Some suggestions on how to be a successful student despite having chronic depression

Those with depression know that being a successful student can be hard when one suffers from depression. Motivation to try and succeed is very low. There are ways to counteract this feeling, however.

Academically, always make sure to turn in your assignments, talk to your teachers about what you’re going through, and maybe look into a 504 plan.

Turning in an assignment for even only 2 points is better than having nothing turned in at all and getting a zero. Even if you only do half of the assignment, getting the points for that half is better than none at all.

Talking to your teachers can not only provide you a good outlet for what you’re feeling, but it  possibly allows you to make some arrangements regarding assignments and class work for that class as well.

Lastly, a 504 plan is a plan that protects a student with an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. 504 plans allow flexibility with your abilities to turn assignments in. For example those with ADD or depression may turn in assignments later due to concentration issues related to the named affliction. Keep in mind that a 504 plan is a legal document, and you will need to have documentation from a doctor in order to start the process to possibly receive one.

Self care is also a good option to lower stress and almost reboot your system. Make sure you’re eating enough and staying hydrated. Both of these will boost your energy and possibly your motivation levels.

It may also be a good idea to find creative and constructive outlets for your feelings. Some that I’ve seen have been painting (any kind of painting! It doesn’t even have to look like anything, it can just be a bunch of colors in a blob!), writing your feelings down in the form of a poem or story, and writing a short song.

Some other options that have worked for me have been blasting emotional songs and singing along.

Therapy can also be very helpful for managing symptoms of depression. Therapy, however, can be fairly expensive if you don’t have insurance, or if your insurance doesn’t cover therapy.

An important thing to remember is that your health comes before your school work.

If your depression is getting too bad that your ability to function is detrimental, and suicidal thoughts occur, then you should consider: going to the ER and getting help from there, going to the National Suicide Prevention website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or calling the National Suicide Prevention phone number: 1-800-273-8255.

Get your wag on! Walk for animals

Every year, the Animal Humane Society hosts a walk where people can not only walk but also donate money to help animals in need. They aimed to raise 1 million dollars for vulnerable animals and raised 900,000 dollars.

They walk through Theodore Wirth Park, turn around at the Golf Chalet, and head back to the Animal Humane Society. The walk starts at 10 am and they have fun activities and booths for before, during, and after the walk. The activities include: dog games (featuring games and training tips for your dog) hair and face painting, Chip n’ Nail Clinic: where you’ll find reduced fees for nail trims, microchipping, gland expressions, and photo booths. They also have a merchandise booth!

You are not committed to walking the full 2.5 mile walk, and can also participate in cute pet contests.

They have three competitions: best celebrity look alike, best dance moves, and best hairdo. (Sign up by 11:00 am to participate!)

There is also a complimentary shuttle service that starts picking people up at the satellite lots at 7:45 and loops through the lots until 2 in the afternoon.

They also have a team of dogs that perform some athletic tricks called The Purina Pro Plan Performance Team. This show is at 9 am and at 11 am. There is live music at 12:30 pm and then another Purina Team performance at 1 pm.

The Animal Humane Society is a shelter that gives any animal a chance to be adopted. While they could qualify as a no kill shelter, they choose not to and only euthanize pets with an incurable disease or untreatable behavior issues. Euthanization is only used when they’ve exhausted all other options.

Find out more about the Animal Humane Society here: https://www.animalhumanesociety.org

Fans of Netflix show ‘On My Block’ demand a recast of character

image taken from: ttps://www.buzzfeed.com/krystieyandoli/on-my-block-season-2?utm_term=.joG8zkgzB#.do7QwrPwx

On the Netflix show On My Block, there is a character named Olivia; a Mexican girl whose parents were deported.

There are screenshots of Ronni Hawk, Olivia’s actress, openly supporting Trump. She once tweeted “go @realDonaldTrump please bring America back!!!” In the early morning of when Trump was elected, she also tweeted two American flag emojis and one heart emoji.

Not only does she support Trump, but she also is not Mexican herself; she is white. On My Block has been praised for its near all person of color cast, but the crew still cast a white woman to play a Mexican character.

There is irony in having a Mexican character, whose parents were deported, being played by a white woman who supports Trump. Mexican people were just one of the many minorities targeted by Trump during his campaign and through his current presidency.

Many people have called for either Olivia to be killed off, or recasted, as this news about Hawk has surfaced. Not only does it play into misrepresentation, and the disadvantage minority actors face to play roles made for them, when a white person is cast instead, it also plays into this irony of such a progressive and diverse show supporting a person who believes in the oppression that Trump’s administration brings about.

Many fans have gone to Twitter to voice their opinions on the future of the character Olivia. Some want a recast, and others want her to be killed off. Many people have called for fans to stop supporting Ronni Hawk because she supports Trump and auditions for Hispanic roles as a white woman.

Since season 2 of the show has not come out yet, the fate of Olivia and Ronni Hawk has not been revealed.

Study tips for 4th quarter!

Here are some tips to help you study and turn in work on time!

Do your work when you get it.

I get it. It’s not always easy to do your work in a timely manner especially if you’re prone to procrastinating. But if you do it when you get it, you can relax and do whatever you want without the looming feeling of that homework you’re supposed to be doing hanging over you!

Flash Cards or a Quizlet!

Flash cards are a great way to help memorize vocabulary words and you can bring them anywhere! But if you’re not a fan of flash cards the app Quizlet provides many great ways to memorize the information you need to. They provide a flash card function, a matching function, and even a way to learn your vocab words!

DON’T cram for a test.

Cramming may help in the short term but it won’t help you retain the information for a later time and test. Studying for your test in small increments leading up to the test day is much more beneficial for your grades.

Get a planner.

If writing down what you need to do will help you then get a planner! However, even though some people don’t necessarily need a planner to remember to do their work, it’s still a good idea to plan out your work and studying on a calendar to keep you on track.

Start small.

If you have a large project coming up, do small parts of it spaced out so you stay motivated and it doesn’t feel so looming and overwhelming.

Take notes in class.

This may seem obvious but taking notes can help you retain the information and you can also look back at them when you’re working on your homework.

Pay attention in class.

Chances are if you’re taking to your friend during lecture then you’re not paying any attention to what the teacher is saying which is detrimental to your learning and your grades.

Study groups!

If you have a friend in your classes, ask them to study with you! Often studying with others can be beneficial to retaining and learning information. Also, if there’s something you don’t understand they might understand it and vice versa. If not, you guys can figure it out together using your individual knowledge.

Write in blue pen.

A study has been done that not only writing notes down helps you retain the knowledge but also writing in blue helps more!

 

Olympic Gold medalist Chloe Kim, victim of inappropriate comment by Radio DJ

On February 13th, radio show host Patrick Connor made highly questionable comments about Chloe Kim while discussing the Olympics on his radio sports show.

He said, “Her 18th birthday is April 23, and the countdown is on, baby, cause I got my Wooderson going. That’s what I like about them high school girls.” The “Wooderson” part was referencing a character from the movie Dazed and Confused, who pursued high school girls even though he himself was far removed form high school. He continued to say “She’s fine as hell! If she was 18, you wouldn’t be ashamed to say that she’s a little hot piece of a**. And she is. She is adorable. I’m a huge Chloe Kim fan.”

Connor had made these comments during the radio show Dialed-In with Dallas Braden. In the audio clip, you can hear his co-stars laughing and doing nothing to correct his brazenly disgusting comments.

KNBR, a studio he also worked for, fired him on Wednesday February 14th. However, he is still working at the station, Barstool Sports, where he made his comments.

The apology he issued was a shallow attempt to save face, even though Braden had issued a warning to Connor, stating that this is something to take very seriously, is a very severe situation, and that he’d get fired if he did something like this again.

I believe a warning is not enough. I understand the idea of second chances and providing someone the chance to change, but in these cases of sexualization of minors, there should be no doubt about immediate repercussions. Connor should have been fired from not only KNBR, but also from Barstool Sports show.

This kind of situation is in direct correlation with the over sexualization of Asian women, especially young women, and the rampant sexism in sports. This, however, is not the first time Barstool Sports has come under fire for sexist comments. In January, the company’s CEO Erika Nardini had stated that, “This is a company that intentionally is not PC,” and “At our core, our guys just want to do things that are funny and that’s what I’m focused on and that’s what I believe in.”

However, the issue with an intentionally not “PC” company, and allowing people to say what they think is funny, is that it leads to situations like the Chloe Kim one. When one removes the barrier of “PC,” one removes the protection of minors, and marginalized groups, from inappropriate comments such as the ones made about Chloe Kim. One is then intentionally othering and alienating potential audiences.

Rose McGowan freaks out at trans activist at Barnes and Nobel appearance

Rose McGowan is known for being the first person to come out with allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein. She has done a few things for women across the nation, such as creating an environment where silence about sexual assault and harassment is not tolerated. However, on her book tour, she has done what is considered a questionable action.

At a Barnes and Nobel, promoting her new book, a trans activist confronted McGowan about her comments about trans women on RuPaul’s podcast, and how her brand of feminism is exclusionary to trans women. On RuPaul’s podcast, McGowan had said that trans women cannot understand growing up biologically female, going on to say that, “That’s not growing as a woman, that’s not living in this world as a woman and a lot of the stuff I hear trans [women] complaining about, yeah, welcome to the world.”

The attendee who spoke out about McGowans divisive comments had said that “Trans women are dying and you said that we, as trans women, are not like regular women. We get raped more often. We go through domestic violence more often. There was a trans woman killed here a few blocks [away]. I have been followed home.”

To this McGowan interrupted and said, “Hold on. So am I. We are the same. My point was, we are the same. There’s an entire show called ID Channel, a network, dedicated to women getting abused, murdered, sexualized, violated, and you’re a part of that, too, sister. It’s the same.“

The attendee raised the point that “[McGowan does] nothing for [trans women]. Trans women are in men’s prisons. And what have you done for them?” They had also called McGowan a “white cis feminist,” meaning her feminism is exclusionary to people of color and trans folk. To this, McGowan began to shout.

McGowan shouts “Don’t label me, sister. Don’t put your labels on me. Don’t you ******* do that. Do not put your labels on me. I don’t come from your planet. Leave me alone. I do not subscribe to your rules. I do not subscribe to your language.” McGowan then continues to say the attendee should be grateful for what McGowan does.

Aside from the fact that the amount of anger McGowan’s voice has, when she is shouting at the attendee, even when she has been removed, is frankly scary. What really highlights McGowan’s view of trans women comes when she says, “I don’t come from your planet.” This is an ideology that has been present with McGowan before. When she says, “I don’t come from your planet,” she is really saying that since she was born with the anatomy tied to being a “woman” that means the attendee was not really a woman since she wasn’t born with the anatomy McGowan has.

This is a common belief about trans people saying that you can only be a woman if you have a vagina, and you can only be a man if you have a penis. These ideologies only perpetuate that gender is directly connected to genitalia, which has been scientifically disproven, and that in order to be a woman or a man, one has to be exactly like the vision that the majority has of women and men.

Another shocking part from the video is when the other attendees did not reprimand McGowan for her transphobic outburst, but instead consoled her saying that the activist was in the wrong. They had all also clapped while McGowan screamed at the attendee.

Since the incident McGowan has cancelled all future appearances.

You can watch the actual video here: https://youtu.be/yuFepZ0hET4

Anticipated movies coming out in 2018

By Aicha Minoui and Jamie Zarn

So far, 2018 has had its ups and downs but, in the section of movies, now that is a different story. 2018 is bringing forth new sequels, or ending movies to a franchise, such as: The Maze Runner: The Death Cure, The Incredibles 2, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Wreck It Ralph: Ralph Breaks The Internet. Even new single movies like Winchester, a horror movie, and Ready Player One, an action movie.

One of the listed franchise movies such as, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure finishes off the Maze Runner series in a way which leaves the audience wanting more, and missing forgotten characters, as well as answering some unanswered questions from the last two movies. The movie also sets the series to rest in a way where you can leave the theatre astonished, and be assured that the series has ended, which is usually never the case but, this time, it does seem like that is the case.

Wreck It Ralph: Ralph Breaks The Internet, is a new and upcoming sequel from a favorite movie released in 2012. In this film, not much has been said about the plot except that it’s set six years after the previous movie, and that Princess Vanellope Von Schweetz (or just Vanellope) and Ralph go to find a replacement part for the game Sugar Rush after a Wi-Fi router is connected to the arcade. What that replacement is, is still not known but, it’s said that an algorithm Yesss, which is another version of Youtube called Buzztube, will be included, as well as an appearance of the Disney Princess line-up (voiced by the original voices), Stars Wars characters, and Marvel characters. This is something to look forward to.

I think everyone can agree that Incredibles 2 is the movie everyone is looking forward to. The sequel to the favorite animated superhero movie, released in 2004, is finally being released. Not only are children excited, but people who grew up watching the Incredibles over and over again are super excited for the sequel as well. Regarding the plot, the movie is about Mr. Incredible taking care of Elastigirl and his kid, Jack-Jack, while she is out saving the world.

Two movies I’m personally excited for, are Pacific Rim: Uprising and Ready Player One. Pacific Rim: Uprising is the sequel to Pacific Rim, which was released in 2013. Pacific Rim was about mecha robots, called Jaegers, fighting Kaiju that are trying to destroy the world. Uprising is about Jake Pentecost, whose father was Stacker Pentecost, abandoning Jaeger training and getting caught up in the criminal underworld. Suddenly an even greater threat than the Kaiju come and Jake Pentecost gets one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy, given to him by his estranged sister, Mako Mori. This movie stars John Boyega, well known for his role as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Ready Player One is an action movie about the creator of a virtual reality game called OASIS who dies and challenges every OASIS player to find his Easter Egg. Whoever finds it will win his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the egg. To me, this movie just seems like a fun action movie, and I’m pretty excited for it.

Winchester is a new horror movie about one of the most haunted houses in the world, on an isolated stretch of land outside San Francisco. It follows Sarah Winchester, as a prison for the vengeful ghosts that have a score to settle with the Winchester family. It is currently pulling 10% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The brief history of Christmas

Christmas is a time for families, whether related or not, to come together and celebrate the holiday spirit with some hot cocoa and your favorite Christmas movie that you watch every year! As someone who really likes Christmas, I thought it’d be fun to learn the history, and origin, of Christmas.

In most areas of Europe, December was a perfect time to celebrate, as most cattle were slaughtered so they wouldn’t have to be fed durning winter. During this time, they had the largest supply of fresh meat, and most beer and wine being fermented would be ready to drink by this time. In Germany, they celebrated the pagan god Odin during mid-winter. Germans believed Odin would make flights through the sky during the night to observe his people. He would then decide who prospered and who perished.

In the early stages of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday, and Jesus’ birthday was not celebrated. However, in the 4th century, the Church decided a date to celebrate his birthday since the Bible doesn’t mention the date. There is evidence to suggest that his birth took place during the spring, but Pope Julius I chose December 25th so that they could absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. By having Christmas at the same time as other traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be embraced.

In the early 17th century, religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. In 1645, Oliver Cromwell and his Puritans took over England, and they vowed to get rid of decadence and thus cancelled Christmas. However, due to popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne, and Christmas came back with him.

In 1620, the pilgrims came to America, and didn’t bring Christmas with them because their beliefs were more orthodox than Cromwell. Christmas was not a holiday in early America. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. However, after the American Revolution, Americans had rejected English customs and Christmas became a federal holiday in June of 1870.

Washington Irving wrote a book called The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, which was a series of stories depicting the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. All the traditions he wrote about in his 1819 book were nothing he actually had attended, but were things he had imagined. Many historians say that Irving had invented the traditions. Around the same time, Charles Dickens created A Christmas Carol. The story had a poignant message of the importance of charity and good will towards everyone, which struck a chord with Americans and Englishmen. Also, families were becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotions of children.

For more information go to http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas

The evolution to modern day Thanksgiving

The history of Holidays has always been interesting to me, especially the evolution to the way a Holiday is celebrated currently. So, I decided to research the evolution from harvest festival to Thanksgiving.

Many Americans gather every year to have a nice meal with their family and give thanks to what is most important in their life, or something like that. My family doesn’t really do “thanks.” Either way, Thanksgiving is a long celebrated Holiday in America and I was curious where it all started.

image source: “Freedom of Want” by Norman Rockwell

Most of us probably know about the Pilgrim-Indian meal after Squanto showed sickly Pilgrims how to farm. However, many historians point out that this is more legend than fact. Truth is that historians aren’t really sure what happened on the “First Thanksgiving” and many Native Americans take offense to the widely taught version of the first Thanksgiving saying that it paints an all to sunny picture of relations between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag people, in turn masking a long history between Europeans and Native Americans that caused the death of millions of people. So, because of the doubts of the history I’ll be focusing on how Thanksgiving evolved from when it was first declared a National Holiday.

Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a National Holiday in 1863 at the height of the Civil War. Previously, many people had already celebrated Thanksgiving. Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a Holiday so Americans could ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” Lincoln scheduled Thanksgiving to be on the fourth Thursday of November. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt had moved Thanksgiving up a week to the third Thursday, to try and boost retail sales during the Great Depression. However, this was met with great opposition and it was then moved, reluctantly, back to the fourth Thursday of November, in 1941.

The food traditionally served at Thanksgiving has changed from venison (deer) during the Pilgrim times, to turkey currently. This may have happened because of the abundance of deer during the 1600s. The change most notably happened in the 1800s. A book written by Sarah Josehpa Hale titled Northwood; A Tale of New England highlights the ideal Thanksgiving feast, including: turkey, beef, pork, mutton (sheep), pickles and preserves, vegetables, custards, cheese, cake and pies.

Some things have been added to the Thanksgiving tradition more recently, such as cranberry sauce, which appeared in 1912 after Cape Cod Cranberry Co. started to sell canned cranberry sauce. Green bean casserole has been added as well.

For more information about Thanksgiving, visit the following sites:

http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/lot-digest-how-thanksgiving-feast-has-evolved-over-150-years-2d11656681

 

Things you shouldn’t say to people with mental illness

Mental health has been a hot topic recently, and there are many ways that people view those who suffer from mental illness. The most common mental health problems are: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Whether you know it or not, some of the things you say to people with these disorders can cause more harm than good. Here are the most common things that are said that don’t really help people who suffer from mental illness feel any better.

In response to learning someone has depression: “You should try yoga”, “Have you tried happy thoughts?”, “But you have nothing to be depressed about.”

The issue with suggesting physical activities like hiking or yoga is that depression, especially that which is caused by a chemical imbalance, isn’t that easy to get rid of. It’s not simply feeling sad or blue; it is feeling so hopeless or worthless that the simple tasks of everyday life become challenging, and even waking up can become hard. Depression is not always situational, which is caused by deeply stressful occurences in life, but sometimes is clinical, that which is caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain.

The best way to get rid of situational depression is getting rid of the stressor(s) in your life.

“You don’t look schizophrenic.”

This kind of goes for all mental illnesses.

Of course someone isn’t going to look like they have a mental illness, since mental illness is internal. You wouldn’t say to someone with heart disease that they don’t look like they have a heart disease.

Using “triggered” to describe someone who is upset.

Now, bear with me, because some of you may just think “You’re being too sensitive!”, but the word “triggered” is actually a word used in mental health rehabilitation circles. It’s used commonly in therapy for people who have experienced traumatic events including, but not limited to: sexual assault, abuse, and fighting in wars. Triggers can be certain words, smells, sights, or sounds. When people hear, see, or smell these certain things it will make the individual vividly remember their trauma. Triggers are common in people who suffer from PTSD.

In the case of sexual assault or abuse, triggers can be strange in the eyes of the person who is not afflicted, but that doesn’t make a trigger any less real for the afflicted person. There is no approved list for things that cause people to vividly remember traumatic experiences, since everyone’s brain makes connections differently.

“He can’t make up his mind! He’s so bipolar!” Or anything like that.

Bipolar episodes are not anything like common belief. Bipolar episodes can last up to months with one feeling manic and/or depressed. The switch between the two feelings is not within seconds like commonly believed. So, when you say this, you are trivializing, and minimalizing, a debilitating disorder to just being indecisive.

In response to anxiety: “Just stop being anxious!”

Wow, I’m cured. Do I even need to explain this? Anxiety can’t be controlled like this. No mental illness can be controlled. If it were, don’t you think people who suffer from it would just stop being mentally ill?

“I don’t believe in mental illness.”

Ok, good for you? That doesn’t change the fact that I’m definitely mentally ill. In fact that’s only proved to me that I can’t trust you enough to be able to talk about my mental illness.

“You’re just making it up for attention!”

When you say this to someone you are essentially telling them “I don’t value your feelings enough to believe that you’re actually going through a major problem that affects a majority of the populous, so I’m just going to assume you want attention.”

Trust me, in the case of depression, the last thing depressed people want is to feel like their depression is causing a burden on someone.

As someone who suffers from depression, the treatment of people with mental illness is a very important to me. All I’m asking for is a bit of empathy and understanding. How hard is it to be a decent person?

If you are experiencing any symptoms of mental illness, please contact a doctor, counselor, or adult you trust.