Thought Catalog: Too Far

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Thought Catalog: Too Far

I really do love reading Thought Catalog because it feels like a more realistic, less-teenager-y version of BuzzFeed. I don’t have to consider Thought Catalog a guilty pleasure, whereas if anyone asks, BuzzFeed makes me gag. Every time I read a Thought Catalog article though, I have a slight trepidation that this article would be the one that made me lose interest. Unfortunately, ladies and gentleman, that day has come.

I’m currently drinking my “morning” coffee and eating “breakfast” at noon with no shame because it’s summer. Before I begin actually being productive with my online summer classes, I obviously was scrolling through Twitter. I stumbled upon an article by Thought Catalog called “Almond Butter Tastes Like Sandpaper And 16 Other Truths About Dieting You Should Know” and I almost gasped.

There are many truths about dieting that one must know, but I could eat almond butter with a spoon, diet or no diet. That stuff is simply delicious. In my confusion by this writer’s taste buds, I decided to read the list and I was thoroughly disappointed.

I understand that dieting can be difficult and annoying and it includes a lot of self-doubt and feeling self-conscious. I get that as much as any other 20-something-year-old does, but this list, in my opinion, pushed people away from trying to change to a healthy lifestyle more than anything else.

Yes, it does suck seeing people at the gym and it will always happen. This is true. Can we at least put a positive spin on it? They see you too and that means the thought that goes through their head is likely the same one that goes through yours, which in my case is: “she/he works out? That’s awesome.” Knowing other people think that about you when they see you working out overrides the fear of seeing those people in the first place.

Today, I am going back to my first hot yoga class in over a year, and I will say I’m a bit nervous, but standing up for hot yoga is more important than standing up for almond butter. Yoga is much more than just physical exercise. It is relaxing, it is spiritual, and it has just as many mental benefits as it does physical. If you attend your first hot yoga class and it is very difficult, and likely it will be, that is totally okay. When the going gets rough in hot yoga, you simply go into Child’s Pose. Plain and simple and no one will judge you. People at Planet Fitness say there is no judgement in a gym, but let’s be honest, it’s just a spot where people go to judge–this could be other people or themselves. Yoga genuinely isn’t like that. If you are focused on anything outside the confines of your mat, then you aren’t even doing it right. It’s likely that most people in the class with you are there to focus on themselves, not the people around them. Take a step back and remember that the world doesn’t revolve around you so that you can soak in that hot, calming, yogi air.

For those of you who hate running, I’ll make one suggestion that will make running a million times easier and you’ll realize how people get addicted to it: all you have to do is breathe while you run. Actively think about it. While you’re running, breathe in counting one-two-three and breathe out counting one-two-three. Just try it. It will blow you away, you’ll feel like you could run for days. Running and actively breathing almost feels like yoga, and when you reach that runner’s high, you’ll also fulfill the question in your head that has always wondered how Forrest actually ran for as long as he did.

Thought Catalog, I haven’t completely disowned you and I won’t unfollow you on Twitter, but I will say I’m not pleased. There is no “bitches” after Namaste. It’s never going to happen. Please don’t discourage your readers.

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#YesAllWomen and why it’s not viral enough

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I think that people assume I only read about current events because I’m a journalist, and I too often hear students validate not reading the news because they are not journalism or political science majors. Sometimes I feel that Millennials often forget how relevant the news is to our everyday lives, and the story of the Isla Vista shooting demonstrates the most obvious example of this.

 

The #YesAllWomen trend, which began as a result of the shooting, has infiltrated my Twitter feed in the most devastating, moving, empowering and disgusting way. While I have actively engaged in the trend and spent countless hours scrolling through tweets and photos, I find myself sick over what I read. The fact that the hashtag is trending says so much about the women and men standing up against rape culture, but still feels defeating when I remember that this culture only exists because these ideas are marginalized. #YesAllWomen makes me sick because it’s true that a man will back off if a woman tells him she has a boyfriend, because he respects the man more than he respects a woman saying “no.” It makes me sick that rape culture has become so prominent in Millennial culture that a movement like this was born in response to the increasing numbers of sexual assault and misogyny. It makes me sick because I’ve brought up the trend to multiple women, only for the trend to turn into a conversation of shared stories about women we know who have been raped, sexually assaulted and a victim to this culture.

I don’t read the news only because I’m a journalism student. I don’t encourage others to stay updated on current events just so they can catch a reference to a political controversy. I think it’s important for Millennials to engage in the discourse of politics because trends like #YesAllWomen give us a voice and define our culture, and the more people who engage in the conversation, the more accurately the picture depicts Millennials.

Mothers of Amer…

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Mothers of America
let your kids go to the movies!
get them out of the house so they won’t know what you’re up to
it’s true that fresh air is good for the body
but what about the soul
that grows in darkness, embossed by silvery images
and when you grow old as grow old you must
they won’t hate you
they won’t criticize you they won’t know
they’ll be in some glamorous country
they first saw on a Saturday afternoon or playing hookey

they may even be grateful to you
for their first sexual experience
which only cost you a quarter
and didn’t upset the peaceful home
they will know where candy bars come from
and gratuitous bags of popcorn
as gratuitous as leaving the movie before it’s over
with a pleasant stranger whose apartment is in the Heaven on Earth Bldg
near the Williamsburg Bridge
oh mothers you will have made the little tykes
so happy because if nobody does pick them up in the movies
they won’t know the difference
and if somebody does it’ll be sheer gravy
and they’ll have been truly entertained either way
instead of hanging around the yard
or up in their room
hating you
prematurely since you won’t have done anything horribly mean yet
except keeping them from the darker joys
it’s unforgivable the latter
so don’t blame me if you won’t take this advice
and the family breaks up
and your children grow old and blind in front of a TV set
seeing
movies you wouldn’t let them see when they were young

As we embark upon the final hours of 2013, we reflect upon our year and aspire for the new chances that come ahead of us. I’m not posting this to vent about the year that I had or attempt to say what I am expecting for 2014, but I will share my state of mind for the final 12 hours of 2013.

I have felt at a loss of words lately, so I left this to the incredible Frank O’Hara for elaborating upon a notion I could never put into words.

See ya never, 2013. 

Editors’ Picks of the Year: The Best of WordPress.com in 2013

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Just browsed all of these and loved every one of them. Congrats to all of those who got chosen and thank you editors for creating this fantastic list!

WordPress.com News

This week, our editors dove into the archives to find and rediscover notable posts published this year on WordPress.com, from nonfiction to poetry, and photography to illustration. These posts have been especially resonant to us and the community, and represent the diversity of voices of our users all over the world.

An Open Letter to the Girl I Pretended to Have a Crush On in Eighth Grade at Rottin’ in Denmark

You were the first girl I pretended to have a crush on so no one would know I was gay. I didn’t intend for it to happen, for it to be you, for it to be so easy. But it did, and it was.

From the opening lines of his epic open letter to Tracy Dolan, Michael Hobbes at Rottin’ in Denmark mesmerizes readers with his sharp and thoughtful storytelling, describing his strategy for surviving adolescence as a gay teenager…

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Sorry Sylvia (Plath)

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Beautiful piece. This makes me miss the days that I used to spend drowning in poetry.

Simon Kindt

plath

Sitting at the state library,
that great bunker for truant nerds
and the elderly.

At the next table
in between text messages,
status updates
and instagram likes
a table of private school uniforms
are preparing one more essay on Sylvia Plath.

Dutifully copying out details of
the dissected wreckage of her life,
finding among the bones and coffin splinters,
the pretence of our knowing,
the hermeneutics of the blood,
the black shoe,
and the gas oven hiss.
And all of this is done for ticks in boxes,
for ‘well dones’,
and ‘good to see you did your research’,
and dumb grades.

Could you imagine this Sylvia?
That this is what we would do to you?

That high school teachers
would keep dragging you out of the ground,
and laying your bones out for inspection,
looking for symptom,
and signifier,
pretending like we could ever know
what you looked like on…

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It’s Just Sex, Dammit!

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Not only do I love this analysis about how sex seems to take over the lives of many and our entire culture while taking up seemingly none of our time, I love the intent of this father, as well as the comic book references to his point. Well done, Dorkdaddy. I’m happy to have stumbled upon your page.

Dorkdaddy.com

letter This weekend we lost some friends.

The news came in the form of a phone call from one of the parties involved. It was a sad goodbye, letting us know that our couples/family friendship, which we both enjoyed, was no longer. Their marriage was over. The culprit, of course, was sex.

I won’t pretend to empathize with either party. The pain they both must be going through is beyond my frame of reference. I won’t belittle it by offering platitudes. All I could do was offer condolences, reaffirm the “you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do”, and re-emphasize that although the nature of our friendship will never be the same, my love will still be there, unchanged.

The totality of the news, taken in all its context, left me feeling ugly and defeated. Couple friends where the moms, dads and kids all get along simultaneously are hard to…

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The End of the College Essay

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The End of the College Essay

A friend of mine shared this article on Facebook today, sarcastically commenting, “It’s so refreshing to see a college educator give up on education through writing.”

When I read the title of the article, I assumed I would agree with the writer on the moral of the argument. While I am not a student who loathes writing essays, I do feel that alternatives to essays and exams exist and should be explored by academic institutions and educators.

Instead of agreeing with Rebecca Schuman, the author of this piece, I felt strongly insulted by her generalized depiction of college students. Her opening description of “all” college students not only felt belittling to me as an undergraduate student, but did not touch base on the argument she intended to make in the article. I wondered halfway through reading the piece if this article planned to suggest an alternative to the college essay or would simply continue on ridiculing college students.

“And on those rare occasions undergrads do deign to compose their own essays, said exegetic masterpieces usually take them all of half an hour at 4 a.m. to write, and consist accordingly of ‘arguments’ that are at best tangentially related to the coursework, font-manipulated to meet the minimum required page-count.”

Excuse me, but “rare occasion” that a student composes his or her own essay? I do understand that this generation has access to plagiarize unlike what any other generation has ever seen, but as a college student myself, I do not know a single one of my peers or my friends who has plagiarized. Schuman spoke of plagiarizing as if it has become commonplace for students to illegally steal someone else’s work. This is not underage drinking, and I will stand up for my generation and say that we do take plagiarism seriously enough to write our own essays. 

For those who do take the time and the effort to truly respond to the assignments provided to us by our professors, Schuman made me feel that even my best efforts are derisory to my professors. This article, intended to elaborate upon the notion of oral exams, which she only briefly touched base on near her conclusion, only spoke to me in a demeaning tone. 

Not only do 20-year-old college students have to deal with the constant shame placed upon us for being born a Millennial (as if we had a choice, invented the devices we are criticized for using, or are the only age group who has conformed to the altered state of communication in the 21st century), but we now have been generalized as either cheaters or, at our best, incapable of academic success UNLESS it’s for a grade (which would only be for other selfish gains, likely money). 

Despite this article claiming to focus upon alternate ways to implement academics, all it accomplished was insulting undergraduate students like myself who do dedicate a great deal of time in advance to brainstorming, outlining, writing and revising essays. As a student who works as a Writing Tutor at an esteemed Writing Center, I still cannot discredit my peers. Sure, I read an essay from time to time and feel some remorse that the student was accepted into the same university as me, but more often than not, I am amazed by the writing abilities of my peers. 

There are always slacker students, and I won’t argue that plagiarism does not occur, but I will stand up for my fellow Millennials. I will stand up for those who are still in undergraduate pursuing their education not only because an education is valuable and helpful for our future endeavors to receive and create jobs, but also because we actually want to learn. 

Millennials Are People Too

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I could have responded to this in less than 140 characters with one word: preach.

"Be like Aslan," she wrote.

I’m tired, y’all.

Tired of not fully understanding my French reading. Tired of not having proper time to go the the Rec. Tired of my phone being broken.

Above all, dear reader, I am tired of being a Millennial.

Not because I’m ashamed of my Millennial brothers and sisters. Not because I wish I was born in another era (that’s a whole other story). But because I’m tired of being bashed in popular media.

I read anotherarticle the other day which sarcastically mocked 20-somethings. And it just might have been the straw that broke the 20-something’s back.

Hi, I’m an entitled and broke 20-something and today I’m here to share with you some tips and tricks to grocery shopping on a budget that I’ve picked up over the past year and a half. You see, I graduated college a year and a half ago and, without meal plans or…

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