Tag Archives: students

Grateful and Guilty – Barnes & Noble: The Scene Before Me

Grateful and Guilty – Writing Prompt

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Note: The prompt asks the writer to discuss a guilty pleasure. If you haven’t guessed, my guilty pleasure is spending my free time in Barnes and Noble, preferably in the seated cafe area, and soaking up the environment. There’s so much more to learn beyond the books that line these aisles. Following this statement is my description of the scene before me on today’s trip to Barnes and Noble. I hope you enjoy it.

As I sat on the floor of my local Barnes and Noble accompanied by my purse and laptop, the building swamped with locals taking shelter from the rain, I took a good luck around at the faces present among me at the filled seats. Students, potentially from my university, families with small children giggling at the sight of a new picture book, middle-agers catching up on the latests magazine publications, hot coffee warming the palms of their hands. There’s a lot you can learn about the people you see around you just from observing their choices. What do I mean by that, you ask? What they’re eating, what they’re dressed in, how they present themselves among the crowd. Do they smile back when they catch your gaze? Are their faces buried into a novel, concealed? There are so many factors that come into play when you’re evaluating strangers. I often do this before I sit down, if there are choices to be made between seats. I like to scan the area and make mental notes. Who could I see myself talking to? Who seems to have the same interests? Are they reading that psychology book for study, or for pleasure? Do they look intrigued, bored, indifferent? Are they accompanied, did they bring their work from home?

This time, however, there are no seats. I begin fiddling with my fingernails, picking off the remnants of my icy blue nail polish. I can feel my leg falling asleep, and shake it out from under my other leg, stimulating the blood flow to my dead limb. I look up to see a woman packing her work in a rushed manner, the individual on the other side of her phone line consuming her thoughts. Purse and laptop in both hands, I wait for my approach. As I wait, I catch a glimpse into the conversation of the woman sitting behind her joking with the cafe cashier about prioritizing the production of the pumpkin spice latte. I feel like gagging at the mere thought of pumpkin. She evacuates, and I claim the table before anyone has the chance to grab it first, a little table in the center of the room. The room has grown silent, aside from the scattered orders at the cafe every couple of minutes. An increasingly apparent chatter has grown with the expansion of the cafe line, attracting the attention of the readers. They seem agitated by the sudden introduction of noise. And that is simply what it is at this point: noise. Words exchanged between the ten individuals are essentially indecipherable. Even with such a diverse audience, such a broad spectrum of types of people, Barnes and Noble still captures the essence of calmness, focus, productivity. It’s an environment that sparks and nurtures my creativity.

What would you say is your guilty pleasure?

Comment below.

Collegiette Clue-Ins: 5 Tips on How to Survive and Thrive as a Digital Media Major!

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1. Deadlines are etched in stone, signed and sealed. Don’t waste a single breath on making an excuse because most of these professors understand you’re a creative individual, a creative liar especially, and will refrain from giving you the opportunity to cop out. Granted, there will be some professors who will sigh and accept profuse bleeding as a minimally acceptable excuse but I wouldn’t push the limits on this one. They’re gonna say that if the blood wasn’t coming from your eyes or your hands, you could still manage a decent design.

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2. Start your projects early. In high school, you probably got away with frequent and conscious procrastination. If you have two weeks available to you, inhale and exhale digital design until you feel like you’re in desperate need of oxygen, submit your assignments before the deadline, and regain breath. It’s all about being punctual and knowing when you need to get work done and when to avoid clicking cat videos. Priorities, people, priorities. Get er’ done.

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3. If the work isn’t even believable to you, for the love of god, do not try to dispute the grade. I repeat. ABORT MISSION. Quietly accept that you can’t win this fight and prepare immensely for the next opportunity you have to pack a punch. That infamous question will arise in the midst of that uncomfortable conversation you chose to initiate with your professor, “why did you do this?”, and if you can’t explain your process, you’re a goner if you don’t know how to prove what you did was what was best for the assignment. Make your work not only beautiful but also believable! Remember, convincing yourself of the assignment’s success comes before convincing someone else that your concept reflects thought. You can’t teach what you don’t know.

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4. Don’t challenge the strength that is the copyright. Your grade will reflect your originality. Copying another artist’s work, especially as a Digital Media major, is like sinning in church. We’re all artists begging to have our creative voices heard, and the last think we want is to hear our concepts sputtering out of someone else’s distasteful mouth. Who would want to collab with a cheater, anyway? You’d be better off manning the project alone.

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5. Be true to your style at the end of the day (note that I said at the end of the day!). It can be hard to let this concept continue to house your mind because all of your Digital Media professors will want to tug your arms in their own direction and essentially leave you with no limbs to fight back from the artistic suppression they want to force upon you. I’m exaggerating, but seriously. You should do what you can to satisfy the standards of the class without sacrificing what makes your work a reflection of who you are! It’s tricky, frustrating, and saddening at times to feel like your work isn’t “A”-worthy at every go, but when you take all the knowledge that they offer you and your own creative spirit and merge them into this crazy artistic powerhouse within your mind, you can do anything. Seriously anything. Screw dreams. Let your art take you on an adventure worth working for!

Do you have any suggestions for all the fantastic Digital Media majors out there?

Comment Below!

xo Mandirito

Random thought: if you didn’t play the dumb card, you wouldn’t have to pretend to be offended and surprised when the person you find interest in thinks that you’re not on their intellectual level.

You can’t expect them to know that you’re acting out a part that you don’t actually play. It’s easier on the both of you if you just… be yourself….

Random thought: Pretty sure only the bamfs in this class showed up today, seeing as how it’s like hurricane weather outside right now.

Seriously. I almost got blown off the sidewalk….

Random Thought: Nothing Phases College Kids

I just saw a girl run by in a ripped, flowery business-attire skirt and broken stilettos, and in the process, pouring water on herself from a water bottle and shaking it through her hair, and a guy that was entering the building I was sitting outside of paused outside the building door, he and I both looked at her, looked at each other, there was a mutually weird understanding, and we both went about our days like nothing had been seen. Nothing needed to be said.

Since When Did Every Spot Become a Blind Spot?

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Large campuses house an equally large population of students. I get that. But I do, however, have a fight to pick with students, people in general, that can’t let go of their phones when they’re walking on campus. Why is it that, when I am slowly weaving through the maze of students on my way to my morning class, barely keeping my bike moving, or even upright, at the pace that I’m treading along, that the majority of them are legitimately not looking in front of them before they walk? What text message is so important that you have to answer it in the middle of the road, the middle of the sidewalk, in a doorway? Stop flailing your arms and throwing f-bombs and shooting the bird when you’re the one making the mistake, my friend. It’s not car driver’s fault that they’re driving where they’re designated to drive, or the bike rider’s issue to watch your back when you’re not even watching out for yourself. When is it ever okay to stand in the middle of the road, with or without a phone, if there’s traffic present? That phone you have glued to your face? Yeah, that. It’s a safety hazard. For both you AND me. And you know what? The fact that you think it’s your right to choose that for the both of us just plain sucks. You suck. I hope that text was worth raising my blood pressure, because right now, it’s boiling.