Tag Archives: Arkansas


I used to have a bit of stealing problem back in Albuquerque, and when I moved to Arkansas¬†I vowed not to do it again.I haven’t, but I’ve gotten close to do it and really close last week.

I’ve been super paranoid about being a new single mother, I often worry about my money situation. I went grocery shopping and I ran out of money at the self checkout. I thought to myself: “you could easily steal from here. No one would suspect you.”

Last minute, my conscious got the better of me and I returned a six pack of sparkling water and a mini pomegranate tea. The tea was on sale for a.99 cents and It seems so silly because I wasn’t dying of thirst! I returned it to the lady with a “I spaced, I can’t afford to buy these. Here you go…” I walked away and the lady chased me down and gave me the tea and said it was on her.

I was so touched and it reaffirmed that being a good person don’t always go unnoticed. ūüôā

Bathroom remodel update!

I wish I would have taken BETTER before pictures to add effect to the after pictures, but like I had mentioned in a previous post of mine, we are remodeling our bathroom.

We purchased this house in the middle-of-nowhere, Arkansas and a steal at 17,000. It’s an extremely spacious old fashioned home where working door knobs now cost almost a hundred dollars and had windows you cranked. We had originally planned to only spend close to 10 on renovations and selling it for profit, but the house sucked us clean into debt and now that we are having a newborn coming to stay forever, there was no way we could skimp on this room–especially considering there was a serious mold issue!

At the moment, we are lucky to have a working toilet. I’m VERY okay with this idea so I’m not too concerned with the fact that there is till much more work to be done before I bring Ivy into this world.

So far we have re-done the floor: laid out new tile floor, and covered the walls with ceramic white tile that really brightened the space up!!

I’m very happy to have it looking so good!!

IMSSO project: Japanese students

For this project, we interviewed to look into several Japanese students who are part of the international and multicultural program (IMSSO) here at Arkansas Tech University. Over the course of our interview, we asked questions to understand the student’s reasoning behind how they decided to choose Arkansas Tech as their school of choice among the sea of other colleges and universities in America. We were pleased to discover several interesting reasons why they did chose Tech. We narrowed our interviewed to four Japanese students. We got Azumi Koyama, Yosuke Kitakaze, Ai Ozeki, and Kana Miyamoto all to agree to our interview. Our interviewees had their own different personalities and perspectives of Arkansas Tech University and living in America.

Our inspiration for this project was our very own Azumi Koyama. We were so interested in her decision to come here, of all places! This freshman is from the state of Kanagawa, and her favorite American food here is French fries. Yosuke Kitakaze is an international student who is from the state of Osaka. Also a freshman at Tech, his interests are inspirational and unlike most American college students, he enjoys the quiet Arkansas environment for his studying and loves learning the new things America has to teach. Ai Ozeki is a transfer student who is a sophomore this year at Arkansas Tech University. Her interests included timeless trips to Walmart Supercenter, which interestingly Japan doesn’t have-go figure! Kana is the nature loving freshman who came here as part of her Japanese school exchange program, very similar to Azumi’s story.

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First we wanted to talk about the reasons that they chose Arkansas Tech University. Yosuke had another reason on choosing Tech. His main concern was tuition, which ATU has a low tuition compared to other American schools and in combination with his second most desire, a quiet place to make the most of this excellent opportunity for Yosiuke. A common theme among all our IMSSO students was their desire to study, Kana also wanted to have her focus on her schoolwork, and living in the quiet country helps her achieve that. Arkansas Tech University is unique in offering an international scholarship, and the students also love that there is a Japanese advisor, Yasushi Onodera which helps the students be able to relate to someone in authority here at Tech. Like many stereotypical judgments set upon America, Ai was lead to believe that the United States were a lot more dangerous than what she came to realize Arkansas actually was. She was pleasantly surprised that Russellville was quite different than media had led her to believe.

The friendships that Arkansas Tech offers is another thing that all Tech students enjoy about Tech and our interviewees are no different. Each student agreed mentioned that they enjoy the friendships they have made so far with the Americans as they describe us as “friendly”. ¬†They enjoy what we American’s value the most: Freedom of Speech. They like that we can be outgoing by asking questions and are able to engage in class ¬†discussions and we can help a complete stranger without being criticized. ¬†We have enjoyed their company and learning about their culture as well. Life in Japan was so much different than their life here in America.

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Azumi adores how whenever she has any problems, she knows she can always go to her friends for any advice or help. The other students all agreed to that and said that there is a good vibe at Arkansas Tech, and they are glad they chose to come here.

Regardless of what we ask, the students all want to say that the environment that Arkansas Tech University offers is perfect for studying! It is not hectic enough for them to not get things done, but at the same time that it is not so uneventful that it is not fun. That’s what we like to hear about ATU! It has got to be just the right amount of everything, not too little and not too much. After all, school and the experience was why they wanted to attend school in another country, which is very admirable to leave everything behind to venture into the unknown.

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At Arkansas Tech University today, there are 457 international students enrolled. These students all range from thirty-two different countries. The majority of students come from either Saudi Arabia (210) or China (120). The rest being from Nepal (10), India (33), or Japan (16). As you can see, there are not many Japanese students compared to other countries part of IMSSO program. They not only have learned a lot from the American culture, but we have learned quite a bit from them as well. We can’t wait to welcome future exchange and transfer students to Arkansas Tech University!

The view from here

I’ve been trying to get more acquainted with Arkansas in order to “fall in love with it.” I don’t want to make myself miserable the entire time, and I really do believe there is beauty in everything if you look hard enough…especially in things you dislike.

When I was an addict, I looked at the world very negatively. I attribute this as a reflection to how I felt about myself for being an addict. I hated everything about myself, I was so angry and resentful when I was using. I lied, I stole, I manipulated and that was a far cry from the straight A, perfect, polite child I was raised to be. I felt guilty for abandoning¬†my family and friends in that way. That person, I¬†can¬†never be again, but I’ve made significant progress in a positive direction.

When I first moved here, I hated it, but I knew it was something that resonated inside of me from my decade of addiction. I knew if I tried to view it as an opportunity to try something I never would have otherwise done, I could open myself up for more enjoyment.

I’ve previously admitted, I find very little things exciting about Arkansas. ¬†It really has nothing to do with Arkansas, but my particular interests. The years that were dedicated to developing my interests and skills, were spent getting high and getting in trouble. I grew to accept that as fun. I moved here because I knew heroin wasn’t around Arkansas. That it was wholesome and some place I could stay alive and out of jail.

One thing I have always have liked everywhere I lived (New Mexico, Texas, North Carolina, Puerto Rico) were the unique landscapes of each place. ¬†That was exciting enough, so I try to take pictures of things I find beautiful here to help me “fake it until I make it.”


Midterm elections

I semi-recently acquired a one day job, the fact it pays me 100 for 2.5 hours just adds to the fact that I’m really excited about it.All I have to do is to be around for when the midterm election votes are posted for Yell county.

I know a lot of young people are not too fond of politics, and it’s not hard to understand why. It, in itself, can be considered boring. Not only is it hard to follow at times, but the whole political game is very misleading and full of ¬†people more concerned with winning than doing the right thing.

I’m very opinionated when it comes to politics, and I would hope that if you have read my blogs previously, you could gather I am undoubtedly more left than right as far as social matters are concerned, but as fiscal matters are concerned I am very conservative.

I do consider myself a Green Party, and yes, Gary Johnson was my  Governor at one point (which is weird, because he was a democrat then),  so I do share some Libertarian Party values as well.

About a month ago, in my math class, we were learning the¬†different methods of how to count votes, i.e Borda count, plurality, ect, and she made a comment that kind of irritated me,”If you know you’re party is going to loose you should just vote for the one you like more in order to win.” ¬†It was a comment aimed for us to understand that if all the people who voted for Ralph Nadar had just voted for Al Gore, George W. Bush would not have become president. I get it.

However, if I decide to vote for certain person, it has absolutely nothing to do about me aiming towards who I think I should lose. Maybe that’s stubborn of me, but I have thought that a Republican would do a better job more than a few times. Party has nothing to do with my decision in the end.

I couldn’t finish the midterm Senate debate, obviously because I knew that the best representative doesn’t have chance, and I know Arkansans are very Republican, unless a president was born here. ¬†“He supported Obama!” Great rebuttal, guys.

The farther a long the debate went, no one had anything of substance left to say.Okay, I do hate politics, but at least I tried.

Stay informed, America.


My grandfather from my father’s side was a Freemason. So the concept always intrigued me. However, if you ever tried to look up what they do, you just end up reading, and reading and end with the though of, “What do they DO?”

I have all since forgotten since I moved to Arkansas, and within my first walk in discovery noticed a rinky dinky as advertisement sticking out of the ground in Ola, Arkansas.

I never really thought much about it after until I was driving in Russellville noticed there was an actual sign that states, “Freemasons welcome.”

I kept that in the back of my head until I went home this weekend, and my mother and I went for a walk on a different path and found the actual lodge. ¬†It’s just weird considering, I never noticed blatant signs in New Mexico, at least no where I’ve been, and I know Albuquerque and suburb Rio Rancho like the back of my hand. After doing a little surface Google research all I got was that Arkansas is closely linked with Freemasonry.

Just a thought, because I seriously have NO IDEA what they do though. They could kill people, which I doubt, but I find them mysteriously interesting.


Battle of the poorest states

I hardly ever leave my apartment for two main reasons. Compared to Albuquerque, there is nothing I enjoy doing. I’m used to being able to go the plays, concerts, the zoo, the aquarium, the planetarium, museums, art exhibits and once in a while we’d go to the mall that has more than 10 stores, or the the¬†mesa to stargazing or to the mountains riding the longest tramway in the world, just to get away. Or seeing the most beautiful view¬†every crisp morning in early October watching hot air balloons grazing the clear New Mexico sky. Plenty of my friends would go hiking and fishing, but I would usually pass, not my thang.

Arkansas is totally rad if you are into outdoors-ie type, but unfortunately I am not. I wish I found it enjoyable to go fishing, or biking on a trail or mountain climbing, hunting or whatever else the South does, I’m a product of my environment though. I don’t even appreciate classic Southern cooking. I’m a city girl, and frankly if it’s in the sun, I dislike it because my allergy to the sun. “Wow!! How cool would it be to go camping and shoot some deer this weekend?” Says everyone, but me ,in Arkansas.. To each their own, I always say.

My second reason, is more from a sociological standpoint. We are drawn to people who share similar ideals, interests, and personalities ect., I have yet to meet many people who is similar to me. We travel in herds, not individually. When I seek a herd, I feel like I’m desperate trying to be their friend. I learned along time ago, through trial and error, NEVER try harder than another. I’ll do it a few times, but I don’t want to be friends with someone who doesn’t want to be friends.

I know I complain about this a lot, but it plagues me everyday. Social creatures, like myself, shouldn’t be left alone in a corner, just saying. I wonder if I was only popular in New Mexico? What made me desirable there, apparently doesn’t make me cool here, I suppose. Well, Aristotle did say that those that travel alone and can’t function socially with others are either Gods or a beast. ¬†He was a wise man. Which I one am I? I plead the fifth…

Cheers mate!


I hadn’t looked at the musical shows that are going to be in Little Rock recently, mainly because I’ve had bad luck finding artists I genuinely enjoy coming to Arkansas. But!! I finally found two!!

I was so excited I NEARLY cried. Two hip hop shows within nine days of each other. I am so excited. Atmosphere, or the emcee Slug, ¬†is not only one of my ALL TIME favorite hip ¬†hop artists, but I’ve met him about three times in my life. He’s really intelligent and compassionate, and he grew to recognize me. It was depressing when I saw him last; I was using a walker, and the look he gave me really cut deep. I hope I can see him again, and he not only be surprised how far I have came in recovery, but be surprised to see me in Arkansas.

Me, Slug, Sara


I’ve seen Yelawolf with Hopsin once in New Mexico last year when I visited for my birthday. I didn’t meet him, but I reckon he’s going to have a pretty filled concert considering he’s from the South. Anyway, each show is 20 dollars, while Yela is October 28 and Atmosphere is November 6. So you can bet you will see me at Juanita’s in Little Rock those days.

Yay, Namaste!!