What to post, what to post: June ramblings

I have read 32 books out of 60 for my GoodReads goal. Five books ahead of schedule. I’ve watched several movies that I can review, including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. So why am I having such a hard time posting?

I guess my head is stuffed to the gills (I chuckled just now. I mean, chuckled? That doesn’t sound right. Scoffed? Snickered? Yeah, more like I just snickered. That’s better). Two sides are competing for attention. The academic side and the entertainment junkie side. I can’t seem to snap out of the academic side. I guess it’s all those research papers I’ve written. I’m thinking about all the what-ifs history provides, especially now that I’m transitioning from Russian History into Viking History. 

 I can’t seem to snap out of the academic side. I guess it’s all those research papers I’ve written. I’m thinking about all the what-ifs history provides, especially now that I’m transitioning from Russian History into Viking History. I want to fill my time chasing down these what-ifs and if I’m not going to do research on it, I want to get lost in a book. It’s just been so interesting.

I hear you whispering: Such a geek. You don’t have to tell me. 

And boring! Well now, that’s subjective.

And now I get to choose a research topic I want to explore for my Viking History research paper final. How awesome is that? Right after researching the Muscovite Law Code of 1649 I get to explore the judicial system of the Vikings. Not that that’s going to be my research topic but I am considering it.

To be honest, the only television show I’ve successfully kept up with is Scorpion and I’m behind two episodes. Yes, yes. I haven’t watched the season finale yet. Again. Weekly research papers. 

Excuses, excuses. A blogger finds the time! 

I have spent some time thinking about what to post. I’m not just researching and stuff. I’ve been kind of combing through past posts and finding what I like and what was liked. It’s interesting to see how things have progressed. I mean, I jumped into the blogosphere just because. I went from random things to deciding on reviews to questioning reviews back to reviews and then just random things. All rolled up into one blog with the title of Information Junkie.

Plus, it’s June. The middle of 2017 is coming to a point. It’ll be that time to review the first half of the year. Not because it’s on the agenda or anything but because it’s a habit I seemed to have developed. And I’m not even a planner type person!

Ah, summer. How badly do I wish life can be more on the Phineas and Ferb side of than the everyday ho-hum making a living side. Which makes me think, what would I do if I had no obligations? This merits some thought. Perhaps another blog post. Hm . . . 

So, what to post, what to post. 

Language Learning: More on than off

I see I have about 15 minutes left for Thursday and I haven’t posted anything for today. It’s not that I want to post something every day for the sake of posting something daily, but I do like to say at least a “hey!”

And it’s not like I was goofing off either. Allergies and sinus troubles aside, I’ve tried to stay on top of my reading so I read for about thirty minutes on my lunch break. The other thirty minutes was me eating my food. And then I got caught in traffic due to an accident (praying that it was nothing serious for those involved) so I didn’t reach home until almost 20:00, ate dinner, discussed the finer points of politics, and spent the rest of my time until now reading and writing Russian.

So, not in vain. Not enough hours in the day, I tell ya (even though there’s a quiet voice in my head saying, “no, you’re just not prioritizing your time right” and my other quiet voice argues back “yeah, but really, there are not enough hours since work occupies nine hours of my day and add two hours for the drive to and from. Just saying.” Both are valid points, mind you.).

Speaking of reading and writing Russian. Focusing on that for the past hour and a half, I realized that I have now been trying to learn conversational Russian off and on for about a year. A little over a year. There were chunks of time during the year where I just couldn’t pin down study time with me focusing on school work and such. And getting sick. But this year, this year, I have every intention to make it stick. Or at least progress. This year I plan for it to be more on than off and I think I found a method that will help.

About a week or two ago, I stumbled upon this iTalki article. Since I’ve been keeping a journal since forever and I love letter writing, why I didn’t stumble upon this idea sooner is beyond me. I have written phrases and tried to write my headings of journal entries in Russian, but having a dedicated journal in which everything is in Russian hadn’t dawned on me until reading that article. And you want to know something? I’m finding that I can recognize letters and sounds much quicker. My recall has been faster and I’m able to sound out the word faster as well. I’m not completely comfortable with it, yet, but I feel I’ve made immense progress, just by keeping a journal. In Russian. I’m hoping as I keep this up, repetitive phrases will start to sink in and I’ll be able to work out grammar rules and such.

Now, I understand that writing and reading Russian is not exactly speaking Russian so pronunciation isn’t being learned or practiced, but I feel I will be able to do so in time. Tonight I transcribed the chorus to a Russian song I found and enjoyed. That’s what filled up my hour. When I translated it to English, using Google Translate, of course, I found the syntax (I think it’s syntax) off. Literal translations are usually like that though so I hope as I continue to progress I will be able to figure out what it really means in Russian.

I’m pretty excited. And I’ve been consistent, so far, understanding that it’s just been two weeks.

So, hopefully, by December I can tell you that I’m just about reaching conversational levels.

We’ll have to see about that. More on than off, that should be my cadence for the next eleven months :).

Спокойной ночи!

Random 411: School and things

Is it Saturday? Already?!

I can’t believe I went a whole week without posting a single thing! Ugh. But to argue my case, I have read. Reading this:

Which has things like this:

It’s part of my assignment to write a book review. Huh, an official book review. Like for a grade. Like to further my goal on obtaining a degree.

So it’s not like I’ve been purposely neglecting my blog, but I do feel a bit frustrated that I have. However, I am just over halfway through my program and excited I am zeroing in on the finish line. Imagine that, me, having a degree in European History. I’m amused yet anxious I made it this far. Never thought I would. Hope I would someday, but not sure if I could.

This semester is all about the Cold War and despite the nearly zero time I have to read for fun, it’s been an interesting topic (Interesting, the most boring way to describe something interesting insert eye roll emoji). I was only eight years old when the Berlin Wall fell so the “history” of the Cold War was still forming much less absorbed into the educational curriculum.

It’s week three of an eight week semester and the one take away I have on all this is . . . foreign policy. It seemed to pretty much suck during this time. I know the United States found themselves in a precarious position, and hindsight is 20/20, and I understand why certain people to the position the did on certain things, but wow. I digress.

Needless to say, any free time I find I’m squeezing in free-reading. For now, I’ll be posting on stuff I’ve read a while back, while I play catch up :).

Halfway through the year post – 2016

 Sighs. Yes, again (because I didn’t sigh enough in my last post rills eyes at my dramatic self. But I really did sigh. Like, literally).

 Since I can’t do my book review (read all about that here if you’re bored and such) I figure I may as well do a halfwway-through-the-year post. I mean, that’s the least I can do, right?Because I still can’t believe we’re halfway through 2016. I mean, where has the time gone? And I know I just went through this (you can read about that one as well, right here, if you’re still bored or if you want to humor me), but it’s July and we’re in the middle of the year.

What will the second half of the year have in store for me? Ups and downs, I suppose. New books, new friends, new adventures? Possibly. It’s very possible, when I think about it.

But that’s what’s exciting about knowing that there is a middle of the year. You can reflect upon the first half of the year and course correct if you need to.

It’s exciting knowing that there is a middle of the year because you’re almost at the top of the hill and then it’s all down hill from there.

To be honest, I’ve developed friendships I never thought I’d have in the first half of the year and I hope they continue into the second half and years to come. And I’ve met through the archaic means of communication, letter writing. I’ve been able to make connections all over the world and it’s been such a fun experience hearing about different things around the world. I’ve heard people call themselves “arm chair traveler” and I think about that when I write a letter to an old pen pal or a new pen pal because when a post card or letter makes its way from another location to my location, a piece of that persons life comes through. The fact that a piece of paper was once in France, that rested on someone’s dining room table, that was penned with someone’s favorite pen, that came from that person’s thoughts . . .  a piece of that person’s world made it to me. A tiny bit of France made it to me.

So, the first half of my year was full of pleasant surprise. There weren’t big, extravagant, or costly. Just a stamp, a paper, and an envelope was able to put a smile on my face and recharge my “happiness” battery, so to speak.

So, halfway through the year doesn’t have to be bad (“Ugh, look at all the things I wanted to have done by now but don’t”). It can be good. And you still have a chance to do those things that you wanted to do.

So, hope you had a Happy Halfway-Through-The-Year Day!

 

Random 411: SnapChat

It’s been a very long couple of weeks for me and we’ll, just thought I’d pass this along for all who may be interested …

  

Random 411: Why do we “social media?”

I apologize for not posting the past few days. If I’m being honest, I’ve been hiding out in my brain. Seriously. My mind has been engaged in some deep thinking and I sometimes get annoyed by that but I’m learning to just go with it. I can’t shake it.

So, please excuse the past few days.

Earlier, I was going through my different social media profiles, snickering, in my mind of course, and how … mundane yet time-consuming social media-ing can be. We sift through tons of feeds–whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, [insert platform], or all of them–and aside from our really close friends, who is really going to notice that you contributed the 330 something “like.” Is eonline really going to notice you just liked their Alec Baldwin picture they posted to Instagram? 

It almost feels like a popularity contest too. You need to list the most interesting, the most funny, the most thoughtful, the [insert whatever] to be noticed. How else are you going to rake in 50+ likes, let alone 20?

And then I found myself asking “why do we do it? Why do I do it?”

Really struck at me, that question did. This is what I’ve come up with.

  1. It’s fun. As much as I feel it’s a time-suck, it’s a fun time suck. You read funny memes, laugh when some shares an embarrassing moment or a very true statement, find witty commentary.
  2. It’s educational. There’s a lot, and I mean a lot, of pointless information floating on social media, even idiotic, but there’s also educational things as well. I peek at Mental Floss’ FB page every now and then. And when you stop to think about, it’s rare that you won’t  be able find a company linked to social media in someway or other.
  3. It’s relatable. How many times have we found ourselves nodding at a post or agreeing with a meme that popped up in your photo feed. We flock to things that interest us and we’re estatic to find that connection because we can relate to it. Whether it be surfing, a book, a movie. We gravitate towards thing we can relate to.
  4. It’s different. After heading down to the movie theatre on a Froday night for years, social media allows us a different avenue to “hang.” With chat features, group features, games and the like, social media is different from the traditional social events. It’s also different in the sense that there’s variety. If you don’t need the bless and whistles and want to keep things simple, there’s Twitter and Instagram. Even Tumblr can be grouped in there. The you have more complex platforms like FB. There’s blogging platforms, things like GoodReads or WattPad. Different.

It’s a list in progress of course and feel free to add any reasons why we social media (verb).

It just makes me wonder …