Stubby was a Terrier type dog that wandered into the grounds of Yale University in July 1917. It just so happened that members of the 102nd infantry were training in Yale on this particular day. Thus, the story of the most decorated dog of World War I was born. As the soldiers were training, Stubby refused to leave their side. After growing fond of the friendly pup, Corporal Robert Conroy decided that when it was time to ship out, he would hide Stubby onboard. When they departed in France, Corporal Conroy hid Stubby in his jacket. When he was eventually discovered by the commanding officer, he was aghast to see Stubby salute him. The soldiers had trained him to salute upon request. He was allowed to stay, it was decided.
For 18 months, Stubby served in the trenches of France; he participated in four offended and 17 battles. His first injury was inhalation of toxic gas. As a result, Stubby became very sensitive to the smell - something that came in handy. When Stubby smelt the gas, he would run to all of the soldiers barking to awaken them. Additionally, Stubby would run through the trenches to find wounded soldiers. He was trained to differentiate between English and German language and bark whenever he found an English speaking soldier who was injured. In one of his most impressive endeavours, he captured a German spy. As he was mapping out the allied trenches, the German spy spotted Stubby and called out to him in German. Recognising the language of the enemy, Stubby attacked him. It was this heroic event that promoted Stubby to rank of sergeant.
After the war, he became an American celebrity, even visiting the White House twice and meeting President Woodrow Wilson. He passed away at the age of nine or ten and his body was donated to the Smithsonian Institute.
Yo peeps, so as you can probably tell, I’m about to blow your mind. You might want to sit down, grab some water, you know, keep yourself hydrated. Maybe do a few stretches.
Now that you’re all ready, let’s begin! A girl who wrote about hotdogs and Costco got into Stanford and most Ivy League Schools, a student who wrote about his love for food got into Stanford, while Cornell’s admissions officer’s favorite essays were about lint and failing the driver’s test four times. Observing a pattern here? All these people chose kind of silly topics to write about. You might be wondering, “Yo,why would I want to sound stupid in front of the admissions officer, this doesn’t make sense!” . Well, that’s a valid argument. Now read this excerpt from one of the essays I mentioned above.
“While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the ‘all beef’ goodness that Costco boasted. I instead considered finitudes and infinitudes, unimagined uses for tubs of sour cream, the projectile motion of said tub when launched from an eighty foot shelf or maybe when pushed from a speedy cart by a scrawny seventeen year old. I contemplated the philosophical: If there exists a thirty-three ounce jar of Nutella, do we really have free will? I experienced a harsh physics lesson while observing a shopper who had no evident familiarity of inertia’s workings. With a cart filled to overflowing, she made her way towards the sloped exit, continuing to push and push while steadily losing control until the cart escaped her and went crashing into a concrete column, 52” plasma screen TV and all. Purchasing the yuletide hickory smoked ham inevitably led to a conversation between my father and me about Andrew Jackson’s controversiality"
Yes, yes, she’s literally talking about hot dogs and Costco. Now don’t underestimate her, this girl got accepted to 5 Ivy League Schools and Stanford. Jeez, that’s impressive. So now, you might be thinking , “Okay, enough of this, just get to the juicy part, give us the magic potion!” . Luckily enough for you, I’m getting to the point.
If you want to write an essay that slays everyone else’s like Beyoncé, first you gotta be true to yourself. You’re 17 or 18, you don’t want to end poverty or save the world. Maybe you enjoy pepperoni pizza, maybe you love watching horror films, maybe you love shopping at Macy’s, whatever it is, write about it.
The key is to choose a seemingly silly topic and present it in an intellectual light. Your ability to turn something silly into something genius will impress them and make you more memorable. In order to do that, you need to have a lot of knowledge about the topic you chose, which is why you need to be true to yourself. But then again, don’t write a pointless essay, don’t tell the officers that you can stuff 20 cheese balls in your mouth. Although I think it’s impressive, the admissions officer will beg to differ.
So there’s the secret formula to write a winning essay. Best of luck and I hope you get into your dream school!
Alright, I had a post on Instagram displaying my treasure trove of Japanese language learning books. I wanted to show off a few of them and talk about all of them. The first photo displays them all (tumblr limited me to 10 photos only, so I’ll discuss some of them without photos, sorry!). Starting from the bottom of the pile:
1. Kanji Power by Tuttle. It’s what you think it is, a kanji workbook. It has a kanji, a mnemonic, some space to practice writing, on'yomi, kun'yomi, stroke order, and some vocabulary/phrases. It has some kanji not covered in my other kanji books.
2. If You Teach Me Japanese, I’ll Teach You English. It’s a strange little book and it’s taking me a while to get the hang of it, but this book was written specifically for language exchanges. Each lesson is done first in Japanese, then again in English. You and your partner serve as the “teacher” in your native language, while you practice that language. So I would read through as the instructor in the English lesson and guide my partner with the scripted dialogues, helping them along the way so that they learn English. They would do vice versa for me with the Japanese. I got this one specifically to aid me in exchanging my language with my partners. They do great with the Japanese and I needed guidance on how to help them with English. So this one isn’t really to learn Japanese, it’s to help me exchange with my Japanese friends.
3. Japanese Step by Step. This is one of the few books that focuses on teaching you SPEAKING Japanese. Most of my books help in reading, writing and I’m having to supplement with Memrise and YouTube for listening and speaking. This book has very easy to understand lessons, starting with syllables not syllabaries. Shows you in English what they’re trying to teach you in Japanese. So it’s almost like learning in parallel, I’m not explaining it well. It’s a really good book, you should just check it out.
4. Beginning Japanese by Yale University Press. This was originally my Dad’s book that he used to teach himself Japanese since he was being stationed there (way back in ye olden days). He very kindly gave it to me. This book also focuses on SPEAKING Japanese, not reading or writing in it. As such, it’s entirely in romaji! Not ideal, but if you just want to focus on speaking the language, this is a good place to start. Very thorough.
5. Reading Japanese by Yale University Press. Same authors as book #4, but not originally my Dad’s. Since this one is focused on READING (hence the title of the book), it is not in entirely in romaji. Whew! What a relief. I just got it today, so I have no feedback other than, I wanted both of these books together. It’s kind of like an entire course at your fingertips.
6. Japanese Kanji for Beginners by Tuttle. Covers JLPT N5 & N4. This is my primary Kanji workbook. I LOVE it. It’s set up pretty much the same as Kanji Power, it has exercises after each lesson so you can practice what you learned. The Kanji Power has the same things, but after a certain number of kanji have been introduced, instead of after each individual lesson. So they differ that way and in that they have different kanji. This book is specifically for JLPT N5/4 whereas Kanji Power is about expanding your kanji.
7. A Japanese Reader by Tuttle (notice the theme?). Pictures 2-4 are about this book. I cannot say enough nice things about this book! The book is split in two; open it like we open all books in the Western Hemisphere and it’s lessons starting with hiragana, open the book the other way and it’s all the reading lessons: from top to bottom and right to left! It’s so cool! The first few elementary readings aren’t actual sentences. They’re just to get you accustomed to the style of reading and the syllabaries (this is where I’m at). The readings get way more advanced though and are excerpts from Japanese literature, some fictional and some non-fictional.
8. A History of Japan. This is another one of Dad’s book that he is lending to me (sadly I don’t get to keep it). I haven’t read it yet but I’m looking forward to it. Granted, it has nothing to do with the language itself, but who here has learned a language without learning anything about the culture, history, and society of the country that speaks the language? Half the point of learning a language is to learn the history and culture of the target language’s country. So I have a book on Japan’s history to supplement the language learning.
9. A Dictionary of Japanese Food by Tuttle. Pictures 5 & 6 are of this book. Just as I stated in the above book, it’s important to know the culture and history of the place whose language you are learning. The “Japanese Kanji for Beginners” book had an exercise in the first lesson involving food. One of the dishes stood out to me because I had no clue what it was “shabu-shabu.” I still don’t know what it is, but now I have a dictionary so I can look it up! If ever I learn how to cook Japanese food, shabu-shabu will be very near the top of the list of things to make and try. The back of the book has some appendices on chopsticks, some ingredients of Japanese food, and food etiquette.
10. The Handbook of Japanese Verbs (picture 7). Verbs seem to be the guts of a sentence in Japanese so I figured it’d be important to learn them a little more in depth than my grammar book goes into. Besides explaining verbs, it has exercises to practice!
11. All About Particles (picture 8). Much like the verb book above, this is all about particles (another very important part of the Japanese language) and also has exercises to help you grasp the concepts. Goes in depth about the particles and actually has sentences in Japanese, literal translations, and English translations. It’s very thorough.
12. Japanese Coursebook by Living Language. Akin to the Yale University Press books that I covered earlier, this book is a complete course for learning how to SPEAK Japanese. As such, it is entirely in romaji but is set up different than the Yale books and has different vocabulary. I use them in conjunction with each other, so that I get the most vocabulary overall.
13. Japanese Grammar by Barron. Pictures 9 & 10 are of this book. This is my absolute favorite book out of them all. Besides being pocket-sized so I can take it just about anywhere with me, it’s a grammar book. I’m not a Grammar Nazi, I’m a Grammarian (one who studies grammar [on purpose]). I read grammar books for my native English and I greatly enjoy grammar for Ancient Greek too (my first foreign language and first true love). All the other books focus on a particular portion of grammar, or the writing system, or speaking. I wanted a book that focused entirely on grammar since I’ve heard it’s so vastly different from English (it’s not THAT different guys). As you can see in the very last picture, the book is printed in two colors. I cannot begin to express how wonderful this is for me. I have Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS or 3S) and basically what that means is, my eyes don’t work right (duh). They don’t pick up all the wavelengths of light that they’re supposed to. So some colors (and light sources) are harder for me to see and make me very sick trying to look at them. It seems like I have dyslexia but it’s not my brain, it’s just my eyes suck. The added color is much easier on my eyes than all black print on white pages (college was nightmare, in case you wondered).
14. Kanji Starter 1. Not a lesson book at all! It has 200 kanji and is essentially a book of mnemonics for them. I use it as a catalog and mark the kanji I’ve mastered from other sources in this book. I also use it as a quick reference when I get suddenly forget a kanji I’ve already learned. That way I don’t have to find the right lesson book and track it down. I got this kanji book before any of the others and it served as the introduction to what i was getting myself into. It made the kanji seem so not scary that by the time I picked up a workbook, kanji was beautiful, logical, and fun. No fear!
Sorry this was so long. I’m on a mobile device so I can’t do the nice “keep reading” breaks or formatting. So it’s just a really long, darn post. But now you know of 14 books you can use for Japanese learning! Also, quick note, all of the books with bar code stickers on them were all purchased form the same site.
ThriftBooks.com has so many books, including rare ones, old, ones, and textbooks, for a fraction of the price. I looked up some of my Tuttle books, one of them was like $19.95 normally (without shipping and tax). On ThriftBooks I got it for $3.50! If your total purchase is over $10 shipping is entirely free too. So if you’re looking for language resources, a new novel, or you’re in college and need textbooks, check the site out because it might save you a boat-load of money.
Black History Month (Year 3) | Day 7 | Phil LaMarr
Phil LaMarr is a graduate of Yale University where he
founded the improv comedy group, Purple Crayon. In 1989, he became a
member of the award winning sketch comedy group, The Groundlings. LaMarr
also studied improv at The Secondy City and at the Improv Olympic.
Through his connections within his improv network, he was able to start a
film career—-his first movie being “It’s Pat”, in 1994. He has also appeared in a plethora of tv shows before it started his voice acting career—such as “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, “Hanging with Mr. Cooper”, “MADtv”, “Living Single”, and more. He’s even had a role in the popular cult classic Tarantino Film, “Pulp Fiction”.
the meat of his work is within the cartoon and video-game industry.
Name a cartoon right now, go ahead. Did you do it? Yeah, he’s been in
that. LaMarr has led an impressive voice acting career, his most notable
roles being Jack (Samurai Jack), Static Shock (Static Shock), Hermes Conrad (Futurama), Wilt (Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends), Green Lantern (Justice League).
LaMarr is set to reprise his role as Samurai Jack for the show’s fifth and final season, this March.
“Worse than just being a liar or a narcissist, in addition he is
paranoid, delusional and grandiose thinking and he proved that to the
country the first day he was President.” –Dr. John Gartner, psychotherapist and advisor at Johns Hopkins University Medical School
“I’ve worked with some of the most dangerous people our society produces, directing mental health programmes in prisons. I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognise
dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on
dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to
know how dangerous this man is.” –Prof. James Gilligan, psychiatrist and professor at New York University
There’s even a formal petition with almost 50,000 signatures so far:
Remember that today’s day in age is different from how it was back then. So don’t stress about school too much.High school students today have the anxiety of what a mental patient in the insane asylum had in the 50s. Here’s also a thing to show how times have changed.
Prioritize. List what needs to get done first and when. Sometimes getting the bigger/harder tasks is easier than conquering the smaller/easier tasks.
Set times when certain projects need to be done and stick to that deadline.
Turn your phone off or give it to your parents while doing work/studying. I know that we live in the age of technology and literally everything is at the touch of our fingertips. Honestly though you can wait on what your favorite celebrity has to say or if your crush liked your instagram photo. You’ll be more involved in that than you are into your work.
If you have trouble in a certain subject and there is no assigned seating, take advantage of the front. I guarantee you’ll learn more.
Ask your teacher what exactly you’ll need to know. If you’re taking notes during the year, write in the margins whether or not it will be tested. It will be easier to know what you will be tested on.
Save your exams. Half the time your teachers use the same questions (or questions similar) from your exams on your midterms or finals.
Don’t try to do homework straight afterschool if you can’t, despite what everyone says. Give yourself an hour, and try to get some exercise in. I find it stops me getting bored of sitting down. Not to mention helps me concentrate better.
Don’t just read the material, write it, draw it, recite it, quiz yourself on it! Until you have the material down.
Join clubs, sports, or organizations! You’re guaranteed to find friends in there. You’ll already have common interests. Start with that and go with the flow.
College kids: If you don’t have assigned seating, and you have been sitting in the same seat for 2 weeks. That is you assigned seat now. Don’t move or you’ll screw everyone up and they will hate you.
Color code things, such as your notes. If you want to see how I color code my notes message me and I’ll be happy to show you.