Thursday, February 26, 2015

How to Read Hard Texts

My Dear Readers,

I have not been very faithful to you this week. I have been running around trying to get everything done and get enough sleep. You know the drill.

I have recently been complaining of not having enough time to read. There are so many books that we talk about in my various classes which would be so interesting and helpful, but I feel like I never have time to read them! It hit me the other day that while I do not have time to read I apparently have plenty of time to watch Friends on Netflix. How embarrassing is that!

In order to begin to address this and try to retrain myself to read for pleasure I have forbidden myself to watch any television or film until Spring Break in a week. So far, so good. I even did some reading of The Rebel at lunch! It is still slow going, but at least I am trying instead of clicking the "Keep Watching?" button.

My favourite professor has a wonderful method of reading difficult texts. He had us read extremely difficult writings by Aristotle, St. Augustine, Plate, Rousseau, Horace Mann etc. using this method!

Here's how:

1. Read the text over once without stopping to decipher difficult phrases. Just read the words as fluidly as possible. Don't worry about understanding. Note-taking is forbidden. 

2. Go make a sandwich or something and come back in about half an hour. 

3. Read it again. This time read carefully and feel free to take notes. If you need to re-read something that is also allowed. 

By the time you have read it twice, once quickly and once carefully the text will make so much sense.  The problem, of course, is that it takes so much time. But that's your call.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Weird Cartoon and Songs

Hey Peeps,

This is my cartoon for the college paper this week. 

Your Blogging Friend

I inexplicably had this this song in my head all day. 
Also this one. 
I tried to chase them both away with the help of this song. 

My Current Booklist

My Dear Ones,

I haven't much to say. I have to go to bed. I thought it would be fun to share a list of some of the books I am reading right now for school or pleasure:

1. A History of the English Language
Albert Baugh
This is for my class about (You guessed it!) the history of the English Language.

2. The Cay
Theodore Taylor
This is what the seventh graders in my teacher's aid class are reading.

3. In the Steps of Jesus 
Peter Walker
This one is supplementary reading for my class about the New Testament.

4. The Penderwicks 
Jeanne Birdsall
This was recommended to me by my middle school friends from church.

5. The Rebel 
Albert Camus
This is one that I am trying to read, even though it is quite hard, because my professor referenced it often in relation to our study of The Brother's Karamazov.

6. Letters and Papers from Prison
Dietrich Bonhoeffer 
This one is for my class on European Modern Literature.

Have a lovely sleep.


CPR, AED and Weapons

Darling Blog-Readers,

Today I became CPR and AED certified. Yes. You are looking at a real-live qualified administrator of CPR. (Actually you are not looking at me. This is not Skype, Guys. This is a blog.)

The seminar was this morning at 9:00. I accidentally slept until 8:50 and arrived at 9:10. Thankfully, I only missed the formalities. The woman who led the seminar was an American Italian woman named Vickie. She was very fit and tiny. She had so much energy and was great at explaining. She was also concise and funny.

We learned CPR and then we learned how to operate an AED machine. That is basically like a portable version of those big shock guys on Hospital shows. You know. The ones where they hold these big electric things in their hands and yell, "Clear!" and "Charging!"

Anyway, AED machines are placed in most buildings and public transportation. They are about as frequent as fire extinguishers now. They have two sticky electrodes that you are supposed to stick to the person's chest. They connect to a box. The box has a button which you push to administer the shock that will jumpstart the person's heart. The reason that doctors yell "Clear!" is so that everyone moves away from the body because the shock can be very dangerous to a healthy person.

We were all sitting on the floor practicing our AED skills and Vicky asked for any questions. There were the standard kind of question you get in this type of scenario. They are always nit-picky and dumb. People usually ask questions that have already been answered in the course of the talk. Or they are asking questions that will never be relevant because they are so obscure. Example: "What if the person has just eaten Chinese food? Doesn't Asian food make the body more susceptible to electrification?" No one actually asked that. But you get the picture.

I usually spend those Q and A sessions thinking, "I wonder which question has NEVER been asked before?" You just know that a person in that kind of job has heard all of them. My mind wanders into thinking, "How can I ask the ONE question they have never heard before?" I am highly competitive and I must admit that I play a contest with everyone else to have the BEST question. That it why I blurted my question out without thinking.

"Could the AED be used as a weapon?"


More silence.

Vicky laughs and says, "Well, that's a freaky question! I have never heard THAT before!"

I do an internal victory dance. I have won the invisible contest.

Vickie continues: "That question is downright freaky, isn't it?!" She looks at all the other people in the room to confirm that my question does in fact display my pathology.

She then elegantly steers the conversation away from using AEDs as weapons and we move on. But I can sense that she has now labelled me in her mind as Creepy-Psychopath-Girl. She doesn't let me practice the Heimlich on the babies. Just kidding.

Actually, it all turned out OK. She wasn't as up-tight about my question as I thought. Although she did say that it was weird and no one had ever asked it. I do think she was momentarily derailed by it. I guess I am THAT kid. You know that kid. It's the one that always has to say the opposite or the weird thing just to throw everyone off.

After the seminar, once we had all been certified and I had snagged a donut before they took them away I approached Vickie. I told her, "I promise never to use my new skills for evil." She smiled and we ended on a good note.

To conclude:
I could save your life...Or not!


Lucy Rose

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Turtles, Hedgehogs and Personality Quizes

 Dear Blog-Wogs,

Sorry about that. I have a problem  making up terrible nicknames. Ask my dad (or should I say "Dadfred". That is one of his least favourites. Who am I kidding. They are all his least favourites.)

Yesterday Sheldon and I had a fun conversation. I administered an old personality test to him. It was one that I had taken that morning. It only consists of a few questions.

Here's how it goes:

Here's how the test works. The animal represents the characteristics you find attractive in a romantic partner. The colour represents how you view yourself. The phenomenon represents how you view God.

Here were my answers:
Animal: Hedgehog
Reasons: Extremely cute, Shy and bumbling, Frequently present in Czech children's literature

Color: Green
Reasons: Soothing, Forest-y, My Dad's (or should I say "Dadley". Heehee. Sorry, Dad.) favourite.

Natural Phenomenon: Rain
Reasons: Melancholic, Refreshing, Cleansing

Sheldon's Answers:
Animal: Turtle
Reasons: Unusual, Resourceful and Shy, Carries home wherever it goes

Colour: Yellow
Reasons: Happy, Light

Natural Phenomenon: Air Resistance
Reasons: You can't see it but it still is effective.

I laughed a lot to think of our answers. We discussed whether or not these answers actually fit with our personalities. I think that they kinda do! Is Sheldon a hedgehog? Well, he is a little shy and extremely cute. But he is not particularly present in Czech folklore. I am unusual and shy, I guess.

We had fun with this game and Sheldon claimed that this type of personality test is much more palatable to him than multiple choice related ones. He said that he liked the fact that the questions were so open to interpretation and the results are analogical as opposed to placing into pre-set categories. Sheldon is a big opponent to personality quizzes. So is my father actually. To anyone who asks him; "Are you a lion, seal, beaver or golden retriever?" he will reply with something like, "I am an aardvark".

I thought our answers were pretty funny when I pictured myself and Sheldon as a turtle and hedgehog.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Watch Reunion and Picky Jewellery Taste


Yesterday something great happened. I re-found my watch! My grandparents gave me a gift when I graduated and I used it to buy my watch. I shopped a long time on the net until I found the perfect one. I wanted it to be slim and gold coloured or plated. The one I found was created by a Soviet firm called Zarya (Dawn). The company came out of the firm that made watches dedicated to the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The watches were not a big hit in Western countries during the cold war. But they were a big deal in the SSSR. I found mine on Etsy.

I had lost my watch sometime early last fall. It was so sad to me because I loved it so much! Yesterday I went to the Sports Centre front desk to pick up my iPod which I had left there. They were taking it out of what I thought was a freezer (it was a safe) and I saw the watch inside! I was like, "That's mine!!!" They gave it to me. Sweet reunion!

I do not like to wear a lot of jewellery. I can't really wear earrings right now because they make my earlobes itch. I also do not like to have things hanging off of my body. I feel so strange when I have metal things hanging off of my body. I feel unnatural. And I am I also very picky about the style of the pieces.

But I do like to wear a very select number. Usually they are simple, gold coloured or plated and have sentimental value.

Here are some of my favourites:

Obviously my watch is one of them. I love it because it accentuates my slender, pale wrists, of which I am rather vain.

Another piece is one that was given to me by my Grandma Jean. She picked it out of her own collection and gave it to me when she came to visit at Christmastime when I was about 10. I did not wear it much then. I didn't even like it that much at the time, but it turns out that now it perfectly suits my style and I love having a remembrance of my Dad's mother. She was a very cool woman. I think she got it in Egypt.

The last item is from my older brother Patrick. He gave it to me a couple years ago for Christmas. I love to pin it to my emerald-green cardigan or pin it to my collar like a brooch. Thanks Patrick! You really know my taste!

Are you picky about jewellery too? Here are two jewellery designers that I really like. I don't own anything from them, but I love to drool over their stuff. One of them is the sister of a friend of mine!

Goodnight, Friends!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

How to Keep Warm

Hey Guys!

It is about -5 degrees outside today. Here are some helpful tips to surviving the cold. Enjoy!

No Pants. Too Tired. Go to Bed.

Hey Guys.

It is almost 13:00. Oh dear. That is why this post is such a quickie. I do not have anything interesting to say. My only meagre internet offering is a graphic depiction of my outfit today. I enjoyed wearing this and received some compliments. I love how teacher aiding forces me to dress nicer.

In case you are wondering why I have no pants in this picture the simple answer is I was not wearing any. Just Kidding! I get pretty hilarious in the late night. Actually I was wearing pants I just didn't want to draw them. BORING! Who want to see pants?! Not me.

Goodnight fair Interneters.

Lucy Rose

Awesome scarves can be found here.
Similar shoes here. 
Similar sweater here.
Similar pants to the ones I was wearing here.
A really weird and slightly morbid (but kind of awesome) video here.
Cool jacket here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Birthday to Paul Hugh, Paddington and Moomintroll

Happy Birthday, Paul Hugh!

My little brother turned 19 yesterday. He is my dear friend and brings me so much joy and laughter. He can also be serious and deep. 

In honour of The Hugh this is one of our (my family's) favourite Paul Hugh anecdotes from a time when he was obsessed with a game of pitting characters against each other and asking who would win. 

Paul Hugh: Dad, who would win in a fight Moomintroll or Paddington Bear?

Dad: Sighs. This is the seven-hundredth time Dad has been asked one of these questions in the last several days. Paul Hugh, I don't think they would even get in a fight. They would probably just sit down together to have tea. 

Paul Hugh: What if one of them had rabies?

I love you Paul Hugh!

Goodnight, My Cherubs. 

Lucy Rose

What do you mean you don't know of the Finnish children's classic Finn Family Moomintroll?! It's like our family's favourite. 

Beowulf: The New Lucy Rose Translation

Dear Bloggies,

Yup, this is my new nickname for you guys. Do you like it? I know you don't. Sorry about that. It's pretty bad.

As I am sitting in my dorm trying to "translate" from the Old English I am watching people trickle back from the President's Ball. They look very tired. I am also very tired, but I have enjoyed this "translating". I use the quotation marks because I am not using any scholarly knowledge of Old English (I do not speak that. I speak Current English.) Our teacher just told us to attempt to understand the writing and do our best to translate what we can.

It is actually kind of hilarious. I jus peeked at the comparison between my "translation" and the actual translation by Dr. Howell D. Chickering Jr.

Here's a fun sample:

Actual Old English Beowulf
Ofsloh ða æt þære sæcce,  þa me sæl ageald, 
huses hyrdas.   Þa þæt hildebil 
forbarn brogdenmæl,   swa þæt blod gesprang,
hatost heaþoswata.  Ic þæt hilt þanan 
feondum ætferede,   fyrendæda wræc,
deaðcwealm Denigea, swa hit gedefe wæs.

The Lucy Rose Translation of Beowulf
Awful that at there such,   that my soul was afraid,
houses of hydras.  They that are holdable,
forebear, chain-mail,        from that blood sprang, 
you hate heath-sweater.   Each that hold thanes 
thanedom afterward, fire-died race,
death-realm Danes,         from heat had died.

The Howell Chickering Translation of Beowulf
When my chance came I cut down the monsters,
those hall-guards,     with edges;
the wave-sword burned up,     quenched in that blood,
a hot battle-pouring.     From my enemies
I plundered this hilt,       revenged their crimes,
the many Danes killed,     as was only fitting.

I hope that was fun for you.

Have a great night, Friends. I hope to drop in again tomorrow to say "Hi",
but Tuesdays are my brutal day (Improv practice goes till 11!).

- LR

Here's another funny snippet.

Lucy Rose Translation:
Then was given gold to hold, golden galleons,
until air-worked;   heat on that was worn
after dolphins play     The Danes were free,
wonder-smithy worked;   and that this world 
grave-heart rubber,       God’s enemy. 

Actual Translation:
Then was the golden hilt given into the hands
of that elder warrior, the hoary battle-chieftain,
the ancient work of giants. It turned into the keeping
of the lord of the Danes, after the crumbling of devils,
the work of miraculous smiths.
And when that fierce-hearted fiend gave up
the world, God’s adversary,

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ke$ha, Cadillac and Hubby

Dear People,

Yesterday I shared a terrible drawing and told you about how we celebrated Sheldon's birthday. Yes, he's feeling 22, Taylor. Thanks for asking. Anyway I asked the assembled guests to recount the stories of their first memories of Sheldon. Being seniors when I am a sophomore, they have known him much longer than I. One of the stories made me laugh a lot. One of Sheldon's friends remembers a Post-It-Note that Sheldon had shown them in the early days of their acquaintanceship. Apparently it was a list of the things that Sheldon did NOT want in a wife.

I need to made some things clear. Sheldon has renounced the practice of making lists about his future spouse. Yes, I am the most likely candidate at this rate, but no, I do not have to match up to a number of preselected traits in order to make it to the next level. He wants it to be very clear that this list was made in jest and at a time of considerably less maturity.

Here is the fateful list:

I am glad that Sheldon no longer adheres to this particular list, because as you can see from this photo I strike out on all of these conditions. 

Goodnight, My Dear Readers.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Sheldon

Dear Ones,

Today I worked extra hard to finish my paper on a John Donne poem so that I could spend my evening building a cake for Sheldon't birthday and eating it with him and some close friends. It was an OK cake. It was a Chocolate Orange Ganache Cake. The flavour was good, but it was too dry. My version needed to be downed with a glass of milk. The ganache was amazing and rich. This was the recipe I used:

In case you are wondering why this drawing is so attroicious, it is because I drew this in bed using my touch pad on my laptop instead of the stylus and tablet I usually use. Also I do not have the color brown on my program (why would anyone leave that out?!) that is why my rich chocolate cake looks like so many scribbly gross splotches.

Goodnight all!

Happy Birthday, Sheldon! You are honourable and good. I am so glad you were born.

Lucy Rose

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

About the Teacher Aid

Dearest People of the Net,

Oh Boy.

Words fail.

I am so sorry that I have left you hanging for the past several days. Life on the interwebs must have been dark and sad for you!

Have no fear, I am back. I was just drowning beneath school work. I am still drowning, but I was able to integrate some blogging with some school-work.

Today I created a Power Point presentation for the seventh graders that I am teacher aiding for. The assignment (given to my by the teacher I am aiding) was to create approximately 5 slides telling them basic information about myself.


Lucy Rose

Friday, February 6, 2015

Workouts and Helpful Hints


Hi Guys,

I just got back from an intense workout with my friend Joanna. We spent about and hour and 15 minutes in the gym. We went all out. We ran, lifted heavy things, jumped up and down and pulled things.

I have decided to give you some wisdom that I have learned since coming to this country and begining to go to public gyms. I used to just work out at home with Jillian Michaels videos (I started with this one) and running in the countryside around our house. I also went to Krav Maga (Remember this post?). None of these places require much self consciousness. At home I would just make all the guys leave the room. Outside the only people who bother you are usually older ladies with dogs. They just glare. At Krav Maga we were all so wiped out and intent on learning how to hurt one another that there was little time to be awkward.

Now I go to a gym which I share with about 2000 other people. It is my school's gyms. It is amazingly well stocked (except that they do not have a punching bag for people to use) and open all the time. But it has taken a while to get comfortable going there regularly. Wheaton is a place that values modesty and it is sometimes hard to be modest when exercising. Also a lot of great big football players go there. Scary!

Anyway, to help you out here are some miscellaneous helpful hints for working out. Enjoy!

Here are some of my favourite sports bras. 

Goodnight, My Dear Friends. 

I will see you again on Monday. 

Happy working out!

Lucy Rose

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Everbody's Shoes

Today I was so tired. During one of my classes I decided to give myself a drawing challenge to make sure that I could stay awake. I drew everyone's shoes. It helped me keep my mind focused. Here's what I drew:

Can you tell which one's are mine? Correct! Mine are the bottom left ones.

Have a good night. I have to get to sleep so I can be ready for Teacher Aiding tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Teacher Aid and Teacher Uniform

Hi Guys,

You are relentless! I got MORE requests for my fashion insights. They keep pouring in and I can hardly keep up with all the fan mail.

Today was an important day in the fashion world for me. As I said yesterday I started my Teacher's Aid practicum today. It is crucial to dress right when facing a classroom of strangers (eight graders!) and a school full of professionals (teachers, office staff).

This is what I settled on for this momentous occasion:

All went well. The teacher is kind and easy going. He has a good relationship to the students and they are sweeties. I look forward to the next couple months with them. 

They did ask; "Why are you dressed so formally? Is that a Czech thing?"

Lucy Rose

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bicuits and To-Do-Lists

Dearest Readers,

Today I ate the last of my BeBe biscuits from home in the Czech Republic. It was sad to watch them disappear so quickly into my belly. Although I have saved them since October, when my dearest friends Barbora, Alena, Petra and Michaela sent them to me for my birthday, I ate them all in the space of 2 days. Oh well.

I think I wanted the comfort of them today. We had no school because of Faculty Development Day. I hate Tuesday, so that was nice. But I still felt disgruntled. I always have such great ambitions for these vacation days, but it is rare that I get everything done.

Let me show you:

I have to go to bed now because I am starting my position as a Teacher's Aid in a middle school Language Arts class tomorrow. 

With love,
Lucy Rose