Sci-fi, Meet Cli-fi

Sci-fi, Meet Cli-fi

With the rise of global temperatures comes the rise of a literary genre.

A demanding college schedule gives me little free time. As much as I would love to open vacancy for pleasure reading, I already have enough academic readings on my plate. Still, a girl can dream, which is why I keep a list of books I'd like to read eventually. These books come from friend recommendations, my university's bookstore, and scrolling through Amazon as a way of procrastination, but the most recent book I came across was mentioned in an article on my Facebook feed, a book from the cli-fi genre.

Apparently that was not a spelling error on the editor's part. Abbreviated for climate fiction, cli-fi genre books explore ideas and potential outcomes of Earth's climate change.

The book I found, titled The History of Bees by Maja Lunde details the lives of numerous environmental workers involved with bees in some way, set in the middle of the 19th century and going through 2098 where by that time bees are extinct. The plot carries an interesting premise but sheds light on a very real problem in the 21st century: the depleting bee population.

This kind of premise can be similarly seen in the closely related science fiction genre, as anticipated technology of the future, alternative environments, and apocalyptic settings of cli-fi books all fall under sci-fi criteria (think Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood). Some believe it is a sub-genre of science fiction, as climate fiction focuses heavily on man made environmental issues, but what I find most interesting is the growing number of climate fiction literary works in recent years. Just type 'climate fiction' in Amazon's search bar.

Climate fiction has even reached the big screen, with coming films such as Geostorm and documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, so I wonder if the rising emergence of this genre comes from the record breaking natural disasters in the past decade, or Donald Trump's actions against climate change, such as withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. Perhaps the recent news of increased temperatures or bee populations scares viewers and the only way to channel these fears is through fiction to distract from the unsettling reality.

But why not leave these fears to the scientists and researchers? What kind of voice can cli-fi literature provide?

I think cli-fi couldn't have been popular at a better time. Literature inspires fresh thought, new voices, and motivation to take action, and the voices of the young have never been more visible than they have now with the outlet of social media. We know that literature provides a route for escapism, but in cli-fi the stories are rooted in just enough contemporary reality for readers to connect the events that are happening in their book to the real world. As Sarah Stankorb from The Daily Good puts it, fiction literature can "make the unthinkable more proximate, or even intimate." Cli-fi literature provides us with guidance to ideas that we can hold close to us, nurture, and send out into our world in the hopes that someone else believes in those ideas that will make a positive change in the world.

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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