TypeofL1fe

Archive for February 2008

I recently discovered a useful little bit of information – podcasts are available to download from iTunes, for free! Now, you may have already known that, but did you know the range of subjects that podcasts cover? There is a multitude of subjects, ranging from education to sports, television and film, games, science, art and business, just to name a few. I used to subscribe to only one podcast, The Academy Is…’s TAI TV, but recently I happened upon another convenient use – helping me learn/practice French! Not a francophone? No problem! Available podcasts can help you learn Spanish, Japanese, Italian, ESL, Chinese, or even English grammar!

Now if only I could find the time to listen to all of the lessons…

As I walked out of my geology class, musing about the test I had just taken (that I am sure I miserably failed), I absently noted an unusual amount of noise as I opened the door to the stairwell. I didn’t think much of it, but as I turned the corner to proceed down the third flight of stairs, I encountered something rather disconcerting: a girl, in camouflage, with a rifle pointed in my immediate direction. She instantly lowered it, and as I continued descending the staircase, I saw others outfitted similarly. I mentally exhaled a sigh of relief, concluding that it must be some sort of ROTC exercise.

Normally, I would just dismiss this sort of thing and forget about it. And I’m not sure what exactly it was that prompted me to keep on thinking about it, but as I stepped out into the cold a few minutes later, my mind drifted back to it, and I started thinking about it more seriously. What if it had been a different situation? What if it hadn’t been a ROTC exercise? Maybe I am being irrational, but is it not entirely possible that it could have been a gunman with malicious intents? My life could have ended abruptly and instantaneously, and I would have been powerless to do anything about it (not that we really ever have much say in how we die). I know it sounds unlikely and drastic, but that is exactly part of the problem. Believe me, there is nothing more that I would like to do than preserve an idealistic view of the world and hold the view that something of that sort could never happen to me, but in light of the NIU shooting that took place a week ago, and the upcoming one-year anniversary of the VT shooting that took on an unprecedented scale, we need to be cognizant of these issues and address them. Doing otherwise would be foolish and naive.

There is proposed legislation that would allow students and professors to carry concealed weapons on campus, in an attempt to deter the occurrence of school shootings. On the surface, this may seem like a viable solution, but I know that I would not feel safer if this legislation were passed. In fact, I think I would probably feel more at risk. There are too many things that could go wrong in such a situation. Someone could snatch a gun from an unsuspecting or careless student. Or, a professor might overreact to a perceived threat. Not to mention the possibility of innocent bystanders getting caught in crossfire. These are just a few of the numerous possible scenarios that could play out if this legislation is passed. It is my belief that, contrary to allowing more widespread access to guns, we need more gun control.

I’m definitely open to comments, critiques, thoughts, and discussion on this issue. Apathy is dangerous, and this is a critical issue.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the differences in my life before and after I was diagnosed with diabetes (type 1). Especially today. One of the symptoms of diabetes is that you feel very tired all of the time. And its not so much of a sleepiness-tired, it is more of an exhaustion tired. I think today I realized just to what extent I really suffered from this. I could fall asleep doing almost anything – babysitting on Wednesday mornings for two young girls in my neighborhood, I was so fatigued that I would have to take a break from playing with them and on occasion, I would fall asleep! Not for any long periods of time, but I always felt guilty and it is never, ever good to fall asleep while you’re babysitting. I remember watching the Super Bowl with my father and sister last year, and after half-time I was so tired that I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and I fell asleep on the couch. When I got up, instead of getting up like a normal person, I was still so groggy/tired that I rolled off the couch onto my hands and knees and (slowly) got up from that position. I remember my father and sister thought something was wrong with me (if only they had known) but I just figured I was still “waking up” from my little nap. We laughed about it then, but in retrospect, it was such a serious sign! It was so easy to attribute this fatigue to burnout from school and activities. I also think that I was somewhat desensitized to it, and I didn’t realize (or refused to realize) how bad the situation truly was because I had had these symptoms for so long. Other times, it would just require such a great exertion of effort on my part to even physically move. I remember in particular I found it physically exhausting to move when I was doing my volunteer shift supervising the Kid’s Club area at the gym – I always wanted to color with the kids so I could sit down and wouldn’t have to move. I sat down whenever I could. When exercising over the summer, if I wasn’t taking a class at the gym, I would use the treadmill – and I found it too difficult to run, so I would walk at a fast pace instead. I felt lazy for walking instead of running like I would at school. Additionally, pretty much any time that I tried to study, I would fall asleep – in the library, in the study “lounge” in the basement of my dorm, anywhere.

Of course, there were the other classic signs, but I found other ways to rationalize these: weight loss – I had just moved to college and started exercising more regularly; extreme thirst – no rationalization for this, really; peeing ALL THE TIME – I was drinking so much water! (hah). There are more, but those aren’t necessarily directly related to diabetes. For instance, I often wake up in the mornings with excruciating leg cramps, and I could not for the life of me why I was experiencing these. It wasn’t a potassium deficiency because I ate at least one banana every day (and still do – I love bananas!), it couldn’t be dehydration because I went through like eight water bottles per day – but it was dehydration. See, I didn’t get the leg cramps during the day because I was constantly drinking water. But I wasn’t drinking water at night, so I would be going without water for hours, yet I would still wake up in the middle of the night to pee, sometimes more than once. Hence, dehydration, and consequently the leg cramps. Dang, they hurt soooo much.

Things have changed so drastically since then. I’m still realizing how sick I was, and how much different life is now. Today I came to an acute realization when I was thinking about the physical exhaustion I experienced before compared to my level of energy now. I think that this is sufficient musing for now, but I will definitely be following up with more posts related to this in the future.

À bientôt!

*Note: I was going to write and post this on the 14, but never got around to it. So I’m doing it now…

People have a lot of mixed feelings towards Valentine’s Day. I’ve found that most people either really like it, or really don’t like it. And of course, there are always some people (like myself) who are somewhat ambivalent about the holiday. But it can evoke some strong feelings from people. From this dissent, various different titles for the holiday have emerged. Along with the traditional “Valentine’s Day,” it is known as V-Day, which focuses on women’s empowerment and anti-violence against women and girls, Singles Awareness Day, and a Non-Denominational Day of Love.

I’m sure everyone knows at least one person who partakes of each of these views – the empowered woman who rejects male domination of society, the chronic single who is (painfully?) aware of the happy (but are they really?) couples around them, the hopeless romantic, in a relationship or not, who loves the excitement, anticipation, treats and general good humor associated with the holiday, and the light-hearted individual who rejects any constraints on the interpretation on Valentine’s Day in favor of an all-encompassing day of love, affection and appreciation. Of course, I acknowledge that these are over-generalized stereotypes of people, and that there are numerous nuances in peoples’ views and observances (or lack thereof) of Valentine’s Day, but these are some of the most common viewpoints that I have encountered or that I can think of off the top of my head.

As I said before, I’m not completely obsessed with Valentine’s Day, but I’m not bitter or resentful about it either. I do agree that it is very much a “Hallmark Holiday” that is way over-marketed and advertised, and another way for companies to scheme us out of our money, but then again I think that it is a good way to let your close friends and family know that you love and appreciate them. But maybe that’s just me getting pulled in by the advertising and marketing tactics. 😉

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day! ♥

    So I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for quite a long time.  For a while, it was just a vague idea in the back of my mind, something I might like to do in the distant future, when I theoretically had more free time, or at least could manage it better.  Although if I’m really honest, neither of those things is too likely to happen, and even if they did, I would probably find more excuses not to start blogging.  But the more I thought about it, the more it appealed to me, and then one of my very close friends started a blog of her own, which I’ll admit was a big factor in pushing me to start my own.  And not only do I immensely enjoy reading her blog, but she tells me how much she enjoys writing posts.  I think writing is very much an outlet of emotion, and it can be very therapeutic.  Which is another reason that prompted me to finally get around to starting my own blog.
But I digress.  After thinking about it more and more, I started coming up with potential blog posts almost daily – topics, events to post about.  I thought about what the titles would be, what I would write, how I would say it.  Then I started writing down all these topics, and I currently have a list of about nineteen potential post topics.  But I’m not sure I will get to them all, or that I will find them relevant anymore or be able to expand upon my ideas enough.  Because when I was thinking about them, I was in a very specific state of mind that I would have to re-enter to be able to say what I wanted to say while I was thinking about it.  If that makes any sense at all.  But at least I have them, and if I get to reflecting on them enough, I’m sure I will be able to come up with something hopefully somewhat engaging.

I am trying not to set my expectations for this blog too high, because I did start a blog sometime in the early years of high school (freshman? sophomore?), and that failed miserably.  I think I posted two, maybe three times?  And I’m sure they were excruciatingly dull and uninspiring.  In retrospect, I was too young to really grasp the concept of blogging – I thought of it as an online diary of sorts.  As if people were truly interested in what had happened in the banal day of an awkward teenager.  On that note, I do believe that I have matured, and that I am capable of discussing topics that are hopefully of interest to others.  Additionally, its also kind of a way to keep in touch with long-distance friends, its a way of updating them on the daily/weekly/monthly events of life without rehashing everything over the phone or instant messenger, which can take a lot of time.  Not that I don’t like talking to my friends on the phone, but realistically, I don’t have time for that every day.

So welcome to my blog, and I hope you enjoy it. Please, please comment on it if you have anything to contribute!  I hope that some of my posts will generate a little bit of discussion.
thanksssssssss,

J.