i rarely use this word but

One of the main reasons why I rarely ever cross paths with people from the past again is because I’m constantly evolving, my mind never remains in the same state year after year, so our common interests are no longer the same. Therefore, unless you’ve grown too, the chances of us being in the same place is very small.

- Meggan Roxanne
4

Note-Taking

Hey guys! So I’ve been receiving questions regarding my note-taking style and strategy for quite some time now but I believe I have never answered them in detail. The good news is, I finally decided to make a post about this (plus, I had fun making the graphics :D). Note that I am a visual learner, so my note-taking methods may not be effective for some of you, but I hope you can all learn something.

Class Notes

I only use one notebook for all my class notes, an A4 grid notebook whose pages I divide into two columns.

I use the outline method for in-class notes, which means I write information chronologically, in the order that they are taught. Some teachers do not have properly structured presentations/lessons (good thing my physics teacher does) so when in need, I use arrows to connect related information.

Abbreviations to me are one of the most important things to master when taking notes. I personally make them up as I go along. Some examples of abbreviations I use are:

  • w/c - which
  • w/ - with
  • cpd - compound
  • envt - environment
  • digenz - digestive enzyme

It might be confusing, but to me, knowing the context and part of speech are enough for all abbreviations to be comprehended.

Here’s an example: ‘Indonesia’s tsunami pre-warning system is made up of two types of components’ could become ‘Indo’s snmi pre-warn sys 2 type comp’.

After Class

The first thing I would do is highlight keywords and terminology (and sometimes formulas). For physics, since my teacher is relatively succinct, I don’t really highlight, but for humanities and biology, I look for words that would be expected by a mark scheme, words that are crucial to the understanding of each particular piece of information.

I would then check if the material taught coincides with the syllabus, and if not, note down any points that are missing or have yet to be taught. You could write these on a post it or on the syllabus itself, but I prefer to highlight the syllabus’ pdf file.

Rewritten Notes

My rewritten notes are arranged based on the order they appear in the syllabus unless there are pieces of information that are related to more than one topic.

I use a black pen for rewriting notes as well as colored pens to write keywords and terminology only. I know some people who write whole sentences in colored pens but to me that is ineffective; we all have our own learning styles. When making tables, I usually use different colors for different columns (see the table for different types of radiation above) which is most often the color I associate with each word. For example, water would be blue, ocean would be a darker shade, ice would be a lighter shade, and water vapor would be purple.

I still abbreviate words in my rewritten notes, but they’re not as condensed as the ones in my class notes. Another thing I find helpful is leaving a bit of space between separate points especially if the page doesn’t have a lot of diagrams. I can’t think linearly, so I can’t remember super lengthy bullet points.

I use mildliners and a drawing pen to make my diagrams (more of these in my biology notes) but I only start with pencil if it’s a complex diagram. I rarely highlight my rewritten notes, but even if I do, it’s usually only the headings and formulas.

I don’t have a rough draft for my notes, but I try to visualize the layout. I try to alternate between words and pictures/diagrams so that when I’m sitting for an exam, all I have to do is imagine that I’m looking at that page and I can remember where everything is.

Well, that’s all from me. I hope that this information could be of some use to every single one of you. Don’t hesitate to ask me questions if you’re confused about note-taking or any other problems you might have :)

Nice things Italians say

(or, a random list of italian expressions that i felt like sharing with the world)

Se son rose fioriranno.” (literally, “If it’s roses, they will bloom.”) It’s usually used to calm down someone (or even oneself) who’s anxious about a certain situation (for instance going on a date), and it means that if something is bound to happen, it will, and hence that there’s no use being nervous.

Non s'ha da fare.” It means “it’s not to be done”/“it’s not to happen”. Although this construct is strictly typical of the Florentine dialect, this fixed expression has become widely used in the Italian language after one of the most famous scenes in Alessandro Manzoni’s I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed), in the line “Questo matrimonio non s'ha da fare, né domani, né mai.” (“This wedding is not to be celebrated, not tomorrow, nor ever.”)

Hai scoperto l'acqua calda.” (literally “You have discovered hot water.”) Used to ironise about someone’s obvious remark by calling it a revolutionary discovery.

Morto un papa, se ne fa un altro.” (literally, “Once a pope dies, another one is elected.”) It’s usually used after the end of a relationship and it means that once you lose a lover, you just find another one. It can also be used in other situations with an equivalent meaning.

Una volta ogni morte di papa.” It literally means “Once every pope’s death” and it’s used as an informal synonym for “very rarely”. (e.g. “Mi ammalo una volta ogni morte di papa.” -> “I get sick very rarely.”)

La mamma è sempre la mamma.” It means “Mum will always be mum.” and it’s just an expression to state how your mum will always be there for you and will always be your home.

Che pizza!” It literally translates “What a pizza!” but it has the same meaning as the English “Nuts!” (e.g. “Piove.” “Che pizza!” -> “It’s raining.” “Nuts!”). In the same way, the word “pizza” can be used as an adjective to describe an annoyingly boring person (e.g. “Sei una pizza, non vuoi mai fare nulla.” -> “You’re so boring, you never want to do anything”).

Signs As Uncommon Words
  • Aries: resfeber- (n.) thrill felt before an adventure
  • Taurus: elsyian- (adj.) beautiful or creative; peaceful
  • Gemini: trepverter- (n.) a witty response or comeback you think of only after it's too late to use
  • Cancer: selcouth- (adj.) unfamiliar, rare, strange, and yet wonderful
  • Leo: ensorcell- (v.) to enchant or fascinate someone
  • Virgo: vellichor- (n.) the strange wistfulness of used bookshops
  • Libra: apricity- (n.) the warmth of the sun in wintertime
  • Scorpio: quidnunc- (n.) someone who always wants to know what's going on
  • Saggitarius: balter- (v.) to dance artlessly but with enjoyment
  • Capricorn: psithurism- (n.) the sound of wind rustling leaves
  • Aquarius: astral- (adj.) of or relating to the stars
  • Pisces: abderian- (adj.) given to idiotic or incessant laughter
How i study languages

A couple of days ago @bonbonlanguage asked if i have a post about what i do in order to learn a new language so i thought i should try to make a post about that.

The beginning

As a beginner i always do the same stuff. I research a couple of apps or i just see if my favourite choices have a version for my target language. Usually i use: 

Memrise
Fun Easy Learn
9000 words
50Languages
HiNative
babbel, busuu (rarely but i still have them on my phone)

+some sites and specific apps only for my target language

I choose a grammar book and i take notes from from it. So far i chose books from 3 collections: Teach Yourself, Colloquial and For Dummies.

How i take notes from a book

I ignore the excercises, in my notebook you will see only grammar notes and sometimes irregular verbs at the end, but you will never see exercises. (i’ll say later what i do with the exercises)
If the book has a pretty good structure, i just copy what’s in there. (when i say good structure i mean that i can’t extract main ideas or just a formula              e.g. stem+ending)
The theory is written in black or blue, the examples are written with a pencil and if there is a keyword, i highlight it. When i have languages with articles based on the gender of the words, like French, i use a pink and a light blue pen so when i study the articles i can see the difference. 
Now, i said that in my notebook you won’t see exercises, true, that’s because i solve them on another notebook or just on a blank sheet of paper. If your book has exercises after the grammar lesson, solve them. If half of them are wrong, you will take a break of 1-2 days (in which you will study the grammar rules) and when you feel prepared, you solve again those exercises. (you are allowed to have mistakes but try to have at least 70% of the exercises correct).
What i do after i finish a book
After i finish that grammar book, i take another one. However, this time i don’t copy-paste like i did the first time. I read what informations are there and if there are new rules/exceptions, i just write them on a sticky note and add it to my notebook. After i finish my 2nd book i usually move on to the next stage but if i feel that i missed out something, i take a 3rd book and do what i did with the 2nd one.
As a beginner i have the habit to read my notes once a week, as an intermediate learner i rarely do that.

Don’t understand that as a beginner you only take notes! Sometimes when i get bored i just study on memrise/vocabulary app and that sometimes can last 1 week, sometimes 2. I even like to use InternetPolyglot with my target language and an old target language. (e.g. I learn new words in Spanish through Danish) 

After i have a proper notebook

Usually when i finish my book and i add all the exceptions/rules that i found in the 2nd book i also have learned 1.500-2.000 words in that period of time so i want to test my skills.

When i feel confident enough, i start using duolingo. I use it as a test tool, not as a learning one! I take the shortcuts and usually in 2 days i finish a tree. (at the last part of the tree you don’t have a shortcut for everything so you just have to take the shortcut of every skill there which gets boring)

Since Duolingo is pretty advanced with his lessons, at the end i can consider myself a B1 learner. (if you have an amazing memory and skills, you can say you are B2, but Duolingo can’t get you further than that)

The intermediate stage

Whoever followed my blog for a while knows that i have 2 nightmares in my language learning journey, the intermediate stage and the irregular verbs.

For how to overcome a plateau in the intermediate stage i made a post here. (sooner or later you will hit a plateau)

Back to what i do. No book anymore, duolingo is done, this is the moment when i start to use my skills. If i didn’t use 50Languages as a beginner, i use it now. It has 100 audios so i use them to get used to the sound of the words in case i don’t know them and i also use it as a resources to learn new words. On Memrise i try to find advanced/intermediate and i use 9000 words and Fun Easy Learn. 

At this level the main problem is the lack of vocabulary so i try to learn as many new words as i can. However, since using apps can get boring after a while, i use the classic method of learning vocabulary, reading.

How i memorize/learn new words

Most of the time i just use apps/sites. However, everyone had moments when we couldn’t remember a word regardless of how many times we tried to memorize it. When i have to deal with this, i usually make a mnemonic. (e.g. afslutte = to finish, to end, to conclude; in order to remember the meaning i think at a key sentence: If you don’t study you’ll END up as a slut. [harsh example, i know, but it stays in my mind])

If my mnemonic method doesn’t work, i write the word a couple of times, sometimes with my left hand too since i focus more then. (i’m right-handed) and if i still can’t remember the meaning, i’ll start making some sentences where i’ll use that word.

How i read in my target language

Just as a side note, if i feel confident with my skills (that has happened only once) i read books, if not, i read comics until i feel confident enough to try books.

I have 2 methods because sometimes the first one doesn’t work. So, for French i just read and try to guess the meaning of a word and if i can’t, then i search it. Why i do this for French? It’s easier somehow and i can guess the meaning very well. Sometimes i even highlight words and search the meaning later just to analyze them more.

However, this method doesn’t work on Danish. For Danish i have to read once the entire paragraph and then see what i understood from it. If there is a certain word that it’s unknown, i’ll search it. Since Danish has a lot of structures, i tend to use HiNative to translate those because normal online translators aren’t good for these. After i have all the unknown words, i will look over the paragraph again.

With all these unknown words, i usually make flashcards on Quizlet and practice them from time to time.

Sometimes when i’m in a hurry or i’m not in the mood for studying new words in big quantities, i use WordBrewery or Clozemaster. When i use these i always write the new words on a piece of paper or i just add them directly to Quizlet.

HiNative

I mentioned it above so i should tell you how i use it in order to improve since many might not be familiar to it. It’s an app where you ask questions and natives will answer.  I use HiNative mostly after i read, watch a movie or learn something from memrise.

For what i use it?

- ask for differences
- ask for examples with new words that i didn’t find a context for
- ask for translation from target language to English since not everything is easy to translate as a beginner/intermediate

Listening skills

Listening is a very interesting skill because you can combine it with speaking and reading or just focus only on it.

Listening+reading

In this category you find movies/cartoon/series with subs. Usually i don’t do anything when i watch series/movies because i guess the meaning of the unknown words but if there is a certain word that i can’t understand, i will write it down and search it’s meaning.

Listening+speaking

This involves 2 things. I either talk to someone or i just talk to myself/a toy/the cat. I tend to use the 2nd method most of the time. (it’s not that i dislike talking, i just don’t feel confident enough to use my skills until i’m not sure that i know most of the things/vocab i need to know). I start the conversation like “hey, how are you?” and then i ask myself “how was your day?”. For this question i have to make 2 answers, the reality with what has happened, and an imaginary version for my other side who’s “talking”.

Listening

Here i just watch videos on youtube, listen to 50languages, a podcast or songs. If i do listen to songs, sometimes i try to find the lyrics and see if i understand everything, if not, i’ll look for the unknown words and after i start to sing too. (disney songs are great because most have lyrics on youtube already)

Writing skills

Here i have 2 choices, i either find someone or i just write in a notebook/diary. The purpose of this is to figure out what vocab/structures/expressions i don’t know. 

Speaking skills

It’s not that i dislike talking, i just focus on this skill at the end usually. I improve my other skills and the speaking one improves in a weird way too. However, at some point i just ask people who i know for a long time and i feel comfortable with to talk to me on skype/on the phone.

Extra

Idioms are everywhere in a language. At some point you have to deal with them. If i find them on memrise, i study them there, if not, i’ll look for them and make flashcards. These flashcards have only the idiom in my target language on them and that’s it. I don’t write the translation. I force myself to remember the meaning.

Also, when i don’t know the pronunciation for something, i use Forvo.

The advanced stage

Here i just learn idioms and some advanced vocabulary at the beginning. After these, i stop caring. I consider my learning journey almost done so i just enjoy my life using the language. I read without worrying that i don’t know words, i watch shows without worrying that i don’t understand what i hear, i can sing without worrying that i just say words with no meaning but similar sounds to what i hear.

Note: This is how I learn languages. I can’t say it will work for everyone but it works for me.

p.s. sometimes Fun Easy Learn and 50Languages are set in another language, not my native one or English.

Sometimes the most important things you will ever say to somebody are said with silence. Love is a wordless language… it is in the touch of a hand or a look in the eye and sometimes, something entirely different… something that cannot be described. It is almost like an energy flow… a presence like static electricity that occupies the narrow spaces between you. 
It is an unspoken and unexplainable connection, and just as the cells and atoms in your body bond in such a way that you can feel when your hand hurts – so too can two people bond so that one may feel when the other’s heart hurts. And this is why I so rarely say ‘I love you’… because so often those words are nothing more than meaningless static… white noise used to fill conversation gaps or replace offhanded salutations on the way out the door. Love is not an audible sound you should hear from me… it is something you should feel emanating from me like an electrical charge or something you should see in my eyes when I look at you with a plethora of emotions contained in a single glance… It is something you will know without needing to be told because whenever I am with you the entire world dissolves until you and I are the only two things that exist. 
This is what I am saying to you in those quiet little moments when you catch me looking at you with a hint of a smile and eyes that whisper something you can never quite hear, but instinctively know is a message for you, and you only… 
This is what my silence is telling you.
Open To Interpretation: Negan x Reader

Originally posted by jdm-negan-mcnaughty

A/N: Ya’ll. I’m so fuckin’ swamped in responsibility. I feel a lil guilty about coming back with something non-Rami but fuck it. Some other things I wanna say: Send me anything. Send me asks. I wanna answer you guys’ questions. Be nosy as hell. Also, I have something you might be interested in coming up after my birthday which is in like 2 weeks. Please feel free to request more Negan stuff, I’m branching out bitches.

Masterlist 

Warnings: Inappropriate teacher/student relationship (student is of legal age in the US and UK), smut, the usual. Also, I wrote the character a little more like myself bc I feel like I keep writing the same kind of reader and its getting tedious. Hit my inbox if this is you af. ALSO HIT MY INBOX IF YOU’VE EVER HAD ANY KIND OF TEACHER/STUDENT RELATIONSHIP? SPILL THE TEA I’M NOSY.

Word count: 4448  


“Preserving innocent life, orderly living in society, worshipping god, educating children, and reproducing.” His deep, gravelly voice fills the lecture hall. All his students are enraptured, a rare thing for many teachers. He pauses before continuing. “What are the issues with these precepts that Aquinas put forward?”

You bite your lip anxiously. Answering questions in class isn’t an issue for you, in fact your teachers often tell you to give the other students a chance, but your Philosophy and Ethics professor makes you somewhat nervous. Tall, late forties, gorgeous black beard with silver streaks and piercing hazel eyes. The recipe for a crippling medley of anxiety and attraction.

Despite this, impressing him and getting your grade is often the reason you manage to pluck up the courage to respond to his queries, his opinion of you is something you are very conscious of. You glance around the room to see no one has raised their hand. You decide to take one for the team, slowly lifting your arm from the desk.

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Names and naming

Mad Max Fury Road is full of names: weird, inventive, evocative names. But it also uses them brilliantly. There’s so much information packed into what names are spoken, when and how.

Names and titles are a classic way of revealing hierarchy. Joe is named repeatedly, and each time it shows his relationship with the person naming him. Nux’s “Immortan! Immortan Joe!” is all about his godlike status. The Organic Mechanic’s “Joe” is deliberately casual, not actively disrespectful but certainly not worshipful. 

Then there’s the ongoing tension in what Joe calls Angharad: “Splendid” most of the time, reverting to her proper name at moments of stress, when he really needs her to listen. In the canyon scene, he goes from “Splendid, that’s my child, my property” when he’s trying to rebuke her to “Angharad! Get out!” when he realises she’s at risk of hitting the rock.  It’s implied that she rejects “Splendid” – certainly the other wives only ever call her Angharad. (More generally, the wives use each other’s names simply, to get each other’s attention: I don’t get any sense of hierarchy from it.)

Other names are hardly ever spoken. Furiosa doesn’t call the wives anything. Charlize Theron has said this was because she is trying not to get emotionally attached.

On screen, Furiosa explicitly uses names to form connections. When she asks for Max’s name, it’s a deliberate attempt to achieve emotional engagement, because she needs him on side. And it’s rare for her: not only does she not name the wives, she doesn’t use the war rig crew’s names, either. In a movie that keeps its dialogue sparse, every word counts - and every omitted word counts, too.

Within the Citadel hierarchy, war boys don’t get named by anyone but each other. “I’ve got a war boy, running on empty,” says the Organic Mechanic. An imperator later uses exactly the same phrasing to introduce Nux to Joe: “I’ve got a war boy, says he was on the war rig”. It suggests that, from the top of the Citadel hierarchy, war boys are seen as interchangeable. One describes Nux as if he were a machine; the other - “says he was on the war rig” - implies his lower status, framing his evidence as hearsay. It’s clearly a huge honour for Joe to ask Nux his name. It’s also the only time we see a Citadel full-life acknowledge a war boy’s name.  

War boys in this film are both abusers and victims - terribly fragile, desperate for attention from the powerful class that exploits and uses them, not questioning its values. They go unnamed by their superiors, but they name each other as often as possible: “Morsov!” “Slit, what’s happening?” Though Nux shouts “Crew, out of the way!” at Ace - maybe they don’t know names beyond their own crews, or maybe he just doesn’t recognise Ace from behind.

They use names to encourage each other. Just look at the way they all shout Morsov’s name before witnessing him. “Witness me” is a plea for affirmation: see what I’m doing, make it mean something. Witnessing is an act of performative masculinity - I liked @bookishandi‘s post on witnessing Nux’s death. But it’s also framed as an act of mutual support (which I think is why it’s taken off so much in fandom).  Morsov’s death - which is really the viewer’s introduction to “witnessing” as a concept - is part of a scene that shows us the war rig crew working smoothly together.

The exception is Slit, who tries to undermine his colleagues instead, shouting “Mediocre, Morsov!” rather than “witness”, or telling Nux that Joe wasn’t looking at him, “He was scanning the horizon”. And of course Slit is the most insecure of the lot, begging for any scrap of attention: “I got the blood bag’s boot! Take me, I got his boot!”  

Imperators, and others from the Citadel’s powerful classes, are clearly known by their names. “Furiosa, she took a lot of stuff from Immortan Joe”, for instance. There’s no sense that war boys give this recognition to anyone not at the top of that hierarchy. The war boy who tells Nux about Furiosa talks about the wives as things - “stuff”, “prize breeders”. Nux’s own reaction to the wives - “so shiny, so chrome” - sees them as objects rather than people. And of course he goes on calling Max “blood bag”, even when he thinks they’re on the same side. It’s not a conscoius insult; it clearly doesn’t occur to him that Max might mind - any more than Nux minded the way the Organic Mechanic or the imperator talked about him.

Then there’s the scene when Furiosa greets the Vuvalini. Here’s what she says:

“I am one of the Vuvalini, the Many Mothers. My initiate mother was K.T. Concannon. I am the daughter of Mary Jobassa. My clan was Swaddle Dog.” 

This is a speech proving her identity, but how she does it is so revealing. She doesn’t use her own name at all. Instead, it’s all about a web of relationships, of connections, the ways in which she belongs. (She’s also proving that she belongs by demonstrating knowledge of Vuvalini society.) She lists her initiate mother before her birth mother – her place in the community before her lineage. Her tenses are interesting, too. Her clan was Swaddle Dog – she’s left, the clan may no longer exist, she’s talking about the past. But when she talks about being Vuvalini, it’s “I am”.  Even though she’s asking for recognition, it has none of the war boys’ neediness – she’s naming what she is, how she chooses to see herself. She’s not seeking approval or affirmation. 

And though the Vuvalini team work is smooth, they do it without shouting names – to the point where most of the Vuvalini characters don’t have names at all (which is very unhelpful for fandom, George). Citadel naming is intensely hierarchical, about who does, and doesn’t, get respect. Vuvalini naming is about community, identities built up through choices and relationships.

Of course, the film’s most powerful naming scene has nothing to do with the Citadel or the Vuvalini: it’s Max telling Furiosa his name. (OH MY HEART.) It’s the conclusion of Max’s emotional arc, his return to being a human being: accepting a name, accepting his own identity. Crucially, he accepts it by sharing it. Throughout the film, names are meaningful because they’re how people connect with each other. In the “My name is Max” scene, we see Max choosing to do that. Engage to heal. 

If you had told Dex even a week ago that he would willingly be sharing a blanket with Derek Nurse on the floor of the Haus living room all afternoon, pressed together so close they’re practically in each other’s laps, he would’ve laughed in your face.

Now, he just bangs a fist against the side of the old space heater in front of them and subtly pulls Nursey a little closer into his side. Not that there’s all that much closer to pull him.

“I told them,” he mutters. “Draft fucking central.”

He not so much sees as senses Nursey roll his eyes. “Rans and Holtzy not letting you replace all the windowpanes last year is not why the heating went out, yo.”

Intellectually, Dex know this. But it’s easier to blame their former captains for their current predicament than it is to blame the fact that he’s let routine Haus maintenance slide so much this semester that they’ve ended up here. Because if Dex doesn’t keep a close eye on things like the barely functioning water heater, or the garbage disposal that’s missing two blades and is about to fall out of the sink entirely, who will?

Except, well, he’s been distracted this year. From the moment he got back from summer break and moved into the attic with Nursey, he’s been… distracted.

Nursey is distracting.

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A rare snake-related post by me-

I have had Vision, a dwarf BCI and my youngest snake, for roughly 9 months now. He will be a year old in July, so by snake standards he is still very much a baby. In the past 9 months, he’s gone from, for lack of better words, a bitey defensive asshole to a relatively passive and trusting creature who simply has Rules ™ on how, where, and when he can be touched. I used the same method to produce these results as I do with all of my reptiles, including my young snake of a notoriously aggressive and defensive species (Amazon Tree Boas) and have frequently been asked how I manage to get these animals that instinctively bite first and ask questions never to allow handling and pictures without drawing blood.

On my dog blog I’ve mentioned the concept of body autonomy a few times in relation to training dogs, and how it crosses over into husbandry in other species. In these posts I’ve detailed how I tame the larger birds at my job, how I teach my snakes not to bite me when I take them out, how I can successfully convince a thrashing dog to accept grooming without a fuss, how I teach cats to not turn into screaming demons for nail trims, and more. I also cover this in many of my dog training lectures at work as my students teach their dogs to allow grooming, nail trims, and medically related handling to prevent injuries and incidents when interacting with these animals. All of this relates back to body autonomy, and how we as humans have consistently ignored other species’ instinctive need to be autonomous.

I am no master animal trainer and do not play one on TV. I train pet dogs and service dogs and have begun to venture into competition, at one point I specialized in rehabbing aggressive and reactive dogs. I have trained various common pet animals in occasionally unconventional ways to do things that make life easier for the both of us, but I don’t claim to be anything special, because what I’m doing is not all that special. It is, however, uncommon for people to make these considerations with their pets and then they call in someone like me to fix a problem that didn’t need to start in the first place.

An example being: frequently on this website and others, the solution for convincing a biting snake not to bite you is to hold it still until it stops biting you. The snake will learn that biting you does not produce the desired result (you letting the snake go or putting it back in its cage) and thus will eventually stop biting you when you pick it up.

In the dog training world, we call this flooding and learned helplessness. It “works” because it produces what we wanted it to. The snake no longer bites when you pick it up. But it failed to address the root of the problem, and frequently if regular handling is not maintained the snake will return to biting you every time you touch it. The snake had learned that there was nothing it could do in order to make you stop doing what it didn’t like, and so had learned that it was helpless against the much larger human. The snake in this situation still doesn’t really want to be handled, it is merely tolerating it because it sees no other option.

While snakes have a much more primitive brain than dogs and thus a much more limited scope of emotions, aggression and violence are always expensive measures to use and thus are frequently considered last resort measures to make an unpleasant situation stop. They are costly in body resources- they take large amounts of energy, stress, and time to resolve, and wounds obtained from violence can become deadly with infection or severity. As a result, a bite should always indicate that whatever you are doing is so unpleasant to the animal you’re doing it to that they’re willing to risk their life in order to make you stop. The common pet snake knows it cannot win against an animal as large as a human. It is hoping you have not come to the same realization, and will not call its bluff.

This creates a problem. Like with dogs, backing off from a situation that is required after a bite will teach the snake that all they have to do to get you to leave them alone is to bite you. If I need to trim my dog’s nails, give him a bath, brush him, or have him examined by a vet, sure I could put him in a muzzle and force him to do it anyway, but it is counter-intuitive to teach him that all he has to do is bite me in order to get out of doing those things he may consider unpleasant. I need to be able to handle my snakes. This is not negotiable, just like the above things I do with my dogs are not negotiable. If I cannot handle them, I cannot check them for injury, disease, or distress. Backing off because my snake, or dog, has threatened to bite me is thus not a viable option. I must be able to complete the task, and the animal in question must let me.

Dogs, by comparison, are relatively easy to convince in this problem. I need to be able to do my dog’s nails. If I give him amazing treats on a good reward schedule, shower him with praise, listen to his body language to give him a chance to calm down and destress before pressing on, and remove my own negative emotions from the equation, he will learn to let me do his nails and even offer the position required for the task within a relatively short amount of time. He does not have to like having his nails done, but I can convince him to like he benefits he gets out of it. Cats and birds and small mammal pets like ferrets, rabbits, and rodents may be slower, but follow much the same way.

I can’t give a snake a treat. That’s not really how snake digestive systems work. I can’t give them a toy. I can’t give them praise. The subtleties of snake body language are much harder to read due to a lack of eyelids, ears, and limbs. Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, all of these are social creatures that practice social bonding and feel an emotion similar to love (in the dog’s case, actually do feel love). Snakes are not social creatures and their brain is not capable of producing the chemicals involved in the emotion we call love. I cannot convince a snake to love me or to like being handled. That is not something their biology is able to do. Does that mean I have to rely on flooding and learned helplessness in order to get them to let me handle them?

I keep stressy species. While all reptiles are more than capable of stressing themselves to death, my current list of exotic pets includes a special needs ball python with a severe neurological condition, a brazilian rainbow boa specifically purchased from someone who breeds minimally stressy snakes because he got tired of the species’ reputation for being bitey assholes, and a dwarf bci locality (read: like a subspecies, but not different enough to get their own scientific name) known for being defensive bitey assholes. Previously, I had a special needs corn snake that was a defensive bitey asshole, an amazon tree boa that was remarkably handleable despite the species’ reputation for being aggressive and defensive bitey angry assholes, and a few foster ball pythons that came from neglect situations and had never been handled before leading to them being defensive bitey assholes. Stress is common in situations where aggression or violence is utilized, even if it is being utilized by the animal and not the human. If the stress from moving can kill my beloved ATB Hydra, why would I intentionally expose him to situations where he would feel required to use violence again and again until he learned that that was not a way out of the situation?

I did not flood my snakes. I hold them. They do not bite me. It has been a long time since any of them have even struck at me, and the majority of the bites and strikes I have received have been from when I was learning the snake in front of me or from me intentionally ignoring their body language and handling them a way I knew they didn’t like for whatever reason. Snakes do not bite without cause. Whether you, a human, can see that cause or not, snakes do not bite because they are vindictive or mean. As said, their brains are far too primitive to feel such complex emotions. Even wild snakes do not bite without provocation- whether you intentionally provoked them or not does not matter, simply whether they felt provoked enough to need to defend themselves possibly with their lives.

Vision came to me unsure of my intentions and of whether I could be considered safe. He certainly didn’t believe I should be picking him up. At two months old, the world is a scary place to a baby snake where nearly everything is bigger than you and nearly everything wants to kill or eat you. I do not blame him for doubting the warm giant cooing over him with grabby hands. To him, I’m sure I am some baffling mixture of hawk, bear, and wild canine. All of these things readily kill and eat snakes, all of these things may be persuaded to not kill and eat this particular snake if he bites them.

Instead of picking him up and allowing him to spend precious resources stressing himself to the point of repeatedly biting me- which hurts, by the way, so I don’t really want to be bitten any more than I need to be- I allowed him to show me things about him. I let him show me what he does when he’s nervous, when he doesn’t want to be bothered. I let him show me what he does when he’s curious and feels like investigating what’s in front of him. I let him show me how he does and does not like to be touched. Like many snakes, he seems to enjoy being scratched lightly under the chin. Like many snakes, he doesn’t seem to appreciate being tickled on the stomach. He prefers to create a “foot” about 2/3 down his body and use it as an anchored perch when exploring my hands. He does not want his tail to be touched. When he is nervous or unsure of potential danger, he will retract and coil himself into a loose ball. If pressed before he recovers, he will “expand” the “ball” quickly and vocalize. If he continues to be pressured, he will threaten to bite and will begin to try. If he is allowed to relax, he will recreate his “foot” and resume quietly investigating his surroundings.

Today, I took the lid off of his enclosure and lifted him out without a fuss. While this is not a first- we accomplished this task about 4 weeks in- only in the past few weeks has he not immediately retracted into his loose ball and required me to wait a few minutes for him to relax before touching him. Instead, he immediately made his “foot” and began to investigate, leaned against my finger as I scratched his chin, and maintained his confidence throughout the time I handled him. Sure, I could possibly get a similar result through the first method of flooding and teaching him that he is helpless against me, but I don’t need to. I can get a confident content snake that is not only tolerating my handling but also showing curiosity and intelligence without forcing him to accept my hands as things he has to deal with in his life.

The people espousing these methods always ask me how I managed to take such nice, interesting pictures of Hydra without bleeding- or joke about how much blood they think I lost inbetween shots- and are always surprised when I tell them that I don’t get bit because I understand a snake’s need for autonomy and allow the snake to tell me their “rules” for being touched and then follow those rules or understand if I break them I will get bit. As a result, I don’t break their rules unless I have to, and thus I don’t get bit unless I have to. This allows me to handle and investigate my snakes, look in their mouths, check their vents and between their scales, touch their heads, and rescue them from fluke accidents such as Quetzal’s injury with his decor without the snake taking their frustrations out on me. It also allows me to take some pretty pictures of them outside or on props without worrying how I will retrieve them without being bitten when I’m done. 

The Void Inside Me (NSFW 18+)

A/N: This idea was sprouted by one of those ads we’re the two people are texting about something really agnsty or suspenseful and you have to download the app to see the whole story. I loved the idea so much and thought no one would be more suited for it than Void. I want to thank @writing-obrien for seriously helping me out with this when I was completely stumped. Also @celestial-writing because this fic would not be finished if it weren’t for her motivating me to push through up until the very end. And @sarcasticallystilinski too for all her feedback. I think they all edited this at some point too so thank you beautiful babes, I love you all more than most. Lastly, Koneko is Japanese for kitten so says google translater. I’m sorry if I got that wrong.

Warnings: Smut; choking.

Word Count: 6860

|Masterlist|

Originally posted by teendeucalion

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Humans Are Weird

I’ve been pondering this all morning and after much thought, I’ve decided to jump on the “humans are strange and confusing creatures” bandwagon.

I only have one word (or, more accurately, one word composed of two different words… a compound word, if you will) for you all. Gemstones. It is not impossible that in some far reaches of the universe, another species shares our love of pretty rocks, but if we look around at other planets in our very own solar system, like Jupiter and Saturn, where it rains diamonds, gemstones would not be such a rare commodity. They aren’t even such a rare commodity here on Earth. Yet we are enchanted by them, paying great sums to acquire them and wear them. We fawn over people who have the prettiest ones and offer them to loved ones as gifts.

Now, imagine if you will, a space crew landing on an uncharted planet, where rubies are just as common as sand. The other members think nothing of it, but are perplexed as they turn to see Human Steve grabbing them by the fistful and filling his pockets greedily. Is he collecting samples for scientific research? Humans are known for their fondness of “space rocks”, they have brought back multiple ones from their moon to study, but these? These were rubies. The whole crew knew what they were, no need to analyze them any further. A confused rookie, Jix, a Freelian (a reptilian race, slender and logical from the planet Freel) inquired as to why Human Steve would need so much of a common stone once they returned to the ship. Human Steve just gave him a smile and replied “My girlfriend loves them.” So his mate was a rock enthusiast. “It’s endearing how Human Steve supports his mate’s interests.” Jix noted to another crew member. “What do you mean?” asked Commander Gress. “He went out of his way to collect rocks for his mate, simply because she likes them.” Jix stated. “You mean the rubies?” Gress said with a chuckle, “Yeah, gemstones are a rare thing on Earth.” Jix didn’t understand. Gress continued: “It makes them precious. They use ‘em as gifts… It’s a human thing.” she said with a dismissive wave and left. Jix nodded pensively. He enjoyed Human Steve’s company and wanted to convey to him, without the use of words (preferably a gift, something special), how much he appreciated him. Jix suddenly had a brilliant idea.

The next morning, Human Steve woke up to an eager Jix pulling him out of bed. “I got you something!” he chirped, leading Human Steve to the cargo bay, where a large beige boulder took up most of the room. Perplexed, “It’s a rock.” was all Human Steve could say. However, Human Steve didn’t want to upset poor Jix, he seemed so proud. A “thank you” was stammered by Human Steve and the boulder was moved to his quarters. Later that day, Linda from engineering (also a human) asked him about the boulder. Human Steve shrugged, “Must be a Freelian thing.”

The possibilities are endless.

Baby Drama

Originally posted by spdrparker

Pairing: dad!Bucky Barnes x female!Reader x some Steve Rogers

Prompt: “I’m gonna show you who’s your real daddy.” (#18)

Warnings: none, really !! i mean, bucky gets kinda jealous, but there’s nothing too intense in this (which is surprising) - the use of ‘Daddy’, but in an innocent way, i promise - some sexual reference

Word Count: 1.8K

A/N: this is for @bucky-plums-barnes ‘s writing challenge - congrats on 8K, darlin’!!


“Are you sure that you can handle this, Stevie?” Bucky hurriedly questions as he finishes-up tying his tie and stuffs his toothbrush into his duffel bag. He taps the button on the back of his hand and a sort-of covering disguises his metal arm. The device was a gift from Tony Stark, and he only uses it whenever he feels the need to, which is rarely ever. “Because we could always just stay home.”

“Don’t worry, Buck,” Steve chuckles at his nervous friend. “You and Y/N deserve a break. It’s your anniversary, go out, have some fun - live a little,” Steve grins as he sits on the couch near where a very content toddler was fiddling with some crayons. “Emma and I will be just fine. Won’t we, Em?” Steve leans forward and tickles her cheek with his finger, earning a bubbly giggle from the child.

“Bucky, she’ll be fine with Steve,” you say as you slide off one of the stools at the kitchen island, swinging your purse over your shoulder. “C’mere, Emmy,” you coo goofily, crouching down and reaching for the toddler. She plops forward onto her hands and crawls over to you, reaching out with her chubby hand towards you. You pick her up, holding her comfortably in your arms.

“Are you gonna be a good girl for Uncle Stevie?” You giggle at her, bopping her nose.

“M-Mama,” Emma babbles, grabbing at your hair.

“No, no, no,” you wince, dragging her hand away from being able to pull at your hair. “Here, say bye to Daddy,” you give her a big, exaggerated kiss on the cheek before handing her off to Bucky and grabbing your suitcase, heading for the door.

“I’ll miss ya, Emmy,” Bucky gives her an Eskimo kiss, Emma’s childish laughter bouncing through the room. “We’ll be back tomorrow,” he promises, setting her back down on the ground. Bucky walks over to the island and grabs his bag, then meets your at the doorway.

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Bad Temper

MASTERLIST

Requested: Jealous Shawn. Not sure I like this but I tried. 

Word count: 2,658

“I think this might actually be it!” I said, folding the last box together. I ran my fingers through my hair, breathing out heavily. 

I thought it would never end. No matter where I looked, there had always been more boxes to start on. But now, I’d actually unpacked the last one.

“What?” Shawn yelled from the other room, fumbling with his precious guitars as always. 

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So you think I can hear..?

 “You’re not really d/Deaf/HOH, you hear me just fine.”

If I had a dime for everyone who’s ever told me that…                                       Here’s what’s more than likely happening during what you perceive as me “hearing”:

1. I’m relying solely on social cues. Luckily for us d/Deaf/HOH, 93% of communicaton is non-verbal. Basically if you laugh, I laugh, and no one ever knows I missed the joke (..again).

2. I’ve known the speaker for a long time. We all have those topics we can (and do) talk about for hours on end. And the longer I’ve known you, the better I’ll be able to use your favorite topics to figure out what you’re saying.

3. ‘Neutral’ answers. “Yeah”, “No”, “I don’t know”, “Yeah, I get that”.. I’ve got a whole list of responses that can easily trick you into believing I have some idea of what you’re saying.

4. Mad Libs. Did you ever play mad libs as a kid? You know the one.. every so many words you insert a random one and you get a story that doesn’t make any sense? Yeah, being d/Deaf/HOH is pretty much just like that. 

5. Silence. You probably didn’t notice, you almost never do, but I haven’t said a word in 20 minutes. I gave up on trying to understand this conversation a long time ago and I’m really just planning what I’m gonna eat later.

6. Again with the social cues. Remember that whole non-verbal communication thing? Yeah, I probably use it even more than you do. Head nodding, and smiling works like a charm to get a girl through your incoherent story telling.

7. Just this once.. On this rare occasion I actually heard what you said; that happens sometimes.. But you’re still a jerk for dismissing my struggles, feelings, and identity. 

the evolution of adam and ronan (bold is faves)
  • Last week, he and Adam had taken turns dragging each other on a moving dolly behind the BMW, and they both still had the marks to show it
  • Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didnt know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves. 
  • “Do you think it makes me look tougher?” Ronan said, “It makes you look like a loser.”
  • “You’re a Neanderthal.” “Sometimes you sound just like Gansey,” Ronan said. “Sometimes you don’t.” Noah laughed his breathy, nearly soundless laugh. Ronan spit on the ground beside the BMW. “I didn’t realize that ‘midget’ was the Adam Parrish type.” he said. 
  • Two years earlier, Adam had made his decision to come to Aglionby, and, in his head, it was sort of because of Ronan…even the way the other boy had moved, Adam recalled, had struck him: confident and careless, shoulders rolled back, chin tilted, an emperor’s son…He’d never wanted to be someone else so badly. In his head, that boy was Ronan.
  • “I’m always straight.” Adam replied, “Oh, man, that’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told.”

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Analysis: Romance in One Piece

Note: I’ll be posting condensed versions of this analysis in other sites

A) Relevance of plot and characterization AKA Unbiased Readers Vs. Delusional Shippers

“Who lives on ilusions dies from disappointment” – An old Puerto Rican saying

Most of us know One Piece is a very popular manga. Its high quality and popularity depends on several factors, among them we could name memorable and likeable characters along a deep, compelling, fun and action-packed story. The One Piece many know and love wouldn’t exist without the balance between these factors

When talking to at least 3 different One Piece fans, each of them non-shippers who analyzed the manga they all enjoy, I found interesting and pretty sound perspectives of the One Piece story and its nature. All of them value characters, story, development, consistency and logic; something I can totally relate to

But I also found a pattern; these 3 guys shared one single outlook on the very same subject: shipping. Regardless of their expectations, all of them expressed distate for shippers’ general mindset and “odd” viewpoint:

One of them called shippers out for ignoring characterization and very clear and direct statements made in the manga. His attention was centered on a Luffy pairing and how it contradicts his own character. Oda once explained that he writes Luffy as someone pretty straightfoward when it comes to expressing his thoughts and feelings, and this non-shipper said with brutal honesty that for the discussed ship to happen we would need to disregard and/or discard the very core of Luffy’s character. Meaning Oda would need to stop being consistent and faithful to his own story and characters

The next one explained how shippers tend to turn a characters’ relationship into a sappy teen love fantasy that doesn’t match One Piece at all. His analysis also exposed how integrating this kind of underdeveloped “love” into the story would severely damage One Piece originality, ruin the series and needless to say destroy the likable dynamics between several characters as well as their own development. This fantasy, this so-called “love”, is what the vast majority of shippers support and defend. The same kind of “love” most non-shippers, fans and critics dread

The third non-shipper gave me a more detailed explanation: this is even more rough than the other two as he describes that the common shipper mentality of “he/she likes her/him so they should be together” can “only be likened to that of elementary schoolers”. And how shippers take every little meaningless detail and blow it out of proportion with no regard for context, legitimate bonding or the canon story!

But we can’t put all the blame on shippers. Many manga authors seem to have no idea how to write a character-driven series or complex character relationships. In fact, mainstream shonen writers have their fair share of guilt into promoting this common shipping mindset by being notoriously bad at writing romance. Which results in underveloped premises that leave your average fan skeptical, and your average critic disappointed at a poor portrayal of emotional bonding and a severe lack of cohesive narrative in the “romantic love” department

This is the reason why many fans, critics and non-shippers hold the shippers’ perspective in a very low regard. Just like the third non-shipper states: “The blushing, longing stares, corny ass lines etc. That kind of poorly portrayed romance is the kind of thing dreaded by the average fan because it reduces the quality of One Piece to the level of such poorly written series”

So an author needs to build a relationship the same way one person would construct a building: stablishing a strong foundation on companionship, respect, trust, signifcant moments, and emotional bonding. All of this must come before reaching the status of “romantic interest". In relation to this subject, there’s a trope called “First Girl Wins”, a portion of its description truly fits this criteria:

“From a [extradiegetic] point of view, the Law of Conservation of Detail suggests introducing the Love Interest early. An early introduction allows you to get the audience interested in her and rooting for her, gives you space for Character Development, and gives her relationship with her (eventual) partner the most time to develop organically. And with all that said, it’s such a common device that in all likelihood, it sometimes gets played for its own sake.” – tvtropes.org, 2017

Notice this isn’t a cliché, this is a literary device to enhance the story. Pairing up two characters without meaningful moments, emotional build-up and development, is the equivalent to lazy writing. Having such elements firmly stablished for two characters and then deciding to go for a different “route”, pretty much wasting a well-developed relationship for the sake of a “weaker” premise, would be the equivalent to bad writing

Is Oda, the man who’s willing to die for One Piece, a lazy writer? Of course not! Is he, a man who planned the ending years ago and is still sticking to said ending, a bad writer? Being number 1 in Japan and having such a loyal fanbase all around the world prove he’s not!

Do shippers want Oda to be a lazy/bad writer? Facts already answered this question as many (although not all) fans value their own fantasies and delusions over the manga canon and/or the author’s take on the characters and their relationships

Many (but not all) shippers now have a war. Not only against rival ships but mainly against One Piece story and consistent development. Yet as the old saying goes, those who live on delusions will have to eventually face reality and disappointment, because Oda is not a lazy/bad writer like some people here would want him to be

B) Romance Dawn AKA The not so secret origins of One Piece

“If we don’t know where we are going, it can be helpful to know where we come from” – Jostein Gaarder

When debating posible outcomes, fans rarely look back at the time when One Piecewas a still a work in progress. Taking a look at Romance Dawn V.1 and Romance Dawn V.2 helps us to see there are constants present in all versions of these Works that made it into what would later become the most popular manga in Japan

But before discussing those constants I would like to clarify the meaning of the word: “Romance”. There are people who doesn’t really grasp the concept of “Romance” both One Piece and Oda work with. Luckily the first two non-shippers I meantioned shed some light on this subject:

Romance:

“A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful
“A long fictitious tale of heroes and extraordinary or mysterious events, usually set in a distant time or place”
“A narrative in verse or prose, written in a vernacular language in the Middle Ages, dealing with strange and exciting adventures of chivalrous heroes

– thefreedictionary.com, 2016

“A prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious
–  Merriam Webster, 2016

Romantic:

“Marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized
“Having an inclination for romance: responsive to the appeal of what is idealized, heroic, or adventurous

–  Merriam Webster, 2016

These definitions match pretty well One Piece and Oda outlook on this concept. Even Oda lampshaped this by giving his own translation to the title: 冒険の夜明け (“Bōken no Yoake”, “Dawn of the Adventure”)

So Oda’s “romance” covers a wide variety of themes: Adventure, heroism, mystery, virtue, idealism… we can find comedy and tragedy, happiness and sadness. And among the virtues and the idealism we find companionship and love. As the second non-shipper I mentioned explained One Piece is pretty much like an “Adventure novel”, which is why we’ll find in One Piece many of the tropes commonly used in those books

Among those tropes, we find a couple of constants in all versions of “Romance Dawn”

The golden-hearted protagonist and the “First Girl” who doubles as a female lead. Think about this “what if” scenario: If things would’ve played different back then and One Piece never went beyond “Romance Dawn V.1”. If that story were to be elaborated futher, which two characters would had shared the most moments to become endgame? The answer is pretty simple: The golden-hearted protagonist and the female lead!

But when debating, the weight of the argument depends on edvidence so we need to rely on what we can confirm. And we confirm this, what’s the constant in Luffy’s story in all versions of Romance Dawn? a Nami-like character

This becomes even more interesting when we discover that at an interview at “Manga no Chikara” and others, Nami was supposed to be the first one to join Luffy but her debut was postponed by Oda’s editor at that time. Edvidence of this being a last minute decision remains on the first color cover:

Yet as the second non-shipper noted: “her role as secondary protagonist was not altered” for “Nami shares with Luffy the largest character development in the entire series”. And as explained here we already know how the trope goes when someone seeks to write a natural growth for an emotional connection between two characters 

In fact, the relevance of Nami to Luffy’s story is implied in what Oda himself said about Strong World: “I really wanted to make a ‘hero saves the heroine’ story (ヒロインを助けるヒーローを描きたい the japanese sentence). [….]. You might think otherwise, but I had no intention of bringing in someone new to fill that [heroine] role. So when I had to think about whom to use for it amongst the straw hats of course that meant Nami

In Oda’s mind, Luffy is the hero and Nami is the heorine! We can tell that the hero and the heroine are meant to be the driving forces of the series, and therefore putting them together makes the most sense from a storytelling perspective

C) LuffyxNami AKA LuNa/LuNami

“Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men” – Thomas Huxley

Many shippers tend to ignore and disregard the importance of staying faithful to the canon story, and the author’s take on the characters and their relationships

To makes matters worst some of them even deem as illogical any argument solidly based on these factors. While considering stuff like lines, frogs, sweat, fire, nonexistent sexual tension, assumption of sexuality, and even assumptions of pregnancy, as legitimate proofs of a plausible outcome! In fact they even value comparisons to other series with a different tone, themes, and characters over anything that the One Piece author conveys through his work

There’s even people who goes as far as editing the wiki as if that would change the story to match their preferred pairing!

But in order to reach a conclusion that remains true to One Piece and its nature we have to rely on the very same foundation that was already described several times: mutual trust/respect, faith on one another, significant moments, stress in their relationship and emotional development. If the story doesn’t let you build your premises on these elements, the conclusion you’ll reach will obviously be flawed and stray away from what One Piece really is

So here I’m not only defending the premise I strongly support; I’m defending the very same story and build-up that contributes to this bond’s natural growth:

As explained before there’s nothing explicitly romantic about major interactions. But given we’re dealing with a good and dilligent writer, what we’ll get to see is how big to small moments stablish an emotional connection between two characters, and how that becomes the base for a even greater growth

First we have the themes of trust and faith: At first Nami doesn’t trust Luffy very much, out of her clear distate for pirates, until witnessing how far was Luffy willing to go to selflessly help others. Even then Nami treated their relationship as a mere business and later betrayed the crew

Still Luffy always trusted Nami to the point of putting blind faith in her. Even when given reasons not to do so. One remarkable example is when Luffy was informed by someone trustworthy (Johnny) that Nami apparently “killed” to Usopp, and Luffy not only kept holding onto his blind faith in Nami but he also threatened Johnny for saying such things about her


This becomes something remarkable when we take into consideration that Zoro quickly gave up on Nami and later tried to attack her without even a second thought! While Usopp just wanted  the Merry back…

And it would later become even more impressive in the Whiskey Peak Arc when Luffy came to doubt Zoro because of the words of wounded man he didn’t even know, and even doubted Robin during Water 7 until Nami told him and the crew the truth behind Robin’s desertion:

But what else makes this situation with Nami any different from others we see in the manga? Some might point to the saga where rescuing Robin was the primary objective; but in Robin’s case Luffy knew her life was in danger for Robin was planning to die for the crew, and he got the resolve to save her only after learning the truth. Others might point to the current arc, but he saw right through Sanji’s act and got desperate to rescue him only after hearing his life is in danger.

Here, Nami’s life wasn’t in danger as far as Luffy knew. And he constantly try to reach out to her despite her harsh attitude and the fact he knew next to nothing about her past and her current circumstances. It was only when he saw her cry he got enough motivation to beat Arlong, and it was only when he got a small glimpse of what she went through that he lost it!

How does Nami respond to this? Initially she wanted to get Luffy out of her villaje and her life. While Nami indeed grew fond of Luffy and the others she wasn’t willing to bond with any of them; she held on her distrust of others. But that changed when she finally hitted her lowest point, when she finally lost all hope. Then it comes Nami’s first major development as character: she realized she needed to rely on someone else, she realized Luffy was her only hope Nami decided to rely on him. The following scene marks the first time of many when Nami relied on Luffy to a emotional level. And the first of two times when Luffy entrusted his treasure to her in a touching gesture to provide comfort and hope:

From the very beginning the emotional build-up between Luffy and Nami was a key factor for one of the most meaningful and memorable moments in One Piece. The moment when Luffy becomes Nami’s “emotional anchor”

The effect Luffy had on her character was also quite powerful as we could see during the 2nd pass of the hat: back then at Skypiea arc Nami could still panic at dreadful situations: 

But as soon as Luffy gave her his treasure, the panic stopped and when he was later removed from the battle field, Nami was capable of drawing enough courage from Luffy to face the big bad from that arc:

Not to mention Luffy’s final move against Enel was combined effort of the two as well as an impressive display of mutual trust/faith

We can continue to appreciate their development even futher as the story goes on. As someone already pointed out, Nami during Water 7 displayed an impressive resolve and determination, but as soon as she got the chance to explain Luffy their situation she opened her heart to express how she felt, her anguish and her distress. When Luffy reassures her that he will save Robin, she doesn’t cry anymore until she reunites with Robin

Their bonding is even futher explored in the only One Piece movie fully written by Oda: Strong World. As this is the author’s take on their relationship is still a valid argument to support Luffy/Nami development:

We already considered how impressive Luffy’s blind faith in Nami can be. So after listening to most of Nami’s recorded message, Luffy gets enraged! Why?

Well, after all that time Luffy relied on his navigator without ever doubting her. He was likely expecting all his trust and faith in Nami to be reciprocated

Turns out Nami does return that feeling! And why can we say that? Remember the movie’s ending: Nami finds out everyone in the crew got her hidden “save me” at the end of her message… everyone but Luffy. Then when Luffy is about to play the recorded proof of Nami’s unwavering faith in him, what does she do? She tries to get rid of the “edvidence” out of embarrassment 

It’s easy to see then why Nami seeked out Luffy for hope and comfort during Zou. And how she did something similar to what happened in Water 7: she opened up to Luffy

I said it before, since Luffy is Nami’s “emotional anchor”, it makes sense for her to keep strengthening her bond with Luffy. And given Luffy needs a guide to new adventures and someone “mature” enough to sometimes keep him in line, it makes sense for Luffy to grow closer to Nami

She once summed it up pretty well: “He always talks big, but when it comes down to it, he knows nothing about the sea! He’s severely lacking in the ‘sense of danger’ area! And he always overdoes it…if I left him alone, he’d die. And he’s stupid, so I have to take care of him. That’s why I’m gonna help him!” - Nami, chapter 596

Still, none of this is explicitly romantic in the traditional sense of the word. But just like someone who’s contructing a building, we start dealing with the foundations to then proceed to make a solid structure: a well-written relationship that enhances the story

As someone once reviewed, Luffy and Nami dynamic doesn’t need to chance for them to become endgame for they already have anything they need to finish that “building”. And that’s what’s being a potent pairing means: having everything to your favor for futher development and growth. Luffy and Nami definitively have the major moments and the emotional bonding while remaining consistent to the One Piece canon to be considered a Potent Pairing

Bonus:

It’s interesting we find other interaction that proves how comfortable is Nami around Luffy: 

She doesn’t mind having Luffy around her, what she really minds is Luffy wanting to go to dangerous places But why is this relevant? In Thriller Bark we had a clear showing of how she reacts to pervs trying to accomplish what Luffy did here. She electrocutes them. We can confirm she haven’t changed in this regard because at the end of Fishman Island arc Nami electrocutes a perv for trying to peek at her while she was taking a bath

Another interesting detail about Nami’s attitude toward Luffy is a change we see in WCI. Of course we have the remarkable faith and trust Nami puts on Luffy by even boasting how him being the future Pirate King ensures their victory over Cracker’s ability.

But the real change is when Sanji brutalizes Luffy. Nami already stated she felt guilty for what happened when Sanji got taken. But when Sanji did his “little” number on Luffy her attitude changed, she not only begged him to stop but was also promising they’ll leave if he did (Luffy clearly disagreed on that)

After seeing the way Sanji treated her captain, Nami did something the could seem pretty justified because of what happened: she slapped Sanji and then sarcastically played along Sanji’s “royal” act.

When she goes to Luffy and finds out her captain is not relenting on his effort to get Sanji back, she gives us this little gem:

The Japanese text for Nami’s dialogue reads: “Luffy!! Why?! No matter what his reasons are, after he did all that to you…”

The term she used here for the line in bold conveys the idea of severe mistreatment. She was obviously mad at the way Sanji attacked and badmouthed Luffy and his dream. Ironically Luffy is the one who shows far more emotion to the prospect of getting Sanji back than Nami, she kept displaying far more concern for Luffy as the chapters went on

Nami is now showing, little by little, more of a emotional attachment to Luffy. Which makes a lot sense given what we saw in their story