Tackling Zoom Anxiety - Public Speaking in a Virtual Environment
Public speaking has always terrified me. My heart feels like it's going to explode out of my chest, my hands get all shaky and often, I devolve into a bout of rambling that I'm sure throws my intelligence level into question. I admire people who can stand in front of huge crowds and express themselves perfectly without succumbing to major foot-in-mouth syndrome. I'm just not one of those people.
The Illicit Affair
"I don't know, Alex," Ibis said, crinkling her nose in frustration, fingers tightening around the phone at her ear, "I think Richard's having an affair. This is the fifth night in a row he's had to work late."
So You Didn't Win A Vocal Challenge?
POV. A new Vocal Challenge pops up and you immediately begin thinking about the creative angles you can take to tackle the prompt. You spend a crap ton of time brainstorming ideas, drafting and outlining your story and then you pour yourself into writing. You scour the web for beautiful media, photos and memes and happily add them to your story. Finally, all that's left to do is dot your I's and cross your T's and hit that 'Submit for Review' button. Done. Perfect! You promote the crap out of your story, posting it on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, you name it! Then, announcement day rings around and...you don't win. You didn't even place.
Cozy is a State of Mind
I've moved five times in the past two years, often to cramped, unsightly spaces with people I don't know very well because it was all I could afford on a student's budget. Other times, I've had to endure the unorganized chaos of roommates who didn't share my clean freak sensibilities. Or the understanding that leaving dishes unattended for three weeks in the sink (not exaggerating) was just begging for a rodent infestation. I've been awoken by the stompings of my upstairs neighbours who either had freakishly large footfalls or were perpetually dragging a ten-tonne boulder back and forth across their living room at 2AM. Conversations have also filtered through my walls conducted by my roommates about the merits of the African phallic member, repleted with excessive usage of the N-word, affirmations that immigrants in Canada should "speak English" and a particularly jarring assertion that I, a black woman, was a "good one."
Friends Is Boring and Overrated
Friends is one of those shows that has reached the level of popularity where people randomly quote it in conversation and can identify seemingly obscure references. It’s a sitcom that many people grew up with in the 90s and truly love. I must confess that as someone born in ‘98, I’ve watched maybe 8 episodes of Friends in my 22 years of life and even then, non-sequentially. I would just catch whatever episode was showing on Warner Bros when I came home from school. I don’t know much about the show but people always recommend it. I fully intended to binge-watch it at some point. Then, I realized there were 10 seasons. 236 episodes. That’s 4,720 minutes of content (approximately) and 78 hours of my life that I cannot commit.
- Second Place in Dear New Year Challenge
Back to the Present - A Letter from My Future Self
Dear Laquesha, Hi. This is me (or you, I guess) from the future. Don’t freak out, you’re not going crazy. I hope you’re doing well. Though, I suppose that I do know that you’re alright because I am you (or I was you?) 12 months ago. I’m currently penning this letter on December 31st, 2021 while sipping on a divine cup of chamomile, hibiscus tea on the precipice of falling into the 2022 New Year. Spoiler alert: the world did not self-destruct or crumble to ash in 2021.
I Had a Mental Breakdown on New Year's Eve
POV. It’s New Year’s Eve. I’ve just moved into my new apartment. It’s three streets away from my old place so I decide that instead of hiring a cab like any normal person, I’d just make multiple trips back and forth until I’ve moved everything. It’s -5 degrees outside, there's snow from earlier the day on the ground, in some places solidified as ice. I’m bone tired after making seven trips, my shoulders aching and I have a sharp pain in my lower back undoubtedly from hefting four packed suitcases and a sh*t ton of boxes up three flights of stairs.
Preparing for Winter at Zoom University - Tips for Online Learning Success
Well, guys! We're back at it again. Yet another semester of online school. I'm in my 3rd year of university now and I have to be honest…last semester was rough. The combination of distance learning, multiple group assignments, ridiculous amounts of work and being away from my family and friends for months on end did not bode well for my mental health. Shocking! I felt lonely, anxious and overwhelmed all the time. For an introvert like myself, it was also infinitely more difficult to make friends and connections this year with everything being shifted to online. With the new semester looming, I thought I'd share what I'm doing to prepare so that I have a more positive and fulfilling experience this time around.