and welcome to my blog!I'm
Brittany, and I'm majoring in Music here at Judson College. I have a passion for Christ, music, and people; and I love
quotes, polka dots, and the color purple. I live about two hours away in the small town of Dadeville,
Alabama, and I like to think of Judson as my home away from home. Some
of you may
have followed me through last year’s blogs as I had my first
experiences as a freshman. I
invite you to join me this year as I share new experiences as a
sophomore, and keep you informed about Judson’s music ensembles.
You've been staring at a blank computer screen for hours. Maybe you type a few words, only to hit the backspace key as you realize those words won't work either. You know that A+ paper, newsletter article, or journal entry is there in your head...somewhere. You run your fingers through your hair in frustration, and return to staring at the blank document.
Have you ever reached a point where you found yourself staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen, without a clue what to write? If you haven't, I am here to tell you: it's rather frustrating. So many ideas float through your head, but your fingers just don't seem to pick up on how to formulate what you're thinking. There are many things you want to write, but can't figure out how. Or, possibly the worst case of writer's block: not having a clue what to say, much less how to say it. I decided to look up a definition for this condition, and learned that causes vary from lack of inspiration to distractions (or even both!).
"So, what's the cure?" You may ask. After experiencing this frustrating predicament a few times myself, I decided to do a little research. I found some neat suggestions, as well as a few of my own cures, and I'd like to share a few with you!
Give yourself a break! Sometimes just a 15 minute walk outside can give you a fresh perspective on things. Physical activity increases the blood flow to the brain and releases nervous tension.
Choose a subject that interests you. While this isn't always an option, it's one that you should take advantage of whenever possible! If your emotions aren't invested in your topic, inspiration is much harder to maintain.
Free yourself of your inner critic. Sometimes perfectionism can stop you cold in your tracks. Give yourself 15 minutes to be totally free of your "inner critic." Set a timer and start typing - write whatever pops into your head, whether it is total gibberish, a shopping list, words that rhyme - whatever. The idea is to get your creative juices flowing. This exercise is so effective that many writers do this every day before they begin writing.
Read one of your favorite books or short stories. There's nothing like a favorite book to stir up some inspiration and make you want to pick up a pen (or put your fingers on a keyboard)!
Think of your project as a pizza. Eat one piece at a time. It is overwhelming for any writer to see a big project as a "whole" immediately. Start with a small section, even if it's not at the beginning, just write what you can. When you finish that piece, you will feel encouraged to move on to the next and piece it together.
I hope you find these tips helpful the next time you find yourself in this predicament. After all, they worked for me! =)
"If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word." - Margaret Atwood
Living in the South has taught me many things, such as:
- Sweet Tea is good.
- Frizzy hair is just something we come to expect on humid days.
- When cold weather comes, milk and bread will be hard to find, and no one is quite sure what to do with things like snow, ice, and sleet.
This weekend has brought us some very interesting weather. It all started Thursday and Friday, when my parents called to make sure I knew about the warnings for the weekend. Saturday night it was all the Weather Channel wanted to talk about, and Sunday morning there were definitely "concerned citizens."
I'm sure you're wondering why I chose to talk about the weather. Well, you see, I got to drive right in the middle of it!
Sunday morning, I got up with the plan of going to church and staying a few hours after lunch before heading back to the good ol' JC. As I got ready, I listened to the TV in the background. "And you can see the trail of the storm; we're going to be seeing a lot of sleet, snow, and messy weather over the next couple of days. We advise keeping travel to a minimum..." My mind turned over this information... I had a 3-hour drive back to school, and it was looking like traveling wouldn't be smart. After listening to the weather a bit more, talking to my parents and my roommate back at school, I decided to head on back. I stopped about 20 minutes down the road to get gas, and by the time I finished it was already sleeting! Needless to say, I had an interesting time driving back. The sleet turned into mostly rain, which froze onto my car. I even had to stop once to knock the ice off my windshield wipers to make them work again! As I got out of my car, I began to understand why my car was getting funny looks - the doors were frozen shut, and there was an interesting ice pattern all over my car!
I finally made it to school with fewer weather issues than I was expecting, only to learn that several of my friends had been praying for my safe travel. I found out later that where I was driving was the center of the storm path, and I was most likely just ahead of it. There is power in prayer, and it's great to know I have so many people that care so much about me!
I'm so excited about this semester! New classes, new opportunities, and a new year! Once again, my schedule is incredibly busy, but it will be worth it. I hope you'll continue to follow me as I blog about more events over the course of the semester!
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing" - Helen Keller
For many students, the very thought of that word makes them cringe. Oh, it is bittersweet - the thought of finishing a semester while cramming more tests and studying than should be legal in a week's time. Yes, every student has memories. As for me, I would have to rate this semester as the best. Why, you wonder? I'm so glad you asked!
Rewind: Day 1 of Theory class
"I'm so excited about the final for the end of this semester! I really think you are all just going to love it!" Yes, this was one of the first sentences to come out of my theory teacher's (Dr. Ransom) mouth. I couldn't help but try and wrap my brain around that sentence. "We're going to love it? What is it?"
Of course, Dr. Ransom managed to keep the final a secret the whole semester, and hold our curiosity as well.
Fast Forward: Last week of classes
I watch as Dr. Ransom walks in with a big smile on her face. "It's time to handout the final!" As she hands out paper, I see words to our step sing songs... "We Won't Live in a Castle," "They Say," "Candy and Cake," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," and many others. "Each of you are going to pick one of these songs and get these notes down on paper." I can honestly say I've never been that excited about a final, until I started to comprehend what she was saying, "Whoa, you want us to listen to the CD and get ALL those parts down on staff paper? THEN analyze the music?"
As funny as it sounds, I actually enjoyed picking through "Candy and Cake." While determining notes, time signatures, voice parts, and other things proved to be a challenge, it was awesome knowing I was not only helping myself become a better musician, but also contributing to my school by putting a tradition on paper.
It is that time of the year again! Christmas time may signal finals on the Judson campus, but that does not mean we don't have a great time during the Christmas season! Here are just a few of the events that happen around the Judson Campus in December.
Dress up day
Imagine walking around campus, and suddenly you see a girl wearing a candy cane headband (with the candy canes sticking up!), a Christmas sweater and pants, and some really bold Christmas socks...and none of it matches! Welcome to Wacky Tacky Christmas Day! It's a really fun chance to bring out the candy cane socks, snowflake sunglasses, reindeer headbands, and anything that looks like Christmas, matching or not!
Christmas Tea is a formal tea held in Jewett Parlors to begin Judson's official celebration of Christmas. The Social Committee decides on a theme and decorations. The afternoon of the tea, all decorations in the Parlors are unveiled! My freshman year, I discovered that Judson has some pretty amazing Wassail (commonly known apple cider), and I can't wait to try some out again. Christmas tea is also a great chance for my friends and I to get Christmas pictures all dressed up in formals!
After the Christmas Tea, the Music Department presents a program for Christmas. The word Vesper is a Latin term meaning "evening." We have worked so hard on this music in FAITH and Choir, and I'm excited that we finally get to present our hard work! This year our service is based on a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College in Cambridge, England. It's sure to be a program you won't want to miss!
One of the first things I do when finals are approaching and things are wrapping up on campus is to make a list of the assignments and finals I have over the last two weeks. I find it rewarding to come in after a day of classes or a test and cross one more thing off my list. It always helps to see an end to the hard work of the semester! =)
One of the best ways to see Christmas in the air (besides the amazing decorations everywhere...and Christmas music...) is the Christmas parties! Dirty Santa, good food, fellowship, and games are all things that make these parties something special. Next week, I get to go to two - One for Ambassadors and bloggers, and one for choir. Not only are these fun to attend, but it also gives a chance to get away from the books for a good break. I believe fun is in the air! =)
Seasons of Love
More than anything, it's important to remember the reason for the season. Christmas isn't just about the fun, food, gifts, decorations, and nice break from school; it's about celebrating the birth of Jesus. At risk of sounding cliché, Jesus really is the reason for the season. I hope we can each remember that this Christmas in the midst of the hustle and bustle.
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."