The Writer’s Garret and… zines!

I had an awesome time at The Writer’s Garret open house yesterday!

Yes, but you may be wondering…

  1. what exactly is the Writer’s Garret?

The Writer’s Garret is a non-profit org in Dallas- you can read about their mission and goals here .

2.  … and what was I (and what will I be) doing there?

I am participating in a program called CAMP, which means I will be hanging out with a bunch of aspiring writer folk and working on my writing. The most epic part is that I pay for some of my tuition through work-exchange (because, you know… student loans and college are coming…), so I will also get to learn about non-profit organizations more generally and potentially teach creative writing to the K-12 population!

I got to hear some writers talk about the classes that they are teaching this semester at the organization and share some of their writing.

And I also got started on a zine.   🙂

the cover of my zine
the cover of my zine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and speaking of zines…

@RookieMag: more about zines and make your own zine

pages from another zine I’m working on…

 

 

 

No to mindless miles, yes to mindful ones!

If you are a runner that spends time with other runners, especially those from the clan of mid- and long-distance ninjas, you might be familiar with this question: “How many miles per week do you run?”

This question seems especially popular between seasons, when runners are focused on getting ready for outdoor track or cross country. Usually, there’s a target number that a runner will aim for. It could be anywhere from 20 to 40 to 60 to upwards of 80… And generally, if you provide a greater number, your running buddies will take you more seriously. In fact, more and more kids seem to be taking pride in the number of miles that they run- it’s as if running more miles makes you as legit and superhuman as Usain Bolt.

Sorry to ruin your ego trip- But what if running more miles alone did not guarantee better times? What if running more and more miles o n l y for the sake of running miles led to injuries and fatigue and burnout? Would you still feel all macho and abs-o-steel and heroic? Continue reading “No to mindless miles, yes to mindful ones!”

Awesome learning parties and piñatas (or, why I decided to take a gap year)

It was the end of July, and I was apprehensive about leaving for college. Between fretting over my schedule, fumbling through the audition excerpts for the symphony orchestra, and figuring out how I would balance my focus between running and academics, I felt completely overwhelmed.

I wasn’t sure I would be able to have a successful freshman year of college. For one thing, I had so far managed to avoid practicing the violin audition excerpts (and most practicing in general). And that definitely meant that my seat in the orchestra and any chance I had of getting a slot for lessons each week was null. Coupled with my shoddy time management skills (not much improved since senior year), and ambitious running goals, I felt like I was already ruining the beautiful, most perfect piñata (full of goals met and good grades and… candy) that I envisioned to be my freshman year.

I was in panic mode.

There was no way my freshman year of college was going to come anywhere close to a wonderful learning party (with streamers and good music and ice cream). And that was kind of sad. I was really looking forward to tasty sandwiches, and I didn’t know if I was ready for another pb and jam situation (that I had already created for myself this time around).

And unfortunately, since I was the creator of this ultimate party plan, I could not escape its sub-optimal-ness. I could not escape the impending piñata nightmare (that I was definitely not ready to take down with a convincing whack). So I decided to ditch the piñata and the original party plan.

I was going to find a new way to make sure that my freshman year was an awesome learning party.

So I went back to the drawing board.

an early outline of goals and phases for my gap year
an early outline of goals and phases for my gap year
I decided to take a gap year

for the reason that it would give me time, and that time would allow me to get the time management skills and confidence that I needed in order to enjoy the awesomeness of my college learning party. And most importantly, I could re-discover my passion for nonsensical questions and all things academic that I had lost in high school.

Gap years are their own learning parties. Taking a gap year meant that I could get some practice at planning and managing my time, AND still get to rock out to the learning song. EXCEPT, I wouldn’t have to risk ruining my freshman year party piñata. In fact, I would be more ready to whack it and meet my goals (woot! woot!).

And just like my freshman year learning party required some planning and goal setting, my gap year would too. I needed to figure out what was going to make my gap year totally rad and give me opportunities to re-discover my confidence and inquisitiveness.

Unconventionally, it would not include any sort of travel (at least, not for now, and not as a focus). Instead, I came up with a short list of goals and decided to structure my year around meeting those goals in three phases.

The goals are my recipes for having fun and make sure that my gap year is an epic learning party 100% of the time. The phases are the actual fun part- they’re the things that I do at different points throughout the year to make sure that I have a fantastic learning party*.

So, the gap year party found me in a spontaneous, sudden sort of way. And I’m glad. I get to learn new things about myself and revive the parts of me that I hid in high school. And I know that I’ll definitely be ready to take a good, confident whack at the piñata of met goals and good grades my freshman year.

*more on this later

Celebrating my sister's b-day
Celebrating my sister’s b-day! Yay for gap year parties!