Blog 14: game of thrones (SPOILERS)

As the best show on television is coming to an end, I would like to take this time to reflect on how amazing this show really is. Game of Thrones has been airing on HBO for ten years, and the final season has started. I am not ready for this era to die, but all good things must come to an end.
I began watching Game of Thrones three years ago because all of my friends would not leave me alone. They kept telling me that it is the best show ever and that I would love it. And they were right. In my opinion, I think that the first three seasons are super slow and boring. It took me a while to finish these seasons because it was super hard to watch, until the Red Wedding. I was completely stunned that they really killed almost all of the Starks. First, the show decides to behead Ned Stark, then kill his son and wife!!!! This show is ruthless and that is what I love about it.
There have only been two episodes that have come out from season 8, and they were both amazing. The first episode was super wholesome because everybody was reuniting with their family. Jon Snow got to reunite with his siblings and Tyrion got to see his brother. However, this scares me. Game of Thrones has never been this happy. Therefore, something AWFUL is about to happen.
The second episode that was aired was literally an hour of the characters accepting their death sentences. WINTER IS HERE YOU GUYS! The next episode that is coming out on Sunday holds the record for the longest battle scene in film history!!!! I am so so nervous to see who survives the white walkers and who does not. I want Jon Snow, my favorite character, to survive so bad since he has the air to the Iron Throne. His come up was like no other. He really started as Ned Starks bastard, got sent to the wall, and now he is King of the North… but we won’t talk about him and Danyerys *aWkwArD*.
If I had to make a prediction as to how this show is going to end, I would say that Jon is going to take the throne and Khaleesi is going to die in battle. I think that Tyrion is going to survive because he is the main character of the show. I also think that Jamie is going to kill Cersi (finally) to show his loyalty for the North. Anything could happen honestly. Let me know what you think is about to go down!!

Blog 13: Movie Discussion

For the past few months, I have had a lot of free time on my hands so I have been trying to educate myself in movies. I really enjoy movies because they an bring you to tears in so many ways. I cried laughing watching Ace Ventura for the first time, cried at the end of Green Mile, and cried in fear from The Conjuring. There is a long list of movies that have made me cry, and I find it fascinating how directors can create something that can impact a millions of people emotionally.
My favorite genre of movies is definitely comedy. One of my favorite actors of all time is an icon in this genre. I am convinced that Jim Carrey is the funniest man to walk the Earth. In all of his comedy movies, he has such a goofy personality that is so natural to him. In his movie Bruce Almighty when he became God for a week, I completely lost it when he was in a restaurant and parted tomato soup that was symbolized as the Red Sea. He also has other amazing movies such as Liar Liar, The Mask, The Grinch, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Who is your favorite actor/actress!?
I watched the movie A Star is Born last week and I think that it is my favorite movie at the moment. I am a huge Lady Gaga fan, so I was super eager to watch it. The whole movie was filmed beautifully and the story line was amazing. I really recommend it if you have not seen it already! The movie got multiple grammy awards and also won best soundtrack.
I overall think that movies are a very important thing to learn about. There is always a lesson being learned and I think that putting it through a film is the easiest way to reflect on yourself. Whether the movie is a drama, thriller, or even comedy, there is always something to learn from it. This is why kid shows such as Cailou show how to apologize for doing wrong and not being a “bad” kid. I think that if everyone were to watch a movie and put themselves in the characters shoes, then it could help their morality and attitude!
I am really trying to expand my movie education, so if you have any great movies to recommend please comment some! I love all types of movies except super hero movies 🙁

Blog 12: Freshman year reflection

As my freshman year is coming to an end, I have recently been reflecting on how much I have changed and learned. I knew that VCU was going to be great since my best friends were also coming here, but I did not know that it was going to be this great. I have met so many amazing people, gained so much knowledge, and have some funny stories if you wanna laugh. I can’t picture myself anywhere else but here!
When I moved into GRC, I was completely speechless. I could not believe that I was living in such an amazing building. I think it is crazy how our class was the first to live there. All of my friends also lived in the building, so it was like a free for all. In the beginning of the year, all of my friends would come over and hang out in my room. It was nice to always have my friends around. Sadly, my roommate.. turned into roommates. I learned a lot living with a relationship because I have always been single. But let me tell you, I learned… A LOT. Other than that, GRC alone was so much fun and I will miss being so close to my friends next year.
Focusing on the academic side of this past year, I can not believe how much knowledge I have gained. When I was in high school, I felt like I had to write in a box. However when I started Focused Inquiry, I began to expand my greatness in writing. For our first assignment, we had to do a personal narrative. I absolutely loved this assignment because I was able to talk about whatever I really wanted to. I got to choose what to talk about and I ended up getting an A on the paper! I took Math 141 last semester and Statistics this semester. I have completely increased my speed of math. I have never really been able to “understand” math, but when I got to college there were a lot of study groups. I have been working really hard in math, and I have/had an A. I have overall been super proud of myself academic wise.
Here is a pretty funny story if you want to laugh. Who doesn’t love a funny story? I was walking around campus with one of my friends and his dog. He just recently adopted him from a pitbull rescue, and he’s the best. Anyways class just got let out, so the campus was a bit busy. Me and my friend Matt saw one of our friends, Steve. We asked him if he could hold Logic on the leash as we go to the bathroom. When I walk out of the bathroom, I saw Logic.. pooping in the middle of the compass. I will never forget Steve’s reaction. He looked so nervous and it was hilarious. Next thing you know Matt goes running up to get Logic and Steve was gone. And there went Matt, running away with his dog. And there went I, back into Einstein to get a bagel. 🙂

Blog 11: Legionella Pneumophila

In my microbiology class, I recently did a pathogen presentation on Legionella Pneumophila. Legionella Pneumophila was originally recognized as the cause of a 1976 outbreak of respiratory disease. There were around 221 cases of this illness and 34 of those cases reported dead. This event took place at the American Legion Convention held at a hotel in Philadelphia. Later after this caught the nations attention further research was conducted and researchers determined that an epidemic of this disease had occurred earlier in Minnesota (1957). I learned that this bacteria can cause two completely different diseases. The first disease that can be caused by this bacteria is Legionnaires disease, which is a severe type of pneumonia. This disease is contagious through respiratory secretions and can be deadly. The signs and symptoms of the disease are very similar to those of typical pneumonia. Including tight chest, high fever, shortness of breath, and a cough with bloody sputum production. Fortunately, this disease is very rare and is noncommunicable. The form of treatment for Legionnaires disease is going to be prescribed antibiotics and analgesics (chest pain reliever) if needed. The antibiotics that can be prescribed are Azithromycin, Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin, Moxifloxacin, Gemifloxacin, Trovofloxacin, Tetracycline, Doxycycline,and Minocycline. The other disease that can be caused by this bacteria is Pontiac fever. Pontiac fever is a mild flu-like illness. The signs and symptoms of this disease are the same as influenza; which are fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, and vomiting. Pontiac fever does not result in pneumonia whereas Legionnaires disease does, and it is also not deadly.There is no treatment for this disease, since it is very similar to the flu it just needs to run its course and let the body fight the infection on its own. This bacteria can only be transmissible through water systems so by ingesting infected water, an individual could develop one of these diseases. This bacteria can be found in water systems in large building such as, hotels or hospitals, rivers, ponds, lakes, streams as well as mist machines, humidifiers, or air conditioners. This bacteria affects approximately 10,000 to 18,000 people yearly and is found to be more common in the male population verses the female. The way to control this bacteria from contaminating water systems could be establishing adequate levels of chlorine and disinfectant in pools and fountains on cruise ships and hotels; another form of control is that tap water should not be used during respiratory therapy devices. Overall, I found this research presentation extremely interesting and I think it is important to understand that bacteria can be found anywhere in the world and we should be aware of these pathogens and the diseases that occur from them so we can take preventative measures.

Blog 11: Ethical Reasoning

In todays Focused Inquiry class, we started the next unit on ethical reasoning. I honestly did not know what that really meant, but now I understand. Ethical reasoning is basically explaining why a person makes the choices that they do and why it is ethical. I am really excited for this unit because the discussion in class today was pretty interesting.
One of the discussions in class today was called The Trolley Problem. The prompt puts you in a situation as to make an impulsive decision. You are driving a trolley and the brakes go out and the track that you are on has five workers ahead. There is a switch, however, that you can choose to flip and move to a different track with only one worker on it. This was a really hard situation to think about for me. The prompt makes it seem like it should be more ethical for the person to flip the switch and kill only one worker rather than five, but it can really go both ways. When I put myself in this situation, I would choose to let nature run its course. I can not help that the trolley can not stop. It would simply not be my fault if I killed the five workers. However if I were to flip the switch, I feel as if it would seem more my fault if I killed the one worker. I made the choice to kill him instead of the others.
Another interesting topic that was brought up in class was the situation of a ship sinking and we were only to save five out of the ten people. My class agreed with the five that I chose; the two thirteen year old twins, the young adult newly married couple, and the woman who may be six weeks pregnant. I feel like these are good choices compared to the others (a lifeguard, grandfather with grandchildren, elementary school teacher, veteran nurse, and the captain) because they are more young and have more of a life to live. Although it may sound bad, a teacher and a nurse can be replaced. A pair of teenage twins have a whole future ahead of them If all we know, the twins can replace the ones who died in the wreck.
All in all, I am really looking forward to debating with my class. It is always interesting to hear how other peoples minds work and what they believe to be more ethical.

Blog 10: My traveling experience

Traveling has always been my absolute favorite thing to do. I love going to new places and seeing how different a country’s culture is compared to America. I was lucky enough to be put into a family that loves to travel, so I have been to quite a few places.
I first began my traveling experience really young. My family took me and my cousins to Disney World when I was three years old for the first time. We went a handful of times after that and it was an amazing experience! I have been to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon and go hiking. I have also been to Arkansas, Georgia, Nevada, California, Tennessee, and the border states of Virginia. I really enjoyed all of these vacations, however, it wasn’t until I began traveling internationally that my love for traveling really began.
I have been to many tropical places south of America such as Costa Rica, Bahamas, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Mexico. I was completely fascinated as to how different everyhting was. The cars, the money, the infrastructure. What really made me love these places, however, were the people. The first time I went to Costa Rica with my family, we stayed at a beach called Playa Grande. Come to find out the name for the beach was pretty ironic. Playa Grande was a small town that had a very friendly society. Every time I would go into shops or even restaurants, the locals were so sweet and patient due to the fact that everything was labeled in Spanish. They would even joke with us and have the whole family laughing. I love how happy the Costa Ricans were when they weren’t the richest of the rich. I feel like in America, if somebody is in a lower class, they tend to be more of an angry or sad person. This is why Costa Rica was my favorite place I visited in South America.
My all time favorite vacation was last summer when I went to Europe for the first time with my two best friends. We first went to Paris which was absolutely beautiful. The architecture of the old churches, such as the Notre Dame, were absolutely breath taking. The second country we visited was Croatia. Croatia was my favorite place that I have ever traveled to because of how played back the community was. Nobody was in a rush. Nobody was having a bad day. Everybody would just go about their business and if you were to approach a Croatian, they would instantly put a smile n your face. Croatia is a lot less touristy, so it was nice seeing how a normal day would really be in Croatia.
I decided to talk about my traveling experiences because I love hearing about other peoples! Please feel free to comment a story (t was be funny, cool, fascinating, whatever!) of your traveling experience. It always fascinates me to hear where other people have gone on this Earth and what they experienced.

Blog 9: A Healthy Life Style

During my first semester here at VCU, I was completely unaware of how unhealthy I was treating my body. I would eat a fast food meal at least once a day and didn’t think anything about it. Another factor of my unhealthy life was the amount of alcohol I would consume. Wine is full of sugar and will make you gain weight so easily. Once second semester rolled around, I started realizing that I was gaining a bit of weight in my stomach and face. At first, I didn’t do anything about it besides complain about how I am gaining weight until I realized that I have to actually, physically do something about it.
I decided to start a diet, but I wanted to ease myself into it. With that, I decided to cut out all sodas, teas, and juices and drink strictly water first. My goal is to drink a liter of water every day. Just doing this simple step, I saw results in my skin and my immune system (water will literally revive you I swear). After about a week of drinking strictly water, I decided to cut out all fast food. This step was hard for me due to the fact that most of the dining plan restaurants were fast foods. I basically had to renew my daily schedule because of this. Instead of getting a quick bite from Pizza Hut on the way to class, I now go to Shafer after class and eat from the salad bar for lunch. Instead of skipping out on breakfast and binging on a large chick film a meal, I get a smoothie and a fruit every morning. These tweaks in my eating habits have given me ridiculous results in a short amount of time.
The part that I was dreading the most about changing to a healthy lifestyle was going to the gym. However, when I started making it a part of my daily schedule and stopped looking at it as a negative activity, I began to come around. A big reason why I hated the gym so much was because of cardio, but I have learned that cardio isn’t just going on the treadmill. I myself prefer the elliptical because it isn’t so hard on my body. With that, I make sure to do thirty minutes of the elliptical every day then follow with an ab, leg, or arm workout. Going to the gym takes only an hour out of my day and it is benefitting me beyond belief.
It has been about two months since I switched to a healthy lifestyle and I am never going back. My immune system is stellar, my sleep schedule is so much better, I am seeing improvement in my physical appearance, and it simply makes me feel better about myself. The freshman fifteen is a real thing to watch out for, and I am glad that I controlled the situation before it got out of hand.

Blog 8: One of my favorite hobbies

My love for concerts began when my mom bought me two tickets to see One Direction when I was 10 years old. I had no idea what I was about to get myself into, but I am so grateful that my mom bought those tickets. I had the absolute time of my life seeing One Direction and singing every word to the songs with all of their fans around me. This memory was just the beginning of my interesting and amazing journey with concerts.
I am now 18 years old and I have been to thirty six shows and two music festivals. I try to go to a couple of concerts every month just to experience more bands and venues. The shows that I have been to and plan on going to are a wide variety of music. For example, I saw Cage The Elephant and Turnover one month and then saw A$AP Rocky the next month. It fascinates me how each concert is way different from the other. Turnovers crowd didn’t move. Everyone was just swaying to the live music. But A$AP Rocky’s crowd had mosh pits opening up everywhere you looked. I don’t know if I can pick a favorite crowd to be a part of, but they are all a great time.
What I love the most about going to concerts is the feeling in the room. Everyone is here for the same reason. Everyone is here to enjoy great music with other people and jump around while doing it. Sometimes when I am in the pit, sweating, wondering what the heck I am doing here being pushed around by hundreds of people, I look around and see all of the smiles on everybody faces. I see everybody singing along doing anything they can to shout every word.
Next year, my friends and I are planning to rent a house somewhere in Richmond and have house shows on the weekends. This would be a dream of mine because I could literally walk downstairs of my house and there would be live music playing. I also wouldn’t have to go out on the weekends anymore. I could just enjoy the live music that is being played at my house. This could lead to so many fun memories and I will be able to meet so many cool people, including the bands! I am so excited to see what adventures are waiting for me in the future through music.

Blog 7: High School Teachers “Preparing us for College”

As we all know, high school teachers tend to make college seem scary or way overwhelming. They always compare high school to college as if high school is a hundred times easier. Most of my high school teachers would tell me that professors don’t care about helping us students and won’t be understandable if we turn in a project late. Now that I have come to VCU, I have realized that my previous teachers have been lying to me the whole time!
One thing that I have noticed about college work is that it is only easy if the student stays on top of her/his work. In my own college experience, I like to stay ahead of the game and finish things with days to spare before the due date. Doing this takes away the anxiety of having to finish assignments hours before they are due. That is when college gets stressful. Comparing this to high school, most of the assignments given didn’t need critical thinking, so I actually could wait until the last day to do my assignments.
My previous high school teachers always emphasized how mean or scary college professors will be. But that is not the case whatsoever. When classes first started, I was a bit intimidated by the professors due o my mindset. However with weeks in the semester, I realized how often my professors would encourage us to come to their office hours and ask them questions. About halfway into last semester, I decided to start going to my professors office hours more often. This made me realize that the best resource for help is our professors! They are also very understanding if a student notifies interferences ahead of time.
When I come back to my hometown and decide to visit my High School, I can’t wait to tell my teachers how amazing my college experience is going so far. I hav not had any terrifying teachers and I have not had so much work to the point where I can’t think straight. If this is the way that teachers are trying to “prepare us for college” then they are doing it completely wrong. Instead of trying to intimidate us, maybe they should encourage us. Maybe they should tell us to go to class every day and stay on top of your work. In my own experience, I have only had one teacher who gave me good advice about college and all of the others have intimidated me. But now I can tell them that they are wrong and that college isn’t as bad as it seems.

Blog 6: Analyzing The City and The City

The City and The City has grabbed my attention in many different ways. When I first read the book, it was really hard for me wrap my head around idea about how there are two different cities in one. It was also challenging to understand the “seeing” and “unseeing” that is happening throughout the story. Since the story was hard to picture, I tried to relate it to my own life and then I got an amazing idea. WE live in two different cities. There is VCU campus, and there is Richmond, Virginia.
I have been watching how other VCU students react to the people of Richmond, Virginia. By “the people of Richmond, Virginia”, this could be homeless people begging for money, people rushing to get on the bus, etc. I have realized that we try our hardest not to notice the homeless people or the rush of the city. We try not to LOOK and just mind our own business. I thought that this was really eye opening for me because now I can really see the divide of Richmond.
The City and The City also mentioned a lot of “crosshatches” that were in the two cities. Crosshatches are roads and/or alleys that overlap the two cities. Richmond and VCU campus have some overlapping as well. There is one alley that my friends and I take that leads to Christians Pizza. When my friends and I walk through the alley, the VCU buildings slowly start to go away and more apartments or Richmond buildings begin to override. However, there is no line that separates on campus off campus. They simply just crosshatch.
In my opinion, my analytical standpoint has really helped me understand this story and hopefully it will for you too. Once you realize that Ul Qoma and Beszel and VCU campus and Richmond are quite alike, it will make you look at things very differently. Let’s say if we all don’t want to split the city apart, then maybe we should acknowledge the homeless people and give them anything that helps, like swiping a meal at Cane’s for them. Maybe we shouldn’t try to keep our head down when big groups of people pass us on Broad Street. Maybe we should all try to explore the city of Richmond more instead of staying on campus for most of our time. Next time you are walking around on or off campus, realize the difference between the two people and cities, but don’t let it affect the idea of Richmond being whole.