Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Angry Women United

I am absolutely obsessed with Margaret Cho's blog posts on Beauty & Body Image. She doesn't hold back what she's thinking or feeling. Margaret is pissed the fuck off and she is letting the world know. I love it. I love it so much. For awhile now, I've been trying to hold back my anger. I really have. But having anger, having passion for something is not something that should be held back all the time. If that was the case, then no one would ever stand up about anything they believe in. There would not have been any kind of change in this world. Anger and passion... Two feelings I have been trying to lock away, but can no longer.

I've been known to lecture when I hear people say anything negative about other people. Especially with the girls in my family. If I hear one of them bashing some girl in their class I get fucking livid. Trust me, my wrath is known. Sometimes it will be about the tiniest thing and I will look like a crazy dramatic bitch. But what people don't understand is that those tiny words like "fat" or "slut" and the like are not tiny words. They are not words that should be taken lightly and it makes me angry that we live in a society where these words are thrown around like nothing. You hear them at school, at work, in public, from your friends, and from your family... these words are everywhere. They are usually linked with the excuse, "Well, they said this about me" or "They did this to me." Not an excuse. I do not and will not take that as an excuse. EVER.

I grew up with plenty of people saying horrible things to me and about me. I didn't go around saying horrible things about them because "they did it first." No, because I know its wrong and I know its hurtful and scarring and I would never, ever want to inflict that kind of hurt and pain on another person. Not even my worst enemy.

I am obsessed with reading Margaret Cho's blogposts because she is so raw that it gives me goosebumps to have someone at her status spew anger that I have in my own heart about the fucking assholes in this world. Margaret Cho is fierce. She is angry. She is real. I wish more women were as pissed off as she is because it disgusts me how much we put up with in this world today. We have girls pining for abusers like Chris Brown, we have girls starving themselves to be on Top Model type tv shows and we have girls being beaten down by society because their size, race, beliefs, sex life and everything else in-between. Maybe if we had more women in this world like Margaret Cho we wouldn't be watching the rich, old, white men in our government slowly take away the rights our mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers and so-on fought so hard for us to have.

Margaret is pissed off. I'm pissed off. You should be pissed off.
There are so many different topics that I want to tell you to be pissed off about, but I shouldn't have to tell you. It's common fucking sense. It's common fucking sense to be a decent human being...

- arp

Monday, March 19, 2012

Still hungover?

Oh, I forgot to write a blog post dedicated to St. Patrick's Day because I guess as a blogger, you're supposed to do things like that.

I wish I could use the excuse that I was too drunk to even work a computer because as a freckly Irish lass I was celebrating leprechaun day.

But I actually went to my nanas house and ate a boiled dinner even though they don't do that in Ireland and then I went and got froyo with my cousins and friends because thats we do when we need to escape the crazy adults in our family. (because as a 21 year old, I'm not an adult yet, right?)

Anyway - Happy St. Patrick's Day 2 days late. I hope you didn't get arrested. Unless you were those really obnoxious drunk teenagers at the parade every year who think they're super awesome for getting shit faced around a bunch of Southie families...

Is anyone else getting sunburnt on your back porch on this beautiful day? Am I the only one on Spring Break right now because my school sucks and waited until everyone else went back to school? Does this count as a good blog post for the day?

Well, it's good enough for a Monday after St. Patrick's weekend...
How long until you'll stop gagging after someone mentions Baileys?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Receiving Respect from Your Professors Goes A Long Way

The past couple of semesters I've done my best to gain respect from my professors. This is something that every college student should make their goal. Not only is it great when you need recommendations (if you’re transferring from a 2 yr to a 4 yr) it makes you study harder, pay attention more and spend a lot more time writing that research paper. Striving to gain respect from your professors creates a whole new level of motivation that you’ve never experienced before. Before you know it, you’re getting papers back with those big red A’s, tests back with the maximum amount of points received and what I think is the best, a vocal “well done” when your professor hands you those papers. I’m going to help you get that respect. I’m going to help you do the best you can in your classes. Follow these tips and you should be golden. 

1. Eye Contact
If you’re like me, then the first day of class you go straight for the back of the class. I hate sitting up front. I feel like everyone is staring at me. I know that is ridiculous and totally self-centered, to think the whole class is staring at me, but I’m 21 so that means I’m still narcissistic and will be until I’m… a mother? I don’t know. Anyways… If you’re like me freshman year of college than you’ll be making your way to the back corner of the room. Wrong. I’m going to allow you to sit in the back of the class, okay? Because that is where we feel comfortable, but I refuse to let you hide in the corner. You are not being punished for being in class. It may feel that way sometimes, but you are not a little kid being told to sit in the corner for pulling little Mindy’s braids. Sit in the back center. Or as close as the center you can get. Why? Because your professor is most likely standing in the front center of the classroom and you want that professor to see you. You want the professor to know you are paying attention and you want him to know that you are listening intently. We all know how it is when we try to avoid eye contact because we don't want to be called on, but we are not in high school anymore. It's time to accept the fact that you have a human body and therefore are not invisible when you aren't making eye contact with someone. So, suck it up and look right back at your teacher when they're speaking to the class. It will make them see that they are actually speaking to you, educating you. You want them to notice you noticing them. Get it? Making eye contact, nodding, furrowing eyebrows while writing notes. This is what your professor wants to see. Make it happen.
2. Speak up
You know when your professor asks the class a question about the reading or whatever you are studying and no one answers? Yeah, be the person who answers. Why? Because your professor is wishing with all his/her might that someone will actually say something. It does not matter if you think your answer is wrong or not what they’re looking for. Say it. You will either be a) right, and your professor will be all “yes!” and continue on or b) you will be wrong and the ground beneath you will open up and you and your desk will fall to the pits of hell. OH, thats not what will happen if you’re wrong?! WOW. Who knew?! Look, if your answer is wrong your professor will definitely make note that you spoke up anyway and then you will be the person he/she is talking to when explaining the actual answer. Again, eye contact while they’re explaining, listen and take notes. Try to involve yourself in the discussion always. I have a lot of teachers who want people to actually speak up and they never do. Everyone is scared to be wrong but if they notice that someone is talking, it will encourage others to shout out or raise their hand too. Ya know? Don’t freak yourself out about these things. Your professor wants to hear you. Speak up.
3. Ask Questions
Same rules apply to this one as they do in #2. You and everyone else in the class have questions and no one asks. It makes the professor think that you aren’t doing the homework or reading the material. It makes the professor think you don’t care. Raise your hand and ask the damn question. You’ll feel weird for two seconds while asking it and then it’s done! Then the professor explains it and who knows, it might widen the view on the topic. Professors may be doing the teaching, but they still want to learn what their students are thinking. If you are still being a little scaredy cat and don’t want to raise your hand in a room full of other scaredy cats, then go to them after class. The point is, you want the professor to know that you care, that you want to know the material, that you want to do well.
4. Go to every single class
Yes, even if the syllabus says you can have up to 4 missed classes without being penalized. Guess what? It’s a big fat lie. Yes, you might not have points deducted for not showing up, but when they’re putting your final grade in and they see that you attended all of their classes they might bump you from a B+ to an A-. Showing up to class means you don’t miss anything, so you are always kept up to speed, it means that your professor sees your face on a regular basis and it means that you get the respect that the other slackers don’t. If you must miss a class due to a doctor’s appointment or whatever, make sure you e-mail them ahead of time and assure them that you will bring some sort of documentation to excuse the absence. Don’t just not show up. It’s disrespectful. And unless you are in a huge lecture hall full of 300 people, they will notice. 
5. Do not miss your due dates!
Pass your damn assignments in on time! I promise you that your professor is receiving more than a few emails the night before or the day of full of excuses of why essays or whatever aren’t going to be completed on time. Don’t add your name to that list. Just don’t do it. The only time you shouldn’t be passing in something on time is when you have SO many other assignments due on the same day, and if thats the case, then you should talk to your professor in person at least a week before the due date and ask if you can maybe get an extension. I’ve had to do this before. My professor was surprisingly very okay with it. He didn’t even let me finish explaining why I needed it, he just said, “That’s fine, as long as you do well on it. It’s alright!” I’m always scared to ask my professors for things, but it’s never been a problem for me. Sometimes we forget that the good ones actually want us to do well. And if you follow the other tips I’ve listed for you, then they should be okay with their favorite student needing a day or two to make their paper even more kick ass. ;)
6. Suck up
Okay, by “suck up” I don’t mean be the annoying teacher’s pet that everybody wants to jump in the parking lot after class. I mean, if you look through your syllabus and see some things you’re looking forward to reading/doing, let them know! Before you leave class or if you see them walking through the building, just say a quick hello and a “oh, by the way, the syllabus looks great this semester. I’m really looking forward to this class!” They might give a slight nod and a quiet thank you or something not very enthusiastic, but I promise promise promise they were glad to hear that from a student. Teachers are people. They are not just robotic creatures of the underworld forcing you to do hours of homework because they get some sick enjoyment out of it. (okay, maybe some of them are, but lets stay positive here.) They too, like to hear that they’re doing well. If you enjoy someone’s class, let them know. They’ll keep you in mind when they’re sending in your final grades. 
I wish it didn’t take me so long to figure out to do this stuff.  I’m finally getting recognition from my professors and thats because I’m finally working my ass off to do well. Getting good grades is not the only thing to strive for in school, you guys. Creating a student/teacher relationship is really important. You never know who has connections or who you need recommendations from. It's a fabulous feeling when you realize you need something from a teacher and you can think of a bunch that would be willing to help you out. 
College can be unbearable. It can be scary. It can be intimidating. But do not forget that it’s not just like that for the students… We are all adults here. There may be some large gaps between student/teacher ages, but we are all adults. Adults striving to do well. Whether it’s in our studies or grasping the interest of students. Do your best to gain the respect of your teachers. It’s important. For both of you.

xo ARP

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Imitation Is NOT the Most Sincere Form of Flattery... It's Annoying

We've all been there: a friend or even a random individual who you are cool with likes the same movies as you. And the same books. And the same music. Before you know it, that person has started trying to talk like you, dress like you, follow the same life path.

Welcome to Introduction to Stalking, 101.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone takes their respect for (or even, in some cases, idolization of) someone to a level reminiscent of the campy plot to Single White Female.

Friends don't need to be exactly alike for them to be friends. The point is that you have some aspects of yourselves that are similar, and some that are, blissfully, different. I actually prefer the differences. It allows me to view and come to appreciate and respect a person's individuality. I pride myself on being an individual; how come others don't? Stand out in the crowd!

I used to want a twin. The gods were kind to my mother though, and only gave her one of me. I don't need someone who hasn't lived my life or walked a mile in my shoes trying to be like Siamese ass twins. It's not cute. I once had a buddy of mine tell me that if someone can do it better than the original, then they should. But she missed the point- there can only be one original. Sure, we all steal ideas. I'm not the first girl to study English, or to have multiple tattoos, or to love jeans with boots or whatever other quirks lie beneath my surface. But I am the only girl in the world to have all those qualities, plus whatever else defines me as me.

Stop insisting on duplicating something unique. Find what works for you and stick with it. Have the confidence to go out there in the world as yourself. That's all anybody else is trying to do.

Micky Ward: You ain't me, all right. You can't be me. You had a hard enough time being you when you had your fuckin' chance and that's why you're in here. All right? - The Fighter

<3 IMP </3

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fiction vs Fact: Are we friends or are we foes?

How the hell do YOU define friend? Go ahead, I'll wait...

Ok, now, how many people do you know that actually FIT that description? Hmph. And what about best friends, bffs, bffls, bf4e, and whatever horrendously cheesy net-slang acronyms one can place around the concept of a friend above all others- what about those?

The concept of friendship has always been a tricky one. And in this post-modern world, we now also have to consider things like associates, allies, frenemies, and plain-old bitches we don't like.

Why is everything so complicated?  Why does having a relationship with someone, where your connection has nothing to do with neither sharing the same blood nor sleeping together, have to be so goddamn taxing? Yes, romantic-relationship are hard with the drama they bring but in the end -the belief is- you find one person with whom you get along and you just keep working at it. With family, you fight, you stop speaking, you move away; but somehow they always get a pass because you have no choice but to just accept them as they are.

Yet the relationship between friends always seems to be more stressful. The other two are just accepted forms of stress. Friendships are supposed to be easy, right?

I feel like the concept of true friendship is starting, like many other things, to become obsolete. Sex and the City-style quartets don't last. I've belonged to a few myself- I know what I am talking about. And I'm the kind of person who is not above a very hard, nasty critique of self. I put my own words, actions, and thoughts under the EXACT same magnifying glass as I do everyone else, and this I do regularly. What causes you to lose friends? Conversely, how do you gain real friends? And how does this affect yourself?

I feel that the first step towards true friendship is to be true to yourself. Remember that magnifying glass I mentioned? You have to be willing to break down your own character- this aides you in being able to see yourself the way someone else would. This does not mean to be self-effacing, or worse, to damage your own psyche. No, you just have to be real about who you are. And you have to accept it- you have to be okay with every aspect about you; flaws and perfections. Then, and only then, can you realize that yes, you may critical or yes, you may be a bit bitchy around that time of the month, or yes, sometimes you are a bit needy. But you can also see that yes, you would give someone your last $10 to be able to afford a bus pass or yes, you will drive to their house at 3 a.m. to console them after breaking up with a boyfriend (or throw a brick through his car window).

You have to accept you. And then you have to find others who accept you as well. The theme of family relationships and romantic ones is acceptance. The same ideology has to be applied in friendship as well. You can't be friends with someone who doesn't accept you- what the hell kind of friendship is that? You need to be able to read people. Social cues and subtlety count for very little these days. You should be able to discern whether someone needs a pat on the back or a good swift kick in the ass and a dose of reality. People get so wrapped up in themselves that they don't know how to think about others. You need to be able to actually feel things too- anger, sadness, contentment. To feel allows you to remember that others feel as well. And, well, if you have someone with the same kind of social skills and intuition that you've got, you will have the kind of friendship where you don't even have to say much- the other person will just know what you think. Don't we all truly desire a connection like that? Isn't that what connecting is all about?

You also have to understand the difference in being a friend and having someone be a friend to you. It is all too easy to throw around the word "friend" because it is such a huge umbrella that seems to be all-encompassing. But not everyone is your friend. You also must accept that even if you have known someone for years, they could really just be a foe in hiding- a wolf in a fabulous sheepskin fur coat with Uggs to match.

The main point is that friendship, like every other kind of relationship out there, needs to be built on mutual acceptance, respect, and support for self and for all others involved. I haven't always been the greatest friend (magnifying glass); years of growing and maturing has taught me that. But if I love you, if I feel for you, empathize with you, cry for you and not because you are related to me or because I am sleeping with you- if I have a genuine spot for you inside of my small bubble of those who I truly care for and give  shit about, then that should be enough. I don't need bffs and allies and whatnot. I just need a small circle of individuals who know me and accept me for who I am- not perfect but working on it. And ready to throw a brick through a window anytime of the day.

<3 IMP </3