My first college visits!

I am thrilled to announce that I am beginning the process of looking at colleges! This is going to be an emotional whirlwind of a ride, and I want to chronicle it for you. I will not be saying which specific colleges I’m visiting, nor will I say which college I will end up attending because the Internet is full of creeps and I don’t want anyone to stalk me or anything like that. However, I haven’t posted in a while, and seeing as this is the biggest change in my life thus far, it seemed like an interesting topic to post about. Here goes nothing!

The first college I visited was one of those schools that doesn’t really have much of a defined campus. It is in the middle of a big city. When I was visiting this school, I got the invigorating feeling of being right in the thick of things. The student tour guides were super friendly and answered all of my questions about the school. One major pro of this particular school is that they offer a BFA program in creative writing, which is not offered at many schools, and if it isn’t obvious from reading literally anything on this blog, majoring in creative writing would be so awesome! I had known about the creative writing program at this school before I went on the tour, but what I didn’t know was that, according to one of the tour guides, a few undergrads get their work published every semester.

Yep, you read that right. If I were to attend this school, I COULD BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR BEFORE GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE!!!!!!

However, I don’t know if I would be challenged enough academically at this school because it doesn’t have the reputation of being an academically rigorous school. One of the key factors I’m looking for in a school is that I want to be challenged academically, but I don’t want to spend four years in a place where I’m under so much academic pressure that I can’t be happy. That being said, the writing opportunities that this school has to offer make it a strong contender in my college search.

The second college I visited was the polar opposite of the first school in every way imaginable, aside from the fact that they were similar in size. This school had a sprawling campus and breathtaking architecture. On a sunny day in autumn or spring, I could see myself frolicking across the rolling green fields that make up this campus. By the end of the hour-long tour, my mother and I were both extremely winded. We ate lunch in the dining hall on campus, and the food was pretty good. They even had ice cream! All of the students we met, including our tour guide, were so welcoming to us and had nothing but the best to say about their school.

Unlike the first school I visited, this college is known in every corner of the globe for its academic rigor. The closest thing they have to a major in creative writing is an English major, and I don’t want to pay $60,000 per year to translate The Canterbury Tales by hand or labor over Shakespeare’s greatest hits. They do have a wonderful women’s studies program, which is a very close second to creative writing in terms of my ideal major. This school also has a lot of requirements for science and math, and I got the impression that this school encourages students to go in the STEM-y direction rather than the arts/humanities path I see myself on.

I had a great experience on both of my visits. The students at both schools I visited were incredibly kind and passionate about their schools, and touring the schools themselves was really interesting. Both schools have pros and cons. While one school celebrates the arts and humanities, the other school puts more of an emphasis on math and science. One school takes a more relaxed approach to academics, while the other school’s curriculum is world-renowned for its quality and rigor. Overall, I felt more comfortable at the first school I visited, but I definitely want to visit more schools. I want to keep my options as open as possible.


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Apology for potentially offensive comments

Hi friends,

One of my readers told me that the section of my Ferdinand/toxic masculinity post in which I mentioned “dumb jocks who only hang out with girls to check them out” was unfairly stereotyping athletic students. I reviewed that paragraph of my post and decided that it makes unfair, sweeping generalizations of groups of people, and because of that, I deleted that paragraph from my post. I would like to apologize to anyone who was offended by the comments I made in my most recent post and/or anyone who has been offended by anything else I have said in my writing. From now on, I will be much more careful not to stereotype groups of people.

I would also like to thank the person who gave me that feedback. The person did it in an extremely respectful manner, and because of this person’s feedback, I have reconsidered the way in which I write about people oftentimes and I will improve upon that in the future.

If anyone has any constructive feedback for me about my writing, do not hesitate to Facebook message me or email me at maisiethewriter@outlook.com. I will respond as quickly as possible and fix anything that hurts people’s feelings or unfairly judges people.

Thank you for being such loyal, amazing readers. I hope you will continue to follow my blog and reach out to me with any questions.



Ferdinand as a Metaphor for Toxic Masculinity

Many people know the story of a kind young bull named Ferdinand. He is the star of one of the most famous children’s picture books of the 20th century, and, more recently, the title role in a recent, charming animated movie. Ferdinand is not like other bulls: he would rather sit under a tree and smell the flowers than fight. Nonetheless, Ferdinand is made to fight because he is a gigantic, strong bull. In the bullfighting ring, Ferdinand stays true to his nature and does not fight, forcing the infuriated matador to surrender. Some may see Ferdinand’s refusal to fight as an act of cowardice, but arguably, the moral of the story is that the most courageous thing someone (regardless of species) can do is to take the high road and refrain from violence.


The Story of Ferdinand is one of my favorite children’s books for many reasons, but as a feminist, I love how it forces readers to rethink gender norms. Ferdinand is a bull, but he is a kind, gentle, flower-loving bull. I feel that Ferdinand’s story can be viewed as a commentary on the toxic masculinity that is far too common in today’s society. Young boys are told by everyone, from their families to toy commercials, that if they want to be strong and “get girls,” they cannot express their emotions. Otherwise, they will become “sissies” or “gays” (which is ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with being gay!)

It is imperative for young boys to have role models like Ferdinand to show that gentleness and masculinity are not mutually exclusive. Ferdinand’s decision not to fight shows more courage than resorting to violence. Ferdinand is brave because he follows his heart and only does things when they feel right to him. In my opinion, real men are kind and gentle, and the bravest thing a guy can do is to be vulnerable, even when everyone else around him is telling him not to experience the whole spectrum of human emotions. I hope that more boys are inspired by Ferdinand to remain kind and continue to show empathy towards others.

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Loco for “Coco”!


Recently, I saw Disney/Pixar’s latest blockbuster, Coco, and I am absolutely in love with it. The animation is simply stunning and bursting with vivid colors. The movie centers around an adorable little boy named Miguel who desperately wants to be a musician, but his relatives, all of whom are shoemakers, disapprove of Miguel’s dreams. So, Miguel, along with his canine sidekick, Dante, set out on an adventure to find out why Miguel can’t play music. If I go into more detail about the plot, I would spoil the movie for you, so just see it for yourselves!

I would be wary of taking young children to this movie because there are some elements of the movie that are rather disturbing. Common Sense Media, an organization that reviews the child-appropriateness of movies, says that Coco is appropriate for ages 7 and older. However, I would probably say that 9 and older is probably better because I’m not sure how well a 1st-grader or 2nd-grader would handle some of the themes in Coco.
If you are looking for something to do on a rainy or particularly cold afternoon, head to your local movie theatre and see Coco. It is a beautiful, deeply moving film that older children, teens, and adults alike will all fall in love with.


Conflicting feelings on the movie “Wonder”

This past weekend, I saw the movie Wonder. I read the book a few years ago, and it is on my list of all-time favorites, so I was ecstatic when I found out they were making a movie out of it. Wonder is the story of a boy, August “Auggie” Pullman, who has Treacher Collins syndrome, which causes facial deformities. Auggie has been home-schooled for his whole life, but his mom decides to send him to school for the first time when he enters 5th grade. Inevitably, Auggie’s 5th-grade year turns out to be a wild adventure with many twists and turns for both him and the other members of his family. The movie was relatively true to the book, especially because the formats of both the book and the movie both involved perspective-switches. In the book, different chapters were told from different points of view, while the movie was split up into segments that each had a different narrator. Some of the characters in the book had a more minor role in the movie, and a few major characters in the movie were not nearly as integral to the plot of the book. Overall, the movie was a great adaptation of a fantastic novel.

My big beef with the movie was that the kid who played Auggie did not have Treacher Collins in real life. The people who made the movie decided to take a kid with a more conventional-looking face and put special-effects makeup on him to make him look like a kid with Treacher Collins. That infuriated me because it sends a message to people living with Treacher Collins loud and clear: Hollywood does not deem them worthy enough to tell their own stories. Another reason why I found the casting choice infuriating was because people didn’t seem all that upset about it. Even though there are still some dumbos that think that blackface and yellowface are okay, most people with brains in their heads know that blackface and yellowface are horribly offensive and racist. Why shouldn’t characters with disabilities be held to the same standard? Furthermore, even though the kid who played Auggie did a great job with what he was given, a kid who is actually living with Treacher Collins would have been able to bring a deeper level of emotion and authenticity to the role of Auggie than a kid with a typical-looking face. So, Hollywood, the next time you have an idea for a blockbuster film about someone with a disability, please cast someone who is actually living with that disability.

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Left: A still from Wonder. Right: A kid who is actually living with Treacher Collins syndrome.
All in all, despite my major problems with it, Wonder is certainly worth seeing. While I was disappointed with the ableist casting of the movie, I enjoyed the rest of it. If Wonder interests you, I would definitely recommend seeing it.


Push-up bras for teenagers?!?!?

Last Sunday, I went to Target with my mom to shop for clothes. Because I’m a teenage girl, I wanted to look for some new bras, but I was appalled by the options in the lingerie department. Out of all of the bras, I was only able to find one bra that wasn’t lacy, sexy, overly padded or push-up. It frustrated the heck out of my mom and me. If an adult wants to buy a lacy, sexy, push-up bra with lots of padding, that’s fine. However, tweens and teens are not supposed to be sexy. All a tween or teen needs in a bra is functionality and comfort. Adults should also have the option of buying a purely functional bra because not everyone wants to be sexy. It is perfectly reasonable for women of all ages to choose not to wear a push-up bra. The only ones who believe that push-up bras should be the only options for women are the patriarchy, or, to be more specific, lingerie companies like Victoria’s Secret. And, perhaps more chillingly, Victoria’s Secret has convinced legions of tweens and teens that their undergarments must be sexy.

Victoria’s Secret runs Pink, a clothing and lingerie company they claim to be targeted toward college-age students. While I personally don’t choose to wear sexy lingerie, college students are generally 18 or older, so if that’s what they decide to wear, they have the right to decide that. However, back in 2013, the Chief Financial Officer of Limited Brands (the company that owns Victoria’s Secret and Pink) Stuart Burgdoerfer made this statement: “When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be? They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at Pink.”


Bras being marketed to tweens and teens at Pink.

I’m just going to let that sink in for a moment. A grown adult man suggesting that teenagers should wear adult lingerie. Consider that for a bit.

As I continued to research this issue, I came across a great company called Yellowberry. It was started by a high school student like me who went bra shopping with her younger sister and was appalled to find that the only choices for young girls were padded push-up bras. So, she decided to create her own line of modest, age-appropriate bras for tweens and teens. They are brilliant! They come in several fun colors, but they are completely appropriate for young girls. The bras are pricey, though. Each one costs about $30-$40. However, as consumers, we have the power to dictate which products succeed and which ones don’t. When purchasing bras for young girls, do we want to buy cheaply-made push-up bras from a multibillion-dollar retailer, or do we want to buy age-appropriate bras from a small, family-owned company in the US? I know that not every family has the luxury of choosing to spend more money on bras, but if you have the option, support Yellowberry.


Age-appropriate bras for tweens and teens from Yellowberry.

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My Top Picks for The Voice USA Season 13!

Want to watch NBC’s hit reality singing competition show The Voice, but don’t have time to watch the whole episodes? Have no fear, MaisieTheWriter’s top picks playlist is here! I know I didn’t do one for Season 12, but I have done one for almost every other season. It’s one of my favorite (and my only!) semi-annual blogging traditions. So, without further ado, my Top Picks for The Voice Season 13!