class of nature

3

“support (dance)”

😂😂😂 based on this (I couldn’t help but imagine viktor doing the mini dance while yuuri was skating)

Today we were talking about sexuality in psychology and at one point we were talking about homosexuality in animals and my teacher says “so if homosexuality is something that occurs in the wild, what can we infer about it?”

And unanimously the whole class goes “it’s natural.” And I was trying to blink away tears because I’d never heard a group of 30 people agree so easily before. It was just so powerful.

“It’s natural”

college witch tips!

being a witch and living in a tiny dorm or apartment is a hassle… but here’s some (cheap and easy) tips to make your life a lot easier coming from a college witch!

quick note: if you are a student, you can get six months free of amazon prime with a student email account, and from then on out prime is only $50 instead of $100! amazon is a great place for tons of cheaper witchy resources (and really worth it for textbooks).

💎 crystals! whether you’re sharing a room with someone or in a room by yourself, plenty of people collect and use crystals. check for local flea markets or see if there is an occult shop in your area, there’s bound to be some there. great starter crystals are clear quartz (an essential crystal), amethyst, and rose quartz!

📚 the library! your school library will have some sort of resources. also don’t worry about people thinking you’re strange for checking out books on magick… i promise they don’t care!

🕯 candles and incense! when i lived in a dorm, i hated not being able to light candles and burn incense. invest in some battery powered candles! you can get packs at local dollar stores or walmarts. as for aroma related magick, purchase some oils and mix them with some salt water and spray them around your room! oil warmers or wax warmers are also wonderful alternatives. 

📖 a grimoire/book of shadows! i highly suggest keeping a personal book. no, you don’t have to get some elaborate leather bound book that came straight out of hocus pocus for it to be legit. you could find a sketchbook somewhere, use a three ring binder, or buy a hardback book at a thrift store and paint over the pages! your book is what you make of it. it is your own novel of personal magical experiences and knowledge, so make it your own!

🌵 plants! invest in cacti and succulents especially if you are a beginner or live in a tight space, they’re easy to manage throughout the rough mishaps and late nights of school work. cacti are great for protection and banishing negativity, where succulents bring love and healing. both plants can represent the ability to survive through conditions others cannot. if you have a balcony, take advantage!

⚗️ jars! now is a great time to collect containers from thrift stores, gather old pickle jars, and look for sales and coupons craft stores may have since most of them will have all sorts of neat jars.

🔮 an altar! if you don’t have a roommate to worry about, great! do your thing. if you do (and the don’t exactly seem cool with the whole witch thing), you can make a subtle altar of candles, crystals, and some plants or flowers. they don’t have to be elaborate. you could keep a small altar in a shoe box or draw one in your bos/grimoire! get creative!

✍️ sigils! use sigils. abuse sigils. put them everywhere. write them in binders or on your skin, write them on sticky notes or ripped paper and put them places you’ll see them or bury them outside. sleep with a protective one under your pillow. there’s so many things to do and its so easy to use them!

🎨 get creative! you can make crystals out of salt (another thing you should invest in), learn how to read playing cards if you can’t afford a tarot deck, and never forget you can find the coolest things at thrift stores. paint can be your best friend!

☕️ tea and coffee! a keurig is a wonderful investment. whether you like coffee or tea, it gives you boiling water fast without leaving a dorm. enchant your keurig and remind yourself of the properties in your drink to help you learn.

✨ decorating! take advantage of things like twinkle lights and washi tape! if you don’t know about washi tape, its a decorating tape that does not damage walls. create constellations or sigils with washi tape on your walls! amazon also sells many cheap tapestries. give yourself a comfortable and pleasant space to live and work!

⏳ plan! enchant your planners to help you remember due dates, and while you’re at it, keep track of moon phases and other events! many calendars will tell you when full moons are.

⚖️ meditate! this is something i find very important to stay sane during hard semesters. if you have a roommate, maybe meditate in the morning or late at night laying in bed. you could also meditate when they have classes. its okay if you cant every day, but its important to remember to save time for you.

🏃‍♀️ walks! if you live in a dorm there’s a big chance you’ll be walking to class. enjoy these walks with nature, read outside every now and again, but make sure that you are always safe.

⏱ take your time! you do not have to collect all of these things in a week, month, or even year. witchcraft is all about intent and energy. you hold the power, the items are only there to help. manifest your own power, collect at your own pace.

🔎research! always research properties of things. buy cheap dried herbs from grocery stores and work with them, figure out what to put in your coffee to help you with your day, and learn how to enchant crystals to help you feel a little more confident about your studies. most importantly, learn to balance your studies and your witchy research, and don’t let witchcraft get in the way of your schoolwork. school should come first always!

i hope this helped some of you college witches, new and experienced! i am always open to answer questions! happy casting!

Broaden your horizons

Few other industries feature such cyclical nature as fashion: in most, innovation towards newer, higher performance products or services ultimately renders the previous obsolete. In the face of the latest release, previous models or designs are considered the last resort for those who can’t afford to update quickly enough, or at best, a coveted vintage item in the years to come. This is not to say R&D doesn’t play a critical role in the fashion industry, namely when it comes to unveiling higher performance raw materials, more effective and sustainable production processes, reducing waste or treating fabrics for specific purposes. As one of the the most attractive multi billion dollar industries today, it would be preposterous to believe continuous innovation doesn’t take place. 

However, Fashion does hold its share of intricacies that sets it apart from the herd: the fact its intimately connected to self expression and individuality, makes it endlessly customisable and organically mutable, depending on a series of variables that impact social behaviour and trends. As such, Fashion embodies a cyclical aspect where most “creations” are in fact reminiscent of past developments, upgraded to current standards and at times, not even that (with vintage elements becoming more and more valued). Practical manifestations of this underlying nature can be found transversally throughout the latest men’s and women’s collections, with the former maintaining a more stable aspect than the latter. 

On this note, I’d like to bring forth a current (for most) change in the menswear paradigm, which as usual, will only have repercussions within a small niche: the return of the wide leg trouser. While it’s true some designer labels never let them go in the first place, namely on runways, this time around the change is taking place on a much larger scale - collections and prescriber’s opinions are actually pushing towards this change, with mass retailers such as Zara or H&M incorporating wide leg trousers in their offerings. Paradoxically to the previous movement which embraced skinny and super skinny variants resulting in an uncanny compromise of both comfort and aesthetic, the time has finally come to opt for looser alternatives.

Trouser width and height have been some of the most controversial topics in recent menswear history, with purists being adamant in their defense of a 20/21cm bottom and break, while more fashion forward counterparts advocating for 17/18cm bottoms, no break and slimmer fit. As with most aspects of menswear, some factions remain virtually untouched by whatever changes take place, privileging a classic, timeless style that sits seamlessly in-between the conservative and avant-garde ends of the spectrum. While personally I was never an enthusiast of skinny trousers, my go-to choice until 2 years ago was undoubtedly on the slimmer side, both on off-the-rack and bespoke options - however, a couple of vintage finds and a hefty dose of Japanese inspiration set me on a different path. 

Now, even within the range of wide pants, there are several options to be considered: formal or casual, cuffs or no cuffs, carrot shaped or even width throughout, etc. While “full” wide legs are now considered somewhat of a fashion statement, a smooth transition can be ensured by opting for in-between styles like the carrot - wider at the thigh and narrower at the ankle - my personal favourite. Granted that these variations are not the go-to choice for most men out there, it doesn’t hurt to keep an open mind and explore all your options.

Miguel Amaral Vieira

Overrated First Year Advice

Disclaimer: I don’t mean to discredit the posts that have these suggestions in them… However, I know that for people going into first year university, it can be stressful seeing pages and pages of “must-dos” and feeling like you have to do them all. As always, different things work for different people! 

Talking to Profs 

  1. Getting to know profs personally. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to profs personally, don’t feel like you have to. In upper years, it can be really valuable to know profs for recommendations, etc. but in first year this is less important. Profs also don’t usually mark your work in first year, so you don’t need to suck up to them for good grades. 
  2. Going to office hours every week. Going to office hours can be very valuable if you have questions about the course or an assignments. However, I see a lot of posts telling students to go every week even if they don’t have a question. You don’t need to do this unless you want to! Often times, profs will even request that you talk to your TA before them.
  3. Emailing the prof if you miss class. Unless you go to a very small school, the prof is not going to notice if you miss class. You don’t need to email them telling them why you were absent, you can just go to a different section of the lecture or get the notes from someone. (If you have labs/tutorials/seminars, the same does not apply!! Email your TA.) 

Studying and Grades

  1. Starting to study for tests six weeks in advance. This is one piece of advice that always baffles me. The semester is only 12 weeks long (usually), so if you have a quiz in week 6, you can’t start studying for it much before week 4 or 5. Also, there is no way you will retain the finer details of things if you learned them 6 weeks before writing the test. 
  2. Guaranteeing a 4.0. I see a ton of posts telling students how to guarantee a 4.0 average or straight As. But honestly, as much as you do all of the readings and go to lectures and follow all of the studyblr advice out there, you can still get a TA who won’t give any mark higher than an 80. Just try your best and know that even though getting high marks is great, it is not the only indicator of success in uni. 
  3. Sitting in the front of the class. This is not a necessity. A lot of people post that if the prof can see your face and remember you, you will get better grades. However, in first year, the prof doesn’t mark your papers usually and even if they did, your paper doesn’t have a photo of you on it. Also, they teach so many classes I doubt they just naturally remember the first three rows of each one and no one else. Just sit where you are comfortable and can pay attention and see, and you will do fine. 
  4. Choosing your major in high school or based on what job you think you will get. If you think you want to major in something and then it turns out you hate it, that is fine! Your major should be a subject you are passionate about and can get good grades in, not something that you chose in high school or will “guarantee” you a good job (although, its also okay if your major is all of the above). 
  5. Taking full notes on a topic before the lecture. If you are going to the lecture with a ton of info already, it is easier to get distracted or to feel like you don’t need the lectures at all. Instead, take notes in the lecture and then supplement them with notes from readings or bonus material rather than the opposite way. 

Textbooks

  1. Buying textbooks online. I definitely think that buying textbooks online can be a good idea, but sometimes it is just easier to buy them from the bookstore. For example, if you are not sure if a site is legit/the book will come in time/its the right edition, etc. it might just be safer to get it in person or buy it used on campus from an upper year. (Remember, you can probably sell it next year!) 
  2. Buying old editions of textbooks. If you have the two books side by side and can tell that they are very similar, go for it. But often times, two different editions are totally different and can just mess you up. Science and math books often have different practice questions, and even in social sciences and humanities, the content can change drastically in one edition. 

Lifestyle/Personal

  1. Buying extra storage and furnishing for your dorm. Make sure you do a virtual room tour or talk to someone about the layout before you buy a ton of storage. Most dorm rooms that I have been in have a ton of storage (mine has a closet, a huge desk, shelves to the ceiling, a dresser, and cabinets for extra storage). You don’t want to show up with way too much stuff. 
  2. Keeping 1000 things in your backpack. If you live on campus, you don’t actually need to carry every single thing on earth in your bag. It will get annoying carrying around a heavy backpack while walking. Unless you are going to the library for a huge study sesh or can’t make it back to your room all day, pack lightly! 
  3. Avoiding wearing “freshman clothes”. No one cares what you are wearing. People often wear pajamas or just track pants and a baggy t-shirt to class or the caf. If you like dressing up, that’s great! But don’t feel like certain clothes are off limits. 
  4. Living at home meaning you aren’t independent. Posts that look down upon living at home or going to your home university are garbage posts in my opinion. Being able to live away from home is a privilege, and many people are not financially, physically, or emotionally able to do that. If you are living at home, do not feel bad about it. You are still an adult and you are still independent. 

Hope this helps reduce some rising freshman anxiety! And remember, if you do want to follow any of the original tips, that is okay too. :) 

About the cornrows thing...

It really was never about the hair.

Originally posted by mtv

The core of Amandla’s discussion about cultural appropriation had barely settled on America’s consciousness, much less our subconsciousness before this happened…..

and then swiftly this happened.

This “conversation” between 16 year old Stenberg and the now 18 year old Jenner caused a huge uproar. Immediately Amandla not only was accused of being a race baiter and of being the stereotypical “angry black girl” she also became Andy Cohen’s “jackhole of the day” for her counter of Kylie’s cornrows. Many people were astounded that this situation was all about hair. Anyone should be allowed to wear their hair in any fashion they want. Even the styles that have been traditionally worn by black women and girls for decades. The styles that have been worn traditionally by black women and girls for decades, primarily for function, secondarily for fashion. The styles didn’t seem to be on anyones radar or worthy of praise until Miley,or Iggy, Kendall Jenner started wearing them.

 When Amandla Stenberg called out Kylie Jenner’s cultural appropriation many came to her defense. Cries of: shes young (she had allegedly been in a relationship with a now 25 year old man since she was 16), “shes just trying to figure it out” the words of Justin Bieber, and that shes can do whatever she wants flooded the interwebs as the dispute between the girls became the highest trending hashtag.

I agree everyone should be allowed to wear their hair the way they want. A London boy in 2011 shouldn’t have been sent home because his cornrows were believed to be too closely associated with London’s gang culture. White children were also prevented from shaving their heads for fear of its association to skinheads.  

7 year old Tiana Parker should not have had to leave school because of her hair in 2013. She had attended her school for a year before her dreadlocks caused an issue.12 year old Vanessa VanDyke should not have been threatened with expulsion for wearing her hair in the natural form that grew out of her head. 

A Native American boy, 5 years old, was sent home on his first day of kindergarten because his traditional braids did not meet the required dress code for little boys. 

Okay…clearly the issue also lies in the school dress code policies. Policies that seem to make it very difficult for children of color or of other cultures to wear their hair in anyway that is different from their straight haired counterparts.  So no, Amandla’s comment was not a jab at Kylie but instead were the actions of a young woman trying to inform a privileged, young, soon to be adult celebrity with a massive fan base of impresionable individuals, to not be so careless and ignorant to the value that has historically been placed on hair and hairstyles by other cultures. It is possible to appreciate that culture without appropriating it.

  After these events I imagine that amandla would have had one last question:

What would America be like if we, as a society, defended the freedom of children of any and all color to be who they are the same way we defend  young girls/women, like Kylie Jenner, to do what they want? 

UPDATE

Vanessa was featured on the real 11/13/2015 and her Afro still looks amazing.

Ryder Character Questions

Just some fun character development/get-to-know-them questions! Warning, there are some basic spoilers.

  1. The basics! Whats their full name, gender, and sexuality? Describe their general appearance and/or include a picture. Is there anything you canon beyond what the game allows?
  2. Can’t always wear Initiative whites and blues, Whats their dress style like? Do they prefer casual wear, or being in armor? Is it the same as it was in the Milky Way? How, if applicable, has it changed since arriving in Helius?
  3. Do they have piercings, tattoos, or notable scars? Do they dye their hair, or is it a gene mod?
  4. What’s their personality like? How do they feel about being Pathfinder? How do they change, if at all, over the course of the story?
  5. What’s their preferred profile, or class? Were they naturally inclined towards combat or technical skills? Were they a developed biotic, or did they first experience it with SAM?
  6. Canon says they served in the Alliance before joining the Initiative, do you keep this canon, or have you made some changes? Explain their backstory either way.  
  7. Everyone’s got one… List their (or your) favorite powers, weapons, and armor sets. Any special reason for these choices?
  8. Its all in the family. Explain their relationship with Alec, Ellen, and their sibling. If you changed anyone’s names or added a different sibling in your canon, explain why.
  9. What’s their favorite memory they have of their sibling? Of their parents?
  10. How have they dealt with the aftermath of Habitat 7? How deeply does this effect them?
  11. As they unlock the memories, how does this change, if at all, their view of their parents?
  12. Explain the way they feel about their squadmates, both initially and over the course of the story.
  13. Explain the way they feel about the rest of the Tempest crew?
  14. How about Nexus leadership and the people on the Nexus in general?
  15. What were their reactions to the Angara and the Exiles? How did learning there was a whole new species in Helius affect them? How did news of the rebellion affect them?
  16. What about their interactions with the Kett?
  17. Did Ryder fall in love? If so, with whom? What drew them to that person? Would their sibling approve?
  18. What does Ryder do in their spare time? What are their hobbies and interests? Do they share these with their friends, or are they more private?
  19. How do they feel being in command of the Tempest? Whats their favorite part of the ship? Least favorite?
  20. How about driving the Nomad? Are they a good or terrible driver?
  21. How do they feel about their connection with SAM? What’s their views on AI in general? Knowing Milky Way history and the attack on Eden Prime and the Citadel a recent memory, did the Geth influence this view? Does their view on SAM change?
  22. Favorite world they landed on? How do they feel getting to be the first human to step in many of these places?
  23. How do they feel about the Remnant? Are they worried? Curious? Simply accepting of what they can do with it?
  24. Do they ever wish they could just return to the Milky Way? Do they miss anything in particular about their old home? Did they bring anything special with them? 
  25. How do they feel about what they’ve accomplished in Helius? Are they proud? Worried? Do they feel positive about the chances for a cluster-wide unity? If they could change anything that had happened since everyone arrived in the cluster, what would it be and why?

Feel free to reblog, but do your fellows a solid and shoot them a number to answer first. 

“Economic freedom” vs “economic regulation” is a bourgeois false dichotomy that ignores history and class analysis – this ought to be the main reason to dislike political compass charts. Since the charts are overwhelmingly made by liberals or ancap types, they always presume that capitalist private property acquisition and maintenance is “freedom” in its purest form, while democratic operation and accountability is “regulation” in its purest form. No attention paid to primitive accumulation, enclosures, the class nature of private property that subordinates the many to the few, etc.

It’s like….freedom for whom? Regulation for whom? It’s obvious who is kept in mind when they write up these charts: capitalists. If a capitalist is allowed to exercise power in society, it’s beautiful economic freedom; if workers are able to exercise power in society, it’s gross economic regulation. Objectively, most people experience a greater breadth of freedom (freedom from hunger, freedom to help determine the course of society, etc.) under leftist economic democracy – it’s only “regulation” and “unfreedom” for the capitalists who hope to close off the commons and profit off the backs of workers and communities.