I am not a nice person.

I am not a nice person. I am frank, and I can be funny, but I’m not nice. Some people take my sarcasm seriously and take my honesty as a joke. That is not my fault. That being said, this post was written out of the pettiness of my heart, and I am owning up to that. I am not disillusioned by my pettiness, nor am I going to say that it was not my fault that this situation happened.

Now, let’s begin.

Something I have learned is that when you are in a class in college, and that class is a leadership class, you need to know what parts of you to bring to that group and what parts to bury in a grave 20ft down never to see the light again. This is a social skill that you learn from a very young age: How to interact with certain groups of people. For example, when you are with your family, do you say and do the same stupid things that you would do with your friends? When you are babysitting, do you use the same tone of voice, say the same things, or do the same activities that you would do if you were teaching a group of college kids? I hope the answer is no. And of course there are many reasons for that. You don’t cuss around little kids, small children generally cannot understand advanced mathematics, and your family doesn’t understand that inside joke that you have with Betty from Theta Apple Pie about Brad from Alpha Gym Shorts.

This applies between college groups too. You have your close friends (your inner circle that you spend the most time with), your friends (people you chill with, might grab food with every once in a while, but not the ones you go on long trips to the depths of the emotional south), and your acquaintances (group project people, people from high school that add you on Facebook even though you’ve never talked to each other in real life, that one guy that works in Espresso who knows your order but not your name, etc.).

DON’T EVER GET THESE GROUPS CONFUSED.

This was mistake #1. I tried to be funny and relatable with acquaintances. When I try to be funny and relatable with acquaintances I come off as a total asshole. Props to me, I know. Mistake #2: Telling my acquaintances how I truly felt about the project (It was a waste of time and pain in my ass).

I had informed my group that I was really busy that night (we met up around 9 or 10pm) and that I would only have time for an hour or so of meeting. This being said, it means that I have A LOT of stuff to do, I’m really tired, and I don’t particularly want to be working on this project right now. All I had to do was show up, agree with the project, and then get my portion of the work done. Right?

At the time of this meeting I was exhausted. I was done with group projects, and lord help me if I had to do any more BS for a group that didn’t appreciate me. The meeting started okay. I had to come late due to prior engagements, as did another group member. When I arrived, I sat down, pulled out my laptop, and started taking notes as usual. And again, as usual, my group members all started spitting ideas at me as if they weren’t allowed to do anything until I showed up and started taking notes. We eventually come to the topic of ‘don’t we have a group evaluation coming up soon?’ to which I said ‘yes’ and they all started talking about how they were going to answer the evaluation. This seemed pointless to me, as they are INDIVIDUAL group evaluations for the whole team. I’m not going to plan out or tell you what I’m going to put on an evaluation form that I don’t have the answers to, or won’t be doing for another week. These are group members that I would have no problem on accurately reflecting for because we were not going to be working outside of class too much, class ends in a few weeks, and they would not be seeing me again because they are either graduating, or in a completely different major from me. I informed them of such and did not get a positive response. Some were very upset that I said that I would not be working with them again due to the fact that we are all going our separate ways. It’s all a matter of perspective at this point. I meant it as ‘We’re all moving next semester. I won’t get offended by what you post because it will build on feedback that I have and will be beneficial to us all because we will have honest opinions for each other’ of course I said it in a manner that came across as ‘Screw you guys, I’ll never have to work with you guys ever again so I don’t care what you write about me’. Communication guys. Communication is key.

Now some of you are like ‘Raye. That was just you asking for negative feedback. You ASKED to be ripped apart on that one.’ Yes. You are correct. But I also wanted to share with you that you get what you ask for in group projects, and that should you ever feel like you should be brutally honest with anyone outside of your inner circle, do NOT expect to get the same reaction. I had a momentary lapse in that sense of judgement, and I can guarantee that it will happen in the future. But you have to recognize your mistakes and learn from them so that they will get less and less frequent in the future. To end this petty rant, always use the long way to explain offensive things or things that might come off as offensive. It sounds prettier and your group mates won’t be as mad at you.

RayeDeSol

Day with Bex

This weekend is Mom’s Weekend at the U of I which means one thing- I avoid campus. As soon as I was dressed and ready to face the light of day I called up one of my best friends, Bekah, to see if she was free for the day!

Getting off campus was an absolute nightmare what with it being Mom’s weekend and all. The moms were out in full force this weekend, and honestly, it was pretty scary. Fraternities spilling out onto the lawn, their houses filled to the max with motherly beer drinking and frat boys that have instantly changed their weed smoking ways for the weekend in an attempt to show their mothers that they are in good hands in college. It took at least 20 minutes to get off of campus. Gross.

Bekah and I spent the morning applying Jamberry Nail Wraps (shameless promotion), drinking hot chocolate, and general gossiping. Boy have I missed my Bekah :’D. The weather was so beautiful today that we spent a good portion of that time on the porch talking and soaking up the sun before it turns cloudy and cold again like it’s supposed to on Tuesday. An unexpected visitor by the name of Holmes (we named her as she was an alley cat) who came up out of curiosity, and because she was hungry. She was really friendly, but as I’m allergic to cats, I didn’t get too close. Of course, like all cats, she has that 6th sense so that should you be allergic to cats- she KNOWS and will chase you until she is able to rub her allergens all over you. Bekah took a video of Holmes.

Bekah also said I looked cute so she took some artsy pics of me while I was laying on the railing. As a generic white girl, I feel entitled to my artsy pics. However, in light of this, please know that I do in fact lay in strange and uncomfortable looking positions such as this when holding conversations.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Around 4:30 we got hungry so we headed to Bob Evans (I got the Country Biscuit (10/10 really good) and Bekah got the Turkey Bacon Cheddar Melt (8/10 good, but turkey to bacon ratio was a little extra and they could have cut the sandwich in half but overall really good)). Our waitress was really nice and we got free banana bread ❤ it was really good. If I were to recommend anything from Bob Evans, it would probably be the banana bread slightly warmed with a little bit of butter (assuming I have time to put butter on the bread before shoveling it into my mouth…). The family next to us was a little nosey, but we might have been a bit loud. At one point they told the waitress that we were laughing too much (in a joking manner) and we joked that they were being to loud and it was a whole socially awkward thing between a dad and two awkward college girls while his family and the waitress just looked on awkwardly. It also didn’t help that all of the tables were so close together that we were practically rubbing elbows with them. After some awkward ‘haha’s and a conversation about colleges (they were from Wisconsin headed to Indiana and we had to explain that we live in town and that Bekah goes to school in Wisconsin and I put in the mandatory ‘U of I is GREAT’ shpeel) we bolted.

We headed back to Bex’s for some more chill time before realizing that we super needed ice cream so we headed to Marble Slab. I told Bekah I wasn’t going to pay for hers, until I realized that I had two $5 off coupons (from my days as an addict), which made both of our ice creams free, so I paid and we got free ice cream. 😀 It was really good free ice cream. We took our free ice cream to Art Mart and walked around until they closed before coming back to Bekah’s house. We are now chilling and ‘doing homework’.

What a great and fulfilling day! Not excited to get back into the real world where there’s school and deadlines and stuff. Gross.

RayeDeSol

Witches and Wizards

Today was a LONG day. We’re talking 5 classes, each an hour and a half long, a meeting with the education academic advisor, and in less than an hour I will be off on a 7 hour straight meeting marathon. We’re talking APO, HPA, online, group projects, the works. However, this is a relatively short post.

FIRST I’m going to tell you all about my obsession with Harry Potter.

When I was about 6 my mom and dad were watching one of the Harry Potter marathons that was running on ABC Family. You know the ones. They run practically once a week. 6 year old Raye saw mommy and daddy watching a movie and she wanted to too! The beginning was all dark so she thought it was going to be some sort of horror movie, but stuck around anyways and has been addicted ever since.

20 year old Raye still has her room at home decorated with a Harry Potter theme, has Harry Potter posters hung in her apartment, still goes dressed as Hermione for Halloween, and has what might be according to some people an ‘unhealthy’ amount of memorabilia (including sweatshirts, t-shirts, postcards, pens, soundtracks, stickers, wallets, luggage tags, pillows, blankets, notebooks, wands, key chains, time turner, etc.). Hell, I even have a snitch hanging from my ceiling. I’ve taken the quiz about 3 times and I always get Hufflepuff (#puffpride). I have one copy of all the books (and they are sacred), I’ve visited the museum exhibits from the movies, and now, I am the event planner for the University of Illinois Harry Potter Alliance Club. (EEK! :D)

So today when I opened my door to the mailman and got a package that had a REPLICA HARRY POTTER EXERCISE BOOK, I screamed and might have scared the mailman a bit. (Another thing: I am totally obsessed with would be school/office supplies. It’s an addiction I can’t afford as a broke college student, but trust me when I say I have whole Pinterest boards dedicated to the cause. )

With tonight being my first meeting with the Harry Potter Alliance as they teach me the ropes, I can’t WAIT to put my new notebook and pencils to work!

Plant Babies

Salutations!

To start this post off, I would just like to say that my plants are the bomb.com. My children, Dude 2.0, Freshman Plant, Mini Rose Natallie Got Me, and Violet Jeremy Got Me, are growing splendidly. But this post is to introduce the newest member to the family, Mini Dude. Granted, I’m not the most original when it comes to names, but Dude is a family name that has a lot of history. Some might even say, it has DEEP ROOTS.

STORY TIME: When my mom was in college, her mom (Grandma) got her a plant. That plant’s name is Dude. Dude was the coolest guy, only Dude had two stalks. One day, Dude was split in half and separated. Mom got a Dude and Grandma cultivated new Dude. Since that day, Mom’s Dude has died and Grandma’s Dude has been spliced by the plant whisperer herself. Now just about everyone in the family has a Dude (so my Dude is more like Dude 2.7 or something), but I have carried on the tradition of receiving a Dude in college as I got my Dude freshman year.

Today, Dude got a new baby brother. Mini Dude has been a wonderful addition to the family, and not to toot my own horn, but I’m a great plant mom. As my children are depending on me, I provide for them. I feed them (tonight I bought fertilizer and a squirty gun that all of the other pretentious plant moms of the cul de sac use too), give them sunlight, read to them from my subscription of Better Homes and Gardens, put on HGTV while I’m in class, and I make sure to play music will develop their leaf-brains- so they have a healthy dose of Panic! at the Disco and Queen. When I go on long trips they get to spend time with their grandparents (my parents), and in the true spirit of grandparenting, my kids always come back bigger, heavier, and with that guilty, wide-eyed ‘Grandma fed me everything in the fridge’ look. You know the one.

Despite my textbook expert parenting, my mom has pointed something out to me this evening (after she almost told Mini Dude that he’s adopted. Good thing he hasn’t learned that word yet) that had completely escaped my attention.

My plants are naked.

Therefore I have decided that my kids need clothes, and not only do they need clothes, they need clothes that reflect their individual personality and interests while still being practical. This being said, I have decided that they need Hufflepuff scarves, mittens, and hats until the weather warms up enough for me to keep the windows open consistently. (Not to say that I will shun my kids if they aren’t puffs. I will love them no matter what. But until they are old enough to use the computer, they will rep top haus).

It’s time for Dude’s shower, so I should go now, but I will leave you all with proud parent pictures of Dude 2.0 and Mini Dude. (The rest of the herd are at their grandparents house being spoiled)

RayeDeSol

Fun fact: It was almost this day exactly last year when I adopted my first plant baby!

Green Day, Great Night

The Green Day Concert was probably the most hardcore rock experience I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to other concerts (P!ATD, 5SOS, 1975 to list my favorites), but none of them could truly compare to the Old School Rock™ that I saw Tuesday night. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Panic! at the Disco isn’t one of my favorite bands of all time, or that 5 Seconds of Summer or The 1975 don’t hold a special place in my heart, or even that they weren’t the best god-damn concerts I’d ever been to- but none of those concerts displayed the show of diversity, community, or nostalgia that Green Day brought to the Assembly Hall (now called State Farm Center(booo)). Which I’m sure makes me sound super young and uncultured to those of you who are reading this that are at least 5 years older than me. Sue me.

Green Day_1-1

Most everyone was engaged in the actual concert, sure, pictures were being taken for memories sake, but no one was filming the whole time and completely missing the moment (one of my pet peeves). In the words of the lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, “If you’re looking at me through the screen of your camera phone- phone camera? Who cares- If you’re looking at me through a screen, you aren’t really looking at ME”. Profound.

Throughout the show the band members invited members of the audience to come up and perform, be it sing a few verses, play a few chords on the guitar, or crowd surf. The pyrotechnics were on fire (heh), and the lights were strobing and blinding. I walked out of the concert deaf, and hoarse. Just the way I like it. Granted that Nat and I didn’t have the closest of seats, but we still had an amazing time! Nat and I got matching t-shirts (and I’ve worn mine almost everyday since).

Green Day_1-2

Can’t wait for my next concert!

RayeDeSol

My mid-college crisis

Today I had my mid-college crisis. Some might think- RAYE. You’re only 20! Well as a second semester sophomore, this is LITTERALLY the middle of my college career (assuming I graduate in the standard 4 year time setting). My current position within the University of Illinois is as an Urban and Regional Planning major, with concentrations in both Sustainability and Global Studies (add in my minor, certificate program, and job title, and you have a hot mess of words that sound relatively official, but also like a bunch of BS). ANYWAY- back to my melt down.

Let’s set the scene: I’m sitting in my second class of the day, UP 335 (Urban Planning course, Cities and Immigrants) and the professor hasn’t arrived yet. It is not unusual for her to be late, and it is not unusual for me to not want to come to her class, due to the monotonous sound of her voice and the way that she sounds uncertain about what she is teaching. I am sitting in the front row and five minutes have passed. I despise the classroom that she has moved us to since the beginning of the year as we have gone from a lecture hall the size of a class room to a broom closet sized classroom that has us bumping desks. As a 5’11 female, though I on occasion claim 6′ (and I know for certain that I’m 6’2 or so in heels), I have rather long legs and knee problems to boot, so this classroom that has little-to-no leg room + that one kid that can never sit still in lecture = desks being violently shoved into my knees (hence forth, I sit in the front row and accidentally trip the professor from time to time when stretching my legs), and my violent distaste for this classroom.

Queue: Professor
The professor, despite her seemingly lack of confidence, is very friendly and understanding, but loves to do repetitive things. Which I hate. This was shown today when she started giving examples of what it is like to work in the field. Mind you, by this time, I was regretting coming to class (as I have been all year), my friend who usually suffers through the class with me had not yet returned from break, and I was irritated by some of the people in my fraternity who were backing out on their obligations. It was towards the end of the class period and she had been talking about the installation of street lamps in communities and the benefits, as well as the drawbacks of going through the governmental channels of getting them installed.

It was at that moment that I started crying.

Installing lamp posts in communities is not what made me cry, but the process that she had to go through to make this happen. It took her THREE YEARS to get ONE light post installed in a high crime rate area to make the residents feel safer. During this time period, she was made to hold meetings, set up demonstrations, have engineers, officials, and city council member go out to the community and decide that this was MAYBE something that had to be done. I was so upset. In that moment, when she was explaining that the people of that community had to repeat themselves over, and over, and over again for three years for someone to listen to them and get something done about their safety, and that there was nothing that she could do to speed up that process, I looked back at my year in Urban Planning. Not once had I said that I loved my major or any of the classes that I was taking. Not once did I look forward to a class, or a project, or enjoy talking about what was going on in that field. I decided right then and there that there was no way in hell that I was going to continue this. No matter what the benefits that I saw for myself in the future were. I thought to myself, ‘What is the job that you long for? What is the job that you thought you were going to have when you were younger? Remember when you were convinced for YEARS that you were going to be a teacher, but that people talked you out of it? That teachers don’t make enough money, or that you need to take a bunch of psychology classes and that you wouldn’t like them-even though you’ve never taken one, so there’s no way of knowing if you would like it or not? Screw them. Screw the voice in your head telling you that you won’t be successful in this field because there are so many others that could be better.’

So tonight I am taking the first steps to becoming a teacher.

What kind of teacher? Don’t have that figured out yet but I don’t want you readers to think that I have come to this decision lightly. It was my dream from the time I was about 12, and it was the future I had accepted for myself and was excited about. I chose Urban Planning in high school as my major because I thought it was a better fit for me, however, I will not be confined to a decision I made in HIGH SCHOOL for crying out loud. I am not 17 anymore. I have fluid thoughts and opinions that change over time. I have started the process by emailing the teachers that were and are influential to me to interview them. I want to know their side of the story. I want to know what they think being a teacher is about, how they got into the profession, how they keep their passion, and how they have managed to be so successful at what they do to influence me the way that they have. It will be a while yet before anything is official, but it is certainly something that I am looking forward to, and still researching.

I know this was a bit more serious than usual, but I want to thank you for sticking with me to the end! ❤ Hopefully my next posts are more light hearted! 😀 A special thanks to my family and friends during the stressful decision to change majors. I wouldn't have been able to be strong enough to make the decision to change without your support!

See you all soon,

RayeDeSol

Catching up

Hello avid readers, and not so avid readers!

Yesterday concluded my first week of my second year of college, and I am realizing how far I’ve come as an individual who is trying to advance mentally, academically, and socially.
I have decided that the rest of this blog will dedicated towards showing everyone a bit of me (stop rolling your eyes), be it school supplies, friends, songs, travelling, food, or really anything! I want you guys to have something a little different to read when you come to my page so that you aren’t bored. However, as a college student that is in the process of a significant GPA revamp, please don’t expect regularity or consistency. For this I apologize, but I hope you all stay with me on my journey for a happier school year!

RayeDeSol

Newest ME update

Long time no see!

Okay, it was all my fault. I got so caught up in Spring Break that I didn’t have time to post. But now I am somewhat caught up, as well as super procrastinating because I have so much homework. shhhhhh. We’ll just ignore it for a few while I type this post and try to get caught up on other updates.

I am currently wearing sunglasses in Espresso Royale because I’m sitting next to the window, but it’s really bright out…

Uhhhh let us see here…. NEWS! I bought new plants- cyclamen- and I’m in the process of naming them. I’m not sure how long they’ll last because the weather is going to turn warm soon and cyclamen do better in the cold, but we’ll see.

This weekend Jeremy (the boyfriend) might be coming up to visit! 😀 Aside from that, I plan to go to Holi, a holiday celebrated with lots of paint and colorful dyes, and Sunday I planned to go to Starved Rock with my friend, Natallie, but if Jeremy is going to be in town then we can all go together! 😀

The weekend after that, so in two weeks, I have a train ticket to go see him at school and I’m super excited for that, but until the weekend I’m trying to crack down on studies because finals is right after that! (yikes) wish me luck!

I’m thinking about switching my major from Urban and Regional Planning to… idk. I talk to my councilor tomorrow. But I’m thinking communications. Nothing is final yet, but I do know that I will be taking summer classes to either get ahead in my current major, or get a step up in my new major/ try out other majors. Who knows. No matter what I do, someone is going to be upset with my decision or think it’s really stupid, so fml and move on.

Alright, study break is over!

Catch you all on the flip side, or whatever it is you young’uns say these days.

rayedesol

In class post: GCL 126b- Sustainability

I am 9 minutes into this class, and I am already struggling to keep my eyes open.

Spring break is drawing nearer! This week, the boyfriend is in town and though I’d rather be spending time with him doing literally anything other than homework, I am in class, trying not to fall asleep in the back corner. HOWEVER! All of my classes have been canceled on Friday, so as soon as my online class is over tonight I will be class free from then till the end of break! (Unfortunately however, I still have work on Thursday for six hours, starting at 9 am *cries*.)

More about my online class! Monday was my first class and it’s a class of over 300! Everyone is pretty funny, so I hope the class stays interesting.

Shout out to those who voted! Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about presidential candidates, so I do not feel comfortable enough to vote, sorry to let you down, America. As soon as I am less busy I will jump on the bandwagon and learn as MUCH as I can about our candidates, but until then, I am stuck in the downward spiraling, rage-filled, spiral-funnel-thing of homework.

Wow. I am SUPER hungry, but as I am still in class, I am SOL )’:

As soon as I am out of here, I’ll be meeting a friend at Espresso to prove to him that extra chocolatey hot chocolate is delicious and totally not childish. Can’t WAIT for foooood!!!! #SoHungry

rayedesol

(Update: Ben cannot handle extra-chocolaty hot chocolate, and I can eat a full Jimmy Johns meal (sandwich, drink, cookie, the works), a loaf of cheap JJs bread, a scone, a large hot chocolate, and still be hungry for dinner)