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Tips for a Happy Roommate

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Today is the day. The fall 2010 quarter at FIDM is approaching more quickly than I could have imagined, and new roommates move in today. You see, Allyson and I had two roommates, but around the middle of last quarter, they moved into a different housing situation. Up until now, Allyson have been living in a two bedroom apartment, but of course that couldn’t last. As much as I am bummed about not having all of the extra space and quite, I am way more excited for new roommates. I thrive on building relationships and being a people pleaser, I love being able to make people comfortable and welcome.

Before I left the apartment to fly home to Washington D.C., I left a few notes. They consisted of about nine pieces of paper taped onto an empty wall, outlining Allyson and my’s numbers, majors, interests, where they could put their stuff, all the quality information I’d like to know before  I moved into a strangers apartment. I feel really terrible about not being able to be there to greet them. I know how uncomfortable I’d feel moving into an apartment with food in the fridge, but I tried the best I could without being there to make them feel as welcome as possible. That said, being a roommate is a relationship all its own, and being a good roommate is a skill that must either be inherent or acquired pretty quickly. I could make this a top ten list, but I feel all of these aspects are equally important.

  • Be open-minded. Honestly, if you follow this rule- everything will go more smoothly. You can not guarantee that the people that are assigned to live with you will be anything like you, especially at an international, specialized school like FIDM. There are students from all over the world, all ages and all interests going to this school. If you’re open, you’ll learn more and people will feel more accepted and comfortable around you. And especially with all the experimenting that goes on in college, you can’t judge someone just because of something they are or claim.
  • Pick up after yourself. I’ve seen more room-lationships (yes, no?) ruined by the others living habits than anything else. Nobody is asking you to label every drawer and fold your underwear, but if you let milk spill out of the side of your cereal bowl, get up off of your butt during a commercial break and wipe it up. If your boyfriend comes over and has poor aim, make sure he cleans up. If you studied late and were too tired to pick up all of the textbooks and notes you left everywhere before you went to bed, that’s fine, but clean it up when you’re well rested please. If everyone picks up after themselves, literally 90% of the work is done. After that, share the duties of vacuuming and emptying the dishwasher or putting away the dishes.
  • Get used to sharing. And if there’s something you really don’t want your roommates touching, write your name on it or put it in your underwear drawer. Yes some things should just be yours, especially when it’s expensive or something you treated yourself too. The pint of Ben and Jerry’s in the fridge is rightfully yours, but honestly, don’t get all pissy when someone uses your pencil because it was on the desk or when someone takes one can out of your 24 pack of Diet Coke, especially when they let you have a bowl of their Special K last week. Now on the other hand:
  • Get used to asking. Never, ever, ever, ever take the last of something that is not yours. Refrain from using your roommates make-up. Keep your paws off of their new dress. Don’t think of touching their leftovers from last night unless they say it’s alright. While you guys are sharing a room, an apartment, a kitchen, a bathroom, respect is a human right, and part of respecting someone is respecting their privacy.

  • Respect everyone, even if you do not like them. There is no guarantee that you will get along with, or even like your roommate. But don’t yell at them. Don’t ruin their stuff. Don’t spit in their drinks. Just be mature enough to agree to respect each other. Don’t leave the room when they come in, just sit there and keep doing what you were doing. Part of college is growing up and learning to work with all types of people, because I can promise you, no matter what job you find yourself in, you will not get along with everyone that you are required to work with. Roommates are great practice, and by respecting them and learning to accept differences, you may actually find you guys have something in common. Okay, maybe not- but it’s only a semester, so get over it.
  • Don’t assume. While using the logic I wouldn’t mind if they brought a friend back at 4:00 am the night before my final. may be tempting when your friend is promising a fun time and you’d hate to disappoint them, don’t. The best way to avoid any situations in which you may have to assume their preferences, make a contract the first day. It sounds stupid and limiting, but it gives you basic guidelines to live by when the other isn’t around to give you an answer. If you guys both agreed no parties during finals week, you can always ask your roommate for a specific situation and you may be surprised to find they are much more lenient with the rules, but if you’re stuck in a situation in which you don’t know the answer, these guidelines are great ways to avoid a bad situation.
  • Make an effort to get along. Just because you live with them doesn’t mean you’re automatically friends. It’s easy for two strangers to live under the same roof, but the college experience is so much more fun when you love who you’re living with. If it’s their birthday, celebrate! Bake a cake and sing them happy birthday! If they are studying for a super important test, pick up a little of their slack without complaining or promise them a midnight IHOP run after they’re done. If you guys are sitting around on Facebook every Friday night, change it up. Offer to play a board game, walk around town or even just run to the local 7-11, get a bunch of energy drinks and pull an all-nighter just because. Watch terrible reruns of 90’s sitcoms or made-for-TV movies, bake a batch of brownies from a box and play never have I ever. It may seem you have nothing in common from the outside, but you guys are around the same age, going to the same college, living in the same room- you have more in common and are experiencing more of the same stuff than you realize.

Of course, there’s variables in each situation that can change these guidelines. But no matter what situation you’re in, be positive, caring and most of all, respectful of everyone. Good roommates can really enhance the college experience and you may even make a lifelong connection.

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Written by jordanelizabethandherblog

September 30, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Another Crafty Night: Vinyl Bowls

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Today was an eventful day of doctor appointments, Thai food, shopping at Kohls and Goodwill and a delicious dinner. While I was at Goodwill, I stocked up on vinyls because I needed them for a project I have wanted to do for a while. I wanted to come home and unwind by writing a post. I couldn’t think of what to write about, so I made something to write about. I decided to try out the project and the results were great. This time, I took photos (nothing special, just a point and shoot in terrible lighting) to guide along the way.

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Just grab any old vinyl. I’m sure you could find some old obscure records at a garage sale, but I wouldn’t recommend going through your father’s collection or buying overpriced trendy vinyls at Urban Outfitters. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what is on the vinyl, just make sure you have one.

Next, place it on a sort of pan. I used a pizza pan because- isn’t it obvious? But don’t worry if you don’t have one on hand, it’s fine if it hangs over the edge of a cookie sheet, it will reshape itself when you mold it to the bowl.

Set it into the oven at 220°F for a few minutes, around 3 or four. It should be soft and pliable but not folding over itself.

For me, I found it cool enough that I could handle it the minute it came out of the oven. For others though, you may want to just flip straight on/into the bowl. There are two ways you could go about molding the bowl. You can flip the bowl onto its rim and let the interior of the bowl take on the shape. I don’t prefer this method, but I had to try it out, right?

The next, and my preferred option, is to place the bowl right side up, set the record on top and gently push the center down into the bowl, forming the outside of the record to be about the same size as the bowl. I find this method to form it into the shape I was looking for and it’s easier for me to mold.

Either way you do it, the next step is to let it cool. It should only take five minutes or so. And there you have it. In a maximum of ten minutes, you have a brand new addition to your home, great for holding fruits, vegetables, chips and more! And remember, if you don’t like how it turned out, just pop it back in the oven and start over!

*I wouldn’t recommend putting this in the dishwasher, it could ruin the label and the heat would warp it.


Written by jordanelizabethandherblog

September 29, 2010 at 7:31 PM

Posted in Artwork, Experiences

Top 5 C.S. Lewis Quotes

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I truly admire few people. It’s not that I cannot accept their flaws or that I have too high of standards, rather that admiration loses its meaning once it is given out freely. I respect everyone- even with the most extreme dislike- I still display general human respect as a creation of God. Admiration on the other hand, belongs to those few I see as being the greatest of their kind.

C.S. Lewis is a brilliant writer and mind, a man of complex thoughts expressed through simple- yet beautifully choreographed- words. I admire him for his talent, his convictions and his intelligence. This man has penned words- sentences less than ten – that have changed my life, caused me to re-examine religion, philosophy, love and hold myself to a higher responsibility. I wish this man was my grandfather. Oh, the lessons I could learn. In my opinion, there are few wiser than C.S. Lewis and this is a compilation of his wisest words.

5.

“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

4.

“We are what we believe we are.”

3.

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

2.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

1.

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Written by jordanelizabethandherblog

September 29, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Home Is Where the Heart Is.

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I’m so excited to be back in your arms. I’m waiting for that moment, the first time I can get back on a plane to go to a place I call “home” and expect to see your face. I’m excited to be back to a place that I can unpack my luggage with you. It’s more exciting than any plane ride to come see you after months of your absence. This finally solidifies that you are my home. Something I’ve waited nearly three and a half years for is finally here.

We’ve built this world full of growth and flowing streams, gentle with banks of rapids. We’ve built this town full of good-natured citizens and cobblestone streets. We’ve built this family full of commitment and honesty. Until now, we’ve never had a place to default together. There has never been “our” home. Our home has never been the same airport, let alone the same coast. You have always been so many things to me, and though in my heart, you’ve always been my home- it is now a reality. It is now time for us to build our home in this world we’ve created and I couldn’t be more excited.

Written by jordanelizabethandherblog

September 28, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Posted in Personal, Prose, Writings

Watercolor Stencils Along With Tutorial and Examples

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Today had the potential to be a bad day. Between having not slept all night, my boyfriend being in class all day and the disappointing thunderstorms (I was really excited for them, haven’t had one all sumer- California has its faults) I could have thrown in the towel and sat around in smelly clothes watching trashy reality television, which is very appropriate some days, though I seem to have had an excess of those days recently. After my mom left for work and my sister left for school and I was stuck at home with my brother until someone rescued me, I went into action, determined to make this a good day. For two hours straight, I belted karaoke at the top of my lungs. That simple luxury of an empty house and free instrumentals on youtube perked me up quite a bit, though after I had exhausted that entertainment, I was out of ideas. I played video games online for a while, posted another entry on here and eventually ended up surfing the internet like I always resort to.

But I wanted today to be different. I am sick of wasting days. I want to learn something, do something, experience every day. So today, I decided to work on a project I saved a while ago that I intended to do on a lazy day, much like today started out. I had to wait for my mom to get home so we could go to the store to get the materials, so I spent the time left looking for the images I wanted to use. Right after dinner, we went off and the fun began. Here’s a link to the tutorial and my experience and results are after the jump.

For this project, I just needed to purchase watercolor paper and masking fluid, because I already had the watercolor paints and brushes.

Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor Paper 9×12: Michaels ($8.99 for 12 sheets)

Winsor Newton Art Masking Fluid: Michaels (13.99 for about 2.5 ounces)

Daler Rowney Simply Watercolour: Walmart (I think it was around $8)

and for brushes, I used a pack of Loew-Cornell brushes I had lying around my room. After researching the internet for about thirty minutes, I cannot find any information on them. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. You just need watercolor brushes. Actually, you more than likely don’t even need specifically watercolor brushes. Just get something to transfer the paint and spread it around.

I found images online and used them for all but one of my images, which is a picture of my boyfriend and I. That said, if you’re intending on selling these beauties, you may want to use stock/public domain images to avoid any trouble, or just draw the image yourself if you’re good with that sort of thing! I am just making these for personal friends, so I’m not gaining anything from it (besides being the awesome friend that gives you personalized watercolor stencils).

The process went fairly smoothly. I improvised the lightbox/window by putting a lamp under the table and dangling the edge of the paper off over it. Not the most professional way, but it worked for what I needed it to do. I found that by doing multiple pictures at a time, by the time  I was done with the first step for each one, I could move onto the next step without having to wait for them to dry, though I found my masking fluid and watercolor seemed to dry quickly. Here are my results (please ignore the pesky black paint chip on my scanner):

For my sister, the figure skater. I'm not too pleased with the lack of bleeding of the colors here, but this was my last piece and I was tired for the night.

My boyfriend and I. I attempted to use colors true to the actual picture, not too shabby for a first shot.

My favorite. I created it for my mother, but I really, really, really love it. *sigh* Being a good daughter means sacrifices, right?

Funny thing is, I started this project doing entirely different work. These are the last three I did. I love the other four, but I have to wait to upload them because they’re a secret. And I apologize for how poorly this is written, like I said, I didn’t sleep last night. I just had to get one more post up here because I know if I don’t keep on top of it, I will let this slip. Hope you all enjoy and try it for yourself, it’s really fun and easy.

Written by jordanelizabethandherblog

September 28, 2010 at 5:35 AM