Writing

The Best Shows For History Lovers

Since I am a history major and spend a decent amount of time in front of Netflix and watching random videos, I figured I’d share my favorite history related shows or series with you guys!

Shows That Draw on Historical Events:

  1. Outlander: Even though this show does revolve around historical events in Scotland, I think what makes it so compelling is the clash of old and new. I would also be in for time travel through stones too if the opportunity presented itself.
  2. When Calls The Heart: This show is the closest representation of what I’ve always imagined Western Canadian history playing out. It’s almost the Canadian version of Little House on the Prairie in my opinion. 
  3. X-Company: I’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned this show, but I love it since it mashes all my favorite history together. You’re in for a wild ride in this world of spies, WW2, and Canadian history.
  4. The Crown: I’ve always been interested in the British monarchy, so I was absolutely thrilled when Netflix made this show. I also enjoy the fact that Prince Philip is played by Matt Smith, so maybe the Doctor actually does protect the Queen!

Non-Fiction Shows:

  1. Love, Hate, and Propaganda: This multi-part CBC series explores mainly history and propaganda throughout WW1, WW2, and the Cold War. It’s fascinating to watch how much of a role propaganda plays. 
  2. Engineering an Empire: This show is made by the folks from the History Channel, and is really good. It traces the impact of things from architecture to weapons technology and how they shaped empires from Russia to Ancient Greece.
  3. CrashCourse History: You can find these on YouTube, where John Green (Yes, the one who wrote TFIOS) teaches history. These episodes have saved my butt when I’ve needed a brush up on broader history, or just to inform myself.
  4. World War Two In Colour: You know all those boring WW2 documentaries they show in history class that are all in black and white? Here’s your solution-WW2 films restored with colour, so you learn your history the cool way.

What are your favourite series or shows that are based around historical events? Leave them down in the comments!

-Mel.

8 Things I Love About Buffy

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the first shows that really sucked me into the world of sci-fi and fantasy shows. It has a special place in my heart, and I’m hoping to one day get a Buffy cosplay put together.

Anyways, these are my top 8 reasons why I love the show:

  1. The 90s fashion-I love all the outfits, especially Willow’s interesting sweaters.
  2. The boys-whether you’re team Angel, Spike, or Riley, there’s a favorite for everyone.
  3. Giles-Even though he has a smaller role as a Watcher, his sarcasm and exasperation with life are great watching the show, especially now that I’m older.
  4. The Scoobies-I’m so glad the gang grew as the show went on, since the mix of people is awesome. I’m personally a giant fan of Willow.
  5. The monsters-Even though the show is mostly about vampires, the big bads and variety of monsters always makes it exciting.
  6. Willow and Tara’s relationship-Their healthy same sex relationship is something that rarely happens in shows, and that’s amazing. Plus they’re adorable together!
  7. It deals with the tough stuff-From death to breakups, Buffy presents a good example for how to deal with the hard things life throws at us. Especially since it’s from the perspective of mainly young adults, it’s very relatable.
  8. Buffy herself-She’s definitely one of my favorite strong female TV characters. Even though she’s got pretty admirable traits, the fact that she’s not perfect and makes mistakes makes her realistic and relatable.

I hope these reasons convince you guys to watch a few episodes! And, feel free to leave your favorite things about Buffy or favorite episodes in the comments.

-Mel.

History Party

This is part of a series on famous figures at parties, see the earlier philosophical party here.


Cleopatra wanders around the party, followed by Julius Caeser and Marc Anthony. Caeser wanders off at some point, pisses a few people off and gets stabbed multiple times.

Caligula tries to make his horse a consul, while Nero watches Rome burn.

The explorers Columbus, Cartier, and Cabot sit around swapping stories about the “New World.”

King Louis XVI and Marie Antionette try to hide from some French Revolutionaries, including Robespierre.

Rasputin creeps around Nicholas II of Russia and his wife, Alexandra. They later disappear with the rest of their family.

Alexander the Great exchanges battle tactics and empire building hacks with Genghis Khan and Napoleon in the corner.

King Henry VIII brags to anyone who will listen about his six wives, while his daughter Elizabeth I chats with Shakespeare.

Stalin, Marx, and Lenin talk of communism, while Hitler and Mussolini pout in the corner when Churchill and FDR walk past.

 

Finding Your Voice

I’ve had a blog or journal since I was in elementary school. So, I can say I’ve always had some way to express my own voice, and only recently has it been made more public by things like this blog.

But I haven’t always had the same voice. I doubt I would have even expressed my views on politics and current events a few years ago, but now I’ve started to.

I think part of that is because I’ve realized that the more silent you stay, the more other people take your decisions for you. And that thought terrifies me as someone who values equality between sexes and the liberty to choose who I date, among other things.

So, I have decided of late to use my voice more for expressing what I value, and for those who may not have as much access to express what they value. However, that includes acknowledging the fact that I cannot speak on behalf of groups that have experienced life in another way that I have never been subjected to. Instead, I’m choosing to be an ally to those groups and help support them in the causes that are important to their them.

Not to mention, I think now more than ever the world needs to recognize we are all humans and all deserve to be treated with respect. This is not a time to tear each other down for being different, but a time to embrace those differences to work together for a better future.

So, I hope you all find your voice and use it for the good of humanity.

Peace and love,

Mel.

Living With a Roommate

If you’re off to university or have ventured off on your own for the first time, chances are, you have a roommate.

Lucky for you, I’ve been there, so here are my top tricks for dealing with roommates.

  1. Talk to them before you meet. That way you can figure out some things about them and they won’t be a total stranger.
  2. Respect their personal space. Ask if you’re borrowing things, or if it’s okay to invite over other people, etc. Especially in a small living space, both of you will probably need your own bubble to retreat to.
  3. Know who’s going to take care of what essential household stuff. Whether it’s cleaning or paying rent, be responsible for taking care of your share of household tasks.
  4. If there are any issues, make sure to try and talk to them first before involving anyone else. Communication is key to solving anything, and in a worst-cast scenario, you can move or transfer residences.
  5. Try to find someone who shares your interests. That way, you have enough common ground to get along most of the time. Keep in mind, living with friends can still end badly, and strangers can become your best friends.
  6. Get their number just in case. If there’s an emergency, you lock yourself out, or you need to tell them something important, you can always reach them.
  7. Know whose stuff is whose, and which items are communal. It also goes for areas of the place you’re living in. Trust me, people who hog the bathroom or steal your food are annoying, so it’s best to have some ground rules.

I hope some of this point help you guys with dealing with future roommates (or current ones)! Remember, so long as you have basic trust and respect for the person you’re living with, things should turn out well.

If you have any questions or other roommate advice, please leave them below!

-Mel.

When Home Just Isn’t Home Anymore

So…you’ve lived apart from your family for a few months, even an entire school year. And now, you’re back to their house or your hometown for a little bit. You’re happy, but coming “home” has somehow become different.

I’ve already experienced this feeling before moving away to university, after having done some traveling without my family. But it wasn’t until I lived in residence in university and visited my home for the holidays that I noticed how out of place I felt at home.

When you first see your family and friends, it seems like everything is the same. Same house, same car, same dog, same city. But they’ve really changed. See, the funny thing is, other people aren’t static. They grow up, get new hobbies or jobs, new friends or partners, and even if you know about all of that before you reunite, you’ll still have to get used to how those things affect your loved one’s daily lives.

But, the hardest part of coming home is being faced with how you’ve changed. After all, you’ve been away and learned some valuable lessons on your own. From friendships to things you learned in university courses, you’re not the same person you left home as. I know I came back from my first semester of university with new friends, a realization of how hard university can be, and with more independence. I’d even become a bit more extroverted, which is no small feat for me.

So, is there anything you can do about coming home and facing change or being changed?

To be honest, you can’t do much but to accept the changes and adapt to your new life. You’ll never be able to change the paths of others in your life, so you’ll either have to accept them as they are or set them loose. Sometimes the best thing you can do is let go of a friend in your life. It might be tough, but you’ll survive.

As for personal change, you’ll have to assess whether it’s good or bad, and then embrace what will allow you to become the best version of yourself. Take some time to have a heart to heart with yourself, and it’ll help you grow as a person. I hope that what you discover allows you to reach your goals and contribute to the world around you.

Just remember, change is a healthy part of life. You won’t be able to avoid it, but you can change how you react to it. So, when you feel out of sorts going home the next school break, go out and embrace the weirdness of change!

-Mel.

Lest We Forget

I had originally planned to post about my experience with Hal-con last weekend, however, I owe this great man for upholding my country’s freedom, and so it can wait.

The man above is my great grandpa, who fought in World War Two for the Canadian Navy doing supply runs in the North Atlantic. He is a hero, and one of my role models. Unfortunately, he passed away almost ten years ago, but he lives on in my memories.

Like many WW2 heroes, he was more than just a member of the Navy. He gave the best back massages, guaranteed to put my younger self to sleep, even though his hands were covered from calluses from years of hard work. He teased me about being shy to practice my French whenever I visited as well. His house was always a safe place, and you would leave stuffed with food, and hopefully a bit of lefsa. He and my great grandma were a strong couple, and I can remember them dancing together at one family gathering, looking so happy together.

So, every November 11th, I thank him for his service, and for the time I got to spend with him. His memory reminds me to live life in a way that embodies the positive qualities of life, from courage and perseverance, to love and giving back.

Lest we forget those that have fought for Canada and those who still fight.

-Mel.

Je Suis…

Intelligente, responsable et persévérante

Je suis un aventurier à coeur

Je veux voir le monde jusqu’au pyramides

S’intégrer avec d’autres cultures mais je suis un peu timide

En vérité, je rêve d’être à la maison avec ma famille

Ma soeur, ma chienne et mes parents me rendent tranquille

J’ai hâte aussi à jouer du piano à minuit

Pour échapper des araignées qui me font émettre un cri

On me dit quelquefois que je suis trop têtue et ambitieuse

Mais en fait, je suis très généreuse

Je veux faire une différence, éliminer la violence

Mes rêves me font fondamentalement une idéaliste

 

-Mel.

 

I’m Tired…

…of seeing another person shot and killed by the very people meant to protect them.

…of seeing yet another headline about an attack on civilians.

…of hearing hate filled comments about other races and cultures, bred from ignorance.

…of seeing some leaders around the world put their goals before the wellness of their citizens.

…of seeing countries refuse refugees, just because they can.

…of seeing constant talks of war, but very rarely talks of peace.

…of seeing so many people exploiting this beautiful place we call home, just for profit.

…of seeing our differences tear us apart, instead of helping us come together and achieve so much more.

…of going to read the news, and being worried about what I’ll read about today.

…of hearing one positive thing, only to hear a thousand more negative things.

…of seeing so much violence in this world, that I only feel numb.

…of seeing the present, and worrying what world my future children will be brought up in.

 

But mostly, I am tired of seeing this world full of hate and fear, instead of love and peace.

 

-Mel.

Threads

It’s funny, how we humans cling to the smallest thread of hope when it can hurt us so much.

But he was a seemingly never ending thread clinging to me, and for every inch I found there seemed to be three more. Now, as I’m sitting here with pain in my heart, and another set of a million questions in my head, maybe, I think, it’s time to let go.

I still remember the moments I was in love with him. They’re fleeting now, sometimes my mind replays them late at night, as if warning me of the mistake I’ve made. How should it know it was a mistake, when these last few months giving back into his love has felt like a dream?

How should I know?

How should I know I don’t love him anymore?

How should I know why a part of me still loves him and aches to be with him and kiss him and just love HIM?

The truth is, I don’t know.

But I know what I need to do right now, and that it is the right decision at this point in my life.

Tomorrow, I will write him a long letter. A letter that I really wish he could avoid being hurt from, but one that he needs to read. Because if not, he won’t ever understand why we need to go our separate ways.

It’s sort of ironic, in a way, that it’s taken me this long to realize that I need to write that letter. As if our love has still kept me blind to why I left in the first place.

But I’m just reflecting to put off what I have to do. I have been for months. And maybe all those crucial moments of time in the last few months I could have done it. But it just never felt right, I just never felt ready to let go.

So tomorrow, I’ll get rid of that thread, dangling loosely from the whole of the tapestry of my life. After all, it’s had it’s shining moment, but now it’s time to cut it from the whole.

God, this will hurt.

I’m holding the scissors open around that stupid thread.

I’m closing my eyes. I can’t watch.

Snip.

Done. The End. No more.

I love you.