"THE PLAIN WHITE T'S have inspired me to do something that we all have set aside as we've grown older, and that is to FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. We all have aspired in life to become something great. Unfortunately, life presents to us all, dream crushers, who deter us from our dreams. My hopes in writing this blog, is to encourage you that NO DREAM is too IRRATIONAL. Every Sunday, I will be posting a blog here that will give insight to how the Plain White T's and a touch of SERENDIPITY have inspired me to follow my dreams- my hopes to you is that these writings will encourage you to follow yours."

-Tiffany (Mishka) Pretlow



Serendipity: Dream it. Live It. Make it happen.

Classroom Plants

                                                            POST NUMBER: EIGHT

                                                            CLASSROOM PLANTS

 A beam of sweet light shined through the windows caressing twelve pouches that were sporadically hung with tape. These pouches, that were nothing more than pinch-zipper greenhouses, acted as a cradle to the botanical life that grew inside. At the top of the window were pouches labeled: Steve, Mark, and Nick. They were the strongest of the bunch because the sun was most prominent here. It was the kindest to the seeds that grew here too, because these seeds were no longer a pit in soil, but a lively plant that stood stoically in place with luminescent leaves of green. These plants were grounded firmly and stood erect. They had a myriad of roots that grew rampantly throughout, entangling each other in a mass of interlocking vines. Confined to a such a small cradle, these roots had nowhere else to grow but outward; they were strong and poked through the cradle to which it was bound and hung loosely below. 


As pouches trickled down towards the middle of the window in a sway-like pattern, the greatness and size of the plants dwindled. The intensity of the sunlight was still strong enough to give nourishment to the plants that grew here, which were also strong, but didn’t stand as stoically or as erect as the plants at the top. The leaves here were vibrant, but drooped slightly. The roots grew tenaciously and with a little more time, these plants would be just as luminescent, just as strong, and would have all the potential to be as great in size as the pouches above them. 

At the bottom of the window were pouches labled: Spencer, Sam, and Taylor. These pouches grew sprouts of herbs, but the size of them couldn’t compare to the mass of the ones at the top. The sun just barely reached the bottom of the window, but its warmth was just enough to feed and give life to the lttle seedlings who were determined to be the greatest and strongest plants to exist, but were incapable of ever becoming anything bigger that what they were: puny, fragile, and weak.

Lonely in a corner behind a curtain was the pouch labled: “M”. The seed hadn’t yet sprouted a plant; it was depressed from any sunlight at all. There was nothing in this pouch to the visible eye but a handful of soil that entrenched the seedling as it thirsted for sunlight but could not get any because the curtain covered the pouch. This didn’t mean though, that this mere speckle of a seedling was completely helpless. Buried deep in this pouch the seed glowed a strange neon blue that pulsated each alternating second of the day. And with each pulse, a root, whose thread grew no coarser than a spider’s silk, grew by the millimeter.



“Love is like a plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”

—John Lennon

                                                       POST NUMBER: SEVEN (TEASER)



Astronomical matter: Theres a little star in every one of us

                                                                   POST NUMBER: FIVE

                                                        ASTRONOMICAL MATTER: 2 of 3


                                                            I PRESENT TO YOU-

A CORN-BALL POEM I WROTE, POST CRUISE, AND READ AT E. BAY MEETING HOUSE- a fantastic venue in Charleston for poetry reading and Monday night blues. I was incredibly nervous reading this poem in front of a crowd of two; my legs trembled out of control like a wild Okapi-talk about embarrassing! I’ll admit that its content is quite elementary compared to the other poets that read that night; whose words had great depth and left you saying-huh- upon conclusion. My poem’s meaning however, was laid flat on the table. SIMPLY PUT, I REALLY ENJOY THE STARS. IT IS WHAT IT IS. 


I’ve once seen a place with a brilliant star-scape.

It took my breath away-quite literally.

I’ve been daydreaming of this place with a brilliant star-scape.

And want to share with you this sky of brilliance.

I hope it’ll take your breath away too-just not quite so literally as it did me.

I want to have a picnic under that brilliant star-scape.

Complete with a bonfire and smores and a blanket of stars.

That scape of stars was an inspiration for me.

I met muse and it found me.

I remember this star-scape most vividly in dreaming.

In distant winds rose violent storms, but unharmed I sailed.

I slept in serenity.

Dreaming most vividly.

The most brilliant star-scape my eyes ever did see.

The sky glistened for me.

Once more I dream.




—When My Time Comes

                                                                POST NUMBER: FOUR

                                                         I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS POEM 

                                         Above is an AMAZING poem by Marty Schoenleber.

                           I don’t feel much is needed here; I will just leave you with his words.

Astronomical matter: Theres a little star in every one of us

                                                            POST NUMBER: THREE

                                                  ASTRONOMICAL MATTER : 1 of

I’ve always had an immense fascination with the stars, and would often find myself gazing out into the night sky in awe of how beautiful the universe is; a vast celestial space of nothingness illuminated by a population of speckled “diamonds”- absolutely the most breathtaking sight I could ever find myself being captivated over. 

Two summers ago I was fortunate enough to spend my 20th birthday on a cruise ship. It was the first cruise i’d ever gone on, and has left a lasting impression on me since. Sure, The Beatles themed broadway shows were spectacular, and food- to drool over (my mom was fond of the free sushi provided every night from 3-6pm and would often be found by the sushi bar, getting sushi-drunk) but it wasn’t those amenities, that intrigued me. Every night I would walk out onto the Veranda deck (the 8th deck of the Carnival Fantasy); it was the darkest of them all- its sole source of light being cast from the inside of the ship. The further I walked from the doors that led me out onto the decks, the darker it got- the light would fade, and I would soon find myself alone- away from the drunkards and party goers laughing hysterically inside. This was the deck least traveled by and I found peace in this solitude; it was my quiet place, and I was happy to have the whole deck to myself nearly every night! Because of its darkness, it was my favorite deck to venture out to; it made stargazing that much more brilliant, because when your out in the middle of the ocean-void of city lights, a whole sheet of stars is unveiled to you, its a breathtaking spectacle- a sight you would never be able to fully comprehend on land.

(As i’ve grown older, I thought the stars were disappearing, and this saddened me, as I remembered  they were much more radiant in my youth. I now realize that they aren’t disappearing, they’ve always been they’re, only masked by the bright lights of the city)

The night of my birthday, August 15, was most peculiar. The night was serene and the moon was full; it reflected a ripple on the sea. Its waves gently crashed on the side of the ship-swooshing and splashing, creating harmony between the rock of the ship and the tides. It was as if the splashes of the ocean were creating the beats to which the ship would dance. And there I stood, at the front of the ship, overlooking it all. It was magnificent. I looked as far into the distance as I could, where the sky met the sea, and to my left and to my right, were three individual storms at play. I was in awe over this spectacle; never in my life have I been an onlooker of a whole storm before. I’ve only experienced a storm at its heart; seeing first-hand the effects that one may bring: rain, and wind-obviously. I stood perplexed, yet fascinated by what I was seeing. Where I was in relation to the storm was calm; the sky was rich with stars- the sight alone, was an elixir for life; it was filled with more shooting stars than I have ever seen in my life.

If you’ve never experienced stargazing in the middle of the ocean, you must do it!



BACKSTORY: The Birkenstock Era

                                                         POST NUMBER: TWO

                                                       STEP INTO MY PAST

There is a sense of acceptance that is gained by following trends; people gravitate towards you because you fit a certain image that appeals to a particular group of people. The mere act of throwing on the latest kicks will surely grant you an all-access pass to popularity, but by doing so, you are all of a sudden associated with a “click”, rather than being accepted for who you are. 


The notion of a fashion trend didn’t really catch on until 5th grade. Before then, the only thing that was obviously popular with us 10 year olds, at the time were boy bands: Nysnc, Hanson, and Backstreet Boys. So, I don’t know what happened in this particular grade that awakened our newfangled interest in fashion, but it became increasingly popular to wear those classic white Adidas- you know, those shoes with the triple racer stripe down the sides and a rubber toe? I swear, they were the coolest pair of shoes any 10 year old could ever own-ever. It was as if, by wearing these shoes, your swagger would change completly: your walk, talk, and composure; that was something I wanted to experience.  I wanted to be part of this “cool” group of kids and walk a new walk, and  talk a new talk. Though I was persistent in asking my parents for a pair of these shoes, I never got them, and I remained a part of the “out-group”. (“wan-wan-wan- waaaaaan”)

By the time I reached Middle School, the Adidas trend had become "SO 2000", the hottest thing on the market now were these white slip-on, Ked-like sneakers-the kind you could just slide your foot right into because they had no back. Just like the Adidas shoe, everyone was wearing them. As much as I wanted and asked for a pair to be able to  identify myself with the “in-group” (the kids with the shoes), I never got them.  However, this was a short-lived trend, and by the time the next one came to take over the playground, the Birkenstock- I was fed up. I was sick of trying to keep up an image.

I had a craving  to be my own individual. A craving to be different from everyone else; if being  different meant that I had to sacrifice popularity for individuality-so be it.

I was sick of having to follow a trend to be considered “cool”, and I began starting my own “trend”, which never really caught on, but I thought it was the greatest thing ever! I started tying Barbie shoes laces around my ankle to set myself apart from everyone else. No one ever questioned what I was doing, or what point I was trying to prove by wearing a shoe lace on my ankle-probably because it went unnoticed, but I knew it was there, and thats all that mattered. (I’ve come to realize now, how weird this trend was, and can completely understand why it never caught on)


The Converse was the one shoe I remember having that everyone else had. It was popular to have the high-top black Chucks with the All-Star logo on the side-a true indicator of a name brand product, apparently. It wasn’t good enough to have the low-rise chucks because there was no way to blatantly identify them as being real Converse…high-tops were the way to go. I got my first pair when I was 13-but they were different, mine were the classic black and whites except they were the slip-on variety (kinda like the white Keds I mentioned earlier). Because they were slip-on, there was no room for the All-Star  logo, therefore making them “off-brand”. I remember this being called to my attention when I was sitting in history class; a girl sitting next to me (wearing “name-brands”) stared at my shoes saying, “Ey girl, yo shoes off-brand…” Naturally, I denied what she was saying, but she continued to pester me about it by saying, “weas yo logo den?” It didn’t bother me one bit, because I  knew they were real, and even if they were fake- I knew I could rock a pair of Wal-Mart shoes any day!

The trending of the Birkenstock marked a point in my life when I decided that it was ok to not have what everyone else had. There was a sense of acceptance because I was never granted everything I ever wanted in life.  Because the idea of following trends wasn’t nurtured when I was younger, its made it easier growing up to appreciate the smaller things in life-its made me less materialistic, and has allowed me to develop my own personality- a quality that I can truly appreciate and am grateful for, and have carried over with me as an adult. Shoes were the roots of resenting anything mainstream for me: style, clicks, and MUSIC

It All Began With Delilah

                                                           POST NUMBER: ONE

                          THIS WAS MY OPINION OF THE PLAIN WHITE T’S AT 16

                                                      (I LOVE THE SONG NOW)

We’ve all heard it. That song that makes you die a little on the inside-perhaps even puke a little. A song so full of cheese you’ll be wondering where to find some crackers. That song thats been so overplayed, its not even cool anymore (not that it ever was to begin with). I’m talking about the ever-so-annoying, “Hey There Delilah,” folks.


Although the Plain White T’s have topped the charts in 2006 with their hit song, “Hey There Delilah,” it was not enough to win me over. To me, this song was the epitome of cliche: boy meets girl, falls in love, blah-blah-blah, yadda yadda…cut the crap! I found it to be so repulsing and could not understand how it became so popular; it was bland, basic, and boring. Apparently, some guy wrote a crappy love song for a girl he was infatuated with upon the first meeting-and get this. After all that trouble, he didn’t even get the girl…poor guy. I was 16 when “Hey There Delilah,” was released and at this age I was far from enamored by the song. It was a pathetic attempt to win a girl over; an attempt that just wasn’t meant to be-Delilah had a boyfriend. What made matters worse was that there was no escaping it; it seemed as if everywhere I went, the song followed- I was haunted by it. At 16, It didn’t phase me one bit that “Delilah” was the most popular song on the charts, or that it was all my friends were listening to- I could have cared less. I felt like I was being punished every time I would cut on the radio because Delilah…she dominated the radio; Every-Single-Station, 24/7. I became deterred from ever listening to the radio again, and found myself rebelling against what was deemed popular. I focused much of my time researching bands unheard of at the time. Bands like: Kings of Leon, The Subways, and Tegan and Sarah to name a few, were all bands I would pride myself in saying that I knew before they became mainstream-oh yea. I was that kid.

I suppose some good did result in quitting the radio, and not becoming submissive to popular music and that was becoming more grounded in who I was. I had a craving to be my own individual. A craving to be different from everyone else; if being different meant that I had to sacrafice popularity for individuality-so be it.