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Category: Choose Joy

How to Survive Your Undergraduate Degree – A Guide for the Young Folk

How to Survive Your Undergraduate Degree – A Guide for the Young Folk

Hello undergraduate students of UCR! It’s me, that old person on campus who you tend to ask for directions because she appears to have been to college for a long time. Unfortunately, I’m just as clueless as you are when it comes to finding the rooms in the Humanities & Social Sciences building… but I do have a few tips for you in other areas. You see, because I am a mature student (read: old) and have successfully completed an undergraduate…

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Someone You Don’t Know

Someone You Don’t Know

My apartment is finally to the point that I’m not walking around piles of boxes. The counters aren’t covered in stacks of mementos. All my art is hung on the walls. But I’m still a little out of sorts. Don’t get me wrong – things are better than they were one or two weeks ago. When I first got here, I didn’t predict how much the lack of structure would unnerve me. For the first time since I was sixteen,…

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Photography Friday – Fushimi Inari

Photography Friday – Fushimi Inari

The place I was most excited to go in all of Japan was the Fushimi Inari shrine outside of Kyoto. It’s a Shinto shrine dedicated to foxes, which the Japanese believe are messengers that connect people to the world of spirits. Fushimini Inari is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kyoto. Its path up the mountain is lined with red Tori gates, making for probably the prettiest hike you’ll ever go on when it comes to architecture. Since…

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Photography Friday – Japanese Gardens

Photography Friday – Japanese Gardens

It’s been a pretty whirlwind week over here in SMTT land. Between getting my house ready to put on the market for lease, writing some posts for Jumper Nation, riding nerd horse, looking for apartments in California and smattering in some social activities between all of that… my blogging power is fairly zapped at the moment. Because I need a bit of a zen break, I’m going to share some photos from my Japan trip today. These were all taken…

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An Influx of Temples in Kyoto

An Influx of Temples in Kyoto

For the first half of my Japan trip, Kyoto was burning a hole in the back of my head. Each time we saw a temple in Tokyo or any of the other towns we visited I couldn’t help but think, I wonder how much more awesome they’re going to be in Kyoto. Once I got there, I realized that it wasn’t so much that the temples were better in Kyoto… it’s that they are everywhere. You can’t throw a stick in Kyoto…

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What I’ve Tamed

What I’ve Tamed

I’ve written about The Little Prince on this blog before. I wrote about how Tim’s crooked path led me to discover the book (as many other things I’ve discovered), and how it helped grieve the loss of him. The words in that little children’s book gave a different meaning to death, and I needed them at the time. I keep them with me, but that’s not all I took from the book. There’s a passage in The Little Prince with the prince…

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My New Bae Samurai Cat

My New Bae Samurai Cat

This is one of those time periods where life is hard and lonely and I don’t want to do anything but watch Netflix in bed with my dogs. That doesn’t make for insightful writing, so let’s talk about something near and dear to my heart — Samurai Cat. Hikone is a town that we stopped at for a night between Hakone and Kyoto, and it’s a little bit off the beaten path. I wasn’t sure what to expect, because this…

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Trip to Texas Beaches

Trip to Texas Beaches

Even though I’ve lived in Austin for seven years, I’ve never been to a Texas beach. It seemed like native Texans were the most hard on them. “Don’t bother!” “Watch out for flesh eating bacteria.” “You’re not missing anything.” “It depends on how recently the tractor has drug for seaweed.” Still, I like to explore around where I live so I decided to round up some friends to rent a house for a weekend in the sun. And honestly? It…

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