Friday, May 30, 2014

T-Minus 18 Hours

Tomorrow evening, my flight for Berlin will take off (yikes!) and I'm tingling in anticipation. While I've flown many times before in my life––I've already traveled abroad with a high school class––this will be the first time I travel on my own. That's right, I'll have to go through security, boarding, baggage claim solo, and it's making my heart-beat quicken.

I feel extremely prepared, which is helping, and everyone has been immeasurably helpful and supportive as my departure nears, but I told my mom this evening that I keep worrying about the little, insignificant things like:

What if my baggage weighs 52 pounds?
Will my hair and make-up get gross on the flight?
Do I need compression socks or does the twenty-something-year-old magic apply to international flights, too?

See––little things . . . My time abroad is a quick three weeks, so I already know it will be a whirlwind kind of trip. During my stay, here's what I'm most looking forward to:

Staying with a family so I can experience "real life" in Berlin.
Going to museums and internet cafes when I feel touristy.
Eating chocolate and mentos as I read on the plane.
Listening to music on trains.
Seeing the Brandenburg Gate again––it's just so stunning.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Currently Reading: Non-Fic Royalty

Now that school is out and I've had a minor academia detox, I thought I'd share what I'm currently reading. As you all know, I'm really into non-fiction writing, whether that be essays, journalistic articles, or diaries and journals. I'm really pleased to say that a book I picked up over winter break is just as good as I hoped it would be.

I'll be honest and admit that the initial reason I picked up The New Kings of Nonfiction is because it's edited by Ira Glass and I'm a wanna-be NPR junkie. So far I am about half way through (I've yet to get to my beloved DFW) and it's great. What makes it readable and less daunting than a 400 page novel is that you can read one essay a day and feel like you've made considerable progress because you start and finish a subject. (The Atlantic and The New Yorker seem to be reigning champs of originally published sourcing . . . so there is kind of a specific audience niche implied here, which is slightly smug and presumptuous.)

My favorite essays thus far are:

"Six Degrees of Lois Weinberg" by Malcolm Gladwell

"Shapinksy's Karma," by Lawrence Weschler (this story is incredible!)

"Among the Thugs," Bill Buford

I'm hoping to finish this before Saturday when I leave for Germany, because I want another new book to read for my flights!

Have you been reading any good nonfiction lately? I'd love your suggestions!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Is this a busy time of year for you? All my friends and I are feeling the crunch and rush of finals––it's the dog days. The weather last week was incredibly stormy and moody, which helped keep everyone indoors and forgetting that the year is almost over. Now that the sun is out and the temperature is rising, everyone seems anxious in their classes and libraries.

This year especially, I've fallen victim to procrastination. I used to be insanely regimented, but I keep putting things off for the next day and it's starting to creep up on me. (Yikes!) Some of my friends say that procrastination often leads to their best work. But, I'm a worrier . . . so it just makes me nervous and wacky. Tonight is my night to get caught up and rid myself of this brain fuzz I currently have.

What are your tricks for staying on-schedule. Do you have rewards for meeting deadlines? Do you have any good scheduling tricks? Do you recommend a certain environment for ultimate productivity? I'd love your suggestions!

This time of year, I feel my people-pleasing tendencies raging.
Multiple personalities are so essential for me to have a balanced life.
Do you work alone?

Photo: Kurt Vonnegut doodle, via The New Yorker (part of a new publication featuring his drawings!)