Thursday, March 23, 2017

Day 1543: No Rest for the Disney

Apparently I'm only stopping by to write blog posts for my creative writing class because I favor sleep over more writing at the end of the day. Ironically enough, this blog post is distinctly about how we don't need sleep...sort of. 

A few weeks ago we read an article on sleep for class, and while I'll admit that I completely forgot to read it for the class period we were supposed to read it for, I did go back and read through it afterwards, and I'm glad I did. The article, How to Sleep debunks some of the myths about sleep in an informative and somewhat comical way. As a college student, I can definitely say that the amount of sleep I'm getting probably isn't what I should be getting, but to read an article about sleep itself made me think about more than just my current schedule. 

In the article, James Hamblin discusses how much sleep we actually need, if caffeine really works, and my personal favorite part - if we can train ourselves to need less sleep. Hamblin tells the tale of a high school student in San Diego who stayed awake for 264 hours. He did it for a science project, and while I know for a fact that I wouldn't be able to stay awake for 11 days, I'm almost sold on the idea of training ourselves to need less sleep. Why? Disney World. 

If you've ever spent a day or two at a Disney Park, you might be familiar with the early mornings, exhausting afternoons, and long nights. Honestly, my motto generally is that there's no sleep at Disney World, because typically there's always something going on that you'll want to experience. So, instead of resting on our "vacation," we head to park opening in the morning and stay until we're the last ones out of the park at night. Then we go back to the room, catch a couple of hours of sleep, and get up to do it all over again. 

Of course, at the end of the article, he wonders how one might break the cycle of sleep deprivation, and in our everyday lives, that might be possible. We might be able to turn off our phones long before we go to bed, sleep at regular times each night, and drink less caffeine in the real world, and there's our solution. But in all honesty, I just don't see that happening at Disney. We need to be on our phones to post all the exciting pictures from our day, there are no "regular hours," because when Animal Kingdom opens at 7 and closes at 11, but Epcot's hours the next day are 9 to 9, you go with the flow, and with all the Starbucks locations now open in the parks, caffeine is all too easy to find. 

So sleep at home. Save the sleep deprivation for Disney World. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Day 1529: Reading For Fun

Our prompt this week for Creative Writing Seminar is to write about something we've been reading lately, or have read, outside of class that has either inspired us or put us off. If I was lying, I'd probably go on some rant about how much I enjoyed reading The Martian this past summer and how it really impacted me emotionally and reminded me just how much I love reading (although, is suppose, that wouldn't be all that distant from the truth). However, as Pinocchio taught me, I must not tell a lie, and that means that I have to be honest about the fact that I haven't had a lot of time for reading lately. Aside from my regular schoolwork, all my spare time has gone to rehearsing for Knights on Broadway, which leaves in just a couple of days to perform in Florida, or practicing my pieces for my recital, which is quickly approaching in just over a month. So yeah, not a lot of time to spare. Unless I learn how to dance while reading. That could be fun. 

I suppose I do  have that giant and ever-growing stack of books that resides on the bottom shelf of my bedside table, which features novels and memoirs I've been intending to read and may finally dig into sometime this upcoming summer (that's probably wishful thinking though). Still, even as I think back to what I've read over the past few years (which, as I said, isn't much), nothing really stands out to me as important in some way. Actually, it's almost as though I can't remember any book I've ever read (except, apparently, The Martian and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?). So no, I suppose I don't have an answer to the question about which book I particularly enjoyed or didn't enjoy, and maybe that says something interesting in itself. 

A significant portion of my life has been spent reading, and there are days when I want nothing more than to curl up on my balcony or in a comfy chair with some tea, a blanket, and some excellent music just so I can spend an evening reading the latest hardcover or paperback I've picked up. However, with being a full time college student, recently those books have been more in the realm of Shakespeare plays I'm reading for my independent study rather than something for fun (not that Shakespeare isn't fun). It's still reading, yes, and I can definitely still curl up with a blanket and some tea, but there's still a difference between reading for enjoyment and reading about the typical range of your average Bb Trumpet. 

It is important to note, however, that I typically bring books with me when I'm traveling. I almost always buy a new one before I leave, because there's always ample time for me to do nothing but read while sitting at an airport or on a plane. It's like time automatically set aside for reading. Unless, of course, I manage to finish my book before I even get on the plane. Then we have a problem. Coincidentally, I've also been known to do some of my best writing on planes, so perhaps I should be reconsidering my life choices and spending more time at airports and less time on the couch in my living room. The goods news here is that I'll be traveling within the next 48 hours (I'll actually be in Florida 48 hours from now), so perhaps I might actually get some reading and writing done then. 

None of this has been a description of a book that's influenced me though, mostly because I still can't recall most of what I've read in the past couple of years. It's amazing how your memory will fail you like that. So I'll just go with a blanket answer - it's not as much about what I've read recently or in my life as much as it's about why I've read. Reading (and writing) have been important parts of my life for almost as long as I can remember, reaching all the way back to reading a children's book called The Ghost Family Meets Its Match in my parents' closet every other week (the library wouldn't let me check it out more frequently than that), and all the reading that has shaped me into the book-loving English major I am today. Plus, there's definitely something to be said about all the wonderful books that inspired Disney movies over the years, because yes, this is still a Disney blog and I have to relate it somehow. Just think, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, Tangled, or Cinderella wouldn't exist if not for the fairy tales they're based on. Even films such as 101 Dalmatians and Mary Poppins are derived from the pages of a book, and those films have definitely inspired me throughout my life, so there you go. 

Which means that the answer to the initial question, about what I've read that has impacted me in some way, lies somewhere in between The Ghost Family Meets Its Match and Mary Poppins, although to be fair, I've never actually read Mary Poppins

I should probably get on that. 

Have a magical day!