Zombie Themed Treats!

This past weekend, I had a chance to attend my very first Zombie Prom. While the event itself was quite fun (who doesn’t like dancing and people watching with a bunch of undead characters in downtown Salem, MA?), I think the festivities preceding the dance itself were equally as delightful, so I thought I’d share with you some of the creative treats that were included!

My Contribution?

zombie cupcakes

20141025_154458With a little pinspiration [x] I decided that I would attempt my very own sugar glass shard cupcakes, with a zombified green twist, and what you see is my not-quite-pleasant (but exactly what I was going for) result! I followed a simple online how-to  for making my sugar glass, but added just a little green food coloring in near the end. The whole process was very fire burn and cauldron bubble-y, if you know what I mean.cauldron bubble - sugar glassBut I wound up quite pleased with the results! As an added touch, before I frosted them, I put some raspberry jam in about half of my cupcakes for the added oozy effect . . .

zombie cupcakes

. . .  and they were DELICIOUS!

Some of my friend Romina’s contributions (that likely deserve their own posts, but as I didn’t make them myself, I’ll leave that up to her) included:

brainz

braaaaaaains

These jell0-shots were actually delicious, and were made in STRAWS to achieve the exceedingly nasty look!

pumpkin pukin

pumpkin puke

Somehow this was simultaneously adorable and gross at the same time – definitely a rare accomplishment, if you ask me.

So, there you have it! Some deliciously icky-l0oking zombie party treats!

Happy Almost-Halloween everyone!

 

 

Should I be a Teacher? What Should I do With My Life?

Recently, I got this message posted in my message-box on another type of blog I run. . .

advice - college majorThis poor person is in the same boat as a LOT of other 18-22 year-olds the world over, and I can empathize with their plight. SO, I am sharing a slightly-varied version of my response to them on this blog, in the hopes that it might be helpful to anybody who stumbles across my blog whilst feeling similar stress.

choosing a major

First of all: I’m to anyone who is feeling stressed about choosing your major or career path! I remember the struggle to decide what major to declare. First of all, remember that it is NEVER too late to change your mind. There’s this weird belief that once you pick a major your fate is sealed, and there’s no going back. But, even though there are some majors (like pre-med or pharmaceutical medicine) that you have to declare very early on and pursue all the way through your studies, it is never too late to change your mind later on if you find yourself unhappy with the career path you are on. Most people I know changed their major at least once. I also know people that switched careers after doing something for 10 years. It might not be the easiest path, but it is do-able. In light of this, my biggest advice is to try to pick something that aligns with both your passions and your talents, because that is where you will most likely find future career success.

passion and talent

On the other hand I 100% encourage picking a field of study that will result in a job or some kind of marketable skill set! We all know the stereotypical example of being an English major – which might be fascinating, but is not always marketable in a practical or direct way (especially not without further formal study). So, as you study your way along, periodically you should probably ask yourself what you’re going to put on your resume.

build a resume

Let’s do just that and take a critical look at teaching as a viable job option. If, like my forward-thinking message-friend, you’re worrying about the availability of teaching jobs before you’re in your junior year in college, I would encourage you not to worry about that juuuust yet. There is a certain amount of assumed job security in teaching (although it is not always accurate, if we’re being truthful with ourselves). Honestly, until the zombie apocalypse arrives and we’re all more focused on survivalist skills, there will always be a need for teachers. Even with Zombies, if it comes down to teachers v. zombies, my money is on the middle school teacher team. If they can thrive in a middle school, they can survive anything.

Jokes aside, though, there are a lot of teaching jobs, although not always where/when you want to work. Finding a teaching job can sometimes mean being flexible about the when/where you will teach, which can be hard. Another reason why you shouldn’t worry about this just yet, though? Any College Teacher-preparation program worth its salt will do their best to help you network and find a job post-grad.

Likewise, if you go to a school with a good education program and you want to be a teacher, you should not worry about the licensure test. Real Talk Time, friends. At this point, I have taken . . . four? maybe five? of these miserable exams. While they aren’t fun at all, they ARE do-able. If you have studied your subject matter and taken those studies seriously, you will be just fine when it comes to licensure tests that evaluate content knowledge and educator-knowledge.

One  last bit of advice about teaching and whether it is for you? If you want to go into teaching, then you should GO INTO TEACHING!!! But you should only do that if you LOVE (A) the subject you teach, and (B) people/students! Too many people get into teaching thinking it’s a “sure thing” or a “good fall-back” and do not realize that it is a job that requires a lot of heart and soul if you want to do it well. If you feel passionate about being a teacher, then pursue it full steam ahead and see what happens. I sort of fell into becoming a teacher and now I’m addicted – it’s not always perfect, but it’s still the most wonderful thing I’ve ever gotten to do!

teaching

Party Hard with Some Classics

A good meme is a thing of beauty.

(If you don’t know what a meme is and you happen to use the internet, you should probably go educate yourself. I’ll wait. . . )

I know I have written about memes before, but that is the beauty of the meme . . . and the reason for its existence! They just keep resurfacing. Sometimes a meme can just PERFECTLY encapsulate your feelings in a way that nothing else truly can. Case in point:

einstein meme

via

Now, some memes are just tasteless. HOWEVER, my humble opinion is that, while some memes are stupid and obnoxious, a well-made meme can enhance most simple messages. Thus, I am sharing a few humble Jane Austen memes I recently made for a friend’s birthday. . .

dance like austen meme

image source

jane austen meme - birthday party

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marriage

image source

In closing, Jane Austen once said “My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.” So, be clever, be well-informed, and please join in the potentially witty conversational world of the internet with clever memes!

Go forth and meme with class.

Loquaciousness, Verbosity, and Siblings

Recently, somewhat out of the blue but much to my delight, my brother decided to throw down a challenge in my direction. . .

words we should use more

 

This was immediately followed up with a full-family-facebook conversation, complete with loving taunts.

family chatter

So, when faced with all of this chatter, I decided to attempt to meet my brother’s challenge.

Did I do it? Yes. Yes I did.

potlucky
My coworkers think I’m crazy, but I did it.

 

Reflecting on the Message of Isaac Watts…

 

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

GISHWHES Networking: Crazy Beautiful Extended Family!

I recently posted about my experience with GISHWHES scavenger hunts in both 2013 and 2014, and I know I’ve already talked about the brilliantly fun community of GISHWHES in the past, but I don’t think you all truly understand the ridiculously awesome group of people involved in this annual undertaking. Meeting new people during GISHWHES isn’t limited to your 14 teammates, or even to the unsuspecting “normal” folks who you ask to become your GISHWHES accomplices. Oh no. GISHWHES is more of an expansive creative community than that! Surpassing all geographical and a heck of a lot of social boundaries and bypassing the red tape of society’s “norms”, there are beautiful pockets of gish-community to be found all over.

One of my favorite “places” to find community during this most recent hunt, which continues to be a lovely forum in the post-hunting months, is The GISHWHES Network on Facebook. With a roster of just over 2400 people from all over the world, this network proved to be a daily source of encouragement and community during the hunt! By the end of the week, the feeling of camaraderie I had with just teammates at the onset had ballooned out to encompass so many more people!

The GISHWHES Network

awesome design via: Jennifer L. Anderson’s post in The GISHWHES Network

What are a few of the benefits I’ve experienced from GISHWHES networking?  Well gee, twist my arm, I guess I can take a moment or two to tell you. . .

GIF source

First: The Creativity of Other Gishers is both Inspirational and Impressive!

Throughout the hunt, AND after, creative people shared their inventive perspectives on the hunt in ways I would never have dreamt up on my own. One perfect example was a poem that one Gisher, Elise, posted a day after the hunt ended this year. Forgive the fact that I will be sharing this masterpiece with you via several image/screencaps of an actual posting. I didn’t want to have anyone think I was responsible for this gloriousness, because the author, Elisa Welch, deserves ALL of the credit for her creativity!!!

Poem Part 1

Poem Part 2

Poem Part 3

Poem Part 4

Second: Other Teams Succeed Where Yours Has Failed . . . and it is well worth witnessing.

Some items are outside of my realm of influence or capacity to complete, despite how many e-mails I send or phone calls I make. I have come to accept this at the end of every hunt thusfar, although I never seem to quite accept it until we’re out of time to try. HOWever, where some (read: I) have failed, others will succeed . . . and honestly? It’s pretty freaking amazing to get let in on their success.

Exhibit A: ACTUAL ACRE-SIZED wolf-rooster-hybrid CROP DESIGNS!
Team Vatican Cameos

via

Exhibit B: FRICKIN’ UNBELIEVABLE beautiful and awesome and yet somehow still hard core POPE TATOOS

gishwhes pope tattoos

linked sources from left to right: via, via, via, via, via, via

Third: Like soldiers who shared a foxhole, Only a fellow Gisher Truly understands…

One unifying factor for this delightful conglomeration of gish-folk is that enjoyed the absolute ridiculousness of frenetic GISHWHES activities, and can all understand what it means to exist in scavenger hunt mode. The day after the hunt, the following thread took place, much to my delight!

Hilarity on The GISHWHES Network!

We might be insane at the end of a hunt, but we all at least understand the insanity and band together and laugh uproariously at it!

Fourth: You get to collectively share in not just the hunting, but the judging!

At the end of GISHWHES, you can volunteer to be a judge for which submissions may wind up in the “GISHWHES Hall of Fame” at some point. Even if you don’t win the hunt, this is definitely a goal for most teams. I wound up judging for about 5 different items, and enjoyed most of it immensely! Some of the posts that people shared during the judging were almost as good as judging the items yourself!

screen-shot-2014-09-15-at-10-06-04-pm

I sent out a blanket YOU ARE AWESOME note to the person responsible for this video, hands down a favorite of mine.

And there were just some generally fun silly moments that came along with judging things – especially because you kind of naturally have a built-in respect for most of the submissions, since you know the kinds of effort that go into even the simplest of submissions!

jensen monkey

via

Fifth: You Suddenly Find that your Bizarre Hopes and Plans for the Future are shared by Many Others

nuts

Only a fellow Gisher can truly understand that feeling, when you are cleaning out your attic and attempting to de-clutter your home . . . and you just cannot bring yourself to throw away the life-sized paper-mâché  goose. Or the absurdly large tube of green body-paint. Or the three full-sized nerf broadswords.

Then there are the random ideas that sound certifiably insane to strangers, but unusually wonderful to those of us who have participated in the memory-making mayhem. seconded

 

And so it goes, you see?

Gishwhes Networking is not your average experience.  

It is an induction into a gloriously quirky, creative and unusual extended family; a multi-faceted group of strange relatives you never knew you wanted before you have them!