Motivational Monday: Grades Don’t Define You

 

 

Happy Monday, friends. If you’re a student, you’ve probably had a few days to rest and relax before grades were publicized. If you’re a teacher, you’ve probably been grading and stressing over submitting grades by the looming deadline (forgive my absence, but I was doing the latter). Now, depending on how well you did this academic quarter, you might either spend the rest of your break basking in the sun or sulking in the cold. Regardless of where you find yourself on this spectrum, I think it’s safe to say that students oftentimes go into a bit of a crisis mode when midterm and quarterly/semester grades are due, and as much as you may feel the weight of your academic careers bearing heavily on your shoulders, I have to let you in on a little secret: grades do not define you.

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Tuesday Tunesday: Get Pumped Up!

Happy Tunesday, friends! We are less than 24 hours away from the big announcement and opportunity I’ve been alluding to on Snapchat and Instagram, and to say I’m nervous is an absolute understatement. The butterflies are swirling about and my hands are shaking just thinking about it. When I feel anxious and worried, I try to take a deep breath and refocus, but when that doesn’t work, I dance it out! I turn that nervous energy into productive energy and use it to boost my confidence. So, whether you’re about to present your history project, speak in front of 15,000+ people (hint), head on to the lacrosse field, or compete in a major math tournament, sometimes we need a good tune to get us in the mood and remind us that whatever mountain we may face, we’ve got it! Here are just a few of my favorites:

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Kermit Says: You Should Go & Love Yourself

 

 

During my junior year of college, I took a course called “Representations of Women in the Media.” It was such a transformative experience that forever changed the way I interacted with what I watched and listened to daily. Like most twenty-year-olds, I merely consumed media, ingesting it in all of its forms without thinking twice. The problem here is that when we ingest it, we also internalize it, whether we realize it or not. Media plays such a huge role and shapes how we view ourselves, this world, and others. If we’re not careful, we can emerge with a limited and stereotypical worldview, pick up some destructive habits, and develop low self-esteem. Now, today’s post is starting to sound a lot like a sermon on media literacy, but that’s not the point, at least not entirely. Part of the point of this story is that after I learned to be more critical of what I was consuming in print and visual media, I decided to make a documentary as my final project for the course. I got a group of my closest friends together and asked them a series of questions about what they were seeing and how it was affecting them. The biggest point of this all, however, was what I learned in the end…

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Dear Kermit: Know Yourself, Know Your Worth

Happy Tuesday, friends! You know what time it is: it’s time for another Dear Kermit… podcast (finally). Today’s post is not a response to anyone’s question, but perhaps a piece of advice from myself to myself. I’m sure today’s post will touch on topics we can all relate to at some point or another: heartbreak, fear, pain, trust, (dis)honesty, self-love, self-worth, self-doubt, and the terrifying idea of new beginnings and budding relationships (yikes). I hope this podcast speaks to someone in the same way I hope it will help me. What a great reminder that any external love has to first come from within. If you don’t love yourself, who will? 

Dear Kermit: Chunky in Chicago

Dear Kermit,

I am f-a-t. Fat. Hefty. Big boned. Chunky. You know that Eddie Murphy movie with the Klumps? Well I’m pretty sure he wrote that about me. I’ve tried everything to lose weight, but nothing works. I’m usually okay with my body, except for when summer rolls around. I’m so self-conscious that I’d rather wear sweats than shorts. I can’t even dream of going to the beach—who’d want to see my cottage cheese thighs in a swimsuit? Bathing suits weren’t made for me. I don’t really know what I’m asking, Kermit…I guess I just needed to vent.

Signed,

Chunky in Chicago

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Kermit Says: Rise

You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, with the certainty of tides, just like hopes springing high, still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise that I dance like I’ve got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.


No matter what happens, where you are,

where you go, when you stumble, when you fall,

what people say, what people do, what people think,

what people feel, what life throws your way…

When the weight of the world is on your shoulders,

Always remember your purpose…

Always remember your worth…

Always remember who you are…

Always remember whose you are…

Get up, dust yourself off, and fly. Rise from the ashes like a phoenix.

Stand tall and be your most authentic self

Be braver,

be stronger,

be smarter,

be brighter,

be bolder,

be better than your circumstance!

Live your life like Dr. Maya Angelou:

fearless and phenomenal

(and don’t forget to help those along the way.)