Why I Love Christmas Music

I was at a party last year and I was talking to this dude, a friend of a friend, and he mentioned how he could tell I didn’t like the super loud EDM that was blasting around us. He was right. He asked what music I was into and I told him: “Pop music. Like, radio stuff…Broadway musical soundtracks…and Christmas music.” He was kind of surprised. “Christmas music?” he asked. “I never heard anyone say they liked that.” I informed him that it was the best and every year I get hyped for it. I saw him at another party a few months later. He remembered me. “Oh, yes, you’re the one who likes Christmas music.”

I guess if that’s my social legacy, it’s pretty nice one. Better than sneeze girl (Just kidding, I am very proud of my sneezes! Keep an eye out for my 2017 sneeze count!).

A lot of people say they like Christmas music, though they mean that they don’t mind when it plays in the mall in December and they don’t mind hearing it on the radio when they drive to the grocery store. I don’t just like it. I love it. As soon as my local radio starts Christmas music (mid-November), my radio does not turn off unless I’m asleep or I’m watching TV. I know every song. I know the lyrics to every song. I can recognize every version within seconds. I never tire of hearing them.

Buddy the elf reciting the christmas elf motto

And it’s weird because as that guy at the party said, most people don’t really love Christmas music like this. But I’ve been thinking about why I love it. What is it about Christmas music that makes me and some other people love this specific genre so much?

I think it’s because it’s so encompassing. There are happy songs and sad songs and religious songs and funny songs and upbeat songs and slow songs and songs that aren’t even about Christmas and songs about snow and songs about sand and ethnic songs and lyric-less songs and old songs and new songs and so much more.

And there are so many covers and versions that the genre never gets stale. It’s so great that known singers and up-and-comers can share in the holiday cheer. (Related: this post on non-traditional Christmas jams)

The Grinch commenting on Christmas music

I guess I just love that for a little over a month, radio stations dedicate themselves to playing solid holiday music and that even the sad ones still make me feel happy because they do represent Christmas and all it has to offer. For a whole month, I don’t have to hear annoying auto-tuned songs about binge-drinking and whatever other nonsense pop and rap music is about these days and enjoy the happy, simple themes of Christmas music.

Christmas music is, for the most part, pure, and I am thrilled that though music changes and styles change, Christmas music stays the same.

And that is why I love Christmas music and always, always will. My passion for it matches and even surpasses that of Dwight’s.

Do you love Christmas music? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love it? What’s your favourite Christmas song?

P.S. Also leaving this here…can you help me find this Christmas song? I’m pretty sure I made it up, but just in case…

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I Wrote An iBook! And You Can Read It!

Guess who’s a published author? Meeeeee!

Leslie Knope smiling proudly
The exact face I made when I called my mom and told her

This past semester I took a course on iPad publishing because I had the prereq and heard good things about it from an upper-year student I asked last year. In this small class, we were each loaned an iPad for the semester, introduced to iBooks Author, and told to write, design, and publish an iBook. It could be on any topic and it could be as interactive as we’d like, as long as we use some design critical thinking and completed the assignment updates on time. I was originally going to write a book on how to start a blog, as that was something I had solid knowledge on, but then I had a better idea. What’s the one thing that people can never wrap their heads around when I tell them about it? Muggle Quidditch.The cover for Muggle Quidditch: Yes, It's Real!

Super nerdy, yes, and I feel like anyone who saw me working on it in the computer lab was hardcore judging me, but I am so proud of this book! It’s called Muggle Quidditch: Yes, It’s Real! and it’s a quick but comprehensive guide to the non-magical version of the sport. And since it’s an iBook, it’s colourful and interactive and fun to read. It is now available for download from Apple’s iBook store and it’s being offered for the low, low price of zero dollars and zero cents! Yes, it’s free! I mean, I thought about selling it for a small fee, but it’s only sixteen pages and I made it for a class, so the school credit and good grade is reward enough. Plus, it’s not like I’d make a living off of it! I’d much rather introduce the amazing sport to new people for free, anyway!

The book is available worldwide and it’s downloadable on iPhones, iPod Touches, Macs, and iPads, but the levels of interactivity make it best experienced on an iPad or a Mac.

Download Muggle Quidditch: Yes, It’s Real! by clicking here

I’ve mentioned my involvement with my school’s Quidditch team on my blog a few times before, and if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll probably see me tweet about it every once in a while, so through me, you may know the sport exists, but this guide really delves into all the smaller aspects that I know people are curious about.

Anyway, since it’s not being sold, whether you download it or not doesn’t really affect me, but if you have an interest in Harry Potter or this sport and want to learn more, please give it a read! I worked really, really, really hard on it and I’d love for people other than my mom and my teammates to enjoy it. If you do download it, I’d also love for you to take a few seconds to rate it on the iTunes store. It’d mean a lot!

Anyway, I’m so glad I can share this with you! I spent months working on it but I didn’t want to share news of it until it was available, so I’m thrilled to be able to tell everyone about it now! This is my first taste of official publication and it tastes super great! I can’t wait to deal with my actual novel at the end of next semester!

If you do download it, thank you so much! I hope you like it! And thanks in advance to everyone who’ll rate/review it and/or tell a friend!

That’s all for now!

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Monthly Look Ahead: December 2017

Can you believe it’s the last month of the year? Can you believe Christmas is almost here? I can’t, but I’m also not in the right mind frame for that. But here we are, and December is always a great month, so let’s get into it! Here’s what I’m excited about! Here’s my Monthly Look Ahead for December!

monthly look ahead logo

  • I can’t wait until the end of the semester! I have just another week and a half left but I have so much work to do before I can head home. I have final assignments for every class, and some of those assignments have several parts to them, so needless to say, being done with those will be 10/10.
  • Christmas!
  • But before that, Christmas movies! As soon as I’m home, I’ll have nothing to do except watch cheesy Christmas movies (and edit my novel). The cheesier the better!
  • Agents Of SHIELD‘s fifth season starts on December 1st. I am so so SO excited. It’s my favourite show and we’ve waited ages for it to return, so I am very ready for the emotional torture that this show is so good at for the fun.
    Image result for agents of shield s5 poster
  • Pitch Perfect 3 comes out on the 22nd. I adored the first movie and enjoyed the second, so I’m praying this one holds up well too. At the very least, I know there’ll be decent music!
  • Another movie I’m kind of interested in is The Greatest Showman, out on the 29th. It’s a movie musical and I honestly don’t know too much more about it, but the trailer looked cool, and the song in it is catchy. I’m always weak for musicals, so it’d be on my radar anyway!
  • The comedy Superstore is giving us a bonus Christmas episode on December 5th. The mid-season finale was several weeks ago so they didn’t have to give us a Christmas episode, but they’re doing it for us, and I’m excited because I’m laughing at every episode. I think it’s the only one of my shows doing a Christmas episode this year, so I’m even more appreciative for that reason.
  • Love of my life Darren Criss is releasing a new EP on December 15th so I can’t wait to listen to that.
  • I’m planning a few Christmas themed blog posts that I’m excited about. I haven’t written them yet, though.

And that’s what my December looks like! What’s going on with you guys this month? Got fun holiday plans? Let me know!

coolbean with Santa hat on

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Elementary School Then And Now

At my internship, I’ve been doing a lot of Twitter work, meaning I’ve spent hours scrolling through the feeds of various elementary schools, principals, and teachers. Now, I know I’m not that old and it’s only been eight years since I was in elementary school (feels a lot longer, though), but so much has changed.

My generation of peers are a very interesting group because though we grew up with technology, it didn’t consume our lives. So I can adapt to new tech and programs a lot better than my mom can, but I’m no hacker and I can’t really code. I’m pretty average, I’d say. Video games and TV and mp3 players and computers were around when I was a kid, but they weren’t a big deal. My life became tech consumed in high school and it’s at the point now where if I’m awake, I’m using some form of technology. Whether that’s healthy or not is beside the point. My point is that my elementary experience was very different to what I’m seeing now via Twitter. We had those big boxy beige computers in our classrooms, and I remember when my school got smartboards because they were the coolest, but only two classes got them (not mine). I remember using those bulky overhead projectors and using those black box TV’s on a cart when we watched a movie, and I remember when my grade 8 teacher had a class website but it was the ugliest Web 1.o thing you’ve ever seen.

Tom Haverford looking at an old phone with buttons

Nowadays, kids are forced into the tech life. They’re supplied with iPads and sleek laptops in class from grade one onwards. Every classroom has a smartboard, and these kids are learning the basics of coding (seriously!) before they learn fractions. They play with drones and can work a green screen and can do so much more than even I know. And that’s just how it is, I guess. They were born into this life of networks and screens, so of course they’re adapting and thriving!

What surprises and interests me more, though, is how technology has shaped even teachers nowadays, and some of these educators were teaching even back when I was in elementary, so they’ve grown into it. As I said, teachers and schools and principals and superintendents all have Twitter accounts, and they’re all active, sharing educational tips and articles and all that (my internship supervisor and I think it’s board-mandated, but we’re not sure). But what they’re also doing is sharing their days and showcasing classwork. Some days I’ll see around ten tweets from one teacher just showing pictures of art or projects done or what the kids did in class that day. They’re usually not doing it in a braggy way, they’re just documenting it and showing parents and other teachers what the kids learned and created, and I’ll admit it’s kind of cool to see their work. I think parents enjoy these updates, too.

But I’ve noticed that most of these pictures include the students in them. Sometimes they’ll be posed, but sometimes they’ll be candids, and that really fascinates me because that means the teachers must always have their phones out, ready to snap a picture, all day. And before you ask, the parents are probably aware of this going on. Sometimes I’ll see those Twitter stickers over some kids’ faces, meaning those kids don’t have parental consent, and that is valid. I’ll also see teachers not use the students’ names and instead they’ll tweet things like “B and K painted this picture today during art!” But are the kids okay with this? Do they enjoy this? Are they self-conscious about this? In my elementary days, pictures needed to be developed at a store, so I have no idea what it must be like to always have you/your work posted online by your teacher.

Mean Girls mom with camera

Even the other day in my university class, we were doing user testing sessions of a product prototype my group created and my prof actually was going around with his phone. I don’t know if he was taking pictures or video or what he planned to do with it, but I do know that we didn’t expect it, and I was a little surprised that in a class where we learned about proper user testing and proper interview protocol, he was doing this without informing us. In the long run, I didn’t care too much and I know his camera was pointed at the prototypes and not us people, but it was interesting that this happened to me only a few days after I was wondering about these elementary kids.

And while it’s been almost a decade since I was in elementary school and as I’ve just explained, a lot has changed, you can rest easy knowing that some aspects haven’t changed at all. The other day I saw a tweet from a teacher showing a little structure a student made with K’nex, and I loved that because I remember building with K’nex in my basement (my brother, my friend, and I would build cars and race them) and I didn’t know kids even knew what K’nex were. I also saw a tweet from a school account informing parents that Beyblades and Pokemon cards were in fact banned, and that amused me greatly because I loved both of those growing up (I still have all my Pokemon cards) and I remember when my elementary school tried banning them too. Kids today may have iPads and cell phones, but they are still kids and even classic toys like Beyblades are fun for them too.

Donna Meagle giving respect

Anyhoo, those are just some thoughts I’ve had regarding elementary school and technology. I don’t really have an ending question for you, but if you have any thoughts on the matter, I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment!

That’s all for now!

 

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The Blue Sky Tag

School’s been hectic lately and my mind isn’t in the right state to handle a normal blog post anyway, so luckily I have this to share instead: fizzlesnoofson has tagged me for the Blue Sky Tag, one I’ve never been tagged for yet, so let’s all just sit back and relax and learn about me, because that’s all we’re getting this week. Thank you for the nomination!

blue sky tag

The rules for this here tag are as follows:

1. Thank the person who tagged you

2. Answer their 11 questions

3. Tag 11 people

4. Give them 11 questions to answer

I like to talk about myself in a casual, non-threatening way like this, so here we go!

1. What do you usually do with your spare time?
Watch TV or scroll the internet. I always have at least one social media tab open at all times! But usually doing that is just filler for the evenings when I can watch TV.

2. If you were an animal, which animal would you be?
A cat for sure. All I want to do is rest and be warm and be with warm people. I’m convinced I was a cat in a past life.

3.  Do you play video games? If so, which one is your favorite?
I don’t really play video games anymore (kind of just fell out of the habit in high school and now I find them too time-consuming) but I still love the idea of them. I don’t know if I have one single favourite game. I loved and still kind of do love Nintendo, so Zelda, Pokémon, Mario, and Kirby were all favourites of mine. I lived for those.

4. If you could meet one character from a book/ movie/ video game, which would it be?
Hmm…that’s a tough one….okay, maybe this is a weak answer, but maybe I’d meet Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter, just so I can grill him on why he withheld information from Harry and why he ran the school the way he did.

5. What is your favorite holiday?
CHRISTMAS! Hands down. I’m listening to Christmas music as I write this.

6. How do you celebrate your birthday?
I don’t, really. Birthdays are like regular days except there’s cake after dinner. In mid-high school I realized that I didn’t really have enough friends to really throw myself a party, I just kind of stopped caring about how I celebrated.

7. Which element would you want control over: earth, wind, water, or fire?
Water because I could do the most with it. I could put out forest fires, I could bring clean water to Flint, Michigan, I could part oceans for exploration…the possibilities are endless!

magically controlling water

8. Have you ever role-played before?
Negative.

9. What’s your favorite music genre?
Pop, I guess, but that’s really broad, and honestly I don’t like most mainstream music these days. Basically, I like upbeat fun songs with catchy melodies and good lyrics.

10. Have you ever tried writing a book or comic before?
Yes to both! I’ve mentioned my book writing escapades on my blog before. The current status of it is waiting for beta reader feedback before I do another thorough edit over Christmas in preparation for the bookmaking class next semester. As for writing a comic, in elementary school I dabbled in that a few times. I’ve always liked to draw, though I’m not amazing at it. But I had a few strips that I managed to get in the dinky school newspaper (of which I was basically the editor, so it was hardly a feat).

11. What’s the strangest fact you’ve heard about something?
I’ve heard many strange facts in my life thus far. I have one friend who never ceases to shock me with some strange and nerdy fact every time I see him. But of course I can’t think of a great one right now. One go-to fact I keep in my back pocket is that the average human swallows an average of ten spiders in their lifetime because the spiders crawl into our mouths while we sleep. As a major arachnophobe, this concerns me greatly.

 

I know I’m supposed to tag 11 people, but I’m really too tired to do that, and usually whenever I do tag people, they rarely do it because these tags have been around for ages and some people don’t like them (which is fair! No judgment here!). So I’m only tagging a few bloggers who of course are under no pressure to do this!

A Whisper Of Ink

By Hook Or By Book

It’s Simply Me, Jasmine

Bizarre Brunette

Little Slice of Bri

And my questions for these great bloggers are:

  1. If you could try to play any sport, what sport would that be?
  2. What’s one TV show you wish you could make everyone watch?
  3. How independent are you?
  4. Who’s your favourite singer? (Or favourite band?)
  5. Who’s your favourite Avenger?
  6. Do you ever buy food at movie theaters?
  7. Who was your favourite teacher and why? (You don’t have to name them if you don’t want to)
  8. If you could immediately learn another language, what would it be?
  9. What’s your favourite alcoholic beverage?
  10. What’s one trend that’s popular these days that you despise? Why?
  11. What’s one bad habit of yours you wish you could kick?

Alrighty, there we go! This tag is complete and I can now throw myself back into schoolwork. If my nominations choose to do this, I look forward to your answers! And thank you so much again to fizzlesnoofson for the tag! You asked great questions!

Image result for thumbs up gif

And for the rest of y’all, if you’re feeling chatty and want to answer any or all of my 11 questions in the form of a comment, feel free!

That’s all for now!

 

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