creations pt.1

Some things that I’ve made recently…

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The story:

I stumbled upon an artist named Ellen Rutt (@ellenrutt) on Instagram one day and felt a magical wave of inspiration brought on by her work. Something about it just spoke to me, maybe the way that the simplicity of the shapes so beautifully develops into a complex intricacy when the shapes begin to play with one another or maybe just her use of colors, I’m not sure.

For the black 6×6 panels, I used construction paper and Elmer’s glue, and the white pieces are drawn on with Prismacolor markers. I pretty much had no plan as I was creating them.


music i’m into MARCH


Be Here Now-George Harrison

It’ll All Work Out-Tom Petty

Crabs In A Bucket-Vince Staples

Turn! Turn! Turn!-The Byrds

The Way We Move-Langhorne Slim & The Law

Heartbeats-Jose Gonzalez


Everything Is Recorded-Everything is Recorded (the yellow one–a true piece of ART)


Gregory Alan Isakov


Apple Music’s “This Is Us” Soundtrack

a letter to – part 1

I take a class here at the U called “CLA 1002.” It’s the second part of a year-long course that is designed to try and help freshmen make the most out of their first year in college. It’s all online except for the few instances where we have to go to different events in order to earn points, but every week we have a different sort of task that wants us to explore our resources and interests which we then complete by submitting an online reflection. Two weeks ago, the module that I was following was trying to help me dive into my true interests by observing what all of my surroundings and upbringing have taught me.

I had to write about where I fit into the social scale and about my family’s finances and how I envision my future finances. I try to be honest when I write these, because I know that my section leader probably gets a lot of super boring responses each week from people who waited until five minutes before the assignment was due to do it and half-assed it. So, for this week, I talked about how I was a white female who came from an upbringing in the middle class where we have always been pretty financially stable and never struggled to afford the things that we have really needed. Both of my parents are college-educated and hold stable jobs. This is the lifestyle that I am used to, and of course would be willing to adapt, but would like to kind of live my life in this financial realm if I can. I acknowledge just how privileged I am to have grown up this way, I really, truly do.

Growing up, it was expected that I become financially independent, get a decent job, and 100% go and get a college education. That’s just how it was for me, and my parent’s expectations were out of my control. This is all just how it was, and I try to emphasize this to make a point later on.

Ending the assignment, I had to reflect on all of my experiences in school and work that could influence what I want to do for the rest of my life. I talked about the lack of inspiration that I have found in the majority of my studies and jobs, and went on to talk about how I currently work as a barista in food service. I had one line where I said that ‘The only thing that I have learned from working in food service is that I want to finish out my degree so that I no longer have to work in food service.” This was a line that I thought was just an ordinary line where I was not super specific, but my section leader interpreted it in a way that I was not expecting.

She said something along the lines of that I should be careful about that statement because it seems like I am linking incompetence to food service, which would be a huge generalization and extremely offensive.

When I first read this, I was kind of shocked. I had just been social-justice-warriored and I am one of the most socially-justice aware people that I know. Look, I understand the point that she was trying to make. I really do, and sure, it could come off that way, but I feel like she really overreached here and assumed that because I was a middle-class white person from a financially stable background, I unknowingly expressed my privilege by linking food service to incompetence because I am just blind.

Allow me to tear all of this apart because I have had a few days to think it over and come up with a comprehensive and thought-out response. Let’s start with why I decided to get a job.

As a human independent from my parents, I have no money other than whatever money I have accumulated from my birthdays and odd babysitting gigs. This does not last long because most people need to spend money in order to survive. So, I got a job, so that I would have a consistent influx of money coming into my bank account. I also needed something to do with the ridiculous amount of free time that college leaves you with.

Getting a job with no experience is nearly impossible, as is getting a well-paying job without a college degree. Minimum wage is suitable for a college student who is beginning to save and doesn’t have to pay for her own education. It does not support much more beyond that, which is really frustrating.

I work with a small group of amazingly quirky diverse people who are all working this job for some reason, but an overarching reason to work this job is in order to pay the bills that life gives you. Is this anyone’s dream job? Maybe, but I really doubt it. Working in food service is hard work that gives me the inspiration to find a job where I don’t have to be on my feet all day and where I do soul-fulfilling work that doesn’t involve dealing with nasty customers every single day.

Back to the people that I work with. For some, it is their full-time job. Some of them work more than one job. Some are working this job to pay for college as they’re in college, and some are working this job to save up for college. Some are working this job to support themselves while others are working it to support their families. Our education levels vary widely, but we are all there to pay for something. In NO way does working in food service link to incompetence.

I work with some really smart people who aren’t going to college, and some really smart people that graduated from college a really long time ago. Hell, a large chunk of our smartest people in history said “screw it” to the education system. We all got a job there because we could and it would give us an income, no matter what size. If the option to be a billionaire CEO of a giant conglomerate of a company were an option for us, I’m sure we would all take it. But, we have to be realistic here. We are just average people who need jobs, and food service provides us with them, and that’s just how it is.

So yes, I am in fact going to college so that I can work in the field that I am interested in and yes I am very privileged to be able to go to college to make that happen. If I want to work in a field that deals with foreign policy and world economic systems, I have to get a degree of some sort, and if I want to work as a barista at Caribou, I don’t need to go to college to get a degree for it.

Let’s be clear, working in food service is hard and exhausting. Dealing with people, standing for hours, and memorizing all of the things that you have to memorize are hard things to do every day, and the hours tend to suck. When I said that I wanted to finish college so that I didn’t have to work in food service for the rest of my life, I truly meant it in that I want to work a job in my future that aligns with my interest, and since I have the privilege to go to college, I’m going to try to accomplish it. It NEVER even crossed my mind that I could be suggesting a link between work in the food service and incompetence, and I hope that I have made my point. Some brilliant people work in food service and I admire the hard work that they put into their jobs to support themselves and their families, and there are some really dumb people who are college-educated working jobs that require a college education. It has nothing to do with incompetence, and if you really want to go into it, you can dig at the increasing inequality that people in the world face and how unequal upbringings affect the types of jobs that people are able to get. I want to work a different job in the future because I just want to do something different. It has nothing to do with competence.

So, to my section leader, you assumed wrong, and you shouldn’t make assumptions about what people mean in your efforts to be as equal and socially-just as possible. There are sometimes where you can call people out on a one-liner because it is ridiculously offensive, but my one-liner in its context was simply reflecting on how working a job in food service has not inspired me to find a career as a chef or barista or even a manager of a restaurant because I just don’t like it. That is what the assignment asked me to do. Perhaps, she could have asked me what exactly I meant before jumping to conclusions on blind privilege. Just a thought.

happy fall

For a metropolitan area, Minneapolis sure does do fall pretty well. It’s actually really beautiful this year, the trees are taking their sweet time changing colors and the leaves are gently falling off of the trees in an elegant manner. The view outside my window has finally started to change into a lovely shade of mustard yellow, and I have no complaints.

Here are some pictures from my recent adventures:

These pictures range from spots on campus, bookstores, Uptown, Ecco, and a few others.

I’m enjoying fall while it lasts. Today was 75 degrees! In Minnesota!! I’m anticipating the day where the temperature just drops and we all freeze to death, but for now, I am enjoying it.

Rich People Problems book review

So far, college has taught me that I can do hours of homework a day yet still have hours of free time on my hands. I spend a lot of those free hours exploring the city, but for the rest, I have spent them reading.

I just recently finished Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan, and I have to say that I was thoroughly satisfied when I finished the novel.

This novel highlights the troubles that a very dramatic and wealthy few Asian families have to deal with when a family member passes away and it is uncertain as to who the her money should go to.

At first, it is very difficult to keep up with who’s who because there’s just so many characters in this book, but by the end, I was slightly more familiar (there is a chart though in the beginning for those of us who can’t keep track and get confused).

What I think that I enjoyed most about this book was that it was about a bunch of rich people and all of their rich people problems, yet there was somehow a genuine story and lesson that came out of a bunch of rich people dramatically anticipating who was going to receive the fortune, and it was even pretty funny at times, too.

I also enjoyed that the story revolved around Asian families and not the typical rich white people that we normally read about. I felt like I got a good amount of cultural education as I read it, and if a book can make that fun, I’m in.

Overall, highly recommend this book for a lightly suspenseful, genuine, and appropriately funny read.

stone arch bridge adventure

Yesterday was “free ride day,” so I went with two girls on my floor on a bit of an adventure.

Our goal was to go to the Stone Arch Bridge, but we didn’t really know how to get there other than it was by the Gold Metal Flour building off in the distance of the MPLS skyline.

So, we got on the Metro and rode it to the Viking’s stadium, and then walked to the building and found the bridge.

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I really wanted to get a picture of the bridge where you can see the arches, but after about five miles of walking trying to find a place where you can see that with downtown in the background, we gave up. No worries, though, I have four years to find it.

Next, we walked around on some of the cool trails on our side of the bridge, which was cool because it felt like you were in a jungle, and no longer the city. Eventually, we ended up on this beautiful street which I believe is called “St. Anthony’s Main.”


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After a little more exploring, we circled back around to sit down at Aster Cafe, which had live swing music and dancing going on, making me feel like I was in Germany for a short while. I got a pretty good iced coffee, the only downside was that it was $4 and it was quite small. College!

Lastly, on the walk home, I took some other cool pictures and realized that the Stone Arch Bridge is actually really close to my dorm.


Yesterday I went to Dia:Beacon, an art museum containing art from the 1960’s to the present located on The Hudson River in Beacon, New York.

Beacon itself is quite incredible. Filled with millennial hipsters, I truly feel like I belong. If there were a college in Beacon, I definitely would not have been so willing to ship myself to Minneapolis for the next four years. Beacon is truly one of New York’s gems outside of the city. Anything millennial and hipster-ish that you can think of, Beacon’s got it.

My friend and I first stopped at Bank Sq. Coffeehouse, where I got a delightful bagel with cream cheese and an iced coffee with a shot of caramel.


We then walked around and stopped into some of my favorite stores, including flora, my favorite plant store.

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The strength that it took to resist buying something here was unbelievable, but I had to resist because I’d have to figure out how to ship it and I’m just too lazy for that.

Next, we made our way to Dia, which was by far the best museum that I have ever been to. I have been to a moderate number of museums, but no museum has ever intrigued me like this one did. I definitely enjoyed the giant warehouse feel because that design style is my skin and blood, and the plethora of windows made it feel more open and less depressing than I have found a lot of other museums to feel.

Below are pictures showcasing the “warehouse” feel.

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Some of my favorite exhibits were the piles of random materials on the floor, such as these:

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And lastly, there were many cool light pieces, but I only took a picture of one, whereas all of my other light-related pictures came from my polaroid camera.

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Overall, there was just something about this museum that felt right. I don’t love museums, but I do enjoy going to them. I’m not one to really sit around and absorb everything that every piece of art has to offer. I applaud the people who truly try to understand a work of art, all the way from what the artist had in mind, how they created it, and what it’s supposed to represent or mean. This museum still didn’t really inspire me to do that, which was okay, but I liked the seeming simplicity of the majority of the pieces. The one exhibit, as seen in the picture of the white wall with the black marks, really made me think about how much work and precision went into creating that exhibit. The picture here does not do this artist justice, for most of his other works were insanely more complex and precise. It blew my mind that someone could create such precision on such a large-sized palette without smudging it.

Another exhibit that intrigued me that for whatever reason I did not take pictures of was the exhibit where for a good portion of the building there were just straight lines of primary or black/white colored string stretching from either floor to ceiling or creating leaning shapes on the walls. This one spoke to me because it’s something that I haven’t seen before, it looked really cool, and it was so simple. Anyone could’ve thought to do that in the shower, yet it’s a legit and precise work of art. Art is amazing.

I loved the light exhibits and the exhibit with the piles of random things on the floor because I know that even though it looks completely random, it was obsessively planned out to articulate exactly what the artist had in mind.

Most of the art museums that I have previously been in have not impressed me, and have always left me with the feeling that I’m sure many of the featured artists feel very often: pure depression. I don’t know what it is, but I just get such a gloomy and melancholy feeling in art museums. Not Dia. I truly felt my mind being put to work, absorbing the processes and work of the different artists and their pieces.

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A great way to start to finish out my adventures in the 845 before I leave.

Thanks, Dia:Beacon.

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Also, look at how stylish my shoes are. I’ve been looking for a quality pair of Oxfords that are vegan and didn’t cost over $100 forever and finally found these at Matt & Nat.

Can’t forget the chili pepper socks, an Urban Outfitters special, and my olive Tomgirls from American Eagle.