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Showing posts from August, 2015

Creativity Lost: Writing by the Seat of your Pants

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When pilots learn to fly, there are two stages to their training: operation and instrument. The first gives them license to fly in clear weather , and the second allows them to fly in weather with low-to-zero visibility. Pilots flying in bad weather without this training often rely on their own senses over their instruments to determine whether the plane is right-side up or upside-down. Called  “ flying by the seat of your pants, ”  this practice is incredibly dangerous, and unfortunately has been the cause of many accidental deaths. In our culture, this phrase has become equivalent to relying on unstable stimuli (like emotions or impulses) to make decisions.  My method of writing is not unlike an inexperienced pilot in low visibility. My senses tell me that if I continue to write like I do, I will eventually become a better writer. My instruments tell me that there are two underlying attitudes that confuse my desire to write: distractibility and self-esteem. Left unchecked,

Summer’s End: Tips for College Freshmen from a College Grad

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Being married to a full-time college student is tough. Freedom from college-related worries doesn’t abate. As my husband’s number-one priority, I have more influence than I’m comfortable with how his studies fluctuate over the course of the semester, and I want to be as much as an encouragement as I can. There are a few tricks and habits I learned during my own college career as well as these past few months that served me well during my dorm-room days.  Number One: Plan out your entire semester—with a lot of wiggle room—the first week of school. Syllabuses are excellent for this! Some professors are less organized than others, but for the classes that provided a syllabus, I took them and compiled them into one color-coded calendar. Whatever way works best for you, having your major assignments, tests, and projects mapped out in a single place saves time and energy later in the semester that you’d rather spend elsewhere! Two: When in doubt—study more! This is a mistake I

Synergy: Colorado Mountain Race and Other Adventures

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Five days, roughly fifteen hundred miles, and two weddings later…here I am.  From touring abandoned Catholic schools to drinking coffee floats, there was no lack of adventure this weekend. And although playing with a baby hedgehog in an old nunnery wasn’t originally on my to-do list, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Colorado was beautiful, and even though I still don’t want to live there (sorry, guys), I never realized how much I missed falling asleep to the gentle music of crickets. I was even able to capture some great urban wildlife photos in the little foothills town. We gathered with friends from far away for a wedding that took place in a gorgeous old abbey. The chapel combined ‘70s style wooden pews and wall paint with the ageless and intricate décor of traditional Catholicism.   The couple had been dating since high school, and everything about their wedding matched their collective personality. The bride’s beautiful lacy gown matched well with her bouque