A Year With Odyssey

A Year With Odyssey

So, what's next?

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February 27th, 2018 marks my first ever article written and published on the Odyssey website.

I remember finding out about Odyssey on my college's Facebook page. I remember reading it and thinking it'd be an interesting way to get my foot in the door while simultaneously improving my writing skills.

Plus, it was also something to do so my afternoons weren't just naps and Netflix.

I applied right then and there. Within minutes I received an email from our former community's editor-in-chief. A few minutes later, I got my acceptance email. It was like getting into the college of your dreams again!

Yeah, it probably isn't that big of a deal. At least not to most of you reading this, but getting accepted into anything is a great feeling.

Regardless, this 27th will mark my first, official year with Odyssey. Believe it or not, I've actually been planning this article for months. Once you get into the hang of writing weekly articles, you start thinking ahead. I'm a busy bee so when I have spare time and feel like it, I'll brainstorm future article ideas or pre-write some in Google Docs.

I planned on writing all about what I've learned from Odyssey, as well as what the future will hold for me after I've graduated from both college and this lovely publication.

So, what did I learn? First and foremost, I learned how to manage my time better. Writing on a strict deadline gives me the extra push out of bed and off my couch to grab my laptop and write. And write fast.

It forced me to really plan my week out. I knew I had to get my articles in at a certain time, on a certain day. If anything came up, I learned to communicate with my editors. I essentially treated writing for Odyssey like a job rather than a hobby or an extracurricular activity.

Each article I write, each week it gets published and shared on the world wide web, I learn more and more about myself. I learned that, sure, I'm introverted. And I don't like talking as much as I do writing, but lookie here! An article I wrote using my own words is being read by people everywhere! It's like finally getting the voice I never felt like I had and using it to reach those alike.

I learned a lot about others, too. I read a lot of articles written by people who I'll probably never meet, and probably have no idea who the heck I am, but I'm still praising their work.

Along the way, I learned about other creators' lives. I recently became an "elite creator" and got put into this cool little group where other elite creators can share their common interests and article ideas.

I learned that Odyssey articles aren't necessarily news-y or factual, but instead full of diverse people's perspectives on everyday topics.

So, what's to come? As much as I'd love to continue writing weekly articles for Odyssey forever, I know eventually, my time will come. I'll graduate, I'll move on, and I'll always look back at the little writing fam I made along my way.

Also, my articles are forever on the Internet for you all to see, so I'll never actually be gone.

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11 Great Books For People Who Don't Like Reading

If you don't like to read, this is the article for you.
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I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll say it again, I am no reader. My twin sister, on the other hand, is a huge curly-q bookworm.

I always see her flying through novels for pure pleasure. I'll be honest, the sight of it makes me cringe. My body won't stay still after I get through 20 pages (unless I'm hooked). You can consider me the girl who doesn't finish anything (like Professor Calamitous in Jimmy Neutron...I even have the short stature down).

Maybe my dislike of reading stems from teachers force feeding us excruciatingly boring summer assignments.

1984? Straight up diarrhea

Fahrenheit? Vomit vomit vomit.

Animal Farm? Excruciatingly yuck.

The only thing I enjoyed about Animal Farm was laughing at how awful the movie was. On the other hand, give me a young adult novel, and you can count me in. I guess I have Vikas Turakhia to thank for introducing me to J.D Salinger and provoking my drive to become a better writer--after he made me cry and gave me a B- for a report regarding a book about Polenta. High-School was a time... amiright?

Anyway, even though I am not a big reader, there are still a few books that have stuck with me throughout the years. Here is a list of novels I highly recommend to those who associate reading with chores...this time it won't have to be.

1. Looking for Alaska

"Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words–and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps." -JohnGreenBooks.com

2. Eleanor and Park

"Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try." -Goodreads.com

3. City of Thieves

Written by the writer and producer of Game of Thrones... enough said. Another book that I was forced to read thanks to Vikas Turakhia and one I will never put down.

4. Paper Towns

"Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life–dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge–he follows. After their all-nighter ends and new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues–and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew." -Johngreenbooks.com

5. Franny and Zooey

"FRANNY came out in The New Yorker in 1955 and was swiftly followed, in 1957 by ZOOEY. Both stories are early, critical entries in a narrative series I'm doing about a family of settlers in twentieth-century New York, the Glasses. It is a long-term project, patently an ambiguous one, and there is a real-enough danger, I suppose that sooner or later I'll bog down, perhaps disappear entirely, in my own methods, locations, and mannerisms. On the whole, though, I'm very hopeful. I love working on these Glass stories, I've been waiting for them most of my life, and I think I have fairly decent, monomaniacal plans to finish them with due care and all-available skill." -Salinger

6. The Catcher in the Rye

"The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain too, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

J.D. Salinger's classic novel of teenage angst and rebellion was first published in 1951. The novel was included on Time's 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923. It was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It has been frequently challenged in the court for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and in the 1950's and 60's it was the novel that every teenage boy wants to read." -Goodreads.com

7. The Westing Games

"A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger - and a possible murderer - to inherit his vast fortune, one thing's for sure: Sam Westing may be dead... but that won't stop him from playing one last game!" -Goodreads.com

8. Milk and Honey

"milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look. " -Goodreads.com

9. Room

"To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world....

Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience - and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another." -Goodreads.com







10. Replica

"Two Girls, Two Stories, One Book"- Goodreads.com

11. Mother, Can You Not?

"In Mother, Can You NOT?, Kate Siegel pays tribute to the woman whose helicopter parenting may make your mom look like Mother Teresa. From embarrassing moments (like her mother’s surprise early morning visit, catching Kate in bed with her crush) to outrageous stories (such as the time she moved cross country to be near Kate’s college) to hilarious mantras (“NO STD TEST, YOU WON’T BE GETTING SEXED!”), Mother, Can you NOT? lovingly lampoons the lengths to which our mothers will go to better our lives (even if it feels like they’re ruining them in the process)." -kateesiegel.com
Cover Image Credit: 123RF

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Yes, I Love Science And Yes, I Love To Write

It is possible to like both!

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I feel like there's this unspoken rule in society that says that if you love science, you're not good at or you don't like writing and vice versa. A lot of the people I have met seem to be like that.

With this being said, I feel like I am the exception to the rule. I love science, I am sort of good at science, and I love writing. People who love science tend to be more analytical and people who love writing tend to be more creative. Well, I'm both analytical and creative.

It's possible to be that way. If life has taught me anything over these past few years, it's that anything is possible. I've gotten A's in both science and English courses. That's not me bragging about my grades because trust me they are nothing to brag about, but it's me showing how 2 separate parts of my brain can be strong.

For me, I fell in love with writing through journaling. It's more of a nonfiction writing style, and it's because I had thoughts that needed to leave my brain at 2 am one morning. I didn't want to send any of my friends a long text message expressing my feelings, so I found a notebook and started writing to my future self. Sure enough, it was therapeutic for me and I fell in love with writing as I journaled more.

Part of the reason why I love writing is because it gives me a place to channel my millions of thoughts onto paper. I'm constantly analyzing and sometimes overthinking things. Basically, since I am over-analytical about a lot of things, writing is my outlet to get these thoughts out of my brain.

Over the course of time, I have found this unspoken and secret beauty to the skill of writing. By far it is one of the most important skills anyone could have, and it's a skill that will always be needed because you need writing to communicate through text messaging, emails, proposals, and the list goes on. I love writing for this very reason.

More so, I love science too. Science is my first passion and with wanting to be a high school teacher, I hope to get young students to love science too. It is one of the coolest things on this planet.

To understand how the world works through science is absolutely mind-blowing. If you take or have taken physics, you know that there is an equation for everything like bouncing a ball while walking. It is the coolest thing in the world.

In middle school, we see a volcano diorama and we see how volcanoes sort of work. That's science, most of us are amazed by it. In college, science is really difficult and tedious, but it's fun. It's fun being challenged and being forced to analyze things in new ways.

Over the winter session, I took physics and thank goodness for my professor because he is a true gem of a person, but he made physics apply to the real world. It's the study of the real world and how things work and interact. It's all math and that's the hard part, but it was fun to see how math actually applies to the real world.

Analyzing and understanding the world through a scientific lens is so cool to me. It's not to everyone, and I respect that, but it's cool to know why clouds form and why certain rocks are lighter than others. It's cool to know why when I dribble a basketball even when I am running, it still comes back to my hands.

Point is, there is science behind everything, and I love learning that. I love analyzing it, just as much as I love writing.

Thus, it is possible to love writing and science. It's not common, but both are so cool and imperative to society in their own ways.

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