Tag Archives: science

Springtime revives me… and my plants!

18 Mar

Spring has sprung! Well, officially not yet, but my tulips, garlic, catnip (that somehow lasted all winter), and daffodils have sprung! I, too, am feeling a sense of refreshed motivation to take on the world and inspire my students!
I am fully aware this may be from my new organic espresso or my spinach protein shake, however, I attribute it in part to the sun, and the lovely green I am beginning to see in my garden!

The thought of the sun actually existing in the sky (in Upstate NY) really motivates me to tackle so much, including re-vamping this old blog! Of course, it will continue to be coffee-fueled, minus the Thesis updates! Although, I have a lot of research ideas (and multiple have-started articles) so there might be some new musings about that in this revived blog, too. Although I’m not sure which direction I will take this blog in 2016, I just know I love to write, so we’ll see how the blog transforms in the next few months. Enjoy the journey with me!

Back to my garden… I have just started, in between grading midterms, plotting how I will organize my plants and expand my garden this season. I do this annually using colored pencils, which makes the planning so much more exciting. You can say it’s my version of the coloring for adults fad going on right now, which is great, don’t get me wrong, just very pricy considering the costs of children’s coloring books are less than half. It’s a good fad to pick up, as it truly can help limit stress and keep areas of the brain that may have become dormant, more active.

I’ve been using colored pencils, pens, and crayons since my major sTBI back in ’07 to help me organize and to keep my amygdala in check (stress-reduction). I find that planning your garden with color is more cognitively stimulating than simply coloring in the lines of a pre-created image. You activate much more of your cerebral cortex by creating your own canvas (garden), organizing by length and width (to account for each plants’ necessity), and finally, in drawing the “full-in-bloom” version of your Spring 2016 Dream Garden.

Now, I’m no Neurologist, but I feel like I know a thing or two about stress and anxiety. (Just read any posting while I was completing grad school and my Masters Thesis and you’ll see! 😛 ) When I brought up the idea last year to my neurologist of plotting my garden like this, making time each day to work in it, and update the drawings, he was impressed with my rationale for doing this as an alternative to staying on meds to reduce stress. Plus, the extra o^2 from the plants can’t hurt! He might have just been humoring me, but hey, I’m definitely less stressed a year later. And, thanks to my indoor plant/planning during the winter, still no daily rx… I might be onto something! 🙂 Continue reading


Thesis Revival Mission – Day 1

18 Mar

#ThesisRevivalMission Day 1…. @ChynaTeresa

I’ve been all about thesis rewrite this past few days… thinking more than doing, unfortunately – but that’s all about to change! Thankfully, today after my chiro appointment, I was enlightened… the espresso and hot oatmeal breakfast probably helped!

I am so excited about the topic, the content, the experiment and everything surrounding my thesis, but I keep putting other things as higher priority… why, you ask? Well, thing is, after I finish the thesis my life becomes an adult life, which I previously thought meant I could no longer learn and would just fall into the monotony of waking up, drinking coffee, going to work, eating dinner, watching mindless TV, and passing out to wake up to the same thing tomorrow.

But then it hit me!!! I have so many great opportunities ahead of me that don’t necessarily involve such monotony! For example, Wednesday there is a career fair at my university and an ideal employer is going to be there. This business inspires me so much – I must work for them (and also, update my website, keep more active on this blog, organize my killer tangible work-related successes and present to them… by Wednesday). I won’t let this take priority over my thesis this week though, although these things will get probably just as much time, if not more today and tomorrow.

I digress. Overall, I was inspired to stop dragging my feet on thesis and to do so I’ve decided that in order to do so, I must incorporate my greatest distractions into the action plan of pure thesis-work this month and next.

How will I do this, you ask? I’m going to use social networking – Twitter specifically! Crazy? No! (Well, maybe yes, but I consider this idea to be brilliant!) What I’m going to do is utilize my main distractions (Twitter, Instagram, Reading blogs) as motivational tools by using a hash tag to mark my progress for myself, my advisor and the world! I consider it a side experiment, in which I can eventually make a student-inspiration theoretical model and sell the idea to Harvard. Maybe this is the espresso speaking. I really do think utilizing social networking as a motivation for my thesis to progress might solve the problem of wanting to get on there when I hit writers block to see what everyone else is doing.

In summation, I will use Twitter as a tool to successful tweet, read blogs, track thesis progress and do a little bit of writers block slacking from my thesis.

I welcome anyone to cheer me on… or to catch me slacking! 🙂 Promise, I won’t get mad!


Dennis Cardiff

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