inspiration

5 Perfect Pick-Me-Ups

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We all have those really, really bad days. Days where you’re just in a very uncompromising slump, where all you really want to do is close your eyes and forget that the world even exists. It may be a break up, a tough time with the parents, or a horrible grade on a test. Or maybe it’s the laziness kicking in. The other day I was lying on the couch feeling like the biggest couch potato in the universe, and then my mother asks me to wash the dishes for her.

Of course I didn’t want to get up and of course I had no intentions on exerting energy of any kind.

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Whatever the feeling may be, I have a solution for you. What you need is the perfect pick-me-up.

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Pick-me-ups do wonders. They lighten your spirits, wake up that life inside your body, and make you feel alive again. Which is what life should be about, really. Here are a couple of pick-me-ups that I find extremely effective and hopefully, they manage to cheer you up as well:

1. A Song You Can Dance To

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Nothing gets you up and moving more than the perfect dance track. Put that dance playlist on blast and you’ll feel rejuvenated in no time!

Recommendations:

“Drunk in Love” by Beyonce ft. Jay-Z (seriously the song that I jammed to after my mother made me wash the dishes)

2. A Movie or TV Show That Makes You Laugh

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The thing about movies and TV shows is that they transport you into a new world. You suddenly feel like you’re not alone, that the characters are there to accompany you. If you’re to be transported into a new world, it ought to be a funny world. Comedies are a must. Not only will they make you laugh your rear off, but that source of laughter is what’s going to keep you moving forward throughout the night.

Recommendations:

21 Jump Street

She’s The Man

Mean Girls

Clueless

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These are all movies that I would watch when I’m feeling a bit gloomy. They never fail to make me laugh. Stay away from tear-jerkers (unless that kind of stuff strangely comforts you) and you should be good.

3. A Comforting Drink

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What’s more relaxing than curling up with a good book and a rejuvenating drink? In this case, sodas and chips aren’t going to do you justice. Settle for something healthy, something that you know is good for your body. Nothing feels better than knowing that you’re doing something beneficial for your body.

Recommendations:

Any type of tea. My personal favorites are Green Tea and Oolong.

A smoothie from Jamba (Strawberry Wild Light for me)

A plate of apples with almond butter

4. A Great Friend

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When you’re feeling down, the worst thing to be is alone. Call up that friend who you know can make you laugh and smile.

5. A Change of Scenery

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Change is good. The thing is that when you’re in one place for too long, you get bored. And being bored is not a good thing at all.

So take a drive to somewhere new. Go out of your comfort zone and check out that new restaurant down the street, try rock climbing or horseback riding, something you haven’t done before. It’s refreshing to try something new for a change and inevitably, you’ll feel like a new and shiny person.

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Those are my main sources of pick-me-ups and for the most part, they do their job! I hope you get out of your slump and I hope life for you is great. Any other perfect pick-me-ups? Don’t hesitate to share them with me! I would love to read them.

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“Parents Just Don’t Understand”

The Nictor Project

Yeah. They really don’t.

There are many things that adults don’t know about students. Many like to think they do, but with the generation gap and the introduction of the technological age, things have definitely changed.

With this project, I aim to voice out aspects of modern-day student life that some adults may not be aware of, such as using smartphones in the classroom, or the real reason why the color of a graduation gown is no big deal. I want to voice these issues out, show people what students are really thinking and doing.

My project also serves as a source for motivation and inspiration, in which I would post quotes that I find meaningful or encouraging. I wanted a project that would assist students in such ways, to help them feel comforted, like they’re not alone with these issues. Parents, teachers, and students can have a better sense of communication and understanding as well.

However, when I was brainstorming for such an innovation project, it had many stages of evolution that would all, inevitably, contribute to the ever-growing Nictor Project.

Stage 1: Origami Origins

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During the summer I’d volunteered at the library several times. One of the events held at the library had been an origami class. The event supervisor advised me that since the majority of the patrons would be kids, to teach something that would be fairly simple. I’d been doing origami ever since elementary school, knowing how to fold a crane with my eyes closed. That was my best, after all: the crane.

But in the end, I’d chosen a cup. It was easy, albeit perhaps a bit too easy, and could be done in literally about three seconds. Click here to learn how to make it!

On the day of the origami class, I sat down at my table, waiting for kids to come. Many kids actually even passed my table, perhaps finding the cup not interesting enough. I shrugged it off, because after all I was still getting my volunteer hours anyways. Bored, I began folding the origami papers on the table, making my crane absentmindedly. A little girl comes by and asks me if I could show her how to make one. “It might be a bit hard,” I warn her. She bravely sits down and replies, “It’s okay.”

So I teach her how to make a crane, step by step. The crane was much more difficult than anything else at the origami event, but soon kids came piling over to my table, wondering how to make such a pretty and exotic bird. Even adults began coming over to learn how to make one.

When I talked to those children, I found that they learned better when you talked to them as if you were talking to an equal, like a friend. I saw many of the other origami instructors, teenagers like me, talking to the kids as if they were still an infant, a mere child.

While first brainstorming for an innovation project, I thought back to this memory and realized how perhaps more adults or parents needed to know about this method of treating children like an equal. I thought about how such a method could prevents kids from being shy, helping them open up and have fun. All these ideas eventually bunched up into a documentary idea about how overprotective parenting basically stinks.

Since I was doing a project on children, I decided to combine the names of my two younger cousins: Nicolas and Victoria. These two cousins of mine are extra special to me because they’re the ones who always keep the kid inside of me alive with their rambunctious ways. So there it was: The Nictor Project.

Of course I had to come up with a logo.

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An old draft. NOTE: the tumblr is no longer in use.

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A before and after.

Stage 2: A Short Attention Span and Mistrust

So now it was time to pitch my innovation project to my advisers. After some brief trials of Crows vs. Crops, I’d simplified it to: a documentary showcasing how overprotective parenting has affected high school students.

My advisers figured that no parent or adult would trust a bunch of teenagers talking about how they don’t like being overprotected. They told me that perhaps I should interview business CEO’s or teachers, people who adults would most likely trust. They also suggested short, 2-minute video clips, since many people don’t like watching videos that are 3 minutes plus (myself, including). 

Stage 3: Apparent Issues

This year, many of my teachers were really starting to utilize technology to get their lessons across: Canvas, Twitter, the school portal, Youtube, pdf files online. My mother would always chastise me for being on the internet so much, and I would defend myself and tell her that it’s for school. But, of course, she wouldn’t believe me. I mentioned this to some of my other friends and they gave me similar responses: their parents were getting on their case too about spending too much time on the internet when in actuality it’s for school.

This was where the idea for my first video came to be. I wanted to showcase a teacher telling directly the audience that education actually needs technology, in the hopes that others would see it and get the idea that students are not in the wrong here. My English teacher assisted me in encouraging me to use Twitter to carry out my project, and also helped me spread the word. My project was suddenly starting to take shape.

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Stage 4: Still Pending

My project is still growing and evolving everyday. Just a couple of weeks ago my teacher suggested uploading quotes or pictures that I find moving or motivating, to keep my project alive.

A couple of photos from @NictorProject 's twitter.

A couple of photos from @NictorProject ‘s twitter.

I tend to observe things around the classroom. I also tend to take the things that my teachers and counselors say into consideration. If they say something that I feel like everyone should know, then I would add it onto my list of video ideas.

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The most difficult part about this project thus far, in my opinion, is describing my project to people. It has such wide boundaries that I have trouble finding ways to sum it up in a sentence. So it was actually pretty hard for me to come up with a valid description for this project. Getting my friend to assist me in filming also was quite a challenge. I do all the editing but a fellow good friend of mine assists me in allowing me to film with her HD camera.

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My future projects include videos about my counselor talking about how gown color actually doesn’t matter. I’d slumped into her office one afternoon, telling her how disappointed I was in myself for not being able to attain the white gown I strove so hard for (at my school, the “smarter” kids with a certain GPA get white gowns instead of blue). She’d asked me, “Do you really think your gown color will have an effect on your future?” When I replied yes, she proceeded to explain to me why she actually loathes the gown color system. And this is what I feel like more people should know, because some of my friends had been pretty sad about not getting their white gowns also.

Another project in pending is a video on how community college is not the end of the world. If anything, it’s a great choice, equally smart. Many people look down on the 2-year community college system but one of my other counselors had also explained to me that it’s actually a super awesome path to take.

If any of you guys have any ideas or input on this project of mine, don’t hesitate to comment below! Or email us at: thenictorproject@gmail.com

I’d used the pronoun “us” back there. This is actually a one-woman project but I like referring to this project with words like “us” or “our” because I feel like we’re all in this together.

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Okay bad joke. But I seriously mean it when I say that this project is for everyone, not just me.

Further links are provided below. I would love for you guys to check it out!

Links

Facebook page

Twitter

Youtube Channel

Anchors

 

Isaac: Then how do you control it?

Derek: Find an anchor. Something meaningful to you. Bind yourself to it. Keep the human side in control.

In MTV’s Teen Wolf, the word “anchor” means much more than just a big metal thing that hangs off ships. Anchors, in the world of Teen Wolf, are people, feelings, places, anything that keeps the human side of the werewolf intact. This idea of having an anchor can also apply to the mortal side of life as well.

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Whether we like it or not, there is a side inside of us that contains some sort of beast, some sort of creature. It’s not supernatural, it’s not mythical. It’s human. The beast comes out when we’re angry, frustrated. It’s any feeling that seems to coordinate with the color red when being thought of. Red is known to be quite an angry color, after all.

In such times of darkness, evil, and despair, it’s hard to not let those feelings of negativity take over. That’s where the anchor comes in. It brings you down to your natural, calmer state, to tranquility and satisfaction.

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However, anchors do not necessarily need to be an outside force. Scott had always thought that Allison had been his one and only anchor, the only thing that can keep him human. During a transformation attack in Season 3B, Scott’s mother Melissa reminds him to use his anchor. Scott retaliates that Allison had been his anchor, and now that they’ve broken up, that he doesn’t have an anchor anymore. Melissa then gives Scott the best advice that one parent can ever give to a teenage werewolf: to be his own anchor.

With just enough strength and mental motivation, you can be your own anchor.

Some may have already found their anchors. Some may haven’t. If you haven’t found your anchor yet, do not fret. It may be a quiet corner in the park, a best friend, a teddy bear, a memory, a feeling. Life is all about learning, seeking, and trying new things. I promise you that it will come, even when you least expect it.

On a side note, I am loving Kira on the show. Can’t wait to see more of her and Scott in the new episode!

“The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us”

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‘The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us’ is a six-part documentary series by National Geographic, narrated by Rob Lowe, that portrays the 80’s as the decade. It was the decade that led us to have what we have today: iPhones, the internet, interracial music, pop culture, media, movies, TV, even ice cream. Without the 80’s, this documentary argues, none of that would even exist.

This documentary was more interesting and life-changing for me than anything else I have ever watched. Seriously.

It opened up my eyes to the evolution of technology, society, music, people. I was reminded of how everything worked in the dark ages, before technology became prominent, before Facebook, before everything that is relevant today.

More importantly, it showed what it meant to work hard. This documentary may have just been simply to put together monumental events during the 80’s. But it also talked about very inspiring people, people who worked very hard at what they did. People who were driven to overcome whatever obstacles they faced.

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Steve Jobs for example, even though he got fired from Apple, his own creation, still continued to persevere because he loved what he did. He was so passionate about the Macintosh and computers that I could feel it practically oozing out of him. His headstrong personality and charm in the interviews shown in the documentary actually made me wish that he was still alive so that I could meet him someday. But I can’t, unfortunately.

However, from the documentary, I did find out about his speech at Stanford, which I would also recommend for those who feel stressed or worried about their future. It also serves as an amazing piece of inspiration. This is personally one of my favorite parts of the speech:

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Gives me chills.

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Ronald Reagan, the great communicator. I’d always known about his assassination attempt, but not in depth. Little did I know that it’d actually been like a Kennedy 2.0 of sorts, with much anticipation and anxiety from around the world. With the Kennedy assassination being so distraught, I don’t think could even handle another lovable president gone.

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Ronald Reagan came back stronger than ever after his assassination attempt, big smiles and all. His recovery and nonchalance on the matter made me even shed a tear. Much of this documentary in general made me want to just cry buckets because it was so moving. Or maybe it’s just me and how easy I cry at practically everything.

The documentary also features Madonna (whom I also now deeply admire and I’ve been listening to her songs non-stop), the Rubik’s Cube, Jane Fonda, Calvin Klein, and much more. This documentary literally made me fall in love with the 80’s because everyone just seemed to genuinely love what they were doing. Nowadays, it’s just all about the money. Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels speaks more about this in this article, which I completely agree with every word he says.

I sincerely recommend watching this documentary. I learned a lot from it (that’s an understatement) and it has also given me a new perspective on today’s pop culture, as well as the evolution of society.

Now, here’s Cory Monteith’s version of ‘Jessie’s Girl’. Simply because this song is my jam, and I love Cory Monteith. Who, unfortunately, I am also unable to meet personally. This happens a lot, it seems…