i like the post processing on these i think it worked out pretty well

List of anime series/movies with unique art styles.

For my friends on tumblr, in case you guys want something to watch, here’s a quick list of anime series/movies with unusual/unique art styles that you may or may not know.

Kaiba

With an artstyle reminiscent of the original Astro Boy, Kaiba has a very simplistic (yet stylized) and fluid style of animation and art. The story revolves around the titular character, who wakes up with a hole in his chest with no idea of who he is. I enjoyed this a lot for the art, music and characters, who all have realistic motivations and ideals, as well as the themes handled in it; such as what defines “being human” when bodies and memories are as disposable as plastic.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Psychological Drama

Redline

In terms of sheer action and excitement I got from watching a movie, I’ve got to say that Redline is one of the best ever in those departments. With a highly stylized comic-book-esque art style with a high influence from Western comics like Dick Tracy (with the emphasis on black shadows on solid colours and thick black outlines), this show is extremely fluidly animated, the movie is said to consist of 120 000 hand-drawn frames, taking seven years to complete. The movie follows the story of racer JP (aka “Sweet” JP, because of his refusal to use weaponry while racing) trying to win (and survive) the titular Redline, a race consisting of multiple racers from multiple different galaxies and planets.
Genre: Racing, Sci-Fi, Action

Mononoke

Every frame of this anime could be screencapped and slapped onto someone’s dashboard for their aesthetic. That is how distinct the art style and character design of this show is. The show uses a form of “plaid animation”, where something will be animated over a still color or object as it moves, creating most of the time a jarring effect that is usually the sign of a lazy animator, however in Mononoke, the show utilizes the art to create a sense of a surreal, dream-like environment, intentionally focusing on the jarring effect. The art and design of the environment is also extremely ornate and beautiful.
The show focuses on the story of the unknown Medicine Seller and his travels through Japan (in an unknown time period), killing spirits and creatures known as Mononoke. However, he cannot do so until he learns their Form, Truth and Reasoning/Regret, which leads to some very interesting lessons at the end of each story.
Genre: Mystery, Horror

Dead Leaves

Another comic-influenced movie, and just barely under an hour too; Dead Leaves is an extremely fun, hyper-action-packed movie with amazing character design (almost EVERY good character in this movie has a unique design, barring the civilains and generic bad guy cannon fodder), driven by slapstick, humor (usually of the sexual kind) and more pop culture references than you can digest within the time span they’re thrown at you. The story focuses on criminals Retro and Pandy; Retro having a TV instead of a head, and Pandy having a panda-like marking on her eye, who, shortly after waking up on the moon and causing havoc on a nearby planet, are imprisoned in a super-jail.
Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Kuuchuu Buranko / Welcome to Irabu’s Office

Combining rotoscoped 3D, 2D animation and live action elements, Kuuchuu Buranko is an extremely surreal look into the world of psychiatry. The art and designs were created by the lead artist of Mononoke, Kenji Nakamura. But whereas Mononoke had some subtlety to its art, this show is bright, colourful and neon as all hell. The show focuses on Dr. Ichiro Irabu and how he helps his patients with their problems, who are all connected in some way or the other.
Genre: Comedy, Psychological Drama

The Tatami Galaxy

With a bright visual style that also manages to be subtle at the same time, The Tatami Galaxy also utilizes not just its art as a device for story telling, but the form of the show itself to convey its messages. I can’t spoil too much about the show, but I can give you this: if you enjoy the first episode, please watch it to completion, as this show basically requires the viewer to watch the show in its entirety. The story focuses on an unnamed protagonist, commonly referred to as Watashi by the show’s fans, who tries to attain the “rose-tinted” college life style he has desired for his whole life, as well as all the challenges he faces on the way. With fast-paced dialogue, a lot of humor, interesting character and background designs, as well as the various forms of “characterization”, and also the themes tackled by this show, I’d say it’s one of my favorite shows of all time.
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama, Psychological, Sci-Fi

Mind Game

Mind Game. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa (also the director behind The Tatami Galaxy, Kaiba and Ping-Pong). I don’t think words can do this movie justice, but I’ll try. Imagine a combination of 3D-morphing-into-2D, sketches, animated photo images of (presumably) the voice actor’s for talking, extremely smooth and fluid movement, plus an insane amount of exaggeration,all coupled with a huge range of bright and dark colours and you’ve got Mind Game’s animation style down somewhat. Go look up more GIFs, they’ll help you understand the range of styles this surreal (and extremely fun) movie goes through. The plot follows Nishi, a down-on-his-luck, 20-years-old manga writer, running into his childhood crush Myon. He discovers she’s getting married soon while they’re talking inside her father’s restaurant. After that (plus another key event), the craziness in the movie begins; Nishi having a new-found desire to live life.
Genre: Comedy, Surrealism, 

Tekkonkinkreet

Tekkonkinkreet, although similar in appearance to some Masaaki Yuasa works, was not made by the man himself (although, it was made by the company, Studio 4°Cthat helped produce Mind Game). This movie has incredibly detailed backgrounds, similar to a Studio Ghibli film, with amazing usage of lighting, camera shots and motion blur as well as a wide variety of colours and shades. The story follows Black and White, two street orphans who call themselves “The Cats”, trying to keep control of their town from dangerous enemies. Although vastly different in personalities, they support each other emotionally, mentally and physically very well.
Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure

The Diary of Tortov Riddle

The Diary of Tortov Roddle, although very short (6 episodes all leading up to 14 minutes! Watch it here! It has three special episodes that are part of the DVD though), is an interesting adventure of a surreal world that seems almost like a moving/animated picture rather than a movie or series. It follows the journey of Tortov Roddle and his pig-steed throughout this world, with just his calm thoughts and experiences. There’s no dialogue in this series but it doesn’t really require any dialogue at all, the only dialogue being Tortov’s journal entries at the beginning and end of each episode. The music, lack of dialogue and artall contribute to a very interesting, mysterious atmosphere.
Genre: Fantasy, Surrealism, Adventure

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Straight outta Compton Studio Ghibli, The Tale of Princess Kaguya is an adaption of one of the staples of traditional Japanese folklore, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. This film adapts the ancient story of the young princess who grew out of a bamboo shoot and breathes fresh new life into it while still staying 100% true to the source material. The art can only be described as absolutely gorgeous, using a pale colour palette in a constantly shifting style that recalls the ancient Japanese watercolour paintings that the original story was recorded on.

Genre:  Fantasy, Drama

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Oh man this show.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei follows the story of Nozomu Itoshiki, an overdramatic teacher so pessismistic about everything that he would try committing suicide over pretty much the smallest inconvenience (his name, when its Japanese characters are read horizontally, also translates into “Despair”) and his bizarre homeroom students’ antics. The series parodies almost everything there is to satrize in Japanese culture (the show even parodies itself from time to time with casual 4th wall-breaking from every show), as well as the general media and politics of the world, as well as having an insane amount of references to various things regardless of fame; from Gundam, Evangelion and Gurren Lagann, to Franz Kafka, Edward Gorey and South Park. The art’s very minimal (which itself gets parodied later on in the series), but it, uh, changes a lot, to put it simply.

Genre: Comedy, Parody

Ping-Pong

(gotta lot of requests to list this one)

Sports anime tends to always get a bad rep amongst anime fans for various reasons, whether it be that the viewer gets tired of seeing another Dempsey Roll, or the amount of reused frames in the series, they’re all understandable.
And so comes Ping-Pong to shatter those preconceptions of what a sports anime can be. Focusing rather on the characters, their emotions and development rather than the titular game that the anime’s based on (unlike most sports anime), this coming-of-age show following two boys as they (one actually) strive to become the best table tennis players in the world, is directed by none other than Masaaki Yuasa, who has directed a lot of the shows and movies on this list actually, with his trademark style of not having a trademark artstyle (other than wobbly simple lines and psychedelic colours).

Genre: Psychological, Drama, Coming-Of-Age, Sports

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

(im still in the process of watching Gankutusou and Ping-Pong (thanks school) hence why they weren’t in the original post)

Gankutsuou is what most people would call “art porn”, as it uses various still textures, colours and patterns within the character’s lineart, similar to Mononoke and Kuuchuu Buranko though to a much greater extent, while using 3D and 2D animation on the characters and backgrounds. The story is broadly based on the titular story of The Count of Monte Cristo, but with many differences, such as being set in the year 5053, plotlines and character endings being altered/removed, the pacing being changed from the original story, as well as the incorporation of many sci-fi themes. The general aesthetic of the show is that of 19th century France in a highly futuristic setting.

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Supernatural

Kaiji

Based off a popular gambling manga by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, Kaiji follows the story of the titular character, Kaiji Itou, an unemployed slacker who spends his days gambling (and always losing), stealing, drinking and being obsessed with money. He suddenly finds himself 3 million in debt, and is offered the chance to erase all of his debt, and maybe even earn some cash, in one night.

Via gambling.

With thick bold lines, exaggerated expressions and hugely caricaturized faces that woul make more sense in a comedy that all serve as a plus to the show, Kaiji is an intense psychological thriller that always leaves you on the edge of your seat, with some of the most insane and dramatic gambles in any piece of fiction.

Genre: Psychological, Thriller, Gambling

Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt

Two angels, kicked out of Heaven, have been tasked with cleaning up the filthy sin-riddled Daten City, and can only return once they’ve gotten enough Heaven coins!

Not like that matters to Panty and Stocking anyways, whose only cares in the world are what tastes good, much to the chagrin of local priest Garterbelt.

With a ton of American pop culture references, humor that would make South Park seem like a kid’s show, action that is so bizarre it can’t even be explained, and an animation style that’s more akin to a cartoon on a huge drug trip than anything else, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt shows that sometimes too much of a good thing is still a good thing.

Genre: Comedy, Action, Parody, Not something to play around Grandma

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

There really is no other gif that explains and summarizes Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure better than this one.

Based off the hugely popular manga by Araki Hirohiko, the show follows the story of the Joestar bloodline. Jojo is unique in that it doesn’t follow one group of characters or main character throughout the entire franchise, but rather a different cast in a different location throughout the world, ranging from 1930s New York, to 1980s Japan, to Egypt and much more.

If I’m being rather vague about describing this rather popular show, I apologize, but there really is no way to properly explain this bizarre series.

With proportions that look like it was ripped straight out of a bodybuilder’s magazine, poses that could probably break your spine if even just attempted, and fights that end up being some of the most hype as well as some of the most ridiculous you’ll have ever seen, as well as a bright, dramatic colour pallete, this is a show that truly lives up to its “Bizarre” title.

(also protip: start with the 2012 adaption first rather than the 90s OVA, and read the manga.)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural, Mystery

What criticism feels like to a creative person

Browsing Reddit, I came across an extremely effective post about why some creatives respond very poorly to criticism, or even for those of us who respond well, why it can feel like an attack even though in your head you know it isn’t.

Originally posted by enjoy-the-life-baby

Criticism creates a mental conflict, but not always that kind.

Imagine if you wrote a final essay for your literature class, really did your best on it, turned it in, and the teacher gave it 100%. Elated, you take it home to show it off to your dad. Your dad says “You got a D? You really should have tried harder.” You think WTF, you squint at the paper and you’re pretty damn sure it says 100%, A+, Good work. But your dad says “No, it clearly says 63%, D-, disappointing.” Then you start to realize you’re living in some kind of warped reality where your dad sees something on the paper completely different than what you see, and you start wondering if you even know what’s real anymore.

This is what it feels like to get a criticism. It casts into doubt your own definition of “good” which is probably the basis of your entire creative process. It’s not even an issue of admitting weakness. Admitting weakness is easy. What’s not easy is having your instincts cast into doubt and not knowing whether to trust  yourself anymore.

  • Do I trust this critic?
  • Do I trust myself? Some combination of the two?
  • Do I stand by my decisions or not?
  • Do I make changes even though I don’t understand how they will help?
  • Will the changes completely undermine the artistic vision I wanted for this?
  • Will it defeat the whole point I was going for?
  • I can’t feel the emotional reasoning behind making changes, so how will I know if my change is for the better or worse?
  • Is the critic just not the right audience for this? Is the critic biased? Is the critic just having a bad day?
  • Should I ignore them altogether, and just keep doing this for the people who like it?
  • Are my fans wrong and simpleminded?
  • Am I even doing anything of significance?
  • Should I give up here?

These are all questions which artists ask themselves when they receive criticism. They’re tricky, ambiguous questions that don’t always have a correct answer. Many newcomers don’t even know how to approach these questions, so criticism can often feel like a personal attack even if both sides mean well.

That’s not to say that criticism itself is bad, but if you get a better idea of what a criticism is doing psychologically to the receiver, you might find yourself offering more effective, well-received advice.

This ties in pretty closely to the advice I often give on this very blog, about how to deal with negative feedback; above all, trying not to dwell on it. Before you give any response, always take time to calm down.

Originally posted by gabedonohoe

This is a pretty universal problem that affects all creatives across all media. You’d have to be as emotionless as a stone to not fall prey to it occasionally.

Part of being a writer is building up creative confidence. This is the faith in yourself to be able to write something and put it out into the world, and to know, deep down, that this work has value, to you and to your audience.

You may, later, discover that this work isn’t all that good, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that it was a stepping stone to the person you are now, and the work you’re producing today.

Whenever you create a piece of work, make sure you internalise why you made that work. What it meant to you. It doesn’t matter if that work was a prize-winning literary novel or a scrawling of Vegeta from DBZ drawn in pencil on lined paper. If the work expresses something you can’t contain, something you have to get down on paper, over time you’ll develop the creative confidence to accept that even if it’s “bad”, that isn’t what’s important. The end result isn’t as important as the work itself.

Creative Confidence isn’t something you just develop overnight. It takes work. It’ll probably take a few embarrassing moments too, and those will be the hurtful types that’ll lead to “arguments you win in the shower” 5 years later. It takes different durations for different people. However, if you work at it, it’s something I believe is within the reach of everyone.

Find your Creative Confidence; I’m sure you can.

top 10 phan moments that make me wanna rip my heart out

yeah, just ten moments among hundreds, let it be part one or something. tell me what i’ve missed because i want more suffering in my life.

10) mind control.

i mean, i appreciate the subtlety. i crave those tiny moments that you only notice when someone points them out to you. but this! you can’t miss this one, this moment is shoved down our throats. this is so “i’m allowed to do that to you, to be in your personal space, and gaze into your eyes for no reason, just because i want to”. and phil’s face in that moment, so much joy and mischief, he claps his hands and gazes back.

9) chest touch.

drama queen howell strikes again, it hurts to rewatch it srsly, why is he so extra? but what is phil doing ladies and gents? he slaps his chest in the weirdest way possible, he brushes it, it’s like he wants to shove him but reassuringly and the movement happens so fast you have to pause for a second to comprehend it. that sweet gentle boy is so fond of dan’s unnecessary commentary and yeah, it completely distracts us from what dan is saying at that moment.

8) feel my heartbeat.

was that necessary, really? like, i don’t ask my friends to feel my heartbeat when i’m scared, that was such a “horror movie at first date” bullshit, that’s not what people do?? and when dan does feel that beautiful hummingbird heart, phil just covers his hand with his own palm because yes, you gotta feel it very close, no air between your hand and my chest. dan immediately looks into the camera to show us that yeah, i know you’re there, nothing strange, and makes a comment about phil dying. wow.

7) phil the delivery man.

i don’t know what to say. it’s so simple but why does phil have to make such an act of bringing dan his charger, why does he talk in that stupid voice?? they have a banter, and then phil FIXES DAN’S CHARGER FOR HIM, like what?? who asked you to do that? where’s my IT guy au (literally, he’s got glasses, look at him). and before he leaves he plays the piano that nerd, what an attention seeker, and then bows!! is he tipsy? did he have a pre-liveshow orgasm or something? dan laughs fondly and it’s all i need in the world.

6) child beer.

what’s happening and does it even matter. phil’s hiding on the floor, but why? to surprise us? eh whatever. so he’s got that magical japanese powdery stuff and he wants dan to taste it. the biggest problem for me here, ahem, i mean the thing that just kills me every time is that phil spends the whole time (eight minutes) on his knees and he looks so cute when he makes that beer, holds it close to the camera, and then lets the foam sit so dan can have the ultimate child beer experience.

it reminds me of that hot chocolate video, where he does something so trivial but he’s so gentle and loving about it. i still don’t understand why they didn’t do a simple taste test like bros, but phil had to make it for dan, he wanted to see his reaction. and then he tries it as well, touches the glass rim with his lips at the same place where dan’s mouth just was (gross).

and i just can’t ignore how that boy sneaks past dan’s room after that, he’s playful, he stops to say that he googled something and dan was wrong, and domesticity, i wanna die.

5) sleeping phil on tour.

i kinda wanna talk about the angle here because i don’t understand how it was filmed (camera is pretty static, dan’s hand reaches from the side, not behind), but i don’t know if it matters here. what matters is how gentle dan is. of course, he starts with classic nose tickling, which is what “messing with a sleeping friend” usually implies, but then he frees one strand of phil’s hair and just lets it fall. wow, fantastic prank, dan.

and let’s separately discuss that pout/kiss phil does after he opens his eyes. i know you want a slow mo replay, so here we go:

that’s what i call “im gonna stay asleep but i love you”. where’s the nearest cliff so i can fling myself into abyss?

4) the look.

context what context. why did they keep it? why did they put it on fullscreen instead of hiding in the corner? two full-length looks dan, really?? you know what he looks like, why do you have to examine him like that in front of us you slut. and it just passes, without acknowledgment, they just turn back at us simultaneously and I’M STILL DEAD at that moment, i don’t care what happens next.

3) snoot. proot. (i just filmed you doing that)

i don’t even care what it was. something about piano sounds or whatever, but this video haunts me. THERE’S SO MUCH TO IT. first, phil is lying on dan’s bed (at least in the official version it’s dan’s, not mutual), just chilling?? and dan’s working i guess. so they are not actually doing something together but it’s a cozy evening, why would they spend it in different rooms? dan says something, idk, and phil replies “yeah” in that deep voice I SWEAR i haven’t heard from him before. dan makes the sounds again, like can you believe he’s an actual dork in real life, it’s not an act, he’s actually the weirdest boy alive, and he so obviously doesn’t know he’s being filmed. because when phil says “i just filmed you doing that you’re so weird”, he’s so delighted, he laughs at himself, he turns around, his hair is pushed back omg they are both so sleepy and i rejoice. i think this video gives us a rare but fantastic insight in their everyday life, phil must be keeping so much silly videos like that on his google drive and we never get to see them BUT SOMEHOW he posts this one, probably because dan is cute and he wants everyone to know it.

2) you loved it. you wanna do it more.

so, yes. you know this one. where do i even begin?? they play this dragon quiz and then 1) phil says “you loved it” in the strangest voice, like the voice we never hear from him, it’s deeper and quieter, he looks at dan even though dan’s not looking back; 2) dan is looking down as if he’s fiddling with an ipad or something, it’s almost a bts moment, something they would usually edit out. AND THEN THREE SECONDS OF SILENCE while dan kinda processes what’s going on and phil still looks at him expectantly. seductive as fuck. and now this quiet “alright”, i’m just… dan looks like he’s gotten the hint, so he’s a little embarrassed and they share the softest laugh. 

the thing is, we know how often phil makes sexual innuendos and dan always reacts the same way: he looks into the camera, he throws a witty comment in, he puts it on display to show us that there’s no intimacy in that moment. but not this time. i don’t understand why they didn’t edit it out. i just… don’t.

1) pantless liveshow
this is the ultimate. this is the weirdest and the most awesome thing these two gave me and i’m not even sure what can top that. the moment when phil decides to grab the humidifier and show us, he looks at the screen, says “one second” and stands up very awkwardly while dan turns the laptop away from him and makes the weirdest “how you doing” face. 

WHAT THE FUCK. did they think we were so used to them weirdos that we wouldn’t even notice that shit? but fuck, they do it again, they want to show us the spray and dan goes “should i go get it? you have to do phil’s corner”. like, i can’t function, i honestly can’t. AND THE WORST PART is when dan returns and we can see him covering his legs with a blanket just too fast like it’s not that cold boy come on.

i have no explanation and i have every explanation. i don’t deserve all this suffering.

post-emoji movie Trauma

WARNING: the following text contains spoilers and can be considered disturbing to some readers. especially my brain, because it’s leaking out my ears after typing this.

This is the first movie ever I’ve gone to see on opening night. And let me just say that, for the record, I’m glad I went to watch with friends. Without them, I would have most likely calmly exited the room, climbed up to the roof, and dived straight off.

Keep reading

I just got a job as a writing tutor, and it inspired me to start a series of writing masterposts! From teaching college composition for two years at grad school and from working as a consultant at my university’s Writing Center, I’ve come to learn a few things about writing I’d like to share. Some of these tips may sound basic, and some may be fresh to you. Some may meet you exactly where you are. Regardless, these are some of the foundational aspects of good college writing.

I. Content & Style: Avoid Fluffy Language

Perhaps this is a symptom of trying to meet page minimums, but some students tend to inflate sentences with unnecessary adjectives. Similarly, they may puff up an essay with a useless statement, like, “Depression affects people in various ways.” What follows a sentence like this is usually a cataloging of the various/numerous/diverse ways in which depression affects people. Kill the middleman: that useless sentence. Be assured that most readers are astute enough to infer that depression affects people in many ways when you list said ways.

Language that sounds like that of a motivational speaker is maddening to most college instructors. “If you are true to yourself, you will be happy in life.” “Friends and family are the most important way to get the emotional support you need.” These are platitudes and overly generalize. Broad claims make for unoriginal writing; be specific and back up your claims with a logical argument, providing evidence for your opinion. Broad generalizations like, “Since the dawn of time, people have loved art” are just padding and detract from more interesting ideas you may have. 

II. Description: Be Concrete and Concise

An easy way to avoid vague fluff is to use concrete images and concise language. First, if you can say something in five words instead of ten, that’s great! Go with the five. Second, concrete details provide a more refined image in the reader’s mind (car vs. Ford Taurus, for example) without the use of adjectives and adverbs. And try to avoid adverbs when you can. Show how a person is running “quickly” instead of telling the reader the person is running quickly. Is there sweat? Is this person bumping into others? Are the legs pumping like pistons? Specificity makes for much more interesting writing.

III. Organization: Make a Backwards Outline!

The best thing about outlines is that you ultimately do not have to follow them. Many people use the drafting process to think and come up with their best idea in the middle of the paper. But often the papers that are turned in are first drafts, so that great idea—around which you ought to have centered your paper—remains in the middle, not standing front and center and lacking enough space to develop further. If you’ve allowed yourself enough time to make a second/final draft, post-organize your paper. Map out the flow of your ideas and ask yourself if this is the best order and arrangement possible. Yes, revision is more work, but it is worth it. It is so, so, obvious to professors when a paper has not been properly organized.

IV. Grammar: Comma Splices

The most common grammatical error students make is the comma splice. A comma splice is the attachment of two sentences with only a comma. For example: “Harvey and Tim built a raft, they took it out on the river later.” ARGH. “Harvey and Tim built a raft” is a complete sentence, as is “they took it out on the river later.” How do you fix a comma splice? Well, there are three ways:

  • Use two separate sentences: “Harvey and Tim built a raft. They took it out on the river later.”
  • Add a conjunction after the comma: “Harvey and Tim built a raft, and they took it out on the river later.”
  • Use a semicolon: “Harvey and Tim built a raft; they took it out on the river later.

Standard/Edited (American) English grammar is the grammar of (American) academia and will be for a while. Also, simply, spelling and grammar mistakes only work to undermine your writing. If you have brilliant ideas, you shouldn’t obfuscate them with lousy grammar.

V. Language: Build Your Vocabulary

What does “obfuscate” mean? Well, when you encounter unfamiliar words, look them up and commit their meaning to memory. Practice using them, when appropriate. Of course don’t bloat your language so that your prose reads like a thesaurus. Your writing should sound intelligent/formal (with the help of new words), yet not awkward and stiff with the clumsy handling of “big” words.

VI. Scoring: Read What You Wrote Out Loud

This is pretty basic. Listening to your own writing will help you determine if it sounds stiff and/or unnatural or just awkward as hell. You can read your writing aloud to yourself, but it is best to hear another person read it. I refer to this section as “scoring” because writing has a musical aspect, too. Your use of language should be pleasing, made so by choosing the right word for the right moment, by opting for combinations of words that sound harmonious, and so that your delivery of ideas is arranged to have the most powerful impact. Choose a tone suited to your subject, and know thy audience. What will sound good to you may not sound so good for your intended audience. Adjust the score accordingly.

VII. Research: Do More of It Than You Think You Need To

Often you will be assigned a minimum number of sources for a research paper. Let’s say five, for example. Go for eight or nine. Of course you should avoid using redundant sources (a book on Samuel Beckett’s stage directions and journal article about Samuel Beckett’s stage directions). Find as many perspectives as possible; it’ll only make your arguments stronger. Plus the more academic writing you read, the more naturally it’ll come when you have to do your own.

VIII. Go Weird or Go Home

Another reason more using sources than required can help: finding unique perspectives/approaches to a subject. You may encounter some ideas that counter popular assumptions (peer pressure has some positive impacts; depression can sometimes benefit cognitive function; anti-drug education actually increases drug use). Another interesting tack to take is to go with a subject that often makes people uncomfortable, such as child sexuality, masochism, and alternatives to capitalism.

Strange, uncommon arguments are more interesting than broader overly researched topics, such as nature vs. nurture. A paper on the deliberate use of plot holes, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and their effect on narrator reliability would be far more interesting than the representation of capitalism in Animal Farm by George Orwell. The more complex and difficult the argument you choose the more critical thinking/writing skills you demonstrate. Weirdness is rewarded in academia, by getting your professor’s attention, by getting published in critical journals, etc. In this case, the axiom of “Be unique, and stand out in the crowd” stands true.

I hope this was helpful! Message me or send me an ask if you have any questions.

Learning Graphic Design On Your Own

A Quick Note…

Everyone learns differently. Some people like to ask questions in class, others like to watch videos that they can pause and replay, and even more people could prefer to just tinker and see what happens (I’m personally a tinkerer). The first thing you should do when learning on your own (so probably online or through books) is to do some research and know how you like to learn.

So, let’s start with… what even is “Graphic Design”?

Let’s get this straight… graphic designers aren’t fine artists. They are problem solvers, visual communicators, and sometimes curators of information in an aesthetically pleasing way. We organize information and try to make the world an easier-to-understand and more beautiful place. Of course, there are other fields like advertising where we communicate to customers why they should buy certain products. Or there are User Interface/Experience designers that will develop websites and video game interfaces and design how you interact with it. Look into graphic design and see what field you want to be in. What do you want to do with graphic design?

Fun fact, the google definition says: “the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.” and to that, I’d like to say we do SO MUCH MORE.

Now that you know what you’re doing…Here’s the VERY BRIEF process!
(I may make individual posts for each step later on)

  1. Learn the basics
    1. Typography, how to use the basic principles of line, shape, color, and so on is usually for everyone no matter your field.
    2. Basics like composition are also very important. If you’re into editorial then typographic spreads will be more of your focus. If you’re in web design then seeing how websites are typically laid out will be a thing to look into. Basic typography, color theory, and principles still apply!
    3. Basics and principles are a google search (or a book) away! Everyone talks about these things ALL the time.
  2. Look up inspiration and develop an “eye” for design
    1. Follow design blogs! Follow other designers! On all of your social media! (There are so many Tumblr blogs and Instagram accounts solely dedicated to graphic design curation).
  3. Look into the big names of the industry
    1. Why were they remembered? Everyone else in the field probably remembers them for that, too.
    2. What was so great about them? Apply what you learn to your own work!
    3. If they’re well known, they probably have at least decent work to get inspired from!
  4. Research is done… time to do some work!
    1. If you’re just starting out, there are some things you’re probably not used to. Doing things by hand with sharpie markers on paper will definitely help train your eye and mind to think more about communication, not pretty things. 
    2. Abstract things down into simple shapes. Then try communicating that same object with fewer shapes. Maybe only lines? Geometric style? Play around with communication! This is key when you get into icons, logos, and other visuals that require a more minimal look. 
    3. Remember, you make information more easily accessible. The best logos are easy to remember because they are simple and effective. Your work may one day need that kind of punch!
  5. The jump from traditional to digital
    1. It’s time to learn about your program(s) of choice… my biggest piece of advice would be to just mess with it. Learning on your own by trying to make something is one of the best ways to train your mind and body on how to use the programs.
    2. Try every tool. Try making basic shapes. Then make basic objects with those shapes. Then try making a person or something more complicated. Try to test every tool to see what you’d use it for!
    3. Don’t know anything or how to do something? Google it! If you’re asking there’s probably 5+ different YouTube videos, 3+ articles, and 100+ tutorials on how to do it.
  6. Let’s work on projects!
    1. Now that you’re familiar with the history, principles, other designers, and the programs… just keep on making stuff!
    2. Making your own projects (make your own website, business cards, a flyer for a club, a T-Shirt, and so on…) is my biggest recommendation on how to learn graphic design. Actually applying everything you’ve learned will make you think in a problem-solving way! Also sharing things that you’ve made that actually matter is way more fun than sharing a fancy circle you made with no context. (You can say “look at this T-Shirt I made!” instead of “look at this weird circle I made!”)
  7. Get feedback from designers and non-designers
    1. Once you’ve made stuff… ask everyone! Non-designers will give you a client’s perspective of your work. A designer’s perspective will help you grow as a designer and they may see things that you and your average person wouldn’t have noticed. (you’re always free to ask me if you’d like!)
    2. Please remember to not take feedback personally (unless they’re being rude, then just ignore them). You’re learning and growing and there’s always room for improvement. A lot of feedback is not a bad thing!
  8. Stay determined!
    1. Being a designer isn’t easy. That T-Shirt you made that took you a couple days? Someone could say they don’t get it. Other designers could say there was a better way to execute your idea. Another person may even say it looks like something else!
    2. When you design you have to expect to make revisions, rethinking, and making more revisions until it’s at a good enough place to publish. But no matter what, you have to remember that it’s not about PERFECTION. It’s about getting it DONE and learning to grow. No one is perfect, and it’s mostly subjective, so just take the criticism you agree with and don’t apply what you disagree with. As a designer, you should know what’s right, wrong, or what you should consider bringing up to other designers.
    3. KEEP MAKING MORE STUFF! You can even remake older stuff as you go on! Just keep going!

That’s my super brief process!

Now honestly, I could’ve gotten down into the nitty gritty details of each step, but this is basically how I’d suggest going about it if you want to get a head start before getting into college, or you want to just learn on your own.

If you guys have any additional questions or want me to go more in-depth about anything, feel free to let me know! :)

So you’re in a magickal funk. You haven’t done a spell in months, and let’s face it, you’re already exhausted, but the thought of not dedicating any time to your practice is stressing you out more than you’d like. There’s nothing major going on in your life right now that warrants the energy to do a spell or ritual so you’re stuck thinking “why bother?” 

This has been the case with me on more than one occasion, especially lately. I’m sitting here thinking…”man, I learned all of this stuff, had a lot of success and a few failures; I want to do magick but I just…can’t.” I work too much. I’ve got a lot on my mind. Nothing about raising energy and putting it to rest sounds appealing because all I really want to do is sleep. 

I’m sure some of you have read my “Passive Magick” series; if not, here is part I and part II; but what happens if you don’t even have the time or energy to do some of the most basic things I mentioned in those posts (like clean house, cook dinner, or even take a shower)? 

Since this is a personal struggle that I’m sure many of you also face, I’ve had to think long and hard about how I can practice magick in a minimalistic way without giving up all together, so here is what I’ve come up with. 

  • Think of all the reasons why you’ve become unmotivated or uninterested in your practice, and make a list. If you don’t feel like busting out a pen and paper, use the memo pad on your phone. It’ll take 5 minutes at the very most. For me, it’s got a lot to do with work, stress from work, being tired, adulthood in general, personal relationships, and overall worry about the people I love (gotta love being an empath). 
  • Alright, you’ve made a short and simple list of all of the stressors in your life, which might have stressed you out more than you already were, but let’s move on.
  • This next part sounds simple but might end up being a little more complicated than you think - it’s okay, stick with it: make some notes on your list about how to improve those situations, or simply jot down the opposite of what’s going on. For example, I might not be so tired all the time if I got a good night’s sleep - it doesn’t always help, but it might if I actually tried, who knows. I might have an easier time at work if my communication skills were up to par, and if I knew how to handle stress without getting overwhelmed. Home stress may be relieved if I was better organized as far as like, paying my bills early and trying to save money. I might worry less about my family if I visited with them more. You get the idea. Next… 
  • So basically, by listing ideas to combat your stressors, you’ve inadvertently come up with ideas for spells to help you along the way. For me, this entails…
    • an anti-stress spell
    • a communication spell (for both work and interpersonal relationships)
    • a sleep spell (preferably one where I have no dreams)
    • an organization spell
    • a motivation spell
  • You get the picture, I’m sure. 
  • Okay, so now…. you have to do the spells. Ugh. Even the thought of doing such a thing wears me out, but let’s entertain the idea of putting together a multipurpose spell jar. You can easily figure out the correspondences for things like better communication, better sleep, relieving stress, and staying motivated. You might even know a few correspondences off hand so you don’t have to do too much digging for information. 
  • At this point, head over to your spice cabinet, kitchen pantry, craft drawer, or whatever and gather some supplies. Don’t even bother trying to go buy new stuff. Use what you already have, and try not to choose multiple ingredients for the same intent. Just pick one, it’ll make your life easier.
  • Now, anyone who has ever made a spell jar before knows the process of stating your intent as you add your ingredients to the jar. It takes little effort on your part to mumble some words like “ok lavender your job is to keep me relaxed and relieve my stress.” Do this with each ingredient and bam, done. Seal the jar and…then what?
  • Well, what about timing the spell? That part is up to you: you might choose to utilize a certain phase of the moon, or you might not even care to wait until a particular lunar phase because you don’t give two hoots about the moon, at all. Maybe you choose to do the spell at night because for the first time all day, you’re somewhat relaxed. Once again, that’s totally fine. 
  • Okay…but I have to charge this stupid jar somehow. Well, you can lightly channel energy from external sources to power your spell so you don’t tire yourself out and lose motivation before you even begin. Craft a super simple sigil that states “this spell jar is charged and activated” or write that sentence on paper and set your spell jar on top of it. Draw a picture of a constellation or rune that corresponds to power or enchanting and set the jar on top of that. Stick a piece of quartz on top of the jar. Add a little sea salt water to the jar (it’s a natural conductor of electricity and energy). There are lots of easy ways to charge your jar. Done and done. 
  • Alright, my spell jar is made and charged so…now what do I do?? Remember that mundane effort is just as important when it comes to magickal workings. Buy a planner to keep you organized, or open the calendar app on your phone and mark important dates. If you know you need at least 8 hours of sleep to feel energized, then don’t wait until 2am to lay down in bed. If communication is an issue, then actually try to talk to people and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, especially in the workplace. 
  • These are just examples that mostly cater to my specific and personal situations, but you can easily modify these ideas to suit your needs. One good spell may be just the thing you need to kickstart your practice again, and this method is simple and straightforward enough that pretty much anyone can do it, even on your worst days. 

Good luck. 🔮✨

a love spell, or something like it

inspired by a post sara reblogged (this one, specifically) and the resulting conversation about different love spells, where she suggested i write the fic. i said no, go away, it’s late. then i stayed up and wrote the fic.

This doesn’t make any sense.

Though they’d never admit it—Dean especially would never admit it—they’re practically witches themselves at this point. Sam isn’t deluded enough to think otherwise. He has a fair share of spells up his sleeve that he knows by heart by now, a few more he’s working on remembering, and some he still struggles with the incantation, but at the end of the day they frequently speak Latin and throw herbs into flames, so, logically, they’re witches, or close enough to it.

And it’s because of this (and his own unfortunate experience that no one must ever speak of again, thanks) that Sam knows a love spell when he sees one.

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Q&A religion

yourbitchystudentcollector said:Hello Ms. Clare I’m a big fan and I was wondering 2 things. Does shadowhunter culture change depending on the area, like east african shadowhunters having a different culture than American shadowhunters. And a while ago you answered someone saying that there couldn’t be any muslim shadowhunters because of shadowhunter culture, but what about mundanes who became shadowhunters? like how Simon is still Jewish even though he is now a shadowhunter.


Shadowhunters live all around the world, and as such, their culture is absolutely shaped by the mundane cultures that surround them. Quoting an earlier post on the subject: 


“The thing is, Shadowhunters have their own religion. They worship Raziel, and as such, they can’t be Muslim or Catholic or belong to other religions the way mundane humans can. However, they do live spread out across a world that contains many different beliefs, and bits of regional culture do bleed over into the lives of the Nephilim. Jem speaks often of beliefs (reincarnation, the Wheel of Life) that are specific to Buddhism. Though Cristina prays to the Angel Raziel literally, there is a lot about her beliefs that is tinged with Catholicism and echoes of the culture she grew up around. So in essence, Cordelia and her family have absorbed some of the surrounding culture and religion, like Jem did when he was growing up in Shanghai.”

Humans who ascend are in a different position, since they bring their own beliefs and identities with them, however they are expected to worship Raziel as their creator and prophet, which essentially contradicts pretty much every existing human religion (which is why I said that there weren’t really Muslim or Christian Shadowhunters — because being a Shadowhunter and believing their beliefs is often not compatible with other religions, and since those religions are part of mundane culture and they are forbidden mundane culture — well, you can see the issue.) Simon is not willing to give up his Jewish identity, so he’s essentially flying under the radar and working at the rather complicated process of reconciling his Judaism with what he thinks about Raziel, angels and the Shadowhunters. 


Other ascendents have done this as well— retained, reconciled and adjusted their own beliefs and practices even after they ascend. Like Simon, they generally try to keep a low profile around their beliefs, since they could technically get in trouble for acting on them in a way that seems to contradict belief in Raziel — and like Simon, they’ve usually developed something of a hybrid religion, a way to make their beliefs and Shadowhunter beliefs compatible. You’ll definitely hear more about Simon’s experiences and where he is with his Judaism in Queen of Air and Darkness, and with Cordelia’s mother in TLH, you will see a character whose life is deeply inflected by Muslim culture as well as Shadowhunter belief.

3

Alright, HERE we go! Awhile ago I had an idea for a MP100/Voltron crossover, and after mentioning it to @x-i-l-verify​ and loooots of brainstorming later, we have…*gestures vaguely* this. These are more or less screenshot redraws just to kind of get across who is who. :) More info, reasonings and musings under the cut, because well…it got long…

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anonymous asked:

Could you maybe show us an evolution of your drawings? (Even before this blog?) I love the fact that you are self-taught. I'm not good at drawing but I would love to give it a go, but I would appreciate some motivation by seeing your evolution (if you don't mind)? Big fan! x

Well, basically all digital art that I’ve drawn is posted on this blog, or at least on my dA account :) Although I did delete a few! So I guess I can bring them back… *cringe*

Okay so… In 2015 I got really into Harry Potter and was inspired by all those fanartists, so I tried drawing some stuff of my own. I didn’t have a tablet yet, I was just trying the waters, seeing if digital art is even something I’d be interested in. Here are Hermione and Draco’s portraits I did in mid-November 2015 (I think I was drawing with my mouse, or I might have been using a touch pen on my Asus laptop that has a touch screen, but it’s very tough to work with, not like a tablet at all, no pressure sensitivity, no precision)

Ugh the cringe…. :D

I mean if you scroll to the very bottom of my dA page you’ll find more stuff like this, if you’re interested.
But yeah, those portraits are pretty much the first digital drawings I’ve done.

Continuing with portraits, 4 months later (mid-March 2016) I did Hermione and Draco again, this time already using my graphic tablet and also using references:

Already much better! Yet, to me, still cringy :D I haven’t yet redrawin these portraits (I am planning to), but if we look at my newest portraits (from Ravenclaw set since that one’s the latest, it was completed in February 2017 which is almost a year later from the previous ones), you can see that I have improved a lot too!

They look so much cleaner, every brushstroke has much more purpose, there’s more symmetry and logic and all those things. I like how my portraits changed, not sure how others feel :)

The biggest change in my art was me starting to use references. It helps so much with getting proportions and perspective and body movements right.
And then it was just all about continuing to learn and polishing my style through practice and frequent drawing :) As I did more and more portraits, it sort of felt as though I’ve always been doing them the same way, as though my portraits look the same and no progress is done, but as you can see, during one year, the way I draw changed, or rather got a bit better and precise, so while it didn’t feel as though I’m improving as I’m drawing, when looking back, the progress is visible.

So just take your time :) Miracles won’t happen in a short period of time, especially if you don’t draw at least a couple of times a week (last year in spring-summer I drew like 5-12 drawings a week, so that totally made a difference). You will improve, I promise, but looking at other artists’ art, trying to figure out how they did it, trying out different tools, and learning from references will surely speed up the process of making progress. So yeah, I hope this helps a little :) Sorry I only showed portraits here, I just thought they’re good to show art evolution with since I drew so many of them. Good luck mate! <3

Preparation for Surgery

____

Shopping list:

(Essentials in bold if you’re money-tight, but I would seriously consider everything on this list. Obviously don’t buy what you already have)

  • Button Up Shirts or/and Zip Up Hoodies
    (easier to put on & take off due to being unable to lift arms up)
  •  Comfy sweatpants
    (easier to pull them down/up & take them off and they’re comfy^^)
  • Slippers or flipflops
    (easier to slip on and take off, which saves bending over)
  • Hats or Beanies
    (to cover that gross hair in the first week without a shower)

  • No perfume, no colour, sensitive skin soap.
    (To wash with for the next few months after surgery. ‘Simple’ is a good brand. Otherwise avoid using shower gel for 6 weeks)

  • Arnica Tablets
    (taken to help with the bruising a week before & after surgery)
  • Bio Oil & scar treatments
    (Can be applied once scars are dry and healing)

  • Vitamin C
    (Boosts immune-system and thus recovery)
  • Ginger tea (NOT GINGER TABLETS)
    (Help to stop any feeling of sickness)
  • Baby wipes / Wet Ones
    (To help keep your body clean until you can shower)
  • Laxatives
    (If you have trouble taking a shit - especially if you take Codeine)
  • First Aid Kit
    (just encase! You will be given some spare gauze and stuff though)
  • Paper Tape
    (For the dressings post op. Though you’ll get a roll after your post op appointment to put over your incisions)

  • Dry Shampoo
    (Helpin’ that hair look slightly less gross!)
  • Neck rest / travel pillow
    (Comfort when traveling back from hospital and travel in general)
  • Straws
    (makes drinking much easier & requires less arm movement)
  • Extra Pillows
    (Place these under your knees and under your head/back to elevate you while you sleep on your back! It helps)
  • The Food Doctor
    (Healthy ready meal alternatives, can be found on Amazon)
  • Green Tea and detox teas
  • Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Plenty of water
  • Healthy home made frozen meals ready to microwave
    (Makes cooking quick and easy but still healthy)
  • Healthy snacks to munch on
    (like nut mixes, dried fruit, yogurt bars etc… rather than junk food. Your body is healing, help it along.)

____

House Preparation:

  • Move everything in the house to being in reach
  • Make sure you have a primary carer for the first week, especially the first three days because it will be hell on your own.
  • Find a couple of films and series you wanna watch in the first week
  • Pick out a couple of books to read
  • Tidy and clean your house/room a day or two before surgery
    (Makes everything simple and easy to move around in, also a more positive and clean environment to be in while recovering)
  • Change sheets and wash any clothes you wanna wear etc before
  • Prep your bed so you can sleep sitting up slightly, lots of pillows help!

____

Physical and Emotional preparation:

  • Eat healthily in the months leading up to surgery
    - Plenty of fresh fruit and veg
    - BALANCED diet at least two good meals a day
    - Plenty of water
    - Cut out processed foods, high sugars and salts
    - I recommend looking into ordering recipe boxes if you’re tight on cash/struggle to make healthy meals yourself every day.
    - Smoothies are a great time for 5 a day
    - Snack on dried fruits, nuts, yogurt biscuits instead of junk.

  • Stop smoking asap. Seriously, stop. Doesn’t matter how long until your surgery, the sooner you quit the better all round - surgery is a great motivation to quit smoking. Vape pens are a good alternative, be strict with yourself. Try to stop vaping in the month before your op or go down to 0mg of nicotine if you still need the feel of vaping/smoking. Do not vape or smoke for 2 weeks before your op. You’ll lose ur nips.

  • Stop drinking alcohol at least one month before, in my opinion giving yourself as much time away from it is much better to help detox your body and get healthy (alcohol is generally shit for you so cutting down or stopping is pretty good anyway, and surgery is a perfect excuse!)

  • Exercise. Pushups and flies will help to develop your pectoral muscle, bring down the breast size and help the surgeon place your incisions. Crunches, sittups, squats, and various exercises will help to keep the rest of your body fit and speed up your recovery (you’re gonna be recovering and potatoing for a while, get your body in a better state so it heals well and quickly). Cardio, jogging on the spot, starjumps and knees-up, gets your blood flowing, helps to get you nice and healthy for the op and recovery. Look up exercise routines on youtube!

  • Do a lot of internal reflecting and focus on your mind as well as your body. You need to psychologically prepare for surgery and that doesn’t happen over night. It’s also very difficult to do this, I really struggled to. It’s perfectly normal to feel scared, nervous, or feel like it’s a big deal, it’s a huge deal. You’re losing something that’s been there for a long time, you’re going through major surgery, and you’re finally getting something you’ve been awaiting for a long time!

  • Try not to have an ideal vision of what your chest will be like, don’t expect anything, try not to compare it to other chests, especially cis male chests. The first time you see it, it’ll look pretty rough, take it in slowly, learn to re-accept it as your own. It can take time to learn to love yourself all over again, but welcome your new chest with an open mind.

____

Tips and General Advice:

  • Make sure you have all your questions and concerns written down before your pre op appointment to take with you - if you have any more later or forgot to ask something, call the hospital or your surgeon’s office to ask them. Otherwise ask on the day of your op if it can wait that long.

  • Write down all the tips and advice they give you even if you don’t think you’ll forget them.

  • If you can, take a cheque in for both payments to the surgeon and the hospital on the day of your pre op appointment. This will give you plenty of time if there’s a problem with the payment and is also much easier than stressing out a few days before. Otherwise make sure you pay a week before online, so if there’s a problem you’ll have time to fix it.

  • Don’t underestimate or overestimate how big this surgery is, how much time you’ll need or how many thing’s you realistically need to buy/prepare. Obviously it would be better to overestimate as it’ll leave you more prepared, but there’s some things you just won’t need/need to do. Think carefully about yourself, your situation and how you deal with pain and how you like to be comfortable. If you forget anything you can always get it later on! So here’s some tips for that:
  1. - Write a detailed list and slowly check through it cutting down on things if you think you’ll need to. See what you can use in the house and what you’ll need to buy. Be minimalist if you’re trying to save money.
  2. - Make sure you have plenty of time booked of work/school/uni, if you go back early it’s much less of a problem than being back late.
  3. - Really take the time to research what you’re about to be put through, speak to others who’ve been in the same boat and realistically think about how you will actually be affected and how you will actually feel after surgery. This will help to stop you from having unrealistic expectations of your physical appearance and capabilities, your mentality after the op and to help stop yourself from become lazy.
  4. - Again, honestly try your best not to expect anything of your chest, try not to worry about how it will look, how the nips will be, whether the scars will be straight or narrow or whatever. Be ready to have to learn to accept your new chest however it looks. Be ready for a huge emotional change. Don’t brush off these kinds of things, they’re just as important for your healing as everything else on this list.

Follow @jamie-pyro for non-binary & trans related info and to follow my personal experience and progress as a non-binary transmasculine bean!

Summer Fling Part 10

Title: Summer Fling: Father Daughter Time

Pairing: Dean x Reader

Word Count: 4,814

Warnings: Fluff, MECHANIC!DEAN, Minor Mention of Sex.

Summary: After months of struggling, an impulse decision puts you on the road from Sioux Falls to Lawrence Kansas, hoping that your father, Bobby Singer, will take you in for the summer.  A breath of fresh air. A change of scenery. But little did you know, this summer was going to change your life forever.

Summer Fling Masterlist

A/N: I hope y’all enjoy this part as much as I do! It’s one of my favourites. It would be wonderful if you could leave me some feedback. This series lives on it. I am also not responsible for dental bills. 

x

Your name: submit What is this?

August 1st.

You walked in the front door with the biggest grin spread across your cheeks. It was just after one thirty in the morning when Dean dropped you off from your exciting weekend together. A summer music festival a couple of cities over was too good to pass up and Dean managed to get tickets for the two of you. You spent the whole weekend together enjoying the summer sun. Your dad on the other hand, was going to be pissed at you for coming in this late. You probably would have been better off staying the night at Dean’s but you didn’t have any clothes for work in the morning.

Keep reading

Medical School—A Not-So-Quick Walkthrough

Hey humans! Aunt Scripty here. This post is a submission by Brittany, whose Tumblr handle I surprisingly don’t know. This post came through the Submissions Box. If you’re interested, I encourage people to submit articles to appear on the blog! [though it may behoove us both if you message me first, as I have a few posts in-progress and I don’t want us to duplicate efforts]

Anyway, give Brittany some props! This is an awesome post, and I’m CRAZY thankful she wrote in! And now, Brittany, take it away!

Disclaimer: This applies to the American medical system only, and may be biased by the author’s experiences.  Also note that this is the process for becoming an MD, not a DO (both MDs and DOs are fully licensed physicians, but DOs have a stronger focus on the musculoskeletal system and their schooling is slightly different).

Disclaimer Part 2: I swear, this was SUPPOSED to be a brief post.  Oops.

The quick and dirty:

—4 years of undergrad

—4 years of medical school, 2 in the classroom and 2 clinical

—3-5 years of residency depending on what they specialize in.  Can be longer if they add subspecialties or fellowships.

The in-depth description:

Getting in (Premed student)

Acceptance to medical school is hard enough to start with.  There’s an estimate that 75% of applicants are qualified, but only 50% get in.  Your character doesn’t need to major in biology or pre-med, but there are pre-requisites: two semesters each of biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, and physics, plus a couple biology electives, and I think psych and statistics have been added on since I graduated, but don’t quote me on that.  That’s pretty much 2/3 of a science major right there, so you can see why a lot of people just end up with that.  During spring of junior year, they’ll take a giant standardized test called the MCAT that covers all of those topics and is notoriously difficult.

Along with the classroom work, they’ll have to get clinical experience—most commonly volunteering, shadowing, or working as a medical scribe, but you can get creative—and usually do a little research of some kind.  Med school is hard and being a doctor is harder; they want to know that you’ve got an idea of what you’re getting into.  If your character does all that right, they interview with medical schools during the fall of senior year, and hopefully get accepted!

Year 1 (MS1)

Your first year is classroom based.  You get daily lectures on very complicated medical topics, with relatively little patient interaction this year.  Schools will include more practical classes as well, including a cadaver dissection, pathology (where you train to look at cells and understand what a healthy vs. diseased one looks like; some schools are old school and have people still work with slides and microscopes, others like mine do it virtually), and standardized patient encounters (where they hire actors to come in and work with us so we can practice histories and physical exams and basically get a baseline on things like “what does a normal lung sounds like?”).

Patient interaction varies from school to school, but generally is pretty low.  You can shadow a certain specialty you’re interested in, volunteer in free clinics, join different clubs/interest groups, or do various electives that will focus on teaching certain aspects of patient care (nutrition, medical Spanish, global health, etc.), but you have to go look for them.  If I hadn’t done any of that, I would have seen maybe… two patients a month?  Most students will branch out with those other opportunities, though.

Year 2 (MS2)

Similar to MS1 in that you’re still on classroom duty, still not seeing many patients.  Typically you learn more sensitive physical exams this year (urological, gynecologic, breast, etc.), and you’re finished with the cadaver dissection, but things are otherwise the same.  At the end of your character’s MS2 year, they’ll take their first board exam, called STEP 1.  You can take it one time only unless you fail.  Low scores or a fail are really frowned on, and can limit the specialty your character goes into, so you can imagine the pressure.

Year 3 (MS3)

Yay!  Your character’s now ready to be let loose on the clinic/hospital!

Boo!  This year kicks. your. ass.

This year is all about making your character feel like an idiot putting what your character’s been studying for two years into action.  The schedule is broken up into rotations, which are periods of 4-8 weeks where students focus on a specific specialty each time.  These courses are: pediatrics, family medicine, psychiatry, ob/gyn, neurology (usually), emergency (sometimes), surgery, and internal medicine.  Difficulty varies by rotation, with surgery and ob/gyn being the worst (12 hour days with only one day off a week, max; surgery adds in occasional 24 hour shifts too, just to spice things up).  Occasionally you’ll land on a nice one, like psychiatry, with 10 hour days and free weekends.

On a more day-to-day level, third years are usually part of a small medical team that cares for a set of patients.  The team consists of an attending (fully licensed physician), residents (physicians who are training in their particular specialty), and medical students (MS3s and MS4s both).  MS3s will usually get a small subset of hospital patients they care for every day—take their histories, do their physical exams, list what you think they have, and suggest treatments/tests—but because you’re not licensed, you basically take all that to the attending/resident who hears you out and then says ‘yea’ or ‘nay.’  As the year progresses, hopefully you hear more ‘yeas’ and fewer ‘nays.’

At the end of this year/the beginning of 4th year, there’s another board exam called STEP 2.  Half is your typical multiple choice test, with a numeric score—much like STEP 1—while half is a pass/fail practical where you work with standardized patients.

Year 4 (MS4)

Hopefully by now your character has figured out what they want to specialize in.  I can go over specialties in another post if anyone’s curious, but the biggest ones are basically the same as the ones listed as core rotations during the MS3 year.  There’s a giant application/interview process that takes up the lion’s share of the summer/fall/winter for interviews with residency.  At the end of the process, everyone ranks the residencies they interviewed with from most to least favorite, and at the same time the residencies rank their interviewees from most to least.  The whole thing goes into a giant computer algorithm to give as many people as possible as high a choice as possible, and then on the same day of the year, at the same time, MS4s across the country take a deep breath and open envelopes saying where they ‘matched.’

In addition, with those pesky core rotations out of the way, the character has time to take electives that may or may not be applicable to their future specialty—me, I’m going for emergency medicine, so I’m doing several rotations in EM as well as EMS, but I’m also doing a two week course forensics because it sounds awesome.

Otherwise, 4th year is widely known as the ‘take a breath’ year.  People get married or have babies during this time, travel, and generally start to act like human beings again.  There’s space in your schedule that’s off—it’s generally intended for interviews or studying for STEP 2 if you’re taking it late, but people will use it for anything.

Residency

Not going to give too much detail about it, seeing as how your character is technically a doctor at this point, but residency is basically 3-5 years where your character trains in a specialty—yes, they’re physicians, but they don’t know everything about their particular field and need trained.  You’re in this weird limbo between student and employee; you make a salary (although a very low one considering the number of hours) and can prescribe medication, perform procedures, etc., but an attending is responsible for you, you still attend a weekly lecture, and you can’t practice independently.  To give you an idea of how hard these years are, they recently had to limit things like “don’t make residents work more than 36 hours in a row,” and “don’t put the doctor who graduated med school a month ago in charge of an entire floor of ICU patients for a night with no backup.”  Incredibly, some of the old-school attendings think said changes are a bad idea and will produce doctors who are “weak.”

Also, you thought your character was done with standardized tests?  You sweet summer child.  STEP 3 has to be finished before you can complete residency, and is usually done during intern year.  The good side of this is, you’re in a residency now, so as long as you pass, no one cares about the score.

Random notes:

—This is a sample timeline, following your ‘traditional’ student.  It’s becoming more and more common for people to take a couple of years off after undergrad and apply for medical school after that.  If you want a chance for your character to gain some non-medical life experience (travel, other skill sets, becoming a parent, etc.), this is a good chance for them to do it!

—I’ve been asked by a writer I know in RL how young someone could potentially become a doctor.  I think she wanted to put in a prodigy kind of person.  The problem with that is that medical schools don’t just look for smarts, they look for maturity—imagine having someone who looks like they can’t drink yet tell you you’ve got a terminal disease, and you can see why.  That said, there are a couple of accelerated programs, where I’ve seen people graduate undergrad a year early and go straight into medical school, or where they condense medical school into three whirlwind years because the person’s on track for a specific primary care residency.  So if most people graduate medical school at age 26-27, you could have someone out at 25 or maybe 24, but probably no younger.  And remember, they’ll still need residency training from there.

—Not gonna lie, medical school is incredibly difficult.  That said, I think the best students/doctors are the ones who maintain an outside interest or two, so don’t feel like your character can only have medical skills (*cough*Grey'sAnatomy*cough*) .  Give them a few side interests to maintain their spirit.

—I can give more detail about any and all of these if anyone asks; these are supposed to help you understand what your character has had to go through to be a doctor, not be a full detail spiel.  I can also do ‘day in the lifes’ if someone’s writing a med student character and wants an accurate description, but let’s be real: most people want to write the master, not the pupil.

2

Hey, blossoms! There are times when we get ill, which is perfectly natural. To be honest, I am currently sick, so this is kind of a refined version of my thoughts from a few days ago. I was worried about missing school, and I thought that some ideas I have could help you!

self-care 

 The most important thing to do when you’re sick is to take care of yourself and get better. This may mean putting your studies aside, but health always comes first. Here’s some tips:

- Certain types of tea, like chamomile and ones with lemon, can soothe sore throats.

- (Side note: I’ve heard that marshmallows are also able to help sore throats because of the gelatin they contain, but that may not be true and I don’t have a credible source for it.) 

- Make sure you drink lots of fluids, like juice, milk, and most importantly, water! One of my personal faves is Tang, which is this orange powder that you dissolve in water. It used to be really big in America a while ago but I don’t know widespread it is elsewhere. 

- Try to shower regularly if you’re congested because the steam will clear out your sinuses. 

 - If you can’t shower regularly, nasal rinses will work just fine too! You can get a  system for that at your local pharmacy. (There’s also this thing you can do where you fill a sink with hot water, put a towel over it, and stick your head underneath the towel. This allows the steam to build up, which means you can decongest a little.)

- Medicate regularly!! Check the directions on whatever type of medication you’re taking to see when it wears off and set a timer so you can stay on top of it. This will help your recovery process along a bit faster. However, DO NOT ABUSE MEDICATION. Take only as much as is prescribed because taking too much can actually be worse for your health. 

- If you’re on antibiotics, make sure to eat well because antibiotics are designed to take out all types of bacteria within the body, even the good ones in your digestive system. (I’d personally recommend eating foods with fiber and protein and staying away from dairy if you can. That’s just my personal experience! It may be different for other people.)

- Get some rest!! You may want to catch up on your studies but you’ll be able to catch up quicker and understand material better if you’re well rested. 

catching up 

So, you’re feeling alright and ready to begin making up work. Where do you begin? 

- Here’s some posts on catching up after being away for a while (note some of these are travel based, but there’s still some good information in there) 

- Email your teachers! Text your classmates! Ask for notes, for homework, and for additional help if you’re unclear about what’s going on. 

- If you’re feeling well enough, you could run in to your classes in order to get the homework and briefly conference with your teachers, but it’s always best to make sure you’re not contagious or feeling poorly before doing so. Email is pretty much just as effective. 

- Start small. Trying to catch up on all your work in one day is never good. Try to do the work for maybe one class, and if you’re feeling well enough, do another.

- Do what’s most important first. If you’re in a group project and they’re waiting for your input on a presentation or something else, get that in ASAP. Don’t affect the grades of others with your illness.

returning to class 

As you return to your usual schedule, here are some things to note:

 - Before going back to class, ensure you’re in a good place mentally and physically. For example, if you’re still running a fever or you still feel very ill, take some more time and wait. 

- Make sure your study space is functional so that you can begin to return back to your normal schedule. The desk reflects the mind. 

- Keep up on your fluids! If you’re still a little under the weather or you haven’t finished that course of antibiotics, keep taking those meds! 

- Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t understand something. Being gone is hard. Ask for help and self-advocate.

- If you’re on a sports team or doing some other strenuous activity, it’s okay to take a couple more days away from that to let your body recover completely. 

- The most important thing is to take it easy, even after you’re well enough to come back to class. If you overwork yourself while still recovering, that can lead to backslide, so please be careful!!

I hope this will be useful, darlings!! Take care of yourselves and remember that so many people are rooting for you to do well, including me :]

All the love,

elle (@etudesthetics)

My other posts: Cheap Socials, Pre-College Masterpost, College: A (Terrifying) Learning Experience

thewarlocksbitch  asked:

ur thoughts on if keith or lance would be the first to admit feelings and ask the other out, and where'd they go on a date being in space and all?

every time i wonder about who would admit their feelings first all i can think about is that it would probably go down exactly like that scene in episode 2 of season 1 where lance and keith are edging eachother on into a blind nosedive but they’re so damn stubborn that they both end up smashing headfirst into the ground. let me explain. 

  • lance realizes he has feelings for keith first, as in he can acknowledge the fact that the feelings are there and has a label for them. He’s the kind of guy who won’t want to admit it, but can’t help letting his feelings slip into his actions or words.
    • lance becomes more prone to defend keith to others
    • might try to take on more than he can handle to lessen keith’s burden during missions (however often interpreted by others as jealousy or an attempt to one-up, lance might play along out of embarrassment)
  • keith is always running in headfirst with his blinders up, his emotions are constantly on the forefront of just about everything he does. This means that keith could have feelings for lance without actually sitting down to process what those feelings mean or entail. He’s going to end up unsure how to deal with things like being overly concerned for lance’s safety or getting nervous when lance is in danger, which can get them into fights.
    • “Lance you can’t go in there alone, are you crazy?”
    • “What the hell does that mean? You just volunteered to do the exact same thing! I know you think you’re better then me and all, but I actually can handle this.”
    • “That’s not even what I meant!”
    • “Than what do you mean!”
    • “I don’t know!”
  • What i’m saying is they end up in a stand-still because neither one wants to pull up out of that nosedive first and properly process the situation, which results in them both plummeting into the ground in a blaze of teenage angst and love-borne stupidity. For the sake of consistency, that means the crash-and-burn translates to one big, harsh, emotionally raw fight.
    • Keith nearly gets himself killed doing something ridiculously reckless, probably on Lance’s behalf. Lance is sick with worry, and more importantly: furious.
    • Keith makes it out alive only to be confronted by Lance, who, unable to properly express just how damn worried he was, ends up yelling at Keith for being such a reckless showoff, which immediately puts Keith on the defensive.
      • “What the hell Lance, I only went after those drones so you wouldn’t have to!”
      • “I never asked for that! Stop-stop putting yourself in danger for me! Do you really think so little of me, that I can’t handle any of this by myself?”
      • “I was only trying to help!”
      • “By nearly getting yourself killed?! Are you insane?”
      • “God, why do you even care anyways? Wouldn’t things be better for you if I was gone? At least you wouldn’t have the competition!”
      • “Wh- What the fuck? You think I want you dead?”
      • “You’ve never exactly told me otherwise!”
      • “Thats ridiculous! I can’t– Keith you–”
      • “What is it Lance? Huh? I don’t know what you want from me!”
      • “God dammit Keith, I’m in love with you!”
    • Cue The Shocked Silence™
      • “…What?”

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

ana bear, can i ask you something? can you write little quirks and mannerisms you love about our shining babes? like, a eprsonal trait, a habit, all things you think define them (like Taem's magic hands and stuff)

yes y e s  of course I can and I’ll be glad to - let’s start with:

taemin

quirks/mannerisms

Keep reading

How to become a good student (again) 3: Yearn for friendship - not worship; not debasement

Hello, fellow ex-good student!

‘tis done! This beast just got longer and longer, so I decided to cut it down a bit for the sake of readability. But let me know if there’s something that was too vague - the nuance might have got lost in the editing process.

Alright, let’s get down to business (to defeat! The Huns!)! So, if you’re an ex-good student, I’m pretty sure that you know this static in your head, right? Whenever you really need to do something but you just can’t get up and do it, so you keep procrastinating even though you hate it and keep scrolling and scrolling or gaming and gaming and feel more and more guilty?

Well, it might not be the most immediate analogy, but for this post I want you to consider that what connects you and your subject of study is essentially a relationship and that this static is (among other things) an indicator of how screwed up your relationship is. Just like with real people, your relationships with subjects can either

  • prosper and bear fruit (me & Creative Writing)
  • become cold and distant (me & French)
  • or, worst of all, turn sour and actively harmful. (me & PE, back in school)

Now, nobody likes to hear that they’re relationship-ing wrong. And it is true that different approaches work for different people. But here are the counter-productive relationships that I’ve personally ended up in and I’m gonna show you how I got into and out of them, so you can try to do the same. Maybe it’ll help you lift that static from your head.

Side-Note: Always remember that, since your subjects are just that (subjects), and not real people, you are the only one who can actually mend these relationships and, conversely, you are the one who screwed them up in the first place (probably with good intentions, though).

So, we’ll take them in this order:

1) Overeager Debasement

2) Undereager Debasement

3) Worship


(Oh, and in case you wanna catch up:

Masterpost 

Part 1

Part 2)


1) Overeager Debasement

What is it?

The desire to do everything, perfectly, at the same time, right now. Not to limit yourself to just one field of study, but to master them all, to reign supreme above knowledge, to keep your mind wide open to new possibilities, similarities and contradictions.
You overvalue your own capacities and undervalue the needs and difficulties of your subject.
(also refer to the first post for this)

How did you get here?

(read picture from right to left)

So. Many. Possible. Reasons.

  • it’s a cage. The idea of doing just one thing for the rest of your life scares you and you feel imprisoned at the thought of it
  • you know that you could be outstanding if you applied yourself
  • you know that you could be even more outstanding if you became accomplished in multiple fields
  • you want to find connections between fields nobody’s ever considered before
  • you feel like you’ve wasted your last few years and need to catch up to others
  • you’re afraid that you’re not good enough
  • you’re afraid of being ignorant
  • you’re arrogant

No matter the reason (I’ve gone through them all), people caught in this state of mind shovel more and more onto their plate.
And then wonder why they can’t swallow it all.

What do you think you’re doing?

A labour of love, most likely. You think you love languages and sciences and athletics and programming and cooking and hanging out with friends and being alone and so you just want to do it all!
You don’t want to limit yourself! You don’t want to lose any time! But there’s just so much and you have so little energy and ugh, if only I wasn’t destined for greatness, then I could relax like other little people, but no, I need to keep pushing! In every! Direction! At the same! Time!

I know your delusion. I’ve been there. You imagine yourself to be that one perfect friend who gets up at 6am, watches the sun rise, does yoga, eats a healthy breakfast, goes for a quick run, comes back home, answers all correspondence, is artistic for a few hours, then scientific for a few hours, then social for a few hours and ends the day with tiny masterpieces in each area, goes out with friends or family to grab a healthy dinner and goes to sleep, happy and balanced :)

Well, you know what, my starry-eyed friend?

What are you actually doing?

You’re the mental equivalent of a social butterfly.
You’re being fucking disrespectful.

You’re always on the run and never able to really commit to anything, because you’ve already scheduled something else afterwards. You’re shallow, deluded, that one friend that always comes in running, screaming “Besties  ~ ♥” and everyone shifts uncomfortably in their seats and smiles a painful smile and humours you, because they know you mean well, but they also know that you know nothing about them. 
You’ve never been there for them ever, but always expect them to be there for you. Whenever they want to talk about themselves, you nod and then proceed to about yourself and your plans and “ohmygosh, this is so nice, we need to meet more often ~ ♥ “. But at least you mean well, so they’ve agreed to keep it simple and on the “The weather is nice today”-level with you. 

But here you are, wondering why you’re not making any progress.
Mysterious.

So what do I do?

Well, you need to go from this:

To this:

How? More on that below.


2) Undereager Debasement

What is it?

This stage is what happens when you notice that your lofty ideals from Overeager Debasement cannot be fulfilled. You turn bitter, hateful, cold. You think you’re a failure, you think you were too soft. Instead of wanting to be friends with everyone, you now want to rule over everyone, fuck what they want.

You’re burnt out. You’re done. You just want to get through these stupid classes and catch a goddamn break, goddamnit.

And you WILL get through. You’re too proud to do anything else. But you don’t really care about any of it.
You just want to make it.

How did you get here?

If you were a good student, you probably heard at some point or another that you were “different” and that your complex and mysterious ways were not understandable and definitely not achievable for your average classmate.

Most people who tell you this mean well. A few want to make fun of you, but most actually do mean it as a compliment. But they don’t know how dangerous it is to hear it again and again, because regardless of whether it’s true or not, you start to believe it.
You start to believe that somehow, you have a higher calling, a higher standard. And you start to long for that day when your high standards will be met - when you will go to that one mysterious class where everyone is just as eager as you are, where the “Oh, captain, my captain!”-teacher will spark a fire in your brain that will never go out and when your ominous “gifts” can finally be put to good use for the prosperous future of mankind.


And you work.

And work.

And the class never comes.

You feel the weight on your shoulders when teachers talk of “high expectations”, you feel it crush you a little bit every time your friends tease you about your genuine fear that you might not get an A, that you might lose it all, that your “gifts” could disappear and you’ll be stranded and useless and you put in the hours, you work your ass off to keep that high standard, all in the hope of having that one miraculous class that never comes.

I realized that that class would never come when I entered university.

University, I’d told myself, would be my Arcadia, my Eden, my academic paradise where all my hard work would be rewarded!
Instead, I only found more drudgery, more incompetent professors, more disinterested students and even more bureacracy. To say that I was “disappointed” would be putting it very lightly.

I became disoriented and disenchanted. I realized that I could get through most classes with half-assed effort, I was hardly ever challenged, I floated along and hated every second of it. I blamed my boring teachers, the imperfect system, the teachers who had given me hope only for me to watch it crash and go up in flames.

What do you think you’re doing?

Being badass, cool and detached, most likely.

You dream of yourself as a master and your subjects as slaves. They bow to your will, they dance to your tune, you command them with the snap of a finger.

“Look, you slave of the system”, you say, lying on a velvet sofa, “Look, at how it hardly takes any effort for me to pass these classes! Look at how I spend my time doing things I actually like and that are actually worth it, unlike these stupidly easy classes taught by stupidly incompetent professors in a stupidly screwed-up system! Look at me, being edgy and drowning in self-hatred because I can physically feel myself gliding off the rails that made me so “special” and becoming one of the average people in the masses, haha. Ha. Ha. Screw academia, but still give me good grades, amirite?”

I know your delusion. I’ve been there. You imagine yourself to be that one perfect friend that never studies for classes, comes for three lectures per semester and still manages to get perfect grades because everything you do in school is, like, so five years ago. That one friend who has read all the classics in their spare time, has conquered and enslaved all the knowledge actually worth knowing, will quote obscure Polish philosophers you’ve never heard of and plays the piano with a perfect pitch. They’re the wisest, most culture-non-conforming people you know - they’ve been up until 5am, wandering the streets and drinking vodka from a bottle while forcefully pentrating the mysteries of the universe all by themselves until they finally fall asleep on a park bench and awake with an epiphany about Klein bottles.
They’re “special”.

What are you actually doing?

Caring more about appearing “special” than actually trying to be “special”, that’s what you’re doing.

But, look, what made you so “special” and “different” in the first place was not a “calling” or “gifts” or the fact that you wrote good grades and were destined for greatness.

Here’s a handy chart I’ll use later - you were lucky enough to fall into the green zone, lucky enough to be born with an innate respect and a love for learning. That’s what made you “special”. That’s what made you succeed. Not pressure, not warped ideals and certainly not the fear of failure.


But somewhere along the way you forgot that and only focussed on the results. You started to believe yourself to be so special that everybody else should cater to you.
The fancy titles, the awe-struck looks, the “You’re so amazing”s and the “The genius of a decade”, the planned Nobel prize speech and the prestige, the dream others had lovingly created for you and you had slowly absorbed and warped as your own? It got to you. Hell, it got to me.
And it became more important than learning itself.
Somewhere along the way, you and I, we became an arrogant and lazy assholes.

You looked down on your easy courses and homework and instead of recognising how lucky you are, doing it in a minute and a half and then putting in the extra work on top to dig deeper and to maybe contribute something of value and fun, you threw it aside with a snide remark as beneath you.
Of course it wasn’t fun. Of course it wasn’t challenging. You never even tried to make it either.

(And don’t get me wrong: I honestly do think that the education system as it is right now needs MAJOR reforms. But right now? It is what it is. And instead of making the best of it and doing what you once loved so much, you succumbed to societal pressures you found yourself unable to fulfill and said “meh”.
You cared so much about the fame and the title that the relationship itself didn’t matter.)

But this isn’t the master-slave relationship you imagine it to be.
It’s a trophy-friendship. Once upon a time, you got on really well with this person and other people loved your friendship. You fell in love with the ideal, with their connections, their money, their prestige, their name on a CV, and you stuck around just for that.
You valiantly ignore the reality of the state of things between you two
and take them out only when absolutely needed, only when things are this close to falling apart and so you keep walking a fine, fine line.
Whenever a deadline approaches, you shower them with attention and love and, gingerly, they open up to you and you see a depth and complexity to them that astounds you and makes you think “Imagine! Imagine how much more I could have seen if only I’d started earlier?”
But the moment the crisis has passed, you toss them aside once again.

Because this is enough to make your name.
You may not remember much about these nights or about the person at all, but the only thing that counts is that it will fulfill your “special” prophecy and make you a legend, right?

Well, always remember this:
(read picture from right to left)

You’re not “special” if you made it to university. You’re not “special” if you’ve made your name. 
It comes down to a simple choice: do you value appearances over integrity or the other way round? Do you dare to look like a fumbling idiot again when you start something new? Is the “appearing like an idiot”-part more important to you than the “learning/creating something new”-part? 
Have a think about it.

3) Worship

“Alright”, you’ll say, “Alright. I get it. So I’ll treat my “friends”/subjects with respect and integrity and I’ll take all the time and concentration I can bestow upon them, just as I would upon real friends. But do you want me to be like, uh - like…

What is it?

“…like one of those anime characters that lives only for their dream and gets up at like 6am, does the thing, talks about the thing, breathes the thing, goes to bed, dreams of the thing and then wakes up at 6am to do the thing?”

(Google: Did you mean Hinata Shouyou?

Yes, yes, I did, google.)

Well, no, I don’t want you to do that. See, that’s the other extreme and unless you’re an anime character, chances are that it won’t work out for you. 

How did you get here?

Personally, I was caught in this trap for a loooooong time. Anime offered me a new way of relating to my passions that neither my family nor my school had ever shown me: unabashed obsession.
I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to be obsessed. I wanted to give myself up to a higher ideal, something above human consciousness, something that would endure. I wanted to, well, get up at 6am, do the thing, talk about the thing, breathe the thing and so on - “the thing” in question being, of course, studying. I made elaborate plans, complicated lists, study-plans that shift on a daily basis and cover all grounds, I wanted to study for two hours before school, wanted to repeat lessons, wanted to give myself up to knowledge, made cool covers for my notebooks, made mock exams for my friends to use, planned to focus on each continent for a month and study it, planned to listen to one new composer each day, planned to go to the museum every week, planned to analyze Sherlock Holmes and think just like him, planned to - you get the idea.

I wanted to be like this:

What do you think you’re doing?

Being but a humble servant to the eternal workings of truth. Knowing thou art unworthy, yet suffering the perfection of study.

I wanted to go from 0 to 100, I wanted knowledge and wisdom to transform and deliver me, I wanted to feel enlightened, I wanted to feel my brain burning, pushing frontiers and breaking through to new horizons, I wanted to elevate myself to touch even the lowest levels of truth.
I wanted to do something noble, something worthwhile, something that could never be critisized and would always be valued, something with eternal meaning that would echo through the ages and I wanted to be even the tiniest cog in the machinery of mind.

What are you actually doing?

Being, quite simply, an idiot.

This is one of my favourite quotes (David Wong):

“There are two ways to dehumanize someone: by dismissing them, and by idolizing them.” 

The same goes for studying. As shown above, studying won’t work out if you do not treat your subjects with respect. Conversely, studying also won’t work if you continue to idolize it as work beyond all work and reproach, as the only true calling, as the realm of the genii and by self-flagellating yourself and repeating “I’m but a humble servant in your kingdom of reason and will never reach where you are, but will spend all my time trying to reach you.” 

Why? Because by saying “I’ll never reach you or be worthy of you”, you’ve already sealed your fate. Some students (no matter how well they actually perform) are stuck thinking that they are stupid and incapable of doing well. Others think that the trick is in the preparation and they undergo complicated rituals of finding exactly the right study spot, exactly the right study drink, exactly the right study time, etc. in the hope of channeling the connection between their godly subject and themselves, but it never turns out quite as glamorous as they’d hoped (once again, speaking from experience).

This is because you cannot force a true friendship if you think yourself unworthy of it. It will always be worship. 

And why are you worshipping?
Because it takes the pressure right off of you
. This always annoyed me about some of my fellow students. They treated becoming a good student as this miraculous and unlikely event that only happens to the #blessed.
I insisted that “no”, it could be done. “Yes”, it was hard work, but ultimately absolutely doable. But now that I’ve been in their shoes? I understand.
Admitting that you could have done it anytime implies failure on your part for not having done it. By saying “Oh no, it is so very complex and divine and a lowly worm like me could never hope to crawl in its shadows”, you shift the focus away from yourself and onto the thing itself. 

But this is a synthetic, manufactured relationship with a partner that does not even exist. It is, at its heart, a kyaa  ~ I hope senpai notices me! (๑♡⌓♡๑) - kind of relationship. It’s idolizing not a person’s true character, but their appearance, their aesthetic and the values that they represent for you. It’s not really listening to what they’re saying, but warping their words so they fit into your perfect idea of them.
Just, unlike with undereage debasement, you do not play pretend that everything’s fine and secretly hate the other person deep down - you honestly idolize them to heaven and back, so you could never possible reach them.
You’re using them to fill in the holes in your own personality.

And that … just isn’t fun? I dunno about you, but treating studying as something that must be done perfectly with exactly the right pen and the perfect face-mask after the right smoothie and in the right lighting by a window overgrown with ivy and with perfect concentration from the first moment and unwavering, knightly passion and exact planning from 6am to bedtime all because I know deep down that I will not be able to fulfill these ideals and thus don’t have to feel bad about not reaching them just … isn’t for me. I don’t like my relationships to be all overstructured and “perfect” and high maintenance like that.

I want my friendships and my studying to be authentic. And that means that sometimes it’s messy and sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s quoting Keats while lying on the floor at 2am in the morning and chugging milk out of a carton, but it’s real.
I truly do understand this longing to make studying look pretty and like a magical realm, because when you’re in the flow that’s really what it feels like. But the beauty comes along with the practice, not the other way round.

No, but honestly - what do I DO then?


Y’remember Hippogriffs from Harry Potter? That’s how I imagine my subjects. Approach them carefully, honestly, maintaining eye contact and as equals and they will respect you. This scene:

This scene is what I’m talking about. 
If you were in a worship-state, you would only admire them from afar, gushing over how beautiful they are, but sad that they would never deign to even look in your general direction. (think of all the subjects you thought would be way too difficult for you)
If you were in a debasement-state, you’d either try to make friends with all the hippogriffs, hopping from one to the other and forming no bond with either or you’d “tsk” disdainfully and try to force them to obey you against their will. (*cough* Malfoy *cough*)

If, however, you’re in the green, there will be mutual respect between you and you will be able to fly.

So what does it mean to be in the green? 
It means not to do any of the above, obviously, so 

  • take your time for and invest brainpower into each and every one of your subjects - be a good friend. Be there. Listen. Even if they have crazy ideas at 4am in the morning. 
  • appreciate your subjects and know that they are more than the teacher who tries to get you to know them. Sometimes, some people just have a really shitty PR department (especially maths)
  • don’t think too much or too little of yourself. You can do amazing things, but that does not give you the license not to do amazing things anymore, rest on your laurels and expect others to applaud you for it. 

  • some relationships take longer than others to build, but getting to understand someone who puzzled you from the first moment and challenged your beliefs will improve your own personality as well
    (side-eye at PE. Yes, I love you now, you crazy athletic bastard)
  • do it for the sake of the relationship itself, because you enjoy their company. Results are presents which, although very much appreciated, should not be the main motivator to keep you going.
    This essentially means that you should think of studying as hanging out with a friend - already makes it seem so much more inviting and way less daunting, does it not?

    (Logic and I, being saltmates. Real friends judge other people together)
  • be aware that all friendships go through rocky patches and some subjects might take a while to warm up to you or you to them. But if you think that it’s worth it, then you gotta power through that. If you don’t think it’s worth it, you gotta be brave enough to say good-bye. 


Look, what I’m actually saying is … be Souma Yukihira from Food Wars.

Food Wars is a crazy and at times pretty pervy manga/anime, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t also one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve ever consumed and if Souma isn’t one of the most admirable main characters I’ve ever encountered.  

The relationship between him and cooking is filled with trust, love and equality. He trusts his cooking skills, because he knows that they have spent a long time together - cooking won’t let him down and he won’t ever let cooking down by stopping to look for ways to improve.

That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s always deadly serious - he loves to play around with cooking and to try ridiculous new things. He never forgets the joy that even the simplest form of cooking brings him. 

There’s one great episode where he puts his life as a chef on the line and someone fearfully asks him what he’d do if he lost. He shrugs and says he could become a lawyer or a teacher or something. So while he loves cooking profoundly, he does not worship it and he knows that there are other relationships he could build up if he had to. He just …doesn’t want to, because cooking is his bff. 

He loves to take on challenges to see how far he and cooking have come -

- and he takes challenges very seriously -


- but takes it even more seriously if he loses -

- and nonetheless knows that they are stronger for the challenges they have faced together. 

So, yes, this is what it means to be in the green. Cherish your friendships, hang out together, be honest, funny, clever, curious and you. 

You’ll be surprised at how much fun the two of you will have, now that all the pretensions and pressures are gone. 

Just …hang out and have fun.

(and maybe watch Food Wars!, because damn, Souma is the MVP of my inspirational heroes)

Have a great day and I’ll see you in the next (and hopefully shorter) part 4 :)

Onions in Witchcraft

So I had two requests, one relating to onions, and one relating to sympathetic magic, and I couldn’t get the two out of my head, so I’m going to combine them and talk about using onions in general, but especially as a poppet! All the opinions are mine, except when stated and sourced otherwise

Onions and witchcraft kind of go hand in hand for me. As a kitchen witch, they also hold a special place in my heart. I found a post once that said something to the effect of, “the smell of garlic and onion cooking feeds my soul,” and it is absolutely so true. There is no other herb/ingredient I use more in my cooking than onion. They are versatile, delicious, good for you, and chock full of uses for witches. Just to list a few;

  • Can be used in protection charms
  • Also good for fertility spells!
  • Great for spirit work
  • Use them in healing spells (or recipes :D )
  • As scapegoats and poppets
  • Also great for curses!

And now, let us delve into these different uses! 

Using Onions For Protection

The reason I think onions are so great for protection magic is about.. 75% based on the fact that they have a very offensive smell. I mean that in both the “eww gross” offensive, and also like, the “actively aggressive” way, especially when it pertains to using them in witchcraft. The stench works for you in two ways. First, it acts as a repellent, it’s the most basic ingredient for any ward I do. The smell makes people (and some other nasties) want to run in the opposite direction! If that doesn’t do the trick, then we get the OTHER offensive side of onions, that literally attacks unwanted energies and entities. Onions are both scary looking and super strong, so just in case something has the balls to try to go face-to-face with your scary looking onion pal, it can then whoop the ass of that nasty! 

Using Onions For Fertility

I consider onions great for fertility related works because they are so easy to grow! Next to potatoes, there’s nothing I am better at growing than onions! Because they seem to reproduce faster than I can use them, I always have extra on hand. While I don’t have any uses for fertility spells necessarily, you can adapt fertility to mean a few different things, including “abundance.” In this case, it means that I use onions in areas where I need “more” of something. For instance, I might include onions in a spell for drawing extra money to me, or in a charm bag to promote an abundance of joy and good health in my home. You catch my drift?

Using Onions For Spirit Work

Alright so I don’t actually do spirit work (on account of my wife being a scaredy-cat but NBD), but what I DO is make a few spell bags and charms to keep ghosties out, and that includes a very large helping of onion powder. In fact, I would say that besides for salt, I use onion the most for everything. I associate onions with spirit work and dead people because they are buried in the ground! In Hellenic Polytheism, things that are buried in the ground usually reside in the realm of Kthonic deities, like Haides, and Persephone, as opposed to Ouranic deities, like Zeus, Apollo, Hermes(in some forms). I would love to hear from people who do spirit work on their opinions on this! 

Using Onions For Healing

Onions are scientifically proven to be super awesome for your body. They strengthen your immune system, help control your blood sugar, speed up the healing process while also being an anti-inflammatory, and much much more! Of course it’s a healing herb! That means I can use it in everything from spells and charm bags to full blown recipes, or even straight on my skin, raw! One of my most favorite kitchen witchy things to do is make Fire Cider every fall! It’s a perfect example of the almighty Onions healing powers! 

Onions as Scapegoats and Poppets

Because of the nature of onions, and their diversity, I find that one of the best ways to use them are for sympathetic magic. For me, onions are pure, basically a blank slate energetically, which makes them perfect candidates to use for poppets and the like. First, they are generally easy to take apart in some form or another, whether slicing it, or carving it like a pumpkin. This makes it easy to put items, herbs and other such things inside it when trying to go for the poppet thing or even just a taglock for the scapegoat idea. Another reason they are great is because onions do overtime have an outward change of state. So, after three or four months, that onion you made into a poppet to catch up all that negativity is looking pretty fucking nasty. Well, that’s an outward and obvious sign of the way your magic and science coincided. You have this physical proof that this onion has been affected by it’s environment, physically and magically. I happen to think that’s pretty awesome. 

Using Onions For Curses

I also like using onions for curses, with the same sympathetic magic idea. One of my favorite ways to curse used to be to slice open a lemon, slide a name inside it, and to put pins through the whole thing. Now, I do that with onions and it works just as well! They also work well by slicing or dicing them and burying a poppet, piece of paper, or something else similar. I would even say that it could be interesting for a kitchen witch curse, to dice onions, shred a paper with the information for the curse on it, throw in a little bit of those *super fucking hot spices* and sautê it all together, only to dump it into the trash or in a jar to rot or what have you! 
So this is in no way an exhaustive list of what onions can be used for in witchcraft, i just wanted to give a little information about how I used them in my practice! 

Tyren, Tyren, Tyren................

A shit load of people keep asking for my opinion on Tyren. Instead of answering all the different asks, I’m just going to put it in a post , to answer all the questions about them, at the same time. So, here it is…

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