that is not how you teach your child ''the value of money''

CHIRON IN THE HOUSES

THE WOUNDED HEALER:

Chiron is a comet in our solar system with an erratic and elliptical orbit. It represents our “deepest wound” and how we work to heal it. In our natal charts, it shows us where we have healing powers caused by these deep spiritual wounds; Chiron is known as the bridge between material and spiritual realms. In the areas of life that are influenced by Chiron, we may overcompensate in an attempt to cover up our wounds. Overcoming low self-esteem and fear helps us to harness these healing powers and eventually learn to use to them our best ability.  

First House: Chiron in the first house plays a role in part of your identity. You may go through a (or several) journey(s) of self discovery in life, and usually early on. It can make you like a knight in shining armor, ready to fight for the underdog as it’s important for you to find personal meaning in existence. People with Chiron in the first house are very gifted healers/teachers.  However, acting with over-aggression is common, and you must be careful not to neglect your own personal needs for the sake of helping others.

Second House: Chiron in the second house creates a deep need for you to define what you value in life, physically and emotionally. While you may have issues with holding onto and maintaining personal finances, you can easily help others gain control over their own money with sound advice. You are likely to squander your money/possessions away, feeling that you don’t really deserve it, but the deeper issue here is feeling that you have low self-worth. Finding the right balance can lead you to becoming a great teacher of self-worth and living a fulfilling and compassionate lifestyle.

Third House: Chiron in the third house can have issues with feeling understood, or you have may have had some sort of injury that inhibits your ability to speak. You may feel like no one paid attention to what you said as a child, so you are on a life-long quest to be heard, yet you still frequently feel that no one is listening. Mercury/Chiron stress aspects are likely to produce the same result. Overcome your lack of self-confidence, and you will see that you hold an unusual ability to teach and communicate with sensitivity. Siblings play a significant role in your life when Chiron resides in the third house. If you are an only child, you may feel that this area of your life is lacking.

Fourth House: With Chiron in the fourth house, you may often feel like the ‘black sheep’ of your family. The home itself is generally the issue – maybe you’re away a lot or your family dynamic was off (a parent may have left, been emotionally unavailable, or ill) or perhaps you feel like you can’t find a true home anywhere. Suffering in childhood is common with this placement. Understand that self-healing is the path to universal healing. Because of your difficult home life, you have a lack of self-confidence. Gain confidence in yourself and you will see that you have great potential, especially as a counselor.

Fifth House: Chiron in the fifth house creates a deep need for the ego to be recognized and you may have to draw certain boundaries in order for it to survive, just be careful to not cut yourself off from people completely. This placement gives you the ability to give impeccable advice on romance, children, games, and even the stock market, even if your own life doesn’t reflect this at all. You are often able to help people reach goals you could never reach for yourself; you may be a great life coach. Chiron in the fifth house may cause unusual sexual patterns or tendencies to experiment and/or become obsessed with a partner or certain sexual encounters. You may not want kids, but if you do, there is a risk of you pushing them to achieve goals you want for yourself, not what they want. This is a very creative placement, although you may not recognize this in yourself.

Sixth House: Chiron in the sixth house pre-occupies you with your health, beyond the typical level. You may be somewhat of a hypochondriac and it’s likely that you may suffer from an eating disorder or have strange likes/dislikes about food. This placement can influence you in one of two ways: you will help everyone around you get healthy while you maintain an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, eating junk food). You must learn to take care of yourself first if this is the case. Or you may demand that everyone around you serves you and it is difficult for you to be satisfied. You’re very sensitive to the body and you will be successful in healing yourself when it comes to dealing with your own issues, as long as you don’t view being healthy as a chore.

Seventh House: With Chiron in the seventh house, you often find yourself through your relationships with others. You may spend a great deal of time with a partner who is disabled in some way. You typically can give great advice on marriage and business partnerships but have a hard time with these relationships yourself. Your parents may have split or been distant, and you may marry multiple times. You reflect others’ self images like a mirror, but it’s important to recognize that you and your partner are not one person – you need to be separate individuals that come together harmoniously. Doing so helps to relieve some of the confusion about who you are. You must find a balance between self and others.

Eighth House: Chiron in the eighth house comes alive with this placement – you’ll have immense talent for healing or rehabilitating others, but not yourself. Personal desires are extremely important to you and you can almost know by instinct what other people desire. It’s tempting to use this to manipulate or control others, and you may feel that you even have psychic abilities because of this. However, it’s important to use this for good and not to give your powers away to a teacher or a ‘master’. You may also have the capacity to bring out great sexual ability in a partner. You could become a very skilled sex therapist.

Ninth House: Chiron in the ninth house may cause you to obsess over travel or a certain field of study, typically pertaining to a religion of some sort. You have an inner crisis that requires you to connect with a Higher Self in your lifetime. You may feel driven to discover ultimate truths and convey them to others through spirituality, religion and/or the occult. Your opinions tend to be more extreme than others and it’s important that you remain open-minded. You have great potential to be a teacher, as being the eternal student comes so naturally to you. Remember to take time and relax so that you can truly enjoy learning as much as you do.  

Tenth House: Chiron in the tenth house may often cause you to feel like you are taking care of everyone and everything besides yourself. You have a strong desire to prove your self-worth so you are constantly helping others succeed, even beyond your own levels of success. On the other hand, this placement could influence you to reject any form of responsibility and give up all ambitions, typically out of your fear of failure. Chiron in the tenth house gives you authority naturally, as the house represents goals and achievement, but you may not own your authority. You are able to finally accept the power within you during the time of ‘Saturn Return’, between the ages of 28 and 30. You gain the ability to separate yourself from the projections others have placed on you since childhood – you will find your true purpose.

Eleventh House: Chiron in the eleventh house may cause you to feel like your peers reject you. It may create deep feelings of loneliness for you. To compensate for this, you will either withdraw from large groups, as they generally make you feel uncomfortable, or you will compulsively seek out many friends to help fight off the loneliness. You often find yourself with ‘friends’ who drain you and take advantage of you, or you could drain and take advantage of your friends due to an inner neediness that is never satisfied. With that being said, you are incredibly individualistic and you have a great sense of personal destiny. To fulfill this destiny, master the skill of detachment and release yourself from the holds of your ego. You were born to play a unique role; push your creativity and idealism to new heights.

Twelfth House: With Chiron in the twelfth house, you may have a strong desire to take care of the poor, sick, and unfortunate. The issue with this lies in neglecting your needs and the needs of your family in order to help others. This placement tends to cause fatigue and it’s vital that you get plenty of rest. You are deeply intuitive and aware of the non-physical realms of reality. You are endlessly curious and even somewhat psychic. You have come into this life to serve a very high purpose, and although the path is a difficult one, the goal you reach will be higher than anything imaginable. Be careful to not shut yourself off from people as your natural gifts for healing are there to help others. This benefits you personally, but only after you have matured emotionally.

"Everything's Going to be Fine..."

I never really gave this statement, (or any derivatives), much thought, until I became a nurse.

“Don’t worry,” sure…don’t worry about this procedure you’re about to undergo, don’t worry about the complications - they won’t ever happen, don’t worry that your family or loved ones aren’t here, don’t worry about feeling exposed in your flimsy hospital gown, don’t worry about your noisy roommate, don’t worry about this life altering diagnosis, don’t worry about how you’re going to pay for it all, don’t worry about the money you’re losing from being out of work and the additional time and lost money while in rehabilitation, don’t worry about your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, husband, wife, don’t worry about what we’re doing…don’t worry, be happy…sure.

I’ve likely said this statement, as a form of comfort and reassurance many times early on in my career - but this statement, along with “everything will be ok,” or “it will all work out in the end,” minimizes what they’re feeling, it invalidates their concern and closes the window of opportunity for them to tell us their fears, ask questions, or be honest about what they’re confronting.

I hear the statement “you deserve more,” tossed around in ordinary language in ordinary situations; and I wonder; who gets to decide this? Who gets to decide who deserves less, resulting in graphic injury, pain and agony to some, and all the blessings to another? Who gets to decide which patients deserve to be subjected to life threatening illness? Does everyone deserve more? Or selected people only? More than whom? More than what they’re given or facing? We see babies hooked up to invasive equipment in our NICU’s, fighting for the life they’ve barely begun, and down the hall a new mama is smiling and taking her baby home after an uneventful labor and delivery. We see an 8 year old patient whose never been to a real school, given his cancer fight has prevented him from immersing in the community, yet on the same unit, there’s a 10 year old child being discharged, and finally in remission. We see unfairness every day, and we see miracles, and we learn to stop making sweeping statements about deserving. It it doesn’t mean we don’t go home every night crying for them, or wondering about the injustices - we just stop planting words of resentment in people’s minds. We stop dialogue that doesn’t seem to support a real discussion about what’s happening, or allow space to really hurt and express openly.

We sometimes tell people, good things are coming, and it’s a waiting game, yet we know in healthcare, on the frontline, that life can be snatched away in an instant in a trauma, and the most stable patient can drop into sudden cardiac arrest. We learn quickly to value what’s in front of us, today, instead of expectations for all the tomorrows.

I’ve been on the opposite side, a family member, a loved one, and I have listened while they offered pleasantries, avoided truth, and I’ve felt unimportant, annoyed, unheard, and misunderstood, eventually shutting down - even though logical nurse me knows their intentions were probably good, I stopped taking them seriously - and I wondered; how many times had I offered robotic pleasantries and offended someone, or inadvertently closed off communication in effort to reassure? At a very basic, humanistic level, people simply want to be understood, not necessarily stroked. I wonder how many times I didn’t recognize this fundamental need.

I’m a nurse, I’m a caregiver by occupation, and I value hope as much as I did prior to working on the frontline - yet I’ve learned sometimes simply saying, “I understand,” can offer more value to a patient, a loved one, or a person struggling. I’ve learned simplicity is more valuable than any long winded dialogue I can offer, and I’ve learned there’s a place where science ends and faith begins, and sometimes the words, “I am here, for you,” can be invaluable in place of overarching sentiment - and it wasn’t anything I learned in any textbook, or nursing school.

Medicine and nursing teaches us a great deal, but perhaps the greatest lesson is understanding that things aren’t always going to be fine.

NEW LEGACY CHALLENGE!

I was inspired to make my own legacy challenge after I saw @lilsimsie and @alwaysimming make theirs, so I give you: The Lesser Evil Legacy Challenge!! (tag it #the lesser evil legacy)

Basic rules:
- you are allowed to use cheats for your founder’s home, but that is all. Use the cheat “money ___” to bring it down to a more likely amount for a legacy founder.
- follow these rules specifically (besides parenthood-related rules as the pack isnt out and i dont know how those will work) unless you do not have all the packs. base game version to be written soon.

Generation 1- you are an evil sim. it’s just the way you’ve always been. maybe you were born that way, maybe you developed that later on, but all you know is that, well, you’re evil.

- must complete criminal career, oracle branch
- must complete public enemy aspiration
- must have the evil & perfectionist traits
- must have more than one child
- must lose one child due to neglect

Generation 2- you grew up with completely terrible parents. they tried to teach you to be hateful and to seek revenge for anything anyone did to wrong you. what they didnt teach you was how to control it.

- must have the insane trait
- must have only one child as soon you become a young adult
- must die mid-young-adulthood (suicide)
- must never marry
- parenthood pack: must have all 5 negative character values

Generation 3- you grew up during most of your life without parents. one of them died too soon, the other was never around. this made you very sad all the time, and all you want is to try to be happy again.

- must have gloomy and noncommittal traits
- must have children with at least 3 different people
- must leave at least one person at the altar
- must max writing skill (sad poetry writer am i right)
- must complete hopeful romantic aspiration
- parenthood pack: must have negative responsibility, emotional control, conflict resolution, manners; no positives

Generation 4- you grew up in a broken family. your parents barely spoke to you and you felt completely unloved by them. to make up for it, you put others down to feel better about yourself.

- must have mean and unflirty traits
- must be enemies with at least 2 of your children
- must be married and divorced with 2 people
- max mischief skill
- complete secret agent career, villain branch
- character values: must have negative empathy, emotional control, responsibility; no postives

Generation 5- your parents hated you, and ultimately made you afraid of other people. this made you unable to talk to others for a long time.

- must have loner trait
- must only focus on career throughout young-adulthood, complete said career
- must have first kiss as an adult
- must have first child as an adult
- must marry the sim you first-kissed as an elder
- max painting skill
- character values: must have negative emotional control, conflict resolution; postive responsibility

Generation 6- your parents never made you go out and do things with your life, so you became accustomed to doing nothing. with this, came multiple poor life decisions to add to your already-terrible life.

- must have lazy trait
- must never have a job
- must marry another lazy sim
- must make money only from children’s teenage-jobs
- max video gaming skill
- complete grilled cheese aspiration (unlocked after eating three servings of grilled cheese in a row)
- watch all movies at least once (from movie hangout stuff)
- character values: must have negative responsibility, manners; postive empathy, emotional control

Generation 7- your parents never did anything, so you always had to fend for yourself. this makes you very into working and you want to prove that people can come from nothing and do anything they set their minds to.

- must have ambitious trait
- must complete the fabulously wealthy aspiration
- must own one business (get to work) and one restaurant (dine out)
- restaurant must become five stars and maintain this rating
- max charisma skill
- character values: must have negative manners; postive responsibility, conflict resolution

Generation 8- you had a great life. your parents were wealthy and gave you everything you wanted. now it’s time for you to fulfill your life with a big happy family!

- must have family oriented trait
- complete big happy family aspiration
- must marry and stay with your soulmate for the rest of your life
- must have six children
- max wellness and parenting skills
- character values: must have negative conflict resolution; positive empathy, responsibility

Generation 9- your parents taught you to be the perfect kid, and you knew you were. Plus, with 5 siblings, you grew up knowing everything there is to know about talking to other people.

- must have outgoing trait
- complete friend of the world aspiration
- marry childhood best friend
- complete entertainment career, comedy branch
- adopt at least one child
- character values: must have no negatives; positive manners, emotional control, responsibility

Generation 10- growing up in a rich family made you feel like you didn’t need everything you had. you need to give to the less fortunate and help people in need!

- must have good trait
- give to charity as much as you can
- adopt all of your children
- have 5 friends with a maxed friendship bar
- complete politician career, charity organizer branch
- protest for your cause as much as you can
- character values: must have all 5 positive character values

8 Reasons Why I Hate School

This will probably not be a complete list. Every day that I attend school, I will probably think of a new reason to dislike it. However, I’m still going to write this list with what comes to mind now.

Also, please note that when I say I hate school, I do not mean the idea/concept of school in general. I’m referring to the school system, specifically in America but generally of today’s world.

  • One of my biggest issues with the school system is that our work is graded. This might be the part where you start to roll your eyes, but that doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care if any of the reasons I list don’t mean anything to you, or you attribute them to me being a “lazy, selfish” kid. I’m not the only one who feels these things, and if all of the people who the school system was supposedly created for disagree with a certain thing, it should be of some importance.

          I want to go to school to learn, not to impress. Every time I learn something in school, I’m given a test. Now, the tests themselves are not a problem - it’s an effective way for teachers to determine where we are as far as the lesson is concerned and to determine if we need some extra help (and this need for extra help is usually ignored or met with useless tutoring sessions that take place in a similar crowded environment to regular classrooms). I’m sure no one in school would have a problem with tests or experience severe anxiety from tests if they were not graded. It’s that number, the digits, that drive everyone crazy. Teachers can pay attention to our progress from tests without grading them. Or, they can use numerical grades for tests but not show those grades to us. Instead, they can be helpful specifically according to our weak spots on tests. For example, if I get questions wrong on the test about a specific topic, the teacher ‘grades’ me by giving me a note to study more on this topic, or telling me when to see him/her for tutoring on this topic. Grading us says: ‘I want to validate you, not teach you.’ Grades reduce knowledge to a number. Grades cultivate unhealthy competition between students (you might say that the competition is healthy, but some students truly believe that the ones who score higher than them are just ‘better’, and I’ve experienced it firsthand). Grades cause students to hate themselves, to cry themselves to sleep at night. Grades cause parents to wrongly judge their children.

           Grades need to be abolished.

           States have their different standardized tests, but in New York they’re Regents Exams. These Regents test us on our progress at the end of the year to see if we’re ready to move on to the next level of a given subject. A lot of the time, taking a Regents is a reality check for me, because I’m reminded of what my weak points are and what I failed to study about the subject during the year. However, students’ reactions to their grades on Regents is sometimes terrifying. The effect that these numbers have on us is deeper than even we realize. Our knowledge is defined by a number. Imagine how less harmful it would be if after a Regents, the results we got back were a note as to whether we are well-versed in the subject enough to move on to higher levels, and a note on tips for what we each need to work on in the subject as individuals. To me, this is much more helpful than a numerical value, and it gives the knowledge itself more weight than a grade.

Keep reading

How The French View Americans: Negative Stereotypes Explained

We all have preconceived notions of certain countries and cultures. We might even understand that these are gross generalizations but that doesn’t keep us from believing them. The French have quite a few preconceived ideas on what it means to be American. I’m going to explore where these stereotypes might come from.  

*Disclaimer: This is all (slightly researched) speculation. *


1. Americans are stupid 

Americans have the unfortunate stereotype of being not so bright. Many Europeans would agree. Is there some truth to this? Well according to OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), the U.S ranks 26th worldwide in scholastic test scores, below other world powers such as France, Germany, and China. But this is only proof if you believe that test scores accurately define intelligence. Also, the typical French person probably doesn’t know this statistic…so why do they think we’re “idiots”?

Probably because we are generally ignorant of the world around us. Who’s the Prime Minister of the UK? What political scandal is currently going on in Brazil? What is ISIS? The reality is many Europeans could answer these questions and many Americans could not. The other day I watched this American girl try to order at a french bakery. This first thing she said was “Hola” (*face palm*) and then she very loudly asked for a sandwhich in english, as if yelling would help the cashier understand her better. This is the American traveler in a nutshell - we go overseas without any regard for common practices, norms, or courtesies. This lack of cultural curiosity is what probably makes us seem uninformed, silly, and quite frankly, stupid. 

2. Americans are superficial

Outsiders believe that all we care about is our looks, status, and wealth. Materialistic is our name and consumerism is our game. But like, we can’t like, be bothered with things like “inner beauty”. I mean, duh, we have reps to protect! 

It’s not hard to understand why one would come to this conclusion of us. Watch American TV for 30 minutes and you will see how we eat up ideas of popularity and wealth. I mean we are the same country that has made famous-for-nothing Kardashians a household name. We’re also the same country that lets Channing Tatum “act” and lets Taylor Swift whine on every stage. I must admit (ashamedly) that I’ve thought to myself, “Wow, french actors and singers are not attractive”. But their celebrities are actually famous for being talented. Crazy concept, right? 

3. Americans are conservative 

One day when I was babysitting, I took the kids to the park. On the side of a building was a LARGE ad for a burlesque show with a topless woman gracing center stage. I remember feeling appalled. This is a park where children come to play! I looked around and none of the moms or their kids paid it any attention, almost as if this was normal. Am I a prude? No, I’m just American.

When it comes to nudity, cursing, or anything else considered taboo, we tend to censure it. These things are typically reserved for private spaces among adults. But in France, whether its in the media or in real life, they are much less likely to censor themselves. 

Theory time: Part of this may be because we are a much more religious country than France. Although we express freedom of religion within our Constitution, we cannot deny that our country was founded on Christian principles and those principles manifest themselves within our political, social, and cultural identity. Around 88% of American citizens are affiliated with a religion compared to almost 55% of French citizens. Why are LGBT and female reproductive rights hot button issues? Why is the drinking age still 21 years old? Because of persisting conservative sentiments. Perhaps we hold more modest values because of our country’s subconscious (or maybe not so subconscious) ties to religion. 

4. America is dangerous and racist 

To many outsiders, most of our major cities are synonymous with danger. New York. Miami. Chicago. I’ve been asked several times by wide-eyed Frenchies if I’ve ever visited these cities and if I’ve ever felt unsafe. What puzzles them most is why, oh why, can’t America solve its gun issue? Trust me, we’re asking ourselves the same thing. Mass shootings have become unnervingly commonplace and we are just as exhausted.  

As for the racism thing, French people have televisions. They see our public discourse on police brutality, the physical aggression at Trump rallies and that same presidential candidate’s stance on Mexican immigrants. They know well that our country was built on the backs of slaves and immigrants and has a 400 year history of racial oppression and discrimination. But don’t be fooled, France is not at all a racial utopia. They’ve had their fare share of discriminatory laws over the years. However, due to our track record, its the U.S that usually wins the prize of most racist world power. 

5. Americans are fat 

This is without doubt the number one stereotype about Americans and unfortunately there’s a lot of merit to it. We are one of the unhealthiest countries in the world. In 2015, 74 million Americans, almost 2/3 of the country, were considered overweight or obese. Researchers predict that these numbers will only increase and by 2020, 75% of the nation will be overweight. Compared to the 40% of overweight French citizens, these numbers are quite egregious.

But what’s ironic is that we are by far more obsessed with exercise and healthy eating. We have a strong “work out culture” in the states and for most Americans the question is not whether you’re dieting but which diet you’re on. As a whole, French people don’t actively work out. In fact in the 9 months I’ve been here, I have seen one gym. ONE. And it was extremely empty. They don’t have to work at being healthy because they just naturally are. It’s not in their culture to eat large fast food portions or eat out for that matter. Where as in the US, we love to dine outside the home. Not only is it a great way to connect with friends but its convenient. And from drive-thrus to 24/7 restaurants, you cant deny our love affair with conveniency.

6. Americans are self-involved workaholics

“You can be anything you put your mind to” “Reach for the stars” “You could be the next president of the United States!”

From an early age we are told that everyone is special. That hard work is the key to success and to dream as big as possible. I asked a couple of my students what they wanted to be when they grew up and none of them had an answer. From an American perspective this is very strange. Every American child knows exactly what they want to be by the age of 3. Even if the answer is a Princess, we raise children to have a very clear and confident vision of who they are and where they are going in life. 

Our society is characterized by individualism. What that means is that we emphasis personal achievements, we value independence, and much of what we do in life is self-enhancing. Many countries fall into this category and you can argue that there’s nothing wrong with it. But the inevitable result of individualism is that we lose sight in the importance of people around us. We are less family-oriented and instead place more value on our personal success, which typically translates to how we perform in our careers. 

Everyone is chasing the “American Dream”, hoping to make something of themselves. But instead of enjoying life, we’re too busy working hard for the money. We work 30% more than Europeans, have significantly less paid vacation time, and we’re one of the only countries that doesn’t guarantee parental leave for new mothers and fathers. We don’t value leisure time for ourselves or with our family. Maybe we are not personally “self-involved workaholics”, but the way our society is set up its almost impossible not to be. 


Feeling bitter? Well let’s glance at some positive stereotypes. 


7. Americans are very self-confident 


8. Americans are charitable


9. Americans are super friendly


10. Americans are good looking 

See, it’s not all bad. 

Six Skeletons, One Maid

Yay for self indulgent reader-insert fan fiction!

CHAPTER: BREAKFAST

Overall Summary: You are the only maid (or worker in general) that serves for the Skeletal Household. It’s a skele-ton of work, but you manage by keeping onto a fairytale dream.

Chapter Summary: You serve breakfast to the skelebros.

Rating: Even though this could’ve turned into some hot mamajama sin in the obvious way, it’s PG 13  because I love fluff too much.

Pairings: you x ALL THE SKELEBOOTY

Red = UF Sans, Black = UF Papyrus, Blue = US Sans, Orange = US Papyrus

Reader is a girl because maid stuff. 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Any advice for parents wanting to home school? I'm scared people are going to advise me of being a brain washing cultist.

I’ve been SOOO excited to answer this ask because I have so many good things to say about homeschooling! Actually, if I’m honest, I have absolutely nothing bad I can possibly think of. I was homeschooled all the way through 12th grade and there is nothing I would change. I will ALWAYS be grateful to my parents for devoting themselves to me in that way, and especially my mom for sticking with it - from the rocky years of highschool, to back when I was an elementary brat. Looking back, we agree it was worth any struggles tenfold.

The first thing you need to know is this: you will be ridiculed. At some point, somewhere, someone is going to criticize you. Whether it be your teaching, your abilities, your discipline, or your morals, the world is going to try and push you down. Therefore, you need to be confident, you need to know your motivation as to why you are doing this, and know that, as the parent, only you know what is best for your child.

A good way to kindly explain that to someone is to know the benefits of homeschooling. And the list is long!

— Homeschooling gives you the freedom to specifically tailor the curriculum to your child’s needs. Whether going slower or faster, you can go at a pace that is comfortable to you and your child. For example, division was a nightmare for me as a child, but I was reading at a 12th grade level by early grade school. Therefore my algebra was slow moving and required a lot of repetition, but I blew through English.

— Homeschool students as a whole score significantly higher on standardized testing, with the low range being 15-30% improvement, and typically score above the average collage admission test. All of this is regardless of the education level of the parents and any degree of formal they may have. You don’t need to be a certified teacher or have lofty degrees to teach your children effectively.

— Building off both the other points, I would argue that homeschooling leaves you over prepared for college. I briefly mentioned math is not my strongest suit. I thought, in going to college, that I would be behind, but I actually placed significantly higher than I thought I would. Socially, homeschoolers are generally more prepared as well, for as where public schoolers function primarily with their same age group, homeschoolers tend to be more accustomed to a variety of ages - from toddlers to senior citizens - and that can allow one to adapt well into different class, work, and social settings.

— For those with illnesses, physical or mental limitations, homeschooling’ flexibility is a definite asset, as it allows you to modify your schedule as needed, even on a day-by-day basis, and you don’t have the stress and pressure of missing school days - you can do the work when it is convenient for you.

— Homeschooling encourages enjoyable learning and self-motivation. I going to the aquarium and watching the school kids have to breeze through it in two or three hours. But for us homeschoolers, we could spend all day there, and we did! Why? Because I found it fascinating! I would read every brochure on the tropical fish, ask questions of the staff as I pet sharks and sting rays. Homeschooling doesn’t limit learning, it encourages exploration and deep thinking. You don’t have to rush through.

— Homeschooling encourages family bonding. Most the time, we all did school in the same room, either at the kitchen counter or consuming the kitchen table in books and papers. We would take a break from math and mom would read to us everything from history to science to fiction. Reading was a huge part of my homeschool life, and even now that I’ve long since graduated, my family still likes to read aloud together.

— It saves time. Where my public school friends were in school for eight hours a day and then spent several hours on homework, I got my school done in an average of four hours max. I would be done by noon, and the out climbing trees with my brother for the rest of the day. Learn about the world and then go live in it! I would have missed out on so much if I hadn’t been homeschooled.

— This next point is very important when you’re talking about “brain washing”. Public schools are growing increasingly more aggressive toward adverse opinions, any mention of God, and in many cases are implementing revisionist history. Not even biology is taught correctly anymore with this distorted view of sexuality. Homeschooling allows multiple view points to be explored and allows for deep research into why such a point is incorrect, what actually happened historically, ect. Public schools expect things to be taken at face value too much of the time. Homeschooling promotes critical thinking and exploration. You don’t just slam the door on counter views, you talk about them and discuss it. Additionally, homeschooling is not just for the religious. There are many people, including atheists, that homeschool simply because they recognize the benefits to their lifestyle and, most importantly, their child.

— Homeschooling protects your child. We have all heard people talk about how “sheltered” homeschoolers are. The only thing I was ever sheltered from was bullying, profanity, sexual jokes and harassment, violence, and peer pressure. I had many social circles and events (the joke among homeschoolers is often that they’re never home), but it was always in a positive environment. I would have been so much more insecure if I had had to face the things all my public school friends did, but instead I grew up knowing I could be confident in who I was. On the same note, it is important to make sure your child has a healthy amount of social interaction. Awana, youth group, various clubs, sports, are just a few ways you can make sure your child is active.

— Homeschooling saves money. Both within your home, and in regard to tax dollars spent toward public schools. There are great monetary and economical benefits to homeschooling.

— Public schools are a fairly modern development. For thousands of years the bulk of one’s early learning was done at home or in a relatively small school where you still received that one-on-one instruction - very similar to homeschooling. The norm was not 30-40 kids with one teacher. It wasn’t the massed produced learning you see today.

Now a few more things before we go…

There is a HUGE array of curriculum out there, you can pick and choose from a virtually endless myriad of resources. Find what works for your child. Know that often what works for child #1 does not work for child #2. I went through three math books until I found what really worked for me. Don’t be afraid to try different things. (And also look for homeschool book sales to buy at! You can save lots by buying used)

FIND A SUPPORT GROUP. This is HUGE for you as a parent because when challenges arise, and I PROMISE you they will, you are going to want someplace to look for solid advice. A network of good friends, co-ops, homeschool church groups, homeschool academies - whatever it is, find a group of homeschoolers near you where you can ask questions, present your challenges, and get positive feedback. More so than that though, you need encouragement. The best people to give that to you are people who have been in the same spot.

Know your legal rights as a homeschooler. I would highly advice checking out the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). They have fantastic resources on a general basis, but it is really important to know your rights as a homeschooling parent. At the very minimum, check out the state requirements and know what you’re obligated to do. When I was homeschooled, I didn’t need to take hardly any standardized tests, but there were a lot of people saying I needed to. So even small things like that are really important to know (it saved me a lot of anxiety).

Homeschooling isn’t always easy, but I promise you that the rewards far outweigh the cost. It is worth every moment. There are few ways better than this to show your child just how very much you love them.

Last thing! I came across this nifty page with all sorts of facts and statistics on homeschooling that is an easy and enlightening read [x] and a quick shout out to my many friends that brainstormed with me on this (readers, I hope you know you’re getting the best advice out there thanks to them! ^^ )

Suburban Gothic

It is summer. You open your window. Somewhere, the sound of gas-powered lawncare. You know not from where. It comes from a different place each day. But if the sun is shining, lawncare is happening. It never fails. it never ceases.

You were certain this path through a residential neighborhood would be straightforward. Upon discovering that the road bent left, you decided to turn back. Only, going back the way you came, you cannot not find the main road you came from. As you walk in the summer heat, the trees somehow provide paltry shade despite being tall and broad. No soul is on the sidewalk. You do not wish to knock on someone’s door and ask for water. You take left turns and right, hoping to find another main road. But there are none. You wind up in front of your house, and look back. The houses that you just passed are gone.

You are fairly certain that one of the cars that just passed by you had no one in it.

Your neighbors purchased a Chevy Suburban. It pulls into their driveway one day, and five, six, seven…eleven children exit the vehicle. Your neighbors across the street managed to produce twenty children in ten years. You have not seen a child playing on a lawn in this neighborhood in the last ten years.

It is nighttime. The stray cats are out, silently sprinting across the lawns to the next bush. You hear a high-pitched squeal that you’re sure no rat or squirrel could make. A cat appears beneath a bush, crunching something in its jaws. It looks up at you, eyes gleaming in the light of the street lamp.

What lies beyond the orange glow of the street lamps? What is shifting in the darkness? Is it just the branches waving in the wind?

In the distance there is always the low, dull roar. It never ceases, only becomes more quiet after midnight. Then one day you step outside and hear nothing. You shiver.

As you walk across the sunlit parking lot, you can feel your life force draining away. Everything dies a little in large parking lots.

The sunlight leaches all color out of the world. Time slows. You walk across the bright field, and it appears to go on forever.

A flock of starling passes overhead, twisting and turning in a massive flock that appears to be of one mind, as if it is a school of fish in the air. Perhaps it IS one mind.

You are commanded to weed the front sidewalk this sunny morning. Pulling weeds by hand. They hang on with all their might, and leave their roots in. They will be back. They always come back. They live to remind you that your world will only last so long before the grass, and shrubs, and creeping vines, return to reclaim what it rightfully theirs. The very trees loom, waiting to drop their leaves. They will attempt to kill your lawn with dead leaves this fall, the same as they do every fall. The struggle against the wild never ends. You who wished to place your dwelling in the midst of green, you failed to consider how green things grow. You did not know that the green devours all, in time. You have only borrowed this space from them. Herbicide, pesticide, lawnmowers, weed whackers, it matters not. They are still here. They will be here when you fall.

You can hear the birds, but never see them. The bird watchers have special tricks to find them that they will only teach to the pure of heart. Also the ones who have enough money to buy a birding guide. Surely your family has enough money to buy a birding guide? You live in this neighborhood, after all.

Are the clouds…real? They look for all the world like some kind of backdrop animation. Very well-done, at that. The detail is spectacular. The forms shift slowly, so slowly, yet chaotically. Nothing in that landscape remains the same for long. But it’s just an animation. It’s not real.

There’s a gigantic house that was built 5 years ago on a tiny lot. You’ve seen bright flashes of mauve light in the night through its uncurtained windows. And heard screams. The house was foreclosed a year ago. Nobody wants it. It is selling for a dollar. Nobody wants it. You could buy it if you hadn’t spent all your change on candy.

There’s an entire neighborhood where every second house is foreclosed. The remaining residents keep saying they’ve seen pale figures walking right through the doors of the empty houses. They say they’ve been getting itches all over. They keep fainting and collapsing in hysterics. Although those last thwo are probably because of the plummeting dollar value of the neighborhood. Nobody who remains is able to sell their place and leave. One by one, the remaining occupied houses burn.

Everything and anything happens behind closed doors. That’s what the police reports indicate, at any rate. None of the cases you page through have anything about an arrest or indictment of any kind, not even for the cases of vivisection. This is a town where everything is kept quiet. You decided to get out of the police station before they find you and decide to keep YOU quiet.

A black family moves in next door. Suddenly all your neighbors stop talking to you. They won’t say why. Next week, your neighbors across the street have moved out. The week after that, the house next to them has moved out. A year later, the black family is gone too.

There is no rebelling against this place. If you would change it, you must join it. You’re always free to LEAVE…

You wonder if you could just step up into those silver-lined clouds and float away, never to return.

A fan’s issues within Naruto-fandom

To me it seems we’ve got a couple of issues that need to be spoken of.

First is a matter of translation. Idioms, in other words. Most people in our world, have an issue of thinking genius means smart about everything, including personal relationships when clearly that’s not true. You don’t have to go to college to see that, or hang out with the professors. Genii and very smart people sometimes make very stupid mistakes. We know that.

In Konoha and the Elemental Nations, genius refers to shinobi skills and not intelligence. You have genius shinobi galore, a few other genii but by and large they’re all extremely skilled for the most part. Exceptions would be where genius intellect and genius skills meet: Tobirama inventing jutsu, Orochimaru inventing/perfecting jutsu, Minato inventing/perfecting jutsu and so on. See a trend?

Please note that all these genius shinobi inventing/perfect jutsu that can, in theory be used by anyone which is why Hashirama is not on the list with his mokuton jutsu. They don’t just learn them and use them, like it is implied Sarutobi and Kakashi do. Kakashi doesn’t make the earlier list of genius intellect and genius skills because he only made one jutsu when others have made multiple.

Sarutobi and Kakashi are still considered genii. Like Sasuke and Neji are considered genii. Because of their skills. Genius shinobi skills don’t take a genius intellect, but having the latter helps. 

Which means that Konoha has a pointed problem of application of seeing/using genius outside of warfare and skills applicable to war. As does its people.


Next Point:

Even if they don’t admit it, they -everyone in the Elemental Nations- are always focused on war. It’s why Jiraiya and later Naruto are such oddballs because they want to focus on PEACE by NON-VIOLENT METHODS.

Politically speaking, they are politically always at the precipice of war, even during ‘peace’. It doesn’t mean that tragedy/death/trauma doesn’t happen then. It just means that it wasn’t enough to start a war.

Having the Jinchuriki actually does help as a deterrent; they either keep the ‘war(s)’ small-scale and ‘cold’ in that should shinobi here be near shinobi from other place, they’re likely going to try and kill each other without leaving clues to who did it. If they did or were caught at doing so, then war may actually break out.


Point the third:

War happens for a two reasons: resources and ideology.

Resources can be food, people, skilled professionals aka blacksmiths/whatever, water, minerals etc.

Ideology could be for religion, belief that things should be done differently or that this person should rule. Or because you really hate this bastard/group because they killed your brother.

A lot of the Warring Clan Era’s ‘Wars’ happened because of shinobi ideology and personal reasons.


The 4th point:

‘Wars’ during the Warring Clan Era mostly happened between shinobi clans. Most shinobi clans are skilled at being shinobi which makes them very avid consumers to any market. They need weapons, clothing, food etc.

Unless they live in Kaze no Kuni, where resources are at a premium. But that’s a different story.

Which because most of the shinobi aren’t fighting over food, means that they’re fighting for shinobi reasons aka their client, for the money, etc. Because they need money.

The reason the feud between the Senju and Uchiha became so big and infamous because those fights turned from professional to personal over generations. To the point that I wouldn’t be surprised if a few shinobi decided that not getting paid was worth the risk to try and kill a few Senju/Uchiha.


5th Point:

Villages are a new concept, not even a century old. There’s immense changes politically and economically and so on. And generations are a thing.

Generational Mindsets are a thing. Values passed down and so on. See baby-boomers vs Millenials and so on.

So really, you don’t have to look far to see that establishment of shinobi villages changes things. A lot of things, especially for those old enough to remember the village not being there. Which is pretty much anyone older than the young Sandaime, when he was the Nidaime’s student. As Sarutobi was about ten when Konoha was founded, that’s a lot of people.

The first generation born in the village is something I’m going to call Hopes and Dreams. Because that’s what their parents hoped for and so on. We really don’t much about them, being younger than Danzo, Sarutobi and so on but older than the Sanin. They’re just kinda there?

The point being, these were probably the first generation of shinobi to have a stable home-life during their childhood. Not constantly moving around from base to base, camp to camp worried about safety constantly. They were probably trained like their parents were, but due to being more sheltered from war aka not seeing it from the time they were born/walking, they were a bit more traumatized by it. H&D had parents transitioning from shinobi soldiers to parent-trainers/teachers because they had no idea how to parent that didn’t involve teaching them to survive war: because the village was a safe place, so long as people would defend it.

And they would, because they were shinobi.

*

The next generation tags along after this, which is what I’m going to call the genii-boom. Because there were a lot of strong shinobi/genii and most of them went down in a boom of self-destructive habits. Often messily.

Hatake Sakumo is a member of this generation. The Sanin are too. Their parents are either Clan War survivors or part of H&Ds. Which has effects, okay? Sakumo’s parents were probably Clan War Survivors and very much converts to the idea of Konoha, since the idea to avoid war at the cost of comrades apparently did not ever enter his mind. Very admirable on a personal level, very stupid on a political level. Tsunade and Orochimaru’s parents were probably CWS too who may have died in the 1st great shinobi war or shortly after. Jiraya has no parents mentioned, so he doesn’t get the CWS mindset from his parents. Instead, Jiraiya is very much a H&D-child; lots of optimism, still train just in case.

As you can see, because the concept of Village is new-ish, the concept of thinking outside personal politics is also a new thing. Village Reputation now exists and is shown by its shinobi. Which is why Sakumo is reviled by his peers because as a genius shouldn’t he know how his actions effect the village? The fact Sakumo chose to atone for this personally by suicide instead of by other means also speaks to him thinking like a CWS instead of a member of Konoha. The fact that it orphans Kakashi and he doesn’t think it will really matter as Kakashi is a brilliant shinobi already speaks more about this.

The Sanin were pretty much the stars of this generation btw. We also know how this all went. This is when trauma really starts to get noticeably worse, to the point of phobias. Because they’re not used to friends/family/comrades dying in droves like CWS are. War becomes very abhorrent to most of them.

This marks a shift in politics here, at least for Konoha.

They want to try to avoid war.

This is probably when the idea of the Chunin exams came to be.

*

Now the next gen, I will say is the Parent Generation. These are the parents of the majority of Naruto’s cohort in academy and as ninja peers.

Their parents fought in the 2nd Great Ninja War, while they were young. Like, no, daddy’s not here because he’s on the front lines and momma’s been injured real bad so she can’t be a shinobi anymore.

They grew up in war-time, if not at war. There was a break for about a decade and then came the 3rd Great Shinobi War, which they fought in as teens and young adults.

This results in a sort of mental dichotomy. You have parents being loving parents, yet also very capable killers. Most of those shone here are remarkably mentally stable, caring to friends, killers to enemies.

Although nothing really explains the Yondaime’s actions to Naruto except him being a village leader and securing power in Konoha for a future generation. It’s nice that you believe in him, but that is not how you fatherhood.

*

The next generation is the Sensei-generation, being about a decade younger than the Parent Generation.

Raised in war-time, fought in war as young teenagers. Comrades dying and so on. Very terrible, very traumatic. 

Itachi catches the tail-end of this generation, severely traumatized by the one battlefield he saw. To the point he doesn’t want war but wants to dedicate his life to that of pacifism. Itachi makes no sense, really.

Also, Kabuto also is here. As a baby, but he’s here.

*

The next generation is the Kyuubi-generation, being mostly made of Naruto’s peers and a little older. They grew up in peace, and the first death they experienced personal loss for was Asuma’s, followed by Neji’s sacrifice.

Any other death related to enemy-shinobi so that was just business. Even then, they seem remarkably hesitant to kill? Except Sasuke and Gaara.

No one is denying that they’re talented but they’re very soft and underprepared for actual war and death. Like Gaara killing in the Forest of Death freaked Team 8 out a lot.


Sixth Point:

Villages are new. Village politics are new.

Sandaime had two examples to look up to on how to rule Konoha. The Shodai, and Nidaime.

I get the feeling that the Shodai wasn’t much of a policy maker/ruler? Like here, I make village. Laws um… ask my brother.

Now the Nidaime, being a genius can actually apply his genius intellect to ruling. Like bureaucracy, fear him. He probably set up all sorts of regulations, laws and so on. We know he had a hand in creating the Konoha Military Police, he probably created AnBu too.

When the Sandaime took office, both of them were also very dead.

So Sarutobi ends up working international politics, village politics and so on without a mentor or much of a clue to go on. Just saying that Sarutobi earned his Hokage hat in war, finished the war, while trying to figure out how to Hokage. He then raised his students, got married and had kids, and so on while trying to Hokage and parent at the same time, which was more difficult seeing as how Asuma ran to the Daimyo-Guard and his sibling is never mentioned?

Sarutobi also has to deal with the generational shifts and the mindset in his shinobi. Don’t want war?

I’ll see if I can avoid it. Would you be willing to sacrifice one of your members Hyuuga-clan? Thank you. War averted.

See the think about Sarutobi is that he adapted his mindset for when there’s peace vs when there’s war. He became a parent who could be a loving father and a God of Shinobi.

Danzo didn’t. Danzo is still very much a CWS. Survivors don’t make good rulers. They’re too busy working on surviving to rule in any long-term feasible way.


Point Seven:

When you write a Naruto character please pay attention to their world and what it means to them/how it has effected them.

This means generational mind-sets, the history of the world, the ideology of shinobi and how closely a character adheres to that.

I have my issues with the manga and anime itself, but these are the issues I have with fandom. Kishi’s rather terrible with strong female leads but he was very good at showing how generations, history and parents -or lack of- shaped his characters.

Both good and bad.

What say you @blackkatmagic and @hiruma-musouka

Romanced companions react to sosu singing kid!Shaun to sleep and having a surprisingly beautiful voice - PART I - the boys

(spoiler in the ask if you haven’t find out what happened to Shaun, also in Danse’s, X6′s, Nick’s and Maxson’s reaction)

(I personally loved writing these, thank you :) That being said, I think this may  just be one of mypersonal faves out of all the reactions I’ve done. I decided to take some more time on this because well I got inspired and wanted longer stories cause of it. Also tried to give some insight in the Shaun / companions dynamic to an extent. This is the first part, I will get back to this for the girls later. Also thank you so much for the compliment! Knowing these entertains and sometimes moves people is what I do this for ^^ I can add Sturges on request, too. Probably will add him to this post at some point in time regardless.)

Nick  (Extra long one cause damnit, I can’t believe I forgot him the first time.)

Nick made a fantastic step-dad for Shaun. After a while, Sole reluctantly agreed to let Nick tell Shaun what he really was. He figured the boy had the right to know, make sure he didn’t have to go through what Danse went through. Sole was hesistant about it all, it had taken even Nick a long while to accept who he was. But Nick explained that was exactly why this was important; doing what’s right. Making sure that he didn’t grow up thinking he was just some imposter. They decided Nick should bet he one who told him, because Sole couldn’t bring themself to it.
Sole found Nick with Shaun next to him on the couch. He looked shocked, Sole felt horrible about it. Nick may be the man with all the answers, but Sole hoped this was not that one time he got it wrong. “But I’m not real! I shouldn’t even be here!” Nick shook his head “Chin up, kid. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not supposed to be here. Sure, you’ve got some memories that aren’t your own but you can still be your own man.” “But I’m not human!” “You feel human, don’t you? Right here.” He poked his finger where Shaun’s heart was supposed to be. You love like a human, you think like a human, you can appreciate beauty like a human. In all the important ways, you are one. You’re as important as anyone else, ya hear me? Maybe more so because you see your mom/dad? They love you. For who you are. And they should, you’re a great kid.” He tossled Shaun’s hair. Shaun hugged Nick. “What do you mean with ‘appreciating beauty’?” “Like when your dad/mom sings you to sleep, you like that don’t you?” Shaun shook his head. “They don’t sing to me. They just tell me stories.” “Well, first time for everything.” Nick’s keen eyes had noticed Sole the moment they entered. “Go on.” “Nick…” “Sole.” Sole sighed, tucked Shaun in and sung him a lullaby. Shaun seemed to like it. After they left the room,
Sole  exhaled loudly, Nick kissed them on the forehead. “I was hoping you’d be an okay singer, make sure the boy would be able to really appreciate it. I had no clue that you could even give Magnolia a run for her money.” Sole smiled. “I thought you were one of those stand-up honest guys, Nick.” He smiled as his bright yellow were fixed on them “Seems like you’re a good judge of character.” Sole shook their head. “No, cause that was obviously a lie.” “It’s not. You’re an incredible singer. If this saving the Commonwealth gig ever wears you out, you could always start a singing career. “ Sole chuckled “I dunno Nick, somene needs to keep the raiders off of your back when you try to steal back their victim.” Nick smiled. “Ya know, with all that’s happened to you… you’re still a great mother. And I will watch over your son and guard him with all my strength and heart. He’s my son too, now.” “Thanks Nick, that means a lot.” And hey,the singing seems to be a good way to help him deal with this. And I’d be lying if I’d say I wouldn’t want to be there for that more often, too.”



Hancock

Hancock never seized to be amazed by them. Nothin’ short of a miracle how they could wreak havock over the Commonwealth one moment and sound like an angel the next. He just looks at them, startling Sole when they turn around. “Oh f… Hancock, damn I didn’t see ya there.” “ Please, don’t mind me. Just admirin’ the view and voice. Carry on, sweetheart.” “I don’t really do singing for an audience.” “Not even for yours truly?” “Hmm… No.” Hancock kneeled down next to Shaun. “Hey kiddo, whatcha think? Mommy/Daddy is an artist don’t cha think? What about havin’ em perform in Goodneighbour like a real rockstar.” Shaun got that familiar look of pure excitement in his eyes as he started to nod and whine to Sole that they had to do that. Sole regretted ever teaching Shaun to say please. For a ghoul, Hancock was suprisingly good with kids, especially once they got past the way he looked. Sole shook their head ‘ Noooo.” Shaun started to pout, Hancock looked at him ‘hey, good idea kid” and mimicked it. “Oh for crying out loud.” Hancock got up and right next to her ear went “Say yes.” 

Sole laughed. “Oh I’m gonna regret this.” “Naaah.” That’s exactly how Sole ended up on stage. Hancock convinced Shaun to join them on stage too. He figured there was no better way of ensuring he’d hear that great voice more often than getting Sole to record some of ‘em. And he may have bribed some people to ask them for autographs, too. Juuust to be sure. 

MacCready

Walked into the room clapping until Sole ran to him on tiptoes ( a sight to behold) and grabbed him by the wrists. “SHHH! I just got him to sleep.” “He’s not asleep. He’s pretending to be so he can read that comic under his pillow.” Sole gave him a look. “Which he got his hands on how precisely?” MacCready shrugged “ Someone has to teach ‘m some culture.” “ ARE YOU IMPL.” MacCready put his finger on their mouth “shhh, he’s not sleeping. Give the kid  chance to make it convincing.” 

Originally posted by pvpsx

“I gotta take that comic away from him Mac. He needs to sleep.” “Let the kid be a kid. Duncan turned out fine too and he did that every night. Takes after his dad. C’mon.” Sole reluctantly followed him. “To where?” MacCready whipped a guitar from under his bed. It wasn’t in great shape anymore but seemed like it’d do the trick. “In Little Lamplight I learned to play guitar. If I can get you to sing more often, I’d teach you. Deal?” Sole was intruiged. “Who says you’re any good?” “Oh really? “ He started playing the notes to a song Sole remembered as one of her favourites. So he remembered. “Now you sing.” “MacCready no…” “Ah, come on Sole. It’s just us here. And I’ve heard you already so damage is done. Or are you just too scared to sing?” He knew Sole had the bad habit of jumping on top of any challenges given. Sole started to sing and MacCready tried to remember the cords but got carried away by their voice. He eventually stopped playing just to stare at them and listen after the song ended Sole looked at him. “MacCready, what happened to playing the guitar?” “Hm? Sorry.” Sole had never seen MacCready look at them in such awe, not even after getting a perfect headshot. “ About those lessons though?” “right.” He came to sit behind Sole and guided them in playing the guitar until he brushed back their hair “You know, Shaun’s asleep now. Wanna practice for making him a brother or sister?”.

Danse

He froze in place when he heard the singing. Some things made him feel unbelievably human, made him believe that he was more than a machine indeed. He cherished those things, loved them for they proved Sole right, proved that his whole life was more than just a lie. And this one, the way he felt his heart melt at the sound of such an beautiful sound, really struck a cord. Was that Sole? He had to find out. He valued their time alone with Shaun and refused to impose on it unless they asked him. Drawn to the sound, he slowly opened the door it came from. “Sole?” “Oh Danse, keep your voice down. I just got Shaun to sleep.” Sole gently pushed Danse back where he came from and closed the door. “ What’s wrong?” “ Nothing is wrong… I heard you sing.” Sole smiled. “Hasn’t anyone ever told you that eavesdropping is rude, Danse?” He suddenly felt ashamed for breaching their privacy with their son. The son that appearantly had more in common with him than he originally hoped. Danse had mixed feelings about Shaun originally, he reminded him too much of himself, of his own situation, but grew attached to him. At this point he was convinced he’d fight, kill and die for this child,  as he would for his mother/father.. “ Could you please sing again?” “I dunno Danse, I only sing nursury rhymes. I can’t actually sing you know.” “ With all do respect, Sentinel, I disagree. You’ve told me the reasons why I am no mere fraud. Why I deserve to live. I may not deserve you but you make me feel alive.” “Is this one of those things you talked about before? Little things that make you feel human? You can’t seriously claim that my singing…” “I do. You have the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard.” “Ok.” Sole started to sing, softly as Danse listened to her intently. When he was staring into their eyes it felt like the world dissapeared and there was nobody but the two of them. When they stopped singing Danse got close to them. “I really want to kiss you.” “Then what the hell are you waiting for?” Danse kissed Sole first gently and then more intensely. “I love you. And I wish there was a way to make you see you the way I do.” 


Synth!Codsworth:

Codsworth was on his way to the nursery when he heard Sole’s familiar voice. He always had considered it quite beautiful but this time, this body, resonded in a strange way to it. He was overwhelmed by emotions and felt tears welling up in his eyes. Memories of better times in which Sole was still happy at home came rushing back, but he was mainly moved by the sheer beauty of Sole’s voice. He didn’t quite understand why he reacted so strongly to this, as he never had before. Sole stopped singing and sneaked out of the door. “Codsworth, what’s wrong? Did something happen? Are you okay?” “Yes, I’m quite allright. My apologies Mum/Sir but I must say your singing voice is …” Sole squinted and tilted their head as they asked ‘Oh… you’re crying over my singing? Is it that bad?” Sole was a little bit annoyed since he had heard her singing before and never mentioned it. “ Not in the slightest Mum/Sir. It is,in fact, quite extraordinary. “ Sole tried to hold back a smile. “You’re moved by my singing? To tears?” “It would appear so.” Sole shook their head. “Mum/Sir… is this normal? Ehm, Happy crying? Because your singing does give me a … warm feeling, like fluttering butterflies”. “I guess you’re just better at showing you’re emotional now.” Sole pulled Codsworth into a hug. “I do apologize for this strange physical reaction to something beautiful.” Sole knew that Codsworth would be the last person to ever lie to them about what he thought of their singing and didn’t question it, feeling flattered even. “It’s okay Codsworth.” Sole kissed away some tears. 

Originally posted by allyourgifrelatedneeds

Deacon

Deacon waited at Shaun’s door for Sole. “Hi hot stuff.” “How long have you been standing here?” “Long enough to hear you should make money off of singing at the Third Rail too. Why didn’t you tell me? I could be your manager. Actually, I have a great outfit lying around for that.” “What are you talking about, I can’t sing.” Sole brushed him off and carried on, outside the room. Deacon only a couple of steps away. “ But seriously; you are a great singer. Do you take requests by any chance?”  “Nope. Sorry groupie,all out of songs for today.” “But what about tomorrow?” Deacon kept getting in Sole’s way, walking backwards in front of them. Sole sighed “ Ya know what, as soon as you convince someone to do a duet with you BEFORE tomorrow, I’ll sing for you again.” “DEAL!”  Sole figured he would never find someone willing to do this. That was until they, the next day around the time Shaun had to get to bed again, walked in on Deacon and Shaun with KISS paint on their faces and fake guitars in hand. They didn’t notice them at first. Deacon’s singing was terrible, Shaun didn’t do much better. “So, remember, imagine a crowd of girls, or boys whatever you’re into, chanting your name. Can you hear ‘em kiddo? ‘We love you Shaaaaaun’. “ Sole had to hold back laughter when they heard Deacon mimic a typical groupie’s voice.” Why do we have to do the facepaint?” “Cause we’re performers. And that means looking like a rock god.” “Is this how gods look?” “Well we’re rockgods so now they do.” Sole cleared her throat. “AH! Our audience has arrived!” They sounded terrible but Sole lost the bargain and sung for them, too. After which they spent about an hour getting the paint off of Shaun’s face… They intended to let Deacon help with that but he was too busy scrubbing off his own face paint. Shaun ran up to Deacon and hugged him. Deacon tossled his hair a bit. “Thank you D-man.” “Anytime Shaunator.” Shaun went to bed and fell asleep pretty fast. “D-man? Shaunator?” “Artist’s names. Do you want one, too?” “Sure, why not.” “Gorgeous. It’s the only one that matches you.” Sole shook their head. “Gotta hand it to you ‘D-man’, you make a pretty good step-dad.” Deacon smiled, a genuine smile, not one as part of his disguises or acts. “But about your singing career…” “DEACON”  

Maxson

Maxson had a very hard time having Shaun staying over at the Prydwin on a regular basis. He knew Shaun was a synth, Sole had told him. Right before she threatened to single-handedly shoot the Prydwin from the sky with all of the crew on it if he dared lay a finger on him, regardless of their history together. They had a massive fight over her accepting him as if he were their real son… right until they explained who their real son was. And before he saw her crying for the first time, in anger, over how they deserved this second chance after all they’d done to save the Commonwealth.
 The crew, however, didn’t know about Shaun’s true identity. They also didn’t know about the connection between real-life Shaun and Sole. Even their relationship with Maxson was under wraps, few knew although it was a raging rumour neither of them confirmed. Having Sole as his right hand ensured this was possible. Maxson had a dirty little secret and he knew it damn well. That didn’t take away that he protected the child, because the woman he loved loved it. He would never be able to see him as his son, but also wouldn’t let any harm come to him. He waited for Sole outside the synth’s room, and overheard them singing. It was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. There was very little room for music within the brotherhood, so this was no less than a revelation to him. He waited until Sole left the bedroom quietly. It was adjacent to Sole’s own private quarters. “ Sentinel.” “Maxson we’re alone, stop using my title.” “Please come to my office.” Sole did as he said, rolling their eyes at how formal he still was. That’s when they noticed their door was open. “Certainly, elder.” They left, Sole closing the door and asking Haylen to keep an eye out. Haylen knew, about all of it. As soon as he locked the door behind them, Maxson kissed Sole and trew them on the bed. “Woah, eaasy.Not complaining but what’s up?” “I heard you singing, I saw you. You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen or heard Sentinel.” “ And this is how you respond to that?” “ It made me realise how damn lucky I was to find you. I want you to record a song or two so I can listen to it when you’re away from me.” “Which is when, exactly?” “When you go to that settlement of yours?” “I dunno.” “That’s an order, Sentinel. “ “What did I tell you about orders in the bedroom?” Maxson grinned. “But this is necessary for the brotherhood as it soothes me. You told me I had ‘anger issues’ to work on, I will require your aid to achieve that Sentinel.” 

Preston 

“Sole…” he stopped in his tracks when he heard them. If they’d play that on the radio he’d actually listen to it sometimes. Wow… “Babe, I never knew you could sing like that.” “You were eavesdropping on me?” “I want to say something without you getting mad.” The actual reason he was there, was because a settlement needed help again, what he wanted to say but he figured he could ask someone else to help him take care of it. “Preston…” “Nope, I’ll be back in like a couple of hours.” Preston went off on his own, their voice still echoing in his head. Well, if this mission’d be the end of him at least he had gotten the chance to hear that magnificent sound. He returned, as promised, to Sole when night had fallen. “I heard you went to defend a settlement?” “Yeah, I did. I’m sorry about disturbing you with Shaun, I know you value your time with him.” “I do. Are you okay?” Sole checked a rather nasty cut on his cheek. “Yeah… although you know what would help?” “A kiss to make it better?” “Tempting babe, but no. Sing for me, please? It’s what got me through that battle there. At some point I got cornered and heard that voice in my head again and I knew I had to make it back to you.” Sole tilted their head. “Ok. But let’s do it while I get you patched up, okay?” He threw his arm around Sole who supported him. Focussing on their voice actually made him forget the wounds. When Sole asked him to have a go at singing too, it turned out he was a pretty decent singer. “Preston, you’ve asked me if I was okay with you bonding with Shaun?” “Yes, and I understand why you have your reservations.” “I don’t. I want you to come along and maybe we can both sing to him? Or you can try singing him to sleep?” “After hearing your voice I’m sure mine sounds terrible.” “No, it doesn’t Preston.” “Okay. Let’s… let’s do this.” He kissed Sole gently. 

X6-88

X6 had a surprisingly good bond with Shaun from the get-go. Sole presumed it was either becaus of some sort of misplaced loyalty towards Father, or because he felt like he could somehow identify with him because of the way in which he came to the world. X6 didn’t seem to know which one it was either. Shaun often asked for him to stay when Sole tucked him in. These sorts of traditions were foreign to the courser but he adapted to the situation and became a confidante to Shaun.
That evening, Shaun had had heard from one of the companions hat their mom used to sing them to sleep when they were small, and he asked Sole if they could do that for him, too. Sole wanted to say no but couldn’t bring themself to it when looking at that adorably hopeful look in his eyes. Sole sung for them, trying to ignore the ever vigilant courser next to them listening in. They snuck out of Shaun’s room when he seemed to be asleep. “Your voice… it’s not unpleasant.” “ Ok, as a reaction from you that equals a ‘wow’ right?” X6 looked at the inquisitively “ What is that supposed to mean?” “That you like my singing.” “Isn’t that what I just claimed?” Sole shook their head. “Sort of.” “I was wondering if you used to have a career in singing before the bombs fell.”  Sole laughed. “Ok, now you’re pushing it. I’m not that good at all.” “In my objective opinion it is a grave improvement in comparison to what they air on the radio’s.” “You’re hardly objective, you’re dating me.” “I don’t see how my romantical connection to you would cloud my judgement.” Sole blushed. “ Thanks X6″. These occasional moments of romance weren’t that rare but Sole never really saw them coming.

((Just finished re-watching Jacksepticeye’s Undertale playthrough for like the 3rd or 4th time, and now i had to do this scenario to blow off some feels~))

Scenario: *2P’s as Undertale Characters*

2P!America

Originally posted by foxydodo

Punny, lazy dorks with a Brooklyn/New-Yorker accent. Despite how lazy they are, they know when it’s time to get up and take action; when they do, there are results…before they go right back to sleep again. While they’re both badass, with a strong sense of morality and family, their real soft spot lies in their brothers. If they were to lose them…bad times will be had.

2P!England

Originally posted by akusuru

Motherly cuties that love their children with all their hearts; they understand both mercy and tough love,finding benefits in both when raising a child, and will do just about anything to ensure their safety. They are overprotective and don’t enjoy putting their children in danger, but believe that the best they can do for them is teach them how to care for themselves (even if it means they can’t spoil them as much). Plus….they both like pies.

2P!France

Originally posted by oikawasdoki

They come off as merciless, heartless people (or plants) that don’t comprehend love or any warm emotion; but that’s only because they’ve been abandoned in their time of need, and once in their lives being good nearly got them killed. Inside, they’re hurting and don’t want to be alone, but they have a hard time expressing it.

2P!China

Originally posted by ucantw1npixelates

They are both driven by materialistic things, and things that shouldn’t necessarily be their primary drive for living (money, sex, murder, etc.) but they don’t care about judgement and are comfortable enough in their own skin to accept themselves for who they are, even when others don’t. WHile they are greedy, they do believe in family and relationships and will sacrifice the things they care about most to protect them and make them happy. they are both pretty  impatient, quirky, quick to assume, and….y’know…$$$$$$$~!

2P!Russia

Originally posted by faiye

Big oafs that would rather spend their time doing more peaceful activities. They hold themselves up to a certain mature standard, and know when to hold back their strength. they are both reluctant to fight, and are uncomfortable doing it, even if it is what must be done.

2P!Canada

Originally posted by rnoonjelly

[Note: NOT CHARA…..Friiiiiisk~]

Both determined and goodhearted people who only hurt others when necessary; they’ve constantly been it with the brunt of hate, challenges, and threats, but through it all they rely on those closest to them and their innate ability to fight uphill battles to overcome those struggles. While they aren’t big on talking, their actions more than make up for their lack of dialogue. They prioritize the needs of others over their own, even when others don’t expect/ask for it.

2P!Prussia

Originally posted by jaysartblogandstuff

Self-depreciative cuties who love to help, but are constantly victims of their own anxieties and whether or not their help is actually holding their friends back. They both find comfort in activities they can do on their own (like listening to music, or drawing, etc.) and need time throughout the day to get their emotions in order.

2P!Romano

Originally posted by rare-steak

Over-the-top performers that love being the center of attention, and will go out of their way to get it. While they may not initially seem like it, they care deeply about those around them and find friends in the unlikeliest of people. Beware though, they can be your greatest ally, or your most dangerous foe~

2P!Germany

Originally posted by pbjelly4

Narcissistic dorks who believe themselves to be the hero of their own story. They can be clumsy, inept, or just plain difficult, but are loved and accepted despite this; especially by their older brothers. They find enjoyment in little things (pasta, puzzles, alcohol, etc.) and enjoy these things all the more when shared with others. They are lovers, not fighters, but this doesn’t mean they can’t fight for those they care about when it really counts.

2P!Japan

Originally posted by parangsoda

Warriors by heart who know how to take charge, kick ass, and do it with a fighting prowess that isn’t found in just anyone. They can be driven my smarts and tactics, just as much as they can be driven by sheer emotion and perseverance to progress. They believe in cowardice even less than they believe in defeat; they’d rather die fighting and without regrets, than cowardly and begging.

2P!Italy

Originally posted by leoleoleolalala

[Note: NOT FRISK…..Charaaaa~]

Some people just want to watch the world burn, y’know…and these two have their hearts set on being the ones who ignite the spark. They are both manipulative people who know how to think ahead and make pawns out of the people they seem to care about most; they take the form of the unlikeliest of threats (human children, hot italians…) and go from likable and seemingly without malicious intent, to already having a knife at your throat. beware, if you value your life, prove yourself useful or have the strength to overcome their sheer tenacity and wickedness.


((Been thinking i should trade out 2P!Spain for another 2P for scenarios….but who???))

M A S T E R L I S T // Para Titles, Character Quotes & Taglines

Below the cut you will find a list of ### possible para titles, character quotes, and potential taglines for plots based of song lyrics of the theatre group, Team Starkid. Recently I listened to the entire soundtrack for Starkid’s show Twisted again and decided to make a Masterlist. I tried to keep things as general and neutral as possible because their shows are very comical and the lyrics are often specific to the scene, but I did my best! Everything is sorted by song, and I hope you enjoy. If you found this even a little bit helpful, please like or reblog!

Keep reading

Celebrities really suck, and here's why.

Before I go any further, I’d just like to say that I definitely enjoy movies, television shows, and music as much as everyone else. The actors, musicians, artists, and performers who contribute their time and energy to these aspects of popular culture are inarguably talented, and the content they create is (to put it simply) awesome. I’m not trying to undermine the value of their work by any means, and I’m not trying to put any of them down as individuals. This post isn’t intended to demean celebrities as people, it’s simply meant to express my confusion and frustration with the fact that most people voluntarily place themselves at a lower “tier” than a very small faction of the population for literally the worst reasons. It’s extremely unhealthy for both groups, and honestly needs to be changed. Hopefully, if anyone even reads this, I can sway at least one viewpoint on Hollywood. 

I don’t get the hype with celebrities. To say people put them on a pedestal is a huge understatement. The way they’re talked about and treated annoys the living hell out of me. These are human beings, and people act as if they’re demigods. Biologically and behaviorally speaking, they’re exactly like everyone else. The only difference is that they appear on TV or in magazines, etc. Because of this reason alone, society has literally placed a higher value on them than other “average” people. Their lives matter more than yours or mine, and I think that’s complete bullshit.

If you think that’s an exaggeration, look at the Paul Walker crash. There was another living, breathing human being in the car who was killed in the exact same way. Can you tell me his name? I highly doubt it. Where are his thousands of tweets and Facebook posts? And if you’re thinking that the only reason for this was because Paul Walker was an actor and therefore was widely known, then why were there shockingly more posts after his death than after Nelson Mandela’s?? The latter literally changed lives, and some people didn’t even know who he was, nor did they care. Paul Walker was good-looking, rich, and appeared in movies that lots of people watched. People who had never met the man acted as if they had lost a lifelong friend. I can’t even tell you how many posts I saw that mentioned how great of a guy he was. How do you even know? You never knew him. He might have been the best person ever, but you have no basis to say that since you’ve only seen him in interviews or in movies. The line has been sufficiently blurred between the persona an actor takes on in movies, television, etc. and their real identity as an individual. 

Does anybody realize that by placing so much value on these people, you’re giving them immense amounts of power over you? By making Kim Kardashian famous for literally just being good looking and rich, you’re doing nothing but solidifying the idea that people who meet certain standards of beauty or who have huge amounts of money are actually worth more as human beings. The average young adult could tell you more about Josh Hutcherson’s life than they could about the bills being passed in Congress right now. People have stopped caring about relevant things because everywhere they go, they’re bombarded with the idea that the only thing that matters is being rich and beautiful. People are so enamored with trivial things that they can’t be bothered to think about things that genuinely matter. We’ve developed a shallowness and vapidness as a society that Huxley would scoff at.

How many of you could tell me who wrote Game of Thrones, Marvel Comics, etc? A number of you could name those people easily, but the vast majority of people enjoying these stories give no notice to those who actually created them. There are no t-shirts or posters of JRR Tolkien, Gene Roddenberry, Stan Lee, or George R.R. Martin.. However, I could find five websites in under a minute that have pictures of Chris Evans shirtless. If him and Stan Lee were standing in a room, people would be flocking to take pictures with Chris Evans and would be competing to get a chance to talk with him about how much they “loved Captain America” while completely ignoring the brilliant mind responsible for creating the character in the first place. 

People who are good looking are better than you are because society has made it that way. Hardly anybody cares who wrote the stories they love, they care about who looks good acting them out. We’ve placed creators underneath actors, and that’s baffling to me. 

Why do people wait for hours outside of Justin Bieber’s tour bus in hopes of even getting a glimpse of the guy? Is he really so high above you that you’re willing to waste huge portions of your time in order to hopefully get even a millisecond of his? Why do young girls make Twitter pages dedicated to the guys in One Direction and post tweets begging them to follow back? It’s just degrading and humiliating, to be honest. You don’t know anything about these people. You just like them because they were fortunate enough to get good genetics and a record deal, and those are no reasons to literally grovel for them to tweet you back. 

On top of this, famous people are scrutinized relentlessly. Being famous both adds and, in my opinion at least, severely detracts from their quality of life. Those who fall into this category can hardly leave the house without the Paparazzi in their face or fans flocking to them for autographs. I’m sure Emma Watson doesn’t appreciate going to the grocery store in sweat pants and then seeing a picture of her show up in the next issue of People magazine under some ridiculous caption like “Is Emma Watson Letting Herself Go?” Why are we so fascinated with everything these people do? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with learning about the world we’re living in than we are with finding out who’s dating who in Hollywood? Why should pictures of celebrity weddings sell for thousands of dollars? Why are we, as average citizens, surrendering our own value by placing so much more on celebrities? 

This close attention gets especially harmful when these people (emphasis on the fact that they’re people) make a mistake. They mess up once (as human beings are wont to do) and suddenly it’s front page news and the world is analyzing every detail of what they did. They have to sit there helplessly while thousands of strangers make horrible comments and pass judgement, sometimes even going so far as to blame them for being a “bad influence.”

Take Dylan Sprouse for example. So he took naked pictures and sent them to someone. I hate to break it to you, but tons of people do that literally every day. Why is it such a big deal when he does it? The guy’s what, over 20 years old? Who are you to judge him and to blame him for “being a bad role model” for your kids?? Why don’t *you* be a good role model for your kids instead of putting that responsibility in the hands of a stranger who happened to be on a TV show they liked? “But since he’s famous and popular with a particular demographic, he should know that his actions are judged more heavily than those of an average person and should act accordingly,” you might say. That’s the most bullshit rebuttal I’ve ever heard, no offense. Because he enjoys acting and was successful in Hollywood, he now owes it to you to be on his best behavior at all times since your kids look up to him? The entitlement in that argument is baffling, and yet I’ve heard it so many times. You should teach your child that television stars are just people. You should also teach them that one should choose who to emulate based on qualities that are more important than just looks and fame. I’m sure Dylan Sprouse would probably agree, as would all of the other “horrible Disney stars” that got older and did things that older people tend to do. How dare they?

I don’t know about you, but when I eventually/maybe have kids, I’m going to make sure they understand that people in Hollywood are human beings, just like us, and are therefore no better than us. I’m going to do my damnedest to teach them that there are much more important things to value in yourself and others than just looks. I’m going to teach them that there’s a difference between a character someone plays and that person’s real identity. I’m going to do my best to get them to see the value of literature, of learning about the world, and of caring about things that matter in the grand scheme of things. I want them to know who Nelson Mandela was and why it was such a tragedy that he passed away. I want them to know to model their behavior after the behavior of people they *actually* know. I hope that they would get more excited about Neil DeGrasse Tyson following them on Twitter than Miley Cyrus, for the reason that maybe they could discuss ideas with the former and learn something from him. 

I just feel like this obsession with celebrities is distracting and is one of the factors that’s “dumbing down” society. It’s created this barrier between the “average” person and famous people, and has made people okay with the idea of placing themselves beneath someone else. If young people looked up to teachers, parents, politicians, or authors the same way they look up to celebrities, our country would be in a completely different place and our generation wouldn’t have the reputation that it does.

Obviously I can’t do much to change the situation, but if anyone actually read this and understands where I’m coming from, then that’s good enough for me.

Happy 20th Anniversary, Pokemon!

Hello trainers!

Today is a very special day – as most of you know, February 27th, 2016, is the 20th anniversary of the Pokemon franchise.  This day, twenty years ago, Red and Green released in Japan on the original Game Boy.  Two years later, a ten-year-old girl in the United States decided to ask her parents to buy her the game cartridge with the red dragon on it.

Originally posted by neverwakeasnorlax

Fast forward 18 years, and there’s a 28-year-old adult wearing a Pokemon t-shirt under a Pokemon robe (it’s cold down here!), a Pokeball necklace around her neck, surrounded by Pokemon stuffed animals, posters, and collectibles, trying to come up with the best memoir she can.

We live in a really great age where it’s more acceptable to be a nerd.  I’m lucky because I can go to a plain, normal job (a nurse in a cardiology office), and geek out to coworkers and friends who might not actually know what I’m talking about, but they find it endearing anyway.  When I was ten, I played Red over and over, picking Charmander each time (I named him Firebolt, wasn’t that edgy and cool?  If Pokemon were real, I’d be such a cool trainer!  Or at least I thought!  And I’d literally go to church with my parents every weekend, kneel at the altar, and pray, “Please God, let Pokemon become real!”  Because, obviously, I didn’t have more important things to worry about in my young ten-year-old life.)

I’d stand in the playground talking Pokemon with my other ten-year-old friends (I had one friend that kept trying to trade me five Grimer cards for my single holographic Scyther card, my most prized possession.  Yeah, right!)  When the first movie hit theaters, I begged my mom to take me.  Maybe she thought the anime was silly (or “cartoon,” I didn’t know what anime was back then), but maybe she’d see the movie and go, “Wow, this is a really cool thing.  My daughter is really cool.”

(Side note, it didn’t really work out that way.  I knew I was screwed the first five minutes Mewtwo spends in the movie slaughtering all the scientists.  To this day, my mother jokingly remarks about how wrong she was that I’d “grow out of it.”)

I was hooked.  I made a fan-zine in the 5th grade about everything we knew about the upcoming Gold and Silver – which was nothing, really.  The internet was a mere shadow of what it is now, there was not the free flow of information from Japan to English-speaking nations as there is today.  All I knew is that Gold and Silver would be more.  We’d see what that phoenix-like Pokemon was in the first episode of the show, we’d get to know more about “Pikablu” (that’s Marill for you young’uns), and maybe “Mewthree” would make an appearance.  There would be Pokemon breeding (I proceeded to draw tens of Pokemon “fusions” because I assumed it would work that way).  I actually started becoming interested in the magazine aisle (Nintendo Power, man!) and I came up with Pokemon world personas of my friends, and what their “real” teams would be, and how great my life would be if I could travel around independently on the back of a Charizard.

Originally posted by toasty-coconut

I never caught ‘em all, not at first.  I was in a very small grade school and no one else kept the Pokemon Passion quite as long as I did.  And, well, you know how kids are in high school (really big jerks, everyone is a big jerk and everyone is unhappy and everyone is scared they’re a loser).  I didn’t start flying my “Pokemon Fan” flag high until college.  (And hey, kids, if any of you reading this are in high school – remember, it does get better, and you’ll often find where you belong in college and you’ll learn it is perfectly acceptable to think for yourself and have your own opinions).  When I was sixteen, I had Pokemon Red, Gold, Crystal, and Ruby at the time.  I started babysitting a kid who loved Pokemon as well, and I wanted to teach him right – so we’d watch the Pokemon anime on Saturday mornings and trade on our Game Boy Advances.  (Although he wound up stealing my Red, Gold, and Crystal cartridges later.  :( I never had the guts to confront his mother).

And in college, the glorious internet connectivity of Diamond and Pearl was born.  I played online with friends around the world for the first time.  I shiny-hunted with the PokeRadar for HOURS (seriously, was I studying?).  Of course I tackled Black/White and Black2/White2 when they graced store shelves.  I’ve never missed a beat.  Or a gen.  And Pokemon sure helped me get through things – my grandpa had just been put on hospice and we were waiting for the imminent event when Generation 5 was announced.  I cried when I looked at my computer screen at the announcement – because there was something fun, something whimsical, something that had been there for me as a kid that would continue to be with me in the future.

Originally posted by latiox

When X/Y came out in 2013, I was excited.  I was ready to fully delve back into the Pokemon fandom (I had really lost a large amount of interest during the Unova generation, I couldn’t stand the anime, and I was now married to a man just as nerdy as me).  I got X, Aticus got Y, and we proceeded to play together, and occasionally with friends.  Real life friends.  I hadn’t seen that since I was 10 years old.  I was an independent adult and could finally buy all the toys my parents were largely disapproving of for being “money wasters” (hi, replica Kanto badges, I’m looking at you).  I managed to complete a Living Dex (and promised Nintendo I would be paying for Pokemon Bank for the rest of my life).

So flash-forward to present day.  I’m standing on a hospital floor making rounds with my physician preceptor during the last semester of my master’s degree.  I’m wearing a white coat, and I have my smart phone in my pocket with all my pharmaceutical guides and other science-y stuff.  We’re checking in on patients, double-checking lab values.  Meanwhile, I’m desperately trying to watch the Pokemon Direct on mute on the aforementioned smart phone, because I just have to know.  My online and offline friends (who are Pokemon fanatics as well) are messaging me in all-caps.  You can palpate the excitement in the air.

Do you know what the worst part of it was?  I had been brainstorming what future generations of Pokemon could focus on for the story line and legendaries, and my best idea was a sort of Pokemon “Night and Day” or “Sun and Moon” where one legendary being out of balance brought endless day, the other endless night.  I should have written that down and made bets… I really should have.

But then again, I was certain from watching previous patterns we were getting “Z” this year, and Gen VII in 2017.  But I guess we can always be horribly, horribly wrong.

(And hey, going back to the whole “I prayed for Pokemon to be real” thing?  We’re waiting for Pokemon Go to release this year, a game that will, in large part, make Pokemon be as real as it can ever be in this world).  HOW EXCITING IS THAT?!

And here we are, on the 20th anniversary of a franchise that has always remained close to my heart.  Pokemon got me through a lot of times – as weird as that can be to say, or how cliche that might sound, it’s true.  It’s this really lighthearted, whimsical franchise with this magic that promises kids everywhere that things will be okay, and that the world is worth seeing, and that there are best friends out there waiting for you (it’s true).  There’s a lot to enjoy about it – (the XY/XYZ anime is really great, guys), the competitive scene is amazing, and every time, the story transports you back into the shoes of your ten-year-old self – that inner child who couldn’t wait to grow up, to go on adventures, to see the world, to be the best like no one ever was.  

“A man,” wrote an Irish poet, “is original when he speaks the truth that has always been known to all good men.”  Beau Biden was an original.  He was a good man.  A man of character.  A man who loved deeply, and was loved in return. …

Without love, life can be cold and it can be cruel.  Sometimes cruelty is deliberate –- the action of bullies or bigots, or the inaction of those indifferent to another’s pain.  But often, cruelty is simply born of life, a matter of fate or God’s will, beyond our mortal powers to comprehend.  To suffer such faceless, seemingly random cruelty can harden the softest hearts, or shrink the sturdiest.  It can make one mean, or bitter, or full of self-pity.  Or, to paraphrase an old proverb, it can make you beg for a lighter burden.

But if you’re strong enough, it can also make you ask God for broader shoulders; shoulders broad enough to bear not only your own burdens, but the burdens of others; shoulders broad enough to shield those who need shelter the most.

You know, anyone can make a name for themselves in this reality TV age, especially in today’s politics.  If you’re loud enough or controversial enough, you can get some attention.  But to make that name mean something, to have it associated with dignity and integrity –- that is rare.  There’s no shortcut to get it.  It’s not something you can buy.  But if you do right by your children, maybe you can pass it on.  And what greater inheritance is there?  What greater inheritance than to be part of a family that passes on the values of what it means to be a great parent; that passes on the values of what it means to be a true citizen; that passes on the values of what it means to give back, fully and freely, without expecting anything in return?

That’s what our country was built on –- men like Beau.  That’s who built it –- families like this.  We don’t have kings or queens or lords.  We don’t have to be born into money to have an impact.  We don’t have to step on one another to be successful.  We have this remarkable privilege of being able to earn what we get out of life, with the knowledge that we are no higher than anybody else, or lower than anybody else.  We know this not just because it is in our founding documents, but because families like the Bidens have made it so, because people like Beau have made it so.

He did in 46 years what most of us couldn’t do in 146.  He left nothing in the tank.  He was a man who led a life where the means were as important as the ends.  And the example he set made you want to be a better dad, or a better son, or a better brother or sister, better at your job, the better soldier.  He made you want to be a better person.  Isn’t that finally the measure of a man -– the way he lives, how he treats others, no matter what life may throw at him?

We do not know how long we’ve got here.  We don’t know when fate will intervene.  We cannot discern God’s plan.  What we do know is that with every minute that we’ve got, we can live our lives in a way that takes nothing for granted.  We can love deeply.  We can help people who need help.  We can teach our children what matters, and pass on empathy and compassion and selflessness.  We can teach them to have broad shoulders.

Beau lives on in the lives of others.  And isn’t that the whole point of our time here?  To make this country we love fairer and more just, not just for Natalie and Hunter, or Naomi, or Finnegan, or Maisy, or Malia, or Sasha, but for every child?  Isn’t that what this amazing journey we’ve been on is all about -– to make life better for the next generation?

Beau figured that out so early in life.  What an inheritance Beau left us.  What an example he set.

“Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  “But, above all, we have learned that whether a man accepts from Fortune her spade, and will look downward and dig, or from Aspiration her axe and cord, and will scale the ice, the one and only success which it is his to command is to bring to his work a mighty heart.”

Beau Biden brought to his work a mighty heart.  He brought to his family a mighty heart.  What a good man.  What an original.

May God bless his memory, and the lives of all he touched.

—  President Barack Obama, eulogizing Beau Biden

fuckitimpretty-deactivated20150  asked:

draco i had to do it

*cracks knuckles* EVERYBODY FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS. LET’S DO THIS.

  1. Draco always has and always will value his father’s opinion and seek his approval. He might have grown more detached from the idea of living up to his father’s glorified opinion of worthy Witches and Wizards over the years, but there’s a part of him that will always crave for Lucius to show even the slightest inkling of pride, approval, and acceptance towards his only child.
  2. Years of teaching himself to shut down compassion and empathy has severely emotionally damaged Draco, so throughout his adult life, doling out affection is extremely difficult. He finds that tearing his walls down for anyone—even in a moment of weakness—is difficult to master, no matter how frequently he struggles to overcome this personality flaw. Sometimes he grows rather frustrated with himself for it; especially when he first falls in love, or first experiences something completely overwhelming.
  3. The first time he had sex was awkward, clumsy, sweaty, and over quickly. Depending on which verse I’m thinking of, I like to picture his first time being with either Astoria, Pansy, or Hermione. I know the fandom world paints Draco as a Sex God (hell, even I’m prone to doing it from time to time; good smut is good smut, man), but I like to think that, realistically, Draco’s first (or first few tbh) times in the bedroom were all over the place.
  4. Draco never wanted children of his own growing up, so when he hears that his wife is pregnant, he begins to panic. Not only because he thinks he’s unready for children, but because he fears he won’t be an adequate parent. However, the first time he holds his child, his fears temporarily ebb away. He’s still terrified as hell and feels the weight of the world resting on his shoulders, but…one look at that baby and the realization it’s his changes everything.
  5. While his father’s still thriving, Draco takes up a position at the Ministry of Magic as a Potioneer. Over the course of several years of hard work and dedication (and impatiently waiting for his coworkers to get over their prejudice associated with him and his family), he’s able to work his way up the career ladder. By the time he’s Head of the Potions Department, Lucius decides to train him on the side in order to prepare him for becoming the C.E.O. of the Malfoy Apothecary business that’s been in his family for generations. And, when the time comes, he’ll assume his father’s role as head of the company.
  6. The war battered Draco up for a while; to the point where he didn’t really know what to do with himself. He’d spend nights terrified of closing his eyes, for fear that images of the war would flash across his mind and corrupt his dreams. He’d develop nervous ticks and habits that only people close to him would notice after weeks of studying him…like the way he fidgets with his hands whenever the mention of the Second Wizarding War comes up, or how after he’s moved into his own flat, he has to double check that every window and door is locked, sealed, and charmed before he can safely head to bed that evening.
  7. Draco marries someone suitable for companionship. He doesn’t marry for wealth, money, status, or a way to save what’s left of his crumbling family name. He marries for love, no matter the blood status or financial/social security of his spouse. He marries someone who makes him happy and who understands that he can’t always express “I love you” in the most conventional of ways. He marries someone who can make him laugh and smile; who he wakes up next to on lazy Sunday mornings and just thinks “How did I manage to snag you?” Someone who calls him out on his bullshit, but is also secretly arrogant and smug themselves. Someone who suits him in every way possible, because damn it, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s people claiming Draco married for convenience.
  8. His children aren’t allowed to ask for, talk about, bring up, or insinuate about anything concerning ferrets. Ever.
  9. Draco never explicitly told Scorpius to try and be a better man than he ever was…it was in the subtle things he said and did; in the way that he told his son that Slytherin was obviously the most suitable House…but Ravenclaw would suffice well as a second choice. It was in the way he informed his son that his heritage was important…but not everything. It was in the way he’d listen to Scorpius confess that his classmates were attacking him for his surname and he’d kneel down and whisper: “You aren’t your father or your grandfather…you didn’t taint the name. We did.”
  10. Despite the implication that Draco was at a state of neutrality with the Golden Trio, he’ll never ever ever ever stop referring to Harry by his surname or Ron by “Weaselbee.”

That was more than five, wasn’t it?

On Writing Fantasy

In fact, I’m going to make a prediction: eight of the ten top-grossing films this year will be fantasy or science fiction. I’m pretty safe in making that bet: it’s been true every year for the past 20 years.

Yet many folks don’t recognize how important fantasy is in our lives.

I grew to love fantasy as a child, sitting on my mother’s knee, as she told me bedtime stories like “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Hansel and Gretel.” I don’t think that I recognized that animated stories—cartoons like Bugs Bunny or movies like Peter Pan—were roughly the equivalent of those bedtime stories.

Yet fantasy permeates society and my love for it blossomed as a child—from bedtime stories to cartoon, from cartoons to comics and fables and myth, from myth to more contemporary fantasies in the form of novels.

So what is fantasy for? What good is it?

Quite simply, fantasy is what we as storytellers use to hold the attention of our audience as we prepare to tell them something important.

Whenever something strange is introduced in a story, it grabs the attention of the audience. Whether we speak of a haunted house, or bring out a ghost, or have a character sucked back in time as we introduce a strange conflict, that grabs the reader’s attention, but quite often the story carries lessons that are of more value than mere entertainment.

In Homer’s The Odyssey, we learn about the need for courage to face the future, but we also learn about the duties that soldiers owe to brothers, and the ethics of how one should entertain strangers in our own homes, and so on.

In the same way, fantasy today carries lessons for life. I have a theory about fantasy. I suspect that the human brain is incapable of storing most of the information that we need to know in order to really understand the world. So very often, ancient history gets stored under the guise of fable.

Let me see if I can explain it more clearly. Take an incident from your own family history, something far in the past, and try to examine what you really know about it. The truth is, you probably don’t know anything—just the fable.

Keep reading

Title: Konoha High
Prompt: Boarding school (Day 26)
Theme: In another life (AU)

-

-

“I don’t want to do this,” I said for maybe the eleventh time since I arrived to Japan. “I want to stay in Switzerland. I liked my school there. I don’t even like speaking Japanese anymore.”

“You can speak German in Konoha High all you want,”my brother replied evenly, gazing at the tall trees we drove by. “They are very advanced when it comes to languages. There are plenty of foreign students, too.”

“I don’t care about the students,” I snapped, growing more annoyed by the second.

“Well, you should. Many of them are from very important families all over the world. If you want to go to college in Tokyo, making some connections might be useful.”

“I don’t even know if I want to go to college there, Itachi! It’s just an option. I’m still considering other places, such as London. A lot of my friends are going there. Maybe staying in Europe is a better idea-”

“You know it’s not. You’ll turn eighteen soon, Sasuke, which means you’ll be legally able to take a position in the company. You need to be close to Tokyo. You can’t just fly over every weekend-”

“Well, it’s not like we can’t afford it.”

“It’d be utterly unnecessary.”

“So is sending me here in my last fucking year of high school.”

Keep reading

10 things dance teachers want viewers of "Dance Moms" to know

Technically, I’ve been teaching dance since I was 17. But professionally, only since my early 20s. I currently work as a competitive ballet and tap teacher for a very new studio. I teach the same 12 girls and one boy every week and my love for them runs deep, because my love for dance runs deep. My students range in age from 9—16.

I often talk to parents who are not “dance parents” themselves but viewers of the now hit show, “Dance Moms.” For those who watched during the first season, it might have given an at least exaggerated version of reality concerning the competitive dance world. But for now not only is the show incredibly overdramatized, the situations they’re fabricating aren’t even ones which typically arise in the dance industry.

It saddens me that many children with potential to be artists and dancers could be deterred from the world that I have been immersed in since I was a tween because of misconceptions created by a silly TV show.

Here are a few things I wish people knew about dance:

  1. Solos aren’t given out and taken away like candy.
    Here’s how it works: at the beginning of the season (September) dancers and their families will usually put in requests for extra numbers they want to do — solos, duets, trios, small groups. Factors that go into the decision include money, skill and the teacher’s will to put that much time into the student. A teacher wants to strike the balance between challenging the student and giving them a routine they can be confident with (and have a decent shot at winning the division). A solo (or duet or trio) will not be given arbitrarily or for a silly reason just as it will not be taken away arbitrarily or for a silly reason. It can be taken away if you aren’t prepared or have been injured or extremely disrespectful, but those are extremely rare circumstances.
  2. Yes, the win is important, but it’s not everything, and even the harshest of teachers know that.
    Dance teams can be big. I’ve seen dance teams with more than 100 kids (or, by contrast, the one for my studio, which is only 13). I can count on one hand the number of times my studio entered only one dancer in a single division, let alone age category. In plain English, that means it’s rare that a studio would only even submit a single senior lyrical solo — they might have several of their seniors in the lyrical category, and multiple senior dancers dancing solos. This means that there’s no way everyone’s going to get first.
  3. There’s a lot more tolerance for losing than you think — because we don’t really consider it “losing.”
    Dance competitions are not one-dimensional. Yes, everyone’s ideal result is first place overall. For many, they walk into the competition knowing that that won’t happen. But there’s also other things they can shoot for — winning the division. Getting a platinum. Winning a special award. Performing better than you ever have before. Trust me, even the toughest dance teachers appreciate those “little victories.”
  4. In-studio rivalries are, at their worst, friendly.
    To say rivalries are non-existent is naive. To say that studios don’t have a “favourite” (and sometimes even to an unfair degree) is also incorrect. But teachers will not feed animosity or negative “rivalries.” In Season One, re: Maddie and Chloe, Abby used to proudly say that they motivate each other. Since embracing her evil-witch persona, Abby no longer has that philosophy. However, this is the right way to use a “rivalry.” In many cases, the fiercest “rivals” at studios are the best of friends.
  5. We can be harsh — but the good ones never make it personal.
    I have students that I have to separate in class. I have students that I have to get downright mean-sounding to. “Push your hip forward. I tell you every week.” “Round your elbows, I shouldn’t still have to tell you this!” Sometimes it starts to wear on them and they look upset. At the end of every class I make sure everyone knows that I’m not picking on them by giving them a “good job” or a “keep working.” Something encouraging. Sometimes I even give them a hug. A good teacher makes sure her students know that we’re not attacking them. We want to see them improve. Yes, they frustrate us, but we still love them, which any parent can identify with. And we will never hurl personal insults, whether it’s based on their mother or them, their words or their actions. We know that’s just tacky.
  6. We don't think dance should come before school.
    Whenever I teach ballet I will tell them a term in French and ask if they know what it means. When I’m met with blank stares, I tell them to pay more attention in French class. When I ask them what Vaudeville is as I teach them time steps and they have no idea I tell them to ask their history teacher. Dance teachers want dedication and when the dancers are in our care we expect them to be focused on dance. But at the same time we know that school is also a priority not just for them but for their parents. They need good grades to get into those college and university dance programs. They need to know the importance of homework. We all know that dance careers are temporary — in many cases, that’s why we’re teaching and not performing ourselves (or in my case, it’s because we’re just not amazing performers). Every dancer needs something to fall back on.
  7. A team does not shapeshift at the drop of a hat.
    Dancers are not replaced mid-season. Dancers do not switch studios in February. Teams do not hold large auditions for a single dancer on their junior competition team. Dance teams do not have “guest dancers” that come in for a single week. Dancers are not given solos the day of a competition (or recital — yeah, Kelly had a point). Dance families usually don’t uproot their lives to move to a competitive dance studio across the country (I’ve seen some families who move to major cities like NYC or Toronto in order for their child to attend an independent school such as Canada’s National Ballet School, but most of the time they send the kids to live in dormitories).
  8. On that note: the Abby Lee Dance Company isn’t one of the great American dance teams.
    Have you ever been to an audition for American Idol? So You Think You Can Dance? I have attended Canadian Idol auditions (with my sister; I was too young to audition) and have friends who have tried out for So You Think You Can Dance, Canada. You know what no one tells you? There are pre-televised auditions in which the selection process has nothing to do with talent and everything to do with entertainment value. Perfectly talented people are turned down in favour of people who are simply more camera-friendly. The ALDC was not picked for this show for their talent. Yes, the girls are talented and hard-working. But they hardly had the “reputation” Abby claimed they had prior to their being featured on National TV. Even their individual dancers weren’t exactly known in the dancing world. Yes, they held a few National titles (so did my second studio and I’d never say we were one of the top studios in the country). Yes, they have a few alumnae who are working (see my previous point). But as a studio they’re basically indistinguishable from any other “good” competitive studio, even in the Pittsburgh area. People who cross the country to dance on her team aren’t doing so for the instruction. They’re doing so for the camera time.
  9. There’s more ways to succeed in the dance industry than dancing “on Broadway.”
    Dancing in a musical is certainly a feat to accomplish. It requires singing chops and acting chops (something some studios teach, but not all). There’s also other commercial work such as music videos and, well, commercials. We’ve heard a great deal about these forms of success from Abby’s dancers. But there’s a reason we only hear about that — because she’s only preparing them for the commercial world of dance. Commercial dance is arguably more lucrative but a shorter career — you work as long as you look young, have a tight tummy, have hair to flip and have flawless skin. But there’s also ballet companies, contemporary companies, conventions, dance therapy, studios that need teachers and choreographers, etc. Also, it’s worth noting that dance teachers understand that not everyone wants to be a professional dancer. And we don’t discourage people from pursuing other paths at all — but we’d like to see everyone dancing for as long as possible. Whatever brings joy into their hearts brings joy into ours.
  10. Most importantly: no matter how old they are, no matter how serious they are, we are always having fun. We do not want dancers who do not find joy in what they do.
Interview with Lisa Hanawalt

Illustration from Hot Dog Taste Test (Drawn + Quarterly), by Lisa Hanawalt.

I recently chatted with illustrator and character creator/producer for the animated show Bojack Horseman on Netflix at the Small Press Expo (SPX) in North Bethesda, Md. We talked about her new book, Hot Dog Taste Test, how she got into comics, and advice for new artists.

On her new book:

This book is a collection of work I’ve done over the last 2 years. I did an interview with a professional chef for Lucky Peach magazine, I go to all-you-can-eat buffets in Vegas… there’s a lot of food in there and then there’s a lot of other stuff that’s kind of not really about food. Like comments about birds and about my family. So it’s sort of like a one-woman anthology.

And its hilarious title:

I do really like hot dogs, but not as much as I just like the way “hot dog taste test” sounds. I just like the grouping of words. It sounded funny to me. It kind of gets to my weird sense of humor. 

I was just on tour and I was going to different locations around the country and a lot of them had hot dogs at the signings. Like, “Here’s a special hot dog that we had designed for you for your signing!” But it would be like blue cheese and whiskey soaked meat and I’m like, “Oh, I’m not going to eat that.”

Illustration from Hot Dog Taste Test (Drawn + Quarterly), interior page 39, by Lisa Hanawalt.

On coming to SPX for 10 years:

It’s a show that I first came to exactly 10 years ago just as a fan. It’s weird now that I can look back and reflect in a little bit on my career and see that 10 years is a long time but it’s also not that long. I hope it’s inspiring to younger cartoonists to maybe look up to me now to see like, okay it did take a while to get where I am, but you’ll get there eventually. It just happened step-by-step. It’s kind of cool to see the cycle turnover and the new comics people coming up now.

On not stressing out:

I’ve slowed down a little bit now that I’m older. I can’t generate work and stay up all night the same way I could in my early twenties, but even if that sounds a little sad it’s not. It’s actually a nice thing to be forced to take better care of myself and to value myself for things other than just making comics. I can relax in the park and I’m still a good person.  I’m trying to de-stress myself and it’s really hard because I’m a stressed-out person. I like to put a lot of pressure on myself.

I’ll watch relaxing shows like the Great British Bake-Off or rom-coms (romantic comedies). I take baths, paint my nails… just you know, stupid little things that seem really frivolous. I’ll go running with my dog sometimes I go horseback riding or anything physical is actually really good way to relax. It’s okay to sometimes just lay on the couch and not draw. I’m still trying to tell myself that.

Illustration from Hot Dog Taste Test (Drawn + Quarterly), interior page 5, by Lisa Hanawalt.

On keeping a sketchbook:

I do carry a sketchbook just in case. I always have it with me. I don’t always use it but sometimes it’s nice to know I can whip it out if I’m bored during a meeting or anxious or if I’m on a scary airplane flight I can always whip it out and draw people falling. That always makes me feel better for some reason.

I love to draw other people if they don’t notice.  I don’t like it if they notice me drawing. That’s always a risk. I had someone once say “Hey don’t draw me!” and I was like, “oh okay, I’m sorry… it doesn’t even look like you.. I was drawing you as a cat so, relax.”

On becoming a cartoonist:

I studied art at UCLA, but I don’t think you need to go to Art School.  I think for me it was nice to go to a very conceptual school so it help to teach me better how to think in a critical way. We had a lot of critiques where I had to walk people through my work and I think that’s actually super helpful for the job that I do now. I have to stand up in front of people and explain my design choices. But school wasn’t great for teaching me how to actually draw, which is fine–I don’t care about using proper perspective of anatomy or whatever. It didn’t quite prepare me to work as an artist. The school kind of made it seem like, “Well, you’ll just have gallery shows when you graduate,” and it’s not how it works. I had to start doing illustration jobs which they didn’t prepare me for it all, but it worked out.

It turns out it doesn’t matter what you go to school for. It really doesn’t matter at all. I know a lot of people who went to school for philosophy, but they’re not like philosophers now, they’re comedians and stuff, but I’m sure it informed them in some way.  I always tell young people you don’t have to figure out what you want to do right when you graduate. I got in my car and drove around the country for a couple of months and then I just got a job as a secretary for two years and made art on the side and it really helped to have that time to develop my voice on my own.

It takes a long time and there isn’t one direction or path to get there and you can’t really expedite or speed it along in any way.

On humor and her influences:

Illustration from Hot Dog Taste Test (Drawn + Quarterly), interior page 22, by Lisa Hanawalt.

Linda Barry is like the wisest person but also the funnest person to talk to. I got to meet her at Comic-Con this summer and she’s just magical. She’s also a very generous person she makes whoever she’s talking to feel very special. She talks a lot about keeping a sense of playfulness in your work and kind of making artwork the way a child would play with their toys. She’s also really big on going with your gut as far as what you want to make work about and not just following the money or whatever and not just doing a job because it seems prestigious, but just making whatever work your body and mind tell you to make.

I think I developed [my sense of humor] as a defense mechanism. I was always a really shy kid so I wasn’t one to say jokes out loud, but drawing became a way of being funny that felt safe to me. And then when Twitter came along, that made it easier to to make jokes. I’ve always been drawn to comedians.