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A work in progress


05/30(or the 31 since you are in Japan right now.)/2016

How we met: well it wasn’t quite meeting at first, really. You stared at me (checked me out) from two rows back on the other side of the class room of our Econ 111 class in Xavier room 150. I knew your name and who you were, and I ran into you often with The-Girl-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. She was something else (and a whole other story) and you and she seemed to be best friends from my point of you. Until I began to pester you.

I thought you were (OMG kill me now for saying this) the cutest kid I had ever seen in my life, and I was down for the chase.

I made a mistake first hand though by the telling your “Best friend” what I thought of you. She had a bit of a fit and she said: “You got, Tomas, and Kiya, you can’t can’t canttttt by any means have him.” And I told her I would respect her wishes, but there was a big piece of me that said: “ignore her” which of course made my reply to her be: “Oh, of course, he is your best friend, I would never!!!”

And here we are. You are my man.

You ask me to make lists.

I love this. (but you know I love making lists so it isn’t exactly work to me. )

What we should do:

  1. Travel the world
  2. Go to every San Pellegrino 50 best restaurants in the world.
  3. Go to Japan – like everywhere
  4. Take a bath – not too long of one, I hate being pruny
  5. Go to an owl cafe
  6. Go to a cat (neko ねこ 猫)  cafe 😀
  7. Feed each other Nutella
  8. Stay at a ritzy hotel and splurge on room service
  9. Keep each other motivated
  10. Keep each other healthy
  11. Couples Message
  12. Take a train overnight somewhere, hopefully, Europe
  13. Swing Dance
  14. Shop for undies in Tokyo
  15. Ice skate in Rockefeller center in NYC
  16. Build an igloo in Alaska
  17. Pray at a temple in Japan (Nara)
  18. Bake

 

 

 

And many of these things came true.

 

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Anecdotes: #1 Strawberries


As per request from wonderful friends, I will write my stories and little notes I’ve taken from my experiences.

In highschool, I –for some strange reason– became the Guru of anything pertaining to romance and sex for couples and friends. One of my closest friends, Minecrafter of Aphrodite (we will call him MoA for short) asked me to teach him to kiss since he had just started dating his first girlfriend. It was his sophomore year of highschool and my Junior year, so I took his request. I thought for a while about a way to verbally teach him and came to the conclusion that strawberries would be the best analogy.

See, giving someone step-by-step directions going through how to move their lips, tongue, and cheeks would be a disaster and I’d end up just making a bunch of weird faces at him. I didn’t find this an attractive way to teach or a useful way for him to learn how to handle another person.

I ended up telling him this:

“Imagine you are holding a succulent, juicy, strawberry. You don’t take the strawberry and rip into it with your mouth like an animal, nor do you lick it all over with your tongue and rub its juices all over your face. No, you gingerly press it to your lips and then take it slightly into your mouth between your lips and put pressure down on it. Don’t get complex or you won’t be savoring the taste. Start slow and then if you find out the strawberry isn’t reluctant, move forward. Silent communication.”

Now strawberries are not essentially sexual (like a banana) or romantic (like chocolate), but I think they are perfect for this situation since kissing can be either very emotional or apathic. Kissing is what you make it and what you put into it. It’s a way of communicating your intentions and feelings, or the lack thereof.

 

 

 

When Our Thoughts And Prayers Are Not Enough: School Shootings In America + How we all Miss the Point


Kovi Biokolo brings a really good question to the front of the new page: “Why do we continue to do violent things when there are so many positive philosophies with in religion, culture, and politics? why do we continue to self destruct? Why do we keep giving sorrow to each other over and over again?”  Its a conundrum people have been trying to answer since the beginning of time.

Culturally, and by human nature, all of us tend to shove thoughts away that are hard to understand to save them for a better time, a more suitable mindset, because its hard to think about difficult things. Our brains and souls are made uncomfortable by big questions such as “who is god?”, “What is love?”, and “Why do bad things happen?”. Some people take the route of letting religion explain everything for them, and by religion I mean interpretations of holy manuscripts in ways that reassure us that we are doing the right thing. Not questioning information helps us feel more comfortable, acceptance is peaceful, settling. Coming face to face with blatant fiery red violence and  a clash of morals and the questions come up again, “Who is god?” “Why do bad things happen?”…. Maybe you think you know.

Mark Manson’s post on school shootings in America was very edifying:

“Then there are those who are simply ignored. Dylan Klebold was suicidally depressed for over two years. He fantasized and wrote about killing himself liberally. Despite getting into trouble with the law, turning in school assignments that glorified murder and suicide and failing most of his classes senior year, his parents and friends claimed that they had no idea something was amiss. George Sodini, a middle-aged Pennsylvania man who shot up an aerobics class full of women, wrote in his journal that since he spent the past 20 years of his life alone and miserable, there was no reason to think that the next 20 wouldn’t be lonely and miserable as well. His mother had been emotionally abusive. His father hadn’t had a meaningful conversation with him in over 30 years. Simply put: he had nothing to live for. So why not take some revenge on your way out?

Gun control gets the headlines. Mental health care gets the headlines. Violence and video games and misogyny and internet forums and atheism — the list is endless at this point.

Here’s what doesn’t get the headlines: Empathy. Listening to those around you. Even if you don’t like them very much. We have come to live in a culture where it’s taboo or unacceptable to simply check in with people emotionally and offer some empathy and understanding. I’m not saying this would magically fix all gun violence. I’m just saying that all of these things — the lack of gun laws, the lack of health care, the inability to have basic conversations with friends and neighbors about what’s going on with them, these are all extensions of a callous and self-absorbed culture that lacks any real empathy.”

(http://markmanson.net/school-shootings and http://markmanson.net/terrorism)

Some food for thought today.

If you are really listening: an ode to silence


We communicate with our bodies: open stances or closed stances, fiddling and looking away, shifting glances, wild gestures or uncomfortable arm crossing. The saying “Actions speak louder than words” is true. Seeing how a person responds physically can communicate their insecurities and their confidences, the things they like and dislike, and also whether they are extremely selfish or are relaxed and loving. Someone who really listens can see right through people.

Then sometimes silence (or the lack of action) speaks louder than words. Whether that inaction is someone saying one thing and doing another or being completely passive and not communicating at all.

That’s why I wrote a song called “Silence is death

I wrote this because the lack of communication is a huge scream in itself. Crying silently, suffering in silence, sighing silently. It’s all a way of showing a burden, communicating pain or indifference. Especially indifference. “The silent treatment” is a way to communicate my pain that doesn’t need words to describe it. Everyone knows what it is. Everyone understands why. It’s because sometimes the amount of weight I’m carrying inside me is boiling under my skin and its turning my eyes red and soggy, its breaking me so much I can’t even speak. Sometimes the silence is necessary because I’m screaming so loud on the inside I can’t bear to speak anymore. Or maybe its the opposite, maybe it’s because the world and people around me are so loud I can’t handle the noise anymore so I stopped trying and shut down. Maybe I’m too tired of this sick mess to speak anymore. Words fall short of the things I want to say.

This is why people say things like this:

“If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.”
Andrew Harvey

Sometimes its really hard to be bursting at the seems like this always. I take a chill pill and reseed into a happy numbness, which sometimes solves the problems and I start to see that I don’t have to hate and hurt from all the noise around me and inside me. I can let it out and in and breathe and be one with it or separate myself from it. Nothing is permanent.

There’s a difference between serenity and being numb.

anonymous

Communicating like this isn’t all there is though.  Sometimes small talk and social interaction in the trivial pursuits can be a fueling ground for socialites or a draining all-consuming pit of terror. Sometimes I love to gossip and joke with my friends, and other times it tears me apart inside to hear idiotic and pointless words. I get so upset I give a silent tantrum and stop speaking to people.

 

‘Cause I’ve seen more spine on jellyfish
I’ve seen more guts in eleven year old kids

Have another drink and drive yourself home
I hope there’s ice on all the roads
And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt
And again when your head goes through the windshield

Is that what you call tact?
You’re as subtle as a brick
In the small of my back
So let’s end this call and end this conversation

Read more: Brand New – Seventy Times 7 Lyrics | MetroLyrics

A Stream of Consciousness List


Inspired by Barbara Ann Kiper’s book “14,000 Things To Be Happy About”.

1. That thought niggling in the back of your head for weeks about that one thing you wish you could avoid

2. Unavoidable situations

3. The inevitability of confrontation and circumstance

4. Both the calm and the rage

5. Emotions that are tangled together like the ball of yarn in the back of your grandma’s closet from 1958.

6. The moldy bread that disappoints to the point of anger

7. Hatred for hatred

8. The inevitability of them finding out

9. Resolving to repent

10. Relentless self doubt

11. Self hatred

12. Self harm

13. Verbal inner abuse

14. The torture of guilt

15. The relief of a pent up word.

16. Anxiety

17. The realization that every human being is living a life just as complicated as your own

18. Sonder

19. Understanding humans are almost unjudgeable. Morals, ethics, and human rights are all a concepts of our cultural consensus and collective attitude in an individualistic universe striving against itself in its hypocritical ways.

20. Chaos and Order aren’t quite as dissimilar as they seem.

21. Love and Hate are not opposites, but simply one is the softer version of the other and the harsher version of itself

22. The feeling of flying after breathing slowly

23. Doubting if anything ever said is truly unique

24. Doubting if “unique” actually exists.

25. Jazz recordings from 1938

26. Discrepancies.

27. “Ubiquitous” is still one of my favorite words, unfortunately, it is not ubiquitous. (hehe)

28. Pressing the repeat button to listen to my soul song of the night.

29. Him. Who is always on my mind.

30. Him. Who is often on my mind.

31. Him. Who is sometimes on my mind

32. Him. Who I would like to pleasantly vacate.

33. Him. Who should really blow this taco stand.

34. Him. Who needs to kindly fuck off.

35. Her.

36. Telekinesis

37. Telepathy.

38. Best friends

39. Know-it-alls

40. Synonyms.

41. Ecce. ego sum mortem.

42. How uncool people are

43. The idea of “cool” being such a vague term I wish I could forgo ever using it in a colloquial sentence ever again in my existence.

44. Extensive vocabulary.

45. Mother fucking scholars

46. Anticipation

47. Mother Fucking Stupid Ass Bitches

48. Uncultured tongues with a plethora of explicit content.

49. Not having to explain what that sentence means to someone

50. Carpal tunnel

51. Bad conditions for creativity.

52. Comfortability

53. Affordability.

54. The reason I am writing this

55. “Goal setting”

56. Careers are for losers who don’t play instruments

57. “I’m a writer, I need my fucking space.”

58. Hidden genius’.

59. Fucking diseases of the soul

60. Humans are an infection upon the earth

61. Mother nature

62. I WISH I DIDN’T LOOK LIKE THIS

63. I write poems because I’m sad.

64. I’m sad because I write poems

65. I write songs because I can hear them in my head

66. And they wont shut up until I sing them

67. I write lists because they write themselves on the insides of my skull

68. And they only way to wash them off is to get them out through my fingers.

69. This is why I have carpal tunnel.

70. This is why I stay up all night

71. This is why I think too much

72. This is why I hate myself.

73 This is why I can’t believe you.

74. I thought I was good at this

75. A list longer than 612 pages.

76. Numbers can’t write themselves

77. But I wish math could solve its own problems.

78. Girls who are too innocent to understand they are innocent.

79. Sexaul repression.

80. Parental sheltering

81. Misunderstandings.

82. Compound words ^^

83. Antecedents

84. Vague pronoun use

85. Nathaniel Hawthorne

86. Song lyrics quoted on social media no one understands

87. Likes.

88. Dislike button

89. Disaster

90. Fucking it all up.

91. Cheating the system

92. Realizing the system was made up

93. Making up your own rules

94. Pointless laughter

95. References too advanced for your knowledge of history, philosophy, and literature.

96. Books written in 430 B.C.

97. Hieroglyphics

98. Happiness

99. Nerds

100. A list that will hopefully last forever.

A Personal Post


atelphobia

This is my problem. It leads to me never believing that others can love me because I’m simply not worthy of it.

It isn’t women that I don’t believe though, I mostly trust girls. But I can’t trust guys, (sorry if this sounds sexist but… it has been my overarching experience through my life).

I’ve never been good enough for my dad, never strong enough to chop wood or athletic enough to draw the attention of my Dad’s dad, (my grandad). I was never good enough for a lot of guys I liked or dated in the past. There was always something about me that needed to change for them to be pleased. Mostly my body. I was never enough for a lot of other people because they wanted me to be there constantly, and well, I have a life I need to live too.

I’ve never felt good enough to love someone else because of this. As if I wasn’t worth enough to give someone else adoration. But then at the same time, I’m too worthless not too, because everyone else must be more deserving than I to receive love. I’ve felt so unworthy in the past that I just summed it up to being incapable of loving others. Incapable of commitment and loyalty because I’m not good enough anyway.

“A Bed Full of Safety”

bedfullofsafety

Even though I have no reason to really think I’m not enough right now. I know I’m talented, intelligent, strong, and mature, I can’t shake the feeling of never being good enough. I can’t help but remember that I couldn’t love, and I couldn’t truly be loved by others, I can’t stop feeling helpless in the fact that I’m just starting to live, just learning how to be.

But being isn’t easy.

edgarallenpoe

I know I shouldn’t believe that I am not enough, but it’s hard to not believe it when I’ve disappointed so many people.

I’m exhausted.

Being Apart and Retrouvailles


Retrouvailles [French]

The Happiness of meeting again after a long time

There are lots of ways that people can be separated. Whether “separate” meaning ending of a relationship, friendship, or bond; or meaning separated by distance and time rather than breaking off that relationship, being apart is painful.

I’ve had friends all over the world, some which I’ve been able to see yearly or more and others that I have never seen.

I have friends I’ve grown up with that became the closest and most important people in my life graduate high school and go far away for college. It hurt to be apart from them. It hurt to lose the physical connection we had and to lose the fulfilling meetings we used to have regularly. But we had retrouvailles when we were finally able to get together during summer, winter, and spring breaks.

Separation changes relationships and changes people. Communication and visiting become more special, but also more difficult. Talking to one another can become a chore, or become monotonous because the same questions are always being asked. “How was your day?” “What did you do?” “How is everyone back home?” “How is school?” “What are your classes like?”‘How was work?”. After a while it feels like there is nothing more to say over the phone or via text.

It feels like the distance between the two of you is prying a wedge between you even more than you thought it would.

happinessisexpensive

It’s costly on everyone in many ways. Seeing friends means gas money, spending money for activities, and food. Seeing friends means a plane ticket home or to them, expenses of travel and the like.

Being apart from friends means you might make new friends and lose those friends, or the flux of new friends is whittled down to the ones that you actually like talking to you, rather than the ones which are just convenient to converse with. The difference between a study buddy and a real pal. It costs time and effort to be happy, to stay happy, and to preserve the happiness that you have with those you love most in the world.

The hardest part about these expenses, is making sure they are worth it, and remain worth it.

convenient

Something being worth your time is far from something which is just convenient. Although, convenience does assist in keeping things that are worth your time.

Convenience is having a neighbor that you can barrow things from politely and they have the same relationship with you, but you wouldn’t invite them over for a heart-to-heart about your dying uncle and the struggles of cancer in your family.

The kind of person you invite over for that serious conversation who thinks you are worth their time is the friend that maybe it isn’t all that convenient for them to see you. That’s why it is special when you see each other, because when you do, both of you have planned that chat, that cup of tea or coffee, that special meeting spot, or the favorite seats in your living room. The date’s been on your calendar and it has been something the two of you texted about for weeks. Making sure both could be there around the same time, prepared and with lots to say.

But also with this best friend, you don’t always need something to talk about. Silence can convey what you need it to as well. Because sometimes all you can say is “I’m so glad you are here,” with me because I need you and you are worth it and I love being with you because I love you. 

And you know they are thinking the same thing and don’t need to say it.

coolshit

Harmony in the those moments of retrouvailles.

Gaming Community, The Internet, and Sexism


MEN AND WOMEN AND EVERYONE IN BETWEEN.

Before we talk about these touchy subjects let’s make a helpful list :

1.We are creatures with sexual natures (asexuals you count too <3)

2. We are IMPERFECT

3. We are emotional creatures (except for you, psychopaths, you’re one of the reasons we are in this mess.)

4. We all face consequences for our actions, deservedly or not, equally or not, we face them.

5. Our bodies may have different looking reproductive organs, but we are two sides of one coin (or if you are genderless etc, you are the coin and I love you for being super cool, brave, and unique).

Ok so here are some articles I found while looking at news reports:

Game Reviewer Receives Rape Threats 

Continued article: ’30 Days of Sexism’

If you read these you will notice that this community (the world wide web connecting gamers since 19-whenever) is one of many genders, races, ethnicity, religions, blah blah diversity. Secondly, the gaming community in its wide diversity can be extremely narrow minded and can be extremely problematic in its ways of being offensive, abusive, negative, and even life threatening, (see: Swatting).

In the gaming community, things move fast and things change fast. But one thing that hasn’t changed too much is women being treated like a sexual commodity. I know this sounds strange, but I can prove it to you.

Here are some videos made by the gaming community about things that ACTUALLY happen (some of these even happened to me).

I kid you not, this kind of language and ludeness is extremely common among gamers male and female, but the intent behind them is simply offensive and wrong for both sides.

Because of the popular belief that most gamers are male (54%), the gaming culture has been formed around these chauvinistic stereotypes. This doesn’t tend to bother too many female or male gamers much, though there has been some marketing campaigns and arguments about this. “You can’t have a woman as a main character in a video game, it just won’t succeed.” (Jean-Max Morris 2013:1). This a sentiment that was argued by the producers of Morris’s game, obviously this is untrue. The sex of the main character has very little to do with the success of the game, actually, the more the game creates a community the more successful the game will be. The gaming community is comfortable for most people because all of us want to be there and participate, if we didn’t we would simply stop participating in the culture.

Females being treated badly in gaming communities is simple. Females started out as a minority in gaming culture because of the gender norms and boundaries set up in the way games were geared toward, war, violence, adventures, and monsters. These things at the dawn of gaming were “manly”, “rough and tough”, and everything but sugar and spice and everything nice. Now that gender roles in our society have evened out a little more girls dont feel like war, violence, adventure, and monsters are all that threatening to their femininity or threatening at all to face in a game. But from what I’ve seen is that the community of gamers was established on male virtues. Slogans like “Bro’s before  hoes”, “you game like a girl”, and “make me a sandwich” all stem from guys being the dominating figures of the gaming community.

Since males have dominated gaming for so long, girls who have eased their way into the community usually keep a low profile, 47% is a lot, but still women openly saying they are women on their profile or in game can be rare. This is because of threats like what Alanah Pearce received in the comments on her game review videos. For me, I’ve been online gaming in both the Xbox live and PC gaming (League of Legends mostly) communities for years, and I have actually met guys and girls online that I am still friends with after gaming since 2012. There is hope for the community to revive itself, but when environments are toxified by people with no actual understanding of what their words are doing, change can’t happen.

The best way to explain gaming culture is to experience it, but not everyone is interested or accustomed to the way gamers communicate and relate to one another. That is why most people write gamers off as uneducated and not very sensitive, when the opposite is true, gamers have feelings too we just express ourselves very differently. “Young people will always find new ways to represent their cultural concerns, in ways that inevitably alienate the previous generation. Such linguistic creativity as 1337 5p34K, characterized by adaptation and modification, has evolved from the game geek’s need to express and communicate within a supportive community of like-minded participants.”(Blashki and Nichol 2005:85) What we lack is support usually, because the gaming community is very competitive and raunchy. We like the raunchiness to a point though. Things cross lines, and our ways of communicating can be taken to whole other levels of bad. Swearing is normal, insulting people randomly is normal, threatening to rape, abuse, assault, swat, etc. is not normal or legal.

What makes a person interesting?


in·ter·est·ing
ˈint(ə)rəstiNG/
adjective
  1. arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching the attention.
    “an interesting debate”
    2. A term used meaninglessly and copiously by those with nothing better to say.
    synonyms: absorbing, engrossing, fascinating, riveting, gripping, compelling,compulsive, captivating, engaging, enthralling;

    So, now that we know what it means, what does it really mean?

    To me, an interesting person is someone who rarely bores me, even if what they are talking about is on the uses of Tylenol. What my current dilemma entails is a girl whom with all circumstances and experiences should be the most interesting human on the planet, but she is one of those humans I have a difficult time speaking too without a group. Our one-on-one communication I would think would be amazing since both of us have similar interests in langue arts, linguistics, history, and religion; it seems though, that she and I cannot hold a conversation with each other in an empty room for more than a half hour without external input.

    Secondly, I usually assume that people who are well educated, well traveled (even if thats just in the united states, Canada, and Mexico) should by default, according to their money spending track records, are an interesting human. These people should be eye catching, have good stories(even if these stories are fairy tales, making it all the more interesting), be inspiring, and be ready for adventure.

    Unfortunately, I can’t figure out why this woman bores me to literal tears.  Ultimately, I’m too hopeful and tend to lend my friends one too many chances to surprise me with their intellect and make me laugh with good(or terribly bad) stories, or even better: make our own stories. but I’m feeling drained. I give all my funny(or sad) stories to them, I share or invent adventures for them, I invite them to mad gatherings and try to inspire some spontaneity within them, but I’m slowly but surely giving up.

    Live a little.

     

     

     

How To Get A Good ACT Score (writing portion only)


My first time taking the ACT I was a sophomore in highschool, and its been three years since then and I believe whole heartedly I was a smarter person at that time because of four classes:

1. Latin 2 (Honors)

2. Classical and Medieval History (Gordon College Professor who is super awesome)

3. Classical Literature and Writing (Honors, taught by an ordained bishop, who also consequently is the smartest person I have ever met)

4. Geometry (With my mother who is an Engineer and it rocked)

These foundations are classical Greek and Roman foundations of education (plus add some philosophy and cultural anthropology for unbiased analysis reasons) and this is what I call the perfect lessons to prepare you to write a three page essay in under thirty minutes with organized ideas AND quotes from the literature/historical manuscripts that should be burned into your brain forever.

According to the the syllabus of my Classical Lit and History courses, I now can have a conversation with a student who has a masters in Classics or Literature very well.

I used a quote from Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola (Renaissance, Italian scholar and philosopher) for my essay on the ACT that I tied in to the importance of learning and intellectuality. (…this post is so entirely opposite from my last blog  post my goodness.) This quote talked about the different parts of humanity and what they make a person appear like.

“When man came into life, the father endowed him with all kinds of seeds and with the germs of every way of life. Whatever seeds each man cultivates will grow and bear fruits in him. If these are vegetative, he will be like a plant; if they are sensual, he will become like the beasts; of they are rational he will become like a heavenly creature; if intellectual, he will be an angel and a song of God…. ” (The Oration on the Dignity of Man 1486)

So, to the ACT essay graders, I think I looked pretty damn hot 😉

Along with using quotes and being able to accurately tie them into the random subject you were given, you need to have a good idea of how you like to start your essays, or how to get yourself into a good writing mindset.

I usually try to use the page they give you to plan out your essay to write the first paragraph in. It gives you some idea of how you want to format the lay out, but not the entire thing, more the sound and rhythm of your essay. Colloquial or very formal, your essay should reflect how well you can store knowledge and apply it correctly and nicely to anything they throw at you. And they will throw you some strange questions that seem pretty stupid at first glance.

I’ve taken standardized tests for 3 years with essays tacked on them and it gets old really fast. Also, if you are taking a CLEP exam, remember to CITE the information they give you properly, it’s not just there for you to stare at contemplatively.

Another thing, use AWESOME vocabulary and use it in a tasteful way,

not like:

“Swivel chairs are too ridiculous for rambunctious kids who let their glee overwhelm them, tenaciousness can often upset pedantic teachers.” (This sentence is gross but do you understand how silly it sounds to have this many unusual vocabulary words in one sentence?)

You should use them like THIS:

“Good adjectives and adverbs should be used ubiquitously.” (This is a fair example because colloquial and gray words like “good” are not very useful descriptors(adjectives); they are subjective to someone’s biased point of view of “good”, but words such as “unseemly” (with other descriptions of WHY it is unseemly) is an approved adjective.)

Punctuation:

If by any chance you are able to use a semicolon properly in a paragraph you will probably get good points. The quote I just used above is a good example of semicolons.

Colons (:) are used in sentences to introduce that something follows like a quotation, example or a list. Semicolons (;) are used to join two independent clauses, to separate main clauses joined by a conjunctive adverb or to separate items in a list that already uses commas. “(Your Dictionary.com)

And some examples:

“With educated people, I suppose, punctuation is a matter of rule; with me it is a matter of feeling. But I must say I have a great respect for the semi-colon; it’s a useful little chap.”
(Abraham Lincoln)

and

“Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”
(Mark Twain)

I also HIGHLY recommend keeping a journal entry maybe not once a day, but at least twice a week to keep your mind flowing easily in writing; even if it is total nonsensical babble about school and drama it will help.