Archive | October 2015

Geek Friday: “The loveliest lies of all…” My love for Over the Garden Wall

over-the-garden-wallHello! Welcome to Geek Friday! Today I’m going to talk about a cute little show that has stolen my heart around this time every Halloween. It’s called Over the Garden Wall and it’s the cutest show. When I first started it, I never thought I would be so into it, towards the end I fell so in love with this cute little show. It’s a five night mini-series with each segment between 11-15 minutes before they go to the next one. Each segment has two episodes or chapters with each episode moving the story along. It has a nice old timey feel with the music, story, and costumes though it keeps your attention the whole time. There are so many great things about Over the Garden Wall, but I’ll narrow them down to three.

  • The Story

At first I thought it was a story where Wirt and Greg ended up in a fantasy world where they would go and solve the mystery along with destroying the enemy called The Beast. I didn’t expect the little mini story lines in the area either. The plot with Beatrice the girl who was cursed into a Bluebird after insulting one, the Woodsman looking for his daughter’s soul, the mystery over Adelaide the figure that could send them back home, and all the little stories that talk about the people that live in that world. The way they all tie in together one way or another works out so well I can watch it over and over again.

  • The Characters

There are so many wonderful characters in Over the Garden Wall, though my favorites are the couple of tea competitors that fell in love with each other though they didn’t know it. Then there’s Lorna and Auntie Whispers and I really fell in love with Greg. Greg cared so much for his brother Wirt even when Wirt didn’t want anything to do with him at first, I’m glad he changed during the story. It was really nice to see Greg keep his optimism even when things looked grey and I thought he wasn’t going to make it, he still had a smile on his face.

Greg is one of my top favorite characters of the series along with Wirt. Greg though is amazing and he’s a very sweet boy that cares about his brother. I love Greg so much. It’s really the characters that adds to his wonderful story. Each character brings something new to the story and expand this wonderful world.

  • The art

I really love looking at this art style. There’s something so calming about it, if that’s the best way to describe it. The colors and style reminds me of one of those old storybooks that told children about adventures along the river with the animals that are there. The soft colors matched the feel of autumn where things settle down before winter comes along. It matched the emotions of the scene very well. When things were happier the colors were brighter when things became somber the colors darkened. It gave more a realistic feel to it as if I could close my eyes, listen to the music, and imagine the place. It was very nice.

I am so glad that they bought on Over the Garden Wall the week before Halloween. It gives a very nice spooky feel for Halloween which makes a nice lead in to November. I really recommend this show!

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Scholastic Monday: Tips for college! (The things they didn’t tell you in high school) #7

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Hello! Welcome back to another Scholastic Monday! Today I’d like to talk about that one thing that can cause anxiety as much as writing papers, which is taking a test. Finals season is almost here and that means if you slacked off during the semester it might come back to bite you if you have a cumulative test. Then again on the other hand you can study and study, then still miss something. Don’t fret! You can do it! Even if you end up failing or missing a test there’s still a chance for you to learn from your mistakes and do better the next time. It was something I had to learn when I got to college.

When I was in school I always became nervous when I took tests. At the time, I didn’t know that I had test anxiety or that it was so bad, but when it hit I could barely study. I would get close to a panic attack even in high school, though I tried to calm down. It wasn’t easy. There were times were my thoughts would tumble into “if I don’t pass this test then I can’t get into college” or “if I don’t pass this test then I fail as a student” and it took me a while to realize that even if I failed a test or a quiz that didn’t determine my worth as a person.

In high school I was really caught up in my grades. I always thought my grades defined who I was as a person when it doesn’t. While grades are important for your education career it doesn’t define who you are. However, I do have some tips on what to do when that worry starts to set it around the end of your first semester.

  • Try not to cram

I know there are many jokes about cramming as a college student and how that’s the thing to do when it’s not. Cramming does a lot more harm than good. It becomes really easy to forget things that you’ve learned before along with new things because to cram you’ll have to stay up for most of the night, try to write notes on everything, and many times not be ready for the next day. Cramming doesn’t help. What does help is notes! Make sure you take notes and organize them in a way that can be easy to find when you need them. If your professor puts slides after a lecture read them when you can.

In textbooks they will have the definitions of words along with the example of that word, write it down in your notebook or binder or sheets of paper. It will help later on. Don’t forget to date and label your notes too so you’ll know which days you went to that lecture and wrote down what the professor said that day. When I studied Japanese I used notecards with the kanji on one side and the word on the other, it helped a lot. There are different methods to study that are not very overwhelming and much helpful than cramming.

  • Get help if you need it

One of the good things about college are the many different places where you can get help if you have trouble in a subject. There’s normally tutors for some of the harder subjects like math or biology, meeting with your professor and/or TA during their office hours, and meeting up with some of your classmates too. There are sources everywhere to get you the help you need if you have trouble with it. Many times your professor will remind you around exam time that they have office hours, you can email them, with some professors you can text them at a certain time too, please, take it.

I’ve found that going to ask for help is much better than seething at a failed test because you were either afraid to talk to them or your pride stopped you from asking for help. Go and ask, they will be more than happy to help.

  • Failing doesn’t mean it’s over

Sometimes you might fail a test or a quiz despite studying really hard for it. You had your notecards, notebooks, and read the textbook so many times the sight of it made you tired. You did everything you could and still didn’t pass. Sometimes the test you get will be different than the material you have. Sometimes you’ll forget to study among everything else happening in your life and you’ll fail a test. That doesn’t mean it’s over or the end of the world. I used to think that a lot. One time I cried when I failed a test then again when I failed a midterm and I’ve failed a final once. I cried, got angry, and didn’t look at my school work for the rest of the semester.

I wanted to give up. I wanted to drop out and not do this college thing again. I got some help from my friends, brothers, and therapy to help me realize that if I fail here it’s only the end if I make it the end. I had to pick myself back up and get back on it again. I had to unlearn that type of thinking that if I failed it would be the end when it’s not. Failing a test, midterm, or final is not the end. You can always take the class over again. You might luck out and the class won’t be around anymore. You might get another teacher that will make things easier than the last professor, just know that you have options available out there and failing doesn’t mean the end.

In some cases it can mean the beginning. If I didn’t fail my class in one semester it wouldn’t have pushed me to go into English and find something for me.

So chin up!

You’ll be fine!

Paul the study ghost says: “I believe in you! You can do it!”

Here are some helpful links for studying:

Some tips for dealing with test anxiety : Nice little place that has some tips on how to work with test anxiety

How to Deal with Anxiety When Learning: Here’s another nice site that can help you take that fear and turn it into something constructive.

How to Deal with Anxiety while Studying Abroad : A cool blog that talks about how to deal with anxiety while studying abroad.  Something that I know some students deal with.

Have a good week everyone!

Geek Friday: Get that Ball! (My new love for Haikyuu!!)

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Hello! Welcome to another Geek Friday! Today I’m going to talk about a manga that I’ve fallen in love with this week and that’s Haikyuu!! This manga is about a volleyball team at Karasuno High School and the lives of the players, students, and different schools. I’ll be honest I didn’t expect to get so invested in a manga about volleyball players, but I have! I love so many things about it! Don’t get me wrong I love my slice of life manga, though I normally go towards romance when it comes to slice of life. I’ve watched Free, which I’ll talk about next time, and I started Kuroko no Basuke (Kuroko’s Basket), but there’s something about Haikyuu that gets me so pumped!

While I love many things from the show I’ll narrow it down to three things that stand out to me every time I read it.

  • The schools

One of my favorite things about Haikyuu are the different types of schools and the way the students have characteristics with it. Such as Karasu in Karasuno means crow and the students from that school have some similarities to crows along with the way Hinata, one of the main characters, can jump so high it looks like he’s flying. The same happens with Nekoma that has the word Neko in it which means cat. The students of that school has cat eyes and Kuroo, their captain, lands on his feet. Each school is unique with their different students, coaches, and reasons why they all want to win that I love it so much!

  • The characters

Another thing I love about the story is the characters! Every character has their own strengths, weaknesses, reasons behind their motivation for joining the team, and many more. The story starts out with Hinata Shouyo, a short guy that’s motivated by a player called the small giant, which pushes him to join Karasuno’s high school volleyball team. He’s such a ball of sunshine and doesn’t hide how much he loves volleyball or being part of a team. However, that doesn’t mean Hinata doesn’t have things he worried about or doubts. The same with Kageyama Tobio who’s learning to play with a team after he pushed his team away in junior high. Then my favorite Koushi Sugawara who’s a third year that’s going through his own problems with having Kageyama come in that shares his position with Kageyama as setter.

Currently I’m at the part where they run into Nekoma high school and it’s been a pretty exciting read. I’m really interested in seeing how everything turns out too since Suga and Daichi, the captain, are going to be graduating soon. The characters really carry the story and make it interesting. I’m learning to try and do this with my characters. I hope I can lead my stories the same way too.

  • The story

I know it’s a story about volleyball and the trials of high school, but it’s really entertaining to me. Everyone has something invested in their team, school, and dreams. I love the way that they encourage each other on their teams. Each character has something that makes it easy to relate to. While I love my epic battles in space or mages coming together for a common goal, there’s something about slice of life that makes me happy. It’s something that I can relate to and it makes me cheer for the characters even more. I know on the outside it’s a story about a volleyball team then when you read it there’s more to it than that. No there’s no epic space battles, but you don’t want your favorite team to win or that one character to get what they need and for that one character to feel better. The story is good and will keep you entertained too.

I love it and I never expected to fall so deep in love with it, though I don’t mind. I always saw it around there were different pictures of the characters too that I wanted to know what it was about.

I’m glad I did! If you like sports manga, slice of life, and wonderful characters check out Haikyuu!!

Fiction Wednesday: Second Chances Hospital Chapter 2 (Daily Routine)

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Hello! Welcome back to another Fiction Wednesday! I was a bit lost at what to do with the story when I talked it out with a great person and they gave the idea to focus on Dana first and then everyone else later on. Now I’m going to focus on Dana and her daily life along with everyone else. I’m doing something new and I hope you all enjoy it. Well, let’s begin!


“Alright, just try not to be too late and don’t forget to eat this time. I don’t want to carry you to the resting rooms again.”

“Don’t worry I’ll eat! I’ll see you in a bit okay?”

“Okay David. See you.” I ended the call and leaned against the wall in the elevator. You see David is one of the donors at the hospital. He’s a human that lets vampires take their meal and gets paid for it. Don’t worry there are doctors that are around to make sure that a vampire doesn’t take took much or tries to secretly drain a donor. David started around the same time I did and he’s pretty great. He’s funny, smart, and can always put a nervous, new vampire at ease. He does forget to take care of himself sometimes though. That really worries me, so I always have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself like last time.

As part of the program I have a donor too. Her name is Amy and she’s a very nice girl. She’s doing it to help pay off her loans, let’s just say being a donor pays very well. I might have to go apply for a new one though. Amy told me that she’s on her way to grad school, so I don’t know how long she’ll be around. I hope she stays around for a bit longer though. I really like her. I’ll probably have to visit her before I do my presentation. Trying to work while I’m hungry and there are new humans around isn’t the best idea. Being a vampire can bring out my not so favorable features that I don’t like to use often. It’s one of the reasons I try not to go too long without eating.

I checked my phone for any more messages as I walked off the elevator and over to the front door.

“Good evening Dana, off to work I see.”

I looked up and smiled at Caroline who sat at the front desk of my apartment building. “Yep! I have a presentation today. Wish me luck.”

Caroline smiled. “I’m sure it will go fine. Good luck!”

“Thanks! See you!” I waved on my way to the front door.

After the paranormal kind paid off Detroit’s debt they started to place different businesses and apartment buildings for humans and the new paranormal citizens. It didn’t take too long for the construction to finish either. Being able to stay up all night without any troubles can do wonders for getting things done.

I live in one of those new apartment building in the Midtown area. My building is really close to the hospital that I can bike or walk there if I’m in a good mood. I can walk to the nearby grocery store, the organic food store, and the restaurants too. It’s pretty convenient. Oh and another great thing about Caroline she’s a ghost. She used to live around here and loved the area so much she never left. It’s pretty nice to have someone there that could watch all night that can alert security if something happens.

Tonight was such a nice night I decided to walk to work. It wouldn’t hurt to get a little fresh air. I put my phone in my pocket and started my walk when I heard a familiar whine. I giggled at the black dog that sat up when I walked past the bike rack. “Hey, I have some treats for you today. I hope you had a nice dinner.”

The dog barked happily when I placed the treats in front of him. I rubbed his head with a soft hum. “I’ll see you when I get back. Be good and guard this place okay?”

He barked in response before he leaned down and ate his treats. I rubbed his head one more time before I waved at him and walked away. I met Shadow, that’s my creative name for him, one day when he was hurt by the apartment building. I took him to the vet and nursed him back to health after that he always waited for me outside. Feeding him became a part of my routine I didn’t mind very much.

Since I had a few minutes I decided to take the long way to work. It was funny to see vampires, werewolves, and sky demons flying along the way. One of the many changes to the city that I’m pretty used to by now. It wasn’t long before I made it. I waved to a few doctors on my way to the vampire station when I stopped after I saw a nervous vampire out the corner of my eye. He looked around before he looked back down at his phone and scratched the back of his head.

He looked so lost I had to help him. I walked over to him and cleared my throat.

“Excuse me? Are you looking for the donor room?”

He turned to me in surprise before he nodded. “Yeah, you see I moved here a few days ago and got the email that had the directions to the hospital. I’m meeting my new donor today. I don’t know where to go though, um, do you?”

“Yep, I do. Take the elevator to the fifth floor that’s the donor floor. Once you get there check in at the front desk and tell them the name of your donor. Do you know?”

“Yeah one sec,” The vampire flipped through his phone and stopped when he found what he was looking for. “Here it is.” He held up his phone for me to see. I resisted the urge to shake my head when I saw the name of his donor. David was his donor and he was late. He owed me for this one. The vampire frowned when I didn’t immediately say anything. “I did come the right day, right?

“You did, just take the elevator to the fifth floor and they can get you settled there. My name is Dana if you need anything.”

“Alright, thank you Dana. My name is Stephen, it’s nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too.” The doors to the elevator dinged and opened in front of us. “Remember the office will be right there when you step off.” I reminded him when he walked on.

Stephen nodded. “Okay, I’ll remember. Thank you!”

“No problem!” I waved and walked back to the vampire station when the doors closed. It felt good to help him, I’ll have to check to make sure he got there though. With everything happening in the hospital it’s pretty easy to get lost. I hummed on my way over to the computer at the front desk and checked in. I turned to walk to the back where vampire personnel put up their stuff when I heard my name. I turned around to see Calista, one of my co-workers walking over to me. She started a few months before me. She’s an older vampire who helped me whenever I had a question. She keeps an eye on me to make sure I don’t forget a meal.

“Hey Calista, how are you tonight?”

Calista smiled before she adjusted her glasses. “I’m good. I was looking all over for you. Did you get my messages?”

I shook my head. “I didn’t. Why? Is something wrong?”

Calista shrugged. “I’m not sure. Amon told me to tell you to come see him before you start your shift. You’re going to see Amy right?”

“I am, but he didn’t tell you why he wanted to see me.”

“Nope, just that he wanted to see you after you visited your donor. You didn’t forget something did you?”

“No, I don’t think so. I’m sure it’s nothing too big though, thanks for telling me.”

“No problem, so are you ready for your presentation?” Calista asked as she followed me inside the back room.

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” I joked on the way to my locker. I tried to keep a calm face while I figured out the reasons Amon needed to see me. He’s the vampire that changed me ages ago. He should know by now that I’m alright. If my heart still worked it would be beating out my chest right now. It didn’t stop me from feeling nervous.

What did he want to see me for?

I hope it’s nothing too bad.

Scholastic Monday: Tips for college! (The things they didn’t tell you in high school) #6

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Hello! Welcome back to another Scholastic Monday! Today I’m going to talk about the other side that can come up when you’re going to school: depression. I’ve written a bit more about anxiety since that’s what I face daily, but there are times when I’ve fallen into a depressive state that’s sometimes triggered by the smallest of things. Before I went to college no one told me about the constant pressure that comes with it.

There are so many things that comes along with college that doesn’t get addressed very much in high school. I remember being told that college was the next step in life, that college opened more doors for you, and that college would be very different than high school. No one told me about the constant pressure about being an adult and trying not to fail there. Then there is the debt that looms over your head and grows with each year, not to mention the pressure from family that insist they’re only trying to help when it some cases it causes more harm than they thought.

For me there was that on top of having to deal with failing classes, my dad dying of cancer, his inevitable death, not having a car, etc., that made things hard. Let’s not forget my added bonus of having anxiety that makes things extra great. I’m sure my story isn’t much different from many college students out there who are trying to make things work when it seems that everything is closing in around them.

Don’t fret!

I promise you, you’re not alone. It took me a long time to realize this, but I promise you’re not alone.

Here are some ways that helped me when that depressive cloud hung over my head.

  • Put everything up for a while

I know you have that test to study for, that project to work on, that reading to do, and that list of work that seems to never stop growing. Well, I can tell you that if you leave it for a while, it’s still going to be there. It’s alright to put everything up and shut everything off and just relax for awhile. For me I can’t really take the noise of my phone so I put it on vibrate when I get home. Other times I shut off my laptop and just read a book. If I use my Kindle to read a book I shut off the wi-fi function because I know I’ll just go back on my email to check it for the tenth time that day. Shut it off, go outside, or do a calming activity inside.

Sometimes that quiet is needed when your mind is the loudest thing in the room.

  • Find a small task and do it

I know how this might sound, but finding a small task and completing it can help very much. Whenever my depression grew I found it hard to complete any of my bigger tasks, but there were smaller things I could do that made me happy. I knew I could brush my hair and get lunch. I knew I could take notes or go to my lecture and sit through it if I needed to. When that negative little voice try to speak up in the back of my mind it can make nearly anything impossible. However, doing something small pushes that little voice away. It lets me know that I’m not a failure and if I can do something small, then I can move on to something bigger.

  • Talk to someone

That last one sounds really easy doesn’t it? Well, I found that it’s not as easy as I thought. Whenever my depression gets really high it consists of me going to class, trying to fight back tears, and eating nearly everything I can buy. I start to isolate myself both online and in person. I thought that I was being a bother and no one wanted to talk to me. When my depression reached it’s peaked I thought that no one would miss me if something happened to me. It took me going to therapy to find out that wasn’t true.

When I told my friends and brothers about it they were a lot more accepting than I thought. It broke up that dark cloud over my head to know that people cared. I do regret that I took my anger out of some people or pull away when they wanted to help. We may have made up, but it’s another thing I had to work with. I’ve had good success with online people too. You might think you’re alone, but trust me we’re all in this together!

While depression might be something that hits that doesn’t mean you can’t work through it. There are times it may seem like there’s not light at the end of the tunnel, but there is.

You might have to get a little help to get there, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Here are some helpful links!

5 Tips to Avoid Depression in College: Here’s an article that can help you with more tips on what to do when that dark cloud comes around.

How to Deal With Depression in Your 20s: Here’s another one that tells you how to deal with depression in your 20s that pops up more than we thought.

Tips | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA: Here’s another place that offers some nice tips on how to help through anxiety and depression when they sometimes work together.

Have a great week!

Paul the study ghost says “It will be sunny again no matter how many dark clouds come rolling by!”