April 2018: five(ish) things I learned this month

1. Chobani yogurt

I went on a yogurt streak sometime last year, but then I forgot about it. Now, I’ve been having it for breakfast every day the past few weeks. IT’S BEEN GREAT. I guess I’m rediscovering Chobani.

For some reason, I haven’t gotten tired of it even though I don’t like yogurt that much. On the other hand, I LOVE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but after eating PB&J toast for about two weeks now, I can’t go on for much longer. Maybe it’s because yogurt has a milder flavor than PB&J?

My opinion on Chobani flavors: I like everything besides cherry (I just don’t like cherries or cherry flavored stuff in general- that cherry flavored medicine ruined it for me), pomegranate (it has seeds in it), plain, and vanilla. I like everything else.

2. Playing games to get rid of nerves

Last Saturday I had my Jazz festival for piano (which is where you play a jazz/blues piece for a judge who grades you very generously), and as always, I was nervous. Playing piano for people is one of my least favorite things ever. It’s so scary.

My friend has a teacher who lets her students play with their music in front of them, but that is not how my teacher does things. With my teacher, you have to play by memory. That means that if you blank while playing, you’re stranded there at the piano bench with a horribly blank mind. It’s like an actor forgetting his lines in the middle of a live show.

But this time I tried a new technique that I heard about from the book Superbetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver, and More Resilient*. The * says “Powered by the Science of Games.” The whole book is about the benefits of 1) treating life kind of like a game and 2) playing games. In one chapter where the author explains why playing games can be good for you, she talks about an experiment that researchers did.

Here’s the short version: Really bad burn injuries are the most painful kind of injury. Doctors split burn patients into two groups. One group wore headsets and went into a virtual reality called Snow World during treatments. The other didn’t.

Here’s an actual quote from the book explaining the results (if you don’t want to read it, skip ahead for my paraphrased version):
Snow World players were able to almost entirely ignore whatever pain did remain. They reported being consciously aware of pain only 8 percent of the time. Compare this with traditional burn treatment… patients typically report spending 100 percent of treatment time thinking about their excruciating pain.”
Basically, the people who played in the virtual reality felt less pain during all the procedures, not because they were actually in less pain, but because they thought about it a lot less.

I’ll be using this strategy before my teacher’s recital next month too. I’m trying to do that thing psychologists talk about where you frame hard stuff as challenges not problems and whatever, so I’m not going to say anything negative about my current mindset about the recital except that if I wasn’t trying to be positive, this whole section would be filled with loud and emotional capital letters. Also: please pray for me.

3. The origins of a famous phrase and a word

It was Greek to me.
This phrase is from a scene in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar when a man didn’t understand what another guy was saying because he was literally speaking in Greek.
Me paraphrasing my history textbook: You know how in the old times kids became apprentices and worked for free under people to learn a skill? After a few years, the apprentices turned into “journeymen” and actually got paid for their work. Then, if they wanted to become a master,
Me quoting my history textbook: “a journeyman had to produce a “masterpiece,” a finished piece in his craft that allowed the master craftsmen of the guild to judge whether the journeyman was qualified.”

4. Gardetto’s special request

My ranking of chex mix components:
5. Window pane pretzels
4. Circular pretzels (The two forms of pretzels taste the same, but the circles are better to play with- well, I guess you can form letters out of the windowpane ones. Okay, now I don’t know.)
3. Bread sticks
2. Brown chex
1. Yellow chex and brown chips

The other day at school, a girl was holding a bag a chips that ONLY CONTAINED THE BROWN CHIPS. I got so excited. Bags of just your favorite chex mix components is an invention I feel like everybody has wished for at some point and finding out that it actually exists was very, very, very cool.

Sidenote 1: Wikipedia says that the special request bags were released in 2006. How did I only learn about this now???
Sidenote 2: They need to release special requests of all of them.

5. Apple earbuds have a pause button.

This isn’t something I learned in April, but I’m going to throw it in here anyways because it’s pretty cool. You know how the standard Apple earbuds have the little rectangular section for volume adjustment? The part between the volume increase and decrease buttons is a pause button. It’s handy except that once you pause it, you can’t unpause it by pressing it again. You have to turn your phone on and do it.


What are you rankings of the different chex mix ingredients? DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SPECIAL REQUEST BAGS?? I seriously don’t understand how I’ve never heard of them or seen them in stores before now. It’s been eleven years. Does the origin of masterpiece not blow your minds? The chapter we’re reading for history is pretty interesting. It also talked about the origin of the word university and Bachelor/Master degrees. Also, a few parts actually made me laugh. Let me say that again: a history textbook made me LAUGH. Hm, there’s a blog post idea. Do you get nervous before public performances & any tips on how to conquer those nerves?

23 thoughts on “April 2018: five(ish) things I learned this month”

  1. Chobani is AMAZING. I love the Flips especially! I used to eat Yogurt all the dang time, but lately I just haven’t had the taste for it. But I will always make time for the Flips. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The origins of those phrases is really interesting! I often wonder about where certain odd phrases came from. It makes sense that some would come from Shakespeare (I mean, the man was so prolific), and the masterpiece one makes so much sense too, when I think about it!
    You have probably heard this one before, but something that really helps me when I am feeling nervous about a performance is breathing. It’s a huge thing. If you take conscious, deep breaths it actually sends signals to your brain to calm down. Breathing rapidly actually tells your brain that you’re in danger and puts it in a fight-or-flight mode, which isn’t terribly helpful. Trying to put yourself in a positive mindset is also important! Best of luck, I am sure you will do great! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! Now I just need to find a brilliant friend who slips in interesting word/phrase origins into normal conversations. Here’s a list of words Shakespeare came up with: http://mentalfloss.com/article/48657/20-words-we-owe-william-shakespeare. Some of the words on it are abosultely necessary. What if the word eyeball didn’t exist?
      Wait, the author actually talked about breathing in the same Superbetter book! She calls it the power breath. It’s where you breathe in for 4 beats and breathe out for 8 beats, and it moves you from “a stressful state to a highly relaxed state.” Thank you so much!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. WAIT, SPECIAL REQUEST BAGS EXIST?! That’s so cool! My ranking of chex mix ingredients would be, in order from my favorite to least favorite: yellow chex, circle pretzels, breadsticks, windowpane pretzels, brown chex.

    Wow, the origin of masterpiece is very…unexpected. It’s a little underwhelming that it has such a literal meaning instead of being mystical or cool.😂

    I get really nervous for public speaking! I also get nervous before a dance recital, but once I’m on stage, I’m fine. It’s just the psyching-myself-out-before part that’s scary as far as dance goes. But for anything like presentations, I’m just terrified the whole time.

    In conclusion, I enjoyed this post a lot. I always learn such interesting things from your posts, haha!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I KNOW THAT WAS MY REACTION TOO. Wait wait, why do you like the circle pretzels better than the windowpane ones? (haha, the things catch my attention) Oh no, I’m really sorry the special request bags are of your least favorite chex ingredient.

      It’s very unexpected but was hiding in plain sight at the same time! Ooh, that’s interesting. I actually think the meaning makes it cooler!

      Wait, you dance! That’s so cool. I did ballet and tap when I was younger. I wasn’t good, I couldn’t remember the choreography and would just watch everyone else. I don’t think I got nervous though. Do you just fall into the rhythm as soon as you start dancing?

      Ahh, thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! Hmm, I don’t know why. I think I just like how the rest of the chex mix gives the circular pretzels an interesting seasoning/flavor. And maybe cause they’re fun to eat because they’re circles. 😂

        True! I always think of this book I read when I was younger called Masterpiece and it was about this ant that could draw pictures…it was a good book. XD

        Yeah, I dance! At performances I think my muscle memory kicks in, and when I get on the stage I don’t really have to think much about the movement, I just think about performing/smiling.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The seasoning is my favorite part of chex mix! Haha, being fun to eat is a very good reason for why something tastes better.

          An ant that could draw pictures?? Cool. The picture books I remember reading are Curious George, Berenstain Bears, and Amelia Bedelia. Kids nowadays are lucky- the picture books now are SO GOOD.

          I’m so glad muscle memory exists. It would be hard to think about your routine and smiling at the same time.

          Liked by 1 person

    I actually have a band audition (for percussion: snare and mallets) on Monday, and I’ve been trying to NOT freak out because I really really want to do well on it, you know? Haha. So I read an article that said that people did better on things they hated or were scared of if they replaced saying “I’m nervous” with saying “I’m excited.” I thought that was cool, and it has seemed to work for a lot of people, including me.
    Anyway, good luck on your performance!! I’m sure you’ll do amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

      Oh, that’s so cool!! If I didn’t play piano, I would most want to play the guitar, violin, and DRUMS. It blows my mind how drummers keep a beat in the middle of everything else. YES, I know what you mean. Oh my goodness, I’ve heard about the “I’m excited” thing too! I was literally thinking about whether to mention it in the post.
      Thank you so much!! Good luck on your audition too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yessss! The guitar is a really fun instrument, but the drums are so versatile and just really cool in my opinion. 😀 My mom and sister play the violin, but I can’t for the life of me… It’s so pretty though!
        Thank you!! I made the Advanced Band!! 😍😃 *so-excited-no-emoji-can-contain-it emoji*

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, our family playing together gets pretty interesting, but usually has no violins, haha. My step-dad, mom, and sister Rhyan play the Mandolin (I know a few chords but I keep forgetting them, lol); Rhyan also plays the ukelele; her twin Zoe plays the banjo and flute; my stepdad, Rhyan, and I all play the guitar; and I and my stepdad play the piano. So, mash all those instruments together, and we have quite the band! We’ve led worship at our synagogue and church a few times 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Wait a second, let me process this. You guys ALL play instruments, that’s altogether SIX different ones (nine with violin, snare, and mallets), and you play ALMOST FIVE. Quite the band is an understatement. That is SO COOL. Oh my goodness, that would be an amazing worship service.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. I want a special request bag!! Btw, I just figured that Apple headphones thing out at the start of the school year. I found it only works with Apple products though, so no pause on my Windows laptop.

    Liked by 1 person

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