Rainy Day (Navy) Blues

Boy, has it been awhile. Everybody warned me that I would have one semester that would keep me on the edge of my seat every day, but I wasn’t expecting it to be my second semester ever. Since I declared my major last semester, I finally had a path for this one and was able to pick courses for my major. I’ve been immersed in foreign policy, public administration, and international relations for the last several weeks with hardly a couple of hours to take a breath. But I love my major, and I could not imagine studying anything more interesting, excited, and infuriating than political science.
Today is my last Friday of spring break, but I didn’t have much of a break. I skipped out on PCB to knock out a ton of scholarship applications, the application for admissions into my college’s honors program (crossyourfingers!), and to get ahead on schoolwork. Unfortunately, I caught strep throat in the mix.
After waking up feeling better, I decided to have a fabulous day. I did my hair & put makeup on & even wore a Lilly Pulitzer dress to brunch because why not? I spent most of the day shopping, I got the most precious navy blue & white polka dot manicure, and ended the night with a late showing of Divergent with my sisters. I loved the series and I’ve been dying to see it. The weather changed from 75° and sunny to 50° and rainy by 7:00, so I changed into jeans, my favorite yellow and white striped RL Polo oxford, my pink, yellow, & green plaid Sperry’s, and topped it off with a navy blue pullover with a hot pink monogram. I kept the pearls (of course), monogram bow headband, and monogram necklace. I stayed warm & dry, but I missed the pretty weather. Crazy weather changes are not uncommon for Arkansas!
I absolutely loved the movie. I thought it followed the book pretty well. While reading it, I had a hard time envisioning some of the scenes, so it was cool to see them acted out. I adore Shailene Woodley, and I thought she really captured Tris’s character well. Tell me, what did y’all think? Did you enjoy the movie after reading the book?
Can’t wait for Insurgent!

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Where Has The Time Gone?

Woooow. School has been crazy and I didn’t realize how long it had been since I blogged. Thanksgiving break is quickly approaching, which means posts will come soon. Everyone seemed to like the OOTD, so maybe I’ll do a few more of those. And maybe even a few books reviews. Stay tuned, more will certainly come.

-hrc

Woman Crush Wednesday & The Importance Of Education

I’ve decided that every now and then I will make a Woman Crush Wednesday post and recognize an inspirational woman. Starting this week. 

On October 9th, 2012, Pakastani teenager Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head on her way home from school. She was targeted by the Taliban for speaking out against their oppression. The terrorist group was doing everything possible to stop education in the Middle East. After learning of her blog posts, public statements, and encouragement to her peers to persist in getting an education despite the Taliban’s efforts, they came to a unanimous agreement to kill her. Luckily, Malala survived. After months in the hospital and rehabilitation, she is fully functioning and healthy, and still continues her studies. “They thought that the bullets would silence us,” Malala said in a speech at the United Nations. “But they failed. And then, out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear, and hopelessness died. Strength, power, and courage [were] born. I am the same Malala. My ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. My dreams are the same.”

Getting an education is a privilege. Many countries lack a well-developed education system, and some don’t have one at all. And there are countries like those in the Middle East in which people are literally dying to be educated. Education is unappreciated in our nation; kids peel themselves out of bed at the last minute, go to school, and do the minimum effort required to pass their classes, usually all with a bad attitude. It’s a rare thing to see students get excited about learning. Why is it that so many people have to be forced to go to school, but after being shot for pursuing education, Malala only wants it more? 

We’re required to go to school in the United States. We can choose to drop out at a certain age, but almost all employers require a high school diploma in order to even consider hiring someone. Public schools are completely free to attend, and good grades almost guarantee scholarships to go to college. The government provides an education system that sets children up to succeed. So why do so many people make the decision to do nothing with their lives? We’re forced to go to school. There’s a reason why the saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” has become a cliche. It’s true. When people are forced to do something, they reject it. People like Malala in places like the Middle East desire an education so much because it’s a rare thing to have. 

When I was a sophomore in high school, I took advanced geometry from a man named Charles Young. I was a straight A student throughout my whole academic career until that year; my report card came back with a C. I opened the envelope and there it was. Like a horrible, disgusting, oozing blemish on an otherwise clear complexion. I started going to tutoring the very next day. I completely immersed myself in angles and polygons. During one particularly difficult tutoring session, I had a meltdown. I wasn’t understanding. I even told Mr. Young that I had no desire whatsoever to be architect, an engineer, or an astronomer, so I didn’t see the point in having to learn geometry. After getting me to calm down, Mr. Young explained to me that it wasn’t necessarily the content of the subject that mattered. The main point in requiring students to take strenuous math courses is not to ensure that we will never ever forget the midpoint equation or how to find the area of a polygon. The point is to teach students how to think logically. He explained that I was focusing too much on the final answer and not enough on how to get it. What steps should I take to get to the solution of this problem? According to cheesy, over-enthusiastic, but sweet Mr. Young, that very question is the equation of life. In order to solve any problem, you must think logically. There is a deeper point in taking certain subject than just to learn the content. Education is not just mastering a set of skills that will earn you a living. Education is accumulating life skills. 

If I go through grade school, college, and graduate school finishing all after only putting forth the effort that was required to be promoted to the next step, am I educated? Society would say yes, because all that matters is that I finished. But that’s not all it takes. Just going through the motions is not good enough. As Americans, we’ve developed the habit of rushing through things to get finished. I looked for the easiest ways to solve math problems, but that was the wrong way to do it. The right way was to learn the necessary steps. If I don’t see the value in learning, I won’t be educated. I have to want it. To get an education, I must keep an insatiable thirst for knowledge and experience. I must keep a burning desire deep within me to know more, to do more, and to be more.

Malala referenced the famous quote, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” in her speech. She added that the Taliban is against schooling because they fear the power of educated people, because they themselves are uneducated. Education neutralizes hate. People fear and hate what they are unsure of. I’m well aware that I will probably never live to see a world of peace, and it saddens me. However, education can bridge the gap between peacefulness and hatred. Malala knows that education is the best hope for a peaceful world. The more educated a person is, the more they will question what is right and what is wrong, and consider the most logical way to make things better. 

To be educated is to be compassionate towards all people. To be educated is to have empathy. To be educated is to speak only words of encouragement. To be educated is to act rationally. To be educated is to know how to tactfully stand up for what I believe in. To be educated is to want to learn about different cultures of the world, and respect other people’s beliefs. To be educated is to be mindful of the environment. To be educated is to always want to know more. To be educated is to always use my abilities to contribute to the greater good. To be educated is to be the best I can possibly be in every aspect of my life, and to always strive to be even more.

 

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“I’m So Glad I Live In A World Where There Are Octobers.” -L.M. Montgomery {OOTD}

Oh, fall. It is finally upon us here in the Natural State. I woke up this morning and looked out my dorm room window at a fog covered campus. After long awaited crisp, cool weather, I was happy to be able to pick a cute fall outfit! Unfortunately, here in Arkansas 65 degrees is considered fall weather. I can’t wait to actually be able to wear cute jackets with my boots and not burn up by the end of the day. But until then, I’ll soak in being able to wear riding boots and button-downs with the sleeves cuffed a couple times.

Today will be pretty busy. After classes I have a few errands to run around campus, including meeting with a professor about a possible internship. I figured I should dress in a way that would be appropriate for anything. 

While most college students drag themselves to class on Mondays sporting yoga pants, sweatshirts, and ball caps, I personally like to dress nicely. I feel so much better when I know I look presentable. It starts my whole week off on the right foot. Mondays I especially dress cute, but I try to look at least decent every day of the week. It’s rare of me to wear sweats or yoga pants to class. I feel like it shows self-respect to dress nice. And I know that if I had spent many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education, the last thing I would want to do is teach a bunch of kids in pajamas with their eyes glazed over. Look alive in your classes. Even if it’s only in dress. 

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What I’m wearing:
Ralph Lauren Polo button-down
American Eagle jeggings 
Steve Madden boots
Monogram necklace in rose gold
Pearl earrings
Betsey Johnson watch
Monogrammed clutch 
On my nails: OPI “In The Cable Car-Pool Lane”

Happy Birthday Kim!

Everybody has a guilty pleasure. Mine happens to involve watching a show revolved around a filthy rich family. I’ve kept up with the Kardashians since the airing of the first season of their television reality show. I hate that I love the show, but I can’t stop watching. I’ve actually grown really fond of the spoiled brats. 

Today is actually Kim’s 33rd birthday, and E! is celebrating her with a marathon of her favorite episodes of the shows. I know what I’ll be filling my time between classes with! Looks like homework is going to be put on a back burner until the marathon is over. 

It’s been crazy to see Kim grow from being a new model to a mother. I admire her never ending ambition and her drive to gain even more success. I had my doubts when I found out she was going to be a mother, but she’s proven herself to be a great mommy. 

Happy birthday Kim!

 

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Eyes On The Prize

Few things are quite as fabulous as breaks. 

Tomorrow I will hop into my little PT Cruiser and set the cruise control to 5 over in the hopes of cutting the 2 hour drive a few minutes shorter. The drive to campus will either consist of belting old Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday or listening to NPR and beating the steering wheel in frustration with all that is wrong in the world. 

But in this cruel and ugly world, there is a beacon of hope: breaks. Breaks are so hard to come by, and definitely underrated. The first half of my first semester as a college student was vexing; adjusting to dorm life, juggling six classes, being involved with and a secretary to the campus Young Democrats, and struggling to sleep despite my roommate’s relentless snoring had turned me into a nervous wreck. It was so hard to catch even a 30 minute break during the day. I was on the verge of a mental breakdown the last two weeks before fall break, and having all of my midterm exams in two days definitely didn’t help.

My fall break has consisted of sleep, reading, eating, shopping, hammocking, and more sleep. I typically get around 15 hours of sleep in one school week; I got 15 hours of sleep my first night home from break, and it was glorious. I started and finished a new book, Harry Potter and Philosophy, and started Wuthering Heights from my Penguin Clothbound Classics collection. My parents took me out to eat a lot and also cooked for me every day. Somehow I managed to get the Freshman -15 instead of gaining; I’ve attributed it to my diet of coffee, tea, and Poptarts. Daddy and I also tried to make macarons, but failed miserably with an end result of ugly, lumpy cookies. I did a bit of retail therapy, which is always lovely. I was happy to be back to hammocking between two trees rather than between two columns at the Greek amphitheater on campus. Something about drifting into a soft sleep staring at the sky through lush, green leaves is so serene. 

Politics are a big part of my life since I’m a poli sci major. Possibly one of the most important breaks I took was from the news. My morning routine is downing a couple cups of coffee before class and reading the news. I repeat this at lunch and after classes as well. I think it’s extremely important to stay in the know about what is going on in our country and in the world in order to form educated opinions regarding politics. Part of being a responsible citizen is being a responsible voter, and it’s impossible to vote responsibly without an educated opinion. I didn’t start caring much about politics and current events until I was around 15, and since then I have watched the news religiously. I admit, it causes a lot of stress. As soon as I went on break, I deleted my news apps and refused to turn on the television. Everybody needs a break. Breaks help to put things into perspective; after seeing straight A’s on my midterm report, I realized that the stress before fall break was well worth it. Hard work always deserves a break, and hard work is always rewarded in some way. When things are tough, just push through and keep your eyes on the prize. 

Why, Hello!

My name is Haley. To be honest, I’m just really not sure what theme this blog will be. I’ve had a number of ideas, but I’m not a very consistent person, so I know I’ll end up touching bases on different topics. 

I decided that the best way to go about a blog would be to write about my life as a college student. And what better time to start documenting than the first semester of my freshman year? I just got off of fall break, which I spent pondering on blog topics. I’m a political science major with the intention of going to law school. Obviously I love politics and law, so that will come up frequently, I’m sure. ;) 

I’d love if you would stay tuned and read future posts! 

 

-H