Sunday, October 21, 2012

What I've Learned In...Ecology

My professors keep talking about how a shift in education has begun. Teachers now only teach the material that students need to know to pass their exams, instead of giving them any practical information. There is too much of an emphasis on earning grades rather than knowledge.

Lately I've been trying to think about what I learn in my classes in a broader sense. What's the "big picture" of what I'm learning? How am I going to use this in the future?

Which brings me to the first of this installment: what I've learned in ecology.

  • Bears aren't hibernating anymore! Well, they are, but for shorter amounts of time. They've been slowly migrating to more urban areas, where they have ample food sources from all the garbage they get into. This is why National Parks have bear-proof garbage cans--it really messes up their psyche and hibernation patterns.

  • The current population boom is not happening in the USA--it's happening in pre-industrial societies (such as Africa and rural parts of Asia) where new technology is lowering the rate of infant mortality


  • You want to see something interesting? Check out wikipedia's page on overpopulation. In a nutshell, we don't know when Earth will reach its carrying capacity (when we don't have enough resources to cover everyone on the planet), because there are so many factors and variables that would determine this statistic. 

  • Clown fish and angler fish are the coolest animals ever. Clown fish change their sex during their life. For angler fish, the male is teeny tiny and bites onto the female. She ends up sending out a chemical that dissolves the male until he's only a pack of gonads so she can reproduce. So weird!

I thought ecology would be a pretty dry class going in, but it's actually turned out to be quite interesting. It's always like that--the classes you're not excited for end up being great!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Housekeeping (enter my giveaway!)

(I never understood this scene--I always thought it seemed out of place. But it always comes to mind when I think of housekeeping!)

Two items of business:

1. Enter The Angelorian Tradition giveaway! I've been extending it because I want to get a ton of entries for it. If you're already a follower of my blog, you don't have to do anything for one entry--just enter via the Rafflecopter app. It ends 10/24 at midnight.

2. I've started to reply to all comments via email. That way you'll get my replies sent straight to your inbox. The only problem is that so many of you are no-reply bloggers, so you can't get my emails. To fix this, I found a tutorial on Sullivan and Murphy's blog right here. It really will make the blogging world a much happier place for you, I promise!

I'll be back soon with posts, but in the meantime enjoy your weekend and this beautiful fall weather!

Friday, October 12, 2012

iPhone Cases

I got an iPHONE!

Finally! I had a Droid Incredible before and, while it was great, it simply wasn't reliable enough. I went through three refurbished models because it kept breaking down on me. Now that I was up for an upgrade, I decided to pull the trigger and go all Apple.

The problem? There are just TOO MANY cute iPhone 4s cases out there that I can't decide which one to get! Here are some of the contenders.

Does anyone have any suggestions of good iPhone case brands?

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Angelorian Tradition: Review & Giveaway

Recently I was contacted by Crystal, owner of The Angelorian Tradition, one of the most interesting Etsy shops I've seen in a long time. Crystal designs an assortment of vintage crafts, jewelry and party favors that all go together nicely. I literally want everything I see in this shop--and that's a whopping 172 different items!

Crystal has this to say about her shop and its unique name: Angelorian as a word is based in Latin and I have been told best translates to English as meaning "Rare Beauty." The name 'The Angelorian Tradition' therefore is most easily translated as 'The Tradition of Rare Beauty.' I chose this name not only for its aesthetic qualities of rarity and its pretty essence when spoken (An-gel-or-ian) but also for its ideals of beauty as a tradition in society as a whole, as an escape, as an inspiration and as a muse to the endless possibilities life in all its moments can offer. 

The package of goodies I received to review from Crystal was absolutely amazing. I was swept away by all the little treasures stuffed inside. Crystal packages all of her products extremely well by including quotation cards and personalized thank you notes. You feel like you're being treated so well as a customer when you open your package and see the care in which Crystal made it. Everything in the package followed the "rare beauty" aesthetic that carries through The Angelorian Tradition.

The wrapping--I love the chandeliers!

"A positive attitude may not solve all of your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth your effort." -Herm Albright-

A special thank-you note

Crystal's business card

As I said before, the package contained all kinds of goodies, including the Lucky Penny I've raved about. I love how Crystal even chose a penny with my birth year on it: 1991!

Crystal also sent me something that all of my roommates became jealous of instantly. Being the coffee fanatic I am, I was thrilled to receive this vintage spoon with the words "Start your day right: coffee". So true. Though you can't see it, Crystal also stamped the letter B on the handle for me. I can see this being a GREAT gift that any coffee lover would love.

Here's an  extra lucky penny to give to a friend. Isn't this cute? Now I just have decide who I'm going to give it to...

Finally, I was sent four interchangable flower crochet hair clips. It's such a cool concept--you use one barrette but can change what color flower you wear.There's even one in my favorite color, pink! Now I just have to make a post of me wearing them. I love how they come in so many different colors--I can make them match with so many outfits.

As I said before, there are so many products in The Angelorian Tradition that I wish I could cover all of them! Here are some more products that I found on the site and loved.

And now for the best part: Crystal is offering a giveaway for my readers! Crystal is offering a rose necklace in the color of your choice to one of my followers. I personally love this necklace--I think it's gorgeous, and I love all the colors it comes in. To enter, use the Rafflecopter app below. The giveaway contest ends a week from today. After I contact the winner, they will have seven days to respond to me before I pick an alternative winner. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everybody, and remember to check out The Angelorian Tradition today!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Understanding Shakespeare: 4 Simple Tricks

This semester I was forced to take a 300-level Shakespeare class. It's a requirement for my English major, so I figured I might as well get it out of the way so I don't have to take it senior year.

Is it fun? No. Am I getting through it? Yes, but it's been a painful experience.

For those of you who don't understand Shakespeare either, I thought I'd compose a list of the tricks I'm using to survive the class. These tricks can be applied to any English book that you're required to read.

1. Use Post-It Notes to summarize each page
In class, we go through the plays page by page. I use post-it notes when I'm reading to keep track of all the major events, characters and lines on each page. Not only does this keep me from falling asleep when I'm reading, but it also means I don't have to write all over my rented Shakespeare textbook.

2. After reading, write down a brief summary of each scene
I don't know about you, but these plays are confusing. It's hard to keep track of everything, so right after I'm done doing the reading assignment I write down what I remember about the plot. It's great to study off of for our oh-so-wonderful weekly reading quizzes.

3. Check to see if your interpretation is correct on Sparknotes
Okay, I'll admit it, sometimes I don't do the reading for classes and rely on Sparknotes to help me out. BUT I find that Sparknotes is actually a better tool for when you've done the reading but aren't sure if you understood it or not. For instance, I got completely stumped by a passage in The Merchant of Venice, but Sparknotes helped me get through it by summarizing the meaning of the passage for me. Don't rely on Sparknotes, though--use it sparingly.

4. For help with specific lines, check out No Fear Shakespeare
"No Fear Shakespeare" is a series of books that translate traditional Shakespearian plays into "modern-day" English (Shakespeare technically did write in modern English, but I won't bore you with that story). If there's a specific line that I don't understand, it's great to look up the "modern" translation of it so I can understand it better.

I'm curious: do we have any fans of Shakespeare out there?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Lucky Penny Chronicles

So last week was Hell Week. Meaning it was the week that everybody's  tests and exams seem to take place. Mine wasn't as bad as it's been in the past--I had a physics test, ecology test, Victorian lit paper and a quiz. Not bad. But still...I wasn't in the mood to study. I haven't been since school started! Senioritis a year early I think?

Enter the lovely package I received from Crystal at The Angelorian Tradition on Wednesday. The Angelorian Tradition is a shop  I still have to do an "official" review of, but for now let me give you a teaser and tell you my favorite part of the package: a lucky penny with my name embossed on it.

Isn't it adorable?

I know, I know, we make our own luck. But sometimes we don't. Sometimes we decide to go out instead of studying for a physics exam, and that's where the luck comes in--to fix our own stupid mistake.

So I put my new lucky penny in my pocket on Thursday so I could somehow miraculously ace the ecology test I barely studied for. I used it when studying for my physics quiz on Friday, and for Round 2 of sorority recruitment...

I carried it in my pocket during work on Saturday when I met the students I'm going to tutor for the rest of the year, and during Preference Round of sorority recruitment!

Putting it simply, this lucky penny has brought me all the luck in the world at a time when I really needed it. I've always wanted a token to carry around with me when I needed an extra boost.

Some people have lucky socks. Some have a lucky pencil. Well, guess what? I now have a lucky penny.

Get yours at The Angelorian Tradition !

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Interview Outfit: Take 2

I originally wrote a post last spring about what I wore to a research position interview. Since that was a casual affair and I've had more interview experience since then, I decided I'd jazz things up a bit.

In the past few weeks I've had several interviews and occasions where the attire was "business casual", so the following has become my go-to outfit:

Interview Outfit

Interview Outfit by preppypremed featuring h&m

The Basics
  • Black blazer
  • White button-down or oxford
  • Tan/khaki pants
The Extras

  • Simple statement necklace
  • Black flats or pumps
  • Neutral nail polish
Does anyone have any interview outfit tips? 

And for those of you who were wondering: for the Magic Cards game, I find your number by adding together the first upper left-hand numbers of the cards you said your numbers appeared on. So if 21 is your number, it appears on cards A,D, and E. You would tell me that, and I would add up the numbers in the upper lefthand corners of those cards to get 21 (4+16+1). Make sense?