Saturday, May 26, 2012

How to Tell your Parent(s) you dropped out of college

I admit I sneakily dropped out of college, before my Mother found out, because I really didn't want to make her feel that I wasted my time at college. I absolutely think I didn't waste any of my time while I was in college, just to drop out. College developed my writing, reading, social skills, as well as enhanced analytical nature. I met a lot of great people, and learned from great professors while I was in college, so I have no regrets.

But anyway, I felt uncomfortable telling my Mother to her in person. So, I texted my Mother that I had dropped out while I was hanging with friends for the weekend. My intention was to let her cool off while I was away, and allow her time to think about what I said, which was: I have my own plans, I'll take care of the house, siblings, while growing food and taking care of [my grandparents.]

To be clear, I chose to drop out because I got exactly what I needed to know out of college, which was: you're not doing what you love, and become self reliant by growing food and live in the woods. My epiphany brought my partner and I closer together, as well. We finally crossed paths on our goals, and it was thanks to a documentary called "Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy And Money in a Post Peak Oil World."

When I watched that documentary, my partner and I immediately started drawing up garden plans and tools we needed. Although your dream may not be anything like mine; you can still make a decent wage if you live simply, and have your own marketing scheme without getting a degree. But this post isn't about why you have dropped out: it is about how to communicate to parents, that may be close-minded about your decision to drop out of school. Also, I have a blog post "Is college the right path for you?" that addresses a more pressing issue with college education, which may help you in your argument.

First of all, whether you tell your parent(s) face-to-face or through a social media to tell them about your decision to drop out of school, you need to give them a basic plan of what you want to do INSTEAD of college. 

1. Assure your parent(s) that you have thought about dropping out of school for a couple of months, so it seems that you have devoted a lot of time in this decision. Timothy Leary (from Flashbacks, 1983) wrote: "Drop out suggested an elective, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. 'Drop Out' meant self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change."

2. Address an alternative plan that gives them some relief. Before you drop out, it would be great if you put a resume/job application somewhere, and received a job. This is so that (if you need time to think about your future), you can assure your parent(s) that you already have a job and you start working very soon. Or if you absolutely do not want to work, or cannot find a job at the time you told your parent(s) about your decision, let them know you are going to help them around the house with chores (i.e. work as their house-maid, and do not ask for money in return.) Although it's not ideal, doing the laundry, washing dishes, cooking dinner, and mowing the lawn for your parent(s) is better than nothing!

3. Mention that you are really sorry for the disappointment or anger they may feel. Tell them that it makes you feel worse than it does them because you have hit a crosswords. Also say that you can stay with friends or other family till  they cool off.

I used these three points to let my Mom know of my decision. She didn't speak to me for about 4 days, but after the 7th day she had lightened up because I was doing what I told her I was going to do (which was help my siblings with homework, chores, and work on my garden.) Honestly, I think my Mom prefers me helping her as her little helper, rather than a moody, stressed-out college student that was never home. Funny, huh?

Keep in mind, the world as well as your life may be shaped my luck or consequence, but the world works how it should. Everything works out how it should. Be patient, confident, and happy with your decision. Do not let dropping out of school define who you are. You are not a drop-out -- you are an individual that has other expectations and desires which has lead to your decision of dropping out of school.


1. BOILED POTATOES (not fried) are very low fat. In fact, eating four, medium-sized, boiled potatoes are as low as 0.5 grams of fat. Although that may be a 400 calorie meal, it isn't the calories you should be worried about -- it's the fat you need to stay away from. It is best to prepare potatoes by boiling in water or baking in oven. If eating potatoes for dinner, strive to eat 3+ potatoes or until your stuffed. Have a salad before eating potatoes.
2. BOILED RICE (not fried) are very low fat because 2 cups of boiled rice is 0.9 grams of fat!! Two cups of boiled rice for yourself is about 400 calories. Do not be ashamed of the amount of calories/food your intaking. Because vegans and vegetarians do not eat meat, dairy, eggs, or chicken -- we do not fill up our bodies on fat, so we tend to eat a little more than the average meat-eater (isn't that ironic?)

Earth-friendly chick (Part II)

First I'll mention alternative cleaning products for your home, then skincare, cosmetics, and feminine hygiene. Instead of commercial sprays, detergents, bleaches, and other harsh waste to clean your clothes and your home, use baking soda, apple cider vinegar, washing soda, borax, and lemons for cleaning. These products are INEXPENSIVE, BIODEGRADABLE, SAFE TO TOUCH, ALL-NATURAL, and EFFECTIVE! Food sources and food bi-products (ACV, baking soda) are highly effective, safe for the environment, safe for you, cheap, and do not smell toxic.
Furthermore, shampoo, conditioner, hair-spray, the blow-dryer, nail polish, cosmetics are finite and unsustainable products that can only be made in a factory. Even "natural" products packaged in plastic must later be disposed of in the trash. 

Cleaning your home with safe products is usually a harder task than replacing your skin and hair care with food sources. For example, if you're looking for an exfoliate, moisturizer, cleanser, astringent, or calming mask, use food sources that have natural properties which helps clean your face, body, and hair.  I have listed below food sources that will provide specific benefits for your cosmetic and skincare needs.

Exfoliates for hair and skin are ground nuts, salt, sugar, and oats
Moisturizers for hair and skin are coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, aloe Vera and banana
Astringents (& taking off layers of dead skin) for skin are limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, persimmons, apple cider vinegar.
Calming agents for hair and skin are cucumber, oatmeal, nut milk.
Cooling agents for hair and skin are mint, spearmint, and aloe Vera
Tighten skin with butternut squash, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant
Cleanser/Shampoo for hair and skin are castile soap or one part baking soda with two parts water. When using castile soap or baking on the hair, it needs to be followed with a rinse (which has replaced your conditioner). Rinses usually include one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water, or herbs. For example, if you are blonde, you should use chamomile or turmeric root (boiled and cooled); or if you are a brunette, use coffee, rosemary, thyme, sage, or black tea (boiled and cooled.) Use the boiled water to rinse your hair by straining the herbs and discarding them in your compost.

Actually, you can use food sources in place of your make-up. For instance, blush, lipstick, and eye shadow can be replaced with beet juice, freshly mashed cherries, and strawberries. You can use blueberries for mascara, as well. As far as hair, teeth, and clothes: water and baking soda are best replacements for the detergents on the market. To balance the properties of baking soda, use apple cider vinegar as a rinse or conditioner. Let your hair and clothes air dry after rinsing with water. If you have space in your yard, build a clothes line...ask your grandparents how to make one.You shouldn't have to use baking soda on your hair but 2-3 times a week. 

I have covered skincare, cosmetics, and the natural food sources you can use. Now I must express a great environmental concern on behalf of women: your menstrual cycle. I have mentioned several times before, including in this post Earth-friendly chick and this post Diva Cup product review after 7 years of use (VIDEO)
where I talk extensively about replacing the commercial, disposable, feminine products such as tampons, pads with cloth pads and silicone menstrual cups. These alternatives avoid adding more waste to the environment. I love using the diva cup because they last 10 years with proper care. And you can learn more about Diva cups in the link I posted with a video.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Compost your food scraps...and get food back for free

Last month, when I shoveled out my year-old compost (to spread on the garden), old food scraps started growing from the seeds that I had threw out. I was so excited that I already had tomatoes and cantaloupe growing without any effort.

I am not sure the quality of the cantaloupe and tomatoes considering they're GMO, store-bought, imported cantaloupe seeds. Although the cantaloupe and tomatoes that grew from my compost are from non-organic seeds, they look quite healthy; and they may turn out very well considering they come from the best nutritional source.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Protein Myth Debunked ("Where do you get your protein!?")

"The story of protein is part science, part culture and a good dose of mythology" says Dr T Colin Campbell. In Campbell's book "The China Study" he states he worked in the Philippines to analyze foods contaminated with Aflatoxin (one of the most dangerous carcinogens), and also research who was most susceptible to the carcinogen. Campbell found that two areas in the Philippines, Manila and Cebu, had the highest rates of liver cancer due to the high levels of this carcinogen found in jarred peanut butter and corn. Manila consumed the most jarred peanut butter where Cebu consumed the most contaminated corn. Campbell goes on to note, "Namely,the children who got liver cancer were from the best-fed families. The families with the most money ate what we thought were the healthiest diets, the diets most like our own meaty American diets. They consumed more protein than anyone else in the country (high quality animal protein, at that), and yet they were the ones getting liver cancer!" (pg 36).
I really enjoyed an article "Why is plant protein better than animal protein" by OneGreenPlanet that outlined the Protein requirements, and how Protein deficiency is practically unheard of (unless you're anorexic). Not only that, but as mentioned above, the average American gets TOO much protein and fat in their diet which fuels heart and vascular issues, thyroid, mental fog, cancer/disease. 
Of course Freelee the Banana Girl always outlines her videos with a great message and information which you can watch in the video below:

For the sake of argument, vegans (at least myself) get triple the amount of protein every day or every other day than the recommended amount from calories (3% from calories.) The best sources of protein on a vegetarian and vegan diet are greens, beans, nuts, seeds, rice, oats, and wheat. All planted based sources of protein are LOW FAT, so there are lower risks of gaining of weight.

I would recommend you obtain your protein from fruits, vegetables, beans (boiled), and rice (boiled not fried.) Because nuts and seeds are high in fat, I do not eat them often (except for harvesting them off the tree during Fall and Winter month). 

It's true meat and eggs contain a high amount of protein -- but that's it! And this "precious Protein" in the form of Animal protein comes with a cost: leaching calcium from your bones to neutralize the acidity of these foods. 

Above all, and putting "nutrition" aside, does eating animal flesh and their secretions justify the slaughter and inhumane treatment of other beings? Veganism is an ethical decision with the health perks.

Is college the right path for you?

There's nothing wrong with getting an education (especially if you can go to college for free). College can develop your reading, writing, analytical, and personable skills, which are essential for survival. Furthermore, there have been many great minds which received degrees and became professors at universities.

However, college focuses on cluttering your time with miscellaneous classes, which costs you MORE money. Unlike technical colleges, universities depreciate the value of hands-on learning.

When you're considering secondary education, ask yourself: Am I creative or technical? Am I permanent or nomadic? Where and when do I feel happy? Where do I feel the most pressure? What skills do I have? Do I have scholarships or grants to pay for college?
Moreover, a great quote from a NYC teacher, John Taylor Gatto, said: "The truth is that
schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders". Additionally, our generation of young adults are completely ignorant and could not change a tire on a car, for example.
Consequently, the youth's mentality or attitude is that technology, or "someone else" will do the processing for me. We have lost survival skills, emergency training, and "street-smarts". It's as if the more schooling our generation obtains, we become more compliant to social rules; and complying to social standards will allow you to reap the immediate benefits: money for 'stuff'.
To add to this point, I have quoted Bruce E. Levine where he underlines the obedience mentality of our youth: "The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by others, to follow orders, to take seriously the rewards and punishments of authorities, to pretend to care about things they don’t care about, and that they are impotent to affect their situation".
To paraphrase George Carlin: 'they want you smart enough to work the machines and do the paperwork, but dumb enough to passively accept horrible jobs with low wages'. 

Another aspect of University that irked me was the reputation or representation of the quality of the school through the performance of sports teams and cheerleading.

There are many other aspects of University I haven't fully discussed, for example the nature of college as a marketing device (aside from the sports teams and cheerleading reputation of the school).

Subsequently, I want to move forward from the problems with University and look towards the ways we can better our school systems, or perhaps your decision to attend University:

First, shift your perspective on the meaning of successful 'Hollywood status' to a simpler status like that of a gardener or local business owner that is able to feed and shelter her family with little materials, but feels peace and harmony. Likewise, you do not need to go to college to be successful, or happy for that matter. As little as 40 years ago, it was just as meaningful to work under someone to learn skills (apprenticeship), as it was to be able to afford college for a degree.

Lets face it, it's not JUST about college education: the problems in education begin with public schooling. Creativity and self-expression are repressed, while math and science is deemed less important or boring to the other subjects.

Secondly, books and education should ultimately be free, as we look towards technology to teach one another and share knowledge! When I was in college, I always ordered my textbooks through the library (to get them for free and use them all semester). If you plan to go to college, look into Inter Library Loan on the college's library website for more information.
At the University I attended, internet classes cost a student three times more than a regular on-campus class. For those who suffer from social anxiety disorders (Autism, Asperger's, etc) benefit in a calm environment like online.

Third, education should be localized like high school -- without the social stigma of high school.

I may come back to this thought to add more useful adjustments to University, but I'm feeling the affects of lack of sleep...

If you are unsure you're ready, prepared, or interested in college, you will find on this blog how to live for free without a degree and with VERY little money. Explore the rest of my posts that discuss growing your own food, living off the land, building your own house out of free materials, and using resources such as the library to further your education. Also, I have a blog post here "How to Tell your Parent(s) you dropped out of college" where you can find the tools to discussing quitting college or not attending college.

Considering I wanted to present a video of education that better-explained the greed inside colleges:

I wanted to end with a article, that reminds us that we do not have to go to college. In fact, there are many successful people that have dropped out of college or never attended university. I love the excerpt: "faulty thinking has led the public to believe everyone needs to go to college even if they can't afford it" paraphrased from Paul Thiel. I would like to add that we need to branch our understanding of all aspects (math, technology, chemistry, reading, writing, etc) The more we attempt to have a basic understanding of these things around us, the more self-reliant we can become. We can stop relying/paying for a "professional", when it is much easier and cheaper for us to do it ourselves. 

Like I said: I am not discouraging college, nor am I persuading anyone to drop-out on a whim. This post is only to shed light on this issue where our society thinks we need to pay absurd amounts of money for a sub-par education! Timothy Leary (from Flashbacks, 1983) wrote: "Drop out suggested an elective, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. 'Drop Out' meant self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change."

Here is the article that highlights this: Why College may Not be Worth It

Friday, May 4, 2012

Losing weight fast vs keeping the weight off

I have seen people lose weight, by eating the least nutritious diet. Actually, I have a friend that lives off Ramen and cigarettes, which has contributed to his 75 lb weight loss in FOUR MONTHS!!! That is a remarkable amount of weight in a little amount of time. In some weird way, I was jealous of his weight loss (not that I want to lose 75 lb...I would blow away with the wind.) Then I started studying my siblings' diet -- which live off meat and bread, but who are incredibly much thinner than I am. But my partner reassured me that their metabolism would eventually weaken and slow down, as my friend eventually will, and they will become much larger as they get older. Thank goodness for boyfriend's reassurance!

But focusing on those who WANT to lose weight for good: you cannot shed weight fast and expect to keep the weight off on a calorie-restricting and carb-restricting diet. Calories and carbs don't make you fat  -- FAT MAKES YOU FAT.