from the Friendly TAV College Neighbourhood Cartoonist
Being bored is a normal state that everyone experiences. More so when you are young, as you are more likely to not yet have found your “thing”. So here are a few observations and tips from me, as someone who not only was never bored while stuck at home this past summer but who actually didn’t seem to have enough hours in the day!
Productive Tip: Drawing
I am in the Arts, Letters, and Communication program, if you hadn’t yet guessed. But the reason I suggest you draw is in order to be more productive. Many of you already utilize visuals to better understand the problem. This is true in your assignments here at TAV, but in your personal lives too. Visualization becomes a potent tool as you break down a problem into many pieces, then seeing in your mind where each piece fits in the whole, after that is connecting the dots. A mind map or an infographic are great examples of data visualization. Also just doodling symbols of key concepts from your project is great. You will be so concise in your problem solving that your teachers will think you are cheating!
Productive Tip: Santé!
College students, on average, do not much consider their health before making choices. Their muscle fibers are still delightfully springy, their skeletal systems have yet to skew from years of bad ergonomics, and their smiles are still a healthy white regardless of what they chose to
eat. Who can blame them? I am just now awakening to the fact that I won’t always be a teenager myself. Here are a number of key points we stand to gain by maintaining a high
health and fitness standard; more energy and prolonged youthfulness, manage emotions better, attractiveness, feel good, mental sharpness, likely to succeed in long term goals, confidence, and leadership to name but a few. Be warned, however, it is not easy to jog, it is not easy to work out, it is not easy to do yoga or breath exercises. Do these as part of your regular routine if you want to be consistent. The body will love you for caring for it, it will be your ally and grant you a boost instead of being an obstacle in your way. Covid-19 works on our ability to intake air to our lungs, so strengthening our breath would be wise.
Productive Tip: Take A Break From Everything!
Simple as that.
Having the ability to actually do this is a great luxury. Just ask your parents!
Productive Tip: Read
With work and schooling from home these days, a lot of us spend an unprecedented number of hours of the day in front of a screen. So in our leisure time, we may wish to unwind by exercising, for one, but also by reading print material. They’re still a thing you know! The medium of books has collected a wealth of knowledge from stories to ideas, and more, for you to enrich yourself with. I don’t know about you, but I retain information better this way than with fast-talking videos on Youtube or snippets of data here and there on social media. Reading is also pleasant and meditative. I notice that within about 10 minutes into a reading session, I start breathing better (longer and deeper and effortlessly).
Productive Tip: Walk The Dog
Enjoy the little things! Go to the park, pick up your dog’s poop, look at and enjoy the trees, the grass, the breeze, notice the other people around, their animals, and what everyone is
doing. You’ll find that you’re not so stuck in your problem anymore. New solutions have been inspired into your mind from your little walk to the park or wherever.
Productive Tip: Reflection
The amount of time and energy you save by regularly sitting down and reflecting on your own self, events, relationships, is significant. This opens up space in you to process more of what life is throwing at you. Your efficiency becomes outstanding. Reflection also helps us put things in perspective. It nurtures empathy in us for those who may have drawn the short stick in society and in the pandemic, as we become aware that it could have been us or that it could be us one day.
Motivation Tip: Childhood Friends
What does this have to do with anything? Well, think about it, if you are bored and in need of motivation, looking at what your childhood friends are up to these days ought to light a fire in you. You all started at the same place, so if they are doing good, a need to keep up will overcome you. For those friends who are inevitably as bored as you are or worse, you may indeed be the one to motivate them! During this pandemic, it is a good idea to keep in touch and cherish any bonds you may have. Be informed on what the people close to you are going through. Going outside of yourself like this is a sign of maturity and your loved ones will appreciate you more and see you as a generous person for giving a darn.
Motivation Tip: Watching TV
Take a break from your highly targeted online media content diet. Whether it is your Youtube or Instagram feeds, the algorithms and cookies slowly close in around you and narrow your world. Watching general programming on cable TV, for instance, can remind you of things
you have not seen in a bit such as; images from across the globe, different people with wonderful smiles, different walks of life, customs and norms, games, activities, and a host of funky languages.
Motivation Tip: Watch A Lunar Eclipse or something
This tip is just to bring to your awareness the fact that; even if mankind (us) were to completely destroy ourselves and the planet we call home, the universe would still keep doing its thing!
Life and nature do not cease to exist because we stop existing.
Imagine that whenever you hear violins, you taste cheesecake. Or that your dad’s voice is a pale green. Or that whenever you see the letter “B”, you feel a tickle in your right hand. Sounds crazy right? Actually, this can be the way that a small percentage of the population experiences things. The condition they have is called synesthesia. It’s a rare neurological condition, affecting approximately four (4) percent of the population, in which one sense is joined with another. Synesthesia combines objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or words with a sensory perception such as smell, color or flavor. Every synesthete (someone with synesthesia) has their own unique perceptions. Natalia Feldman is someone who has synesthesia. For her, numbers have colors as well as personalities. Feldman graciously agreed to an interview so that we can get a personal look at just what living with this condition is like.
When did you first find out that you had synesthesia?
My synesthesia is so innate to me that I never really thought to question it. However, I guess you could say that I realized I was different in my first year of middle school, when my teacher mentioned synesthesia. She said that certain people see colors when they hear music. It was then that I realized that numbers don’t have colors and personalities for everyone. It has made things like math and physics a bit challenging because when I have numbers and colors that I like more, sometimes I’ll want to use answers that aren’t necessarily correct because my brain prefers their colors.
Can you please tell me a bit about your synesthesia?
The number one is red. For me, one is powerful and confident, a leader.
The number two is yellow. It’s bubbly and cute, kind of like that dorky friend you have that trips on air, super sweet and friendly. However, it can also be a little aloof at times.
The number three is a burnt orange. It’s more serious. Three can be happy and outgoing, but also has some darker aspects to it.
The number four is a nice fuchsia. I feel like I associate myself the most with the number four.
Four is bright, bubbly and excited to meet people. Four is also sassy and outgoing, and knows what it wants.
The number five is green. It’s kind of quirky and pretty calm by nature, because it’s always between 1 and 10. So, as the middle point, it has to be pretty neutral. It’s very humble and reserved (like a teacher who’s trying to be as objective as possible).
The number six is a lovely lilac-lavender color. Very soft-natured and sweet, like a little old lady.
The number seven is more of a spunky teal or turquoise, very bright and vibrant. It really wants to be something else, like an eight or a nine. When I think of tests I’m never really happy with a seventy- I’d prefer an eighty or ninety. As a result, I see seven as trying to compensate for that.
The number eight is this beautiful royal blue, sometimes a soft blue. Eight is the kind of person that you don’t fully understand, but you enjoy their presence nonetheless. It’s cool, neutral, and
noble. Whenever I think of royalty, I think of blue.
The number nine can be fuchsia. I feel like it takes elements of four a lot, but it’s more of a darker purple. In terms of personality, think Ursula from The Little Mermaid. She’s very clever, but only has her own interests in mind. A bit like number four’s evil twin.
Zero’s color really depends on what it’s next to. It tends to take on the color of other numbers. On its own, however, it’s a white or peach.
Some numbers look nice together, but some don’t.
Do you have any favorite numbers?
I like the number four, number one, number five and number eight. Six too, sometimes.
Do you find that this affects your interactions with other people in any way?
No, not really. Sometimes I’ll think things like “Oh, that’s major number one energy”, a little like what people do with the zodiac signs, but I never say it out loud.
How do you “see” the color? Do you actually see it in front of you or is it just in your head?
A bit of both, I would say. Sometimes when I look at the numbers, I’ll see them in a very
cartoonish way (with a black outline all around). However, most of the time, it’s in my head.
Does your synesthesia make things difficult in any way?
Sometimes! Which is due to the number favoritism that I described earlier. For example, on a
multiple-choice test, if I don’t really know what the answer is, I’ll be inclined to pick the one that
has the colors I like better.
Does anyone else in your family have synesthesia?
I don’t think so, however, I’ve never really asked.
What are some misconceptions you’ve encountered about your condition?
Some people assume how I experience the conditions of synesthesia based on an article that they’ve read, so I have to explain to them that every synesthete has their own unique perceptions. With that said, what they read won’t necessarily match up with the way that I experience things.
How does your synesthesia affect you on a day-to-day basis, like when buying groceries or doing the laundry?
When I go shopping, sometimes I won’t mind paying more for something if I like the colors or the numbers, so I may not be buying the cheapest option! The washer and dryer that I use have a number two (2) on them, and so whenever I do laundry I always get really happy. But it’s funny because the number is actually written in green.
Does that bother you?
No, I just feel like they did things wrong, and they should have hired me to do it! (Laughs)
The Dean’s List recognizes excellence in academic achievement. These students have maintained an average of 85% or higher in the fall 2019 semester (with five courses or more).
Lesly Solange Nkindi
Marco Antonio Vidalon Baldeon
Leigh Justinne Felizardo
Eliana Michelle Reiss
Dexter Banoen Garde
ARTS, LITERATURE AND COMMUNICATION
Leah Malka Taussky