The Millennials

Google is one of my most intimate confidants, really. In my opinion, the internet is the most resourceful hub of information. (Scripture can be found on digital text, so my point remains valid.) The insertion cursor simply begs to provide entertainment, insight, and inspiration.

My recent browsing history divulges my latest study – Millennials. Despite the negative stereotypes I share with my cohorts, I am a proud member of Generation Y. I have been assigned to present an informational speech concerning this topic tomorrow morning, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my extensive research, simply because this subject relates to me personally… was that last statement too narcissistic? “Generation Me,” what can I say.

Anyhow, being that this study was for speech purposes, I wrote and memorized an outline containing an introduction and conclusion. I considered writing out my findings in essay format for the sake of my readers, but really, who would be willing to devote time into analyzing a four page report? So I concluded to simply post an outline of key phrases and bullet points – it entails the gist of the message and will hopefully be of some form of benefit.

Prefer media? I created a presentation using the below outline. Check it out!

 

How to Avoid Negative Millennial Stereotypes

Intro:

Gesture towards individuals in the audience. You only care about yourself and have no regard for others, you are lazy and have a poor work ethic, and you are disrespectful and have no social skills. These stereotypes refer to the Millennials, individuals who were born between 1980 and the early 2000s. There are various names for this generation, such as Generation Me, the Entitlement Generation, and Generation Why, all of which are demeaning references. But despite the negative assumptions about this age group, not every individual is a contributor towards these labels. In order to avoid these stereotypes, one must contradict these misconceptions by embodying a selfless, committed, and respectful character.

Selfless:

To avoid the label “Generation Me,” which refers to the idea that Millennials are inconsiderate narcissists, one should present himself as selfless and humble.

• Exercise independence, but don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Personal experience: Although I may be on the verge of legal adulthood, my mother is on speed dial in times of panic.

• Express individualism, but be willing to consider others’ ideas.

“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” –Oliver Holmes

Collaboration is often more effective than solely relying on ideas presented from a singular perspective.

Committed:

The stereotype of “Generation Me” is deterred by selflessness; another similar label is the “Entitlement Generation,” which communicates that Millennials are spoon-fed slackers who believe everything should be handed to them at no cost – this stereotype is disproven through commitment.

• Work efficiently.

Definition: “To perform or function in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.”

Take pride in your work; do not disregard quality in order to get the job done fast.

• Invest time and effort into future goals, rather than simply living in the moment.

“Details create the big picture.” –Sanford Weill

Consider the end result.

Respectful:

Millennials are able to avoid harsh misconceptions by being selfless and committed individuals; another common stereotype is “Generation Why,” which refers to the concept that this group is not afraid to challenge authority. To avoid this label, one should master the art of tact – presenting thoughts in a respectful manner.

• Understanding one’s reasoning is one thing, being argumentative is another.

Choose your battles carefully; one should ask himself if this topic is worth debating and risking offence.

Consider the opposing party’s perspective rather than automatically assuming your method is best.

• Appreciate an elder’s input.

Age does not necessarily guarantee wisdom, but experience holds a bearing.

Trust than an authority figure keeps in mind the welfare of those below him.

Conclusion:

Many have cast derogatory stereotypes on the Millennial generation, but these labels can be prevented by portraying selfless, committed, and respectful qualities. No generation wishes to be viewed by society in a negative light; an intelligent individual would not associate himself with such ill regards. The opposition of these misconceptions promotes the morality of mankind and works towards social development. Will you embody a praise-worthy character, or will you simply be locked in a negative stereotype?

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Google and Rescue Operation

A Weighty Error

Suck in, zip up an inch – this has to fit, I know I’m a size six. Formal is next week, and this dress has been reserved for months. Maybe I’m just a little bloated, or perhaps it was the massive burger I had for lunch – I knew I should have gotten the salad! However, my eating habits haven’t exactly been health conscious these last few weeks. Junk food is easily accessible in a college dorm; it’s mini fridges full of coke products and pantries loaded with quick-fix microwave dinners and ramen noodles. The infamous warning of the “freshman fifteen” is no myth.  I was influenced by others’ habits, so it’s not completely my fault, right? Who am I kidding, I’ve lost all sense of self-control. Hostess is my vice, and Red Bull is my confidant.

“How you doing in there? Should I grab a different size, perhaps a wrap to accessorize?”

I hate when sales associates badger me with questions, especially when I’m trying to focus on whether the outfit accentuates the incorrect locations (makes my butt look big). “No, I’m doing fine, thank you!” Lie. I’m starting to feel light-headed, perhaps due to the fact I’ve been restricted to shallow breathing for the past couple minutes. Suck in a little more, tug the zipper up another fraction of an inch.

I glare at the mirror in front of me with a look of utter disgust. That pouch wasn’t there a few months ago, and walking in sky-high heels is difficult enough, much less with thighs that will be chafing by the end of the night. These observations are reason enough for me to forgo the dress, never mind the gaping side zipper that refuses to comply with my weight gain. With a solemn (limited) sigh, I chose to remove the beautiful gown.

The zipper sticks. My mind is jolted to a horrific childhood memory of Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in a rabbit hole because of his gluttonous tendencies towards honey. I go into a distressed panic – the dress constricts further the more I wrestle to break free. What sadistic designer would create a bodycon dress without a trace of lycra or spandex – a situation like this was bound to occur, and it would obviously affect me personally. I consider screaming help, but that would be just a tad bit awkward. Think rationally – in times of distress, simply enter said predicament into Google’s search box. “What to do when a zipper sticks?” I quickly scroll through the results praying for deliverance, but to my disappointment, I didn’t think to come prepared with a bar of soap. How negligent of me.

“Still doing alright?”

Desperate times call for desperate measures – “Actually, it appears I’m stuck. Is there any chance you could be of assistance?” That didn’t sound too terribly pathetic, did it?

“Oh, well that’s not good!”

You don’t say. I unlock the stall door and lift my arm to indicate my dilemma.

“Well let’s see what I can do.” She has a look of sympathy and concern written on her face, but she must be smirking inside. I wonder how many times she’s been put in this uncomfortable position – I’m inclined to think I’m not the first chubby girl to get stuck in a dress.

She inspects the zipper and fiddles with it for a moment, then plainly states, “It’s jammed beyond repair. I suppose we’ll have to cut you out.”

My eyes bug and heat flushes my face to a deep red as I legitimately consider dying of humiliation.

“I’m just joking, honey! Don’t look so frightened!” the worker laughs as she gives one quick yank to the closure, releasing its grasp to the surrounding fabric. She pulls the zipper down and I inhale deeply to recollect my nerves.

“Thank you,” I breathe. I genuinely appreciate mockery and the realization that I’ve packed on the pounds right before my first college formal. Really, I do.

She leaves me to finish changing, and I place the demise of my dignity onto its hanger. As I exit the changing room, I surrender the dress to the employee. She looks confused and says, “You don’t want to try on a different size? How about you go up to a size six?”

Daily Prompt – Silence is the new Social

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I’ve found a new appreciation for solitude, but not in a recluse sort of way; often times, I simply want to seclude myself from the people I know. Many consider me to be very outgoing, being that I embody developed people skills and am often the designated planner of group events. But as important as my loved ones are, I sometimes feel the need to break away from the social circle and seek refuge is a mom-and-pop coffee house or local bookstore. I like to be out in public and feel unobligated to entertain others. If I could take friends out and not feel forced to continuously engage them in conversation, that would be optimal. However, this is not the case, hence my recent inclination to be alone for the majority of my free time. Silence is the new social, the willing wallflower mentality – the presence of people without personally interacting is the innovative public relationship.

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: _____ is the new _____

Other Affairs – Daily Prompt

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Emotion plays a huge role in my writing. Whether the piece is written as reference or fiction, I cannot seem to get past the onset of writer’s blocked caused by negative feelings. The worst is attempting poetry during these times; my work ends up resembling a mediocre emo band’s song lyrics from their earliest EP – it’s that bad. At that point, I normally decide it would be advantageous to take a step back from my overheating processor, for the sake of both my writing quality standard and the readers expecting genius dissertations. The pressing question: when not blogging, what does the developing eccentric do with her unstructured time? I greatly enjoy art and have experimented with various styles and mediums; this probably comes as no surprise, being that sketches and painting are simply the visual exertion of a creative mind. Much of my time is allotted to reading, from blog posts via WordPress to classic works of literature preserved by the ancient stylus pens of scribes. I am simply enamored with the city – the swelling excitement when exiting the dank Metra terminal, followed by the bustling throng of individuals carrying briefcases, textbooks, and DSLR cameras that few know how to function. [Listening to] music is another major interest; men who wear flannel button-downs and endorse unruly beards are often the creators of much of the bluegrass indie/folk alternative I’ve grown fondly accustomed to. The remainder of my time is shared with my family and friends, people who never cease to inspire and support me. Well there you have it – despite the fact I may appear blurry eyed and have the symptoms of premature carpel tunnel, I do occasionally click the “power off” button of my laptop. However, my phone is a completely different story – to expect one to disregard all sources of technology and thereby render him helpless without the 4G speed to answer to all life’s questions? Why, the idea is preposterous and utterly unheard-of.

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Bloggers, Unplugged.

What A Twist – The Harlequin, a short story.

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Cezanne’s “The Harlequin” by A. Nueve

“I was instilled upon history for the sole reason to make you, my dear audience of the theater, laugh until you have no wits about you. My silence will not bore you nor tire you, but rather cause you to be on the edge of your seat, heart racing with anticipation and your mind thinking, ‘What will he do next?’” “I am the Harlequin, an arlecchino, and don’t ever dare christen me a jester. I am much more evolved than such, for I am a member of the prestigious Italian Commedia dell’arte. It even sounds impressive, does it not? Being a component of this elite group, my job is to entertain you mindless bunch simply by mimicking you, which curiously, sends you all into a fit of hearty laughter. I jest. I presume you all are a dignified people considering you came to see this fantastic rendition occurring tonight. You will see juggling, dancing, trapeze artistry –preformed proudly by yours truly– and a whole array of marvelous acts. Prepare to be thoroughly amazed and enjoy the show.” I fall behind the green velvet curtain, which clashes against my bold red and black diamond-pattern adornments. I look regally ridiculous, which adds to the show. I step to the full-length mirror while my colleagues entertain the audience on the other side of the curtain. “You ravishing devil,” I speak out loud, admiring the cunning reflection. “Ha! You are merely a haughty man unfit to play the roll of a harlequin!” spoke the defying tone of a young woman. She was clad in the attire of a trivelino, with stars and moons stitched onto her dazzling purple uniform. Her face was caked in white makeup, but her cheeks had a bright slap of pink. “Jealousy is never pretty, Caprice. I am the star of this production, and you know it to be true.” “If anything that I am to know true, it is that you are about to be truant!” I rush into place. That little rendezvous with Miss Caprice nearly caused me to be late for one of my premier moments, and that simply would not be fair to the expecting audience, for the severity of their disappointment would be so great. But by and by, I step into place and the curtain rises. The spotlight, along with many pairs of gleaming eyes, is all focused on me, the star of the show, the king of the theater of comedy! I begin the act and other actors and actresses follow. Blaring horns and crashing symbols form the sound affects as each of us utilize our facial gestures and exploit meticulous movements to illustrate the scene. I am the Harlequin. Not only do I exhibit pantomime like the other stage members, although my skills are absolutely faultless, I flip and tumble like no other, capturing the ooh’s and ahh’s of the spectators. After the skit has concluded, the curtain lowers once again, and I can hear the roaring applause. They loved me. Next up is that tatterdemalion Caprice. Her name means unpredictable and whimsical. Oh, how I loathe her. Caprice entered the stage, immersing the crowd in pure interest. She produced a bubbly, quirky vibe that influenced the audience and had them smiling before the burlesque had even started. She began. What followed was a boisterous laughter from the people, one louder and more enthusiastic than what the Harlequin had received! “What is this?” exclaimed the Harlequin. He rushed to the curtain break, and peaked out to find what on earth the trivelino was doing that was so riotous. What he discovered was Caprice imitating his act! The stupid expression on her face and sloppy movements all implied as to what she was doing. She was making the audience think he was a fool! In a furious rage, the Harlequin stomped onto the stage and bellowed, “How dare you make me into a fool in front of this entire audience!” Caprice faced him, her countenance remaining cool and collected. “Dear Harlequin,” she began, “your name in itself defines you a clown. You wonder what the people laugh at, do you? It is not your act, but your arrogance. They believe it to be irony, considering you work in the theater of comedy!” A prideful harlequin, it is a joke in itself. The Harlequin looked shocked. He would show her! He would prove to all of these people that he truly deserved to be star of the theater! And in one last attempt of dignity, he did what no other actor or actress in Commedia dell’arte could do: he flipped. Or so he tried.

written for Daily Prompt: What a Twist!