5 life hacks that will make your student life better.

Three brunette schoolgirls in uniforms, in front of a blackboard

Hello, dear readers! If you’re still in high school or university, it is quite tough time. Balancing healthy lifestyle, good grades, social life and trying to stay sane meanwhile is quite a struggle, so I decided to share some life hacks that have made my life as a student easier.

  1. The “secret” sauce. Are you one of those people, who likes rich dressing on their salad and always buying high calories sauces in the store? I used to be that person until my mum shared the simplest salad dressing with me. Next time you have some salad leaves and tomatoes, add sauce that it made from oil, lemon juice, honey and mustard. I’m not going to note proportions here because some people like their sauce more sour, some more spicy, some sweeter. Just throw it in a cup, mix it up and voila! Now you have a delicious sauce. Besides – you probably already have all the ingredients needed in your house.
  2. Bullet journal – a key to being more productive. I know, you’re probably thinking that you are already productive enough or/and can remember everything that you need to get done during the day without even writing it down. I thought the same way just one year ago until I came across quite a few amazing youtubers, who have talked about productivity and bullet journaling, and that inspired me to improve my life by creating my own bullet journal. I used to hate planning it the past because planners seemed too small and boring to me but the best thing about bullet journal is – you can adjust it to your needs. You can add not only daily but also weekly, monthly and quarterly logs, habit tracker, quarterly goal section, lists of movies to watch, books to read and way more. Just go to Pinterest and look up some ideas.
  3. If you need to learn a new topic in a short amount of time, type: “*insert topic here* filetype: ppt” (for a Power Point presentation) . I’m surprised that I found about this just few days ago. Thankfully, exams are still ahead of me, so this might actually be a real life saver.
  4. Clean out your closet of the clothes that don’t fit anymore, don’t go together with anything, are worn out or simply don’t make you happy anymore. Trust me, this will decrease your chances of being late to a lecture by 85% . Yes, I am talking to you, girls, cause I used to be one of these people, who could decide what to wear in the morning because it seemed like nothing looks good on me. Invest some time and clean out your closet.
  5. If you have a laptop, stop paying for cable TV. Since I started living on my own, which was four years ago, I stopped using TV. Why pay extra, if you can save some money and choose what you want to watch and when do you want to do it?

That’s all for today’s post. One more thing that I would like to share – there is a little less than a month left until I all of my exams and I’m graduating and the second half of June. Currently it is last week before exams start, so I’m quite busy with rehearsals, lessons and homework. That is the reason why my last post are not as long as they used to be but also it kind of inspired me to write this post. Afterall, I am going to be a student at least for three more years but I love to sharing small, pleasant things along the way. Hopefully next week won’t be as busy for me, so I will try to get back to writing lengthy blog posts. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

Why I’m not blogging as much as I used to.

Cup of tea, books, flowers and a hand.

Hello, dear readers! For about first 3 weeks of school year I felt super excited that it’s the last year of school and I have a job which means I’ll finally earn some money myself. Do you know those moments in your life when you’re telling yourself that you’re starting over fresh and you can do anything? I had this moment at the beginning. But then, about 5 weeks later I realized that living the life I want is not completely possible.

First and the biggest cause of my creative block is school. It’s my 4th year in music high-school which I was impatiently waiting for, somehow hoping that in this year everything will get better. Why shouldn’t it be like that? No more Math lessons which should have meant no more torturous lessons I’m not interested in. Sadly, I was mistaken. In 3rd year of high school at least I had Literature lessons that made me feel inspired and interested and even English that, despite of having a shitty teacher, I still liked as a subject. This year I can’t really name any subject that would fascinate me and I just feel stuck in the wrong place. I know that I am supposed to feel relieved that I have only 7 months left but those are 7 boring months that, honestly feel like a waste of time. I want to read great books, I want to write, travel and study something I’m interested in but I just can’t get out. Not even on weekends – there is still a pile of homework that I have to get done but see no point in it. It’s interesting , how just yesterday I heard in one of Skillshare classes that if you’re having too much stimulation from the outside world, your mind and imagination feels kind of suppressed and you start to feel less creative. That explains my situation a lot. So that’s how my inspiration is taken away. It’s nearly impossible to fake your interest in a subjects that you just don’t care about.

Work tends to be overwhelming. I agreed to take two teaching jobs because I hope that maybe my calling is teaching instead of performing. Of course, I’m thankful for one gifted student of mine and few other that are doing the best they can but working with all other kids that are bored of playing the guitar or don’t have abilities to be good at it is exhausting. Every time I have a lesson with someone, who just not into it, I feel sad that instead of improving my own guitar skills, I’m wasting time with hopeless kid. I’m still wondering, if having two jobs was the right choice for me even more because in one of those workplaces, I’m having a colleague in a higher position, who is very unhelpful and rude person in general.

I don’t know where I want to be in my life but it’s not where I am right now. Please know that I will post when I have some quality content to post and I might not stick to a regular schedule during this school year. However, my heart belongs to writing and I really like my little blog. Huge thanks to everyone, who follows me and cares about the content that I post, it means the world to me. Just so you know – I’m not going anywhere and I’ll do my best to make this blog better but for now it is kind of tricky.

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with some movie reviews and other exciting and positive stuff. Thanks for sticking with me!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

The time I decided to become a guitar teacher.

Acoustic guitar laying on the bed

Hello, my dear readers! If you would have told me two or three years ago that I will try working as a teacher, I would have laughed in your face. Honestly. I knew that I was going to have a job in my last year of high school but becoming a teacher was the very last option on a list. Why, you may ask? For example, I was pretty sure that I won’t get a long with the kids. Maybe because I was bullied in my childhood or maybe just because I’m not a very social being in general. However, times have passed, things have changed and I have improved myself, too. I’m no longer that quiet person, hiding behind all others and hoping that no one will ever ask me anything. I’m no longer so secretive and I enjoy meeting new people (as long as there aren’t too many of them at once and they aren’t too loud). Now back to my story of how I even got there. No secrets here – I was quite often visitor of job boards on some sites and was trying to find ways to get a job since I was about 17 years old. And no, not any job! I would lack patience to pick strawberries on a field, so I wanted to find something more serious and at the end of this summer I did. I came across advertisement about school that was looking for a guitar teacher. Somehow I got the job pretty quickly despite the lack of my middle school diploma, not even talking about diploma that would prove I have higher education in music or pedagogy. But at these times my friends from school got their guitar teaching jobs, too because there are so many schools in Latvia where guitar teachers are needed but there aren’t just so many of us. Also, not all of those, who teach guitar have proper experience and knowledge. But the story doesn’t end here – with me getting a job and 10 students to teach. Few days later I got a phone call from another school that also needed a guitar teacher and the offered me 5 to 7 students. What do you think I did? As a maximalist I am, I agreed to that job, too. Somehow I just love to agree too many or too hard tasks and then, even if it’s through pain and tears, prove myself that I can do them. I guess, the inner me just has a strong belief that I am a super woman and can do anything. Who knows – maybe it’s not that far from the truth.

Now let’s jump forward to the time school starts. I thought I was able to manage everything pretty smoothly but the time I saw my school schedule and what kind of homework I had to do, I was close to freaking out. No one told me that last year will be this hard. I kind of thought that just because Math, English, History and Latvian exams are in the past, my life will get easier. It did not. In fact I’d rather take English, History and Latvian lessons again, if I could just get rid of Music history, Form and Polyphony. Anyways, I managed to pack most of the lessons in my school days and put last four on Saturday. You might think that working on a Saturday is a complete torture but it’s not. I wake up early, have a cup of coffee, get some things done around the home and then go to work which starts at 1 p.m. My schedule is more packed than ever but as a maximalist I am, I feel like I can do more stuff done when I actually have more stuff to do. Pro tip – keeping a bullet journal makes doing a lot of tasks way easier and you will not forget them, if you write them down. It is an exciting challenge for me every day – let’s see, how much of these I can do. And sometimes I manage to do everything I have on the list. But enough about organizing process of it. I’ll dive in more details on how things are going in the job itself.

I have been teaching almost for two weeks and there are few things I have already realized. Teaching is definitely not an easy job but it is more interesting (and sometimes even fun!) than I would have thought. Sometimes it seems kind of monotone when I have to repeat notes and fingers of a scale to a kid for 20 minutes until my brain gives up and I start messing them up myself. But sometimes it’s fun when I try to explain something him with a pinch of humor and the kid not only laughs but also understands what I am trying to teach him. At least for now I feel like I’m doing pretty well and still studying myself while teaching gives me some kind of advantage because I can relate so well to kids, who try to do their best but things don’t work out right away. And still having my inner child is great  because I can easily joke around and explain them things as simple as possible, and slowly gain the trust of my students. For now I’m kind of “winging” the whole teaching process and trying out different things because it’s something new for me but I’m definetly happy that I’m gaining this kind of experience. Nothing compares to the feeling when I had a good lesson with a kid, he was open and thirsty for some knowledge and at the end I am able to give him a good grade.

Maybe following my gut is the best thing to do in this job for now. All the talks about being understanding yet strict and “doing things the right way” can really mess up head of a young teacher, so I’m not thinking too hard and doing everything my own way. In some way I could consider the way I teach as a creative expression. Even though I need to know the main tasks, it is one big improvisation. When a kid comes to my lesson, I don’t know what to expect. Maybe he will have done his homework, maybe not. Maybe he will work in a lesson, maybe he won’t but I have to be prepared for everything, stay open-minded, be understanding yet separate their bullshit from the truth. It sounds like a hard task but maybe it’s not for me. Let’s be honest – I’ve been telling lies to my teachers many times, too and sometimes I still do. It’s pretty easy to smell someone else’s bullshit a mile away. And when I do, there are two choices to make – honest talk or bad grade. No matter, how the kid is doing, I need to see that he’s trying to improve and be his best. If he’s doing that, I will highly appreciate not wasting my time and give him a good grade. So simple.

So that’s about it about my adventures of becoming a teacher and working as one. I have to do a morning workout now and go to work later but I will definitely return next week with new and exciting blog post. Have a lovely and productive day, and do what you love!

Love, Porcelain Doll.