​The 10 Commandments Of A Cape Codder During The Summer

​The 10 Commandments Of A Cape Codder During The Summer

Ten rules every Cape Cod local lives by during the summer months.

1. Thou shalt not leave Cape Cod on a Sunday.

The most brutal traffic going off Cape lies within the hours of Sunday from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. at the earliest. Do not even attempt driving anywhere near the bridges, the scenic highway, or route 6A. Downtown Sandwich around the beaches and the Sagamore bridge will be backed up most of Sunday. Consider this my warning.

2. Thou shalt not attempt to come to Cape on a Friday Night.

That same traffic that is leaving the Cape on Sunday came on Friday night. Traffic is backed up miles before each bridge. Then the rotary on both sides of the Bourne Bridge is brutal. If you have to be off Cape on a Friday, it is best to go off early and come back early.

3. Thou shalt not attempt to take a left turn anywhere.

Traffic. The single most appropriate word to describe Cape Cod in the summer. Most people would expect the word that would best describe the Cape would be beach or vacation. Nope. To locals, when we think of summer all we see is the traffic from seasonal residents and tourists. Don’t get us wrong, we love the Cape; however, we dread the summer because of the influx of tourists.

4. Thou shalt go to the drive-in at least once a summer.

A favorite summer activity of most. The Wellfleet Drive-In is one of the few left in the state. You can always count on an amazing double-feature being shown. Many childhood memories are centered around that roundabout toy on the small playground, as well as sitting outside watching a movie with your family. Whether you're lounging in the back of a pickup truck or sitting in lawn chairs, drive-in nights are always the best nights.

5. Thou shalt spend your summers on the beach.

The Cape is known for its beaches. From the Sandwich Boardwalk to the National Seashore, you can always find a new beach to explore. Whether you spend the day at the beach swimming and sunbathing or you come at dusk with your dinner to watch the sunset, you will always appreciate the natural beauty of the beach.

6. Thou shalt rarely wear shoes.

After spending the day barefoot at the beach, you are not going to come home and put on shoes. If you are in the yard or just going to get the mail, it is common to see many barefoot people. The summer shoe of the Cape is the flip flop. Chance are you have an innumerable amount of flip flops and a pair that matches each outfit.

7. Thou shalt live on a diet of seafood and ice cream.

The Cape is home to some amazing seafood restaurants including Seafood Sams and Kream N’ Kone. Chances are you will not find fresher seafood than that on the Cape. After a nice plate of clam strips, chances are you will be looking for dessert. Not to worry, there is just about an ice cream shop on every corner. My favorites have to be Polar Cave in Mashpee, Twin Acres in Sandwich, and Sundae School in Harwich. You can always find a new ice cream shop to try.

8. Thou shalt find sand everywhere.

After a long day off-roading on Sandy Neck or at Dowses Beach, chances are both you and your car will be covered in sand. You will have to go home and shower for a good half hour in order to remove all of the sand from your hair. You will then have sand on the floor of your car all summer and into the fall, no matter how many times you vacuum it. Your shoes will always be filled with sand.

9. Thou shalt cherish thy knowledge of the back roads.

When the summer traffic comes, your only chance of getting anywhere is through the backroads. The mid-Cape highway will always have traffic and when there is an accident, all of that traffic is at a standstill. Knowing shortcuts and backroads that you have discovered during your time living on Cape becomes your savior. If you try to take the highway, you can get off at any exit if the road does become enveloped in traffic and you will still find your way through the backroads. If it were not for these shortcuts, you would get nowhere in the summer.

10. Summer is both thy favorite and least favorite season.

Locals of any tourist destination dread the summer due to the influx of tourists. Traffic is heavier and it seems like none of the tourists know how to drive. Your favorite local coffee shops become bombarded with people and you have to wait in huge lines. Even with these inconveniences, you will always love where you live. You love those days where you just wake up, toss on a bathing suit, pack up the Jeep and head to the beach. Summer is a time to discover new places with your friends and just relax. There is no better place to do that than Cape Cod.

Cover Image Credit: Randy Hunt

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."

It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Be White Feminists

I am white. I am a feminist. But I try very hard to avoid being a "white feminist."


Preamble 1: I'm not sure if you're aware, but it's a humid, grey April afternoon and being a woman comes with extra challenges, to which I definitely did not agree but they were probably in some fine print that I skimmed. Bummer. Anyway, feminism! Feminism's place in 2019 is contested but I am coming from a place of having heard many of the sides; given that, it would be lovely if you would hear my side.

Preamble 2: Before I get into this topic, I want to acknowledge the place of privilege from which I come. Look at my fully Irish name, I am white. Believing in social, economic, and political gender equality, I am a feminist. But I try very hard to avoid being a "white feminist". As a student at Texas A&M;, a university that sometimes strays into homogeneity in both thought and demographic, I've been noticing a pattern in many conversations concerning gender equality. The pattern is that of white feminism.

White feminism is a Western-styled picking and choosing of feminism that entails a set of beliefs tolerating the ignorance of issues that mostly impact women of color.

Contrast this philosophy with intersectional feminism, which recognizes multiple identities and experiences within us, while promoting more united gender equality. Without intersectionality, our essence cannot stand against oppression and stand for equality without acknowledgment of the nuances of different historical struggles. As women, we face difficulties, but not all women face the same oppressions and marginalizations – and that cannot be overlooked in narratives.

As far as gendered-based violence goes, the Justice Department estimates that one in five women and one in seventy-one men will experience rape in the US. However, here's where the necessary nuances come in.

Women and men of color are more likely to experience this form of violence than white women or men. Women and men who are LGBTQ+are more likely to experience this form of violence than straight women or men. Lower income women and men are more likely to experience this form of violence than women or men in the highest income brackets.

So, yes, one in five women and one in seventy-one men are rape victims. But quoting that statistic without disambiguating the data can mislead readers or listeners of the ways that different identities amalgamate into this final number. Essentially, disproportional oppressions exist. All people are at risk for gendered violence, specifically rape, in America, but some people are more at risk.

If you need more of an explanation, think of the following analogy. White feminism is to intersectional feminism what #AllLivesMatter is to #BlackLivesMatter. Everyday Feminism contends, "the former's attempt at inclusiveness can actually erase the latter's acknowledgment of a unique issue that disproportionately affects a specific group of people".

If you ever find yourself guilty of white feminism, (I've been there!) know that we are all evolving. As long as you are open to education, we are all on the same side.

Here are three vital steps you can take to make your feminism intersectional!

1. Reflect on yourself. 

Reflect on your long-held beliefs based on your perspective alone could not apply to someone else. Reflect on your privileged experiences and acknowledge them for what they are.

2. Think about others. 

Once you've figured your internal state out from step one, you ought to look at the experiences of others with the same level of validity as your own. Ethically, feminism focuses on equality. Yes, that means stopping sexism, but it also expands to mean stopping complicated systemic oppressions that affect more than just white women. That said, white feminists are not the enemy in the fight for equality, rather, they are underinformed.

3. Don’t be afraid to grow. 

Say you were wrong. There's less shame in it than you think. In fact, I genuinely wish our culture was more forgiving of people who made an honest mistake in their past, but their hearts were/are in the right place.

Allow yourself to move onwards and upwards. We are all works-in-progress. We are all striving for better versions of ourselves. Intention is everything and your intention should be to always learn.

Intersectional feminism is challenging, like all educations. If you're doing it right, it should force you to think and even make you feel a little bit uncomfortable. After all, while feminism is here to help, it is not here for your (or my) comfort.

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