What, Exactly, is a Hermitage?

I had the pleasure of a guest writer in one of my classes this week. Her name is Alice Pung and she is currently residing in a hermitage in Manasota Key. She had some amazing wisdom for other writers. She said to write everything down. Alice said if you don’t get out all the crap then you can’t get to the good stuff (this makes me think of layers in your mind with crap being the first).

Sometimes, or most of the time, I feel what I am writing is crap. Whether it’s for a short story, homework, or a paper. To be honest, I also feel more pressure to write well because I am an English major and I want to be a great writer. Then I stop. I realize we are all human, and we’re all still learning! I have also been told the first

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draft is usually not very good anyways.

To get to my main interest on Alice Pung (for this blog anyway) is where she is staying. She is at a hermitage. Apparently a hermitage is a beautiful building in which writers, painters, composers, etc. come to hermit themselves away. They spend all their time on their profession for a few weeks and pay back the community, like how Alice came and spoke to our class. Possibly you already knew what a hermitage was, or could have guessed from the root of the word. But I never knew we had one nearby! Hopefully more of the creative folks that visit will come and see us at SCF.

Final Papers

Oh the restless feeling of finishing those final papers, projects, tests, etc. The stress in my mind has finally eased a little. I just turned in the last essay I have to write for this semester. All that’s left is a single

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final next week. And there’s also that pleasure in knowing I worked hard to earn my grades.
I have to say this was the best semester I had, yet. Of course, each semester seems to get better, the more interesting classes that I can take, dealing with my actual major. I learned this semester that I am capable of writing more than just poetry and schmoozy blogs ;) However, my mind is warped out and I plan only to write the least thoughtful of items for a little while.�
For the more interesting aspects ahead: summer! My plans include taking a summer class, finishing up at work, giving birth to my new babygirl and probably not much else besides keeping cool. So have a wonderful summer, Floridians, I always counted it a blessing that I could go to the beach if I have nothing else to do.


     Is technology taking over your life?!?
     I know my sister enjoys the use of a GPS in her car, I use a calculator for advanced math (and sometimes less advanced math) and I tend to feel lost without my cell phone.  Technology and gadgets can be useful.  Taking your laptop to class for notes or using it between classes for homework is very effective.  More effective than signing in to the ARC and leaning over the keyboard and desk to view the screen (yes I find this annoying).  But do you rely on your GPS so much that reading a map seems illogical anymore?  Are you losing other skills, like driving, in order to text friends?
    I find that there is a technology balance.  A little teeter-totter that leads to cyborg on one side and hermit on the other.  I’ve teetered more than tottered, though.  Sometimes I find myself texting at the store and not getting my shopping done.  So instead of hanging out in the cyborg seat, hop into the middle for a more interesting thrill of face to face conversation and listening to the whole lecture your teacher is giving you.

More Quirks

     I was sitting in the student union one day near the start of this semester, probably eating chili.   Next thing I turn around and noticed a large, flat-screen television hoisted on the wall above the ATM.  This seemed like quite an upgrade of technology and it piqued my curiosity.  Then a few weeks later I saw one in the Academic Resource Center.  It turns out they’re a multi-functional educator.  They’re called Electronic Dispatch for Emergency and Academic Notices.  I probably would have given it a name you didn’t need to look at ten times before writing it down.  Perhaps ‘MCC News Television’, or even easier ‘MCC TV.’  Nonetheless, these EDEAN machines let the students know simple things like the time, weather, news articles from around the world and MCC sporting events.  They also inform students of emergencies like hurricanes and other important information for our lives. 
  Now that I have imparted one more quirk about MCC Venice to you, I will leave you one last tidbit: the cafe doesn’t serve soup anymore.  You have to wait until next winter… and I miss the chili.

Slowing Down

The end of each semester seems to build and build with busy. Days and weeks fly by so quick that it almost feels like a troll is running around plucking hours from your day. Then today I woke up and it was raining. I mean pouring rain so that those puddles form in the yard and the sky doesn’t light up with the sun. That’s the kind of day that requires you to slow down.�
We’ve had a few rainy days recently. The cloudy, cool, relaxing rain that lulls everyone into a stupor. What do you do on a rainy day that you can’t (or won’t) on a sunny day? Spring clean? Perhaps you have more time to read a book or sleep? But sometimes you can’t enjoy the slowdown of a rainy day. I think the nicest thing about a rainy day is that even if you still have the same things to do, everyone seems to be a little more

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lethargic about getting them done. More forgiving if you’re likewise slow to complete.
I feel that weather (pun intended) it’s rainy or not, every now and then we need to slow down and recalculate. Reconfigure our lives to make sure we are doing the things we mean to do.

Summer Classes!!!

     I signed up a few days ago for a Summer class – woo hoo!  Now, I’m hardly the one to consider Summer as a time for studying.  But consider these aspects before you disregard Summer Classes altogether:

          -Summer is HOT!  MCC Has air conditioning.
          -There are three separate times to take Summer classes, two of which are only six weeks long, versus fourteen weeks in a regular semester.  Check out the dates in the Summer 2009 Academic Calendar.
          -Financial aid may cover your Summer classes.
          -If you take one or two classes over the Summer then you could have a lighter workload during the semester or even graduate early!

     If you decide you’re interested in Summer classes, simply go to the My MCC link and search the Add/Drop classes under Registration.  There’s only so long to register, however, so hop on the Summer Class bandwagon soon!

Post Spring Break Lazy

I usually come into a new blog with an idea of what to write about. In this case, my mind has been on vacation over Spring Break. I travelled to the beach a few times, had some decent dinners

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happens even when I’m not Spring Breaking… Nonetheless, I haven’t picked up a book until today (Sunday night). That is when I picked up my assignment book and still decided to blow off what little homework I have for tomorrow. I’m not condoning the complete rejection of homework assignments (I have a long break tomorrow between classes heh heh heh) I’m just reiterating what I’m sure every student of MCC felt this week: lazy!
Yet here I am. I’ll still grab my cup of coffee in the morning so that I can make it through to my next cup of coffee. So plug your brains back in and get moving back to class – there’s only six more weeks of school left. Don’t lag behind in the last leg of class work!

Two Rules for Life

I had the priviledge to listen to Michael McKeever speak at MCC this last week. Michael McKeever is an established playwright with a wonderful insight into the world. Although my following points could have come from someone like your grandfather, they are my new key rules for life as a college student as learned from Mr. McKeever.
Firstly, he said not to let anyone tell you that you cannot do something… Something like a college career you’ve set your mind to and are loving the results. For example, my career is based in writing journalism and according to Salary.com (a very helpful site you should visit) I won’t be bringing in the most comfortable lifestyle. Yet I’d rather be doing something I absolutely love than something that I don’t. That’s not to say that following something you enjoy won’t have its obstacles. But you cannot live with regrets.
The second key deals with the fact that you’ll be writing papers as a college student, a high school student and beyond college. The rule is that the first draft of anything you write is allowed to be absolutely terrible (in your eyes). It’s hard to just start writing a paper or anything for that matter. Once you get to the end,

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you have your base, and you can edit as much as you want. Most likely it is much better than you thought!


I have three oral research reports due before Spring Break. While it’s handy that they’re scheduled for the same week, it’s also nice that I have tools already provided by MCC for research. One tool is the Library Databases. You can access this by going to the MCC website and under the tab “library” at the top click on “Online Journals & Magazines.” This takes you directly to the database login. The databases are peer reviewed essays, statistics and other content. When I say “peer reviewed” I mean that the information is correct and reliable. Unlike when you Google your topic and are unsure of the facts.

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search.” If you don’t want to physically go to the MCC library, you can still find more and more e-books listed. E-books are files you can open in pdf format from your house or laptop. If you ever have trouble logging into the library or databases, ask your librarian or professor.
Well, I’m off to continue my homework.

Finding Inspiration

I love coffee. I find a perfect brew (hint: it’s not brewed at my house because

that tastes like water) and I dream about it. I don’t understand how people show up to class tired and tell me they don’t drink coffee. Coffee is like getting dressed in the morning; you must do it! It’s the feeling coursing through you that says, “let’s clean, let’s go for a walk, let’s get things done!”
Yet I also feel more creative when I’m tired. At One AM. Maybe that’s why people do their essays and homework last minute (among other reasons). That is the general time that ideas spark in my brain and I must sit down at write. Some people prefer music when studying or even exercise to stimulate thinking.�
What is it that you love to do? What inspires you to be creative or accomplish what you need and want to do? These could be two separate things or maybe they overlap (like coffee). I encourage you to think about the things that inspire you in order to be a more focused student. I also stir you to think about

those things that you absolutely adore, especially if you’re still confused about your career path or major. When I started

at MCC I was going to be a Computer Science major. Then I took a computer class and realized that even though I like computers, I love to write. It may not be so easy for you, and trust me, it wasn’t as simple for me. But through your life experiences so far there has to be something in there… some activity you fell in love with. And if not yet, then you

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