The Weekly Hufflepuff #67 // Uhhhhhhh *insert witty title*

Yes a weekly wrap up on a Monday but it’s okay

It’s been over a MONTH since my last weekly wrap up and?? I don’t know how that happened?? I did talk about some personal stuff in April’s wrap up (IT’S ALMOST TIME TO WRAP UP MAY HOWWWW) but I didn’t share any blog posts that I read?? Be prepared to get lots of great posts thrown in your facesMy memory is failing me and I have no clue what I’ve read since my last wrap up (both weekly and monthly) so I’ll just talk about what I’m reading right now which is okay because it’s SO GOOD. I was hooked from the first page and I immediately knew Anger Is A Gift would be a new fave. It’s coming out tomorrow so I should have finished it by now so I could have my review up but… I requested it not that long ago thinking I wouldn’t get accepted anyway, but then I DID and now I’m kinda screwed. But I’m halfway there so my review should be up next week at the latest*

* That’s what I thought when it came to Starfish and that took me a MONTH hahahaSo last wrap up I didn’t talk about what classes I’m following this term, which surprises me because I remember being prepared to RANT but then I just forgot because school is eating my brain. Oh well

Anyway, in either your third or fourth year you need to choose a specialisation. I chose culture, which means I’m taking fine arts, film, literature and philosophy of culture. Fine arts and film are a lot of fun, philosophy of culture is okay – it’s not a lot of philosophy, mostly it’s history and a lot of it I already knew? And then there’s literature

Now I know what you’re thinking: ‘Michelle, you’re a book blog! Are you saying you don’t like your literature class?’ hahahaha

That’s exactly what I’m saying

Okay but hear me out. My entire class is focusing on ONE book. ONE. A book of course written by a white, abled straight cis man, who also!! Is incredibly islamophobic, sexist and homophobic!! So the book we’re reading?? A MESS. My teacher? LOVES IT. My anxious ass? QUIET. I really wish I could speak up but,,, ugghh. Anxiety. The teacher doesn’t seem to have a problem with the book at all. She even went out of her way to say that she doesn’t think it’s islamophobic. Oh and the sexism?? ‘so absurd that it’s unrealistic’ yeah the main character thinking women shouldn’t vote is so unrealistic hahahahaha and the objectifying of women? Doesn’t happen!!! Never!! But to make matters worse there was this:

”Do you guys think there’s any humour in this? I do”*proceeds to read aloud a quote that I personally found homophobic/lesbophobic but apparently she thinks it’s funny!!*

And of course a few people laughed

Meanwhile I felt like I had been slapped in the face and was about to cry

So yeah. FUN

But my other classes are a lot more inclusive! Not as much as I’d like, but still. Plus at least they’re not this woman :) We have to fill out surveys for each class each term, so I’m definitely going to say something about her and her class. Maybe I’ll find the courage to speak up in tomorrow’s class now that I’ve finished the book but that woman makes me really anxious (speaking up itself already does sdjgh)

Anyway what else happened?

💛 EUROVISION. Eurovision was once again a blast, though there was not enough weird Eurovision stuff, glitter and gay. Also I don’t like the winner. I had SO many faves why did my two least favourite ones end up first and second. Countries were robbed. Not enough meme material. But it’s Eurovision and I will always love it

💛 MY OTP GOT MARRIED AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT AND GINA RODRIGUEZ FINALLY APPEARED ON B99 AND IT WAS PERFECT AND ROSA’S REACTION WAS ICONIC AND RELATABLE AND SUCH A MOOD (don’t want to spoil anyone so I’m being vague lol)

💛 Two weeks ago I had to take care of the neighbours cat and she was the CUTEST thing #blessed

💛 Uhhhhhhh

💛 I seriously need a PensieveSince my monthly wrap up I wrote four posts wow so much many posts much impressed

💛 I reviewed My Name is Victoria which was,,, okay? But the plot twist at the end ruined it for me
💛 I also reviewed Starfish which was INCREDIBLE and my favourite book of the year nothing will surpass it
💛 I shared my reactions to the Hogwarts Mystery game
💛 I shared another playlist for Monthly Mixtape

I can’t wait for summer break to get here and I swear if I don’t pass my exams and have to redo them my school is going to catch these hands💛 Emma @ The Book Crunch shares her favourite YA books that feature mental health issues
💛 LaRonda @ Flying Paperbacks recommends some contemporaries that deal with mental health as well
💛 Julianna @ Paper Blots reviews My So-Called Bollywood Life which sounds like a great book so check out her amazing review
💛 Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink talks about her writing in the Rising Author Tag and shares some amazing snippets
💛 Annemieke @ A Dance With Books celebrated her blog’s third birthday
💛 She also wonders if these days 3-star ratings are bad ratings
💛 Eri and Alexis @ Lacy Literacy talk about their day at YALLWEST
💛 Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books shouts about 10 books she rarely screams about but feels like she should
💛 She also wonders if you have to review books to be a book blogger
💛 Oh and of course she once again made me even more excited about her WIP by doing my Your WIP in Gifs Tag
💛 Amber @ The Literary Phoenix talks about the worst movies adapted from books
💛 Sarah @ Written Word Worlds talks about stereotypical YA characters and created a quiz to figure out which one you are
💛 Kat @ Life and Other Disasters wonders if you fight for your tv show
💛 She also created another great writing tag called The Milestones Write Tag
💛 May @ Forever and Every recommends YA Asian books 
💛 She also reviewed Furyborn and rants about the messy and vague bi rep which you should really read
💛 Ever wondered how to write a shipable OTP? Elizabeth @ Redgal Musings has a guide for you
💛 Holly @ Nut Free Nerd talks about book blogging as a feminist space
💛 Lu @ It’s Lu Again started a new blogging series called ‘Coming Out Series’ and I can’t choose which one to share so: Part 1 about LGBT+ Rep // Part 2 about 2018’s LGBT+ themed books // Part 3 in which she reviews Autoboyography
💛 Aimee @ Aimee, Always shares 5 things Children of Blood and Bone made her do 
💛 Vivian @ Writing With Style talks about how she avoids inconsistencies in her writing
💛 Amena @ Nerd in New York talks about how blogging changes the way she reads
💛 Inside My Library Mind shares all you need to know to start using Edelweiss
💛 Chiara @ Delicate Eternity gives 5 reasons why she enjoyed Ace of Shades
💛 Cristina @ Girl in the Pages talks about YA books set in college
💛 Fadwa @ Word Wonders shares how she manages to not drown under blogging and reading
💛 And last but definitely not least, Cait @ Paper Fury announced her second (!!) novel

I have four more weeks to go until summer break* but it feels sooo much longer. Probably because I never even got to properly rest from last school year dskngjhd I have so many blog post ideas and I’m so excited about blogging again, but it’s hard to find the time and energy to be honest. Even though I don’t want school to dominate my life (which I’m kind of succeeding in?) I just can’t bring myself to blog as much as I’d want to. I also really, really want to change things about my design** and technically I could make time, but I’d rather use that time to write posts and blog hop. It’s starting to bug me though, I really want to change things haha

* If I pass everything please I’m begging you
** You may have noticed I changed my ‘summary’ and ‘review’ banners in my review

So yeah after I scheduled this post I got reaaaally annoyed with my old design and realised that the new posts I’ve got planned (emphasis on planned I haven’t written anything lmao) wouldn’t be done justice soooo LOOK NEW DESIGN. And a few new graphics. It’s not done yet, as I need to replace a bunch of other graphics and I want to clean up my categories more (you may have noticed that my menu is a lot smaller, but I want to come up with more categories and just order everything better) So if you only see one post from me this week blame the new design lol 
Are you almost done with school? (please don’t tell me if you’re done this week I will cry out of envy) How are you hanging in there? Read any amazing books? Did you cry at the Peraltiago wedding? Let me know in the comments!

Guess Who’s Back + Where I’ve Been | Life Update

Soooo I didn’t mean to disappear like that? Of course I hadn’t been blogging as regularly as I would’ve liked once I ran out of scheduled posts, but at least I got one or two posts up per week until…

School suddenly got very, very hectic. I was busy at the start of term, but I was still able to blog here and there and read some blogposts. Then we got to the point where we had to rely more on each other and the real group work began… And half our group didn’t do anything or did such terrible work that it was obvious they expected others to fix it for them. It was incredibly stressful and gave me a lot of sleepless nights, and now that it’s finally over I’ve of course come down with a cold. My friend and I emailed our teacher in detail about our group, and she said that the group members who didn’t do their shit are going to notice it in their grades. I’m so relieved to see her taking it seriously and even thanking us for our email. I was really worried that she was going to have a ‘not my problem’ attitude.

Anyway, this term is over!

I am proud of the magazine we made, even though I know it could’ve been better. Considering all our setbacks and that half of our group didn’t take it seriously at all, we really did a good job.

So now what? Well…

I’m taking a break from school

Honestly if I were to go back in time and tell secondary school me that at some point I’d take a break from college she wouldn’t believe me. Thing is, because I’m starting my term abroad earlier than I was initially told, I actually can’t follow any classes this term, because that would only be six weeks. I had signed up for a course last year when planning my year, but after lots of emailing back and forth with different teachers, it turned out I couldn’t do a big part of the course this term. I could’ve followed the more theoretical classes, but I didn’t want to take the exams while in Manchester since I would be really busy with my classes over there, so I’d have to take them when I’m back anyway. I figured there’d be no point in taking part of the course now, so I’m instead taking it when I get back from Manchester.

I’m actually more than fine with this break – my year is generally still the same as I had initially planned, just a slightly different order and my stay abroad will be shorter (I’ve talked about this before, but since I’m going to England I’ll be there for three months while other people will be studying abroad for five). So at least I won’t have any delay in my studies.

I pretty much had a burnout last school year and once this one started I was actually not ready to go back yet, so this break is actually very welcome. Especially after the second half of last term.

Basically this means that I’ll be able to blog regularly again! I might have to try and find my footing first, since I’m kind of out of my rhythm again and like I mentioned I have a cold, but I hope to at least post once a week again.

What else have I been up to?

💛 I got new glasses!

My previous glasses were super comfortable and gave me horrible headaches, so I barely wore them and always wore my contacts, but it was really annoying in the morning as I had to quickly put in my contacts before I got a headache and technically you need to take your contacts out about an hour before you go to sleep, which I never did anymore woops. I really love my new glasses – they’re cute and so comfortable!
💛 I’ve worked quite a bit at the museum – like during Museum Night, which is an annual event in multiple cities (though not at the same time) during which museums throughout the city are open until 2 AM. There’s lots to do (workshops, panel discussions, dancing, watching the art itself of course) and our Museum Night had a Keith Haring/80’s theme. It was a lot of fun and I’m really proud of what we accomplished
💛 My cousin turned eight and he had a Moana cake!! And he continuously said that he loved the movie!!
💛 My mom, aunt, cousin (another one) and I went to a collector’s fair – it was fun but there were also quite a few people just selling trash for a high price? I also find it hilarious to see what kind of stuff people collect – that stuff was so normal back in the day. It’s like if I were to keep a Coca Cola bottle for 40+ years and then try to sell it for 20+ euros lmao*
💛 I watched Lemonade Mouth and fell in love please watch that movie it’s amazing. The moment it ended I wanted to watch it again which barely ever happens 
💛 I decided to treat myself and finally buy Disney Magical World 2 – if you’re not familiar with that gaming franchise: it’s amazing. It’s a bit like Animal Crossing but with Disney and an RPG element. It’s really cute, fun and relaxing. Must have for every Disney fan. Anyway I’m a bit obsessed – oops
💛 There’s probably other stuff I’d mention but… I don’t remember any of it

* Guys I’m onto something here we should all start to collect our trash so we can sell it in 40+ years

So that’s where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. I’m hoping to post again soon sometime this week and to read some of your posts, but we’ll see how it goes with this stupid cold.

How have all of you been??? Tell me everything. How’s school/work going? Done anything fun? Read anything good? Or read something that I should stay far away from? Any posts I’ve missed that you’re particularly proud of? Let me know in the comments!

The Weekly Hufflepuff #46

A second Weekly Hufflepuff in a row?? I’m on FIRE

I finished The Stone House and started What She Does Next Will Astound You, another BBC Class book. I really like the formatting of this one. I also started The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which has been fun so far (I’m pretty sure I’ve only seen The Muppet version of this? So that makes it extra fun since I’m not that familiar with the story)

My final term of my second year has started this week (WHAT)  and um… It was a pretty stressful week full with panic attacks, but I’m okay now. I’m not saying that I won’t be stressed anymore and that I won’t get anymore panic attacks, because I know that isn’t true, but I do feel better than earlier this week. This term does look fun and I’m looking forward to it (mostly I’m looking forward to finishing it though woops – I’m just really really ready for summer vacation, I really feel like I’m at the edge of a burn out)

Last week I completely forgot to mention that I went out with a friend that week (because I’m a horrible friend) to get Dunkin’ Donuts because two stores finally opened in Amsterdam.

Not only does it look really cute, it tasted amazing. Like strawberries and with custard inside

And time to freak out over Doctor Who again! Another amazing episode. Lately I hadn’t been that excited about Doctor Who, but this season really feels like my favourite show again. Also did I mention I love Bill??

Other than that I haven’t been up to much. I’ve been trying to get back into blogging and the blogging community and so far I’ve been quite succesful? I’ve got 3 posts scheduled for next week and read quite a few posts!

I came up with a new feature! As you may know I work at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and I love art, so for a long time now I really wanted to talk more about art on here but I never got to it and didn’t really know how to do that. Then I came with the very simple solution: a new feature! I really wanted the name to have ‘art hoe’ in it somehow, as I love that term. And so, with feedback from some friends, I came up with ‘The Artsy Hufflehoe’! I don’t know yet when I’ll start this feature. Hopefully in two weeks!

And that’s a wrap! Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this up and I’ll see you with another wrap up next week. How has your week been? Are you also in the last term of school? Any exciting summer plans? What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments!

First Term of Journalism

Hey guys! So yesterday the first term officially ended with the presentation of our magazine. I can’t believe how fast it went by! Anyway, when I started I said I’d write a post about my experience so far, so here it is!

One half of all the freshman started with Culture and Lifestyle and the other started with ‘News’. I started with the first one, so I can’t tell you anything about the latter yet. Culture and Lifestyle mainly focusses on ‘soft journalism’: magazines. Every term we have three subjects. This term’s subjects were: Interview, First Issue and Human and Media.

Interview
Needless to say we were taught how to properly interview someone and had to interview a few people ourselves. This was my least favourite subject, mainly because I felt like I didn’t learn much. I’m not saying I didn’t learn anything at all, but looking back I just don’t feel like I know a lot more about interviewing than I already did. This subject was also the most stressful as we had to find someone, interview them and write the interview in a very short time a few times.
Interview also consisted of lessons on ‘speech’, but I really didn’t learn anything at all in those classes. I tend to talk fast when I get nervous and my articulation isn’t always spectacular either, so I really hoped I’d learn how to improve that. While she did give advice on how to stop the nerves, they didn’t really help.

First Issue
I’ve already talked a bit about First Issue, but I never named it! The magazine we made was for this subject. I feel like I learned the most from this subject. I learned so much about magazines and I look at them with a completely new eye! Also thinking up an original concept for a magazine that doesn’t exist yet (in The Netherlands) is hard. It was a lot of fun to write articles and though editing other people’s articles isn’t always fun, I really had a great time with my fellow editors. Here’s a hug for you guys (not that they’ll read this haha)

Of course First Issue wasn’t just writing articles, we had to design them as well. So we had one hour every week in which we learned how to work with Adobe inDesign. I’m happy to say I can sort of work with it haha. But I won’t need it for the rest of the year I believe, so I’ll be clueless again next year! Designing articles was fun when I knew how I wanted my article to look, if not:

Human and Media
Woah almost wrote it in Dutch haha. I’m very used to call it ‘mens en media’ (‘interview’ is the same word in Dutch and ‘First Issue’ is the actual name. Probably because it just sounds better in English haha). Anyway! While I found Human and Media very interesting, I’m glad it’s over. We had work groups, but we didn’t really do much during those hours. It wasn’t really boring though, the teacher was nice and everyone had to hold presentations, most of which were fun to watch (one group held a quiz and now we don’t trust this girl with lollipops anymore haha. Whenever someone got a question right they’d get a lollipop, but the way she threw them…). The lectures were more interesting; they were divided in ‘human’ and ‘media’. Though the ‘human’ part was interesting, I already knew a lot of the information thanks to having followed social sciences in secondary school. The ‘media’ part was… Well, it was interesting, but the teacher just didn’t help. While the woman who gave lectures about the ‘human’ part just stuck to the point, he was the complete opposite (the ‘human’ teacher even made a joke about that). Also he liked to promote his own work a lot. The test was multiple choice and really easy though (I don’t have my grade yet, so maybe it wasn’t easy haha. Wait, that’s no laughing matter).

Anyway, so far studying journalism is fun and stressful. It’s a lot of work and not every teacher really explains everything, but hey, that’s education right? I’m a lot happier at this school than at my previous one. I feel like my class is an actual class, unlike my previous ones. I like the subjects (when I said that interview was my least favourite subject, I didn’t mean I disliked it! Well, I kind of did, but not because of the subject itself haha) and they’re useful. I know that everything I learn, I’ll need later on in life. Plus, if I get sick of a subject, I only have to take it for a few more weeks and then BOOM the term is over and it’s time for new subjects. If you have any questions about studying journalism, feel free to ask! I’m happy to help (though of course I don’t know everything yet either!)

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FIRST TERM IS OVER

Well, unofficially. We still have the presentation of our magazine this Thursday, BUT I DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING

THAT’S RIGHT GUYS NO SCHOOL OR SCHOOLWORK FOR ME FOR OVER A WEEK (except for Thursday. But Thursday should be fun)

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, or if you missed it, here’s what our magazine looks like:

With our magazine we want to show the world that disabled people aren’t their disabilities. It’s not actually going to be published, but I still think it’s important!

BUT ANYWAY I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT A THING. EXCEPT NANOWRIMO. But I’m not going to worry about that, it’s supposed to be fun! I never got to do NaNo before as I always had a testweek in November, but now my exams were in October so I should be able to do it! Hopefully haha. If you’re also doing NaNo, add me as a writing buddy and watch me fail! Just kidding. I hope to at least finish translating The Army of Quermo into English (of course I’d love to finish it too, but I do have school to worry about!)

ALSO IT’S HALLOWEEN  (yeah this post is all over the place. THERE’S JUST SO MUCH TO TELL YOU GUYS I MISSED YOU ALL EVEN THOUGH I WASN’T COMPLETELY GONE I WASN’T ON AS MUCH AS I WANTED TO)

Let’s hope no troll ruins your party!

I’m going to the Amsterdam Dungeon with my mom and cousin tonight, which should be fun! I wonder if they added something new since the last time I was there (this will be my eighth time haha). I’m not sure how I’ll dress yet, though I think it will be Harry Potter related!

Anyway! These coming days of freedom I will read a lot of blogs and write some blog posts myself (and of course participate in NaNo)! I want to schedule plenty so that I won’t have to disappear again. Tomorrow I’ll finally do another weekly wrap up, in which I’ll tell you guys more about what happened these past few weeks (I think it will be a wrap up for the last three weeks? It has been too long!). Oh hey! Tomorrow will be November, so I guess I’ll combine my weekly wrap up with the monthly one!

What are you guys going to do for Halloween? Or what did you do if the day is already over? Are you participating in NaNo? Let me know in the comments!

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TTTS: The Struggles of Being a Teen

The Teens Tell Their Story Project was created by Caitlin from A Little Daydreamer and Sherina from Sherina Speaks. Click on the links of their blogs for more information about the project. And to check out their wonderful blogs! 

I’ve started this post a few times now, all in different ways. Not because I don’t know what to talk about, but because there is so much to talk about.

You can’t just pick one thing and say: THIS. This is what we teenagers struggle the most with, because that’s not true. How many teenagers wake up every morning and think: ‘I don’t want to go to school’. Not because we’re lazy. Not because we’d rather stay at home and watch tv or read. But because it’s just too damn much. Every teacher expects you to have finished your homework, to have done the assigned reading, to have studied for that test, to have prepared a presentation. Of course there are teachers who understand that sometimes you just can’t, because you were too busy, because you were too tired, because you had other obligations, but in my experience these teachers are rare.  In my opinion a teacher’s job is not just to teach students their subject; it’s to teach us their subject, about life, to be there for students when they need them, to be understanding and caring. When I had been down with the flu two years ago and was absent for little over a week, my history teacher was actually relieved to see me back at school (my friends told me had asked about me a few times during class too). This actually brought tears to my eyes- I was used to teachers who didn’t believe I was actually sick. Who thought I was skipping and lying, who showed no compassion and just clearly didn’t give a damn. I’m not saying all my teachers were like this, not at all, but those teachers stuck with me and always will. One of them actually made me want to switch schools and made me cry my eyes out at school, because of the way she treated me, but in a way I’m grateful because I am who I am today because of people like her. She made me strong, though at that time I felt very weak and depressed. And I know she is not the only teacher in the world who’s like this. I know there are teenagers all over the world who have to deal with teachers and other authority figures just like her, and during this time where our bodies are changing, where we suddenly get periods and hormones and all that stuff, when we get actual responsibilities- we don’t need people like that in our lives. We often already have to deal with bullies our own age, we shouldn’t have to deal with bullying teachers, the people who are supposed to protect and help us in school.

And that’s another thing teenagers have to deal with: each other. Bullying at my old school wasn’t that present, thankfully, but it’s something most if not all teenagers deal with, whether it’s directly or not. Do we stand up for the bullied? Or do we stay in the background where it’s safe? And if we’re the one bullied, what do we do? For some reason victims of bullying think it’s shameful and they shouldn’t tell anyone, but if you’re reading this and you’re being bullied- please tell someone. You have no reason to be ashamed. Your bully has all the reasons. Also ignoring your bully is not going to solve anything, please believe me on this. I’m speaking from my own experience, so I know what I’m talking about.

So school can be really, really stressful. I don’t even have to explain that to my fellow teenagers. Bullies is another thing that we have to deal with, but something that really bothers me is that while we’re still kids – and adults remind us of that – we’re expected to act mature and make big decisions regarding our future. We have to do good in school, have a job, have a social life, hang out with our family, have hobbies and interests, dreams and aspirations. If we fail one test, people will be disappointed. Teachers will tell you ‘I didn’t expect this from you’. Well neither did I. If we’re sixteen and without a job, people will think of us as lazy, while not even thinking that maybe you don’t have a job because you want to focus on school. If you don’t have (much of) a social life you’re a recluse and there must be something wrong with you. If you don’t hang out enough with your family you’re selfish. If you don’t have hobbies and interests you’re boring. If you don’t have dreams and aspirations, you’re immature and need to get your life together. Sometimes it feels like teenagers just can’t do right. And this is just in general. Think of teenage girls. Think of those teenagers with a different sexuality besides hetero. Think of those non-white teenagers. Think of the teenagers that don’t just have to deal with school, bullies, responsibilities and adults looking down on them and treating them like kids or expecting them to be mature, but also have to deal with sexism, racism, homophobia and ignorance. Think of the teens whose parents are going through a divorce, who have lost one parent or both, who have lost other people close to them, who have loved ones going through depression or other mental illnesses and addiction. Who go through depression and/or deal with addiction themselves. Think of the teenagers who are still kids, but who are going through way too much.

We are still kids. A lot of us have to go through stuff adults wouldn’t even be able to handle, so please go easy on us. Please don’t be disappointed if we make a mistake. Please don’t look down on us. Please don’t treat us like we’re five, but also not like we’re thirty. Please treat us with respect. Please be there for us and help us. ‘Cause like you point out we’re young and new to this world while you’ve been around for a while, so help us.

– The Writing Hufflepuff