the most important thing in the universe

The Letter

‘If your reading this I must be dead.
Sounds so real when I actually write it like that, it’s a possibility after all. I mean this is a war. People die all the time and I guess it was my time and I’m gone.
If I’m not and you guys find this then stop reading.
There’s some things that are just rude and you should know not to go through people’s stuff.
I’m talking about you Pidge.
So if your still reading this…
I’m dead or your an ass hole (Keith).
So let’s start I guess.
I lance McLain being of sound mind and body write my last will and testament.

To Hunk. What could I possibly leave you that could even come close to repaying all you’ve done for me over the years? For all those times you talked me down at the Garrison and made sure I didn’t spend too much time alone with only my thoughts. I love buddy so I leave you my family. If I’m gone I need them to know what happened. I need them to know I did something with my life, that I made a difference.
To Pidge you little gremlin, I leave you the tree house I built in my backyard. I know you pretend to hate outdoors, but I’ve seen how you love to watch the trees, figured you’d appreciate getting one of your own and being able to connect to the wifi.
To Shiro. You were my hero, when I wanted to apply to Garrison everyone told me I couldn’t do it. That I was too stupid or too much of a screw up to make anything of myself. Watching you on the news actually go against the odds and become the youngest graduate ever… well it kept the dream alive and got me through some pretty dark times. To you I leave my sketch book. It’s filled with drawings of earth. Drawing really helped ground me when I felt too anxious to sleep, I’m sure you know what that’s like. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that actually hears you wandering the halls late at night. I hope that drawing can help you as much as it did me.
To Allura… look I know I flirted with you a lot, I’m sorry for that… I know I must sounded like such an idiot and a creep. I’m sorry I wasn’t a better paladin or friend. I leave you all my beauty products. That may sound like I only value your looks but I respect you so much for all you’ve done trying to fight this war with only the six of us as back up. I guess I’m trying to ask you to have a treat now and again, take as good a care of yourself as you do with us .
To Coran, your probably one of the biggest reasons I didn’t end up wallowing in self pity the whole time I was here. I don’t really remember my dad. He left when I was too young to remember him. But the time I spent with you made me feel like I knew what a dad was and I love you for that. I leave you the box under my bed. I filled it with memorabilia from all the good times we all spent together. Please keep adding to it and keep having good times without me.
Finally to Keith. Bet you thought I’d forgotten about you, hey Mullet? I’m not really sure what to write. We’ve been through so much together that I just don’t have the words to tell you how I feel. I just wish I had the courage to tell you that I really care about you while I was still around. Tell you that I love you. Wow that was scary to write. But getting it out and knowing that some point in the future you’ll know this is oddly liberating, like a weights been lifted off my shoulders. So yeah Mullet I love you. I love you so much that it hurts knowing that no matter what I do, I’ll never be good enough for you. You deserve the best, you deserve the universe… because that’s what you are to me. To you I leave you the most important thing to me. Blue. I love her dearly and I know she’s gonna be sad without me, so please keep her company. She likes songs from Mama Mia and having her claws painted, I know you know will get on great.
Wow I didn’t expect to start crying while I wrote this. Putting it all in words is hard. It’s beyond hard knowing that there’s a possibility that one day I’ll be gone and you’ll just move on. That someone else will pilot Blue and take over as a paladin for me.
I just wish that our time together would never end and I would never have to say goodbye to any of you.
But despite what you guys think, I’m not an idiot. I know I’m the weakest link and that if anyone’s gonna end up dying in the line the duty it will probably end up being me.
I suppose that doesn’t matter anymore.
What matters is that you all know that your like a second family to me and that I love you all so, so much.
Goodbye.
-Lance xxx’

—————————————-

Lance put down the pen wiping his teary eyes as he read through what he had written. He had just gotten out of the healing pod after being shot in the chest by a Glara guard during a mission gone bad.
Coming that close to death made him realise that he didn’t want to just go without knowing the people he loved knew how much he cared about.

There was a soft knocking at the door “hey Lance dinners ready” Hunk called.
“Be there in a minuet.” Lance replied folding the page and hiding the letter under his bed resting on top of his memory box. He opened the door and smiled at Hunk who took in his puffy red eyes and didn’t hesitate to give the smaller paladin a hug. “Homesick bud?”
Lance chuckled glancing back at the letter “yeah… something like that.”

It astounds me how often we fail at being able to comprehend two complex concepts at the same time.

I’ve been seeing this post going around in two forms, about how Rogue One (which I have yet to see, so please NO SPOILERS) has an extreme lack of women (including background characters). That’s a really good, important point to discuss. And then there’s a post bashing that same article, pointing to the fact that the film highlights many non-white men and dismissing the article as white feminism.

No.

Both of these may be correct.

The ability of a film to have great representation for men of different races, creeds, abilities and backgrounds does not for a moment contradict the inability of the film to have adequate representation for women of any race, creed, ability or background.

This is why I hate the “trash fire” all-or-nothing mentality. It cannot cope with the notion that something can be good and bad at the same time, in different corners and contexts. For example: something can be great for racial representation and terrible for LGBTQ+ representation. The former does not automatically make the thing great; the latter does not automatically make the thing terrible. (Key word: automatically.)

Not only that, things can have different meanings to different people based on their different experiences. For someone mixed race Asian-white, a main character like Chloe Bennet’s on Agents of SHIELD may be hugely important. For someone black, the show’s troubling history of killing off most of its black characters may be deeply problematic. Neither is wrong. 

Personal experiences shape our interpretations of things. Experiences are not universal. The world is not comprised of absolutes. The stunning lack of women in film (at every layer) intersects, of course, with the stunning lack of non-white people in film (at every layer), but neither is more or less important than the other. (Especially since the doubly stunning lack of non-white women in film is something we should talk about more.) It is not “white feminism” to point out that a film with ten character posters had only one devoted to a (white) woman (even if she is the lead), just because the remaining men are non-white. Nor is it misogynistic to appreciate the film’s focus on (male) non-white heroes.

Complex concepts can coexist.

Nothing like Homestuck has ever really been done and i doubt it can be replicated. It’s a one-of-a-kind thing. It’s pretty much in it’s own category and nothing else can even be in that category with it, nothing will ever be “The new Homestuck”, nothing will ever be like Homestuck period. Not just because of all the mixed media, symbolical double meanings, amazing world building/lore, some of the most realistic in-depth characters, and the in-jokes; but also because Homestuck has this grand sense of scale where it feels bigger than the universe, technically it is, but it’s so hard to convey the feeling of something more important than reality itself through a webcomic. But goddamn, does Homestuck pull it off. 

My wee little brother is finally going to be a freshman in college (I’m so proud :’)) and was asking me for advice the other day. It occurred to me that most of the advice I heard going into uni was stuff like “you can’t live on ramen” and “don’t strangle your roommate in their sleep.”

Solid, but also fairly common sense. I felt that most “college guides” didn’t address the real challenges I ended up facing with school and academia my freshman year, and there was other important but overlooked advice one should keep in mind. So I wrote this for him, and might as well publish it here, as a guide to any incoming freshman on The Real Things You Need To Know For College.

- Go. To Fucking. Office Hours. Especially if you’re writing a paper. Be not afraid of professors, they are nerds who want to talk this one really specific thing they’ve been working on for a decade and want to help you. I used to be afraid of office hours but now I practically live in them, ending up in some office or another talking about research projects and readings at least twice a week. Most professors love engaged & interested undergrads, and will talk you to your grave if you let them. I’ve never regretted an office hour visit.

- If you plan to go to grad school, get involved in research early and stay involved. This is easier than you think - keep an eye out for opportunities and take chances on applying to things - and GO. TO. OFFICE. HOURS. Ask profs if they know any projects you can be involved in. Ask your advisor. Ask your T.A. Let people know you’re interested.

- If you’re not going to grad school, *get an internship.* Make sure you get course credit for it if it’s not paid. Unpaid internships suck esp on top of school and jobs, but they make a huge difference when it comes to experience, your resumé, and figuring out what you want to do.

- Sometimes college is going to suck. Sometimes it’s going to be 3am and you’re at the library too broke to afford coffee, considering sleeping on the chair. Sometimes you’ll be taking 18 hours, working two jobs, and running an organization and can’t remember the last time you called your mama. Those are the most important moments of college, if you ask me. They test if you really want to be doing what you’re doing, if you’re willing to push yourself to the brink for it, or are just doing it bc it’ll make you money or your parents said so.

- If you don’t want to be doing what you’re doing, it’s okay. Talk to people about it. Reach out to professors, classmates, people in your major, and counseling and career services. People want to help you, whether you’re changing paths or turning down a side road, and their guidance will be a blessing in a troubled time.

- Don’t skip class. Just don’t. Go to even the most boring, read-off-slide-doesn’t-take-attendance class. Don’t let people tell you skipping your whole semester’s worth of classes is normal, because it’s not. You’re paying for these courses. I have anxiety, I know what it’s like to be so paralyzed you can’t even get out of bed, but make yourself at least show up, even if you’re in sweatpants-sweatshirt-no-bra spending the whole class writing on your computer. At least you’re there.
Skipping one “mental health break” class isn’t terrible but it’s a slippery slope that I’ve seen more people fall down than not. Do what’s healthy for you, and talk to student counseling if you really are having trouble wanting to go to class, but try your very best to attend every single one.

- And beyond all this, the biggest advice I could give is to have a life outside of college. If you’re taking 15+ hours and working in labs or on campus, your whole life becomes the university. It can quickly start to get overwhelming, like you can’t escape. Do something for yourself - I knit and listen to audiobooks or podcasts for at least four hours a week, as well as blog, and honestly that’s what keeps me sane. Take up ice skating at the local rink every week or plan dinner and movie dates with friends. Join a church group or start crafting or fishing or something equally quirky. Give yourself something that’s not school (and not drinking/partying) to look forward to, and it’ll make all the difference in the world.

famous quotes for your bujo

 Vincent Van gogh

  •  “In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.
  • “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.” 
  • What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” 

Plato 

  •   “The beginning is the most important part of the work.
  •  “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything”
  • “Love is a serious mental disease” 

Jane Austen 

  • “ One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.” 
  • “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”
  • “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” 

Audrey Hepburn 

  • “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” 
  • As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
  • For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” 

Bill Gates 

  • If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.
  • If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?” 
  • Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.” 

Alice Paul 

  • There will never be a new world order until women are a part of it.
  • I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic.
  • When you put your hand to the plow, you can’t put it down until you get to the end of the row.” 

Gandhi 

  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
  • An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” 
  • You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” 

Cher 

  • “ Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.
  • If grass can grow through cement, love can find you at every time in your life.
  • Women are the real architects of society.” 

Charles Dickens 

  • The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.
  • Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”
  • A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.” 

Marilyn Monroe 

  • I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.
  • Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she’ll conquer the world.”
  • It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone - so far.

Hey, guys, since I just made the second last exam of the semester, I decided to create a post where I will explain a bit how I get prepare for an exam, specifically for the oral tests. So…let’s start:

★ 1. Planning materials and hours of study.

    The first thing I do when I have to prepare myself for an exam is get hold of       the program of study and then calculate the time that could potentially use to     study everything and repeat. So in this case I recommend that you do not         arrive at the last second, but start as soon as possible to collect the study         material. I personally started studying at least one month before the exam         takes place, if we speak of course of oral exam. For already written it is             different, because I, personally, can pass a test written just reading many         times the topics to bring . But then again, it depends from person to person,     so … take your agenda or your calendar and start to establish which days or     hours where you can devote yourself to the study, and once established it         tries to respect your program , but rest assured, it’s not a problem if                   sometimes jump!

★ 2. Organize your notes.

    Another important thing to do before you really start to study is to place the       notes taken during the lessons.You can fix them or from time to time, or all       at once when you have finished all the lessons. The right thing to do would       be the first, but I do not always succeed, especially because often my               university classes end up about six o'clock in the evening, so I get home not     before seven. 

★ 3. Read your textbook and highlights the most important things,                   helping with the notes, then unite it all.

    Here I don’t think there needs to be an explanation, usually I’m used to             help me with the notes I previously organized, so that I both easier to                 read and understand what are the most important things to learn. Usually         I join the notes taken in class with the textbook doing a summary or by               writing in pencil on the book, it depends on the amount of                                   notes. I also use a lot of highlighters of different colors to highlight, of                 course, each of them has different meanings depending on use and color.

★ 4. Repeat aloud.

    Regarding this point i don’t think there is much to say; usually I  repeat aloud     to better fix things and above all helps me a lot to prepare for the oral.

★ 5. Review.

    Regarding the revision I’m used to repeat aloud, but above all to do mind         maps or summary, however, I recommend these methods especially for           written exams.

                       TIPS TO OVERCOME ANXIETY PRE-EXAM

Another thing I wanted to deal with is the question of anxiety, I suffer and I wanted to tell you a bit ‘my tricks to “overcome”.

★ 1. Estrange the mind.

The first thing I can tell you to do before you do anything else is to alienate the mind. In moments of leisure, stay away from the study, thinks of nothing else, watch a movie or a funny television series, go out with friends, read a book or whatever makes you relax. This will help you above all not to go under stress, and it is important for your mental health.

★ 2. Don’t drink coffe.

Before an exam is important not to drink coffee, or who does not drink too much, at least for me. The coffee, in fact, even if it has the property to raise the level of concentration, can also, if taken in excessive doses bring a widespread state of anxiety as well as insomnia. This could result in a bad performance on the exam day (what we do not).A good substitute is the green or black tea.

★ 3. Chamomile or Calming herbal teas.

This more than advice is my pre-exam ritual. In fact, usually, when I am particularly anxious or scared for an exam, I like to drink a chamomile or calming herbal tea, or a simple red fruit tea. Help to calm down and let me rest.

★ 4. Inhale and Exhale.

Another tip is to breathe. It happened to me sometimes to have some mild panic attacks before an exam, so before you take medication, you should simply exhale and inhale slowly filling and emptying the stomach, this way your mind will become calm.

★ 5. Believe in yourself.

Last but not least, believe in yourself. You are your only limit, and only you can overcome them. Only you know what you did and what you’re worth, so do not make you throw down, life is a great challenge!

10

It turns out the eyeholes are big enough to see the most important thing! :D

Steve and Tony you dorks :DD

As promised! I drew the Original Iron Man outfit! :D Inspired by the new outfit - The Original Iron Man - in the Avengers Academy! (x) Aww the AVAC really is the most fluffy Stony universe!!!

9

Ummm… yeah, about that, Allura… read the captions

So. It seems that the Galra Empire not only did not get crippled by the loss of its leader, it became stronger, more effective, more ruthless under Lotor’s reign. 

Sure, Zarkon’s gone. The King is Dead.

But, Lotor is here. Long Live the King! 

Which means, that the Paladins only made things worse for the galaxy as a whole, while trying to make them better.

Which, again, means one thing: Shiro’s sacrifice was for nothing.

OK, let’s back up.

There are many interesting things to say about Lotor right now from the sneak peak of him we had yesterday (cowface included). Many hints about what he’s like as a character and most importantly, as a leader.

Mainly his speech:

“My father built our empire on the backs of resemblance. The universe can no longer doubt our strength. Each ally gained only makes us stronger. All those who continue to stand against us… will be crushed.”

The most interesting and the most important thing to take from this speech is that Lotor is the Empire’s Shiro.

Look what he preaches: “our empire”, “resemblance”, “ally”,  “stronger”,  “strength”… not only what Zarkon himself used to preach is there, “strength”, but something new, something Zarkon never counted on and even spat at: 

Unity.

Lotor literally says that the more allies the Galra have, the stronger they get. He introduces strength in numbers, in unity. FiveMany becoming one in order to crush their opponents. That united, the Garla Empire is strong. That working together is the key to strength and success. 

Remind you of anyone?

(there it is)

Yeah…

(There are more examples in S1&2, so go ahead and rewatch. They’re EVERYWHERE.)

And the most baffling of all in this speech, maybe:

It implies that races other than the Galra are important to the Galra Empire as well.

Try and wrap your mind around this: Lotor basically supports acceptance of anyone who wants to join the Galra Empire as an ally who gives the most important virtue said Galra Empire holds dear: Strength.

“United, we are stong against our enemies.”

That’s Lotor’s speech in a nutsell.

Which is what Shiro has been preaching since day one in the Paladin duty. And indeed, was what made the Paladins indeed strong enough to beat Zarkon:

…yup.

Hey, it’s a reboot of a shounen series. What did you expect?

And now, we see that the enemy brings in this virtue along, unifying whoever is an ally to the Galra and welcoming them. 

Check this out:

“My father built our empire on the backs of resemblance.”

Wait, “resemblance”? Between who and what?

Taking into consideration his line about “allies”, it’s easy to see who and what: between the Galra and others. 

Lotor has the gall (and the brilliance) to call the conquering dictatorship of the Galra a way to unify the galaxy under one flag, to find resemblance amongst different kinds of myriads of races with miryads of differences and even appreciate said differences, since they aid into becoming a stronger unit. 

Lotor preaches union, cooperation, and working together as a team empire to defeat enemies. 

It’s basically, “Either you’re with us, or against us.”

…jfc

Going away from all the real life history for a while and back to the idea of unity Lotor preaches, yes, you understood correctly: 

The Galra Empire just found its Shiro. Its inspirational, motivational, charismatic, good leader… in Lotor. 

Keith isn’t Lotor’s mirror. Neither is Lance. It’s Shiro.

And how fitting, according to the Rule of Drama (things will become worse the worst possible time for our heroes), that the Empire’s Shiro appears…

…when the Paladins’ Shiro goes AWOL.

Oh, and another nifty parallel:

Shiro made a name for himself in the Galra Empire by being a “Champion” gladiator in the arena…

…a very familiar-looking arena.

…where Lotor firstly appears to the public and earns its favour by beating his opponent:

So, a fighter as good as the Legendary Champion gladiator, who reveals himself as the son of their fallen Emperor, who preaches that unity is the key to strength?

You can bet your butt the crippled and in dire need of leadership Galra Empire will believe and latch onto him. 

In the 80s cartoon, Lotor was a joke of a villain.

Here? 

He’s absolutely terrifying and realistic. And effective.

So, our own heroes, with their own lynch taken away God knows where and why, they’re absolutely vulnerable towards this kind of opponent.

But hey, we’re only in the 3rd season in September, meaning that at least, even if it means they’ll go in hiding, they WILL face him at some point and they WILL survive (hopefully). It means that someone WILL rise to the occasion and at least TRY to be Shiro’s shadow and unify the Paladins once again. 

(there are MUCH more…)

BIG No.

Hey, how about…?

(there are more…)

Good brains for teamwork and strategy, but…

…those self-confidence issues cripple him too much. 

Next?

Much warmer.

Too bad the creators said that she won’t pilot a lion.

So, what happens? Who will face Lotor?

Keith.

WAIT.

Yes, Keith is the least equipped to face such an opponent and be a leader of… anything.

 Yes, Keith will face Lotor.

Exactly because he’s the least suitable for the job.

You see, season 3 is the first part of the middle of the series (6 in total). And what happens in the middle of a story?

The darker sequel.

The Empire Strikes Back (literally, in our case).

Keith wil try to be the Black Paladin, the leader, Lotor’s opponent… and he will fail.

The heroes will be damaged, left weak and defeated. In the Hero’s Journey, this will lead to their Lowest Point, to their Darkest Time. 

After all, Lotor needs to prove himself an effective villain. To become so, he needs a win against our heroes and the best way for Lotor to win, is for Keith to be the leader.

Also, this:

The irony is that Lotor (it’s him, jfc) has already shown to Keith that “working together bares better results/success”. 

And Keith is gonna fail this one.

Because he’s part Galra, and he’ll feel torn (the opposite of the union Lotor and Shiro preached). I’m fully expecting Lotor to offer Keith an alliance, paralleling the Weblrum adventure.

(And no, sorry, it makes little sense for Lotor’s focus to be Lance. The creators have said that they keep elements of the original intact, so a Keith-Lotor rivalry is to be expected. Only, instead of “Who gets Allura” this will be an ideology and identity battle. Both Keith and Lotor are of mixed race; their connection is already there, Allura or no Allura). 

And then, we can wait for seasons 5 and 6 to come, for Keith to FINALLY get proper Character Development (I actually do expect Lance to play a big role in this one; he unified the paladins first, he’ll do it again), stop being coddled by the narrative and rise up to the occasion. 

And when he does beat Lotor (or redeems him, who knows), Zarkon and Shiro return for the final battle and the series ends.

In the meantime, Allura sorts out her feelings towards a possible future with possibly innocent Galra existing in the so-called coalition her father had made, Pidge gets her family back, Lance gets confidence, Shiro finds self-value, Keith matures, and Hunk continues to get braver and wiser.

Coran keeps being gorgeous. 

Season 2 was… sub-par, to say the least. Let’s hope for a better continuation.

Why Lapis and Peridot fighting in “The New Crystal Gems” was not a bad thing

Up until The New Crystal Gems, Peridot and Lapis had been shown to be sharing their lives in perfect harmony.  They seemed very much like the “perfect” couple – always happy and relaxed around each other, and just enjoying one another’s presence.

However, there’s no such thing as the perfect relationship. Couples do fight and they do bicker, often over the silliest of things.  The expression “bickering like an old married couple” exists for a reason, after all.  And it seems that the Crew are very much aiming for the “married couple” vibe with Lapis and Peridot.

Originally posted by roses-fountain

This started in Beta.  A lot of people commented that Peridot and Lapis were “basically married” in this episode – because of how happy, supportive, and ultimately domestic they’ve become.

Although this appears to fall apart somewhat in The New Crystal Gems, it’s very important to bear a couple of things in mind.

Firstly, look how light Lapis’ touch in particular is here.  They’re just gently pushing and shoving each other around, not really wanting to hurt each other.  They were both using their elemental powers at the time, and could have turned these on each other if they actually wanted to deal some damage.  But they didn’t.  They were ultimately vying for an audience and trying to steal the limelight from one another, but neither of them was annoyed enough to actually want to hurt the other – and that’s a very good thing indeed, because it shows that they still care about each other.  And that this disagreement was quite trivial in nature.

It’s also worth noting that when Peridot is dangling off of Lapis’ arm, Lapis seems quite unfazed by this. Previously, she’s been extremely quick to withdraw physical contact from people when she’s angry with them (most notably Jasper in both The Return and Alone At Sea), but that’s not the case here.  This suggests to me that she’s so comfortable with Peridot that she’s absolutely fine with her physical contact, even in the middle of a fight with her.

When they have their verbal fight afterwards, it quickly descends into name-calling and general pettiness, which is often the way when couples have an argument.  Peridot even say’s “I’m leaving” – which sounds very much like the sort of thing that would be said by a disgruntled person who’s about to storm out from their lover in the heat of an argument.

Marriages (and long term, serious relationships in general) aren’t all happy and lovely 100% of the time. In fact, you don’t even need to look beyond Steven Universe itself to see this.

Originally posted by musical-gopher

In Keystone Motel, one of our canon couples, Ruby and Sapphire, had a huge disagreement over Pearl’s behaviour in the previous episode.  This argument was so extreme that it forced their inseparable fusion to fall apart. It took the entirety of the episode for them to finally come back together again.  But they did come back together again – they realised that their behaviour was wrong, and they shared a loving moment together before re-fusing into Garnet again.

And that, ultimately, is the single most important thing to bear in mind.

Peridot and Lapis’ fight ended with them both looking very guilty indeed, after Connie managed to talk some sense into them both. 

Then, by the end of the episode, everything was back to normal – they’d made a collaborative “meep morp” for Greg (the new car wash sign) and were perfectly happy again, even pausing to do a “victory pose” upon Peridot’s insistence.

The fact that Peridot and Lapis have had their first ever “lover’s tiff” means that their relationship is being built in a meaningful, and ultimately realistic, way - which is excellent to see.

6 Reasons Why Series Books Are Great for Kids/Less Practiced Readers

1. They like them.

If you want someone to get  into reading, they need to like the material. If it gets someone to read, that’s the most important thing.

2. Series books mean recurring characters in a familiar setting. 

This allows readers to practice reading without having to learn a whole new cast of characters and a whole new universe to become familiar with.

It might not seem like a big deal to you or me, but to someone who’s still learning to read it takes off a huge part of the stress of picking up a new book, as it means they can focus on the reading and not on learning new info. 

3. They help readers learn how to pick up things like foreshadowing and clues.

Because series books tend to follow a certain formula (e.g. in Harry Potter Harry starts at the Dursley’s, goes to Hogwarts, has some subplots surrounding a mystery, then faces Voldemort or another villain) readers start becoming trained to pick up certain clues. 

If you ever read any Goosebumps as kid (or Nancy Drew, etc), go back and re-read a copy. I’ll bet you’ll be able to pick out the twists before they happen. That’s because now you know what to look for, even if subconsciously.

4. They build up a child’s confidence in their reading abilities.

Children like big numbers. 

Reading lots of short books in a small period of time feels really impressive and satisfying to them. Remember bragging  to your friends about how you read THREE WHOLE BOOKS over the weekend? Did the fact they were shorter books ever matter? 

5. Series books don’t  discourage kids from reading more complex material. They encourage them.

Less practiced readers tend to read in cycles – they’ll read a few series books then pick up something more challenging then read some easier books, and so on. 

Eventually the series books become too predictable and readers move on to the next level on their own. 

Series books are like taking breaks between climbing up a hill – if you go too fast you crash and decide it’s too hard to keep going. If you pace yourself you make it to the top.

6. Nearly all heavy readers and book lovers began with series books.

Literally. 

Research on reading repeatedly find that heavier readers began by practically inhaling any and all series books they could find, until they got to a point where they were too good at a certain reading level and moved on to the next one (all the while trying a harder book every now and then).

That’s certainly  how I learned.

The first books I read in English were Clifford and Biscuit. Then I moved on to Little Critter and Franklin the Turtle books. I soon moved to chapter books like Magic Tree HouseBailey School Kids, and Captain Underpants.

By Grade 6 (roughly a year after learning English) I scored “Grade 12 or higher” in the provincial reading ability test.

2

There is certainly a big part of conditioning in society that still very much tells women that the most important thing is their appearance and their bodies and how they look. That’s a very, very strong message. I’m someone who is lucky enough to have gone to school and university. At times, I have just felt so irritated because what ultimately seemed like the most important thing was how I looked. I just thought, ‘Why do I bother?’. It’s changing, and I think women are learning to be valued for what they’re saying, doing and thinking, for who they are. But there’s still some strong messages saying what really matters is how you look in a bikini.

Using flashbacks to your benefit.

Suspenseful flashbacks, anyone? 

As a general rule, I dislike flashbacks, because many of them stall the plot instead of moving it forward and are just plain boring. But that doesn’t have to be the case. 

Tips to help you create more interesting flashbacks…

1. Leave the reader intrigued. Flashbacks work in your favor when you use them to create suspense. Instead of flat out explaining something happening in the present, make the present more interesting by giving hints about things that are currently effecting the main story, while leaving some things to be revealed later. 

2. Don’t just backtrack to backtrack. Anything worthy of a flashback should develop into something bigger and more interesting during the course of the main story. If you can remove the flashback from the story, and the story itself still makes sense and is just as suspenseful, your flashback shouldn’t be in the story to begin with.

3. Emotions are your best friend. If the flashback doesn’t create an emotional response in the reader, then you’re just using a lot of extra words to describe something that could have been better revealed through an intimate conversation between two emotionally vulnerable characters. 

4. Keep it short. The reader should be intrigued by the flashbacks, but they should still be thirsty to return to the present time. Don’t linger for so long that they become detached from what’s going on in the actual story.

5. Think outside the box. Characters experiencing their past through dreams or memories is a typical way to introduce flashbacks, but there are many other, more versatile methods. Break up the flashback into single pages or a few lines at the begin of chapters or book parts? Tell the memory from a side character’s POV? Compare it with the memories of an ancient historical figure who experienced the same thing? Consider the effect a variety of unique methods might have on the reader’s interpretation of the flashback before committing to the more common ways.

Please keep in mind that this is my singular opinion on what makes me personally enjoy a flashback. My opinion is not the opinion of every reader or writer in the known universe; for that matter it might only be the minority opinion. 

The most important rule is to flashback the way you enjoy flashbacking, if you feel the need to flashback in the first place. Don’t let my opinion persuade you otherwise.

anonymous asked:

What's your opinion on the theory that Dipper is treated unfairly throughout GF? For example, Dipper sacrifices a lot for Mabel, while she only seems to sacrifice her sock-puppet show for him. There are also many suggestions in the show that some episodes overlap, like that from July 11-15, Sock Opera, Blendin's Game and Into the Bunker overlap. Which means D was under a LOT of pressure that week and he sacrificed a LOT for his sister. But she doesn't thank him for that. What are your thoughts?

See, maybe it’s the big sister in me, because I’ve never understood this particular complaint. The fact is, Dipper loves Mabel so much that her happiness is his own; his actions of sacrifice on her behalf are freely chosen. That’s why Bill’s behavior in “Sock Opera” is so insidious; he builds on Dipper’s momentary frustration with Mabel (why won’t she help me?!?!) by bringing up the various ways he’s helped her in the past, implying that she hasn’t done much to return the favor. He seeks to engender resentment where there was none, where Dipper was previously unwilling to give him so much as a stitch of Mabel’s puppet show; hey, she worked hard on those.

The key assertion I have to address here is that “Dipper sacrifices a lot for Mabel, while she only seems to sacrifice her sock-puppet show for him.” I imagine that viewers come to the conclusion that Dipper has the losing end because, when they compare Dipper’s problems to Mabel’s, they see Dipper’s as more serious. Dipper has a crush he can’t shake (relatable), Mabel is gaga over a pig she just saw at the fair (less relatable); Dipper is pursuing the latest lead in his search for the Author (important), Mabel is rigging up an elaborate puppet show to impress the Boy of the Week (unimportant). Yet the show is always keenly aware that Mabel’s problems, as trivial as they may seem to us, are as important to her as Dipper’s are to him. Bill highlights this when he says, “Who would sacrifice everything they’d worked for just for their dumb sibling?”, causing Mabel to respond, “Dipper would.” Dipper’s “everything” is his investigation of Gravity Falls and Mabel’s “everything” is her puppet show, but each of their projects is everything. Coming from Mabel, the sacrifice of the sock puppet show–and, by extension, of a shot at the “epic summer romance” she’s been seeking as ardently as Dipper has been seeking the answers to his questions–is a very real loss, one she’s willing to accept because Dipper would do and has done as much for her.

Nor is Mabel’s puppet show the only casualty of her greater love for her brother; the loss of her dream world is no mean thing. Mabeland might not be to everyone’s taste (I would personally have thinned out the crowd and lowered the 80s club music a notch), but it’s Mabel’s ideal universe; it’s a world where everything is as she wants it, where she’s never bored or lonely, where every boy loves her, where the high court judge is a kitten. With the threat of change weighing on her and the most important relationship of her life under siege, the prison bubble presents Mabel with an irresistible retreat. Bill, who has banked on human greed in the past to great success, believes that the trap is inescapable, that no one handed all their heart’s desires on a plate will be capable of leaving (just as Mabel is taken in by her desperation to stop time, Dipper wavers when presented with the possibility of growing up on the spot). But without Dipper, all of it is hollow; she prefers in the end to leave her safe place and to follow him into an uncertain world.

For much of the show, Dipper is the more responsible one within the context of their relationship. Regardless of actual birth order, Mabel is the baby; sometimes the baby gets in a habit of relying on charm to carry her through, taking it for granted that her older siblings will always step up to the plate on her behalf, because she’s just that cute (looking at you, youngest sibling in my own family). But if Mabel’s occasional thoughtlessness with regard to Dipper is a character flaw, it’s worth measuring against the depth of her concern for the world at large, a quality that Dipper himself, who tends to value his select group, could stand to learn from. Dipper’s only real issue with the destruction of Northwest Manor and all of its visitors is that Mabel happens to be among them; Mabel is the first to see the potential for redemption in Pacifica, even though Dipper is the one who becomes close to her.

But Mabel loves Dipper more than anyone, and she is grateful to him for everything he does for her and shows it. She apologizes to him at the end of “Sock Opera” for letting a transient enthusiasm skew her priorities: “I spent all week obsessing over a dumb guy. But the dumb guy I should have cared about was you.” After escaping the prison bubble, she makes it clear to him that he can stay with Ford if he wants to–her noblest moment in the series, because Dipper is her entire world, infinitely more to her than crushes and pet pigs and magical trees that grow stuffed animals. He stays with her, not out of guilty obligation, but because he wants to be with her–because she’s his best friend, because growing up without her would be unthinkable. He’s a fair-minded guy, not one to take the fall without good reason–when he operates against her in “The Time-Traveler’s Pig,” he does so on the assumption that her pig is an enthusiasm of the moment and that his love for Wendy is permanent. When he realizes that losing Waddles will truly hurt her, he doesn’t hesitate. “I could never break your heart, Mabel.”

But look at how she thanks him. She knows this wasn’t easy for him and she’s ready to show him how much it means to her. She tackles him in sheer strength of feeling. She lifts him right off his feet.

Treated unfairly? Dipper gets back everything he gives away with interest. Dipper’s happiness is his sister’s happiness and he always gets it because he is her happiness. Dipper is a lucky kid.

au where isak has an older sister who’s getting married and their parents always bother isak with “when are you gonna get a girlfriend, son?” and with the wedding getting closer its just worse and he’s annoyed so he goes on a dating site, “looking for someone who will pose as my boyfriend at my sister’s wedding in two months” and then he almost forgets about it but a few days later he gets a message notification, “hey i was told im really good at acting and talking to people, and you sound a little desperate, i think i would be an excellent fake boyfriend” and isaks not sure if he was serious or just really annoyed but he gets a text from his mother so he’s like. fuck it and replies to the guy and they share pictures and, holy shit he’s either a fake profile or the universe is being kind to him for once, and they text for the next few weeks until the wedding and they hit it off, trying to learn the most important things about each other that could come up in a conversation and one night at 2am isak wakes up to a phone call from even and its the first time they talk on the phone and isaks heart is beatin really fast and suddenly he’s wide awake and evens just like “just so we have an annoying but cute moment where i call you in the middle of the night bc i miss my boyfriend so much and cant sleep” and isaks throat goes dry at his voice and giggle and then even hangs up with a “good night, isak” and isak has a really good sleep the first time in a couple of weeks. and they meet a day before the wedding so they could arrive together the next day and fuck. even is really tall and so much more beautiful in person. and they walk back to isaks flat in silence and its comfortable but theres also tension between them,both of them trying to bring up a topic and they finally arrive and even puts his bag on the kitchen table and he gets out flour and eggs and stuff and isak is just standing there like ??? and even shrugs, “thought we could bake something for your mom” and they do, and its the most fun isaks had in a long time, both their faces covered in flour and theyre laughing and theres a moment where isak is sitting ontop of the counter and even stands in front of him to get something but he doesnt move away and then its really silent, the radio in the background fading out and isak only hears his own heartbeat and theyre only an inch away when the oven beeps and they just chuckle and move on with the cookies like nothing happened but the atmosphere is different and now isak feels every slight touch and his skin is burning…and after that they sit on the couch to watch a movie and when it ends they just sit in the dark and isak says “they dont know that im gay” and even promises him that everything will be okay and when he takes isaks hand in his own the next day, walking up the steps to isaks family house,isak feels like yes, it will be okay, this is okay

anonymous asked:

Have you ever heard of autistics being more possessive about their things?

Yes, a lot of us more possessive about our things.

There are a few reasons of this. The most common of these reasons that most allistics will tell you is that we have reduced empathy and that prevents us from understanding the importance of sharing.

Of course, that is true for some of us, but it is hardly a universal thing. There are many other reasons why we may be possessive.

First, we often have a very strong sense of right and wrong. This comes from rules that we internalize very strongly, and tend to take as absolutes. These do not always reflect what the rest of society sees as right and wrong.

When kids grow up there is a normal phase where they come to understand that you do not touch others’ belongings without their permission. A lot of us internalize that as an absolute. It is a rule, you do not break it, full stop.

For others, it has to do with controlling our sensory environment. Everything has a place and should be in its place. Disrupting anything in that environment is disrupting out personal space that we rely on for sensory management.

Yet another concern many autistics have expressed is a heavy reliance on visual memory. Specifically, when you put something down you take a mental snapshot of where that item is. When someone touches that item, there is stronger emotion involved because they are touching your stuff, and you get a mental snapshot of that person touching your stuff. That replaces the snapshot of where the item was set down.

Even if the item is returned to the correct place, picture in your head is not longer of where the item was placed, but rather that the item was touched without permission. When you go to look for the item you cannot find it because the mental image does not include the location of the item.

There are so many reasons that I have heard from autistics about why they don’t like people touching their things. The common thread among all of them is that other people messing with our stuff disrupts our ability to function.

And like, for most people that is no big deal. Most people can adapt. With our tendency towards rigid thinking, however, this can be an extremely disrupting force in our lives.

The examples I listed above are nowhere near exhaustive. There are many, many, other reasons why we might be possessive. As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to autistics, I tend to assume there is a reason for it and take it on face value that it is important.

You prevent a lot of issues by taking that approach.

There is certainly a big part of conditioning in society that still very much tells women that the most important thing is their appearance and their bodies and how they look. That’s a very, very strong message. I’m someone who is lucky enough to have gone to school and university. At times, I have just felt so irritated because what ultimately seemed like the most important thing was how I looked. I just thought, ‘Why do I bother?’. It’s changing, and I think women are learning to be valued for what they’re saying, doing and thinking, for who they are. But there’s still some strong messages saying what really matters is how you look in a bikini.

“There is certainly a big part of conditioning in society that still very much tells women that the most important thing is their appearance and their bodies and how they look. That’s a very, very strong message. I’m someone who is lucky enough to have gone to school and university. At times, I have just felt so irritated because what ultimately seemed like the most important thing was how I looked. I just thought, ‘Why do I bother?’. It’s changing, and I think women are learning to be valued for what they’re saying, doing and thinking, for who they are. But there’s still some strong messages saying what really matters is how you look in a bikini.” —Emma Watson

01.04.2017//

April study challenge1️⃣
How do you stay motivated?
The most important things that keep me motivated are my goals. Since I’m still in highschool my biggest goal is to get the best marks possible so there’s nothing stopping me from going to my dream uni✨🌸
Also knowledge is something that I consider as the most important thing ever; nobody is able to take it away from you and knowledge makes you stand out of the crowd.

Another thing is: good grades mean success and success makes you//ME happy!👍🏻💖

And that’s it!