Author Archives: Emma C

Amazing Youtube Comment

I just found this under the music vid for ‘Love Myself’ by Hailee Steinfeld:

Serena from the Revenge Era 1 week ago
I saw some people complaining about how she just made this song to look better and I honestly don’t get it. No matter what kind of music is being made, these people can’t be satisfied. Ever. If songs about sex, drugs and money are being made, people complain about the songs having no meaning. If songs are made for positivity and have a genuine meaning, the songs get bashed for “only being made so that the artist can look better”. What do you guys want? Why does everyone always have to find a flaw? Can’t we just accept that there is nothing perfect in this world? And look inside of ourselves before we try to degrade positivity. I feel like we’re entering a new generation of happiness and love, but it will never fully get there if people just have to nit-pick every little thing they come across.

Songs for the Heroes of Olympus Characters

Percy Jackson: It’s My Life by Bon Jovi

Annabeth Chase: Fire Under My Feet by Leona Lewis

Percy/Annabeth: Already Home by A Great Big World, Stand By You by Rachel Platten

Jason/Piper: also Stand By You

Frank Zhang- Fight Song by Rachel Platten

Reyna: Confident by Demi Lovato and Love Myself by Hailee Steinfield That last one is a tad optimistic, but I really think that a bit more self-love will help make a happy ending for Reyna.

The Amazons and The Hunters of Artemis: Run The World by Beyonce (to a small extent*) and Salute by Little Mix

(Come on, you knew at least one of those was coming, right?)


(* I’m pretty sure the Hunters especially would be pissed off at the high level of sexualisation in the music video.)

Why from Now On I’m going to Publish Posts Before they’re Actually Finished

It’s funny really, because I’d never have come up with this idea if I hadn’t accidentally published an unfinished post, and found to my horror that there was no way to revert it to draft form.

But then I thought: ah well. I’ll have to keep updating the published post.

And then I realised that not only was I surviving by doing it that way, I was TOTALLY LOVING IT. Because it lets me concentrate on the small steps, instead of fretting about how long it’s taken me to finish a post. It means that however little I manage to do, I’ll still have something out there.

Of course, I’ll still try and finish one project before moving on to the next one. I won’t have more than two projects on the go at the same time.

Otherwise, what are the limits??? I feel like I’ve stumbled on something that’s going to revolutionise the way I do stuff like blogging.

It can only get better (apart from some slight or massive plunges along th way) from now!

Who knows, maybe someone might actually read my posts!

Ciao hypothetical bellas, and happy blogging!

My Day Raising Money for Haven House

Today was my last day of National Citizen Service (awwww). But it was totally the best day ever.

The last few Saturdays, we’ve been preparing our Social Action Project, to help a good cause in the area. You don’t get to pick the charity, you’re just given one, and we got Haven House, a hospice that looks after children (from birth to the age of 19) with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses, and supports their families. My team was already signed up to do bag-packing for them at a local supermarket, so we came up with several things that could be done hanging around outside Tesco’s: henna, cupcakes for likes on the special Facebook page we were going to create, get people to handprint a banner for the kids, collect donations, hand out balloons and wristbands and leaflets, and (before) make some goody bags for the kids. About half of those went to pot- no-one could be found to do the henna and the iPad, leaflets and wristbands never arrived.

But who cares? We still did great.

The one thing that really worried me was the weather. Whether or not we could be outside our supermarket, and still be sheltered from the rain, was a complete mystery, and we didn’t have the money to buy a cover.

We were in unbelievable luck, though: when we got a shelter-less Tesco’s, our senior mentor, Princess, successfully asked that we got the Barkingside Tesco’s instead.  (I thought at first that she’d said Parkingside.) Not that it would have mattered, anyway- although it was freezing cold, there wasn’t a single drop of rain. In fact, as I remember, it was gloriously sunny! We complained with light-hearted bitterness about the cold and strong winds, but it was probably a good thing that we scrapped the henna- no-one was going to want to sit, with their hands exposed, in the freezing air for however long henna takes.

Before I write about the day though, I want to write about our Dragons’ Den-style pitch, to get funding for the things we had to buy.

It was pretty scary- I ended up in charge of the Communications team, and among other things had to deal with a list of scary practise questions: What if some of your equipment doesn’t arrive/is wrong? And in my own imagination: What will you do if the supermarket won’t let you sell things on the premises? Or if the weather is bad?

And that’s not to mention: I assumed that, because the Social Action Project is compulsory, we’d be getting the necessary money whatever. So when we heard that previous teams had been given zilch, I started to freak out just a tiny bit. (I do that a lot.)

But actually, the Dragons (Redbridge Borough councillors) were unexpectedly nice. Tulisha saved us from the only question that really stopped us short, and we got our £80. Our day of spending it went fine, although I was seriously annoyed when it was taken for granted that we would buy gender-stereotypical toys for the goody bags.

I was kind of pissed off, too, when we never used the banner I’d helped painstakingly decorate, not even back at the Youth Club (thanks to the owners of Frenford Youth Club, btw- it was a fantastic venue) with the other teams. But at least we had the goody bags to show support for the kids.

(I keep forgetting that I’m not writing an essay for Drama coursework, so I don’t have to be careful about the number of words I use!)

So, we came to the day itself. Freezing (seriously, we’d better get some snow after putting up with this!) but blissfully sunny. I got bag-packing first, which I’ve done before, but often found kind of embarrassing- don’t people think it’s weird when someone offers to pack their shopping (a relatively quick process) for them? But whether it was something different about the customers or the awesome cause we were doing it for, I finished it feelingly wondrously satisfied. Problematically, we only had two donation buckets, but they seemed to fill up quickly. I rather embarrassed myself by telling people who’d declined my help where the collection buckets were (‘if you’d like to make a donation’), forgetting that they could donate at the door, and get a sweet treat for their pains. Jesus, I really help I didn’t put them off.

After a hasty lunch break (incidentally, I recommend red onion in sandwiches for a bit of variety) I got down to the really satisfying part. First icing the cakes and biscuits (which was actually quite therapeutic) then, when they ran out (well, when I mistakingly thought they had-sorry, guys) selling them. You might remember that no-one brought an iPad to do the ‘Facebook likes’ business, and luckily, the Tesco’s management didn’t object to an ‘items for donations of any value’ scheme on their premises (when I heard that they might not let us sell items outside the shop, my anger was literally overwhelming: it’s for charity! And exactly how much profit could they possibly lose?). Anyway, they didn’t object, and this small kindness was incredibly gratifying. I’d been sure that the hospice would benefit more from hard cash than from relatively meaningless, brief nods in the bottomless ocean of social media.

And hell, did we get a lot of hard cash. At least, it seemed like a lot- we’ll find out, hopefully, just how much we raised at Graduation on Wednesday. The generosity of so many people was truly humbling. For every person who said ‘No thanks’ or just point blank ignored us, there was a person who took a cake or biscuit- when the cakes ran out, Princess bought more and when those ran out, she got mini brownies- and gave a donation. And for every one of those, there was someone who gave us the money, but declined a cake, freeing us up to make more sells. (Thanks, guys. It meant the world.) Although I wouldn’t make a town crier, I definitely grew in confidence when it came to loudly offering our wares. Young children, of course, were suckers for the treats, and 99% of the time their parents would give in and cough up. Really, some of them were utterly adorable.

Sadly, we didn’t find out how much we raised at Graduation (which was mostly rather boring) on Wednesday. But combined with our sponsorship money (over £300!), we definitely gave Haven House a lot more than we expected to. I think the volunteering was the best part of my NCS time. People who say that compassion, and helping others, makes you happier, are so unbelievably right. I got home exhausted, and cold, but feeling like that day, I’d actually helped make a difference.

How To Be an Awesome Leader

We all have times in our lives where, instead of letting someone else tell us what to do and then getting on with it, we have to actually step up and lead a team, whether it’s a team building activity for PE, a group project at school or uni, or managing one’s own company/ directing a play/ running a country. For example.

Some of us naturally jump towards taking responsibility for everything and ordering other people about, but for the rest of us… how do we procure a life float for when we fall/ reluctantly jump/ are pushed into the deep end?

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I published this post unfinished by accident, can’t work out how to make it a draft again. I’ll do some research and then update.

Develop your communication skills: It’s really important that you can describe exactly what you want, succinctly and clearly- in other words, without the other person staring at you then going ‘Wait… say that all again slowly’. Let your team know that they can come and speak to you if they need to, and don’t be God.

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” Yes, I am a false Odin. That’s exactly right. The big fella in the sky, he lied too. You all know it! Because what’s the one thing gods never do? Gods never actually show up!”

In other words, show up, talk to them and get to know them- if you take an interest in their lives, they’ll respond to you- and the task- in a positive way. And stay relaxed, because stress hampers your communication skills and stops you from tackling the problem. A sense of humour and optimism helps: get them to laugh at their mistakes, and remind them that you’ll (you and them) probably work it out in the end.

For more, this site seems to have a lot:

http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/improving-communication.html

.Be Confident!

Don’t do this!!!

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Keeping up morale is part of your job as a leader- even when you feel like everything’s going pear-shaped. If you create a calm, positive atmosphere, the others will subconsciously follow by example. Remind everyone that setbacks are normal, and to focus on the end goal- WHICH YOU WILL GET TO IN THE END!!!

To help with your confidence (this is actually proven to work) try Power Poses, as made famous by Amy Cuddy (see below)- any poses that a confident person would adopt, like standing tall with your hands on your hips. Hold each one for a minute or two.

Here’s a link to an awesome article that basically breaks it all down for you!

http://www.businessinsider.com/power-pose-2013-5?op=1&IR=T

 

Fine-tune your delegation skills: Trusting your team to make your beautiful vision a reality is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you take it all on yourself- perhaps because you’re desperate to get it just so- you’ll be spreading yourself too thin, and the quality of work will suffer accordingly.

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This is partly where the communication element comes in: get to know what each member of your team enjoys most, which chances are will be the same as what they are best at. Although you’re not killing 2 birds with 1 stone, the bird will definitely be certifiably dead: not only will your team be more likely to do a good job if they’re doing something they like and are good at, but I bet they’ll be pleased that you’ve taken the time to get to know them, and that you trust and believe in them. Also, you’ll have more time to do other leadership-realated things.images

Do it right, and you’ve got a win-win situation!

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Be committed!: The fact that you went looking for info like this suggests you’ve got some commitment already, but I reckon this is pretty important. In 3 words: lead by example. You can’t expect your team to put lots of hard work in if you’re not doing the same, and you will inspire a great deal of respect and motivation by putting in lots of effort, just like all the others. This includes outside work as well: if you’ve promised to treat everyone to drinks after work, keep that promise. Your resultantly happy team will be more likely to deliver top-quality work.

 

More coming soon!