As I find myself with more free time and feelings of restlessness, I have been trying to redirect my energy into positive activities that will promote self-growth. I have been trying to learn more during this time to try and briefly distract me from the daily crazy and heartbreaking news updates.
1. Family history: If you are stuck inside with your family members, now is the perfect time to ask them about your family history. If you aren’t self-isolating in the same house, you will also have plenty of time to talk to them over the phone! Here are some questions you can ask your family members:
2. Unsolved murders: I know that many people will turn away from this subject, but I personally find it very interesting. Hearing about horrible things that have happened makes me feel more prepared and protected in my everyday life. Some of the unsolved murders that I find most interesting are JonBenet Ramsey and The Lady of the Dunes.
Read more about the JonBenet Ramsey case here: https://www.cnn.com/2013/08/29/us/jonbenet-ramsey-murder-fast-facts/index.html
Read more about the Lady of the Dunes here: https://medium.com/true-crime-by-cat-leigh/lady-of-the-dunes-623d5d723030
3. A country you want to travel to: I was planning to study abroad in Iceland this summer, but that is now obviously postponed until next summer. In the meantime, I have been researching the history and unique sites of Iceland. I am very disappointed that I won’t be able to go there in June but knowing that I will eventually go has kept me excited. Where is a place you want to visit? Research some fun sites or activities and get excited!
4. Invasive species of the great lakes: The Great Lakes currently have around 180 invasive or nonnative species, which is a very high number. Some of the most damaging invasive species have been zebra and quagga mussels in Lake Erie. These creatures latch on to any hard surface and spread very rapidly, draining nutrients that the native species would otherwise use. I had to read The Life and Death of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan for my water quality class which provided a historical and political perspective of these issues and how they came to be. If you are interested in this topic, or protecting the environment in general I suggest you become more informed on this topic!
5. The reintroduction of the gray wolf in Yellowstone: This is a more positive environmental topic and shows the huge impact that one species can have on an entire ecosystem. If you are looking for some encouragement and distraction you can learn more through this video:
6. Greek mythology: Something is telling me there is no way for me to quickly summarize all of Greek mythology, so I suggest starting with the Percy Jackson series. Seriously, it introduced me to basic concepts and motivated me to learn more about the actual Greek myths! Greek myths are very interesting to me, and maybe they will be to you!
7. Synesthesia: I first learned about synesthesia by reading A Mango-Shaped Space in 6th grade (great book, I love Wendy Mass) and it has interested me ever since. To my current understanding, synesthesia is a response from one of your body’s senses from simulation of another body part. It presents itself in many ways, but an example would be smelling pizza and seeing red lines. I probably did a very awful job explaining that, but you can find more legit information here: https://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/what-is-synesthesia-and-whats-it-like-to-have-it
8. Dream interpretations: I have been remembering most of my dreams more than usual, and I have enjoyed looking up the symbolism or meaning behind them. I take these fairly lightheartedly, but I still find it interesting. If you are curious what your dreams mean, I use http://www.dreammoods.com/.
I know I am encouraging all of you to use this quarantine time to expand your knowledge, but that does not mean that you have to be perfect every day. This is a strange and scary time for all of us, and we need to be extra forgiving of ourselves. If you have learned about anything interesting through my recommendations, or you have a different topic that I have not listed please leave me a comment! Please leave me a comment with any interesting things you learned through this post or any other topics you think I should learn about. Stay well everyone!