Sunday, December 15, 2013

On Demand

     Concerning percentages, I've found that a plethora of my time spent as a university student is comprised of attending school, studying for classes, working, and Netflix. As I'm sure is the case with many of my fellow comrades, we take part in the battle with On Demand resources every day. There is much to be said about these assets, both in and out of favor. Their unmeasurable convenience, portable capability and entertainment value are off the charts. However, these attributes also make them ridiculously distracting. After a hard day's work, one sometimes feels deserving of an episode of How I Met Your Mother which can conveniently be watched alongside a math assignment, or one of the odd assortment of 20th century David Bowie films while reading Milton, but at one point, one must face the inevitable truth that the simultaneous attempt of homework is futile. 
    I would categorize these new resources under the label, "potential threats." Not unlike a bar of good Swiss chocolate or Benedict Cumberbatch's face, they all succumb to the saying, "too much of anything can take a wrong turn," with chocolate launching one into a state of a diabetic coma, Benedict's chiseled cheekbones slicing through one's rational function of thought, and Netflix hurling a stick of dynamite at your "A" in Critical Theory 101. 
    In moderation, however, these "potential threats" become valuable resources. Often, have I been enlightened on subjects that concern my field of work while watching one of the many available documentaries uploaded to Netflix, or, perhaps, culturally immersed in a foreign film. There is no denying that this "age of potential threats" carries with it benefits to the student, however, like Swiss chocolate, it must be in moderation, as to avoid an educational sugar coma, which, I will assure you, results in nothing but minimal sleep, tears, and an odd desire to drop out of school to become an unemployed street performer. 

Monday, December 2, 2013


I've been thinking a lot about thinking. Mostly about intellectualism. 

I was sitting in my American Literary History class talking about modernism. I found myself getting way too excited about our discussions, and left wanting to spend the rest of my life reading Pound, Eliot, and Hemingway in a room full of Mondrian's "New York" collection. 

I came to a realization. Was this starting me on the path to intellectualism? Was I already an intellectual? Did I even want to be an intellectual? 

In my studious 30 second search on Merriam-Webster, I discovered this: 


: of or relating to the ability to think in a logical way
: involving serious study and thought
:of a person : smart and enjoying serious study and thought
1. a.  of or relating to the intellect or its use
    b.  developed or chiefly guided by the intellect rather than by emotion or experience :  rational
2. a. given to study, reflection, and speculation
    b. engaged in activity requiring the creative use of the intellect

I like thinking logically, and I'm all for serious study and thought. I study, reflect, and speculate, and like to at least pretend like I engage in activity requiring the creative use of the intellect. 

Wait, Marina. You skipped the one about being guided by intellect rather than by emotion or experience. 
I know, third-person blog reincarnation. I'll explain. 

Being in an English major, I read a lot of literature. I participate in a lot of discussions about said literature. I analyze and write a lot of papers about said literature. I enjoy it. Maybe even love it.  

I love talking with other people and seeing why they love literature. I love thinking about what Golding was trying to say about human nature in Lord of the Flies, and what Eliot meant by "Hollow Men." Does this definition of intellectualism define who I am? I would venture to say that it's quite possible.

Except for definition 1. b. 

I really don't think that to be an intellectual requires one to be driven purely by rational thought, omitting all emotion and experience. 

To me, at least, to be intellectual is to analyze emotion and experience through one's own emotion and experience. All literature is grown from these things, and to be an intellectual is to acquire the ability to analyze and  understand someone else's representation of emotion and experience.

Just for fun, I'm going to say emotion and experience one more time. 

In the words of the ever-so-interesting Albert Camus, 
"An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself." 

Control. And the ability to know enough to understand what the control of ourselves in our quest of knowledge is.  

Till next time.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

When Writing

Future furrows his brow,       his feigned surroundings
Harboring those who wish to live,   within his frail walls, 
Reality relinquishing those     who resided in his company. 
The given-gift             and the fate-finder
Competing for casualties     within their realms. 

For those who perish in reality,    live eternal
But those who sever,       Clotho's thread
Within the sphere,     of endless tomorrows
Find fate to be,  a cruel master
The day of repentance,    lying in wait 
In an empire of days,    yet to come


When writing in the style of Anglo-Saxons for your literature class.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

When Running

The weather report for Saturday: 
      Cloudy, with 40% chance of snow. 
My plans? 
What a perfect time to reunite with our old friends Michael Buble and J. Bieber, their Christmas albums, and  this beautiful earth. 

It was one of those days where you wake up, all the roommates are asleep, it's snowing outside, and you can't wait to break out the new running jacket. There are times where it's completely appropriate to want nothing but a snowy day, a blanket, creamy hot chocolate, croissants, and some T.S. Eliot at 8:00 AM on a Saturday, and then there are times where you want nothing but red cheeks, soaked shoes, and the road beneath your feet. 

I couldn't believe how happy I was. It had been a rough couple of weeks, and I hadn't expected 30 degrees and heavy snow to turn that around. I stood outside my door as giddy as Hermione in a bookstore with galleons in her pocket. 

I don't think I've ever ran a faster first mile. 

When people ask if I'm training for anything, I usually say no. And that's just because it takes to long to explain that I'm training to become myself. If I said that, they would look at me funny and punch me in the arm and say, "no, but really though." 

When I run, I figured out that I'm not running to "get fit.". If I was trying for that, I would have to stop eating all the sweets that I do, heaven forbid. Health for the soul. That's what I'm shooting for. (Chocolate cake being a major part of that plan)

But running helps me to sequester (woah. that was a tricky word) myself from the world, and not worry about the general populous. Which, unfortunately, is a big issue for me. When I'm out running, all I focus on is getting where I need to go, and getting there preferably in one piece. It helps me recognize all that I'm blessed with, and how awesome human beans are. 

To push myself to the best of my abilities is something that I love. Unfortunately, in other aspects of my life, when I'm challenged to do my best, I get butterflies in my stomach, and can't do it. I play along, laugh, crack a good joke, sometimes crack a not-too-good joke, and doubt myself, because I"m afraid everyone's better than I am at everything. Which, granted, is often true. But sometimes, it isn't, and I need to own up to what I've been blessed with. 

Running is what takes me away from all of that social pressure, and helps me see what I can really do, which, though not much, is amazing. And then, we think about using our amazing-ness to make this world a better place. (Cliche overreaching theme time) There is a whole lot of amazing here, I think that we each just have a different way of distributing it. Life is about discovering how YOU best distribute your amazing human bean-ness.  

Here's an inspirational quote for the day: 

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." --T.S. Eliot

t.s. eliot quotes

Anyways. There's a few of my thoughts about running. 

Monday, April 8, 2013


Yup. College. It's for reals.

     I never thought that one day I would be goin' to school when I was 18. I thought that I would be colonizing Mars, or living in southern France, both of which would be ridiculously awesome. However, I'm kinda glad that I'm here. At school, that is. I've learned some things, I guess.

1. Bananas grow on trees.

2. Hawaii is off the west coast....not by Florida.

3. Chocolate cake is always acceptable.

4. Some people (me) don't wanna grow up.

5. Who studies in the library?

6. Don't live a mile.5 away from campus.

7. Bring your guitar to school. It's a good distraction from the unnecessary.

8. Facebook.

9. Don't be OCD, cause then if you can't think of 10 things to put on "things you've learned list" it drives you crazy and you put something stupid like,

10. I love selective members of One Direction.

     So ya, I learned some stuff. But one of probably the biggest things I've learned is probably that it's all gonna work out. Life's a collage of bad stuff and good stuff and boring stuff and sometimes all that is confusing, but at one point, you're gonna be like, Hey. This is gonna be good. It's fine. It'll all work out.
                                            So give someone a hug, smile, and be weird, cause that's
                                                              what people are made for.