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May, 2013 Issue 2

Impression The Student Medium

Beach Bod Ready?

Real-life Superheroes! How strong are your DEBATE skills?

Can we Tolerate Silence?

The root of BULLYING

World Poverty

The Unconscious YOU in Dreams

Altruistic improvement

Dance to Connect!

Courtesy of Instant Humour. Thanks for the laughs!

*Most of the pictures in this issue do not belong to Impression Magazine. We do not intend to take credit for the ones that are not ours.

Acknowledgements: I want to extend a sincere Thank You to all of our readers who have supported us from the start, and to our newer ones who have found something which rang with them and decided to stick around for more. It is an honor to write knowing that the information could be helpful or inspiring to someone else. Ivan Grozdanovski

 Apart from our magazine issues, we post articles on our website regularly. Please visit us at  Our Facebook page is “Like” to receive regular article updates.  And you can follow us on our Twitter page,

Executive Editor Ivan Grozdanovski Assistant Editor and Designer Ana Grozdanovska Writing Committee Ivan Grozdanovski Ana Grozdanovska Laura Kreka Stefan Palmer

What’s Inside: The Hero’s Journey………………………………………………………………………….…....……........….. 1 At last, the hero attains The Freedom to Live with his challenges and ego at rest.

Bullying Alert……………………………………………………………………..………............................… 4 Pity and generosity are not what people are made of anymore.

Battery Dance Company in Macedonia…………………………………………………...…................. 6 We didn’t know that we were coming up with bits of choreography we would consolidate in the final performance.

How to Conduct a Debate…………………………………………………………………………..........….... 13 It is not unheard of for the conclusion to turn the momentum of a debate.

Pablo Coelho’s Best Quotes.................................................................................................. 16 When our lives are going well, we should not forget to enjoy them.

Discomfort with Silence....................................................................................................... 18 The dripping of a faucet, or the passing of cars, or the commanding Facebook alert that somehow whisks us away from whatever we are doing.

Contact Lenses..................................................................................................................... 20 If you want to wear contact lenses for, let’s say, a fashion shoot, a wedding, a club, your prom, Halloween, or another special occasion...

Dismissing Self-criticism..................................................................................................... 23 Practicing positive and realistic inner thoughts can make for the counterbalance that will tip us to mental well being.

World Poverty...................................................................................................................... 25 When these needs are not being met, people say they are poor.

Obscure Art Forms.............................................................................................................. 27 Who knows, maybe your next pile of trash might become the next biggest sensation!

It’s Healthy to be Sick Sometimes...................................................................................... 32 How fast you get infected is a matter of the strength of your immune system.

Overcoming Fear................................................................................................................. 34 Possibilities will reveal themselves as you draw the veil of fear off of them.

The Beach Body................................................................................................................... 36 Weights are for muscle; treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals are for weightloss.

The Meaning of Dreams...................................................................................................... 38 Dreams, therefore, would express a cohesive blend of the self and the self within the world.

Real-life Superheroes........................................................................................................... 41 You won’t believe how many lives he is credited for saving—more than a billion (yes, with a B).

The Hero’s Journey American writer Joseph Campbell has devised a structure to encompass the majority of literary plots, religious edifices, and cultural myths throughout human history. Combining religion, mythology, philosophy, anthropology, and psychology, Campbell expostulates that the product of a comparison of these stories and posits would lay the foundation for the explanation of human existence. Campbell’s structure follows the development of the archetypical Hero as he or she matures through some ultimate quest and subsequently evolves with its resolution. According to Campbell, the major events that we experience as the heroes in our own realistic life-plots and how we react to them follow this structure. Though not all of the stages are mandatory to every Hero’s Journey, the following are possible. The first part of the Hero’s Journey is Separation, or Departure. It starts with the Refusal of the Call. You may recall that in your favorite novels, the hero is not always willing to jump into conflict with alacrity. As the hero averts from action, disasters continue to happen until they make deferral impossible. When the hero throws off his doubts and accepts his fate, Supernatural Aid appears on the path. This could take the form of a character who appears fortuitously and acts as a mentor, providing privy knowledge to aid the hero on the journey. Next, the Crossing of the First Threshold is the point of no return, where the hero must leave the comforts of home and embark wholeheartedly on the journey. Usually, the hero must overcome some creature or challenge that symbolizes his fear and own responsibility before stepping over the threshold. Once outside, the hero enters a realm known as The Belly of the Whale, a dangerous and unpredictable world that will test his adaptability. Only heroes who can integrate their old values and ideas with the requirements of the new environment make it past. The second part of the Hero’s Journey is Initiation. Out in what Campbell calls the “Dream World”, the hero must walk on The Road of Trials, facing challenges of physical, mental, emotional, and moral caliber that teach him accruing lessons. The next step for the hero is The Meeting with the Goddess. Though this stage portrays the hero as masculine and the goddess as feminine, these attributes are only symbolic and therefore reversible. At this stage, the hero must consolidate his nature with its opposite; become gentle if he is rough, altruistic if he is selfish, or keen if he is naïve in order to discover his other side. Often, the hero bonds with a powerful female character who will support him on his journey. Of course, the following stage must then be Woman as Temptation. Where the goddess

represents perfect love, the temptress represents carnal or material love, which would ultimately subvert the hero’s mission. A true hero will reject the false offers of enticement and choose genuine worth, or suffer the consequences if he is not prudent. Next, the hero must pass Atonement with his Father. He must defeat, surpass, or reconcile with his father in order to stand as his own man, free from the superordinate power. Now at the rank of a father himself, the hero strives for greater achievement. Following his trials, he must rise to the level of Apotheosis, or a godlike state of excellence. His old self in a way dies to give way to a new awareness and power that the hero will employ to face his greatest challenges still to come. However, he moves forward with joy and glory this time. After overcoming his challenge at the climax of the story, the hero receives The Ultimate Boon, which can appear in any form as long as it is appropriate in healing his wounds and imparting revelation. And finally, the last part of the Hero’s Journey is the Return. The upcoming challenges will be to exit the Dream World and integrate the new self into the old world, a feat perhaps more trying than the initial Departure. The hero first faces Refusal of the Return. Having undergone their greatest adventures in the Dream World, some heroes may feel that they cannot go back home in their elevated form; but ultimately, it is the right thing to do. If the hero is desperate under some persistent danger to bring the ultimate boon home safely, he may travel furiously in a Magic Flight, adding excitement in the resolution of the story. The hero may be in need of a Rescue from Without, for some unexpected external force to extract him from the Dream World. The hero may also face one last challenge in The Crossing of the Return Threshold, after which he can finally return home with his knowledge of the Dream World intact. Where crossing the first threshold symbolizes a death from the ordinary world, crossing the second symbolizes a rebirth back into it. As Master of Two Worlds, the hero is of neither world, but dominates both, alternating between them at his will. Campbell warns, though, that the hero must not contaminate one world by introducing aspects of the other within it. With what he has learned, the hero becomes master of his external and internal worlds as well. At last, the hero attains The Freedom to Live with his challenges and ego at rest.

As stories are based on real life, Campbell encourages us to apply this structure to our own trials and the choices we make to deal with them. Defeating dragons, exploring remote lands, finding treasure, and marrying princesses, therefore, are not figments of fantastic imagination; they are life’s outturns in a more spectacular form. They are symbols of what we face at different stages of our lives, regardless of whether or not we emerge great. If we accept that we are the heroes in our own life-stories—analogous to those written by very human authors, inspired by a very realistic world—we can draw motivation and inspiration from our fictitious heroes and walk bravely on our own Hero’s Journey.

Ivan Grozdanovski

Bullying Alert!

Gossip, Drama, Entertainment and similar subjects are to be read everywhere. No one really cares what's happening in the developing countries, what's going on with the poor people; no one cares about real societal problems anymore. We live in a world where owning iPhones and fashionable clothes is more important than saving lives or dealing with life obstacles! Pity and generosity are not what people are made of anymore. Let's not even start discussing about tolerance and politeness. I'm not trying to sound like a pessimist, I just think it's time we changed our attitudes towards the future. I say we boost our confidence to face our issues. I say we consider the possibility of realistically changing our lifestyle. I SAY WE CHANGE THE WORLD TO A BETTER PLACE FOR EVERYONE!

Bullying is a great place to start. I don't know how the society where you might live deals with this kind of problem, or how high the percentage of bullying is, but I've noticed that it increases every year globally. I'd like to draw your attention especially to Cyber Bullying. It is everywhere, and anyone can become a victim of it quite easily. Not only do teenagers get bullied (or bully), but adults and kids are involved as well. I want all of you to be aware of this alarming situation that destroys lives, literally causes deaths, and provokes suicide attempts. A great amount of people have tried taking their own lives away because someone else decided to have fun with their innocence and take advantage of their low selfesteem.

I've heard the saddest and the most horrifying stories that one can hear. People getting hacked at work, receiving death threats, being called fat and ugly, and all for just sharing (accidentally or not) a piece of personal information. One girl decided to share her story. She had received a great deal of hate from her peers because she was dating a handsome guy, the most popular at her school. Her personal pictures were stolen and uploaded to a website called "Vote for the Ugliest and Fattest Girl." She won that mean contest, and people were texting her messages like these: "I hope you die after reading this", "You are the ugliest girl I have ever seen, you don't deserve to live", "People like you should hang themselves", " How on earth YOU, with THAT face, get to date someone like him? EW!", and many other inappropriate ones which I'd rather not share. The girl had to visit a psychologist for six months to build her confidence back up because she felt mentally and emotionally ruined. At first, it was very hard for her to go back to school, but with the support of her loving and caring family, she realized that she never did anything wrong, except for not keeping volatile information on her internet profile private. She learned her lesson, and went on to help others who were bullied like she had been. Upon reflection, it is obvious that parents should be more careful about the way they treat a problem at home. They should always have in mind that their children observe them, learn from them, and behave like them. Parents should teach their children that bullying is not an appropriate way to deal with their problems, and that nobody deserves to be bullied since perfection is unattainable, and anyone can be bullied if we allow it. We need to learn that we can't just go and ruin people's lives, just because we feel like it, or just because we don't have anything better to do. We can't go torture people who are less confident than us; judging them is not a definition of others but of ourselves. Remember, respect and be respected.

Laura Kreka

Battery Dance Company in Macedonia Battery Dance Company is a dance troupe from New York City which tours the world, bringing dance to the youth internationally. Recently, they graced Macedonia as part of their European Tour. Five professional dancers dispersed to five cities in order to reach the youth from all over the country: Robin Cantrell went to Tetovo, Mira Bai Cook to Struga, Clement Mensah to Stip, Sean Scantlebury to Skopje, and Carmen Nicole Smith to Bitola. Each city’s American Corner, with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Macedonia, organized a team of twenty youth to participate in the Dancing to Connect project. I was a part of Struga’s team under the tutelage of Mira Cook. I first met the rest of my team at the American Corner in Struga, and together we spent five consecutive days dancing at a local school. On the sixth day, our preparation culminated in a group performance alongside the four other youth teams at the 2013 Skopje Dance Fest. The experience as a whole was a wonderful mixture of hard work and tremendous fun. Incredibly, we bonded closely with people who had been strangers a few days prior, a puzzle which might be more understandable considering the fact that we spent four hours a day together running around, stretching, jumping, arguing and ceding on choreography, synchronizing, showing off, and complementing where it was ineluctable. What was so weird for all of us was that we didn’t know that we were coming up with bits of choreography we would consolidate in the final performance. On the second and third days, every one of us must have asked Mira individually at different times, “When are we going to start with our choreography?” “You already have,” she would answer with a patient grin. One of the initial activities Mira had us do was stand in a circle and come up with dance steps to indicate the rhythm of our names. By the end, we could go around the circle and both say and dance out everyone’s name. It was silly to us then, but these moves would become the basis of our large group choreography in the final performance.

This is the “Alpay,” created by Alpay Bayraktar himself, and also the conclusion to our large group choreography.

The solo in the middle of our final performance in Skopje and the duo at the end (see video below) were actually composed of my team members’ renditions of the assignment to paint or draw the letters of their names on the surfaces of the building—the floor, walls, and ceiling. Furthermore, several sections of the performance were refined versions of smaller group tasks we had, such as to create a beat through a capella dance, or to interpret Macedonian, Albanian, and Turkish cultural celebrations. Really, everything came together on the fourth and fifth days of rehearsals. Following are two pictures coruscating with group spirit—the first on the day before the performance, and the second on the bus to Skopje. Because Mira kept changing the groups we worked in, everybody got a sense of the diversity in our team. One of the objectives of the project, aside from learning and teaching dance, was to foster interaction and understanding in a multiethnic group. I can conclude that we were more than successful. At first, perhaps the language barrier, or the religious or cultural, may have naturally divided us into our respective ethnic groups, but by the end, everything we did was as a unit: we joked, laughed, high-fived and hugged (often), and we danced freestyle to the music that was always blasting from someone’s cell phone in the background, taking whoever happened to be walking by for a dance partner, every chance we got. There was a particular brotherly moment I remember fondly on the day of our performance. During our preparations, we, the guys, had gone to a separate amphitheater to get dressed. At one point we were there goofing around waiting for the time to pass, and one of our members read a joke in Albanian from his cell phone, to which those who spoke the language burst out in laughter. Before the commotion could die down, he was standing poised to translate the joke to the rest of us who had missed the meaning, but the right words in Macedonian wouldn’t come out. Regardless of whether or not we knew Albanian, all of us were eagerly throwing up Macedonian words that might match what we supposed would have been the original Albanian ones. At last, he finally got the words out, and we released pent up laughter bigger than the joke deserved, though it was funny; it was just funnier in two languages somehow. What is more, it was a clear sign that ethnic barriers can slip away into nothing, with as simple a concept as collaboration.

Dancers: Alpaj Bajraktar, Mustafa Sheh, Nikola Tikoski, Endrit Pollozhani, Fjolla Sheshu, Mehtap Selman, Simona Koloska, Ivona Petreska, Tanja Grazhdani, Alba Pollozhani, Shadie Ademi, Bora Dauti, Blendina Maliqi, Arijanita Tairi, Magdalena Radinoska, Ivan Grozdanovski, Erjon Kokale, Eriola Shehu, Edisona Lleshi, Elvira Kishta. Mira remarked when she asked us about our different cultures that we all looked the same to her. She wanted to know what exactly made us different. If anything was hard during our week of dancing, it was answering this question. We couldn’t get much past listing vague differences in our cuisines, languages, and weddings. I share with you a post by Battery Dance Company on their Facebook page: Beautiful words from a Dancing to Connect Macedonia participant. In dancing, skin color, eyes, hair, make up, nationality, language, does not make us different. In dancing, we are all the same, we are just people who love dancing. ♼

The day of the performance didn’t feel like work at all. There was time for everything. We had all arrived in Skopje by noon, on a beautiful, sunny, warm, spring day. Absolutely nothing could have detracted from the ambient. Because there were five groups eager to see how the new stage would accommodate their choreography, the dance company could only afford to give each group a segment of forty-five minutes to practice. For us, the new stage came as a surprise, as we had to make changes to our choreography to adapt to its layout. There were bright lights on us, and the technical director had to consolidate our music with the routine in real time; we reversed the direction of our entrances at several parts, reformed our lines, and repositioned, but in the end we pulled it off. While we waited for our turn, I was glad that Mira came out and spent time she could have used preparing for her own performance which she would do with other members of her company at the conclusion of the event in order to help us warm up as we had done on all the other days. It meant a lot. Everything she did and said had an air of reassurance.

We fashioned ourselves a little workspace at the conjunction of three halls to do this. At the middle of the day, we had some time to relax. Most of the group wanted to go out into Skopje for coffee, but somehow, miraculously, we all reached a consensus to stay and have it at the café outside the cultural center where we would be performing (I think it had something to do with unity). We spent our time at the café as we did the rest of the day, joking around and dancing. Oh, and taking pictures! We must have looked crazy to the people who were coincidentally there because, as some of us were sitting, others were off to the side rehearsing dance moves, and at the end, the random music from someone’s cell phone came on, and we felt compelled to accompany it with freestyles, naturally. Right there at the café.

After the café, it was time to get serious before our performance. This picture looks innocent enough, but the only time we quit working the place up for a minute was when Ardita Emush, our American Corner mentor, called us over for a decent group shot. The rest of the time, two workshops of amateur makeup artists who would not hear of criticism kept their respective lines of customers busily turning, then there was a hairdo workshop from where dignified gusts of hairspray would rise occasionally, and various groups of performers kept forming and reforming to try different parts of the choreography anywhere where there was spare space. And the ubiquitous cell phone music and freestyles accompanied us here again. What can I say? Dancers. When it was time to enter the theater to take our seats before the audience arrived, everything felt natural. I don’t think a single person felt nervous. It was simply what we had done incessantly in the past week, second nature to us. Mira had told us to have fun dancing above all else, and that’s what we did. That’s what we had been doing. Click on the picture to see our performance!

At the end, when we all joined in a massive embrace with our group members and instructors, there were tears in everyone’s (the girls’) eyes. We were thrilled that we had done justice to our hard work, sad that the instructors who had given us so much were leaving, but probably disappointed above all else that it was over.

“Mi-ra! Mi-ra! Mi-ra! Mi-ra!” Was our performance perfect? No. How about our experience? I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Battery Dance Company, your work is more than inspiring, more than engaging and entertaining. It is humanitarian. I know that you will continue to bring great things with you wherever dance takes you.

Kissy faces!

Ivan Grozdanovski

How to Conduct a Debate A debate is usually conducted between

before the debate for research. They are

people would be surprised to learn that a

index cards, which they can use during

strictly adheres to regulations, and each

sources, as that is one area that often

two people or two teams of two. Most

debate isn’t a wrestle for speaking time. It

permitted to write pertinent evidence on

their debate. They must also include their

person is allotted an equal amount of

comes under scrutiny in a debate; if a

governmental conferences such as the

fact he or she has used, it is considered

uninterrupted time to speak, much like at

debater cannot provide the source for a

United Nations. In a partners’ debate, the

void. It is wise to prepare a couple of

during the


posters, charts or graphs, short video



partners on each team work together to at





contentions—or the predetermined points

visual aids at this point in the form of clips, or surveys to strengthen the points.

of argument of the topic—but when the debate begins, they are practically just two people who are on the same side; the most they can aid each other in is passing

notes and discussing the direction of their case





Essentially, each partner argues with only one opponent. The two teams must first choose a broad

topic of debate, and then narrow the scope to something resembling the thesis






following is a typical layout of a debate:

sentence of a paper. Then, the teams take

Introduction: All the participants get five

“con”, based on the wording of their

issue. Here the debaters may commend

normally choose several contentions at

while the opposing team hastily scribbles

their stance on the issue as either “pro” or

proverbial thesis sentence. The teams also

minutes to introduce their stance on the themselves to the audience and judges,

this time to serve as the subtopics of the

notes, counter-arguments, and questions

while the con team tries to take them


issue—the pro team has to support them, down. The teams cannot speak on issues outside





participants are given a stint of time

in preparation for their own speaking

Examination: After the contentions have

been addressed by both parties, the

debaters alternate taking two to three minutes to ask their opponents questions

that would reveal flaws in their argument.

her finesse by replying concisely and coolly.

Questions such as “Do you think...” are


the opponents can easily counter that by

“examination” procedures repeat.

irrelevant. Leading questions, on the other

Break: The teams are given a two to three-

hand, are a great way to mire opponents.

minute break to prepare their last attempt

tempting, but they should be avoided, as

stating that what they personally think is

These are usually pre-planned, as answers

from the opposing team can be predicted.








team the

to appeal to the audience and judges.

The person asking the questions should

Conclusion: Each team member gets five

“no” answers. If the opponent starts

on the contentions, counter on any

establish that he or she only wants “yes” or

answering one way, and then changes his

minutes to summarize his or her stance

damaging remarks from their opponents,

or her stance by the end of the list of

and address previous questions. It is not

of warning, wasting time while answering

momentum of a debate. Any notes which

questions, they lose credibility. As a note

questions is regarded as a sign of weakness





answering the questions can prove his or

unheard of for the conclusion to turn the

the debaters had taken earlier can become very relevant in the conclusion.

Some tips that may come in handy in a debate: 

Do not bully your opponents. Just like in life, there is a fine line between confidence

and rudeness. The quickest way to defeat is through insolent debating. Be respectful, even when your opponents are not. Restraint will pay off with the judges. 

Appealing to emotions is a fallacy, and therefore not viable in a debate. However, a skilled debater can present surprising facts passionately, and still make a strong impact on the audience and judges.

If you panic, your mind might go blank. Therefore, pace yourself. There is plenty of time to present your points. It is better to pause for a couple of seconds of silent

composure than to rush in prattling, and what is worse, finish before your time runs out. 

Collaborate with your partner. Walk his or her visual aids around to the audience. Pass well-constructed notes to your partner if you think of a great question or a

strong defense to your position. Remember, under stress, your partner will not have

time to consider what your note says. He or she might just read it as soon as you pass it over, so make sure that you consider the repercussions. 

When you are signaled that your time is up, and you still have more to say, take

about twenty to thirty seconds at most to conclude. If the judges have to warn you again, it will be a clear signal that you lack discipline. 

Do not avoid debates. Every chance you get, take the opportunity to participate in a

regulated debate. You can learn a lot about your speaking and argumentation skills. What is more, debating builds up your ability to respond appropriately under stress. Approach every debate as a learning opportunity. A debate calls for both public speaking and critical thinking skills. Even if an argument is airtight, a poor delivery could engender defeat. Keep in mind that debate is quite possibly the most difficult form of public speaking to master, and use that as your provocation to try

again if you don’t do so well. Even presidential candidates who speak regularly spend a considerable amount of time preparing for a presidential debate, as they have been known to change the expected outcomes of an election several times in history. Debating, however, is not only a valuable skill in the professional world, but also in the social. We encounter arguments often in real life, and though we may have to compete

extra hard for speaking time, a logical stream of arguments presented with aplomb can turn a screaming match into a civilized exchange of ideas.

Ana Grozdanovska

Paolo Coelho’s Best Quotes Paolo Coelho is one of the most popular modern-day authors. He is best known for The Alchemist, a work appraised among the most successful of all time. In addition, there are many other successful books that he has written. Coelho shares the lessons he has learned from an adventurous life, and the universal nature of his work, positive and inspiring, appeals to many people around the world. Here are some of his best quotes. “The boat is safer anchored to the port; but that’s not the aim of boats.” “Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say ‘yes’ to life?” “The mirror reflects perfectly: it makes no mistakes because it doesn’t think. To think is to make mistakes.” “If I must be faithful to someone or something, first of all, I have to be faithful to myself.” “Never be ashamed. Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others drink the whole bottle. How will you know which is which? By the taste. You can only know a good wine if you have first tasted a bad one.” “At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s biggest lie.” “We always have the necessary resources to face the storms that life throws at us, but most of the time, those resources are locked up in the depths of our hearts and we waste an enormous amount of time trying to find them. By the time we’ve found them, we’ve already been defeated by adversity.” “Sometimes you get no second chance and it’s best to accept the gifts the world offers you.” “The day is made up of 24 hours and an infinite number of moments. We need to be aware of those moments and make the most of them regardless of whether we’re busy doing something or contemplating life.” “No matter how you feel today, get up, dress up & show up.”

“It’s best to live as if it were the first and last day of my life.” “Everyone is indeed crazy but the craziest are those who don’t know they’re crazy; they just keep repeating what others tell them to.” Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to follow your dreams: that’s what Coelho is saying. People are often afraid to go out of their comfort zone and to take risks. Some don’t go after what they want because they are afraid of failure. Yet we must realize that mistakes along the way are guaranteed because we are human. The worst thing that can happen is we look back on our lives fifty years from now and regret all the things that we ignored because of the apparent risk involved. If one of our ambitious goals does not get accomplished, we can try again, or undertake something else; either way the experience is the most valuable part of the journey. Regardless of what and who we are surrounded by, in the end it is up to us to decide what is worth striving for. When our lives are going well, we should not forget to enjoy them; when they are not, we should not be afraid to face our fears. We need to appreciate each minute of our lives and treat it as a miracle. Finally, what other people might say about us ought to be the least of our worries. The ones who are too afraid to do something “crazy,” but choose to live by a set of made-up rules, are just not living life.

Stefan Palmer

Impression Magazine

Discomfort with Silence In order for us to have the clarity of mind which our daily responsibilities demand, we need to make use of allocated periods of focused attention. Usually, this can best be achieved through seated, silent meditation. Spending some moments in silence, getting away from environments filled with constant background noise, is a method by which we can reset our attention when it has been exhausted. It is difficult to consider the serenity of silence since all around noise is constantly bombarding us. There are sounds in our rooms, homes, schools, work spaces, and cities— whether it’s the dripping of a faucet, or the passing of cars, or the commanding Facebook alert that somehow whisks us away from whatever we are doing. Silence can be defined as the suppression of optional sounds over which we have control that exist in the environment. Achieving silence would be dropping everything— television, speaking, humming, tapping—and heading into nature, where the birds would chirp and the wind would rustle through the foliage, but a pervading silence would settle nonetheless. Today, due to the advancement of technology, most people are actually bothered by silence. Studies conducted on this topic have shown that during the quiet stint between

musical performances, people, uncomfortable with the silence, tend to create their own sounds through coughing, shuffling, and the like to compensate. Other studies corroborate that people acquire a need for constant noise. Of course, this goes back to the fact that for most people, the television or the radio were always on in the background during their childhood, regardless of whether or not anyone was paying attention. It appears that now, we want the comfort of silence, but at the same time we can’t stand it, so we are reduced to enduring an infinite swirl of noise all the time.

Impression Magazine

Take a moment to reflect on why intermittent silence feels so awkward to most people during a conversation. Does it signal an inherent unfamiliarity with the other person, in which case they try to cover it up, even by spewing meaningless chatter? And how about when they can’t even think of that? Then they must be mere strangers with the other

person! In some cultures, silence is more valued than speech. The Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, for example, remarked, “He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.” Maybe we have everything twisted. Silence can be a time for thought, if we use it correctly. One thing you can try is test your level of familiarity with silence. Just for a few days, go to a place far from the city where there is no TV, radio, or Internet. It could be to a log cabin or a camping site. Consider how often you think about your usual choice of communication devices. If you are having a hard time diverting your mind from city bustle, go out and meditate. Just you and nature. Focus on the silence, breathe, and be renewed. If you feel wound up at work or school, this is a sign that you need to step back from it, even if you think you need to force through your work

because a deadline is approaching. Spending undisturbed time in silence will rekindle your focus and attention so you can return to your responsibilities with vigor. Having learned to be uncomfortable in silence, we can surely relearn the opposite. In silence we can find our true nature and thoughts, uninfluenced by the external confusion of noise. In silence we can gather ourselves back up when the endless crashing of sound waves has worn us down. So the general advice sums up to: turn off your television sets, computers, radios, telephones, and anything else that makes noise, find a quiet place in your home, or better yet, in nature, and sit in the silence. Wash in it, bask in it, breathe from it. Don’t speak—listen. Listen to the silence. The experience will clear your senses so you can best tackle whatever lies ahead.

Impression Magazine

Ana Grozdanovska

Contact Lenses

If I ask you what first pops into your mind when I say “vision,” would your answers be eye glasses? Eye color? Iris? Contact Lenses? Let’s discuss the latter. What do you know about contact lenses? Do you know why and how to use them? How about the pros and cons of using contact lenses? If you can’t answer the above questions properly (just like I couldn’t before I did my research), don’t feel uninformed, because below you will find all the extra interesting data you will ever need on contact lenses. So basically, people like to wear contact lenses for different reasons, such as decorative purposes or vision problems. I bet you all knew that, but what you probably didn’t know is that there are lenses different in more aspects than just their colors.

First, you should be aware that there are such lenses as “soft lenses” and “hard lenses”. The first ones are made of soft, flexible plastic that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea, and they may be easier to adjust to and more comfortable than the hard lenses. The hard lenses, however, are more durable and resistant to deposit buildup and generally give a clearer vision. They are

easier to handle and less likely to tear; but they are not as comfortable at first as the soft contacts. In fact, it may take a few weeks to get used to wearing them. Another thing you ought to know is that contact lenses are not for everybody. That is, people whose eyes are drier than normal, or who suffer from allergies, or have particular illnesses such as arthritis or diabetes, or who work with chemicals, or who live in dusty environments are NOT ALLOWED to wear any contact lenses at all! For these people, there is a large risk of eye inflammation, infections, and allergies, among others, should they still insist on wearing contact lenses. Another piece of advice is that people who wear contact lenses should always disinfect them after each use. Here are some basic guidelines on how to insert contact lenses: 

Wash and dry your hands.

Tip the lens from its storage case into your cupped palm.

Check it for tips or grit.

Put the lens on your finger

Hold your eyelids open

Look up

Pop the lens onto the white of your eyeball

Let go of your eyelids

Look down and blink to position the lens over your cornea

If you want to wear contact lenses for, let’s say, a fashion shoot, a wedding, a club, your prom, Halloween, or another special occasion, you would be interested in non-prescription lenses. They tend to be used for only cosmetic purposes and fashion.

To sum up, I’d like to add that Vera Wang once said, “To me, eyewear goes way

beyond being a prescription. It’s like makeup. It’s the most incredible accessory. The shape of a frame or the color of lenses can change your whole appearance.”

Laura Kreka

Dismissing Self-criticism As we all carry on a mental conversation with ourselves that helps us make decisions and comment on our experiences, this process can at times feel more like an obstreperous argument rather than a consultation. From time to time negative voices creep to the back of our minds and whisper harsh, cruel, and unforgiving things. Many of these negative voices were formed in our early childhood, usually originally spoken by our loved ones during stressful times. The biggest problem, however, is that they continue to haunt us in adulthood. Luckily, there are ways to free our minds from the presence of these negative voices. It will take some time, but practicing positive and realistic inner thoughts can make for the counterbalance that will tip us to mental well being. This is a short and effective process that will help you dismiss your inner critic. 1. Find the critic. The first step is to become aware of your own inner critic. Pay attention to selfcritical statements, and write them down so you have tangible access to them in your preparations to counter any restricting beliefs you might carry about yourself. Some examples of negative inner criticism are: “I am not good enough,” and, “I wish I had what she/he has.” 2. Counter the critic. The next step is to counter the negative self-critical statements with realistic statements. For this, you will need to see your positive aspects. As the inner critic takes an absolute negative stance, it is almost always wrong. It is your job to consider the dynamic nature of the situation. Are you really completely useless as the critic is determined to shout for as long as it lives? Or have you gotten your education, started working, and dealt with situations much worse than the one you are in? Pull up memories of your triumphs, and the critic will be at a loss of arguments. 3. Purge the critic. After you have replaced the negative beliefs with realistic, positive ones, the final step in freeing your mind involves realizing the inner critic’s damaging effects. You have to consciously weigh whether you are better off with the critic or without it. When it makes sense in your mind that nothing good comes from a merciless critic, a click, and everything will make sense. You will be able to let go of the criticisms and proceed with a liberated, healthy image of yourself.

These steps might seem a bit obvious and tedious; but going through them will prove their worth in clearing your limiting beliefs about yourself and opening the way your inner critic kept sealed. For some people, these inner voices are very influential and control their daily lives, how they behave, what they feel, and what they say. It is time to break the chains that have held so many down. Dismiss self-criticism.

Ana Grozdanovska

People have always had a need for food, shelter, and clothing. And when these needs are not being met, people say they are poor. Where the government can't provide for its citizens, this is the dark scenario at play. For many years economists worked determinedly to come to the ideas and strategies that would improve the world's economy, but somehow they failed.

If I could number the rudimentary causes of poverty, the length of this text would probably wear many readers out. But here, I would like to point out only a few of them, the most important ones. In developing countries, for example, approximately 130 million children and teenagers (age 17 or under) have lost one or both of their parents, a terrible condition which leads not only to social and psychological trauma, but also to a monetary deficiency. Clearly, the money is either being mismanaged by the children or lawyers, or it is going down a drain somehow with no overt explanations. Another cause of poverty is the corrupt management in these countries and the lack of quality governmental representatives. In many instances, too, the governments are spending a fortune on more trivial matters, such as the purchase of weapons, instead of trying to find ways of lifting their citizens out of poverty. Often, they are too distracted with sensational matters to concentrate on what their people really need for a quality lifestyle.

In my country, Macedonia, it is not inconceivable to see people living on the streets and children begging for money. If you read the newspapers you'll find reports of enough crime to make you realize that better management is needed. And most of these kinds of situations around the world are a result of dissatisfaction with the standards of living. People who have lived their whole lives in poverty are tired of waiting for life-changing opportunities and often choose the easy way out, crime. I think it is time that society stopped breeding crimes, and focused on collective, altruistic improvement. Millions of online websites exist that offer viable solutions to the social issues which arise from poverty; we just have to make use of them.

Certainly, poverty does not derive entirely from the lack of money. To be poor could also mean being lonely, feeling unwanted or unloved by the people you care about. That’s another aspect that incites the same maladies on mankind. Mother Theresa once said, "We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty." No matter what, to overcome poverty, we have to start caring most for the important things in life and leave out trivial matters.

Laura Kreka

Obscure Art Forms The word “art” usually brings pictures of paintings to people’s minds at the mention. But even when we purposefully try to think of other forms of art, we still have a hard time listing anything past the traditional forms. These obscure art forms, for their worth, deserve equal prominence. Sand painting originated with the Navajo Indians, whose legends tell that they learned the art around the 17th century from spirits which they call the “Holy Ones.” Unlike the early form of sand painting which entailed adhering sand to paper, some contemporary artists use a projector as the surface of their work on which they lay and shift the sand in a show of remarkable dexterity. As shown in the videos below, skilled sand painters can seamlessly tell a story in real-time through their work in a matter of minutes. Click on the pictures to see amazing sand painting in real time!

Sand art also takes an impressive form within bottles, a practice which originated in the Petra mountains of Jordan in the 19th century. Today, artists all over the world amaze audiences with bottled sand art, an art form quite learnable with a little instruction and practice.

Assemblage art is literally art from junk, items found anywhere. It is the most impressive testimony to the old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” One of the most wellknown artists to popularize this art form was Pablo Picasso during his cubist period in the early 1900’s. If you’ve never been good at drawing or painting, why not try your hand at assemblage art? The only rule is that

the objects you use to construct your artwork cannot be traditional art materials. Anytime you are about to throw away anything, don’t. Putting together all of the stuff you don’t need into a design may bring you fame and fortunes. The opportunities for originality are endless.

Shadow sculptures are another way to transform garbage into art. All you need is the spatial genius to turn a 3D mess into an accurate 2D projection of art. So far, very few artists have gotten involved in this field. The art form is relatively new and wide open for ambitious artists.

Ice sculpting is a transient art form since it is dependent on the temperature. Ice sculptures, shaped from blocks of ice of varying size, can last for minutes or months. The color of the ice, whether opaque or transparent, depends on the freezing technique employed and any dyes added. If the water has more impurities and is frozen at a faster rate, the sculpture will look more opaque.

The ice can even take on the white hue of snow or of another color. The carving can be finished in as little as ten minutes with power saws, but it typically takes longer as the need for meticulous detail calls for hand saws. People have imitated the sounds of musical instruments for centuries, but the practice has taken new prominence with the birth of beatboxing. Today, beatboxing is largely tied to hip-hop and rap: beatboxers produce various drum beats, horn and string sounds, rhythms, and musical sounds with nothing more than the articulatory organs with which we regular people have trouble producing anything more than speech. Beatboxing can take on an endless array of sounds and patterns when combined with singing and vocals. Blake Lewis was the runner-up in the 2007 American Idol, and much of his popularity came from the beatboxing that he often weaved into his singing. Click on the picture to see the performance!

Remember the snowflakes you cut out of paper in elementary school? Paper art is another simple art form, but only in regards to the materials needed. Everything you see in the pictures is made out of paper, or the lack of it. Artists have to consider how their artwork will fit together once it is cut, as well as construct their three-dimensional figures in the correct proportions. Some of the techniques involve cutting, folding, gluing, molding, stitching, and layering.

Green Sculptures is one way to promote the planting of more trees. The genius of this art form is not only in trimming the plants into shape, but also in combining various kinds of plants for texture and color and planting them in the right places. Wherever there are green sculptures tourism is abundant. With green sculptures, art lovers can be nature lovers as well.

One of the most popular recently created art forms is the field art of Aomori Prefecture, Japan, where farmers have figured out a way to alternate planting four different kinds of rice to create multi-colored masterpieces which can be seen from a 22-meter high mock castle tower. Field art takes urban planning to a whole new level.

Designs on the body have been around for centuries in various forms, such as tattoos and the Indian Mehndi, otherwise known as henna; but more recently, artists have elaborated on the practice in the form of hand art. As you can see, a large amount of detail and varying colors are involved in this art form. These designs are the least permanent of the three types of body art.

Most of these art forms are low-cost or free. If you see something that sparks your imagination, give it a try yourself. Who knows, maybe your next pile of trash might become the next biggest sensation!

Ana Grozdanovska

It’s Healthy to Be Sick Sometimes

We are all happy when winter comes because of the first snow of the year, the many holidays, happy times, and of course, let’s not forget to mention the flu. Yeah, right! Who’s happy about that? I’m pretty sure everyone knows different ways of how to deal with these viral infections; When I was sick, for example, my grandma would tell me to eat honey every morning with lemons and loads of tea, but nowadays we use more modern ways to treat the flu.

Let me remind you that everyone can be affected by the flu by just being in close contact with people who carry the virus. But how fast you get infected is a matter of the strength of your immune system. People who are more vulnerable are advised to take a flu vaccination. I’d like to share some thoughtful ideas on how to stop the flu from spreading around our homes and to people we see every day. First, remember to always cover your mouth and nose when you feel a tickle, followed by an itch, which will inevitably come out as a sneeze full of flu germs. You should constantly wash and scrub your hands using a disinfecting soap. If you have bad habits like touching your face, STOP IT! It’s not healthy. Consider exercising once in awhile; it boosts your immune system. The amount of hours of sleep is very important, too. Make sure you stay in at weekends to sleep enough, and try

to eat right whenever possible. Avoid contact with people when unnecessary, especially in regards to hand shaking. If you’re a smoker, have you ever considered quitting? Now would be the perfect time. And the last but not least of my tips is to stay away from sick people so you don’t get infected.

Remember, if you don’t want to get ill and go through all that torture and medication, you should be very careful and adhere to the tips in this article. Oh, and here’s a sweet little reminder from Mark Twain: “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

Laura Kreka

Overcoming Fear

way until fear becomes a remnant of your inexperienced youth.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We have all heard the legendary words of one of the world’s most prominent leaders, Franklin D. Roosevelt. A likely interpretation of this quote is that fear is an inhibitor to progress; that it is only a figment of our imagination is a vestige of our greatest failure of character in retrospect. When you think about it rationally, hardly is there ever a justifiable instance of fear: giving a speech is just talking, a beautiful woman or a handsome man giving you eye contact is just a human being looking your way, and changing something about yourself is just a choice. With logical action, the apparent dangers of all of these situations can be circumvented. If you knew that a cure existed to that poisonous emotion that makes you uncomfortable with your own being, wouldn’t you take it?

Think of fear as a test the universe puts in your way when you make the intention to become something more than what you are. Should you get something you don’t deserve? That’s not how life works. If we can move forward every time we take a hit, we will have deserved the fruition of our dreams.

To overcome fear, you must first learn to recognize its various manifestations. Fear can appear in the form of anxiety, procrastination, indecisiveness, doubt, and failure. Yes, most often the reason why we fail is not because of inability, but because of a fear of the change that is destined to come with success. We simply get too comfortable in a mediocre existence and the looming thought of our possible greatness drives us cowering to the darkness. Whenever you feel that you are not good enough to do something, that is fear tearing at your soul. Don’t allow it that pleasure. When you can act despite fear, you will know success. Make it your ineluctable purpose to reach greatness in every goal you set for yourself, and you will inadvertently be overcoming any and all challenges that will appear in your

Some people have stated that fear is the only evil in the world. When we hear of people doing terrible things, it can be attributed to fear. According to this view, unable to handle what the universe had placed in their path, these people resort to the easy way out: suicide, murder, drugs. How easy is it to pull a trigger? Now how about taking a negative scenario and reversing it so it becomes something positive? One is a destructive path, the other constructive. The choice is ours. Nelson Mandela said, “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” Many people’s greatest fear is failing. That is why they never reach for their dreams. They do not have faith in themselves and their abilities. They argue with others as if with themselves, that if only they had more time, or if the circumstances were more favorable, they would make a bold attempt at their dreams. But the only thing that matters is reality, and

the time and the circumstances don’t come unless we go out and take them. If you are not living the life of your dreams, you have not conquered your fear. No one ever achieved anything worth talking about without first feeling scared, and then wrapping up their courage about themselves, and in a moment of pure bravery taking the plunge. Take some time to reflect: don’t you love yourself the most in this world? If you answered yes, than why would you consider yourself inadequate? You are the product of your most cherished values, and therefore prepared to venture down the corridors of your dreams. To conquer fear, you have to face it and reject it the moment you feel its poison entering your system. Fight for control. If the mind is strong enough to create a dark fantasy, it can surely create a bright paradise. Don’t allow fear to rule you and ruin your life. Through the mind and its malleable system of beliefs, make the conscious decision to look at the world in a light favorable to your desires. The flow of life is the projection of our perspectives. If you are committed to your goals the next step is to face fear at every chance. When anxiety grips at your gut, embrace the moment as an opportunity to grow stronger—because once you overcome your fears, they will never return. The more times you fight fear and win, the more your confidence will grow. Possibilities will reveal themselves as you draw the veil of fear off of them. Accept it as your obligation to continue with whatever it is that is frightening you, until you master it. When you see actual proof that there is nothing dangerous in your blocks, your fear will dissipate. You will be free.

As part of the mental preparation, consider the darkness of fear as the wall in front of bliss. When you smash it down, know that something great will be on the other side that will make you happy. Fear is your promise that something good is coming. Use it to your advantage. Let it fortify you, not cripple you. If you learn one thing from this article, it should be that fear is a choice. You can either choose to live unfulfilled, or choose to live the life of your dreams. I leave you with one last quote from Thomas Edison: “He without fear is king of the world.” Think about how your life would be if you purged fear. You could do anything you wanted. If left unopposed, fear will appear recursively. To win over it, when you feel fear, get excited, because the universe is giving you another way to grow. Beat it, and you will grow stronger.

Ivan Grozdanovski

The Beach Body Summer's coming! Are you ready? Emotionally? Psychologically? Physically? If not, now is the perfect time to start! If you are in good shape already, all you might need is a slight effort past your comfort zone to put you over the top. If you are still far from your fitness goals, you might have to take a lunging hurtle from your comfort zone and blow it up behind you. But the most important thing is to start now. Basically, you'll need two things regardless of your level—more muscle, less fat. Here are several categories you might find yourself in, and what you should do to accordingly maximize you level of fitness before summer.

Beginner: If the last time you remember running laps was in gym class, it is time to redefine your lifestyle. That annoying word keeps popping up from fitness fanatics, but it’s actually valid. Most people who have done any type of personal fitness, and more importantly, seen results, have stuck with it even after they had achieved their goals. And you, too, will see results if you stick with it. The first piece of advice is to hang a picture of a celebrity whose body you would strive to emulate. Mine are Hugh Jackman and Will Smith (it’s okay to have two). Many people who are out of shape resort to drastic diets as opposed to exercising because, first, they work, and second, they are easy. But losing fifteen kilograms in three months through dieting is usually not a healthy option because the body is starved of important vitamins and nutrients, and it is not unheard of for such people to end up in the hospital from malnutrition. In fact, the body goes into a state of emergency and breaks down muscle instead of fat. That is why people who get skinny fast easily regain their old weight; the fat is still there! Instead, a moderate diet coupled with cardio is much better and leads to a healthier heart. On the other hand, some people actually try to reduce their weight by lifting weights in the gym. Let’s clear this myth up right now. Weights are for muscle; treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals are for weightloss. Again, the easy option is the weights because they don’t reduce you to a hacking stupor by the end of a session, but then you would be wasting your time working on priorities outside the parameters of your goals. You can safely reduce your weight over time by reducing your daily calorie intake by several hundred calories (no more than 300 or 400). Cutting out chips, candy, pop, and reducing bread from your diet are most likely all the adjustments you will need to make to your diet. The rest will come from the cardio (and yes, you must do it!). Take a walk in the

morning if you really can't do anything more at first. But don't let this become an excuse. Get to the real cardio as soon as you can. Cardio can be any activity that will get you panting for thirty minutes without a break. If you can't handle this, your activity is too strenuous.

Intermediate: You might not achieve the six-pack by this summer, but let's not disregard it just yet. It could peek through the soft covering in a few of months, and that’s something! An intermediate might best spend his or her time in the gym packing on more muscle mass, even if it's not well-defined. You’ll need good nutrition, so don’t cut out the calories. For the fastest results, focus on compound movements that recruit large muscle groups, thereby producing more testosterone, and more muscle. Work out three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The best compound movements are pull-ups (back, biceps, shoulders), either push-ups, bench press, or dips (chest, triceps), squats (legs), press-ups (shoulders), and crunches (abs). These exercises, when performed in a sequence, three times a week, are guaranteed to catalyze fast muscle growth in time for the summer. Make sure to provide your body with plenty of protein and moderate carbs, and adequate sleep and water to rebuild larger. Personally, I am not obsessed with the sixpack. Will, for example, might look too skinny if he reduced his body fat percentage further to bring out his abs more clearly, at which point he would be sacrificing on size. It’s a fine balance.

Advanced: If you are at an advanced stage of physical fitness, you've been working out for a while, and you have a good deal of bulk. All you might need before the summer is some definition. For those of you that already lift weights daily and just can't seem to reveal those elusive abs, it might be better to alternate, spending one day in the gym lifting weights, and the other running outside. Don't worry about your muscle mass, you won't lose it as long as your diet is nutritious. Consume at least four or five light meals throughout the day, each with a protein source such as meat, and a complex carbohydrate source such as vegetables or fruit. You’ll have to feel for your body’s personal demand for carbohydrates and increase them if you are losing weight too quickly. Aim for gradual definition. Don't forget to do crunches on your cardio days. Following this advice, you'll be surprised at how easily the flab will come off from your muscles to reveal the chiseled body you always wanted.

Ivan Grozdanovski

The Meaning of Dreams Can dreams foretell of the future? From a scientific point of view, modern psychology stands pessimistic. One of the most currently popular dream theories is the Activation-Synthesis Model, proposed by J. Allan Hobson and Robert McClarley in 1977. This theory argues that REM sleep prompts brain circuits to activate the areas of the





sensations, and memories. The brain then attempts to make sense of the random cognitive signals emitted and synthesizes them in the form of a dream. Although the ActivationSynthesis Model seems to discredit meaning in dreams, Hobson nevertheless postulates that the brain creates new ideas from the seeming chaos. He says that the interpretation of these ideas is useful in analyzing thoughts. Another monumental dream theory is

proposed by Sigmund Freud.

Psychoanalytic Theory suggests that our unconscious desires, thoughts, and motivations, including aggressiveness and sexuality are sublimated by our conscious mind. To maintain balance, they are revealed in dreams, the gate to the unconscious mind. Freud states that dreams are “disguised fulfillments of repressed wishes.” Thoughts and occurrences from the day preceding the dream are most likely to take a significant role in the subsequent dreams. The Psychoanalytic approach is used to compare manifest content (any obvious meaning that can be grasped from objects in dreams) and latent content (the hidden meaning of objects in dreams) in a way that the true meaning of objects within dreams can be uncovered. Jung expanded on Freud’s theory and qualified the unconscious to include not only the personal, but also the collective: dreams, therefore, would express a cohesive blend of the self and the self within the world. Jung defined objects in dreams as both objective and subjective. Characters, for example, would stand for themselves objectively, but also for a certain person present in our wakeful lives subjectively. Furthermore, he proposed that his famous archetypes, or universal symbols, can embody beings in dreams, and that these beings take further nuances according to our personal experiences. Where Freud thought that the brain attempts to conceal unconscious thought processes within esoteric dreams, Jung thought that dreams present the unconscious more openly so that we may

understand it with some analysis. Moreover, Jung believed that dreams may present us with truths, philosophy, illusions, fantasies, memories, plans, irrational experiences, and visions. According to the two theories, to learn more about yourself, it would be just as important to analyze your unconscious thoughts in dreams as your conscious thoughts in reality. Many psychologists suggest keeping a dream journal. Studies show that people who normally cannot remember their


experience an increase of dream recollections upon starting a journal. Psychologists also posit that we retain most of the details important to our lives from our dreams, and if we forget something pertinent, it will recur in subsequent dreams. In other words, we have everything we need to get started with learning about our unconscious through dream analysis. Like unraveling good literature, we have to muse on what our dreams mean to us based on our personal experiences. These are steps you can take to analyze your own dreams.

1. Follow how the dream begins, develops, and resolves. The plot could have certain meanings during the rising action, any of which could change with the resolution. Focus on the relation of the climax to the rest of the dream, and how it changes the dream. 2. Identify the characters. The protagonist of the dream is typically the dreamer, but at times, in a different body or at a different age. Ask yourself how the antagonists interact with the protagonist. Pay attention to their gender, number, and roles in the dream. Any animals that appear in a dream can carry a lot of meaning. Think about both their traditionally imposed characteristics in literature, fables, and society, and your own opinions of that particular animal. Compare your findings with the animal’s behavior in the dream, whether hostile, friendly, mysterious, or otherwise. Whenever you witness mundane objects take on fantastic characteristics, consider why the psyche has endowed these supernatural qualities. 3. Keep track of the mood of your dream. Does the dream make you feel happy, scared, sad, tense? Your emotions may change throughout the dream or in regard

to certain characters and settings. Emotions in a dream are signals that there is something worth exploring there. It appears we can learn much from our dreams by devoting some time to their interpretation if Freud’s or Jung’s theories have any credence. By writing your dreams in a journal, you can reexamine their meaning at a later time and from a different perspective. Like the last novel you read in your literature class, many elusive themes can be excavated with analysis.

Other less prominent dream theories: 

Have you ever woken to find something which was just happening in your dream? One theory claims that dreams are interpretations of external stimuli that we receive during sleep (e.g. hearing the television in the other room, or feeling a cool draft on your skin).

Another theory is that dreams serve to sort through old information and prepare the brain to receive new. You might feel cognitively cluttered after a whole afternoon of studying but surprisingly refreshed after a good night’s rest. More surprisingly, the information which made no sense to you only hours before seems common sense after a sound slumber.

You might also find comfort in the theory that claims dreams are a way for the brain to explore certain ideas in a safe environment.

Probably not many people are willing to get up in the middle of the night from a great dream to write down the plot, but I would recommend trying it when you are not very tired. The more deeply you delve into possible meanings, the more interesting your dreams will become.

Ivan Grozdanovski

Real-Life Superheroes We all love superheroes, whether it’s Batman, Superman, Thor, Hulk, Wonderwoman, or any other. People just love the idea of someone born with a special power who can use it to bring justice and defeat evil. If we look at the most successful and profitable movies of all time, many of them are with superheroes (the third highest-grossing film is The Avengers, which features several popular heroes fighting together). Unfortunately it is easier to find someone that can tell you 30 fun facts about Green Lantern than someone that knows about real-life superheroes. And yes, some of them are born with super powers. Here are just a few of them. James Harrison- He is also known as “the man with the golden arm.” Harrison is born with magic blood. What’s so special about it? Well it has saved two million lives. It has a very rare and special antibody that prevents infants who receive his blood plasma from dying of Rhesus disease, a form of the hemolytic disease of the newborn. When he was thirteen years old, Harrison had a major chest surgery that used up thirteen liters of blood. Once his three months’ stay in the hospital was over, he made a pledge that when he turned 18 he would donate it back. After a few donations some doctors discovered that he had “super blood.” In the course of 56 years, he donated his blood 1,000 times. Recently, the Anti-D vaccine was created due to research based on his donations, so his blood will be saving lives even when he is not around anymore. Norman Borlaug- This man wasn’t born with magical blood, but he was born with a genius mind. After he finished university and got his PhD, he created high-yield, diseaseresistant crops. Then he dedicated the rest of his life to journeying through the developing world, planting farms and providing food for starving communities. Between 1965 and 1970 wheat yields nearly doubled in Pakistan and India as a result of his findings. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel-Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and many other prestigious awards. You won’t believe how many lives he is credited for saving—more than a billion (yes, with a B). He is known as the father of the Green Revolution. Daniel Kish- This guy has a power that we thought only animals like a bat and a dolphin could have. He became blind at a very early age, but the disability hasn’t stopped him from enjoying life. Kish has learned how to “see” through human echolocation. Basically he makes clicking noises with his tongue, the sound waves reflect from the objects around him, and he can tell their size and where they are located. His human echolocation skills are so accurate that he can ride his bike fast on roads full of traffic. He also has traveled around the world and he goes hiking in the wilderness all by himself. He is not the first person to learn echolocation, but he is the first to successfully teach it on a great scale. His organization,

World Access for the Blind, has introduced more than 500 students to echolocation, and he plans to do a lot more in the future. Some people were skeptical at first, and they thought that this might be just a big practical joke, but it has been confirmed that Kish is fully blind. Shavarsh Karapetyan- Some people know him as the strong merman because he is too good to be only human. One of the reasons is because he is a 17-time World Champion finswimmer, a strange sport that involves snorkeling, wearing tail fins, and basically swimming like a merman. However he is more famous for something else. One day, while he was running with his brother, he heard a crash and saw a trolleybus sinking into a reservoir 25 meters offshore at a depth of 10 meters. He swam to it and saved as many people as he could. There was no visibility due to the silt in the water, but he got there, broke the backwindow, and rescued 20 people. He was unconscious for 45 days after, and because of the multiple wounds that he endured, his career in sports came to an end. But Karapetyan was not ready to retire as a hero. Ten years later he ran into a burning hospital and saved the people trapped inside.

Stefan Palmer

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