not what i usually post on this blog but i do highly recommend the book

this a post (complete with links, pictures and other tips) dedicated to all of you struggling through what seems to be a hell they call high school. i get it. i struggled through it, all my friends endured it and you’re probably in the same boat of wanting to throw yourself down each flight of stairs that presents itself. but please don’t do that! i’m here to help, friend!! this is a comprehensive list of all the things i learned from my time in high school. i hope this helps at least one person out there! as always, if you guys have any questions, my ask box is open :)

before we get into it: this is a link to my study routine because some people have been asking for it and don’t have a section in this post to put it under so i’m just going to leave it here.

self-care advice:

okay so, i’m going to be completely upfront with you. high school is hard. it’s especially hard if you want to do well. i can honestly say that senior year took its toll in more ways than one when i didn’t take care of myself or pay attention to my body’s needs. so here are some self-care tips to keep you happy & healthy.

1. eat a lot & stay hydrated

when you’re trying to finish a 2000 word essay, or pretty much all but shoving toothpicks in your eyes to stay up studying for an exam the next day, food is your best friend. food helps your brain work better and you’ll find that your concentration levels increase when you study on a filled stomach. there are lots of brain foods out there like dark chocolate, nuts, vegetable sticks etc. but don’t forget to reward yourself with a food of your choice after you feel like you’ve done a lot of work. couple all of this with lots of water to keep you feeling refreshed.

2. pamper yourself

i am completely aware of the fact that high school students don’t have the time to go to a spa or sauna every other weekend. however, you deserve a nice long bath or a good face scrub every now and then. other things you can indulge in:

  • sheet masks
  • body lotion (especially the nice smelling ones)
  • scented candles
  • hand cream
  • nail polish
  • eye masks
  • a good facial cleanser
  • serums
  • bath bombs

and the list goes on. trust me, being physically relaxed plays a big part in how your brain performs. if you feel a bit gross, take a shower before you start studying. it’s little things like that that’ll make a massive difference.

3. sleep

everyone says it, i know. but it’s so important. if you don’t get sleep the night before because you were cramming for tomorrow morning’s exam, go home and take a nap in the afternoon. get some shuteye in one form or another. pls. 

4. believe in yourself

it sounds so weird, and it’s usually not included in posts like these but in my opinion it’s one of, if not the most, important factor in high school success. think about it. if you’re spending those years of your life doubting whether your answer is correct, whether your science report is as good as the next person’s or whether your friends truly like you, you’re using up a lot of energy that could be used for things that’ll actually benefit you in the long run. that’s why my blog is titled “breathe” - because that’s exactly what you have to do, and sometimes that’s the only thing you can do in order to keep going. chin up. you’re going to be okay. you’re doing great. i believe in you. and you should believe in you too. 

organisational tips:

1. plan everything

i’m telling you now, get some kind of planning system. whether you want to use a bullet journal, a planner, a diary, an app, a computer program or your grandma’s paper napkins, seriously just pick something. when you have seven different classes and you have assessment for each, i highly doubt you’re going to remember every task that goes along with them. so, just take my word for it and plan plan plan.

here’s a link to how i used my planner back in high school. 

i also recommend a whiteboard monthly calendar so you can keep track of all of the important dates you need to remember.

2. post-its

i love love love post-its. i honestly can’t stop myself from buying them - especially the cute animal ones. post-its saved my butt when keeping my books organised and easy to navigate. you can use them to separate different semesters, chapters, lectures, topics etc. i also use post-its to mark any questions, sections or subjects that i’m unsure of so that i can ask my teacher about it the next day. i then write down the answer or explanation on a separate sticky note and stick it next to the question so i can refer back to it when studying for exams.

+ look at all the different kinds of cute post-its you can get!

so you can obviously get all your standard, basic post-its.

buuutttttttt, you can also get all of these fun ones too! they make studying a lot easier and a lot more fun, trust me. 

3. figure out a system that works for you

so in high school, i liked having notebooks for each class and having an accordion folder to hold all my papers. that worked perfectly fine for me but there may be other methods that work better for you. i suggest, especially if you’re just about to start or just started high school, that you experiment with different organisational systems to find which one suits you best.

i’ve got a page dedicated to my favourite supplies and how i use them. i hope you can get some inspiration from it in some way. 

motivational tips:


go on google, tumblr, facebook, instagram, weheartit or whatever tickles your fancy and search up some quotes that inspire you. it sounds really corny, but i’m telling you that it works. i had three quotes above my desk and they always used to motivate me when all i could think about was crashing into the comfort of my blankets. i would pick quotes and write/draw them out myself so i could add my own spin on them. i used:

  • “make hermione proud”
  • “effort only fully releases its rewards to those who refuse to quit”
  • “you have galaxies in your head, don’t let anyone tell you you cannot shine”


2. studyblr

this community! it’s the best motivation in my opinion. whenever i was in a procrastination slump, i would scroll through the studyblr tag or scroll through studyblr blogs and before i knew it i’d be ready to study for another hour. it’s honestly one of the most helpful resources, and if it’s available to you then i definitely recommend that you use it!

3. music

get yourself a study playlist. it’s amazing what music can do for your mood. add a mix of songs that will get you pumped to blitz through that 5-star difficulty chemistry question and songs that will help you concentrate when you need to find the right word for that english essay. studying when it’s dead quiet is weirdly deafening to me and i can’t concentrate if there isn’t some sort of background noise. just add whatever helps you - whether it be panic!, classical or in my case, kpop hehe

i have a playlist suggestion on my blog if you want to try listening to some new songs. :)

that’s all, folks!

in all honesty, high school isn’t going to be a walk in the park if you want to succeed. it takes dedication, a lot of persistence and a consistent work ethic. you need to know what you’re aiming for, and you need to want it just as much, if not more, than the person who wants the same thing. my high school experience was stressful and anxiety inducing, but i can honestly say that the rewards on the flip side are very much worth it. you’ve got this. you’ll do a lot more than survive. you will succeed. 

you can do it! i believe in you! 

stay motivated x

anonymous asked:

do you have tips on taking notes?

yes!! i have many, so i tried to make it easier for you to navigate :)

L O N G post ahead of you, covering lecture notes and readings notes, from a college senior :)

lecture notes:

  • i suggest using a notebook and pen, physically writing down. it’s easier to study, and since it’s using your body, you have a much higher retention rate on your side than if you use a laptop.
    • i have used my laptop for taking notes before. it’s easier to take more notes, word for word, but that’s not always helpful. maybe that’s your style, especially if you enjoy rewriting your notes all pretty and more successfully when you get home. i am not that girl. 
    • more notes does not always equal better! it’s good for you to listen actively, selecting what is important and what is not. i take very thorough notes. i take a lot of notes. if you need notes for a missed class, i. am. your. girl. that doesn’t mean i write out everything word for word. selecting details, clauses, and images really helps me to not only keep up, but also to memorize later. plus, when you’re typing, it’s easier to type all the words out without really processing the whole meaning. remember that dense notes are harder to study
    • finally, when you write by hand, you can get more creative with your style. occasionally, i’ll web notes out from one, rather than a traditional outline, bc it makes more sense for the topic
    • it also helps my anxiety! so much! if i force myself to take great in depth notes, then my mind has to dedicate more brain space to the task at hand than to my anxieties.
    • stick to one of these though. it really sucks to get into a test and realize you didn’t study half of your notes bc you forgot half were on your laptop. it’s awful lol.
    • if you use a laptop, get used to how it works first. do u know how much i resent trying to switch from a bullet that is under other bullets (like this one, not filled in) to a main point bullet (the ones filled in). it can be so confusing. also make sure you use a program you like. you can take directly into documents, but i find that i really love evernote, as i can make notebooks for classes, stacks of notebooks for my college, and that i can tag notes with specific classes and topics.
    • if you’re on paper, for fuck’s sake, divide your notebook into sections for classes. keep it all together. those notebooks with handy dandy dividers are so helpful, and they keep you from carrying around 5 notebooks at once.
  • i wouldn’t worry too much about highlighters and such in class. there’s just so much going on then. save highlighting and color coding for later, and count it as studying.
  • don’t worry about traditional outlining styles, with roman numerals or whatever. i take notes very simply. bullets/dashes, subnotes under a broad note. 
    • do it how it makes sense to you! maybe that includes different bullet styles, different places for different types of information (on a simple level, i start writing chapter numbers and titles as far to the left as i can go, over the margins, in bold and capital letters. i also usually go over these later in a certain color marker)
    • in some classes it is helpful for me to write the topic along the top of the page in a highlighter (color coding is lovely) the main idea/topic for each page. the classes this was most obviously helpful in were astronomy (COMETS or BLACKHOLES etc) and shakespeare (MUCH ADO ACT 2 or ROMEO etc)
    • it’s easiest to just note page numbers of referenced complex diagrams, as they are usually in your reading or accessible online
    • your style might look different in each class. whatever works.
  • note everything (everything) your professor writes on the board. if it’s important enough for your professor to write it, it’s probably important enough for you to write it.
  • note examples only if it’s helpful for your memory. however, make light note of things like famous people and their science/psych experiments. but in math and such, note! the! examples! and! reasons! will help you so much.
    • examples that have emotion, imagery, or sound are going to be more helpful. applicable examples are most helpful. good professors will lecture you accordingly. lazy ones will not.
  • star anything that the professor stresses or hints will be tested. anything that they say is a major theme or whatever.
  • note main ideas/points/themes, definitions, conclusions, 
  • use your tests to help you figure out what you need to know. ask questions about the tests too. in every class i’ve taken, i’m totally shocked at how willingly people ask about exam format and how willingly the professor will tell us how it will work. they want you to succeed.
  • people learn differently! i suggest taking notes in class and later adding touches that help you. count it as study time too. a warm up, if you will. 
    • if you’re visual, this might include highlighting, color coding, drawing diagrams, etc.
    •  if you’re an auditory learner, reading the notes out loud and organizing them accordingly, as well as making up rhymes, rhythms and such, might help you. some auditory learners actually like to record lectures and listen to them later. 
    • if you learn best through movement, rewriting or making flashcards will be great for you.
  • sometimes professors go really. fuckin. fast. why. idk? but
    • dont be afraid to ask them to go back a slide bc i guarantee, you will be the class hero for asking
    • develop a little bit of shorthand. sometimes i end up using initials, arrows, abbreviations… this is where i got “bc” and “thru” and “u” and such. lol. also, list things vertically, rather than using commas and “and/&/+) it’ll be more clear later
  • some professors you literally cannot take notes on. it sucks. you’re going to need to do the readings and pick their brains on how the test will be to figure out how to prepare. take home tests are your best friend. thank god for them. seriously. get your butt to church and do some worshipping.
  • if your professor puts powerpoints online, save the powerpoints, ya never know.
  • look at inspiration if you want, but remember that notes on studyblr are usually copied from class notes. if you’re too focused on how pretty your notes are, good luck to you
  • finally, the day before an exam, i review my notes that i have (hopefully) been studying. i like to make a one page cheat sheet / study guide on everything i didn’t remember, leaving out everything i understand, memorized, or want to disregard. 

reading notes:

ima be real and tell you i hardly ever do reading unless i will be tested on it in class in multiple choice. and im an english student. ye i suck, i know. i dont condone shirking the system but u know what, reading shakespeare or 18th century lit literally makes me want to kill myself. so, im a senior in college, and have barely ever done the reading for a class. the thing is, if you do it right, anything is better than just reading the words on the page and not getting the meaning. dont be a reading zombie. read actively, even if it’s not the actual reading. doing this, i have a 3.9 gpa. so. there’s hope for us yet.

first of all, yall need to do your damn reading. idc how. but due to the fact that a test will be multiple choice, essay answer, a presentation, or a paper, you’re going to not love pulling nothing out of your ass. can be done tho. just be fake deep.

that being said, i’m writing a lot below, but the reality is that if it’s lit, your notes dont have to be longer than a sentence. if it’s a textbook, more.

  • the same formatting question comes into play here, except it’s should you take notes in your book or in a notebook?
    • listen i’m always going to be pro notebook, pro physically writing it out as it helps me really get the information into my head, rather than more passively highlighting
    • i tend to do both, if im willing to mark up a book. i underline and highlight things that stick out to me, and i write them down as well. sometimes when reading literature/essays, if i know the contextual/meaning notes will be interesting to me later, i will copy notes both into my notebook and also less in depth onto post it notes (which also make sweet little flashcards btw), which i will stick into the passage. this is so helpful when a) im reading it again later and b) when we are discussing a passage in class
  • buy used books. it’s cheaper. until it happens to u, u do NOT UNDERSTAND how EXCITING it is to get a book that has highlights and underlines in it ALREADY. DUDE. my work is basically DONE for me. now take that lightly, bc often different ppl will highlight different pieces of information. however, it is helpful.
  • look up summaries. do not simply rely on cliffsnotes and sparknotes, esp since professors are very aware of these. google “title of book, summary, chapter notes, whatever youre looking for” and use the blog posts, the book reviews, the papers that come up. does this method probably take a bit longer? maybe? but it’s easier on my tired brain.
  • if you don’t have time to read your textbook one day and really want to, read the introduction and the conclusion to the chapter, or the first and last sentences to the paragraphs. it’s not great, but it’s something.
  • like your lectures, note definitions, conclusions, and helpful examples, as well as people and dates. if i’m reading literature and i’m deciding to be a smart student i will keep several logs as well. these logs will make it so. easy. to study for your exam:
    • updated character lists, including name, relationships, and anything defining and important
    • scene/chapter summaries, just a sentence summarizing what happened where
    • any quotes or themes that stand out
    • i highly highly highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of the well educated mind for note taking on a range of genres. this is what i had to use through high school and while it’s involved, it’s incredibly helpful.
  • if you’re going to have to cite your notes, note the page number in the margin every time you flip the page
  • the biggest issue i have with reading is when and where to do it. before or after class? always ask your professor if they do not tell you. where in your notebooks? i always do it on the next blank page bc leaving space stresses me the fuck out. make notes on the top of your pages of corresponding lectures/readings. 

for both lectures and readings i really really really suggest either having something to drink or something to snack on (think fruit, loose nuts, m&ms. small loose things rather than things u bite? idk they just last longer?)

okay i hope this was somewhat helpful even tho it’s an incredibly longwinded post. it seems like a lot, but the reality is that while i take a lot of notes, i don’t make them complicated, i don’t have rules, i just do what feels right in the moment. they’re not at all stressful. just take it easy and do whatever works for you :) 

if anyone has other tips, feel free to reply :)

anonymous asked:

I'm new to the craft and I'm kinda blundering about all over the place. Are there any blogs, sites, books or anything else you can recommend me to read/watch so I can learn more about becoming a witch? Thank you

Obviously, my blog. ;)

Okay, no, but seriously…


Book Recommendation Lists

(I don’t read a lot of witchcraft books - my main resource is the internet - so these lists are recommendations made by other magic users.)

Other Helpful Stuff

When it comes to studying, it is very important that you take what you read with a grain of salt. There are many problematic authors within the witchcraft community, and not just on Tumblr. Misinformation and cultural appropriation are everywhere, even among well known or renowned authors. It is highly recommended that you use discretion, criticize what you read, and fact check what you learn, if you can; sometimes I use as many as six or seven sources when checking the properties of a single herb (but that is just me and being ridiculously sure, one or two are usually enough for additional sources).

You are not going to agree with or connect with everything you read. There may be cases where you pick up a book that you have high expectations for, and you read through the whole thing, and pick up nothing from it. It isn’t that you didn’t gain knowledge, but sometimes it doesn’t apply to you or where you wish to take your magic. That is fine. Just because you have the knowledge, doesn’t mean you must use it. And having knowledge without using it isn’t a negative thing either - some day you may want to use that knowledge after all, or it may come in handy when applied with other branches of magic, or it may help you inspire your own path…

With all that being said, there is also nothing wrong with not completing a book if you really aren’t feeling it. Again, it all comes down to you and your preferences, what you want to learn and what you plan to do with that knowledge. If there is anything that you read that makes you uncomfortable, don’t bother incorporating it at all. It is your path, your magic; do with it as you will.

I hope that helps you! :D

How To Learn Multiple Languages At Once, A Masterpost

I’ve shared posts on this topic before, but I feel I need to touch on it again with my own words, especially right now. I’ve been re-organizing my language learning schedule and strategies, since my school schedule will be calming down on the 17th, my last day of the school year until August. Currently, I’m learning French, German, Spanish and Japanese.

A lot of people, even in the polyglot community, think that learning multiple languages at once is impractical, a bad idea, impossible, or all three. This depends on who you are, your learning propensities, and your schedule. If you have a lot of work all the time, it’s not a good idea to be trying this. I was working on papers, presentations, and extracurricular activities, so I concentrated on French, because I was preparing for my final exam. This is because it was difficult for me to balance four languages and all my schoolwork, and so I prioritized. This is the key to learning multiple languages. When you’re thinking about how to organize your multiple-language learning, ask yourself these 3 questions:

How important are these languages to me (in descending order)?

How much time (per week) can I commit to studying?

Do I have decent access to resources for these languages?

The first two are fairly self-explanatory, but the last one may confuse some people. This question is important, because you don’t want to be spending a lot of time looking for resources. You should make sure you have organized your materials before hand. Know what you’re using to study, and you’ll streamline your learning!

For example, I use Anki and Memrise for my vocabulary learning for all my languages, since I can usually find a decent set of vocabulary cards. For grammar, I locate a reliable and accessible grammar site or book to read from. Always keep your sources consistent, because even if you might learn something wrong, you can easily find where you wrong. The thing is: you should also cross-reference! Make sure that multiple sites or books on grammar say the same thing about certain principles, especially the ones that confuse you. I have some three or four different resources for German, and I always cross-reference if something stumps me. For some languages, I know there aren’t that many resources. For Indian languages and many minority languages, it can somewhat to very difficult to find decent resources. The Langblr community is a great place to ask about finding decent resources! Just ask us! If we don’t know, we will still post your ask with something like “ I’m sorry I don’t know but maybe one of my followers knows?”

Wikipedia is always an OK start to reading about grammar, but I warn you that Wikipedia is not only subject to change, but also can be very academic and not suited to the purposes of the language learner. I, myself, am an aspiring academic, so it’s a little easier for me, but I highly recommend finding sites written by and for language learners, like this blog! I try to write explanations in the most down-to-earth way possible, even though I still believe in using the technical grammatical terms, like “conjugation” and “case declension”, because they’re convenient and acceptable ways to describe the way a language works.

Another key part of learning more than one language at once is what I call the “degrees of separation”. What this means are the ways you separate each language. A really basic one might be already be present: the languages are different structurally and historically. With exclusion to French and Spanish, as they are both Romantic languages, German and Japanese are all from different language families. Sure, Japanese has a whole alphabet for borrowed words, but has very little in common with French or Spanish. In contrast, English borrows some of its words from other languages. Similarly, Korean has borrowed quite a few words from Classical Chinese, but shares very little in common with Mandarin otherwise. There’s also temporal separation, where you study different languages at different times or on different days.

You can also use methodical separation, using different methods or programs to study (ex. using Memrise for French and German; Japanese and Spanish on Anki). The only other one I could think of is spatial separation, where you physically study in different places for each language. Which I plan to do once I get a routine down.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

My first Masterpost…cool :3

Autism-friendly sessions should not be a substitute for proper inclusion

(This is a copy of a blog post I originally put on Goodreads.)

The number of places offering specific autism friendly sessions for autism families is steadily increasing. I believe public museums and art galleries lead the way, with businesses following in their footsteps - some supermarkets, trampoline parks, soft play areas etc. now offer specific autism and disability opening/sessions.

Whilst acknowledging that this is great news for families who otherwise might not be able to access these facilities at all, and the training staff receive, there are some definite downsides. Certainly the fact that a place offers a specific autism session shouldn’t be a substitute for being inclusive outside of that session.

One aspect of these specific sessions which I have a problem with is when they are scheduled. They tend to be very early in the morning, before the usual opening start time (in the case of children), or late in the evening (in the case of adults, for example for supermarket shopping).

I think there is a general perception that families with young children must always be up at the crack of dawn and that therefore there is no problem with going to an event which starts early in the morning. Even ignoring the fact that it can take a while to get out of the house with children, and that it can take much longer with autistic children, there is the sleep factor.

Having in the past attended an excellent sleep workshop for parents of autistic children, run by the Together Trust (which I can highly recommend!), I know that autistic people have more sleep problems than the rest of the human race. Second comes people with other disabilities. Autistic people can suffer from nightmares, night terrors, sleep walking, difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep…

(The big difference between nightmares and night terrors is that someone who experiences a nightmare wakes up and remembers having a nightmare. A person experiencing a night terror will exhibit being incredibly distressed in their sleep, which is extremely upsetting to see, but when they are awake they have no knowledge that they have experienced a night terror.)

The Together Trust explains the problems and provides many practical strategies to help, they can even take on your specific case to investigate and solve or improve the sleep situation you’re struggling with. The group workshop was enough for me to just instigate a new bedtime routine which worked wonders and got my son to sleep much earlier.

Bearing in mind then, that autistic people often suffer from sleep problems, perhaps having specific sessions for them that start either early in the morning, or late in the evening (which has the additional consideration of bedtime routine, and the cumulative stresses of the day), is not exactly ideal. It is extremely rare for my own (young, autistic) son to be awake before 8am and, when not having to get out to school, he will choose not to have any breakfast until at least 10:30am or later. He prefers a slow start to the day.

Scheduled disability
A friend recently booked and took a group of autistic children on a trip to a trampoline park, a fun social activity together. All the children had been to trampoline parks before and knew the rules. As is the case with all trampoline parks, the children needed to take part in a safety briefing before their hour long session started. How that safety briefing is delivered obviously differs from place to place (I’ve seen it as a very quick chat before the kids go on to the trampolines). At this particular place the children were expected to watch a video presentation, but this took place in a room with several particularly noisy and distracting children’s parties taking place and this environment was far too chaotic for the children, who couldn’t stand to be in the room for long enough to watch the video.

After explaining the issue to the staff they said they could not allow the children on to the trampolines because they hadn’t watched the video. They did not offer any alternative way of accessing the safety briefing, instead making the children wait 15 minutes to watch the video when the room was quieter, thus missing out on a quarter of their jumping time. As a seeming chastisement, the staff pointed out that they run a specific autism session (on a Sunday evening!) on a specific day, suggesting that they should have been going to that session. To me this attitude is wrong on so many levels!

Disabled people are not only disabled to suit a schedule. They’re not only disabled from 9-10am once a month on a Saturday morning, or 6-7pm on a Sunday evening each week. They should not have to feel that the only time they can attend something is within a very specific window of opportunity and that they’re not allowed out in public otherwise. If you train your staff for specific autism events then don’t just train the staff for those events, take the opportunity to train all your staff, and think about what you can do to make your whole offering, throughout the whole week, more disability friendly.

The trampoline park could have shown the children the video in another, quieter room (even on an iPad!), or given the children a safety rules leaflet to read outside of the noisy space, or a member of staff could have told the children what they needed to know - there were so many easy solutions to the problem which could have been implemented with the minimum of fuss and hassle and mean that the children were not being disadvantaged. If you want to be autism friendly, having a quiet room people can go to if they need some relief from a difficult environment is a good first step. If the trampoline park had a quiet room, then the children could have received their safety briefing there.

@autismInMuseums on Twitter, and their website. Promotes and advertises autism provision in museums - find out what’s happening near you.
The Together Trust and their autism sleep counselling service (the group parent workshops they run travel the country, but do not happen often due to funding for staff. They also undertake sleep research).

anonymous asked:

do you have advice on how to remember and absorb from what i read? this is for more like recreational reading bc i always tend to forget afterwards. do you write notes or smt?

Yes, I always take notes: I underline quotes, I scribble down my thoughts, I highlight in different colours different themes, etc.  Then often after I finished reading the book, I wait a few days and only then come back to reflect on the material.

So, the first thing I would recommend is to create an accessible note-taking system, by which I mean a way to keep organized all your notes (you can take notes however you want) of all the books you have read (and deemed note-worthy). For non-fiction, I use the notes I took to make a summary. This helps both my understanding and my retention, but also it makes it easily searchable and review-able. For fiction, sometimes I post the quotes here (usually when I have read the ebook, because transcribing them it’s quick) and I do go back and scroll through my own tumblr. Actually the whole point of this blog is to be a collection of things that I have encountered and somehow shaped what and how I think. If you are reading for entertainment, your notes don’t have to be anything in particular except what had impact on you, the quotes you loved – this kind of thing.

Second, do take advantage of Goodreads. I often post a review that captures my feelings in regards to the book or the judgement I have derived of it as a whole. A few words could spark your recollection of what the book was about. For the same purpose, don’t be ashamed of googling the author/the title/the summary of a book you have read but don’t remember completely. This is the other way I use goodreads. If you asked me about all the books regarding a certain topic I have read, I wouldn’t be able to remember them on top of my mind, but goodreads offers you the possibility of keeping track of all the books you have read. Perhaps you want to take this to the next level and keep a blog dedicated to your book reviews (tumblr then comes in handy).

If you read fewer books, and if you re-read them regularly, you will retain more. I personally chose variety over depth, but I do highly encourage re-reading. Some books are worth re-reading because of the question they pose and they insight they give, some books are worth re-reading at different points in your life. The other day I picked up Pollyanna again. I had this book practically memorized when I was a child. Yet, I forgot big chunks of it. And reading it now it’s a completely different experience. You don’t even have to re-read the whole book, but you can skim through it and read the parts you enjoy the most, or only review your summary, or re-read the quotes you have highlighted. There’s this great app/extenstion that “sends you a daily email resurfacing your best Kindle highlights”. (edit: I noticed I haven’t inserted the link, the app is called readwise, i will add the link tomorrow morning)

Above all, know that it’s okay. If you are reading for entertainment (but even if you are not), I don’t see why not being able to recollect everything you read should be a problem. Forgetting is normal. I’ll leave you with a quote from “How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read” that I recently finished:  “Even as I read, I start to forget what I have read, and this process is unavoidable. It extends to the point where it’s as though I haven’t read the book at all, so that in effect I find myself rejoining the ranks of non-readers, where I should no doubt have remained in the first place. At this point, saying we have read a book becomes essentially a form of metonymy. When it comes to books, we never read more than a portion of greater or lesser length, and that portion is, in the longer or shorter term, condemned to disappear. When we talk about books, then, to ourselves and to others, it would be more accurate to say that we are talking about our approximate recollections of books, rearranged as a function of current circumstances.”

notalltreellamas  asked:

Hi :) I'm pretty new to rats I kept one when I was a child poor rat, my main questions are what bedding and food people use for their rats I'm really concerned about bedding because of their respiratory issues. What fun activities you can do with them and whether to get 2 or 3 and make or female for a beginner. I have a local breeder who desexes, vet checks and everything before they go, and what size cage I currently have a 2 story but will upgrade as they grow but not sure to what :)

@notalltreellamas I want to preface this entire reply by saying that The Rat Gugu on Youtube is one of my favorite resources for rat care! TheRatGuru has a playlist called “Rattiepedia | The Ultimate Guide to Pet Rats” and it covers all of the questions you asked PLUS a ton more stuff! :) I highly recommend checking out the channel!! Also, Ratblr exists so I’m sure there are a ton of blogs that you could peruse or send asks to if you have any other questions or want to know about specific setups or ideas they’ve posted on their blogs :D

There’s also an INSANE amount of DIY enrichment, hammocks, and other cage decor on pinterest. Rattie toys don’t have to be expensive, either, since there’s a ton of “Dollar Store DIY” toys and enrichment ideas out there! Google is your best friend when doing research so don’t be afraid to ask questions or dig a little deeper to find an answer!

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anonymous asked:

Hi, I was wondering how you got into the french revolution? I want to start learning about it, but it's kind of overwhelming.


My interest in the French Revolution was first set into motion quite randomly; in the first year of high school, I took a mandatory “World Civilizations” class (though the name of this class is misleading, as it basically focused on a minute part of European History, unfortunately) and we spent about two or three weeks learning about the French Revolution.

Now, because my school’s history curriculum was an utter farce, and because most of what we covered seemed to be complete balderdash, we learned about this time period without much attention to nuance. I remember we spent three days watching the ridiculous History Channel documentary on the French Revolution, which was, ironically, what caused me to want to research the topic further.

I was perplexed by the fact that Maximilien Robespierre, who seemed to me like a clement and remarkable person at the beginning of the documentary, almost immediately turned into an absolute monster, senselessly killing his own people. I thought, well, this seems a bit off. And that’s when my quest for understanding began; over the years, I’ve done extensive research on the French Revolution, and I discovered that it was a truly multifaceted, enormously energetic time period. Of course, studying this point in history further led me to discover new avenues for thought, and in my sophomore year of high school, I started to seriously get into philosophy. Thus it’s definitely not incorrect to say that the French Revolution, as well as history in general, occupies a rather large part of my life.

It may be very daunting at first, but do not fear! I’ll recommend a few books and a few other blogs which will surely provide you with a good primary knowledge of the French Revolution. And of course, anon, you can ask me questions any time. You can even rant and rave to me, if you’d like, about history or life in general. Though I’m passionate about this subject, I don’t bite, I promise. It upsets me when people try to exclude others who are just beginning to learn about something. But now I’m rambling, so without further ado,

Books (general):

The French Revolution by Albert Mathiez- What I really appreciate about this book is that it contains so much insight into the economic as well as the social conditions of the era. Mathiez does an exemplary job of using primary sources to fuel his work, also, which is honestly preferable when you’re studying something as contentious as the French Revolution.

The Oxford History of the French Revolution by William Doyle- A fantastically-written book that doesn’t rely on a revisionist bias to carry the reader through a compelling narrative. I enjoy William Doyle’s attention to detail in his analysis of the time period, and I would most definitely recommend this book to beginners. It’s as dense as Mathiez’s work on the topic, though I find that it is an easier read. 

Vive la Revolution by Mark Steel- Alright, so this book may not be the most detailed of analyses of the French Revolution, but it’s hilarious, and I found myself laughing hysterically with every chapter. If you ever get bored with reading dry academic prose, I highly recommend this book. It’s very refreshing.

The Age of Napoleon by J.C. Herold- While I’m not extremely well-versed in the Napoleonic era, I think that this book is a good introductory text. Not only does it focus on the life of Napoleon or his military career, but also the time period itself: the culture, the economy, etc. 

Books (more specific, yet still important):

Twelve Who Ruled by R.R. Palmer- Okay, so this is one of my favorites by far. Palmer writes about the lives and actions of the members of the Committee of Public Safety, all while tying it all back to the Revolution as a whole. An excellent work, truly. If you choose to buy any book from this “specific book category”, please give this one a read.

The Jacobin Clubs in the French Revolution (1793-1795) by Michael L. Kennedy- This book concentrates on a more niche topic, so I don’t recommend reading it until you have a grasp of the general time period. However! It provides lots of fascinating information on the Jacobin clubs all throughout France, and I enjoyed it greatly.

Revolution in Print: The Press in France 1775-1800 by Robert Darnton and Daniel Roche- This book addresses the overall journalistic landscape of France before, during, and after the Revolution. Before I read it, I found myself occasionally getting muddled between the many different publications floating around during the Revolution, but this book has certainly helped me in that regard. 

Books (primary sources):

Documentary History of the French Revolution by Paul H. Beik- A wonderful collection of primary sources by a variety of authors! 

Robespierre: Virtue and Terror by Slavoj Žižek- While Žižek is often difficult to read, this book is mainly just a collection of speeches by Maximilien Robespierre. You can even skip over the Žižek part; seriously, it’s not a big deal at all. 

Books (biographies):

Saint-Just by J.B. Morton- While this book demonstrates a moderate animosity towards Robespierre, it portrays Saint-Just quite well, and I’d recommend it if you’d like to become acquainted with one of the most interesting figures of the French Revolution.

Robespierre: Portrait of a Revolutionary Democrat by George Rudé- One of the first biographies I read about Robespierre, and a very interesting read indeed! Rudé, much like Albert Mathiez, is committed to accuracy in his historical writing.

Robespierre and the French Revolution by J.M. Thompson- This is a very short book, only about one hundred pages or so, and it does a good job of introducing readers to Maximilien Robespierre’s political career.

Robespierre and the Fourth Estate by Ralph Korngold- This book focuses more on how Robespierre interacted with the lower classes during the Revolution through his policies, but it also provides an analysis of his life in general. I liked it.

Books (fiction):

A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel- Although this book may not be as accurate as I would like it to be, I think it might help you understand the personalities of the French Revolutionaries as individuals, as well as how they related to one another.


@bunniesandbeheadings is wonderful, she posts lots of things about the French Revolution and is incredibly experienced in her research. You’ll learn a lot from following her, and she’s been around for quite a long time.

@rbzpr One of my favorite blogs! This blog, which I 100% recommend following, regularly posts excerpts from primary and secondary sources, as well as analyses of certain aspects of the time period. The way with which Flo conducts his research is phenomenal.

@couthon Georges Couthon is unfortunately often disregarded in French Revolutionary historiography, but Flo (the same person who runs rbzpr) dedicates lots of effort into providing us with information about him. A fantastic blog.

But of course that’s not all of the lovely people you could follow! Their blogs just focus specifically on the French Revolution. Plus, this post is getting unreasonably long, so I just have to move on.

And lastly,


La Révolution française - Les Années Lumières (

La Révolution française - Les Années Terribles (

Two very long, but very well-done and detailed films on the French Revolution! I watch them from time to time and usually cry a lot. They’re great, and I fully recommend them.


If you got through this post without falling asleep, I commend you! I hope this helped, and remember, you can talk to me anytime.

Thank you for your question!

anonymous asked:

Are there any sources you could recommend for someone doing Rammstein research?

The answer is: yes!

Obviously one has to look at various interviews and articles and try to keep up-to-date with them. There are years’ worth of those in video/audio/written form - Rammstein’s been around for two full decades, so just looking through them will help to piece a lot of things about their history together. There is not a specific one that I would recommend fullheartedly; sometimes interviews do suffer from contradictions (as things are reported or recalled wrong) or bias (given that many interviews are conducted with one or two members of R+ only), so reading just one or two won’t help too much. And some interviews are either not translated or translated poorly, which is always a drawback. But if you have a lot of time and patience - and most importantly, if your ‘research’ really is about Rammstein’s history as Rammstein/the band members’ opinions of each other and the world/logistics of tours or future plans etc., interviews and articles should serve as your primary source. 

I can also recommend the following books (which I have all read and do possess), if you are also interested in Rammstein pre-history or want a lot of context as to why sometimes they say/think/do the things that they do. They lived through a very different, and if I may say so, quite an unusual period in history. There’s a lot you can gather from wider research.
These are all primary sources, they all come directly from the band members or related parties.

The Rammstein Autobiography (ISBN: 3931126323)
This fetches a pretty high price nowadays b/c it’s out of print. It’s from 1999 and can provide no information re: the post-millennium exploits of the band, but it is beautifully illustrated, contains long and really quite insightful interviews from everyone in the band (except Olli, who only has a two-page spread of photos, and Flake, whose entire contribution basically reads like ‘this_band_has_caused_me_nothing_but_suffering_and_misery.txt’), and also contains some lyrics and Till poems from a time before either Messer or In Stillen Nachten. Some of those clearly went on to become Rammstein lyrics. Best of all, all the text here is translated side by side in German and English, which is not a common attribute to many R+ ‘primary’ texts. I’d check this one out, if you can get your hands on it. 

Mix Mir Einen Drink (ISBN: 3896029053 for the 2010 edition)
The quintessential ‘where were they before they were R+’ text. This is actually an incredibly detailed biography about Feeling B, which is still a band you ought to know quite a bit about if you are researching R+ or East German punk rock as a whole. There is no translation, but it’s still a solid 600+ pages of info; what you get out of The Rammbrick this book is a detailed picture of their younger years, and it’s also funny as hell. I think this book has literal historical value; The Rammbrick’s its appendix comes with things like Stasi files that were kept on the band, for one, and it’s a vivid firsthand sketch as to what life in East Germany actually was like. You see it through the eyes of people who were, in that state’s terms, living like outlaws - and the stuff they went through? They’ll come off as at the very least quaint and at the most horrifying, once the implications sink in. (The bit about Flake being the only one to escape arrest at Schoenhauser Allee station during the 1989 protests and later turning up to a completely empty rehearsal room comes to mind.) Highly recommended.

Rammstein Liederbuch (ISBN: 0711972206)
Can you read music? I got some good news for you, and some bad news. The good news is that R+ have had sheet music published of their Herzeleid and Sehnsucht songs, and they’re here. The bad news is that this is out of print, and it can sometimes fetch some truly insane prices (used ranges from £25-£430 what the literal fuck). There is basically nothing there except for sheet music, either, no bonus photos or anything. So if you can’t read musical notation/aren’t so much interested in the actual musical structure of R+ songs, you can give this one a miss. Otherwise, it’s stellar in quality and contains every instrumental part and solo - if you play an instrument, worth checking out.

Messer (ISBN: 382180730X for 2005 but I swear there is a later edition)
Till’s first poetry collection. I think it’s obvious why I recommend this. If you are interested in the literary merits of Till, you are going to want this, full stop. As for translations, I did a full translation project of this in my blog here, and am slowly in the process of doing secondary clean-up of the translations in messerstein. But you really need the original German texts in front of you, too, because this is poetry and it’s often impossible to preserve devices like rhyme, meter, aliteration, puns, and such that make poetry what it is, you know? I think the 2005 edition is out of print but I swear to god I have a later printed edition that isn’t asking insane prices like £99.95 jfc it was less than £20 when I got it brand new in October 2011??!?!

In Stillen Nachten (ISBN: 3462047779)
The second book of Till’s poetry. Poems in there are shorter but there are more of them, and the illustrations are… quite something. You also want this if you want to think about Till’s literary merits, and if you are a fan of Mayakovsky’s or Brecht’s or Rilke’s poetry, you are probably going to like this collection quite a lot. The Brecht is especially strong in this one. (If this is the case, I’m going to assume that you have some familiarity with Marxist critical theory and audience alienation and East German political history, though none of those things are strictly necessary to enjoy anything in Till’s repertoire.) I’m also working on translating this in messerstein and I think there is a translation coming out (don’t quote me on this) but again, same old. You need the original texts in front of you for maximum appreciation. This thing is actually affordable please for the love of god get it support Till hhhhhh

Mike Oldfield im Schaukelstuhl: Notizen eines Vaters (ISBN: 3938686618)
I’ve written about this recently. This had a reprint in… 2006, I think? If you are in Germany, you’re in luck; if you aren’t, well… yeah. I’m not sure whether to classify this as an (auto)biography of anybody, whether of Till (called Timm here) or Werner Lindemann (who wrote this book). It is a book vastly about Till at nineteen-twenty years old, and covers a relatively short timespan of maybe eight months, but it’s seen through Werner’s eyes. There is very little pretense in his writing and everything is portrayed with efficient, sometimes even superminimalistic, starkness, and I think sometimes that had led people to have false impressions about how Till and Werner treated each other. If nothing else, this is a very good sketch of life in East Germany, along with the generational difference between those two. I would recommend it more because of the East German aspect, to be honest. I’m translating this bit by bit; there are fragmented translations floating around from years ago, too, though I don’t think there is a completed version.

There are also quite a few third-party publications about Rammstein, usually in the form of unofficial biographies or actual academical texts; I would advise being far more cautious with those, obviously, but if you are willing to gamble, you can gather some original insight that you might not otherwise had. ’Outsider perspective’, in other words. I’m thinking of The Little Black Rammbook (close literary analysis of some R+ songs, discussion of their lyricism, other literary references that you might like to have, etc) and Bis das Herz brennt: Die inoffizielle Rammstein Biografie (exactly what it says on the tin). They are vastly optional. Flake also has a book out. I don’t have it, and I haven’t read it, which is why I have said nothing about it so far bUT JESUS CHRIST I NEED IT SO B A D. I shall have to add that entry in later, it should be really interesting.

Finally, as part of far broader context, I would recommend reading up in East German history, especially around 1960-1989, 20th century German poetry, WWII and the rise and fall of the Nazis (important, because R+ is frequently accused of fascism, and it is absolutely essential that every true Rammfan knows why this is an objectively wrong and horrible opinion), 19th-20th century German theatrical aesthetic theory like Gesamtkunstwerk/Verfremdungseffekt (explains the philosophy behind their stage shows), Das Nibelungenlied (Till seems to be heavily influenced by it), the structure and devices associated with poetry, and Marxism because why the hell not. But they’re the most background of background readings: in most non-academical cases, interviews, articles, their actual lyrics and music, and some knowledge of their history will do the job. Happy researching!

… Now I feel like I’m setting up textbooks for a school of Rammsteinology.

anonymous asked:

After finally saying enough is enough, I broke away from Christianity and decided to be a pagan. I've been interested in Egyptian dieties since I was a girl (but of course was punished for it). I haven't read a single book. I don't know what an altar is or how to make one in my home. I don't know how to "talk" to dieties or how to distinguish them. I only know of maybe 2 Egyptian dieties. :/ Oh and I'm white. What do you recommend for me, the blind beginner?

Hi anon.

Well, there are a lot of things to address in this ask, so let’s get started.


The race debate is one of those things that can get pretty hot and heavy when it comes to ancient Egypt. I am not going to get into it as much as I could, but I will leave you with this link so that you can get an idea as to what the controversy is about. A lot of people, mostly due to the ideological train of thought of Afrocentrism, have come to believe that Kemeticism is barred to anyone who is not of African descent. However, something that many people seem to forget is that the genome mapping project has begun and thus far, results are showing that, genetically, the ancient Egyptians are no different from those that are found there today. For anyone interested in the archaeogenetics of ancient Egypt, this should give you a general picture.

The ancient Egyptian religion was an open religion in antiquity. They readily and willingly accepted converts from other cultures and even added gods from other cultures it their own. As long as the convert was willing to live in ma’at, they were pretty much all set. Another sticking point is that the religion died out. It is not the national religion of the culturally Egyptian. In fact, modern-day Egyptians tend to look down upon their ancient heritage, in all honesty. The country is very devout, but to a single deity as opposed to the many of ancient Egypt. While some things have passed down to the modern populace, these are mostly superstitions carried out as opposed to any form of devotion to the ancient gods.


When it comes to learning about Kemeticism, there are a couple of different avenues that can be explored here. I recommend taking a look at my resource list as well as this information page by Devo. Devo’s page give a broad overview of what Kemeticism is about. She also provides forums, books, temples, and other information for your perusal. My resource list provides a list of books (historically based books for the most part) as well as a list of bloggers and webpages to peruse for information.

When it comes right down to it, when you first push off the yoke of a previous religious tradition, you’re going to have a lot of questions. And this is going to get scary. And this is going to be something where you end up feeling very out of your depth for a lot of the start. Just know that everyone felt that way. Everyone walked into a new religion, whether it is Kemeticism, Druidry, Hellenismos, etc. We all have no idea what we’re doing, what books to read, or where to even begin. I strongly recommend following the Kemetic and Kemeticism tags so that you can read others’ experiences, questions, worries, etc. And of course, every single one of us has our asks, which are open to anonymous questions.


Altars are usually one of the first place that new pagans go to because it’s something physical that they can do. And of course, I highly recommend creating one. I don’t recommend creating it in an effort to a single deity. Deities, in my experience, tend to make the choice as to who they will reach out to (or not) and there’s no point in forcing the issue. They may not respond to your entreaties and that may make you feel bad about what you’re doing. Even if you decide to ignore my advice, don’t feel bad if you don’t get any responses from the gods. They’re fickle and do what they want. You just keep doing whatever you feel like you need to do.

For a general altar, I recommend finding a flat surface that won’t be disturbed by others. This can be a nightstand or a bureau or a corner of a desk or a bookcase shelf – whatever you have handy. I recommend placing a small candle (either flamless or a tealight) in the center. This can be your focal point. As to what else you place on it, it’s really up to you. You can place flowers, pretty stones, jars, divination tools, or whatever you really want on it. It’s up to you. If you live in a place where incense is out, then you can always get one of those scented oil packs from the dollar store or one of those scented room cleaner things made by Glade or something to use instead of incense.

I recommend having a general altar to get you into a groove. This groove will help you to begin communicating, praying, or at least parsing out what you want to do when it comes to this religion stuff. By not having an altar dedicated to any deity, then you can reach out to all of the deities you feel like reaching out to, or not. I just recommend, honestly, at the start to get in the habit of spending, like, five minutes of your day in front of that space to build you up. If a deity shows up, then you can start adding things that you feel that deity would like to make it their altar. And if you’ve been doing the plunking down in front of the altar thing for five minutes a day, it won’t seem so strange when you start providing offerings to deities.


When it comes to talking to the gods, I honestly recommend just sitting down in front of whatever surface area will be your general altar and just start blabbering away. I don’t think any formality is really necessary. You can introduce yourself in a sort of general way: “Hi, my name is _______ and I’m interested in Kemeticism.” And then take it from there.

I tend to associate these conversations with conversations you would have with people you just meet. You’d want to introduce yourself. You’d want to tell them about who you are, why you are, and what’s going on in your life. From there, you can move on to talking about why Kemeticism interests you and why you think the netjeru (the gods) are the way to go.


Telling one netjer from the other can be difficult, especially for people who are new to all of this. There’s no discernment in the beginning. Every experience can be something new and exciting and possibly a sign from the gods. That’s not necessarily the case, but I think that new people look to things in that way because they want to feel a deep, personal, and powerful connection with the gods as quickly as possible. That’s not always going to be the case. As I said above, the gods are fickle beings and do whatever the heck they want when it comes to “picking up” new devotees.

Devo wrote this post about discernment and I strongly recommend you read it.

In order to distinguish once Kemetic god from another, I strongly recommend bookmarking the Henadology page for future reference. I also recommend finding either an eBook copy or a cheap copy of the following two books: The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H Wilkinson and Egyptian Mythology by Geraldine Pinch. These two books, and that webpage, can give you clues that may help you to figure out what deity, if any, is reaching out to you. There are certain aspects to iconography and the myths that can provide those clues.


Take it easy.

Read all the historical resources you can.

Take it slow.

Have fun.

Go with the flow.

Ignore everything about Horus/Isis/Osiris being the blueprint for the Christian trinity.

Ask all of the questions.

E-stalk all the blogs.

Do not read anything by Wallis Budge.

Ignore everything you see about Atlantis and ancient Egypt.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re doing it wrong.

Be good to the community.

Don’t get scared off by the Afrocentrism in the tags.

Ignore everything about aliens in the tags.

Further Reading

My guides & 101s.

Devo’s starter guide.

Devo’s offering guide.

Kemetic Round Table.*

* The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners.

Another thing I found in my drafts that I’d apparently forgotten about! #book spines

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness || was amazing! and I’ve done an individual post/photo for it somewhere on my blog 🌲

Do No Harm by Henry Marsh || it’s absolutely fascinating and something different from my usual fictional read - it’s a memoir of a brain surgeon. 

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