15 Signs You Were Part Of FFA In High School

15 Signs You Wore That Blue Corduroy In High School

*Taps gavel three times* "FFA members, why are we here?"

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The National Future Farmers Of America Organization (FFA) is active in every state across the US and even in the US territories. If you were in FFA in high school, whether you were simply a member or you served as a Chapter or District Officer, it is a fact that your experiences in FFA never leave you.

I was a Chapter officer at my high school for two years and attended State Convention three times. The people and experiences I encountered in FFA are some of my fondest memories.

1. You Miss State Convention

State Convention was essentially a week where you got to miss school and visit a city or university in your state. Even in the smallest states, State Convention still amasses a few thousand people. You're there to compete, but you're also there to make friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

2. You're Still Friends With Your Officer Team

Whether you were on the officer team or not, chances are you're probably still at least friends on Facebook with your old Chapter, District, or State officers. For me, my fellow Chapter officers are still some of my closest friends and we all still try to meet up once a year or so.

3. You Save Many Lives With Your Pantyhose Repair Tricks

You didn't go to State with fewer than three pairs of pantyhose. If you didn't need them, one of your fellow ladies would. And, if you needed to get through the day and had a run in your pantyhose, you just had to whip out hairspray or clear nail polish.

These tricks have saved me many times even outside of FFA and high school. It's an odd skill to learn from an agricultural based organization, but it's one pretty much every FFA lady knows.

4. You Still Long For State Officer Hair

So, maybe WAFFA (Washington FFA) members are weird, but we all longed for the coveted State Officer hair. State Officers always have immaculate hair and makeup, whether male or female, the State Officers were always on point. Having one of your fellow members tell you had State Officer hair was the biggest compliment you could receive.

5. You Still Have Your Personalized Jacket

It may be hanging in your closet or folded away in storage, but you still have your blue corduroy with your name sewn in gold on the right side. And, even if it doesn't fit anymore, you never plan on getting rid of it.

6. You're The Best At Road Trips

Being an FFA member includes a TON of road trips. To State. To Districts. For Field Trips. A month barely went by without an FFA excursion. Your road trip playlists are always the best and you always have snacks, cause you could be stuck in the middle of nowhere for hours. And, you always had to be prepared in case the van (or bus) broke down.

7. You Can Never Pass A Farmer's Market

There's something so nostalgic about a farmer's market and whenever I go to one I'm immediately transported back to my FFA days. There's nothing better than picking up fresh fruit on your way back from State.

8. You've Worn Your Official Dress (Sans Jacket) To An Interview

Your official dress is surprisingly useful outside of FFA. If you take off the jacket, you have a formal outfit that you could easily wear to an job interview and in my early days of job interviews, I definitely did this, opting to save money and get as much use out of my official dress as possible.

9. You Still Remember At Least Part of the Opening Ceremony

If you were an officer, it's very likely you still remember your part of the Opening Ceremony (or at least part of it). My Senior year I was Secretary, which has the shortest (and arguably best) part of the Opening Ceremony and even four years later I can still recite it!

10. You Still Have Nightmares About Tripping On Stage

If you ever got to go on stage at State for any reason, your worse fear is that you would be the one person the fall that year. Or, that you would somehow make a fool out of yourself as you walked across the stage to receive you award. Worse yet, was if you had to stand on stage for a long period of time, praying you wouldn't have to walk too much.

11. You Are Still Friends With People You Were In FFA With

Like I mentioned above, I'm still friends with pretty much every one I served on an Officer team with, but even outside of my Officer team some of my best friends in high school (and beyond) were in FFA. Even if you weren't an Officer, FFA was a great place to meet people.

12. Some Of Your Best High School Memories Were Because of FFA

I have so many wonderful memories from my time in FFA: getting free coffee on accident, bowling with my Officer team, laser tag, and jamming out on long van rides. Everyone has different stories to tell and when you get a few of us back together, we can spend hours talking about the good times we had in FFA.

13. You Almost Died At Least Once On Your Way To Or From State

It's honestly a rite of passage. Everyone I know from FFA (even people not from my Chapter or District) have at least one story where they almost died on their way too or from State Convention. For me, it was when the wipers on our van went out in a downpour on our way back.

14. Your Old Advisers Are Still Your Role Models

FFA advisers have to deal with a lot, while also being a high school teacher. My FFA advisers were people who helped me and encouraged me as I applied to college, applied to get my State Degree, and tried to figure out who I was. All things they certainly weren't obligated to do, but it helped me gain confidence in later in life.

15. You Never Really Left

While you no longer go to State Convention, you might still be active in the FFA Alumni, or you may be a lifetime member. But, regardless, even when we leave FFA, FFA never leaves us.

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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To The Marching Band That Changed My Life

Because hearing "one more time" for the last time can be oh so bittersweet.

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To the Zebra Marching Band,

Thank You.

Words cannot describe how much you have done for me throughout these past four years. Little did I know that upon walking through the band room's intimidating doors my freshman year, I had unknowingly found my second home. On the outside it may have appeared to simply be kids with instruments on a field, however, it was so much more.

Thank you for teaching me how to have an immense amount of school spirit despite not knowing a single thing about football. From playing our school's fight song by heart, to feeling an electric energy each time the stadium lights lit up on Friday nights, you allowed me to experience a sense of joy unlike no other.

You taught me that there definitely is no "i" in "team," even if it may have taken me a while to understand that. I was able to learn that I didn't always need to be self-sufficient, that in order for me to succeed, I needed to listen and work together with those around me. I soon realized that we each played an important role on that field and even if just one of us was out of place, we would all be affected. Once we put on those uniforms, we weren't simply ourselves anymore, rather we came together regardless of backgrounds or differences, and became one. Under that shako, no one knew who we were, because that 10 minute show wasn't about any one individual, it was about the band.

I thank you for showing me that a family doesn't necessarily mean you're related by blood, that a family can be as small as the people within your section, or as big as the entire band. Without marching band, I would have never met some of my best friends. You brought some of the most amazing people into my life that I've had the opportunity to form long-lasting bonds with. Although I may have not known it at the time, but after years of complaining about the weather either being too hot or too cold at rehearsal, making up dances to the drum-line's cadences, helping each other memorize music and sets, or saying the phrase, "It's not a show if you don't have to go" to each other, these once-strangers around me had become a part of my roots. Thank you for placing people in my life that would help push me when I didn't want to do another run-through or scream the loudest with me when it came to school chants.

You taught me the virtue of patience, because after hearing the director say "one last time" for the 5th time in a row, I DEFINITELY needed it.

Turns out those hour-long bus rides actually feel like ten minutes when you're sitting by the the right people (aka: the back of the bus.) You gave me a chance to experience those irreplaceable laughs, inside jokes, and memories made at marching contests that I would look back on in a few years and say "Man, I miss this." I never did think I would ever get so excited over spending my Saturdays watching other bands perform while competing for a trophy of our own.

Thank you for both the significant and insignificant details. For the everyday normality of walking into the band room and being greeted by a hundred kids in a frenzy, to the medley of saxophones and tubas and other practicing instruments that would eventually become the background noise to my life. Or from having the opportunity to march in front of 20,000 people at the Magic Kingdom Parade at Disney World, to leaving a legacy by being the first band in my school's history to not only pass on to finals, but place eighth at our state marching contest.

In the end, you transformed me into a girl who adores the clarinet and is passionate about both music and marching. So much so that next year I'll be at Boone Pickens Stadium, making my dreams a reality by marching with a college band.

Just know I could have never done it without you, because when it's all said and done, I wouldn't trade getting to be a part of the Zebra Marching Band for the world.

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