Monday, 24 November 2014

Week 13, End of Semester Reflections!

This is my last post for English 1080 at Memorial University of Newfoundland with an awesome professor, Jonathan Parsons (whom I've had lots of trouble spelling his name). Overall, English 1080 has been a pretty awesome course, probably my favourite course out of my first ever semester at MUN. I'm probably a little biased, considering I love learning and analysing poetry and short fiction, and I have ever since I started school. My absolute favourite piece of literature we have discussed over this term is probably "Where Are You Going, Where Have you Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates. I found this piece particularly interesting because first of all, it has a lot of allusion. If you do not have some background information of this story, you probably won't understand it. If you do not have an underlying knowledge of the story of Eve and the tree of knowledge, or the story of Charon (the ferryman of Hades) you probably won't understand several of the allusions throughout this story, and this is why I particularly appreciate the time my professor takes to analyse the poems and short stories with his students. I wouldn't understand the poems or stories half as much without the analysing in class time with my professor and other classmates. The things I liked most about this class are what we focused on, like I said previously, short stories and poems. I liked how we have some freedom within the blog post, and I enjoyed how we weren't forced to read any annoying professor chosen books throughout the course which most of the time, I find distasteful. I do not want to read about things I have no interest in, which is another reason I enjoyed this course. If I did find something I didn't like, we didn't spend the whole semester on it, it was only a small part of the course, which I did appreciate. I do not tend to pay attention to things I am not interested in, and therefore, this course caught and held my attention because of how interesting, stimulating and new everything was.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Week 12, How To Make Cherish (me) Happy

This weeks blog post is a "how to" on making me, the author of this post, happy. Then, hopefully someone will give my boyfriend a link to this post so he can keep it in mind when he does something wrong.

1) Make Tea
You can never go wrong with making me some good old fashioned black tea. Not that foolish green tea or iced tea, I mean black tea with a bit of milk and sugar. The warmth of the mug in my hands, the delicious taste of the tea, who could ask for anything better?

2) Get Me Chocolate
Chocolate makes everything - or almost everything - better. If you expect me to share chocolate when and if you do something wrong, you better buy enough to make at least one person sick, because if I'm mad, I probably don't intend on sharing.

3) Play Video Games With Me
If I'm mad at you, and you want to do something with me like play video games, first of all, let me choose the video game. I don't want to play COD or Halo, or anything silly like that. I probably want to play Super Mario Bros or World of Warcraft. I don't like silly shooters, I want something fun and interesting with no little (and even sometimes big) boys screaming profanities.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Week 10, quotes.

"Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength."- Dalai Lama XIV
For those of you who have read my blog previously, you should know that I have a disease that sometimes I struggle with. Life throws you the worst experiences possible when you're least expecting it, and those experiences can sometimes be tragic and life altering, like my experience with my illness. It's something I have to live with everyday, my own personal little tragedy I deal with constantly, which I know no one else in this world has ever felt or went through exactly what I have been through. Your life experiences, even if they are a tragedy, should be used as your strength like I use mine as a source of strength. On the hard days, I remember that I am unlike anyone else. I am the only one who has experienced what I have lived through, and I am one tough girl to get through it all.

"Either I will find a way or I will make one." - Philip Sidney
Usually, people take being called stubborn an insult, but why? You have an opinion, you have a stand, you have a hold, you have a choice, you have a reason, you have an objective. You have other people trying to convince you that you're wrong or you can't do something? Prove them wrong, I have done it several times, and now, when someone even bothers to try to tell me I can't do something, it makes me want to do it even more, this quote, to me, shows determination, stubbornness and empowerment. You can do whatever you put your mind to. 

"Fortune favours the bold." - Virgil
A person who does not speak does not stand out. A person who is quiet does not get heard. A person who does not act will not be involved. Fortune gets manipulated by the will of the person, and if you are more bold, more willing, more involved, you will most likely have greater fortune because those who do stand out, and most of the time, that leads to good fortune in itself. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Week 9, Flash Fiction

With light wings and a heavy heart, she told her elderly mother her own step father passed away in the hospital bed moments past. It was as if a burden was lifted, because he was finally gone, but a weight was gained because she herself was left with the task of spreading the news. She felt this feeling before, years ago, when she tried to tell her mother what he used to do. How he used to leave bruises and cuts on her when her own mother went to work, with the heavy scent of alcohol laced on his clothes. “Tell her you fell down the stairs” he used to scream, “Tell her you got in a fight”. As soon as she told her mother the truth though, all those years ago, and even though there was evidence scattered across her own pelted face, there was no relief. Mother didn't believe her. This time though, this time was different. Telling her own mother that he was dead was a blessing in disguise. Her mother had to believe her this time, there was no man any more in the background whispering lies into her mother's ears, creating doubts in mother’s mind. She had the upper hand this time.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Week 8, a letter.

For some reason, I feel the need to educate people on two things: 1) autoimmune diseases and 2) medical drugs. So, here is a letter to whoever will listen, whoever is interested in hearing what I have to say about what I go through everyday, and for whoever wants to hear about a battle I have been facing for over two years now with an "invisible" autoimmune disease.
First of all, I feel helpless. 
My own body is killing me. My own immune system decides to attack and to kill off its own blood cells. Do you know aggravating this is? I have three or more little bottles of blood taken from me every Tuesday at lunch time, just to tell me that my god damn blood counts are low. Every. Single. Time. Low blood counts can be dangerous, for example platelets (platelets clot your blood when you bleed), once they hit below 20, you can sneeze and haemorrhage on your brain. Want know the lowest mine have been? They have been 1. I have been covered in bruises to the point where the hospital called in police thinking that I have been abused by my parents because I looked so beat up. Then, there are my neutrophils which stop infections. Of course, since my are low, I get sick often and severely. At one point in time, I was hospitalized for a week because I had para influenza, influenza A, and pneumonia, and on top of that, I'm always sick with some little illness or another and I always have a cough. Last but not least, my last blood line which goes low, is my haemoglobin. Your haemoglobin is what brings oxygen throughout your body, and especially to your brain. I was hospitalized over a month and put on over 1000 mg of prednisone (a monstrous amount of steroids) because my haemoglobin hit below 30. I almost went into cardiac arrest several times because my heart was pumping trying to get oxygen through my body and nothing was happening because there was none in my body to be found, my brain was literally suffocating slowly.
I feel bitter and enraged.
To treat this stupid disease, I need to be put on steroids, and to be honest, I don't know which one I'd rather have to deal with. My life threatening stupid disease, or the side effects of the steroids. Believe it or not, but these drugs are torture. First of all, I feel paranoid all the time because of them, I feel like someone is watching me, I feel anxious and I feel like I always need to watch my back. I always feel bothered and agitated. I can never have a moments peace, I always feel like I need to be doing something, and if I can't be doing something, I feel like I'm going to explode with frustration, anger or agitation. Then, the weakness. Steroids break down your core muscles at an extreme rate. I feel so tired. My legs feel like weights and it is such a chore to even move. My back hurts and I feel so upset. I don't want to move any more, it is so hard to get up in the mornings knowing I have to make my feet touch the ground. Then this tightness on my chest is overwhelming, and the steroid coated tongue which makes everything taste worse, and then the steroid water retention which makes my face explode like an ugly chipmunk, and then having to look at myself in the dreadful mirror each morning and see what my own body is doing to my face and tearing apart my skin, and I'm just so mentally and physically drained. Oh, and on top of that, steroids make you hungry. Not the "oh I can eat another plate" hungry, its the "I need to eat everything in this entire household" gnawing hunger which gets so bad I start eating the insides of my damn lips. Every single moment, every single second, I feel like I can rip something or someone apart. I feel so agitated all the time, and this isn't me, this isn't the regular Cherish who loves to play video games, who loves to read and play ukulele, who loves to dance foolishly when no one is around, this is the steroid Cherish who is frenzied. This is the Cherish who wants to scream and ask whoever the hell made her what the hell they were thinking, and why the hell she deserves this. I feel like I need answers, but I'm never going to get them. This is who I am, this is the battle I have been going through for over the past two years, and the funny thing is, is that I'd do anything to be who I was before all this crap happened. I was just a regular teenage girl. I was pretty with blonde hair and a slim face, with about 40 less pounds. I didn't have these scars, these bloody ugly stretch marks. I was considered beautiful, I was on the volleyball team, I played basketball, I was in choir, I was happy with myself, It felt like I finally found myself, which is everyone's goal in life, and then this rare autoimmune disease hit me. It tore me apart, destroyed me mentally and physically, and left me in pieces.
I knew who I was before, but this glitch, this disease, this punishment, has changed everything and left me in an unknown land. The only thing I can thank it for is for giving me a new fire, a new spite, a new animosity, a new anger which I have never felt before. A new spark which I hold onto every night, wondering why the hell this happened to me, and how I can use it to help the world around me, and how I can help people like me.

Friday, 10 October 2014

PARKING IN LEGAL PLACES: is it worth it? (Newspaper spoof)

A few days ago, I decided to go visit my boyfriend who resides at Memorial University's Burton's Pond apartments. Like most of the time, trying to find a parking spot anywhere at MUN is an enormous hassle, and this day for some reason was even worse. The only legal way for me to park is if I parked at the parking garage by the Health Sciences Hospital and walked all the way to Burton's Pond residence at night just to visit my boyfriend for an hour or two. To me, this was outrageous. I justified illegally parking by the side of the one way road for parking for people who live at Burton's Pond apartments. It wouldn't inconvenience anyone, all traffic could get through, just people who were backing up would have to be a little more careful than usual, but otherwise, I thought it was completely reasonable. After my visit to my boyfriends apartment, I of course, found a lovely little yellow ticket slid under my wind shield wiper which told me I parked illegally. Getting a ticket isn't the worst thing in the world, but it certainly dampened my mood considerably. So this was all fine, I know I parked against the law, and I know that I shouldn't do it again, I know that I have no one else to blame but myself for being particularly lazy that day, etcetera, but the thing that really bothers me is what happened today when I went to pay for this specific $20 ticket. So, here I am driving downtown trying to find a parking spot on Water Street to pay for this darned ticket. I find a parking spot, but of course, the truck who was parked behind this specific spot pulled ahead way too far and incapacitated my ability to park well and overly close to the curb, so I simply tried my best. A man even saw me trying to parallel park and even HELPED me get as close to the curb as possible. So, as I got out of the car, I thought I did a decent job of parking for what I had to deal with, so I went into the building and paid for my ticket. I was about 20 minutes until I came back to my car and realised, within that amount of time, I received another lovely darned ticket for my "bad" parking job (which I somewhat still blame on the truck behind me). I was furious. I was inside, paying for my ticket I received and then came out to another ticket double the price! To me, this brings up the question, is it even worth trying to legally park when you get a more expensive ticket compared to not parking in a parking spot at all and only getting a $20 ticket?