The Blue French Horn Conundrum

The Blue French Horn Conundrum

For all the Ted Mosby's of the world, just looking for their Robin.

I think I may have found the most accurate way to describe unrequited love in this day and age, and that's a combination of pad Thai, coffee and adrenaline all racing through your system. The pad Thai is acting as an agent of indigestion, the coffee is your energy source. The combination of the two, plus the adrenaline rush you get when you see someone beautiful in a room acts as the perfect storm. You're stuck in what I'm going to call "The Blue French Horn Conundrum". The Blue French Horn Conundrum is an homage to "How I Met Your Mother"' and its modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac: Ted Mosby. In the pilot episode of that series, our Cyrano steal a blue French horn from a restaurant, all in an attempt to woo Robin Scherbatsky, his Roxanne.

It was the beginning of the month of January and school had just resumed for the winter quarter. You get to class irrationally early, the constant fear of embarrassing yourself by being super late motivating you to hustle. You enter the classroom, get yourself settled, and then you see her: your Roxanne. Now, Cyrano, you have one of two options. You can either introduce yourself to her and charm her socks off, or you can stare from afar. Since you don't have a constitution made of iron and you get scared of pretty girls and starting conversations (like that one Vance Joy song says), you go with Option #2.

Roxanne is beautiful, Cyrano. She has these eyes that, with one look, will simultaneously make you believe in love and break your heart. And when she laughed, good guv'nor. You're done. Defeated. KO'ed. You have never felt anything like this in your life, and that's not reference to the indigestion that your Thai delicacy is giving you. Your hands get sweaty, your heart starts racing and your mind is in a tizzy.

This is when you enter the realm of the Blue French Horn Conundrum. You want to do something grandiose, like stealing musical instruments. You imagine all of the possible scenarios in your head. Should you be Lloyd Dobbler from "Say Anything..." and figure out her favorite song and play it on a boombox in front of her house? Or rather, should you pull the Don Quixote approach, and try to fight windmills, all in a feeble attempt to impress your lady love. Better yet, you could pull the Shakespeare approach and write grand sonnets and soliloquies about her beauty.

You go with none of these approaches. You stay silent and reserved. You don't tell her how you feel for fear of rejection and inadequacy. And for the time being, you're content with that feeling, Cyrano. You don't want to screw anything up beyond redemption. You go through the normal feelings of jealousy when she's with another guy, or when you accidentally catch a glimpse of her phone and you see her flirting with another dude. But, Cyrano, here's what I wanna tell you.

Spend this Valentine's Day not worried about Roxanne being wooed by some other gentleman caller. Spend the time worried about her making yourself better. No, I'm not saying be like Sandy in "Grease" and change yourself or who you are in order to impress someone. In fact, I'm saying the exact opposite. Focus on the things you love about yourself, your dreams and aspirations, and make that the driving force of how you live your life. People are attracted to confidence, Cyrano, so walk tall. You can make it through this bout of unrequited love, Cyrano. Embrace the Blue French Horn Conundrum that you're in. You'll be glad you did.

Cover Image Credit: How I Met Your Mother

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads


I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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