Monday, July 4, 2016

Quilling?


It’s been a rather boring month so far, so I thought I’d talk about a hobby near and dear to my heart – quilling! Quilling is an art form where you take pieces of paper strips and roll and shape them into various designs with a tool similar to a bident. People make all sorts of things through quilling, but I tend to stick to earrings! These are two of my more favorite designs, as they’re simple enough to make, but are aesthetically pleasing. 

 I was able to make the rainbow earring with some scrap pieces of paper I had around the room, but for the other earring I used quilling paper, which can be found in any craft store.

I first found out about quilling when I was in India two summers ago. Faced with one of the inevitable electric shorts when I was at my uncle’s house, my eyes started to wander, until I happened to take a closer look at my cousin’s earrings. Upon discussion, I found that my cousin had been making all earrings for the past year. With that, the rest of my afternoon was devoted to learning how to quill.

Over the past year, quilling has been my main tension reliever. Whenever I feel like I need a break from academics, but don’t want to give my mind over to my computer, I take out my handy quilling paper and tool and experiment to my hearts content. Before I set my mind to a design, I tend to sketch it out to get a feel for how it would look like on the ear. If I’m making an earring for a specific person, I do my best to take into account their earring size and color preference. Some people like large flamboyant jewelry pieces – others don't (I’ve learned the heard way OTL).

I found it interesting that quilling as an art form has been around for a long time. During the renaissance, nuns would use quilling to decorate various religious items.  It’s interesting to see such an art form become more accessible and widespread as time has passed – it's a easy and fun way to pass time. While the process of quilling has stayed very much the same, the tools and supplies have all modernized.  A great website that I use for the occasional quilling tip/ inspiration is http://www.honeysquilling.com, although there are plenty of good youtube channels that have similar content.


I’m working on a more complicated piece right now – hopefully it’ll be complete by my next blog post! Also, as I write this I remember that it's the fourth of July. I hope everyone gets to spend some time with family and have some fun!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The instant gratification monkey

With June already well underway, I thought I'd talk about some thing that I've been having a problem with for a while - procrastination.

Personally, I always seem to procrastinate the most when the stakes are the highest. 20 final paper - lets start the night before! Presentation thats worth 30% of my grade - lets get this done the day of! For all of my academic career, I had been pretty good about getting things done on time, but for some reason I couldn't get myself to work my second semester of junior year. One particular example was studying for my Japanese final. Even though it was the only thing that stood between me and my long-awaited summer, I couldn't bring myself to study for the test till the night before.


Now that school was finally over, I had pushed my woes about my struggle with procrastination to the back of my head until a couple of nights ago. On one of my usual spirals into the depths of Youtube, I stumbled upon this Ted Talk. In it, Tim Urban gives us a witty and insightful talk about his own experience with procrastination and how he understands the difference between a person who procrastinates, and one who doesn't. There were many great moments in this talk, but one of the things that stuck out to me the most was his ending - procrastinating on things without a deadline.

After watching this video, it hit me. I wasn't procrastinating for the sake of not wanting to study - no, it was something deeper than that. I was procrastinating in thinking about the future. By swamping myself with schoolwork, it left me no time to think about whats ahead. Hard as it was to admit, I didn't want to plan for the future because I was afraid nothing would go to plan. Essentially, it was a fear of failure and the unknown that was holding me back from doing anything, and it had camouflaged itself in the form of procrastination. Knowing that any decisions I made now could have repercussions in the future was holding me back from even starting

The first step of solving any problem is admitting there is a problem. Now that I've been able to do so, I know for certain I can conquer this bump in my path as I head into the future. I urge anyone whose been having problems with procrastination to look at themselves and try and understand why you procrastinate. Time is always ticking.



Friday, April 8, 2016

The Midterms from Hell

Hello wonderful people!

As you may have noticed, the blog template has changed! Yes, I've finally been able to setting on something I was at least moderately happy with. I'm still a bit iffy on color choices, and keep going back and forth on some aesthetic choices, but for now we're going with this. I've unfortunately never really coded or anything before, so it's a bit beyond my ability to make some of the really nice changes I want. Once midterms are over, I definitely intend on reading up on it. 

It's been a rough two weeks since the last time I've been here. From studying for midterms (which are quickly creeping closer) to MCAT prep to scrambling to get a summer plan on lockdown, I haven't had much time to do anything fun. If there's one thing college has taught me, it's how to effectively manage my time. Granted, it hasn't worked very well (curse the tempting pull of all five seasons of Scandal), but I'm sure I'll get the system down pat by the end of senior year. 

One of the more interesting things that happened today was when I was waiting for the 7 train this morning. Today being the Mets home opener game, the Nostalgia train ran past my station on its way to Queens. The nostalgia train, or "The Train of Many Colors", is made up of vintage subway cars painted different colors to represent different eras in subway history. It's not brought out too often by the MTA, so it was a real treat to catch a glimpse of it. Thinking about out subway always leads my thought back to Tokyo. I was lucky enough to use a portion of my Opportunities fund to take a short winter class in Tokyo (Film and Culture if anyone's interested!). Essentially, Tokyo's subways system is what we all wish NYCs would be like. The contrast in aesthetic, cleanliness, efficiency is almost laughable. 

This might be the limit to my ramblings for today. I will be posting updates, as well as continually editing the site for a more pleasing experience for everyone. 

Until next time !