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Airplane Tips

by Kristen on April 7, 2014

in Uncategorized

As I am now a seasoned airplane veteran (having been on five airplanes, all in the same trip), I feel I have some quality advice about flying that I can share with you.

When you first get onto the plane, you will have to find your seat and store your luggage nearby.  For big bags, there is a compartment above the seats; but if you have a backpack or purse and can shove it under the seat in front of yours, it will be a lot easier to access later.  Once you’re seated, you have to put your seatbelt on and wait until the plane crew has checked and rechecked the entire plane.  At least five times.  Then you begin takeoff.

When the plane first starts to move towards the runway, you may think to yourself, “This isn’t so bad.  It’s just like riding on the ground.”  Well, that’s because you are still on the ground.  When the plane finally begins to go up, you will feel yourself tilt as the plane starts to rise.  If things start to get bumpy, don’t freak out!  Unless everyone else on the aircraft looks concerned, you probably aren’t crashing.  Probably.  As you get higher, you can look out the window (if you are near one) and see the airport and surrounding city get smaller.  Eventually it will resemble a patchwork quilt of little streets and hills.

Soon you will reach cloud level, where the window view is particularly interesting.  Clouds tend to look like this:

When you are above them, as you can see in the photo, the clouds resemble frothy white waves.  I like to imagine I’m on a beach somewhere looking at a white ocean, instead of miles above the ground.

If you are taking a short flight to another part of the country, you won’t have to entertain yourself for long.  However, if you are flying overseas, you have a long ride ahead of you.  Mine was between 8 ½ and 9 hours from the east coast to London; I hope you can occupy your time!  Longer flights have TVs at each seat, with a selection of new and old films.  They also serve scanty meals, just enough so you won’t starve.  On both my flights we were served two meals, which differed depending on the time of day I was flying.  The food isn’t terrible as long as you remember a few simple guidelines to ordering your meals.  First, when they ask if you want pasta or chicken, you always want pasta!  Even if you love to eat baked chicken; trust me, you need to order pasta.  They heat their meals on the plane, so any meat options have essentially been microwaved.  Or that’s how they taste, at least.  And as chicken tastes rubbery when cooked in the microwave, pasta is always a better option.  You should also know that they won’t wake you to ask if you want food, so make sure you are awake, especially at the beginning of the flight, when they serve the first meal.  If possible, I recommend asking those seated next to you to be vigilant and wake you when the food carts come down the aisle.

A word on airplane staff:  some are nice, some are cranky.  Stewardesses, I have heard, treat you with extra care when you’re an attractive male.  For the rest of us, we have to be especially nice to them and clearly make our needs known.  For example, if you look particularly young and the stewardess asks you what you would like to drink, she may try to give you apple juice when you ask for the complementary glass of wine.  You will have to speak more loudly and correct her if you want to get what you actually requested.  Or take the juice meekly and try again on your next flight.

If you plan to sleep on your flight, I recommend purchasing a travel pillow.  They are small and fit around your neck to give you some comfort while trying to sleep in your nearly upright seat.  Overseas flights, at least on US Airways, provide small pillows and thin blankets, but it’s difficult to find a position in which you can lean your head on the pillow without dropping it onto the person next to you.  I also recommend bringing your own headphones; while overseas flights do hand out earphones, they suck, so bring your own if you want to listen to music or watch a movie.

You know how it feels when you’re driving and have to make an abrupt stop?  That is how landing feels, except it lasts longer than a few seconds.  When the plane starts to land, you will definitely want to be back in your seat with your seatbelt securely fastened.  When it’s safe to move again, the seatbelt light will go off above you, and you can stand and stretch before picking up your bag or other belongings.  Then, after another five minutes or so of waiting for everyone else to get off the plane, you can exit and be on your way to a great vacation!

I’ll stick in a few more Europe photos for you before you go.  Have a good week!

More of the Irish countryside

Oxford University

Bridge in London

An Underground Railway Station

Double Decker Bus, London

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I’m gonna take this opportunity to chat a bit about a workshop I’m doing for the Human Environmental Sciences department this week – Wednesday, April 2nd, at 11am to be precise. The presentation I’m giving is based off of a project I did in my Methods in Teaching class last semester, which in itself is based off of a book I read. The book is called “The Four Agreements”, the author is Don Miguel Ruiz, and the philosophy expounded therein is the way that I try to live my life.
The basic principle is this: all you really need to live a happy and fulfilled life is to take these “Four Agreements” to heart and follow them the best that you can. Here are the Agreements:
1. Be Impeccable with Your Word. This basically means to speak with integrity and spread kindness with the things you say. Don’t gossip, don’t lie, and don’t say hurtful things to yourself or others.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally. Be immune to the actions and words of others. Nothing they say or do is really because of you, anyway. It’s all a result of their own opinions, thoughts, and projection of reality. Don’t let it bring you down.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions. Communicate clearly with other people in order to understand how they really feel. You can avoid pain, misunderstandings, and needless drama just by not jumping to conclusions about why someone is doing something.
4. Always Do Your Best. You won’t be able to follow the Agreements perfectly, and that’s okay. Just do the best you can in the moment. Some days will be good, some days will be bad, but all you can do is take what is given to you and make the best of it.
The rules are simple, but I think they’re pretty profound as well. If you want to hear more about it (and get a chance to win a prize) come to the event on Wednesday! Hopefully it will help others as much as it has helped me.

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Kimi

Words of Wisdom from a Friend

by Kimi on December 16, 2013

in Uncategorized

Last night my friend from high school experienced her first robbery since she moved to Chicago 6 years ago.  Now, I don’t know what thief was dumb enough to try and rob this girl, my friend is by no means a helpless damsel in distress.  She is about 5’11”, always wears heels, so that makes her over 6 ft tall.  She is also an avid athlete and could outrun and out-lift any boy in weightlifting class — yeah she took that as her elective every semester!

Well, as she explained, she was on the train, headed home from work, and sat by the door like always, just minding her own business with her ear buds in, checking her emails on her phone and boom!  This young man runs up grabs her phone and runs.  Now, I by no means suggest you do what she did if this happens to you, but she started yelling at this man (she has great projection due to her years of vocal training) and chased the man down.  She was almost out run by him as he headed up a stair only to run into a K-9 unit.  Sadly, the police officer exclaimed, “You again!”

Now, this was a happy ending to what could have been a bad night, but due to her actions it could have even been a far worse night.  When I spoke to her she hadn’t even thought of doing anything but chasing the man down, that’s the kind of gal she is, however, she did say that she learned some very important lessons on how to not let this happen again.

She said her first mistake last night was sitting by the door; this is an easy hit and run point for thieves on buses, trainsand public areas.  It was extremely easy for him to grab her phone and go without running into any other passengers who may have felt a hero inkling rise in them.  Her second mistake was closing herself off to the world around her.  She said had she been actively up and aware of her surroundings her phone would have been out of sight and she wouldn’t have seemed like such an easy hit.  Her third mistake was placing those valuables out in the open and letting thieves know what she had.  Again, her phone was out, her ear buds were visible even her purse was open showing what she had inside.

Now, I am not writing this to scare anyone but to simply warn other women out there who, like my friend and like myself, find ourselves traveling this busy holiday season or even wondering around campus or other public areas.  Be safe!  Try and always be aware of your surroundings, and yes, that includes the people potentially eyeing you as a possible target.  Do not have your phones or tablets out so that the public can see what they may want to take from you.  I know it is so hard to not be on our phones while we are waiting, but it only takes one moment for that phone to be taken, and I don’t know about you, but I am not a physically threatening person nor do I have the stamina to run down the person who takes it.  So please have a safe and happy holiday!

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Erika

Studying for Finals

by Erika on December 10, 2013

in Academics

With finals underway, it is crucial to study hard and finish the last minute assignments before the semester ends.  One of the keys to success when it comes to getting a good grade on a final is studying.  At Fontbonne, there are many places to study.  There is the DSAC café, AMC, library, as well as your own dorm room.  I have a couple spots that I like to study.  The majority of the time I enjoy studying in my room because I am able to block outside noise.  However, I have started studying at the bottom of Medaille in the AMC.  There are cubicles with computers.  I like doing my studying here because I am blocked from distractions.  It is much quieter place to study and I get more of my studying done at faster pace.  I am not distracted by outside noise or any materialistic things. In the cubicles, I am able to zone out and focus directly on homework.   I put my headphones on and I am able to get my studying done in a more efficient way than I would other places.

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An Irksome Subject and BICYCLES!!

by Jeanne March 7, 2012

Hello everyone, This week I do not really know what to talk about. It has been a semi-stressful week because of my least favorite class… biology. Do you have a class where you don’t necessarily hate it, but you have the hardest time understanding it? Okay, maybe a little hate is in the mix. Biology [...]

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Determination, Procrastionation, Eating Disorder Awareness

by Jeanne February 27, 2012

Hello everyone, As some of you might have noticed, the Lenten Season started this past Wednesday. This year, I have been hoping to be less of a procrastinator. Lately, I have been putting things off until the last minute, which causes stress, the ripping out of hair, and the occasional yelling at the ceiling to [...]

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Green Laundry

by Marielle September 22, 2011

In honor of the Environmental Club’s “Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent” program on Thursday night, I’m going to leave you all with a few tips on how to make doing your laundry better for the environment! Don’t toss those jeans into the laundry after just one wear! Put hangers on a doorknob or curtain [...]

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College Quick Tips

by Lee November 1, 2010

Top Ten Survival Tips (in no particular order) Keep the following in mind! 1. Go to class (on a regular basis. Avoid being late, everyone hates that person!) 2. Participate in class (if you’re waking up at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. or anytime, make it worth it) 3. Do your homework! It will help [...]

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