learning

Weekly Discoveries #2| Inward Learning

Another week gone by, another seven things learned! I feel this week went more smoothly than the first, but perhaps I’m getting more into the habit of actively learning something new (or remembering what I had learned to write it down!). From exciting news to learning more about myself, it has overall been a great week!

Sunday

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Easter Sunday… I learned some juicy (happy & exciting!) details from my lovely mother… Something to happen in the summer! Sorry, I can’t say more… and I didn’t really learn anything extraordinary today to share with you all—oops! I guess I kind of cheated today.

Monday

Smiles

We all know that people aren’t always going to agree with each other or know how to say it in a way that comes off nicely. And you know what? That’s okay! In the age of the internet & technology, it’s always going to be difficult to interpret how someone says something when it’s not spoken face to face. I learned it’s best to smile and thank them and be extra nice! Even if they did not mean to come off not so nice, it’s best to err on the safe side so as to not make things worse. On the other hand, if that was their point, then you’ve stuck to the positive side. Good for you!

Tuesday

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This might not be interesting to most since it’s rather specific to my field of work. I’m in a few different blogging groups which lets me read a multitude of blogs similar to mine or very different. I came across this blog about gaining more Instagram followers. Her tips could apply to a personal account if you choose, but it’s definitely more aligned for bloggers, entrepreneurs, and companies. I’ve managed social media accounts for a variety of different companies and industries, but Instagram is new for me on the professional end. Reading her blog, you’ll learn that managing social media for businesses is extremely different than simply your own personal account. She explains it much more eloquently than I could

Wednesday

Gneiss is a foliated metamorphic rock identified by its bands/layers of various composition. Probably not what you expected for hump day, eh? My brother told me the joke, “Don’t take gneiss for granite!” after I mentioned one of my many dumb first date stories. Long story, but hey, we’re nerds. No shame!

Thursday

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After discussing plans with my best friend of what we’re going to do when she comes up to visit, I learned my favorite wine, has a low alcohol content compared to others! Stella Rosa is 5-6% compared to Barefoot Moscato which is 9%. No wonder I liked it so much and thought it tasted like juice!

Friday

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I received my very first spa facial from Angel Face Skincare this day! It’s a cute little spa in Racine near the south side. I had bought my mom a facial as an early Mother’s Day and birthday gift, and I decided to make this a little mother/daughter outing! It was a really pleasant and relaxing pampering session, but I learned a lot about properly taking care of my skin and what other treatments would benefit me!

Saturday

Today, I actually stepped outside of my comfort zone and did some acting for a Mother’s Day skit for my parents church! No dialogue, but it was heavy with emotion. I can be pretty dramatic in real life, but the thought of pretending to have real emotions of things I’ve never experienced was a bit nerve wracking. Our director/producer was also our camera guy, I learned quite a bit about film making and angles. He conveyed the emotion really well without me having to cry.

 

What have you learned this week? Share it with me in the comments section below!

 

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learning

Weekly Discoveries | Do We Really Learn Something New Every Day?

Do We Really Learn Something New Every Day_.jpgThey say you learn something new every day, but do we really? I love learning new things, but I’ll admit that there are days and even weeks that go by that I’m stuck in my typical mundane routine. I’ve decided to start a little series to keep myself accountable in truly learning something new EVERY day of the week…let’s see how long I keep this up! This series will go up on Monday for each previous week.

 

Here are my findings for April 9-15; maybe you’ll learn something new too!

Sunday

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My parents came back from their weekend trip to Madison. I learned that Wisconsin’s capitol building is made entirely of pure marble. Pure. Solid. Marble. The stairs. Walls. Pillars. Dome. The building was finished in 1917; 100 years old this year! The total cost was $7.2 million (at that time.) The only thing that is not marble are the mosaics; these are stone. I’ve been to Madison before, but never inside the capitol building.

Monday

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One of TOP things on my bucket list is getting to scuba dive in the famous Great Barrier Reef. I had heard the GBF has been dying, but did not know the details. Being the science geek I am, I actually did my research. I learned more thoroughly the details of coral bleaching. I’ve heard of it many times, but not the specifics of what it was. Coral bleaching occurs when corals are stressed by various conditions such as temperature change (cold or hot), light or nutrients. When stressed, they expel symbiotic algae that lives in their tissues causing them to turn WHITE, hence the term “bleaching.” Fortunately, it is possible for coral to recover from this, but if the stress continues, they die.

Tuesday

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Tuesday’s teachings didn’t quite bring solid facts like these other days. Being a single 20-something young woman, I have met and/or dated quite a few guys, most don’t go past the “first date” for some reason or another. However, God teaches me something through each of them, good and bad. On Tuesday, I learned that if someone doesn’t know what he wants or where he wants to go in life, he can’t be a good leader…and he definitely is not for me. I’m rather headstrong, and at my age, I’m rather proud to say I know what I want for myself. (How I am going to get there is definitely in my prayers.)

If a man can’t lead himself, how can he lead me, us, and any potential children in a positive direction?

Wednesday

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What I learned on Wednesday was something I also added to my bucket list! Granted, there are a few of similar ones scattered across the US, but I learned about the Edmonton Ice Castles in Alberta, Canada. I came across this lovely blog about her experience. Take a peek at her gorgeous pictures! She states that each of these castles weight around 25 million pounds and are made up of about 10,000 icicles! They look stunning.

Thursday

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On Thursday, I learned I have to truly make an effort to learn something new every day. This is harder than you would think! Kidding… here’s the real fact. After mentioning my struggles to my mother, she asks, “Have you heard of the terms ‘supinate’ and ‘pronate’?”  I paused and mumbled that they sounded familiar while I typed them into google. No wonder they sound familiar… it’s fitness related, so my mom was the one who mentioned it to me! These terms are particularly important to runners because it can affect how they run and potential injuries. Pronation refers to the inward rolling of the foot during normal motion and occurs as the outer edge of the heel strikes the ground and the foot rolls inward and flattens out. Supination is the opposite; it refers to the outward roll of the foot during normal motion. Excessive supination or pronation can actually cause various ankle/foot/hip injuries, shin splints, arch pain, and more! A bit random for a Thursday evening, but hey…the more you know!

Friday

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Friday’s discovery was fasciotomy! It’s the surgical procedure where the fascia is cut to relieve tension or pressure to treat the loss of circulation. The fascia is the piece of fibrous tissue covering a muscle or organ. This procedure is used to treat compartment syndrome (definition: insufficient blood supply to the nerves) and can save your limbs! If you have a queasy stomach, I would suggest NOT google image searching this term. There’s a reason I’m in the marketing field and not the medical field! Science is interesting, and I love learning about the body…. though I have my limits. The pictures didn’t bother me too much, but you can bet I didn’t do deeper research. Props to the nurses, doctors, surgeons, EMTs, etc. that deal with this stuff; this is not what God made me to do!

Saturday

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On Saturday, I had a conversation about how common tattoos have become recently. In fact, according to this study, 36% of young adults from 18-25 have at least one tattoo! Though the tattooing industry has come a long way (there’s is numbing product now–what!), tattoos have been around for centuries in many cultures. Thanks to the Smithsonian, I learned that the earliest evidence of tattoos when scientists found the Iceman with tattoo patterns along the Italian-Austrian border. They estimated him to be around 5,200 years old! There has been other evidence from Egyptian and Japanese figurines having tattoos – these figurines are from 4,000 BC, but none are physical evidence.

 

What have you learned this week? I’d love to hear it!
Uncategorized

Story Time | My Travel-Related Tattoo

Pictures say a thousand words… but what about tattoos? A beautiful piece of artwork that you admire so much to be permanently etched into your skin; I feel that is worth a million. Some tattoos may have a deep meaning or a story connected to them while others are simply (or not so simply I should say) gorgeous pieces of artwork to be admired forever. Mine, as of right now, all have a meaning or even a story behind them.

This story time blog is about tattoo #5.

Travel Related Tattoo

My big dream has always been to travel the world, but the word “Adventure” means so many different things to me. A simple definition of an adventure: an unusual or exciting, typically hazardous experience or activity. I have a few memories that some people would define as hazardous, skydiving for example. To me, an adventure can truly be anything you want it to be. From an experience abroad skiing in the Alps, to a mini road trip to a different city in our state, or even driving around the city chatting with someone in the car. I know I inherited this ideal from my mother: when she was pregnant with me and had cravings, she’d pack my older brother in the car and tell him they were going on an “adventure.” This “adventure” was typically a trip to Wendy’s for curly fries. You catch the drift! If I’m driving with someone and we get lost, it’s automatically an “adventure.” Will we get to our destination? Will be end up at a creepy gas station near a forest with glowing eyes? Who knows!

I chose this specific angle of the Earth because you see North America (where I’m from) and a majority of South America and Europe (where I’d like to go). Everyone always asks me, “What about Asia?” The answer is simple: there is no such thing as a 3D tattoo, and I didn’t want a flattened “map” look of all the different countries. I preferred the look of the globe, and I felt it flowed better.

For the colors, green for land and blues for water is pretty self explanatory. I had the artist throw in some purple where she saw fit to break up the blues and add to depth and the flow. I’ve always been more attracted to cool-toned colors, possibly because my mother always tells me I should grab the blue (insert article of clothing here) because I have blue eyes. I suppose it stuck with me even with tattoos! (Have another tattoo with blue in it and future ones planned with blue and green… thanks mom!)

Share your favorite tattoo with me! Is it a cool design or character, or does it have a deeper meaning behind it?
Traveling

Tips for First Time Flyers

Tips for First Time Flyers

Recently I’ve heard from a good handful of people that they hate flying, flying makes them anxious, or simply that they will NEVER go on a plane…out of fear. This breaks my heart because I feel you can miss out on countless opportunities and experiences. This could mean beautiful destination vacations, a fantastic job that may require traveling, or even seeing a friend or relative that lives out of state. Sure.. you can definitely still drive, but that limits your possibilities and can double and triple the time it takes to get there.

I’m writing this in hopes to prepare first time flyers and make them feel more comfortable on a plane, if they must fly or choose to take an awesome first step for an exciting opportunity.

Before the Flight

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One thing I cannot stress enough is to actually PLAN, rather than winging it and getting everything together last minute. Search fares on various search engines such as Kayak or Travelocity to find the cheapest option, but remember to book directly with the airline. If any issues occur, such as delayed or missed flights, it’s easier to fix these problems with the airline. Whether international flight or domestic, booking your flight earlier is always better, but don’t book any later than 6 weeks before your flight.

Generally speaking, if you’re flying somewhere vs driving, it’s probably a rather big trip. Write a list to make sure you pack everything you need: for the suitcase and carry on. I’m a huge fan of lists, for school, work, personal life, and I have them everywhere in notebooks, sticky notes, and on my phone; it keeps me extremely organized!

Get a good night’s sleep beforehand, this means go to bed early if you have an early flight. You can’t guarantee you will be able to sleep during your flight. It’s recommended to get to the airport about 2-2.5 hours before a domestic flight. This gives you extra time to get your ticket, drop off your suitcase, get through security (which can vary), and even grab some food or take a quick bathroom break. Arriving early gives you time to expect the unexpected. For all of my flights, I’ve never had a problem with timing.

Go to the bank. You need to have cash, you never know if you’ll have issues with your card getting declined or some place may not accept credit cards. It’s also important to let your bank know the dates you’ll be gone and city/state/country you’re visiting to prevent your card from declining.

At the Airport

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When it comes to your boarding pass, you have one of three options: 1. You can have it sent to your phone (if you’re prone to losing important items), 2. Print it out the night before at home, or 3. Print the boarding pass at the airport once you arrive. There are always employees walking around, so if you choose option 3 and come across an issue or have a question, help is nearby! After printing your pass, check in at the correct airline desk. Always have your photo ID ready. The agent will weigh your luggage, label it with the correct flight and destination, and sent to the plane.

Security is the next step. Before you enter, you will need to show your ID and boarding pass. Follow all of the rules: shoes, any metal belts, wallets/purse, electronics, liquids, along with your carry on bag should be in one of the bins before you go through the metal detector. Pockets should be EMPTY of anything metal. Electronics such as phones, laptops, gaming devices need to be taken out of your carry-on bag. The rest is easy! Wait for the agent to tell you when to walk through, then take your items and leave.

You can find your flight and gate number on your boarding pass, or one of the numerous electronic boards above you as you walk through the halls. Once you find your gate, you can grab a snack, take a quick bathroom break, or relax until the gate agent says its time to board. They call specific groups to board one at a time; your group number and seat number will be on your boarding pass.

Carry On & Luggage

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It’s important to make sure your checked luggage and carry-on bags meet airline requirements. Each airline will explain the weight requirements, size, and fee for luggage and the rules for carry-on bags. You are allowed one carry-on item and one personal item – either a purse or laptop. Money, passport, medicine, and ID’s are recommended to be in your carry-on back for quick access. If travelling overseas, pack a change of clothes and a few essential hygiene items in case your luggage is delayed.

All liquids (this includes gels, pastes, and creams) must be 3 oz or 100mL or less if you must have it on your carry on. Each individual item must fit in one clear, sealable quart-sized bag. When passing through security, make sure take this bag out of your carry-on to place in the bin. Any liquids of larger size are allowed on the flight, but they must be in your checked suitcase.

Depending how long your flight is, I would recommend activities. If you have anxiety, or simply do not like planes, it’s great to have something to get your mind off the flight! If you’re a big reader like me, get yourself a nice FAT book! Something Harry Potter sized would suffice; hopefully it will last you to and from your destination. Pick a new read, or something that’s familiar to bring a little extra comfort. Other simple activities to help with anxiety(or to simply pass the time) are coloring, crossword/word search puzzles, listening to music, or watching a movie. These all get your brain focused, but won’t be exhausting. If you need to have a drink, please limit yourself to just one so as to not dehydrate yourself! Anxiety plus dehydration would make for a not so fun trip!

 

learning

3 Reasons to Learn Another Language

Learning a Foreign LanguageTwo of my favorite teachers growing up have given and shaped one of my greatest passions. Herr Zydzik and Madam Hicks, my high school German teacher and college French professor, made learning a language FUN. They not only gave me a love of learning other languages, but they increased my passion for other cultures and continuous learning. Since America isn’t quite up to par with Europe when it comes to citizens knowing multiple languages, I’ve always tried to encourage anyone to take up a second language. If you get the right teacher who is passionate about what they do… anything is possible.

Here are three main reasons to learn a foreign language:

1. Brain Boosting Powers!

Yes.. you read that correctly. Learning another language gives your brain a boost! Learning a second language exercises and challenges your brain in more ways than one. While learning grammar and the sentence structure boosts your problem solving and decision making skills, the process of switching between two or more languages increases your multitasking skills.

Becoming bilingual also boosts your creativity. This goes hand in hand with problem solving; when speaking in a language you’re unfamiliar with, you’re constantly thinking of various words to convey what you’re thinking in your original language. If you don’t know or cannot remember a word, you have to think of ways to reword the sentence. It’s difficult at first, but becomes easier as you go along. I’ve taken French a few years AFTER taking German, and this really pushed my problem solving skills to the next level. The sentence structure between these two languages is incredibly different, and when I would attempt to answer Madam Hicks in French….my brain had to dig through 2+ years of learning German. (I even answered in German on my last final because of a massive brain fart….. Je suis désolée, Madam Hicks!)  It was an extreme challenge, and consistently getting sentences wrong online was frustrating. It took me quite some time to realize I was structuring French words into a German based sentence.
 
You become a better listener, thus better overall at learning new things by being bilingual. You are constantly listening for the different sounds in another language to learn correct pronunciation. Research has also shown that bilingualism delays Alzheimer’s and dementia by years.  In this study, the bilingual patients had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s FOUR YEARS later than monolingual patients. In this study,  learning a foreign language increases the hippocampus in your brain – this is the section that’s responsible for storing and organizing memories. My grandfather suffers from dementia, so this is very exciting on a personal level. To my mother… keep studying your Spanish!
2. Become More Disciplined
I’ve realized that with learning a new language, you become more disciplined. If you have taken a foreign language course, whether it was a choice or not, you will know that learning another language is HARD, especially if you did not grow up learning it. Besides remembering vocabulary, there’s grammar and general sentence structure you need to watch out for. Granted, English and Mandarin are the top two difficult languages to learn (along with Polish so I’ve heard). If you truly want to learn the language, it takes some discipline. You have to designate time to read the book, finish the online programs and worksheets, and most importantly SPEAK IT. If you don’t get it the first or the fifth time, you keep practicing. Through learning a second language, you really get a stronger grasp on self discipline which can help you further in life.
3. Expand Your Perspective on Life

If those two main reasons did not convince you, I hope this one will! Learning languages really increased my love of other cultures and wanting to experience how they live. In any language course, you also learn how they live their daily life. In my college French course, I learned dinner parties are a very popular way for a group of friends to spend time. Nothing fancy that you’d see on TV, but in a casual intimate setting. My professor explained it’s much to expensive to go out to eat as often as Americans tend to do. Because grammar and sentence structure is different for every language, it shows how people speak to each other. In Spanish, French, and German, they have formal and informal “you” when addressing someone. In Germany, you mostly address everyone with the formal “you” except for those you know extremely well (i.e. friends and family you’ve known for a majority of your life). Because of this, any simple translation device will automatically use the formal you, “Sie,” instead of the informal “du.” It’s simply a matter of respect.

Learning a foreign language can expand your world view, thus limiting barriers. It overall creates a more positive attitude towards others who have a different background. It also opens the door to art, music, dance, fashion, film, and more from that culture.  Even if you can’t speak the language fluently, you’ve opened doors to another fantastic culture and fabulous group of people that you can learn about and create a relationship with. If you’re a fan of travel like me, you never know who you could meet and what can develop from a door like that.
Has learning a new language been on your mind for a while now? What’s holding you back? Get those coveted brain boosting powers!
Traveling

3 Things I Learned from Traveling

What Traveling Has Taught Me BlogGrowing up, I was always taught experiences were more important than things. My parents worked hard so we could spend time as a family on vacations. One of the many ways I plan to follow in their footsteps. Things and items get old, outdated, and may break down while experiences and memories are timeless.

From family vacations to my own trips, here are the three main things I learned from traveling:

1. Always Keep Learning

I’ll admit, this is something my parents originally taught, but traveling instilled this sentiment into me. The biggest reason behind my extreme wanderlust is that I love culture, and traveling teaches me so much about others’ cultures and how they live their lives. You don’t have to go to another country to experience this! The culture in our own country is so diverse from California to New Jersey, to the deep south, and, of course, my beloved Midwest. Each section and state even has their own quirks.

Of course, this thought goes beyond learning about culture, too. You can learn other languages, a new art style, cake decorating, sewing, knitting…. just to name a few. You just can’t be lazy! I know what you’re thinking, too… “I can’t afford this” or “I don’t like sitting in a classroom.” Newsflash… There are cheap and free options out there. YouTube has a plethora of creators sharing their content, as well as how they’ve gained their knowledge. I’ve been dabbling in learning sign language from YouTube, and it’s been wonderful. In other cases, a book can suffice. Barnes & Noble has a multitude of “_______ for Dummies.” There’s a video online or a book out there with the knowledge you’re looking for!

2. The World is a Big Place

Sure, everyone knows this, but rarely do we stop to actually think about this. We’re always so absorbed in our own life and even miniscule problems; we forget that the world is a bigger place than it seems. As I type this sentence, it’s 8:45pm on Thursday. In Hawaii, it’s 4:45pm; they’re probably close to ending their work day. In Berlin, Germany, it’s almost 4am… Friday. One thing I always thought when I was younger, at any time of the day, there are people celebrating a birthday, people getting married, people dying, people giving birth…. just this day or just as you’re reading this sentence. Worldometers is an interesting website, it gives you similar statistics that’s happening in real time. It shows you how many births are happening each second and how many deaths. You can see the number of tweets, blog posts, and Google searches that are being sent out each second… I’m seeing millions and billions here.

After meeting people in the countries I’ve visited and learning their lifestyles, it’s interesting to think about what they’re doing while I’m back home. When you realize and actively remember how enormous this planet really is, you’ll a lot of our daily problems are small and insignificant. Don’t worry about burning dinner or that jerk on the highway, by tomorrow it won’t even matter.

3. Take Things Slow

Traveling has taught me to take things slow. Pictures are a wonderful thing, and even essential to keeping memories. When traveling to new places, you’d think documenting these sights and memories is the most important thing for that weekend or that week. While I usually have my phone or camera in hand on these trips, I’ve learned it’s also important to PUT IT DOWN to really enjoy the moment and immerse yourself completely. You never know what you’ll miss when fiddling with your camera or phone.

In January 2014, I visited Iceland with my aunt. Don’t get me wrong, I took pictures every day I was there. The main thing I got to cross off my bucket list: seeing the northern lights. Granted, taking pictures and videos in the dark requires not only an excellent camera (a.k.a. now what I brought with) but also knowing how to switch the settings. After several failed attempts, I am so glad I gave up and put my phone away. The northern lights are definitely a once in a lifetime experience, if at all. I learned to take it slow and really soak in the moment. Besides, a picture can’t reveal the true magic of this dancing, color changing show in the sky.

 

If you’ve caught the wanderlust bug like I have, share your stories with me! What has traveling taught you? How has it changed you?