ideas & perspectives, things i learned

writing || happiness, productivity, and success is cultural | my trip to romania

helloo world! I got back from my 3-week solo trip to visit family in Romania a couple days ago. It’s been an absolutely astonishing past month for me. I had a blast spending time with my (apparently pretty big) family, making new friends, and embracing new experiences. I was also learning so freaking much every… Continue reading writing || happiness, productivity, and success is cultural | my trip to romania

bullet journal, creativity, organization, printables, videos

creativity || 120 title and divider styles + FREE printable | ideas for your notes and bujo

This is probably one of my favourite spreads I've made. Like, ever. Super excited to share it with you AND to have made it into a PRINTABLE that you can download and print for yourself! Here are 65 title styles and 57 divider ideas for your: notes bullet journal journal lists and whatever else that… Continue reading creativity || 120 title and divider styles + FREE printable | ideas for your notes and bujo

ideas & perspectives, things i learned

writing || when living “intentionally” backfires

Okay. This is going to be short, and it's going to be to the point. Funny because in writing that, and prefacing this very interesting topic with an uninteresting little meta-insight, I'm being counterproductive to my whole initial mission to stick to the point. But I always seem to feel the need to explain what's… Continue reading writing || when living “intentionally” backfires

academic, Literary Commentary

writing || IB HL English WIT || Blood and Water in Blood Wedding: An Exploration of the Symbols in Spanish Culture as represented through the Lullaby

In Blood Wedding, Federico Garcia Lorca constructs an environment that is heavily weighed down by cultural expectations. As both a playwright and an accomplished theatre director, Lorca’s command of dialogue, musical drama, and stage direction is used with purpose to create this tense, eerie atmosphere. In particular, the play’s recurring intra-textual Lullaby piece gives audiences an insight into its cultural setting by mirroring the language and symbolism its characters later employ in describing their feelings of suffocation and tension. It depicts an ancient struggle – one that is still relevant enough to be passed on through the generations. And in it, we see the juxtaposition of carnal flesh and blood with inanimate trees and rivers, both symbols that serve as metaphors for the forces at odds in the play.

academic, Literary Commentary

writing || The Ghost and the Boss: Power Dynamics throughout History in Hamlet and Death of a Salesman

There’s a very good reason the most widely published books in history were works of fiction, chronicling the tales of ordinary men locked in an often fatal battle with a fellow man or a supernatural monster. Fiction captures the nuances of those ideas and imbues them in an ageless magic that enables them to last through centuries of change. Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Miller’s Death of a Salesman were written hundreds of years apart, but man’s struggle for power over his own life remains constant.

academic, Literary Commentary

writing || Establishing the Cage, Foreshadowing the Singing: A commentary on Angelou’s Prologue

Not all works of literature use para-textual features in the same way – or even at all – but Maya Angelou’s prologue in her autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, is a feature of the text which should not be overlooked, for it sets the stage for her to share her immensely difficult but powerful personal story. The piece’s title, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, is an allegory referring to her realization of the beauty and meaning held back by the cage created by her physical, psychological, and interpersonal circumstances. Knowing this to be the central tension in Angelou’s life, and therefore her autobiography, the prologue presents itself to readers with a dual purpose.

academic, Literary Commentary

writing || Parenting is like a Fencing Match: Scene Analysis in “I Know why the Caged Bird Sings”

The ultimate coming-of-age story that doesn’t shy away from even the more difficult topics, Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is immensely honest and vulnerable. Her experience being sent from mother and father to grandmother several times throughout her life is a situation not all readers can identify with. However, the truths she shares about family, love and self-identity through these experiences are universal. By chapter 33, both Maya and her brother Bailey have become adolescents, and their trials and tribulations are representative of those which many other adolescents face. In fact, Maya’s account of Bailey’s fight with their Mother illustrates several truths all readers can relate to when it comes to conflict between a parent and child. In particular, her use of descriptive language characteristic of a fencing match provides a lens through which to understand her mother’s and brother’s conflict, and thus the plight of our own youthful turbulent relationships with our parents.

academic, Literary Commentary

writing || The Hereditary Sickness: An Analysis of the Structure, Tensions, and Motifs of “Mad Shadows”

The passage from pages 52 to 55 of the book “Mad Shadows” by Marie-Claire Blais presents a turning point within the novel. It is in these four pages that the deterioration of the characters and superficial relationships begins to occur. An aura of sickness and wickedness spreads throughout the family – in their bodies and in their relationships – foreshadowing the falling apart of the household later in the novel.

creativity, videos

art || how to improve your handwriting

It sounds really weird to say it out loud, but in grade 3 I literally made it my life goal to improve my cursive handwriting. I went through the same five steps to improve your handwriting that I describe in this video, and then when it came to practicing, I would take FOREVER to copy down notes. Like seriously. I was the last one done. Ironically, I remember my grade 3 mind thinking, "eh, I'm in grade 3. What does it really matter how fast I can copy down notes?"

academic, Philosophy

writing || We are what we can control: an argument for Nature, not Nurture

The circumstances of our births are instrumental in determining who we are to become. However, to what degree do they cement our fates and make up who we are as people? The question of whether our innate human nature or the conditions of our nurturing throughout childhood have a greater role to play in our development is a hotly debated one. And the truth is that we have no way of knowing the scientifically-accurate answer. The question is a matter of hypotheticals - if we perform an experiment in which twins are reared separately to see how they differ in personalities when nature is kept the same but nurture is modified, not only are there too many other variables to account for, but we have no way of comparing the results to those had we kept the twins together. However, as humans we feel responsible for what we willingly choose and control, and when it comes to the course of our life, there is a lot we can control. It may be argued, then, that although nature affects our options, it is nurturing and the choices we and others willingly make that are the essence of what makes us uniquely human and individual.

ideas & perspectives

writing || i want to do it all … so here’s what’s next

This year has gone fantastic so far, with the usual blips of course. I've settled into a brand-new morning workout routine, which I'm going to share soon in a video. I've written a lot of essays for school that I'm quite proud of, which I'll be sharing as well. I've gone out with friends a… Continue reading writing || i want to do it all … so here’s what’s next

academic, Literary Commentary, Psychology

writing || Flying Purple People Eater: Spiritual Regression in “My Father’s Garden” | IB HL English Paper One Commentary

This was my [IB, HL English, Paper 1, mock-exam] commentary essay on the poem "My Father's Garden" by David Wagoner. In my class, we wrote this as our official midterm exam, and were given two hours. I was proud of the product so I decided to share it here. I enjoyed writing the essay too… Continue reading writing || Flying Purple People Eater: Spiritual Regression in “My Father’s Garden” | IB HL English Paper One Commentary