Friday, December 30, 2011

The College Experience- a dream of the past?

You know how when you google something and it leads to a search on something else and before you know it, you're on a website and have no idea how you got there or what train of thought led you to this in the first place? That was me this past Tuesday night. I was bored and had my laptop open and was furiously going through old movies and songs; blurred memories I had collected in my head over the past 24 years- things that I hadn't even realized that I had put together subconsciously.

I found myself on Youtube watching old promos from the WB (before it became the travesty known as the CW today). This brought me back to my childhood- or better yet my preteen/teen years,a time when you could legitimately watch the WB every night of the week and find something on that you could relate to. Buffy, Dawson's Creek, Popular, Roswell, Angel, 7th Heaven, Felicity, Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Jamie Foxx Show. Remember how the WB had the best promos? They showed the casts dancing around, being young and beautiful and loving life. Made you want to be an actor on one of these shows, didn't it?

This was back when it seemed okay to wrestle with the big questions facing you: what to wear to your senior prom, what colleges to apply to, how to begin the next phase of your life. It seemed like the most important thing in the world at the time, right? On my trip down memory lane, I got stuck on one show in particular: Felicity.

This was one of those shows that was hailed as groundbreaking before it even aired. The truth was, it was a groundbreaking show. Most of the other WB shows focused on highschoolers living life and worrying about impulsive decisions made in the "here and now." This shows focused on the result of impulsive decisions made by one highschooler in particular. Keri Russell as Felicity seemed the epitome of college chic during the end of the 90s- wide eyed, natural beauty, wild curly rebellion hair, a decent vocabulary, and a bohemian wardrobe that belonged in the city where the show was set, in New York, and featured a wide array of taxi cabs and coffeehouses and random intelligent discussions about how hard life is post-grad.

Whatever happened to this? What happened to the college experiences of old? Yes, I know Felicity is a show but it was about as realistic as they come. More so even now. It didn't shy away from topics such as casual sex, sharing partners, moving away from home, becoming independent, following ones dreams, searching for love and the pitfalls of the "freedom" that comes with fledgling adulthood. I remember watching the promos for this shows at about 12 years of age and seeing the protagonist walking in slow motion to "The Power of Goodbye" by Madonna, her hair blowing in the wind behind her, a look of wonder in her eyes as she surveys this new world around her.

How come college isn't like this any more? Was it ever really like this? From my own personal experiences with obtaining my undergraduate degree (7 years in the making by the way) I remember my first foray out into the real world. I left my house at 17 and moved 1000 miles away to attend school in a part of the country I had never been in: the Dirty South. I was also on my own. I experienced first love and independence. I chased a dream (which turned into a nightmare) and I spent time in coffeehouses discussing what life would bring me. I remember all of this vividly. And yet, it seems that generations of students are now being robbed of this opportunity.

The coffeehouse today is no longer a cool hangout spot where students can discuss papers and lessons taught in seminars. It's a dumping ground for douchebags who want to act as if they are "bucking the system" (aka modern hipsters). It is no longer trendy or cool to have thoughtful and meaningful conversation. It's cool to waste time, fail classes and be a college whore/man-whore. Perhaps I'm still naive. Maybe, college was never like what I imagined it to be; like what I saw in shows like Felicity. Maybe college has always been a giant clusterfuck of money that could be better spent and people who don't actually care about what they are doing. Maybe it's not a place to find oneself. Indeed, it seems that now, it is a way to extend the foolishness that went along with high school. College students are no longer in it for the education; they certainly don't care anymore about the benefits of having a degree (there don't seem to be anymore benefits in this economy anyway). People no longer go to school because they enjoy being challenged and using their brains. It seems that the "college" of old is now dead.

I guess that's why shows like Felicity get cancelled. I guess that's why so many people stop going to school. Personally, during my 7 year odyssey, I have considered dropping out several times. I have "taken breaks" and have been content to have a "fuck it" attitude. Yet, the feeling of accomplishment, of knowing I spent hours writing papers and studying for exams that I aced, of learning to balance a personal life around a full class schedule, of having to decide what to study (which is akin to deciding how you will live the rest of your life), and that final moment when I have that piece of paper as proof of the path I chose to take- this all seems pretty worthwhile to me.

Perhaps, we as a society have changed our values. Maybe this new generation's focus on studying Sparknotes instead of actually picking up a book and doing the mental chemistry necessary to understand a text is the direction education is headed in. Perhaps, placing value on books and written notes and witty banter is now archaic. A good vocabulary is meaningless; now all you see is "net-speech." Being able to use proper grammar and perform complicated mathematical equations and understand philosophical concepts, and employing proper technique while doing a biology lab is comparable to learning another language. Maybe, I am just a fool hanging on to a dream I developed at 12 years old, when I saw a commercial about a young girl and her journey into becoming a young woman. All I know for sure is that the college dream is now dead- school is more of a curse in this country. A burden. And if that is true, if I am living through an Inception-type mind-fuck where everything I believed is really a nightmare, then I end with this: how do we turn the dream into a reality?

<3 IMP </3

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Spend the day with family and friends.... that's what Christmas is all about anyway. 


Saturday, December 17, 2011

This is a blog with different voices, different views and opinions... we welcome everyone who wants to have a voice of their own.

If anyone wants to be part of this blog, shoot me an email and we'll talk about what you want to bring to it. 

xo al

Friday, December 16, 2011

Duckface- Um. Is this supposed to be cute?

So, what’s with girls who take pictures of themselves with their lips poked out and cheeks sucked in looking like cracked-out prostitutes advertising free blowjobs? I believe this new internet “sensation” is called duckface.

Why??????????? Why do females do this to themselves? Is there ANYONE at all in the world who still finds this cute?

See, most internet phenomena start out with one person doing something that works for them. Perhaps that very first girl, girl A, had incredible bone structure and naturally high cheek bones and decent lips… I would like to think that maybe, just maybe, she was taking a kissy-face shot and the look became a huge hit as her facebook/mypace/twitter/aim/bebo/blackplanet/whatever-the-hell-else-is-out-there profile pic. (Am I dating myself by even mentioning Blackplanet? Hope not.)

However, the next chick, girl B, who was clearly a friend/groupie/fan/cyberstalker of the first one, decided to emulate her, because let’s face it, there is no such thing as originality on the web anymore. Oh, and let’s also throw in there that ever-perpetuated lie that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Why did girl B do this? The result is a plethora of internet wannabe models who believe that scrunching their faces and causing a bad case of premature wrinkles is the way to be sexy. Once one person copies another, it is a fad. A few more people, and it becomes a trend. When it seems that every other person is doing the same ridiculous, I-look-like-I’m-trying-so-hard-to-be-beautiful-to-hide-the-fact-that-I’m-really-insecure-about-my-looks pose, then it becomes a mistake.

Perhaps this topic seems trivial; indeed, I am wondering myself why it bugs me so much. I guess the truth is because everywhere I turn, I am told what is supposed to be beautiful. And yes, I admit that I fall for a lot of it; it was even worse when I was younger. I just hate to see girls who are already beautiful in their own way try and emulate someone else- who has flaws- to cover up their own flaws.

If you want to take bathroom self pics and act like they are Victoria’s Secret model shots, no one is stopping you; just do it the right way. Instead of trying to look like the next girl, look like yourself. Maybe then you’ll find that you are not at your sexiest when you are attempting to look like an internet skank. Maybe, just maybe, you’re at your sexiest (and your most beautiful) when you are smiling naturally and it highlights the killer eyes and perfect teeth you have. Just a thought…

<3 IMP </3

Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Have More Absences Than Completed Assignments This Semester, Don't You?

So, it’s the end of the semester and if you’re like me, then you’re scrambling around trying to get everything in before grades close and you’re trying to suck up to your teachers so they won’t take too many points off your grade for not going to class. This is when you don’t sleep, eat all the wrong things and ask yourself WHY you did this to yourself? “If I had just gone to class…” “If I had just done this the day it was assigned…” If you’re like me, then you know exactly what I am talking about. 
This is an article on what to do to avoid being a mess at the end of the semester because trust me, you are not the only person going to your professor asking for “one more day! PLEASE.” See, I think that professors have this mental list of students they respect the least. The top of this list are the students who don’t go to class. You can be a shitty test taker, a bad essay writer, etc., but if you show up to every single class with a pen and notebook, your professor WILL notice and they will WANT to help you come final time. You just have to show up.
Easier said than done though, ain’t it? I’ve been in this school for three years so luckily I have a few teachers who know me, not only because I’ve been in their classes but because I work here too. One of my favorite professors said this to me yesterday when I asked what she was teaching next semester: “See, what I’m worried about it you showing up. That’s the only complaint I have about you Alexandra. You are a wonderful student, but you need to be in class more.”
It’s like a punch in the stomach. You look up to someone, you respect them, they inspire you and you, well, you are a disappointment. I take things personally. That’s how I am. I walk by a professor and I say hello and they nod, I immediately think, “Oh no, I did something.” I know, I am crazy. I really am. I know it’s not me. It’s rather narcissistic to think so, but I just want to be liked by those who I admire. You know what I want MORE than to be liked by those who I admire? 
Oh, sleep. Sleep and me go way back. It’s been a loving relationship right from the start, but it started to get unhealthy about the time I started high school. Sleep didn’t want to let me go. Sleep got jealous when I had to get up for school and I finally just gave in to the controlling behavior. It’s been a hard fight for the past three years being in college. Sleep knows there is more freedom in college but I know there is more responsibility, so it’s a constant battle trying to free myself from those nice warm arms early in the morning. Sleep wins a lot though. Hence this article on scrambling at the end of the semester. 
I’m rambling. You know exactly what I’m talking about though. I know you. You’ve been fighting too… There are lots of us. You are not alone. We must band together and stand up to sleep. Just say No. Get to class. Take those notes. Breathe. Get respect from those teachers that you respect. It will pay off big time at the end of the semester. Sleep may no be getting much love, but your grades will be getting loads of it. 
Trust me. 
(I’m not saying don’t sleep. Sleep is the most important thing to getting good grades. Get plenty of it but don’t take that as permission to sleep through your classes.)
Right now I am turning in very late papers. Very late homework assignments and doing so without looking my teacher in the eye. 
“I really hope to have you again next semester, you are one of my favorite teachers in this school. You really are. I’m going to prove it to you next semester.” This is something I should say. Maybe I’ll just e-mail it to them instead…. Oh dear.
Good luck on your finals everybody. I promise to have a better prep guide next semester! But I just couldn’t write one this semester. It’d be lying! I’d be lying about my study habits because I don’t have any study habits. But next semester will be different! You will see my dearest readers! You will see!

Xo Al

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Your Patience Will Be Rewarded!

It's been a very stressful couple of months. This semester has been crazy and busy and broken. I wanted to have this site filled with awesomeness. I wanted gift guides and study tips, etc., but life just got too damn nutty for me to handle everything at once so I had to let go of this baby of mine. Next week is the last day of the semester and I am really excited to get going with this website. Me and my very best friend, Imani, will be writing and posting constantly for our lovely readers. An entire month of freedom will bring some life into this boring blog so hold on a little longer my loyal readers. (who I cannot believe I even have right now. Thank you so much to those of you who check up as often as you do)

xoxo Alex

New Friends with Old Friends

Do not own photo

When someone who was once your friend, tries to contact you after two years and you ignore it and they continue to press, what are you supposed to do? I put myself in their shoes and decided that if I was the one who screwed up and I was trying to get in touch with someone I hurt, I would want some kind of response, even if I didn’t deserve it. I would want a chance. So, I gave him that chance. I gave him the chance, but I made it clear that I was not someone who sat and nodded along with “I did this but you did that” bullshit anymore. If I didn’t do anything, I will not tolerate being told I did just so he can feel like he deserved less of the fault. 

Hearing the words “I’m sorry” is something everyone likes to hear when they deserve to hear it, but it does not matter unless the words are sincere and you will never know if the words are sincere until it is proven to you after the whole forgiveness part. It’s a tricky situation. I wanted to keep my guard up. I wanted to make it seem like I had a wall up but it’s hard to do that with a person you were so close with before. Immediately I gave in and heard myself say “I love you” and I immediately felt regret. I felt like I betrayed myself by “giving in.” But then I remembered that I promised to say how I felt from now on. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that I decided to spread the love? Wasn’t it just a few months ago when I decided that the way to live my life was by telling the people I love that I loved them while I had the chance. And that’s what I did. And that’s how I feel. I love him because he was a friend for a long time and whether or not this friendship continues into our adult lives, I will always have a love for this person. 

The ages 15 to 25 are brutal when it comes to change. The people you knew in high school are not the same people today. Some change for the worse, some change for the better. You’d be surprised at how many change for the better. I’ve had brief encounters with a couple people from high school that I was not friends with because I didn’t think they were very nice people back then, but today my opinions have changed drastically. I couldn’t believe how different it was talking to them, catching up and if someone asked me three years ago if I thought I would be doing that with these people, I would have laughed, “No way in hell.” 

I know that I have changed a lot from when I graduated from high school and I have to let myself accept the fact that others have changed as well. There were two specific people in my mind that I was the closest I’d ever been with anyone and I never thought I would be friendly with them again. But recently I have opened my mind a little more to see what these people have changed into and I am satisfied with one and certainly against the other. And that’s okay. I’m not saying to give everyone who wronged you in the past another chance, because sometimes your life is just better without these people in them, but don’t close yourself off from the chance to gain a little more knowledge about them. I recently learned a lot about this friend I’m talking to again and it really got me thinking if this was a good idea. My mind was kind of scattered while catching up because I was letting myself go a little but at the same time scolding myself for doing that so soon. I did manage to keep some things to myself though because there’s nothing worse than completely opening your heart to someone again only to find out it was huge mistake a month later. I want to move slowly and carefully into this familiar but unfamiliar territory and it’s not because I don’t trust this person, it’s because I don’t trust myself to be careful when opening up again. I spent my whole life trusting too quickly and too easily and though it got me a lot of different kinds of friends, it caused a lot of destruction as well. I don’t regret it though, because now I know. Lesson learned. Learn from my mistakes and all the other cliche`s you can think of. 

I guess what I’m trying to get across here is that we are all human. We all make mistakes, we all forgive either too quickly or we don’t forgive at all and we should learn from each other so we can balance our faults. Yeah, maybe I did dive into the friendship too quickly yesterday because it was so familiar, but maybe thats okay, because we’re older and we talked and we listened and we agreed and hopefully we learned. 
Time will tell though, won’t it?

Xo Al

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Season of Giving

As you're out and about buying gifts for your friends and family for this holiday season, take a second and look around at what you can buy for those who can't afford. It's no secret that almost everyone is having a hard time financially right now, but at least I have a bed and home and a warm blanket this winter. Their are countless families who have none of these this holiday season. Their are so many little kids who have parents worrying and feeling terrible about how they can't afford toys and presents for their little ones to wake up to on Christmas morning. This is where we come in.
It will take no more than 5 minutes to Google your local communities food pantry or holiday charity. It took me 10 minutes to locate and get the numbers for two homeless shelters in two cities I spend most of my time in. 

I spent 80 dollars at TJ Maxx yesterday buying some toys and outfits for children in the Quincy area. Father Bills Place is a wonderful organization that helps the homeless in the South Shore/Boston area. 
I am also looking through my kitchen cabinets and running into a local supermarket to buy some more canned goods and boxes of pasta to bring to my small town's food pantry.

There are so many different things you can do right now. Not only can you be doing this yourself, but if you post about it on Facebook, friends and family can be encouraged to help out too. So, please, this holiday season give to the families who need help in your area.

It's the Season of Giving.... and hopefully you will continue to give throughout the year. 

Xo Al

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Nails

Black nail polish with gold glitter tips faded... Not the usual holiday look but thats my style ;]
Xo Al

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Lights

Do you ever drive or walk by somewhere that is full of lights for the holidays?
Something I do with my family every year is that we drive or walk around somewhere local that is full of lights. Whether it's a neighborhood that really decks out or a some kind of Christmas village that opens for the public. It's a perfect way to spend time with family and friends and if you're in the car.. make a mix CD with your favorite holiday tunes and bring mugs of hot chocolate if you're walking around.

Do not own this picture