Deeper Connections

Going abroad to learn about different cultures is a very important part of a persons growth and development in my opinion. The idea of being immersed in different cultures and languages absorbing all different ways of the world is one of my favorite experiences. It is something that I love and never pass up on an opportunity to do this if I can help it. For example, in my school for senior year we had an exchange student from Hungary for the year. We quickly became friends and hung out a lot. Towards the end of her exchange she invited me to come home with for as long as I could over the summer. I could stay for 3 weeks and decided to make this trip happen for myself.  This experience was one of my favorite things I have done. I am so happy I got to go home with her and absorb every bit of a European life style. It lead me even deeper down this path of obtaining as much as I could about everyones backgrounds. Really being out in the world experiencing all that is out there is a great way to connect to people and build strong connections.

This type of education was stressed heavily in my house while I was growing up. Going to all the local museums and all our bigger city museums around my home, just to visit and see new exhibits is an activity my parents have pushed from a very young age. When we would go on vacation, a museum or some kind of history lesson about where we were visiting was always on the list. It was always a museum exhibition, an old building important to that place, or even a walk through a historical grave yard (as weird as that sounds).  Creating those connections you get by experiencing the history or culture of where you are visiting Is a vital part of expanding the knowledge, creating a well rounded person. It is a part of my education that I find to have helped me a lot in life. Understanding more than what is just around you everyday builds a deeper appreciation for other peoples lives and can connect you to others In a more positive way.

Keeping my work in order

Something I have the most trouble with dealing with is time management. My problem with time managment creates a lot of stress and anxiety in my day to day life. I am mostly talking about keeping myself on a good, well timed out schedule for me that will allow me to get all of my work completed fully.  When it comes to school work I have a hard time planning out and keeping on top of all that comes my way. Apart of the time management that I struggle with is the Splitting up of my work load. I try to work on assignments or studying in little parts so it does not all come down to the last moment but with so much to do that is often not the case. For example, this semester I find myself up until late hours of the night after a full day of classes just trying to fit in my work that is due the next day, especially for big assignments like tests. They say cramming for a test doesn’t work and that is the truth but often times that’s all I find I have time for in my schedule. Somehow I need to change this pattern and separate my time between each class to see the outcome I want and know I can achieve.

Trying to figure out a system, fighting against time and deadlines is a process I need to work out. There needs to be a balance between work and taking time for yourself so you do not crack under the pressure. I have seen some people take 2 very opposite approaches to this same issue. One is to get so stressed out about what you have to complete that you do not sleep to finish all of your work, (which is often times what I find myself doing) and the other is ignoring the problem until the time has passed. So maybe if there is a balance between them of finding the right things to focus on and the others you kind of ignore or not pay as much attention too could help you plan out what is most important and create that well timed schedule. So while reading this blog post, if you have found yourself here at a time in your life and you found away to help yourself please comment so I can try new tactics for myself.

Learning Another Language

 I have always been intrigued listening to people who were able to speak in other languages, fluently, and dreamed about conversing and understanding a foreign language someday. Speaking and understanding another language has always been a personal goal of mine.

My parents lived in Germany for several years, so growing up I heard them occasionally speak German to each other. When we traveled to Germany on vacation, I admired how they could talk casually with their friends, how they were able to order dinner in a restaurant, or buy something at the store. They then had to translate what everyone was saying. I practiced a few words and phrases that my mom taught me and then tried to use them, for example, when I bought a pretzel at the train station or bought a few souvenirs for my friends. It was NOT perfect, but it was exciting to know that they understood what I said in those unfamiliar words.

In elementary and middle school, we had Spanish language lessons for 1 hour everyday. In high school, I decided that I wanted to learn the French language.  I liked the way that it sounded, thought it was very cool. After four years of French class, I realized how little I knew and that I wasn’t able to speak that well . I only understood bits and pieces of a conversation when I heard someone else speak it or heard it on the radio. I live in a town that is very close to Canada so we can pick up a few French speaking radio stations when driving around my town. But what I have come to realize is that I actually do speak and understand other languages, much better than the French I studied.

What I mean is that I found that I have knowledge of other languages through other things that I have studied, grown up with, or been exposed to in various ways, i.e., digital media, math, and the language of medicine, for example. I am a part of Generation Z, so I have grown up with iPhone, laptops, Instagram, snap chat, photoshop, youtube, etc, so I am very familiar with the language of computers or personal digital devices. I feel very “tech savvy” when I help my mother understand Google Docs.  I like math, and have taken math for over 12 years now.  I understand what is meant by functions, fractions, sets, or differential equations. In my senior year, I decided to take a class called Language of Medicine. It turned out to be my favorite class.  I found it very interesting, useful, and that it had really expanded my understanding of the information that I came across in my life everyday. I can now understand many of the medical  terms on my own medical records, when speaking with my doctor or dentist, or even when I am watching a tv show like Gray’s Anatomy.

The more that I am out in the world, I understand that learning another language is so much more than learning to   “Parlez-vous francais?” I have achieved my personal goal of learning another language.  I plan to continue to learn and improve my language abilities, and of course, I will keep the dream alive and try to master the French language…..someday.

creation

Last week I was listening to a guest speaker in one of my classes talk about innovation and creating. Her lecture was all about how she got to where she is today in her career and what paths took her to where she is today. Something from her lecture caught my attention and has been on my mind for a while now. She asked us a simple question of, what do we want to do in our careers? This question is asked of college students a lot but she changed the question up a little. She asked us, what do we want to be involved in the creation of? Just by changing up that question a little bit made me really think and have a new thought processes on picking a career path . It made me rethink the way I look at jobs in general by filling my head with new questions. Such as, how do I want to help the world through my career? or what do I think needs some improving and that I can help with? The new though process opened all new options in my mind that I would like to rethink and explore more options open to me. So I can find something that I would like to be involved in the creation of.

She went on to tell us about a group of young kids she worked with and a creation they came up with. This group of children was in 5th grade and their assignment was to create a helpful product. Their group was supposed to come up with an idea just for this little project but their idea turned out to be very helpful and with help became a real concept. Their idea was a tool to filter the water in flint Michigan due to the lead that has contaminated it. They saw a  problem with how they were getting their water. Where they use all plastic non reusable water bottles for everything which they found wasteful and a problem that need a solution. So their invention was a reusable straw that could filter the water free of lead and it would reduce the use of all of the plastic water bottles. This is in the process of becoming a real tool that will be produced all because of this 5th grade class. They found as a group something they wanted to be apart of the creation process to help others, which I find to be a great thing to be teaching young children.