Wednesday, 22 October 2014

New season, next chapter


For those of you who have looked at my blog before, you'll know that I used this for creative writing when I was in grade 12. Along side that this blog is a place where I posted my thoughts and views on many different topics. If you want to get a good idea of who I am and what I'm about just take a look back at my posts and I think you'll see pretty quickly the person I strive to be. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Micayla McNaughtan. A recent graduate of high school, an adult now living in the real world with a real world job, and someone who is still deciding what they want to do with the rest of this God given life. Very a soon this blog will be an outlet which I will use to give you guys a glimpse into my life. Now you may think why would I want to read about my life, going to work every day, coming home, sleeping, and repeat. See here's the catch something really exciting happened, and I got accepted to YWAM Las Vegas somewhere I've been dreaming to go for the last 4 years. In a few short months I'll be living in Las Vegas attending a bible college which has a specific focus in human trafficking and abolitionism. I will spend three months in Las Vegas learning, training, and building my relationship with God and from there I will spend the next 3 months overseas applying what I learned. Usually after I explain I am going to bible school in Las Vegas people are like "there is a bible school in Las Vegas?! That's so ironic!" I love when people say that, because it is ironic. When you think about it though it's not the places and people that have it all together that need God it's the places that seem so far away from God, and so broken that they can't be fixed that need His love more than anything. I find that some Christian people (myself included) like to minister to others, but only on their terms and in an environment that they feel comfortable. God never said your life is always going to be comfortable, and easy. God never promised that life will be free of challenges, struggle, and hurt. What God does promise is to guide you and use you in His perfect master plan, and all though we can only see one piece of His puzzle he can see our life from start to finish and knows exactly how He will use us. So here I am, in a few months I'll be in Las Vegas, sin city, attending bible school. It's not going to be easy, it's going to stretch me beyond all boarders that I thought I could never pass, but I'm doing it anyways. Why you may ask? Because I have a trust in God that is unshakeable and even though I don't know all the answers, or all the details of His plan I know that His love for me is never changing and never ending and I will follow Him where ever he chooses to lead me. With all that being said, I hope you all follow my adventure with YWAM, my thoughts leading up to my departure and my trip itself. If you have any questions don't be afriad to ask, and lastly a huge thank you goes out to everyone who has supported me in this journey this far and to everyone who will continue to support me in the future! 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Song Profile: "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"


You know how everyone seems to have their go to songs? The song Oceans by Hillsong Untied for sure makes my short list of go to songs. No matter where I am in life this song always seems to resonate with me strongly. I love how the song challenges you but comforts you at the same time. In the second verse one of my favourite lines is "you've never failed and you won't start now." I think that this idea challenges any feelings of doubt you have with God but at the same time is a reminder of His faithfulness. It is blunt, it is straight forward, but it is so true. Moving into the chorus it goes into talking about calling upon God in your times of greatest distress and really makes you think about how that situation relates to you life. Moving into the bridge the entire volume comes down into just the piano which right away causes you to ponder through the lyrics. The bridge of this song is so incredibly challenging, but again so comforting in the same way. "Spirit lead me where my trust is without boarders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my saviour." The bridge repeats about nine times and builds again into a full instrumental which again is brought down back to the piano into the chorus. This song is so beautiful, and true, and I will always love this song which Hillsong has given us. 


My Buried Life: Authors Note

Everything starts with something, and something starts with you. As an 18 year old pondering through my desires and goals for this God given life it's mind blowing to think about what I could do when the sky is the limit. My name is Micayla McNaughtan and ahead you will experience a small glimpse into the hopes and desires I have for this life. Over the past week I've been sifting through, and stressing about filling this bucket list of my greatest desires. Right now as a student anxiously waiting to graduate, but yet feeling burdened about what life will bring next it's hard to fathom what the decades ahead of me will look like. Will I travel? Will I go back to school? Will I get married? Will I start a family? Right now I've only experienced a few puzzle pieces in this life and God only knows what the whole picture will bring. I came to the realization that I don't need to fill this list right now because just as I will change in the future so will this list. One day this list may also belong to my husband, or children, and the adventures we achieve together will be equally as amazing as the ones up head. Right now, this list belongs to Micayla, the 18 year old who longs to help others, who will stop at nothing to shine the light of Jesus, and who loves to be crazy, random, and carefree all in her perfectly unique way. This collection of goals ranges from something a simple as planting a tree, to items that I can only imagine in my craziest dreams like raising $10 000 to build a school. No matter how I or this list change in the future I know that I will be doing two things for the rest of my life, loving God, and loving people. Whatever the waves of life churn at me next, I will still always be Micayla. 

My Buried Life: 82 dreams and counting

1) read the bible cover to cover 
2) walk where Jesus walked
3) send a personal thank you card to the teachers and mentors throughout my life (in progress) 
4) pay for the person behind me in a drive thru 
5) raise $10 000 to build a school 
6) go back to see Augustine in Kenya 
7) take a year for bible college
 (complete) 
8) volunteer in India 
9) visit where my family roots begin 
10) learn to rap... Well 
11) have a day without shoes 
12) buy Starbucks for a stranger 
13) run a marathon 
14) have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner 
15) go to all 50 states, 10 provinces, and 3 territories 
16) be a mentor for someone younger than me (complete) 
17) grow old with the man I love 
18) but a ticket on the next avaliable flight 
19) work for an NGO 
20) have a career that's my passion 
21) go on a trip as a missionary 
(Complete) 
22) sleep under the stars 
23) run in an election 
24) go to a Hillsong Church (complete) 
25) go to the Olympics to watch 
26) watch all my siblings graduate 
27) get a university degree 
28) get a tattoo 
29) learn to cook curry 
30) be an extra in a movie 
31) plant a tree and watch it grow 
32) be a contestant on a game show 
33) be in the studio audience for Ellen 
34) create a time capsule 
35) visit all 7 continents 
36) spend Christmas in Disney World 
37) crowd surf 
38) set a world record (complete) 
39) take a selfie with a celebrity 
40) start a family 
41) spend a night in the underwater hotel in Dubai 
42) eat sushi in Japan 
43) set off fireworks 
44) be a tourist in my own city 
45) visit my sponsor child 
46) wear the colour pink (complete) 
47) get a new hair-do  
48) mud wrestle 
49) become the ideal person to marry 
50) play hide and seek in Ikea 
(Complete) 
51) beat a Super Mario Bros game in one night 
52) play an entire game of monopoly 
53) be a regular at a coffee shop 
(Complete) 
54) busk on a street corner 
(Complete) 
55) solve a Rubik's cube 
56) watch Disney movies all day 
57) learn to drive standard 
58) have a pillow fight (complete) 
59) send a message in a bottle 
60) make and stick to a budget 
61) take the polar bear plunge 
62) ride a helicopter 
63) hold a koala 
64) fly on the Emirates Airline 
65) go on a cruise ship 
66) learn to play the violin 
67) live on less than $2 a day 
68) watch sunrise and sunset in the same day 
69) be a vegetarian for a week 
70) smile with the Statue of Liberty 
71) have a donut eating contest 
72) be in a flash mob 
73) give a giftcard just because 
74) go on an awesome adventure with my mom (complete) 
75) fill a book with my favourite parts of scripture (in progress) 
76) have Christmas in July 
77) see the Lion King on Broadway 
78) have a mean girls group costume 
79) get chocolate wasted 
80) jump in a lake with my clothes on 
81) sing at the top of my lungs in an open field (complete) 
82) raise my children to be global citizens 


Link to my now what video:

Monday, 9 June 2014

Be Bold, Be Brave


Have you ever felt like sometimes it's easier to blend into the crowd rather than stand up for the person you want to be? I know I've felt that way, but as time goes on you realize what is more valuable, fitting in or being the person you strive to be. Ever since I was a little kid I was always the different one, that person in  every class that marched to the beat of their own drum despite what the norm was. I didn't dress like your everyday girl, and I didn't like the things that others liked. In elementary school it was fun to be the unique outgoing one that everyone liked but middle school became a rude awakening that being different wasn't always welcome. Middle school was all about having the best hair, the cutest boyfriend, the nicest clothes, and suddenly any glimpse of uniqueness you had for traded for the ever so valuable popularity points. In an environment that preys on your differences it was nearly impossible to be my own person without feeling out of place. As the three years of middle slowly creeped by I was again surprised by the new experience known as high school. High school was completely different than I ever expected, suddenly you feel like a small fish in a rather large ocean. I wanted to be bold, and I wanted to be me but I didn't know where to start. In grade 9 I signed up for the human rights and holocaust studies program because I knew that human rights was something I genuinely cared about. The trip itself changed my life and I was encourage to step outside the box and be my own person. I decided to take a giant leap out of the box by recording my own cd to sell for human trafficking relief funds in Calcutta India. When I told my friends, family, teachers, and church members about my plan they all looked at me as this concept was unheard of for a 15 year old. Scared, and excited i began the selling process with no shame in asking people to donate money to the girls in Calcutta. Boldness came to me in the time I needed it most, and it was influenced strongly by something I cared about. I ended up raising over $1200 for girls overseas and without taking a bold step of faith I would've made no impact on the sex trade overseas. Be bold because you can. Don't allow your age to influence the choices you make. Don't let anyone tell you what you can and can't do, be bold because you can. 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Show you care: Donate Glasses


So yesterday I picked up my new pair of glasses. It's been a few years since I've got new glasses, I would be completely lying if I said I wasn't excited to change it up a little bit. Ever since I was in grade 3 I've worn glasses, and now I can't express how grateful I am to live on a country where I can get glasses if I need them to see. I remember back in third grade being called down for a vision test (which by the way I completely flunked) and having to meet with my mother to break the news that I needed glasses. As an 8 year old kid this was devestating news and I bawled my eyes out in that teachers office as if someone told me I only had two weeks to live. The "crisis" of getting glasses was soon settled as I found my first pair of blue metal frames in which I wore for the rest of my elementary school experience. Those poor glasses though, I mangled them, broke them, smashed them, and taped them numerous times due to my careless recess behaviour. In middle school I decided I wanted to grow out of my first pair of metal frames and I chose some "grown up" middle school appropriate glasses. As a middle schooler trying to fit in I have to admit glasses weren't the coolest option, but I knew more than anyone else that if I didn't wear them I couldn't see anything. High school came and by now I had a collection of old frames that I had been through. Glasses started to become the in thing as I got into the higher grades, and I would try to match my glasses to my look of the day in order to stay up with the trends. After I grew out of a certain pair of glasses I would usually retire them to their case and throw them in a junk box. Yesterday as I yet again retired some more glasses that may never touch my face again I decided to look into some ways that someone less fortunate than me could make good use of my old glasses. Here in Winnipeg as well as all over Canada you can donate your glasses to be sent to kids and adults overseas that may never be able to afford their own pair of glasses. So think back to all those old glasses you have grown out of, and think about how much use they are getting sitting in a box at home. Wouldn't be amazing if you could give someone the gift of sight by donating your old glasses? For me glasses are one of the biggest blessings in my life with them I can see the world around me clear as a bell, without them I am basically useless as the world is literally a huge blur. Think about it, one simple action of giving away something that you don't even use anymore could change the life of someone overseas, just like glasses changed my life. 

Song Profile: "You Make Me Brave"

You Make Me Brave 
By: Bethel Music & Amanda Cook 

As many of you may know, I love music. I love writing music, playing music, and appreciating other artists music. I thought it would be good to appreciate some of my favourite songs, and express the reasons why I like them. I could spend hours sometimes just playing others music, but then in turn making their words my words, it's truly a unique experience. I will start with a relatively new song called "You Make Me Brave." I absolutely love this song. This song was written in conjunction with Bethel Music but was actually written by a Manitoba native Amanada Cook. I love when artists compare God's love, grace, and character to those of an ocean. It's such a great picture and visual for understanding the magnitude of God. In the chorus of this song it says "as Your love in wave after wave, crashes over me, crashes over me." I think that is such an amazing picture of love, like a wave with so much power and force comes at you so does God's love. Moving into the bridge it repeats "you make me brave, you make me brave, you called me out beyond the storm into the waves. You make me brave, you make me brave, no fear can hinder now the promises you made." This is such a simple yet powerful statement, which I really appreciate in the bridge of a song. Sometimes just keeping your message short and sincere is more impactful to your listener then trying to expresses your emotions in many words. Overall I absolutely love Bethel Music, especially their new song "You Make Me Brave."

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Great Unknown


I find that as a young person I spend a lot of time stressing over things that are in my future, or things that haven't even happened yet. This year especially I feel like I'm swarmed by adults pestering me about what I am going to do next year, or what I see for my life ahead. First off I'm only 18 I have just barely got into this life and now I have to make the choice of what I want the rest of it to look like. Sometimes instead of dwelling on what I don't know it's easier to be still and confident in what I do know. I know that I love Jesus, I know that I long to help people, and I know that my future will consist of those two things. I don't know how that will happen, or when it will happen but I know those two things are apart of who I am. This whole pressure of having to decide what I want to do for the rest of my life has really pushed me towards taking a year off and just spending time doing what I love, and being with God. Next year I plan on attending a bible college in Las Vegas with a strong focus on growing closer to God, and learning about the sex trade in Vegas as well as overseas. I will be traveling with this group overseas to work more hands on in terms of this issue, and I couldn't be more excited to do so. No I will not get university credit for it, no I will not be working towards a career, but I will be doing something I love because I want to, and because I can. Let things come as they are, let life happen, and let things out of your control. Some of the best experiences in my life weren't planned, and even if they were half the fun is being spontaneous. Abour a year ago I got a call telling me I won a scholarship to volunteer overseas in the summer, never once did I think that something like that could happen. It's was scary, it's wasn't planned, and it was the greatest unknown I have ever experienced. Do what you love, and stick to what you know. Don't feel pressured to make choices right now, and don't act because you have to, you have your whole life ahead of you. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The simplicity of sunrise


So I was scrolling though my camera role and wanted to make a graphic for my blog. I found this photo and knew right away I wanted to do something with it. This photo took me back to the moment where I was sitting on the mountain side of rural Kenya gazing out into the distance and seeing the sun peak out from hiding for the first time that day. Now I've been alive for approximately 6705 sunrises, and most days I take for granted this beauty that is the sunrise. Sunrise is something that happens everyday but yet is something that will always be gorgeous. How did it take 18 years to realize this beauty? It is easy to take for granted something that happens everyday, but it would be something that you would notice its absence. Imagine if one day the sun ceased to rise, suddenly our lives would change and there would be nothing we could do. Don't take the little things for granted enjoy all parts of life, because you never know when your life will take a u turn. I'm not saying that one day the sun will cease to rise, but eventually your life will be diffferent than it is right now and only you can appreciate every moment that you have gratefully been given. 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Haiku experiment


So lately I've been looking in different kinds of poetry. I think that poetry is a great way to get your ideas down in a creative way that is unique to you. For those of you who don't know, I am a song writer. Sometimes when you are writting songs it is hard to expresses yourself and how you are feeling in a way that makes musical sense. I have lots of good ideas, but it's hard to arrange them in a way that makes a good and catchy song. So here we are, I am trying out poetry, simply as a hobby. Today I wrote this haiku. A haiku is formed using syllables in a very specific and simple manner. A haiku is a combination of three lines the first containing 5 syllables, the second having 7, and the last going back to the 5. I thought it would be best starting with a form of poetry that had a very strict framework to encourage me to condense and contain my ideas to the format, which is very short and sweet. In general I found this to be a helpful "experiment" which definitely encourages me to experiment with poetry more in the future. This haiku in particular is referring to God's love for me, using the methaphor of an ocean. Just as the ocean is so large and vast, and has so much power and beauty God's love washes over me. God has so much love that the "waters" engulf me by His grace. I am generally happy with my first Haiku, and stay posted for future additions of my poetry. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

More than...


As a teenager and constantly being surrounded by teenagers I realized a trend that has been formed in our generation. We allow other people to dictate how we think about ourselves. We allow society to tell us who we are rather than reaching for the stars that striving for excellence. I am here to tell you. 

You are more than...
What others say about you 
The standard society sets for teenagers 
The mistakes of your past 
The mistakes of your future 
The grades you get in school 
How much you weigh 
Your downfalls 
Your loses 
The people who tell you no 
Your hurts 
Your fears 

You are more. 

What prevents you from being the best you can be? What keeps you up at night, and haunts you day after day? Sometimes nothing can comfort the loniness and emptiness you feel in your times of need, but know that you are more than the darkness this world is, and you will get through this dessert time. Before I to give my life to Christ I struggled to feel as though I was more than what I was perceived to be. After being a Christian for a number of years now I have become more at piece with knowing that I am a new person in Christ and that no matter what anyone says about me I find my identity in one place only, and that place is in the perfect of Jesus Christ. Religion may not be for everyone, that was just an example of where I found my "more". What's you're more? What do you find your identity in? Just know... No matter what, you are more. 





Model United Nations Assembly


This past weekend I attended the model United Nations assembly event as the delegate from Malaysia. Basically this event is a model of what it would be like to be a delegate in the United Nations, and you debate and amend actual resolutions that the United Nations has in the past. It was an interesting experience as I got to be the chair of the 3rd and 4th committee which allowed me to be in charge off formal meeting. It really was awesome to be able to intelligently discuss current issues with other like minded youth, and I'm more than glad that I got the experience. 

Ted event reflection


This past week we attended a Tedx event as a class, which was an interesting experience. Ted talks are known for giving insight on a topic that the speaker is passionate about to the audience. This event was unique in the sense that not every speaker was the most composed and well rounded speaker but each one of came with a message to share. As an avid speaker myself I could empathize with how it feels get on a stage in front of a live audience and share your personal story. It's nerve racking, terrifying, and stressful, just to name a few feelings. This fact alone allowed me to enjoy their talks more rather than just judge their speaking skills. One speaker that stood out to me was Shawn, the little boy who played piano. I believe that music is so powerful and even when words aren't spoken a message can be sent, so seeing someone so young captivate his audience through just the keys of a piano. In general I believe that I gained new perspective by attending this event and am excited to hopefully attend more in the future. This was a great experience and I would encourage other students in the future to attend this event. 

The bigger picture


When I think about my life I can pin point many different specific moments that have led me to be who I am today. Last night I was reading the bible and this verse really stuck out to me. Sometimes I think we get too caught up in the moment that we forget to acknowledge the big picture. All of us want to strive to get from point a to point b, to become our ideal person. I know I have found myself stuck In between who I am and who I want to be because the details stop me from remembering what the big picture is. The big picture is the why, it's the reason you do what you do, and you are who you are. I really liked this verse because it reminded me that God has control of the details, and not only that but he will work things out in helping me become my ideal person. Even if you aren't religious we need to remember that life goes on, and details will work them self out. It's impossible to understand the full magnitude of a puzzle if you only have piece, so don't dwell on that piece. Allow the pieces of your life to form together into the masterpiece they were made to be. Your life is a masterpiece, don't let the individual pieces stop you from creating the bigger picture. 


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Quick write: periodic table






Quick write: best meal

If someone ever asked me what my ideal meal would be I right away would say an East Indian feast. I absolutely love Indian food, which I might be biased towards as I've eaten it all my life because my family has an East Indian background. First there would be pea pilau. It would be fried in this seemingly sweet mix of spices, that would explode in your mouth once consumed. The smell would lead you to think that this is a rather tame and dull dish but once the first spoon hits your mouth you will want to scarf down te entire bowl because of it's addicting combination of spice and vegetables. The pea pilau would then be topped with a simple and traditions chicken curry. This dish would be filled with spices, enough to leave a good kick in your mouth but not enough to turn you away to chug back a pitcher of water. The chicken would be tender and again containing a sweetness that is then masked by the numerous spices inside. The sauce would be creamy and oily, and when topped on the pea pilau the combo would leave you drooling for more. Every good East Indian dish is accompanied by warm, soft naan bread. When you open up the bundle of bread your glasses would be covered in condensation from the steam rising. You would break the naan and scoop up the curry with the naan which would make the spice more bearable. On the side you would have non traditional glass of chocolate milk, because who doesn't like chocolate milk? My ideal meal would be someone traditional, that reminds me of my roots but never seems to let me down in terms of being a fantastic dinner choice. 

Quick write: Eden

When I think of my "Eden" all I think of is heaven. To me the only perfect land would be what heaven is like, and in my head I think I have my hopes of what that will be like. First of all heaven will have everything good, only good things can be in heaven therefore there will obviously be Starbucks, McDonald's fries, puppies, and kittens that never grow into full grown cats. I think that heaven will be the place where no one is sad, no one is broken, and where there is just this overwhelming sense of love and togetherness. I think heaven will be the place where there is always a party, you are always just joyful and celebrating that joy through amazing soulful music, dancing, and creative expression. Personally I would hope that heaven would only have sunny skies that never end and never snow, but who knows maybe by then I will miss the bitter winter.  I think the absolute best part of heaven will be spending eternity with a bunch of people who love Jesus and who aren't afraid to hide it, like what could be better? A place where you are made new, and you are free to be yourself no matter what that is. I think that heaven would be plastered with bright colours, blue, yellow, green, pink, orange, colours that make you think joy and happiness. Well I can't wait until the day where this all comes true, but until then I can only dream of what heaven will be like in utter perfection. 

Monday, 28 April 2014

Skype Session

1) what went well with today's skype session? 

I think today went well because all of the kids in Thompson seemed very attentive to what we were saying about our procedural writing. I think that we had good flow to what we were saying even though we didn't get in much practice. I enjoyed sharing a more light hearted topic of mine for our procedural writing and I think that both sides of the conversation were engaged and into what was going on. 

2) what's the value in using skype to collaborate? 

I think that technology especially skype has allowed us to connect with a group of younger students that we would normally not get to connect with. Technology has allowed me personally have so many oppurtunities to share with people who I normally would not have connected with. Our skype relationship with the grade three class in Thompson is no exception to this. I believe that people are meant to connect to other people and that distance should never be a barrier to having a relationship. Some of my best friends live miles away and through technology we have been able to keep in contact. I personally like bases like skype or FaceTime because it allows a very real aspect to come with our sessions because we can see and hear each thee without being anywhere near each other. I think technology can be used in a way in which is beneficial and positive if you explode outside of what we normally see in a class room. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

How to work at McDonald's

Procedural Writing: How to Work at McDonald`s

1) Lower your expectations

Photo Credit: Micayla McNaughtan

2) Wear a lame uniform

Photo Credit: Micayla McNaughtan

3) Learn to clean up spills, even if they`re not yours

Photo Credit: Shelby Graham

4) Change your sleep schedule

Photo Credit: Micayla McNaughtan

5) Practice your cheesy smile

Photo Credit: Micayla McNaughtan 

6) Be a burger master! ...or burrito master.

Photo Credit: Micayla McNaughtan

Photo Credit: Shelby Graham

7) Live a McHappy Life as a McLifer

Photo Credit: Shelby Graham

Monday, 21 April 2014

Why am I fully timetabled?

M.McNaughtan 

My grade 12 year, finally. Lots of people call this the year to have a good time with your friends, and go to as little classes as possible. But all throughout high school I made a choice to not take any spares. "You're crazy!" You may say... But I assure you my rational has a lot of meaning, and understand why I would do such a "crazy" thing might given you more insight into who I am. Since I hit grade 11, which is where you have the option to take spares I decided to be fully course loaded. I made this choice because of two reasons, I will let you in on the first. So it might sound clichè but knowledge is powerful. I think that being knowledgeable  about as many things as you can opens up so many doors for you about the world around you. Because I decided to take a ton of different classes I feel like I know a lot of different things that are actually some what useful about the world around me. I've taken classes like American history, world religions, law, psychology, photography, and the list goes on. All of these classes have taught me about various things that have actually been useful to me. The second reason is because I wanted to make a statement, and show gratitude. Education is really one of the most important things you can give to someone and yet so many kids around this globe could only dream of going to school like I do. So as a testament to all of those kids I decided to take full advantage of the opportunity to go to school. If I am one of the fortunate people who will be educated I will do it to the best of my ability. Since going to kenya this summer and sitting inside an old broken down classroom to learn I understand what education means. I understand that it is a gift that no one should take for granted. The truth is someone has to be a voice for the voiceless and sometimes that doesn't always mean speaking. This is just one example in my life that I use my actions to speak louder than my words, and use them to raise awareness about our world. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this, and if you have any questions let me know! A question for you all: what is the most useful things you have learned in school? 

Mid Semester Reflection

Six word memoirs:
I really enjoyed making the six word memoirs. I think that it was a good challenge for myself as a writer because it forced me to tell my story in six short words. I feel like the messages I was trying to get across were quite heavy and deep, but by being forced to convey it in 6 words allowed me to simplify what I was trying to say, and get down to the heart of my message. I think for me personally what went well was having the ability to connect my words to personal visuals. I really love creating graphics, and photos so to be able to tell a story that relied a lot on the visual aspect was something that I felt I was strong at. Something I know I wanted to improve on was my choice of punctuation. Throughout all of my six word memoirs I went with a simplicity approach, by using just periods, or at times a comma followed by a period. I wish that I would've challenged myself more in using different types of punctuation. I think with the 6 words memoirs I chose that additional punctuation would've been unnecessary, but I would've liked to have allowed myself to try different things. Overall I really enjoyed the six word memoir project, and I think it will be something I use outside of this class. I really enjoy telling stories, and sharing about things that matter to me and i loved the challenge of creating an impactful story in six short words.

IGNITE presentations:
At first i would say more than anything the IGNITE presentation stressed me out. I had a relatively good idea of what I wanted to talk about, but i was nervous about the format as well as how I was going to convery my message under a strict framework. Having such a loose idea of what needed to be in a "good" IGNITE, but having a tight format really put pressure on me to deliver what I wanted to say. I don't feel that i was rushed or unprepared for this project at all. Sure more time is always nice, but I felt like i had my project together in a presentable manner for the due date given. One thing for me that i would say didn't go well was my timing during preperation. I was really stressing about saying what I needed to say, and doing it in five minutes. With all of that being said it led to me feeling really nervous when I practiced that i talked so fast that you would not be able to understand me, and that my presentation was two minutes short. With some practice, and voice recordings I was able to listen to myself and fix where I felt I was not paced, and learn how to be calm even in a seemingly stressful situation. I think that alone was a huge learning moment for me, staying calm and being confident in my message even in restrictive circumstances. I think this project made me a better public speaker, because although I have given many presentation with a similar message, this one pushed me out of my comfort zone and exposed my flaws as a speaker, which in turn caused me to grow in my speaking skills. Overall I think that many things went well with this project, I think that I did the best job that i could've done given my time frame, and would like to experiment with new templates of presenting in the future.

Blogging:
Blogging for me was a new experience. Usually I like to live in a bubble and not really be super open about my life, esspecially in an online setting. That being said I think blogging was a little bit of a struggle for me just because with the whole posting assignments thing it almost seemed like no one would know if i handed it in late because it was online instead of in person. I think this was kind of a poor attitude and once i got rid of that i found myself enjoying blogging more because I had more time to share about things i cared about rather than just assignments. In terms of personal additions I went with more of a quality of quantity approach. Instead of posting tons of links and pictures everday i decided to think about things that were on my mind and give a longer and more indepth post on my thoughts, and opinions on that topic. I know that in the future I would like to make more personal additions, but I feel the ones that I did post were high quality. Commenting on others blogs is what I struggled witht the most. I don't think that I did a very good job about giving constructive comments to others. Comments from me were in very few quantities most becuase I think I forgot or never really thought about the fact that it was something I needed to do. In the future I think it would be nice to do more personal additions featuring questions to start a conversation, as well as give others good constructive comments.

Connecting and engaging:
I find many things we do in this class interesting because it pushed me outside of what I expect from an English class. That being said i would like to contribute more to the class so I can get the full potential out of what this class has to offer. Sometimes I find myself being that quiet observer in class, mostly because I want to digest what I am doing or what we are discussing instead of always doing the talking. I also think that most of the things that I have to say are good contributions and that I should share more than keep to myself. One thing I would like to do more of in class is ask questions. I think that asking questions is a great way to gain more information and perspective on what we are discussing. In terms of attendance I think that I have been here on a regular basis with my assignments ready to go. I think that most of your success from a class comes from just being there, so that is something I have for sure tried to value throughout this semester.

Goals:

1) More comments: I would like to spend more time commenting on others blogs. I think that this will be a good way to start conversations, as well as make the blogging aspect of this class more interesting and personal. I like the idea of being able to see other peoples work and giving them comments to encourage them or help them out.

2) Ask more questions: I would love to prioritize asking questions, whether that be on my blog, others blogs, or in class. I think that posing questions on my blog will encourage others who are looking to comment to start a conversation. I beleive that commenting with a question on others blogs will allow me to understand more about them, as well as why they made the choices they did. And I think asking questions in class will allow me to get the most out of it, and understand why and how to learn in the most effective way I can.

3) More personal additions: I think that I could include more personal additions on my blog, and maybe some that aren't as long but even just a link, or a photo I took.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

He is risen


So today is Easter. I think Easter has really changed over my lifetime. As time goes by it seems as though this Easter weekend has turned into just another long weekend. For me Easter is the single best day of the year. Easter is not the best day because I get an extra day off, because my grandma got me a Starbucks giftcard, or because of all the food I know I will be consuming tonight. Easter is what it is because today Jesus stomped on the grave and conquered death. Like it's hard to keep quiet on this holiday when really it is the ultimate joy for a Christ follower. My creator came to earth to live with his creation. He lived a perfect life, one that was admirable at the least. Then he willingly took on the most painful death any human could imagine. He hung on a cross besides broken people like myself, and declared that "it is finished." Someone who was perfect died for my imperfection. Three days later they went to check the tomb where Jesus was buried but it was empty. He was dead but then he was alive. I don't know about you but this story kind of blows my mind. Firstly because it's crazy that the creator of everything ever even had a desire to have a relationship with me, so much so that he would take the punishment for all my faults forever. Like it doesn't even make sense. But that's the point. Grace doesn't make sense, it's not supposed to. I don't have all the answers, and I don't why some thing are the way they are. But I know that I have a God that loves me so much that he would die to have a relationship with me, and that is the ultimate gift. That's why I celebrate today. This whole "Christianity" thing has rocked my world, this whole following Jesus thing has given me the most blessing of a life. Times may not always be easy, but I know for a fact that from start to finish God has my best interest in mind, and I will follow him. Christ is risen; He's risen indeed. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Igniting, and presenting


Tonight I was given the opportunity to give an ignite presentation. There was a lot of unique aspects to this presentation and I was so blessed that I was given the opportunity to share my mind. First off for those of you who don't know an ignite presentation is one in which you are given exactly five minutes, and you have a slide show with 20 slides that self advance every 15 seconds. Being an avid presenter these last few months, I was thirsty for a new challenge in my relm of presenting. Generally I would get up with a PowerPoint and speak to each picture and answer the questions my audience would have on my specific topic. Being forced to convey a strong message in such a short period of time was by far one of the more challenging things I've done. One thing I learned from this whole experience was sometimes you can't over think things. I remember when I first started writing this presentation and stressing over saying the right thing, or making everything line up. But after pouring my heart out into those five minutes I can now say that if you are passionate, people will listen no matter if you're presentation is perfect or not. Another fear I had going into tonight was my audience. Generally I speak to students about my adventure to Kenya, and how they can get involved in being a change in the world. Tonight I was speaking to a more educated audience and it was hard not to let that one aspect freak me out. I guess my learning moment from that was people are people. People of all ages will care about what you have to say, if you care about what you have to say. Spreading my message of being a light in this dark world is something that I feel extremely passionate about and no matter my age, or how technical my message is, people care because I care. I can't wait to see where my future takes me, and I hope that I continue to challenge myself in spreading my message of being a spark in the darkness. Thank you all for supporting me, and listening to what I have to say. I am so incredibly blessed to know how many people support me and passion. 




Monday, 14 April 2014

Stop and smell the roses

Life's moments happen so quickly, they come and go, some highs and some lows. It is impossible to stop time, but it is possible to stop and enjoy it. One thing I have realized is sometimes instead of fretting the details, you need to just stop and have a good time. I think people have this mind set that in order to be happy and have a good time, all the elements of that situation have to be in your favour. Let me tell you a story. When I flew to Kenya this past summer the 
elements were for sure not in my favour. First off my flight to paris was delayed so I literally got off one 8 hour flight, and got straight on another. The flight into Nairobi was long and tiring and to make matters worse the airport had burnt down the week before, so we landed and walked onto a bare tarmack filled with small portable tents that held baggage, and immigration services. My group walked up to one of these small tents to hand in our travel papers, only to find it flooded with travellers anxiously waiting to get out of the chaotic Nairobi "airport" at 3 in the morning. After waiting over an hour in a crowd of complete strangers, we went to go pick up our bags. So here's the thing due to the lack of buildings at the airport the tent had open piles of luggage from all over the world with loose leaf papers saying where they were from. We walked into the tent and everyone quickly grabbed their bags as I stood there in utter shock that I had no luggage. I was about to travel to the middle of rural Kenya, with no clothes, no toothbrush, no anything, all with a group of complete strangers. I guess the only "lucky" thing was that I wasn't the only person to have absolutely no possessions other than a bible, a camera, and some granola bars. This person and me coped through this awful situation, and literally became inseparable throughout our trip. You wouldn't see one of us with out the other, and you always associate us as a pair. It's funny how I met one of my best friends, because of a situation that was far from ideal. Instead of dwelling on the details, I just let it go and ended up having one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Just to let you know four days later my luggage was driven out to our camp and I can't say that I wasn't off the walls excited to put on a clean shirt. The moral of the story is that sometimes it's more enjoyable to play in the mud, than to struggle out of it. Instead of allowing myself to swell on the bad, I stopped and smelled the roses and just let life happen. Slow down, be okay with the letting the details go, and allow yourself to be happy when the world tells you to be down. 

Monday, 31 March 2014

Show you care, buy fair trade


Hello fellow world changers! Today I want to spend some time talking to you about fair trade and ethically sourced products. Fair trade is basically buying products like  chocolate, coffee, clothing, shoes, and jewelry that are made overseas for a fair living wage, in safe conditions, and not under any for of slavery. I started to get into fair trade buying when I got more interested in learning about the slave trade and human trafficking. After realizing how many people in this world are currently oppressed I knew I needed to become a consumer that does not validate the actions of slavery, and cheap consumerism. Let me give you an example, the bracket in the picture above is one that I bought from Free the Children. Free the Children got the bracelet made my Mama's living in the Massai Mara in Kenya. Those Mama's are giving a fair wage for their product, the supplies they need to make them, and safe working conditions to make the product. My braclet was then pal cages and shipped to canada so I could buy it and support the Mama's as well as the charity Free the Children. I know there is a lot of push back about fairtrade as buying things may be more expensive or harder to find but I promise you, knowing that you are helping someone less fortunate while still getting the things you want is a good feeling. As a consumer I buy fair trade coffee, t shirts, hoodies, jewelry, and tea. The first step to becoming a more conscious consumer is to educate yourself. Look into the brands you support see where and how their products are made. If you find that a particular brand has been associate with slavery look for alternatives. Once you understand the basics of slavery and fair trade the next step would be to explore ethically sourced products. Since I've been into buying fair trade I have accumulated a list of places that I like to buy from that I know do not use slave labour to create their products. This step takes a little bit of work, and research but there are some amazing companies (that I will list bellow) that you can buy from and support. The last step to becoming a more ethical shopper is spread the message. It's really awesome that you choose to buy fair trade, but pass it on. Explain where your shirt was made, and how other people can get involved. Most people that I talk to have no idea that they even have these options to buy ethically sourced products. I hope you all enjoyed this post, and have a great time find your own favourite fair trade products. 

Micayla's personal favourites: 

Sevenly.org 
Krochetkids.org 
Metowestyle.com 
Unseenmin.org 

Friday, 28 March 2014

Presenting, humbling, and hope


This past Tuesday I got the opportunity to present in a grade 2/3 class room about my journey to Kenya this summer. Since I've been back I've been going to schools sharing my story, and how young people can get involved in make a difference in people's lives overseas. I'm not going to lie but I was nervous for this one. Before I went on this journey I was an awful public speaker, but since I've been back I feel rather content as I am sharing my story, and something I care about therefore I am at ease because I just need to be myself. This presentation was a little bit different as I was the "special guest" in my little brothers classroom. It's hard to speak to a group of little kids about issues that are so complex and dark in this world, but at the same time it is so exciting to know that we are at a point where we can educate kids this young about the problem our world faces. I got up there, and like every other time I do I shared my story, and the kids just loved it. It was a humbling moment to see a group of kids no older than nine get so excited and pumped up to learn about the lives of people they have never met. Kids like this give me hope that our world isn't such a bad place and that we can have faith in generations coming up to step up and change this world. Usually people look down on young people because they are incapable and not willing to step up, but if we give them the chance who knows what they will do. I closed off my presentation by answering a question of "what can we do to help?" This is the kind of world that I want to be apart of, young people (no matter how young) can make a difference, we will be the change. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

5 reasons why I love Starbucks


Amongst many of the things I like Starbucks would make a very high position on that list. I feel like people either love Starbucks or hate it. If you were to hate it you would complain about how over priced every there is, and how that the line ups are too long, and that you can get just as good of coffee next door for $3 cheaper. So to combat all of those valid arguments to why Starbucks sucks I thought I would make a post that list my top 5 reasons for loving Starbucks.

1) Customer Service: So I usually go to the same Starbucks everytime I choose to by a beverage. There is nothing more that I appreciate about a buissness than too notch customer service. Starbucks unlike many other corporate coffee shops goes above and beyond in this area. Everytime I walk in the door of my favourite location I get greeted with a hello, my order is taken and they are quick to recommend a new product, or cater to my specific requests, while my drink is being made usually the barista comes up with some form of small talk, and then I am sent off with a lovely "have an awesome day" (or something to that extent). Customer service makes every buissness more desirable and Starbucks knocks it out of the park on this one. 

2) Hot Drinks: Alright, so during the fall and winter months I generally stick to the hot drinks that Starbucks offers. These are where I find people bring the most criticism. Everyone is quick to brig judgement to the $4 mochas and lattes Starbucks sells but is quick to speak before tasting the quality. I'm one that tries new things, it's just what I do. If in out and there is a coffee shop near by I usually will pop in and grab a mocha or something of that sort. Usually I get an average tasting, watered down beverage that really barely satisfied my love my coffee. I would rather spend more money and get a well made espresso based beverage, than get a cheap mediocre tasting one any day. My favourite hot drinks are the White chocolate mocha, the caramel macchiato, and the caramel flan latte. Seriously though quality or quantity wins for me any day. 

3) The Reason I Go: This point is less about Starbucks itself and more about the meanin behind it in my life. I started going to Starbucks because there was one right beside my church. Every since then Starbucks has become a place where I hang out with the people I'm closest to in my life, my church friends, and small group leaders. That coffee shop is the place where I laugh, hang out, talk about some of my biggest struggles, and get to know the people I love in my life. Starbucks has always been the place for us to just enjoy being with each other over a cup of coffee and sit and listen to each other's stories for hours. I love Starbucks because it's where I became close to some amazing people, which is just great in itself. 

4) Cold Drinks: Like I said earlier I drink hot beverages in the fall and winter, which means in the spring and summer I stick with the cold. I absolutely adore the cold drinks at Starbucks. They have so many unique cold drinks, that keep me hooked all summer long. Above and beyond your normal ice coffee, or I've latte you can try things like iced tea, frappuchinos, or your favourite got drink in an almost better cold form. One thing I am hooked on right now is the Passion Tea Lemonade. This drink is so good, it is made with herbal tea, it is under 100 calories, and it is a great alternative to sugar free iced tea that we normally get which is awesome. I find with the cold drinks there is something for everyone whether it be a coffee base, a tea base, caffeinated or decaffeinated there is something for everyone and it is definitely worth experimenting to find your perfect drink. 

5) Custom Orders: At Starbucks they are very keen on letting you order exactly what you want to order. Unlike many coffee shops, especially cooperate ones the drinks are prepare from a machine so you get little say in what goes in them. At Starbucks you basically have a free reign to decide how you want your drink made, which includes what syrups are used, how much, the amount of espresso, how much ice goes in. You name it. For example if I was ordering a caramel flan latte I would get it with skim milk, half sweet, and extra drizzle on top. Your barista will have no problem making your drink exactly how you pictured it to be. You can also add things to you drinks as well, if I was ordering my usually venti passion tea lemonade I would get it made with half ice, and 2 pumps of raspberry syrup. For you haters of Starbucks, don't bash it until you go and literally get a beverage made exactly how you want it. You get what you pay for, and my money is worth the great service, the memories, and quality of drinks I get from Starbucks. 

Reading assignment- so what?


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Six word memoir #6- Me


(1) How does the image and the words fit together?
This six word memoir was kind of a last minute one, it wasn't my original ideas for me. I find myself not ever being into just one thing, but rather having a set of morals and adventuring through what those mean to me in a variety of ways. I see hope in the darkness is actual a set of lyrics from the chorus of a song I wrote called perfect harmony. That song is original and represents my world view as a young person. This song was actually my entry for the PotashCorp youth trip scholarship trip to Kenya, and as you may know I was selected to participate on their first ever scholarship trip overseas. This song connects a lot of aspects of myself together, like music, my trip to kenya, the start of the love praise serve project, and my over all love and longing to make a difference in this world. This image I took last year in photography, and I thought it was a great literal representation of a more metaphorical concept. Symbolically I would like to that spark that lights up a room, and changes this world, and this image does just that. I was in a pitch black room with a lighter and a single flame brought light to the entire frame. I see hope in the darkness, a methaphlrical phrase is brought to life though a very literal visual. 

(3) How did you use punctuation to clarify your message?
Like many of my six word memoirs I kept with a theme of simplicity, conveying powerful message in the simplist way I possibly could. I also took this directly from the lyrics of my song "Perfect Harmony" to keep it as authentic to myself in that moment as I could. To me I still believe that simplicity is the best way to convey a powerful message. I could've put something like: "I see: hope in the darkness." But again that would be turning something rather practical and uncomplicated into something that wants to be sophisticated rather than true to it's meaning, and really that's not my personality. By giving a bare boned structure it allows the viewer to contemplate what is darkness? What is hope? And develop their own personal connection to my personal memoir, creating deeper meaning. A period is not only simple, but to the point, exactly what I was looking for. 

Quick write- Perfect Playground

Quick write: teenagers brain

Monday, 17 March 2014

Just a thought

Ecclesiates 3:11&12 

If it isn't already clear through what I have posted this far on my blog, I am a Chrsitian. I am not ashamed of who I am and what I believe, and I feel as though posting a bible verse as a personal addition would make clear sense as it represents me. So many people I think try to hide what they believe so they can come across as inclusive, but who says you can't do both? A huge misconception of Christianity, and one that may be a reality for many people is that Christians are judgemental hypocrites. Believe it or not it is biblical to love everybody, yes everybody, no matter how their beliefs differ from yours. I'm not here to post about how I believe I as a Christian is better than anybody else, and their belief set, but rather show that I do have a strong world view based around Christianity and that my opinion on others does not change whether they agree or disagree with me. I think a common value for everybody, above all their other rules, beliefs, and guidelines is that love should not stop just because opinions clash. I could write here about how I feel about every single controversial subject, and I could sit here and rant about how I think I'm right, but that would get in the way of being able to show love to others. Love big, and don't allow differences to seperate you from loving others.

Skype mini lesson

(1) What topics did you present?  How did you go about making in "stick" with your audience?
My group presented on punctuation at the skype reading on Thursday. We presented four forms of punctuation, periods, commas, exclamation points, and question marks. We presented using driving as a visual for the different punctuations. I think that it stuck with the kids because they connected different aspects of driving to punctuation. The red light represented a period, stopping the sentence. The yellow light represented a comma, slowing down and pacing a sentence. The green light represented an exclamation point, something abrupt. The question mark was represented by a pot hole, swerving around it and wondering why it is there. I think overall people were receptive to the simplicity that we brought as well as being metaphorical about punctuation. 

(2) How do you feel your mini lesson went? Strengths? Weaknesses?
I think that our mini lesson went off better than we thought it would. Overall I think that it wasn't fantastic but for sure was better than we thought it would be. I think our strengths were the amount of visuals we had, and the interactive aspects we added by allowing the kids to answer the questions that we asked. I think our weakness was just being unprepared, and having to finish our visuals before the skype call instead of having them done earlier. I think we were slightly disorganized in terms of who has what role, but played it off well in the actual lesson. 

(3) What did you learn about the process of teaching and learning?
I think that I learned and understood how much prep goes into making a lesson that sticks with the listener, that makes sense to a different age group than myself, and doing so in a creative and unique way. It's hard to relate to people in different age groups than yourself, and it is difficult to think of an effective way to convey your message when you forget who you are teaching. That was a big take away point for me, learning how to relate to an audience who may have a different understanding than yourself. I remember my first presentation to a group of elementary school kids, and how rough it went because I didn't talk as though I was talking to kids 10 years younger than me, I was speaking as though they had a similar understanding that I would've had... Obviously that would not be one of my best presentations. I think this was a good take away point for me, especially having presentations to younger kids in the future, to remember your audience. 

(4) What should we do next?
I think that it would be a good idea to do a pen pal type thing where we send the kids in Thompson actual letters. As much as I love using technology as a form of quick communication, I still find it more personal to hand write letters to people. It would be fun to do a pen pal assignment where we write to them, and they write back to us. That's really the best idea I have got. 

Six word memoir #5- Love


(1) How does the image and the words fit together?
This photo is more of a literal representation of a more metaphorical concept. What I wanted to achieve with this statement is showing how powerful love is beyond just our own relm of thinking. Love is such a loosely used word and I wanted to allow my viewers to think of love outside of how they see it in our society. Love has the ability to change the world, and to radically change the so corruption our world sees. I took this photo on my family trip to Colorado last spring break, in the Garden of the Gods. I added some effects on Photoshop to make the photo seem more abstract to fit the abstract concept of love. If love can make something as big as mountains move (metaphorically) then we can get a better understanding of how powerful it really is. 

(3) How did you use punctuation to clarify your message? 
So as like many of my other six word memoirs I chose simplicity in terms of sentence structure and punctuation. In order to convey a powerful message you need to do it in a simple way. If you add too many variable suddenly you are more focused on the presentation rather than the message itself. To give rhythm to my sentence I chose the words make and shake because they rhyme and keep consistency within my memoir. With the sentence I chose I don't think that a comma or exclamation point would have been appropriate because there is no specific place that makes sense to put it. Overall I think it was a good choice to stick with a simple period rather than over complicate things with other punctuation. 

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Six word memoir- #4 Hate


(1) How does the image and the words fit together?
This image that I chose I created from the ground up. I wrote out the hello my name is sticker, photographed it, and edited it to create the effect I was looking for. Right from the start I was going after a mood of darkness and shame. The one thing I hate in this world is injustice especially when it involves children. I wanted people to be exposed to a potentially shocking reality before they read my words which expresses my hate for that reality. If people don't understand there is a problem, then how would you develop a hate for it? I believe this is a dark hate and this image brings a tone of darkness to match my feeling on this issue. Overall I feel like hate is a strong emotion and if you intend on expressing it you need to do so in a way that is expressive, and creative, and not just through aner but through sadness and longing. 

(3) How did you use punctuation to clarify your message?
In this six word memoir I used two forms of punctuation, a period and a coma. Both I believe were necessary in order to convey an impactful message. I think that adding the comma allows the reader to digest the idea that "my heart breaks" those words are rather heavy and I think that it takes time to fully understand what it feels like to have a broken heart. I didn't say my heart is sad, or my heart is rattled, I said my heart breaks. By allowing a place in the sentence for the reader to comprehend the magnitude of those words it brings more impact to the back half of the sentence. Now at the end I explain why my heart breaks, it's "when innocence falls." Again this is a more complex idea, and makes you contemplate what innocence is and what it means when it falls. In the end I put a period because it is a statement, and didn't really need an exclamation point to get a strong point across.