Monthly Archives: October 2013

Crafting an Effective Writer, assignment from week 3

crafting an effective writerAs the results are open, and I had such a great feedback from this one, I wanted to share the story in here. Hope it will be enjoyable for everyone, as it was for the peers who asses it.

I sit here quietly on the bench. I hold my breath and watch the still lake through the luscious tree cones. Than I came back to reality. My friends make lunch in the kitchen today, but they can not stop fighting! I close my eyes, wishing I could get lost in my head and distance myself from the surrounding, but I can not.
Who put the chicken in the big pot? Who turned off the stove? Is the water still running? Who cut the cucumbers so fat?!
I had to get up and fireproof the situation. Maya, you take care of the salads. John, wash the pots clear out the mess. Ben, you are such a great cook, figure out what to do with the chicken and make sure you turn off every appliance after you finish using it.  I will set the table, and find some wine to go along with the chicken. Oh, and Christina, you know you do not belong in the kitchen, please get out of it before you break something. Why don’t you do, what you do best, and choose some upbeat cheerful music we can all sing along to and have some positive vibrations stirred again in this cabin? You can help me out afterwards in clearing up the table for the card games. OK?
Everyone smiled and started to work. After few seconds, Alanis Morrisette told us how Ironic we can be, through the speakers. And just few seconds after, Christina found the microphone, and decided she should tell us the same thing herself.
It turned out to be the best day in the cabin ever! We all sing our hearts out, danced and posed in front of our cameras and dressed out in the most hideous clothes imaginable! The chicken tasted plain and dull, but Ben made the best vegetarian lasagna as a side dish, that just blew our minds.
I will always remember this weekend! We all will remember it. And we all will want to come back here and add new memories.

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The man who can’t be moved

Life will pass you by, wondering if you can jump in on the ride anytime you want. The faces you felt you knew will disappear, some new kids will move in the block. Yet, you are still standing, right there on the corner, where I left you ten years ago, still thinking whether you should pass the street and say Hi to the girl in the bakery, that grown up to be a lovely young women now.

Can’t stop myself feeling a bit relief that I moved pass the fear and stepped on to the concrete jungle. Walked to the other side of the street, walked to the station, bought the ticket and walked into the world. Yet, you are still here. Sadly, you do not even know what you are missing on. You fool yourself into loving the perception of security you feel in your old shoes. You know everyone on that side of the path. Everyone greets you and you smile and you say to yourself: “This life can not be better. There is nothing better than knowing your place and everybody else knowing it” . You do not even see the irony in the meaning of the way you think. 

I want to open up your mind. I’m bringing postcards and souvenirs form places I go to, wondrous nature, magnificent buildings or fun people. Sometimes, I even give you tickets to concerts and invite you to come with me. But you don’t… You never come… You never leave your place….

To be or not to be…complacent!?

Complacent

One state of being that I just can’t find ideal is the state of complacency. How can anyone be smug about the life they have, not finding anything to improve and acknowledge that should be criticized upon?

The natural urge of any human being is to find an area in which they do not feel content with and , sooner or later, they would do something about it. I say it is a human nature, but lately, I have found that there are so many people who do not feel human to me anymore!

Being OK with 100 pounds on? Being OK with your children yelling at you? Not doing anything about earning money, while spending your little brother’s cash like he just got jackpot?!

I do understand people who have turned the world upside-down to get where they are and than to feel complacent, to just live. But so many young, healthy, even intelligent people act so conceited that bring me to the edge of irritation!

Discover a cure for an illness, publish a book, earn a living, photograph Pluto, climb Everest, design the hippest building or build a robot! Than maybe, just maybe, you can act complacent! But knowing few people doing that, they become even more self-critical and willing to do more!

Try to do better than yesterday. Do your best every day, but make sure that you do better tomorrow! There is nothing more pleasurable, than to know that, at the end of the day, you have made an improvement in yourself!

Make up your mind

In 1 weekend

In one weekend you can read and research on a subject that you haven’t ever thought you would be an expert in. You will not be an expert in the subject in reading about it in one weekend either, but you would be closer to finding your stand-point on it. So, this weekend, I explored my view on the next step in cloning genes (after my country decided that GMO was OK to be imported without any restrictions) , after understanding more about the history of cloning and genetics. I decided to write this in a research-paper-like manner, quoting my resources and all 🙂 Hope it will make you contemplate on the subject as well.

DNA

The issue of cloning human genomes

Since the cloning of Dolly, the cloned sheep, born in Scotland, July 1996, scientists around the world have started to clone other animals, and the real question is how…

View original post 624 more words

The beginning

The smell went straight up to my nostrils. A weird nervous smile came to my face, rush of memories, bringing mixed feelings of happiness and sadness. Just when thinking that this was a mistake, I wasn’t supposed to agree to come here from the beginning, since, repeating the past is one of my specialties, I looked up and caught a glimpse of the plaid pants. The faces looking up and smiling at me were not aware of the supernatural emotional state I was in.

woods

Walking slowly up the dusty path I was wondering what was going on. With a big smile and steady handshake I greeted these new friends. All but one. I did not remember any names at first. Something was missing. Someone was missing. And then, there he was.

I do not think I heard him coming. I felted. He just walked out of the house, holding an apple in his hand. His scent was earthy, unique but still familiar. “Oh, new people!”– he exclaimed enthusiastically. Looking him, that first time, in his eyes made me so unease, afraid of what can happen, questioning myself if I am imagining something or he really is the only person in the world. Snapping out of it, while my roommate was laughing at me “Come on sunshine, wake up!” , I said a shy Hello, and looked down quickly.

My heart was beating out of my chest; my mind was having a battle on its own, while my body was just standing there, strangely, dendroidal, unaware of the surroundings. Someone grabbed my bags and moved on inside the house, talking in foggy, distant sound, luring me to come back down to Earth. I asked for some water immediately, hoping that I am just dehydrated from the road and nothing, NOTHING, else is going on. Send a quick text back home that I’ve arrived and all is well, the weather is fine and should be fast three days with these nice people here, I jumped, head on in to the conversation with my roommate about the room we were staying.

“This is going to be fun”– she said, pointing to the old, stain-full futons on the floor. We laughed, but knew that we had to do something about it. We called for someone to come and explain the sleeping arrangement for us and as the girl was trying to tell she would give us some bedding to cover the stains, he emerged from behind her, biting his apple and saying it’s not a big deal, “They are very comfortable, especially if you get very drunk and can’t go up the stairs because your head is spinning”.  I smiled, while the girls gave him a disapproving look. I couldn’t help but feel as if I knew him forever and forgot about him for a while.

He walked out of the room, feeling the silence he left over the girls and I walked out after him.

“Hi, I didn’t introduce myself before properly. You’re Bob, right?”

“Yes, and you haven’t introduced yourself this time either”– he smiled.

Oh, his smile was so captivating. His eyes were twinkling, showing how amused he was of my jitteriness.

“Right, I’m Sunny. I mean, you can call me Sunny. That’s what everyone calls me.”  I could feel my face blushing more and more with every word I was saying.

“All right Sunny, that’s a nickname I haven’t heard. Want an apple?”

What was it with him and the apples? I never really liked apples, but I took one anyway. It was funny how I felt like I had to do whatever he was. Be closer, easier to talk to, and friendlier than ever.

apple

Unconditional frendliness

The interesting thing about friends is that we always seem to lean on the ones we feel comfortable with and we do not need to protect ourselves from feeling vulnerable around them. We can be ourselves. We can be tender or tough, sarcastic or compassionate, acrimonious or  pleasant; yet they will not leave our sight. They understand us, snap us out of feeling sad or fear and they reinforce our confidence and self-believe.

Yet, we do not try to become this person, a friend to ourselves! Most people run away of an empty room, trying to find place full of people or at least, going online and hurrying into tangling with acquaintances on the social networks as fast as they can.  But this habit makes us cold and furtive. We run away from own being, following this daily pattern in carrying away our brain to be stuck in the outside, not allowing it to enlighten and bring freshness to our life. 

It is not difficult for people to be with themselves when they like what they see!

Meditation

The first step to friendliness is absolution. Train gentleness through meditation, little bylittle, forgiving yourself, your past, your mistakes, your sadness. Do it often, even for 5 minutes, but several times per day, so that you become accustomed to being alone and enjoying it. Discipline yourself to enjoy practicing gentleness. 

Confirming that I’m kind of a mess, gives me the starting point for untangle the mess. That way I can turn my energy to clear up the issues and begin to see the habits and patterns that rotten my mind and soul. Maybe you didn’t see yourself clearly before, your poverty mentality, always second-guessing yourself…could be the reasons why you were running away from yourself.  But the minute you understand the story you have been telling yourself, you can change the story. 

You can start to pull away from the malice, incorrigible, pattern and start writing your new, fresh, jovial, utopia-like, ideal life story! Train in acknowledging the kindness, to find your sense of humor and enjoy your heart , mind and body. Practice to support yourself and to learn more about your openness and vivacity. 

This can be very simple for anyone.The only thing you need to do is to just commit yourself to freeing yourself up for the friend living inside of you. 

The IceMan

Morning Angel

“The fridge is full and there is still nothing to eat” she thought to her self. “Just put the sneakers on and go the the bakery down the street to get some warm croissant”, the voice called again. She even forgot to put a coat on. Opening the front door of the building, let the cold air blow to her face and she took a step back, putting the hood of her jacket on the head. Her face wrinkled “Yeah, this is JUST what I needed, a blow in the face!”

She hurried down the street, not even turning to check if there are cars passing by, completely consummated in her own thoughts of how “This is just the worst day!”. Could not have gotten to the bakery more quickly than that day. The second she walked in, she took off her hood and exhaled loudly. The salesgirl smiled and…

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Crafting an Effective Writer

coursera

After more than a year of taking online courses on Coursera (https://www.coursera.org/‎), mostly in the Natural Sciences sector, I enrolled in a new course on Writing, named “Creating an Effective Writer”. It is one of the most perfectly structured courses I have been enrolled in, so far.

It is week 2 now, and I love all the lectures and exercises accompanying them. As a person who speaks English as a second language, who has never lived in an English speaking country and truly wants to learn the language in depth, this is the perfect course for me. Of course, many native speakers are taking the course, as they want to improve their writing abilities as well.

This weeks assignment was so fun! Developing a simple sentence into a short story. At least, that is what I did after writing more than the 12 unique words required to fulfill the assignment. 🙂

crafting an effective writer 2

The short sentences were very simple “The children play” , “The women walk”, “The flowers bloom”. There are so many adjectives and adverbs and phrases to add to this and build up the story with your imagination.

I really love the course and had to share the excitement 🙂

Small reasons of happiness

It was the way she felt when she knew what she was doing was bad and disapproving. But it felt so good at the moment that she didn’t want that moment to end. Ever! She kept doing it. Add more to it. Wanted to be a quick fix at the beginning, but as nobody was around,she felt the silence as an ally. Her lips started to curve into an intimate smile. Her eyes eased and her face relaxed. Her whole body loosened and her mind unwind.

She DESERVED this! She deserved to indulge in the things that made her feel good in the past. No matter how bad it felt afterwards, she knew she could bring herself back on the right track again.

This was delightful and fulfilling and she felt her stomach starting to warm up and cascade the temperature onto the entire body. It was love.

The smooth texture of the butter, the salty taste of the hard cheese and the sultry feeling of the sausage all were blended on the crisp white bread. Oh, the longing for white bread can be daunting after months and months of raw, unsalted, unflavored cups of blah!

She smiled at her excitement over a sandwich and lay down on the bed feeling silly as a child, but satisfied and happy.