Tag Archive | flowers

Labor Day Getaway

On Labor Day, my family stopped by to snatch me away for a little long-weekend trip. We went to Callaway Gardens and stayed in a really nice little cabin in the woods, right at the edge of the park. We rode bikes, walked, went swimming, saw butterflies, watched movies, and just generally caught up, for it had been a month since I had seen my family and we had all missed each other greatly.

One of the main attractions of the trip, other than getting to see one another and finish another season of Game of Thrones, obviously, was Callaway’s annual hot air balloon festival. Every evening, crews of people inflated a total of about twelve rainbow monsters using terrifyingly large flames. The balloons were beautiful, and I had never seen so many all in one place, nor in real life, before. They were fascinating and gorgeous and totally photogenic, as you’ll soon see.

Another highlight of the trip was the ropes course my brothers and I did. I had never done one of those before either, and was surprised, not by the heights or obstacles, but by how much of it I could actually do. I was also surprised by the fact that ninety percent of it was moving carabiner around to different wires. My brothers were competitive and urged me on constantly, making it all the more stressful but exciting and fun.

On Sunday night, we went to see the final balloon light show at the lake beach. The balloons were even more breathtaking than before, once you overlooked the cheesy pop music in the background. In fact, everything about the beach that weekend was a little cheesy—but in a good way. It was like an old-timey, vintage carnival, complete with cotton candy stands, shuffleboard, and over-sized chess sets. The entire festival vibe was contagious and quaint. There were children running about, dance songs playing, and adults waiting in line for margaritas. People played volleyball, splashed, and danced on the beach all day. It was a blast, even just people-watching and wandering about.

Finally, yes, my mom and I finished another season of Game of Thrones. It was season four and absolutely heartbreaking. You may know nothing, Jon Snow, but I’m still not okay.

It was such a wonderful long weekend, full of activities and relaxation alike. We did things at our own pace, did what we wanted to do. We wanted to ride bikes and take pictures and naps, so we did. We wanted to go see butterflies at the butterfly garden, so we did. We even wanted to watch a movie instead of hiking to see fireworks, so we did that too.

I got to see and spend time with my family, who I miss constantly. I got to get away from school and constant homework for a bit. I got to try and see a variety of new things. I loved every minute of it.

Arts@Tech Ambassadors

This semester I became an Arts@Tech Ambassador. This is likely my favorite organization that I am a part of; its goals and values mean so much to me, and I love all of the people who I have met through it. We have worked for the past semester to create a more artistic atmosphere on Georgia Tech’s campus. This includes bringing more art to students, developing events that will get students involved and allow them to showcase their talents, even create art ourselves. We have worked on several projects, such as an arts fair and a Piano for Peace, to highlight the creativity that is often pushed to the side or background as students go from chemistry lab to computer science class. We want to do things that are fun, but also things that last, things that will allow future generations of Tech students to feel comfortable and creative and happy here too. I have absolutely loved being a part of this goal this semester, and I look forward to continuing being an Arts@Tech Ambassador for years to come.

As one of our introductory activities at the beginning of this year, we went on a morning-long retreat to the Goat Farm in North West Atlanta, an artsy district that I had never been to before. The Goat Farm itself houses acres of studio spaces, inspiration havens, a really cool coffee shop selling real mate at “however much you think it should cost,” and goats. Real goats and fields, in the middle of  urban Atlanta. This outing was a lot of fun, as we not only got to visit some place new and artistically stimulating, but we got to meet our teammates and fellow ambassadors for the first time too. It was such a special experience and a great way to go into the many tasks would would come to tackle during the semester and subsequent years ahead.

Star Wars at Bobby Dodd

On July 8th, my friends and I attended a screening of one of my favorite movies, Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens, at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

I had been excited about this for weeks. Star Wars, on an enormous screen, in the grass on the field, with all of my new friends. It sounded ideal.

I studied and was a good little student the day before. I wasn’t even distracted by Buzz, who came and stole my computer for a moment in the middle of my Social Movements readings. (Well, maybe for a minute.) I got my work done so that I could enjoy everything fully.

Then the protests downtown started.

And, in my case, downtown meant down the road.

I have no opinion on the Black Lives Matter protests. Not what was being protested, not the tactics used, nothing. This isn’t going to be a political expose of any sort. I’m also not going to pretend that I’m informed about everything that was going on enough to make a comment that isn’t self-incriminating in some manner. So don’t get offended or read too much into any of this, please.

(Also understand that this is my blog and you are a voluntary reader. Also I’m like the biggest Star Wars nerd, so that’s where I’m comin’ from here.)

I was really disappointed that the helicopters overhead interrupted the movie.

There were at least fifteen coming and going, and they were so infuriatingly loud. Every scene, even the quiet ones, now featured war-movie sound effects, the sound of spinning blades and beating drums. My head pounded…or was it the laser blasts on screen?

It was mildly upsetting. I’d seen the movie before, but it still wasn’t what I had been expecting or hoped it would be.

Even excepting the helicopters, everyone around me only discussed what was happening on the news throughout the entirety of our stay. They weren’t even watching the movie. They had friends that they were worried about, wanted to check on. Two people even left the stadium to join the protests, mostly to say that they had been involved. (Again, this is just what it seemed like to me.) It was crazy.

I was disappointed, but not long after this, it was all in the past. Everyone moved on. When I went home, I rewatched the movie with my brothers in our living room, on a normal-sized TV. Sure, it wasn’t a jumbo-projector, sure it wasn’t outdoors, didn’t feel like a festival. There weren’t tons of new people to talk to.

But being cozy, being with my family, not having anything dangerous happening down the road, not having ten helicopters right above me, being able to enjoy the movie that I love? This was much more fun.

Buzz caught us studying!

Friends in a Field, oil on canvas, 1879 AD

The sky was gorgeous.

“Stop taking my hand!”

Shakespeare and Law and Papermaking, Oh My!

My favorite class this summer was—surprise!—my English 1102 class. It was a class about Shakespeare and Law. My teacher, Dr. Higinbotham, was absolutely amazing. I highly recommend her. She was so enthusiastic, supportive, and kind. (She’s also brilliant, but I guess that part is a given.) We had so many thought-provoking discussions, both in class and after. She encouraged people to challenge and argue with her. One on one, we talked about ideas and fairytales and research and Jane Austen. And she was as eager to do so as I was.

Anyway, I could fangirl over her for a while. One thing that she really emphasized in this course, however, was Shakespeare’s first folio. Dr. Higinbotham made sure that we all knew the year that it was published (1623). She made sure we knew how big of a deal it was. Because it was. Making books was hard back then! Actually, forget the entire book, making the paper itself was a feat.

This was something that she wanted us to experience and understand first hand. So, instead of having a regular class on June 28th, we trekked on our own to Georgia Tech’s own Paper Museum on West Campus. We passed the West Campus dorms, reached the paper museum, met our class, and were immediately immersed in the process itself.

We had to fill the tubs with cloth-based pulp and use the wooden screens to catch it. We took turns, struggling to flip it at the proper speed. We added things that we had been collecting over the past several days to our sheets.

I added flowers that I had unceremoniously yanked from a tree on Freshman Hill earlier that day. Being the Pride and Prejudice freak that I am, I had also printed out Darcy’s letter to Elizabeth to add. My English professor loved this.

Some people just added pictures of their dogs.

After we added these various things to our small sheets of paper, we got in line to make large pieces. Like, folio-sized pieces. They were maybe 12×16? Pretty large, and very cumbersome to flip. It took two people just about to collect the pulp and sift the water out. It was difficult, but it was really cool.

We got to watch as the paper was pressed, as the water drained and the sheets stretched and thinned. We had to wait a day or two for it to dry, but we got to keep the paper we had made. I still have it, and have used it to both write and paint on so far. It’s pretty, and handmade.

There’s something special about handmade things. I appreciate both the paper and Shakespeare’s folio so much more after taking part in this process—just as I have a greater understanding for Law and Shakespeare himself.


We walked through West Campus and it basically looked like the Pit from Parks and Rec. I half expected Andy to be down there somewhere.


We were able to put different materials into our paper. These are flowers from the trees on Freshman Hill.




Before and After

What’s in a name?

You can mentally fill in the next line if you would like. Everyone knows it. It’s Shakespeare for goodness sake, and Shakespeare is everywhere. Is he to blame for the glorification of roses?

Don’t get me wrong, roses are lovely. Particularly beautiful even. But let me tell you about peonies.

Peonies are gorgeous and smell so good. I almost wish I was Blair Waldorf, just to have them everywhere, always. I love them, enough to make another of my loves (books…in this case paperbacks) alliterate with them. (Alliterate…is that a word? Regardless, grammar is great and alliterations are my best friends.) Anyway, peonies *sighs dramatically.* It isn’t just roses that are romantically poetic.

So yes, half of my blog name is a lovely flower. The other half, paperbacks, speaks for itself. It also relates a little more to what this blog will be focused on.

That’s right, books. And that’s right, another teenage book blog. Only, I’m not solely going to post book reviews and write about what I have been reading (which will, admittedly, be a great deal of my content). I will also write reviews of movies, document my current Netflix obsessions, and babble a bit about things that I think and observe.

Yeah, one of those blogs. But I, personally, am excited. It took me so long to come up with a blog name. I even researched how to do it. The general consensus, though, was that sure, names are important. They convey who you are, what you’re blogging about. But truly, it’s the content that matters. Peonies and paperbacks are wonderful things; hopefully this blog will do them both justice. Even if no one ever reads what I spew forth into the virtual universe, I think it will be fun.

Who knew there could be so much in a name?