Posted in College, CSI, Gender

Yes, I Am A Strong.

 

When I was a child I asked an unparallel amount of questions. I was never satisfied with a just because. I would search in books, ask relatives, google, I think I even remember going up to strangers and asking them questions. I have this need for information and explanation, which is why I choose to be a scientist. The more I knew the stronger I felt about myself.

As a woman, I don’t think I will stop being underestimated. However, I will never stop proving people wrong. I get this strength from watching the women who inspire me every day.

When I was 4-5 my great-grandmother would sit me on her armchair and taught me to read. She wanted me to be an educated woman just as my mother, and grandmother were. She taught me that hard work will help you gain new skills and give you tools to solve problems.

When I was 8 my mom was my soccer coach, she taught me to be a keeper. The final line of defense. She gave me one objective, keep the ball from going over the white line in front of the goal. She taught me that you can break down any job to one task and complete it.

When I was 15 I ended up in the hospital and complications led me into a panic attack. My step mom taught me that I have the ability to control how I react to my surroundings.

That fall of my freshman year of college, I got a job as a lighting technician for a local music hall, I had to prove myself each day. Big men would think I was too fragile to move the big speakers or drum cases, by the end of the night they would apologize for underestimating me. This happened almost every night. My boss who had been in the business almost 30 years, he told me on his last day that he often forgot I was so young because of how skilled I was and how professionally I held myself.

When I was 19 I worked in an office filled with women, and my office manager taught me I was capable of working with numbers and with people. She would give me the directions once and tell me to ask questions if needed. This was one of the first times that instead of asking for a step by step procedure I would adjust as needed. Over 18 months I was able to get both offices of the company organized and up to date, some of the oldest material was backdated ten years.

I spent my first few years in college studying criminal justice. In many cases, I was the only one in my class who would take a minute and ask my professor for more information. He would often play this little game where he would give three facts and from that, you have to determine if you should detain someone. Many of my classmates would be quick to say of course —- is guilty, cuff um! I would never answer without more information. Many of my classmates though that my further investigation was a waste of resources. When I was ready to leave one school and head to the next, my professor, the good ol’ boy retired chief of police, told me I was one of his favorites students and how I would make one damn good investigator one day.

This past spring I had a professor who gave me female contacts within my field and encouraged my curiosity as a scientist. She shared my enthusiasm for finding answers and making possible scientific improvements. She taught me that science is not about the bottom line it’s about understanding, improvement, and advancement.

I have learned through these women, and I have taught men not to underestimate me for being a woman. Never let being a woman stop you from anything.

Posted in College

Self Advocacy

Hello My Lovelies,

College is the first time in your life when you really must start learning to advocate for yourself. The frustrating part is that as a college student the expectation is that you cannot advocate for yourself because you do not yet know what you need. This is not true and in my opinion, the whole point of college is to learn how to both stand up for yourself and can support the decisions you make.

I have just gone through quite an ordeal with on of the staff at my college. Since I am a transfer student this makes me a typical case when considering when is best to take classes and which class to take during each semester. When you going into a school as a freshman you have a set list of classes with a bit of leeway but mostly everything is set out for you. However with me, many changes and alterations had to be made since I came into my school at essentially the half way point. You wouldn’t think this would be a big deal but it is enough of a deal to alter my course of study. I had to learn to not only keep strong on what I believed in but have reasons in why my ideas where the best course of action. With this experience, I have a few tips if you are also having a bit of a fight regarding your schedule or really any situation where someone above you does not think you are capable of holding your own.

 

  1. Never go to a Meeting Angry.

They already have this idea in their head that you are not fully capable of making, in this case, your own academic decision. Do not give them any more reason to believe this is true. When communicating too them or anyone involved in anyway stay calm and composed. You have to be the bigger person even if the first thing you want to do is cover their mouth in duct tape to keep the stupid things from coming out.

  1. Keep Everything in Writing

Try to keep your conversations to email or record what they have said. Never paraphrase and always be prepared to give the information in print. This is useful if you need to go above their head to a supervisor. If you can’t reproduce the problem, it will become your word against theirs and sadly you will probably loose.

  1. If Possible Cut Them Out of the Equation

If you have a direct supervisor or in this case, academic adviser (that is not the individual you are having an issue with) try to only speak with them. This way you will be more comfortable with them and more at ease to say what you really think instead of a shinier finished version. Chances are you are not the first case in which this certain member of the staff is getting involved more than needed.If you need to don’t be afraid to go in the opposite direction and go above them. Go to their supervisor and make a report. You are the one paying for tuition and as the person signing the check you are in control of what you take and when. Don’t let anyone try to make you feel like you are not unless they say they are willing to start chippin in on the bill. In that case, have at it.

       4. Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself 

At the end of the day, you know what is best for you and what will bring you to success. Do not let others discourage you and do not give up because it is what is at first glance easier. Trust your gut and others will follow suit.

I love you all and hope you are not put in this situation, but if you are I hope this helps. If you have a similar story or have a tip I didn’t include please write it in the comments. I would love to know any other things I could do if I come by this situation again!

Much love,

Ana

 

 

Posted in Activism

A Powerpoint on Rape Kits

Hello Darlings,

I did quite a bit of research into a very troubling topic, rape kits. This Powerpoint does not contain graphic images but it does go into the step by step procedure of administering a kit on a basic level that could act as trigger for some. It has some good sources on the last side if you are looking for further information.

Since this was only a class assignment, I urge you to look further than I did because this topic is relevant and it needs to be addressed.

Please look it over and as always I would love feedback for all of you,

Next time I will try to be a little more cheery. Just think a new semester is starting, spring is only a few months away and with the right legislation, we can bring justice to those without voices. Petition your local government, make your voice heard. Just because our new commander and chief doesn’t  seem care, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t!

I love you all, be safe and be happy

Ana

rape-kits

Posted in Lifestyle, Thoughts

Surviving the Holidays

Hey yall!

The holiday season is in full swing. Chrismas light on houses, menorahs out ready to be lit. If you have anxiety this time of the year can be difficult to navigate through. Here are some of the ways I have tried to keep my anxiety in check around the stressful time while still being able to enjoy the holidays. This took some time, during middle and high school the holidays were never my favorite things to endure. So many places to get to all in one day and lots of relatives touching me who I bearly knew. My freshman year was the last Christmas I spent with my mom since that was the year she moved down south so in high school it was a reminder more of what I didn’t have around than any gift I could possibly receive.

1.Don’t compare what you have to your friends, movies you watch or advertisements you see in the paper!

It wasn’t until I got to college and started to see my parents as flawed humans and stopped putting so much pressure on this family ideal that I thought I was supposed to have. I started to see the holidays as just another step of growing up and another part of the year instead of trying to compare my experiences to others. I took what I had and appreciated it more. I spoke to my mom on the phone or would call her over skype. I hugged my dad tight enough quietly hoping some of it would be felt by my mom. I would see my father’s parents and eat with them and then when they went home I would call my mother’s parents in California to recap the day I’d had.

2. Know your limits and don’t feel pressured to surpass them!

In school you have some days to recover if you overdo it for the holidays but once you grow up your expected to go back to work as soon as the holidays are over. This means if you drain all your energy or get yourself into a panic you still have to face the world the next day. It doesn’t do you/your guests/hosts any good if you end up getting overwhelmed in the middle of the party. If you are hosting understand that you can walk away to your room for a few moments to collect yourself and if you are outside of your home excuse yourself to the bathroom or outside for a moment. If you say you might only be able to stop by to give a gift and say high keep to that. For some just making an appearance at an event if a huge deal.

3. Understand that if you have to cancel its OK

If you are to overwhelmed from your family gatherings that you can’t make it to drinks with your friends that it’s okay to reschedule. Talk to your siblings to exchange gifts the following weekend, especially if you have kids they will get cranky getting carted from one family member to the next. See if you can split your holiday obligations over a few weeks instead of all between 2 days.

 4. Congratulate yourself for surviving and treat yourself

To those who don’t suffer from mental illness, it may seem silly to treat yourself. “Arent the holidays supposed to be a treat?” It does not have to be a costly treat. You could go through your books and pick a few to donate to the local library or if you got new clothes pick a few to drop off at the donation center for someone who may not have gotten new things for the holidays. Run a bath or cook yourself your favorite meal. Give your closest friend a call and catch up when you get a breathe. This one can be done in your coziest sweats on your couch. Brew a tea, coffee or hot cocoa and have a sit-down with a film or your favorite video game.

5. Remember to enjoy yourself and feel the love

Eat your favorite treats and sing your favorite holiday songs. See your cousins you only see a few times a year. Drink that hot chocolate that extra expensive that you only get once a year. Warm up apple cider and drink it with a cinnamon stick.

 

I love you all and happy holidays!

xx

Ana

Posted in Thoughts

10 things

Ten things I like

1. Rain, not to the point of pouring so hard that it sounds like it’s gonna break the window. Just hard enough for rainboots and umbrellas to seem justified. Enough to make puddles that my little brother will just happen to walk through hard enough to make the water splash onto my jeans. 

2. The smell of fresh hot chocolate made from scratch with homemade whipped cream. It smells like Christmas and high school snowdays. The feeling of the first sip burning your throat because your so excited to drink it you couldn’t possibly wait for it to cool down.

3. When I meet a new dog and they just come right for you and kiss your hands and face. 

4. A painting I was given from my grandmother. It’s a little girl with long brown hair wearing a purple dress fit for a princess. It is framed in a light brown wooden frame that smells like cobwebs and old furniture. She passed away last year and it was one of the things she left for me. I sometimes think of how I will put it in my first little apartment near a photo of her.

5. The books 1 fish 2 fish and goodnight moon. When my brother was younger I would read them to him before bed. We read them so often he eventually started to read them with me. Well, it was more of, he had memorized the words and could recite them.

6. Lemons. Lemonade. Lemon cream sauce. Fresh squeeze lemon and steamed vegetables. I’m greek, lemon goes on everything.  

7. Piglet from Pooh Bear. Dispute his fear of everything he would always go on adventures with his friends and he was never afraid to ask for help when he needed it.

8. Science. Man I like science, well I have a lot of questions and finding answers is what I like. I also like when things blow up. Chemical reactions are beyond awesome. I like solving puzzles. Science is like one big puzzle.

9. Curiosity. Wonder, adventure, travel. This goes back to number 8.

10. Rocks that just happen to form recognizable shapes. Heart shaped rocks are especially my favorite but I also like long triangular rocks that could pass as a Christmas tree or when they look like letters.

*11 I know this is a list of 10 but I also really like walking on the edges of sidewalks and pretending I’m a tightrope walker or elite gymnast.

 

Ten things I don’t like so much

1. Carrots. Haven’t like them since I was a kid. Don’t like ranch that much either so that doesn’t help.

2. When I see someone I love cry. It’s especially awful if I had something to do with why they are upset.

3. Bugs with wings that don’t look like they can fly at first and then they go right for your face. Very scary, high risk of me screaming after.

4. Green smoothies. Smoothies a were great things and they are already healthy or at least more healthy than a waffle. Don’t try to add spinach or arugula. Who even likes arugula? *my apologies to arugula lovers*

5. The MSPCA Commercials in black and white with sad music in the background.

6. Laws against pitbulls. Pitbulls are so cute and so sweet. It’s the owners who make them fight who you should have laws against.

7. When you forget your bagel in the toaster until an hour later and then it’s hard and gross. 

8. When dogs die movies, gets me every time. I’m looking at you Marley and Me.

9. When really cool, super qualified people don’t get jobs for stupid reasons like visible tatoos, disibilities or how they dress.

10. When I get an assignment do on time but very few of my classmates do and the time gets pushed back. 

Posted in College

Dreams are Ment to Be Followed

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My Dad took this photo back in 2013 when we first went to Endicott for my interview as a High School Sr.

Quick late night post!

It is finally official enough for me to confidently tell… drum rollllll please!… after 3 semesters of community college and a semester of classes online I am officially going off and boarding at school this fall. Where you may ask and for what?

Thanks for asking! Endicott collage in Beverly Mass to study biology and biotechnology! Yes I know very sciencey! Man do I love my science. Yasssss for women in STEM pathways!! (Science, technology, engineering, and math!!)

The goal is still to go forth and join the feds as a kick ass forensic scientist! (Dont know if I have shared that lil tidbit with yall but IT IS SO FREAKING EXCITING!!)

So what should you pull from this my wonderful fresh baked sugar cookies, IF YOU HAVE A DREAM then don’t give up until you get what you want. It may take two years or ten years longer then you thought it would but in the end as long as you get to where your going its all that matters.

Sweet dreams and don’t stop until you get what you want!

Over the moon with happy butterflies,

Ana

Posted in College

Things to Bring to College

Here is a packing list split into 2 sections. The first being absolute Necessities to bring to school with you. The second being things that are optional and could help make your day-to-day life easier. I’ve been looking all over Pinterest and other blogs and everything seems to include a bunch of extra stuff that is both expensive and unnecessary. So I tried to bring it down to the Bare Bones for those of us who don’t have an endless bank account. But if you have a little bit extra to spend feel free to look at the could make your day-to-day life a little easier section.

This is for students in a dorm room setting. I will be making another blog post that you should look for to accommodate students living in apartments. A few other back to school stuff will be coming in the future.

This list does not include school supplies, it is only for your physical dorm room. Like this post if you want me to do stationery haul and school supplies post of things that I will be getting for this upcoming school year.

Before you buy anything on this list, go to your colleges website and look at their list of banned items. Don’t buy it if its on their list.

So here it is.

Absolute Essentials.

1. 2x XL sheet set (pillow case, fitted sheet and flat sheet) get two so you have a set on your bed for the rare occasion you actually chamge your sheets.

2. 1-3 Pillows depending on your liking. The beds arent super wide so know there will be some layers if you have more then 1 pillow.

3. A comforter. This will be a big visual part of your room. Make sure it goes with whatever theme you have because you will be looking at it every day and so will anyone who comes into your room.

4. A mattress pad and protector. Pad is a piece of foam that will make your 20+ year old mattress more bearable. The protector is like a plastic fitted sheet that goes right over the mattress to keep vomit, urine or other gross whatever that previous occupants may have left behind.

5. 1 place set. You can bring dinning hall food/leftover pizza from the weekend into your room and its nicer to be eating with a real fork then a disposable one sometimes. And you are gonna want a plate and bowl to eat off of.

6. Hangers. Talk to your rommmate(s) and make sure you all get diffrent colors. In many schools each student will have their own closet space but not always.

7. Towles. Once again make sure you have a color besides white or black. This way you will know what is yours and what is not.

8. A Shower Catty.

9. Hanging Door Mirror.

10. A Laundry Basket and Laundry Soap.

11. A 6 plug extension cord/surge protector.

12. Headphones, your roomates may not like the same music or tv as you. If you wear headphones, they might too.

13. A Water Bottle.

14. A Desk Lamp.

15. Flashlight.

Optional but Will Make Your Life Easier

1. Batteries.

2. An Area Rug.

3. Dest Organizers.

4. A Body Pillow.

5. A Coffee Maker.

6. A White Board.

7. A Cork Board.

8. A First Aid Kit.

9. Playing Cards/Your Favorite Board Game.

10. A Throw Blanket.

11. Bed Riser.

12. Easy to Remove Wall Hooks.

13. Posters or Wall Art.

14. Desk Lamp.

15. Air Freshener.