A Week in the Life...

So I haven't posted in quite some time, so I figured a good way to get back on track was to give a nice update of what I was up to this past week. 'Twas quite chaotic.

Monday - After finishing with my classes in the morning I was studying for and then writing an algebra midterm. Upon finishing that I got cracking on my Computer Science Assignment for the week that was due the next day.

Tuesday - Upon waking up at 9:00 I headed over to main campus to spend the morning volunteering at the March Break Open House. I got a sweet Waterloo t-shirt and met tons of cool people, plus I had a chance to express my sheer enthusiasm for the awesomeness that is the University of Waterloo. I painted my face with yellow and black stripes, and wore a yellow bandana on my head and a huge smile on my face. I chatted with potential new first years, gorged myself on free pizza, and then headed back to SJ to carry on with the rest of my plans for the day. I had a few hours to finish up that Computer Science assignment, and then basked in the beautiful sunshine for a bit. In the evening I had my psychology class, and it was actually quite enjoyable. My prof is hilarious and had many stories to share with us during our first lecture on social psychology.

Wednesday - St. Patrick's Day! I was majorly decked out in green (black tank, denim skirt, bright green tights, and bright green button up). I had classes to attend in the morning, but in the afternoon I was able to have a bit more fun. I worked on physics with a friend for a bit, but then spent a while socializing out in the sunshine. In the evening I finished up my physics and then tried to relax. I attended the lounge party, where I ate Lucky Charms and danced a jig to some Irish tunes. Once that finished I went with my don, Jess, to fill Don Ryan's bathtub with the green balloons. It was a silly prank, but it was fun. I hung out on the guys' side for a bit, but sadly none of them had Guinness so I didn't get to follow through on my plan to try Guinness for the first time. I waited up for my very drunk roommate's return, chatted with her for a bit, and then headed to bed.

Thursday - I had class in the morning and early afternoon, but then had an interview! I had to pay our chaplain Martha a visit, as she was the one interviewing me. It went really well, as I knew exactly how to answer everything she threw at me without having to think of the correct answer. My answer's came from the heart, and I knew that was a good place to be. I then had to go to another tutorial, worked on calculus for a bit, ate dinner, worked on calc some more, and then met up with some floormates for an evening out. We went to see the drama department's production of Arcadia, which was amazing. It speaks of math, science, romance, human interaction, the pursuit of knowledge, and so much more. Plus it was funny and very well performed. It made it worth it that upon it's finish I knew I was in for a late night finishing my assignment. Upon returning to my room I discovered a text from Mr. Amazing letting me know that he had gotten accepted into Harvard. I shrieked, as I was so incredibly happy for him. We texted back in forth for a bit before I got to work on my calculus again. It amazes me that the kid now has a choice between Harvard and MIT. Anyways, I was up until about 5:00 in the morning finishing up calculus and doing my algebra. Luckily Emma was also up working on math, so we were both wired that night and dead the next day together.

Friday - I almost slept through class, as my alarm didn't go off. Fortunately Emma's an awesome friend and came to ensure I was awake. It was a minute before class when she came, so I ran to class in my pajamas, but I made it and got my assignments handed in. I got through my classes for the day and then just tried to relax all afternoon. I couldn't bring myself to nap, even though I was exhausted, because I didn't want to be groggy in the evening. I checked my e-mail to discover a message from Martha informing me of amazing news. I've been selected to be an SCC Executive! I'm so excited to get started, and I'm honoured to have been chosen. That evening, after dinner, I went to the SJU Donor Reception. It's an evening of interaction between the scholarship recipients and the amazing people who donate the money for the scholarships. I met some really interesting people, including a lady who taught one of my cousin's when he was in elementary school. It never ceases to amaze me how many people know someone in my family, especially since that cousin is now well into his twenties. I also got plenty of really pretty spring flowers out of the evening, as the floral decorations were no longer needed once the event was over. So now my room has lovely vases of tulips.

Saturday - I spent most of the day with my family, which was awesome. We went to Mountsberg Conservation Area to go hiking and experience the Maple Syrup festival that was going on. We had a pancake lunch and sampled maple candies, plus learned some cool maple syrup facts. I felt super Canadian. After that we went out to dinner and went to the grocery store to grab a few things I'd been desiring to have in my dorm room. I was then abandoned at university once again, and wandered about for a bit seeing what everyone was up to. I had a lovely Skype date with a good friend, which was really nice. I mingled with people in the lounge for the rest of the evening, and then headed to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour.

Sunday - I slept in really late for the first time all week. Then I lazed around for a bit, ate dinner, went to mass, got some algebra done, and had a Skype date with my friend Christine. I suppose I shall head to bed now. Goodnight to all.

March 14, 2010

Break from Blogging

I apologize for not writing for a while. I have an algebra midterm on Monday that I've been studying for. I promise to write again once that chaos is over, because all I would write about at the moment is subspaces, matrices, basis. etc. So unless you're interested in what a basis is then I currently have little to say that is of interest to you. Details of my latest non-math adventures may come later this week.

And for those interested...
A basis is a linearly independent spanning set.
Enjoy your new knowledge!

March 11, 2010

Blood and Big Booze Beginnings

I found out my blood type yesterday at the blood typing session in my residence. I'm O+, which is the most common blood types. That was comforting to hear for two reasons:
1. I feel less guilty for not being able to donate blood knowing that they must get lots of O+ blood. I've always felt bad about not being able to donate, even though it's basically out of my control. 'Tis one of the downsides to being so small.
2. If I'm ever in need of blood there will be lots of people that can give theirs to me.

Also, on Tuesday something BIG happened.
I decided what my first alcoholic beverage will be. I intend to drink Guinness on St. Patrick's Day in honour of my Irish roommate from my summer physics program, Jodie. I was talking to her on Facebook chat on Tuesday, though it was already Wednesday in Ireland at the time, and the topic of St. Paddy's Day came up. She told me I was expected to drink a pint of Guinness, as it is Irish tradition. According to her even children drink a pint of Guinness on St. Patrick's Day. Though I doubt I'll drink a pint of it I promised to make an exception to my "no alcoholic beverages" rule and give Guinness a try. I've already found a supplier, so now it's just a matter of figuring out just how much I can drink without losing control. I doubt I'll even risk drinking more than half a bottle, but we'll just wait and see.
I've also already planned out a sweet overly green outfit to rock all day, so St. Patrick's Day shall be swell. Perhaps I'll post some photos of these Irish ventures once they've been completed.
May the luck o' the Irish keep me safe.

Faith in Nature

I'm applying to be Executive in the St. Jerome's Student Catholic Community (SCC), and the application for it is due tomorrow. Part of it was to describe your faith, so I spoke about how I experience my faith through the beauty in nature. Here's an excerpt from my answer that I find to be worth sharing:


"There’s this maple tree in my backyard back home that I like to climb up and sit in to think about things and take in the wonders of my backyard. I watch the squirrels scurry about and the birds fly from branch to feeder and back. I feel the mixture of the roughness of the bark, the cool of the leaves, and the stickiness of the sap on my skin as I stare out at Lake Ontario, taking in its vastness."

March 9, 2010

A Reminder to Seize the Day

In the wise words of one of my favourite doctors and children's authors:

"How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?"
-Dr. Seuss

Don't forget that life goes by quickly, so don't let it pass you by.

Live life to the fullest.

laugh out loud.

SMILE.

SING at the top of your lungs.

Do a crazy dance.

Take an ADVENTURE.

Wear whatever you want, even if it seems outside of the norm.

See the beauty of the world around you.

Eat something delicious without worrying if it's healthy.

Be kind to everyone you meet.

Love with all your heart.



And if you're too down to get out there and seize the day you should give one of my favourite pick-me-ups a try.

Stand up on your bed and read your favourite Dr. Seuss book aloud with loads of enthusiasm. Challenge yourself to read it as fast as you can without messing up the rhyming.


"This one, I think,

is called a Yink.

He likes to wink,

he likes to drink.

He likes to drink, and drink, and drink.

The thing he likes to drink is ink.

The ink he likes to drink is pink.

He likes to wink and drink pink ink.

SO...

If you have a lot of ink, then you should get a Yink, I think."

-One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish

March 8, 2010

Rain Dancers

My quote of the day:

"If you see someone without a smile, give them yours."

-Dolly Parton


This quote fits my life so well, and always reminds me of two of the most amazing girls I know -- Margaret and Casey. They are always there to give me a smile when I need some cheering up, and I can't help but have a permanent grin plastered to my face when I'm around them. I'm almost always the smiley type, but that smile gets exponentially bigger when I'm with them. There's always tons of ridiculousness and laughter when the three of us get together, so there's definitely many funny stories to be told about about some of our "adventures". I just love being with them, as they've become an adopted part of my family. Together we can conquer anything life throws our way --new experiences, heartbreak, success, failure, death, and life's adventures. Here's some of my favourite photographs from just this past year.



moonlight walks on the beach


giant hugs

swings


Christmas tree hunting


I love you girls!
Thank you for being there to dance with me in the rain when the storm hits.
You brighten my life when the sun seems to be hiding behind the clouds.

Computers, Coffee, Classes, and a Current Challenge

I was up until past 5:30 this morning working on algebra and computer science, and then woke up before 8:30 to go to class. Coffee was my friend today, and hopefully time will allow for me to nap this afternoon. Ugh. So much to do, but so little time and now so little focus due to exhaustion. I would like to try to make it through the entire day though, and just head to bed semi-early, in order to not throw my sleeping schedule too out of whack. However, I don't know if I can make it that long without passing out. It also doesn't help that I feel like I'm going to yak, though I am willing to bet that this sickliness is either due to my lack of sleep or drinking so much coffee on an almost empty stomach. Anyways, the rest of my plans for the day are mostly uneventful: e-mails, letter writing, lots of math and physics, an application to be one of the St. Jerome's Student Catholic Community Executive, a phone call (or Skype call) with a dear friend, and some sleep. Busy, busy, busy.

Anyways, I've decided to see how long I can go making at least one post per day. I don't promise that my daily posts will be long, but there's so many inspiring things I see and hear that I wish to share. Some days it might be as little as a quote, some lyrics, or a photo that made me smile. However, I will do my best to give you something to read daily. Plus it will give me the added bonus of having some inspiration to reread when I wish to brighten my days if I'm feeling blue.

March 4, 2010

Overwhelmed

I've been really overwhelmed lately. I always seem to be busy as a math student, but it's been particularly difficult these past two weeks when my studying and assignment madness hasn't translated into the caliber of success I strive for. I've been feeling like I do so much and try so hard, but it's still not good enough.

Many a tears have been shed this past week, and for a wide variety of reasons. I think I've just been intensely overemotional this past little while. I cried tears of pride on Sunday when Canada won our 14 gold medal, setting a new Olympic record. I also had more proud tears shed that night as I watched the closing ceremony and thought about just how amazing my home country is.
A few times this week I've had emotional meltdowns, crying as what seems like a last resort stress release. I was really upset with my performance on my past two midterms, and I broke down in tears a few times. Once while working on algebra, so I sent my worries away in an e-mail to a boy in Alberta that I knew could handle it. He probably thinks I'm an emotional mess now, but he always seems to know just what I need to boost my spirits. Upon attempting to send my issues out into cyberspace I hoped to be able to forget about them. However, I still felt icky so I ended up calling home to talk to my mom. I let her know what was up, and just curled up in a ball and cried while she gave me her best motherly advice. Though not much was actually resolved I felt better just knowing she was there for me. I was able to finish up my assignment, and then crawled into bed earlier than I had expected.
I checked my e-mail before setting my alarm, and in my inbox I found words from that boy in Alberta that brought me to tears for what seemed like the hundredth time that evening. The difference was that this time they were tears cried out of comfort and the reminder that I'm not alone. He wrote me a short poem--a reminder that I can be safe in his arms whenever I need to be and that things will be alright for both of us. Though I sort of wish to share the poem with the world I also want to treasure it as it is now, something that is just for me. Anyways, alongside his poem he sent a brief message asking me not to worry, and reminding me that it would be okay. He told me that failures are not those who get things wrong, but those who do not continue to try. He ended by promising me that things would be okay and sending his love. The tears were streaming down my face as I read his message over and over again, realizing how lucky I am to have him in my life.
Needless to say I slept soundly that night. The next afternoon, upon returning from class, I opened my e-mail to see if I had heard from my mom. I had, and reading her words made me smile. She had just the right amounts of love, humour, and motherly advice. There was also another message in my inbox from the Albertan poet. The subject line was "Let's you and me... tomorrow is not yet here...", and the entire content of the e-mail was a single link to a song on YouTube. The song is Haight Street by Anberlin. It was really sweet, cheering me up even more through one of my favourite mediums. Though the band isn't my usual thing I really like them. The song is catchy, and knowing it was coming from someone made it really sweet. Here's some of my favourite lyrics from the song:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The rear view mirror shows the times we're abandoning.
Let's leave this night behind, forgetting all they say.
The time we had is time well borrowed.
Stay out all night; forget tomorrow.

Let's, you and me, make a night of it.
Old enough to know, but too young to care.
Let's, you and me, make a night of it.
Old enough to know, but too young to care.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I started this post saying that I was overwhelmed, and though that is still true I must finish this post by saying that only through being truly overwhelmed did I discover that I am overloved by many, causing me to be simply overjoyed. There's so many people cheering me on and comforting me when I fall, and I'm grateful for every one of them. My mom, my dad, my best girlfriends, the rest of my gigantic family, the boy out in Alberta, my don, and some friends I've made in residence. I'm so lucky to have all these amazing people in my life.