While participating in the 2015 Kentucky Music Education Association (KMEA) All-State Choir, I had the privilege of participating in a yearly tradition: the singing of the United States National Anthem. Louisville, KY rings with this song once a day during the KMEA Conference. Each night, students pour out of their hotel rooms at 11 p.m. sharp, preparing to sing. They unite, match pitch, and begin to sing, and the beauty cannot be matched. Though the camera work is not perfect, the recording shows that individuals of different backgrounds can come together for the beauty of music performance. In a world of division, glimmers of hope still remain. Close your eyes and listen to adolescent voices join together for the love of music.
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Yep. The weather is fine up here... I've totally never heard that before.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being tall. Sometimes I even wish I was taller. One of the downsides of being tall however, is having to put up with ridiculous questions and statements. I can assure that all tall people are tired of being asked what the weather is like "up here", but here are a few other things we don't want to hear anymore.
1. "Do You Play Basketball?"
Nope. I don't have a reason to lie about this either.
3. "Why Don't You Play Basketball?"
Let's see... I'm not athletic, I'm uncoordinated, I'm a sore loser, and I'm not competitive. I wish I was more into sports, but I'm not. I just don't enjoy basketball, but I do love watching it. Not everyone with fingers plays piano, so why does every tall person HAVE to play basketball?
4. "Do You Run Track?"
5. "Do You Swim?"
6. "So What Do You Play?"
Nothing. People of all heights can be athletic and participate in sports, sports are not just for tall people.
What does me giving you the measurements do? If I'm standing in the same room as you, you can obviously see that I'm tall. And if I do tell you how tall I am you're going to say "NO WAY!" and assume I'm lying, just like you assumed I was lying about not playing basketball.
8. "How Tall are Your Parents?"
Shocker! They're also tall. Not really sure why you care...
Oh yes I know. I can never find shoes, I can never borrow my friends shoes, and I look ridiculous in heels.
When you say Wisconsin, you've said it all!
We truly love it here in the Badger State. Here are a few things Wisconsinites can relate to.
- You know Wisconsin is the true Dairy State. We run on milk and cheese.
- You’ve hit a deer with your car or at least know someone who has multiple times.
- You get super excited when "Jump Around" comes on and proceed to do just that.
- You’ve danced the polka with your grandpa or a great aunt at least once.
- You know that Summerfest is the ultimate music party of the summer.
- When you go to church on Sundays during football season, at least half the folks are wearing green and gold.
- You’re proud of the fact that we love beer. You can thank WI for Miller, Leinenkugel’s, Point, Spotted Cow and PBR, among others. (But we remind you to "Drink Wisconsinably!")
- Your favorite summer vacation as a kid was to Wisconsin Dells—the water park capital of the world!
- In the winter in elementary school, snow pants, boots and a big coat were required before going out to recess.
- It’s totally normal to walk into someone’s house and see multiple bucks mounted on the wall.
- Your town is practically dead on a Friday night in the fall because everybody is at the high school football game.
- You’d be lost without Culver’s ButterBurgers and custard.
- You’ve owned a cheesehead at some point in your life.
- When half of the school goes missing during the fall, you know it’s hunting season.
- When at the state fair, the first thing you want to find are the cream puffs. Second are the cheese curds.
- You're proud of the fact that the Green Bay Packers are the only publicly owned, non-profit sports organization in the U.S.
- You get excited when Wisconsin is mentioned in your favorite movies and shows. Wisconsin is referenced in "Mean Girls," "The Great Gatsby," "Bridesmaids," "That 70s Show," "Titanic," and "Home Alone."
- You know when someone says “I want a brat,” they’re not talking about a whiny kid.
- You’ve tried sauerkraut and it’s not bad.
- Friday nights in the spring are reserved for fish frys.
- You know what a bubbler is.
- No matter what college you go/went to, you’ll always root for the Badgers.
- You hated Brett Favre when he left, but have since learned to forgive him.
- A foot of snow fell last night? Sorry you’re still going to school.
- You know that on a sunny summer Saturday in Madison the farmer’s market is the place to be.
- You refer to the Packers as “we.”
- You’ll take your cheese curds squeaky or deep fried; as long as they’re from Wisconsin.
- Some of your best summer memories were made up north.
- You find it awesome that our state is home to cool things like the Lumberjack World Championships, the Hamburger Hall of Fame, EAA AirVenture and a 40-foot Muskie statue.
- Between the snow, beer, cheese and the Pack, your heart lies in Wisconsin.
From yummy pumpkin spice lattes to scary movies, fall has it all and then some.
Oh fall, the most marvelous time of year...right? Every approaches fall differently, some pumpkin spice-tastically and some not so enthusiastically. We can't all be Autumn lovers, so here are five types of people in fall. Grab a cup of hot coca, sit back, and enjoy.
1. Pumpkin EVERYTHING squad.
You know these people, the ones who count down the days until Starbucks releases their coveted Pumpkin Spice Latte. They just can't enough of pumpkin everything: pumpkin muffins, pumpkin drinks, pumpkin decorations, and actual pumpkins. It's an addiction, but hey, everyone has one right?
2. Someone call for oversized sweaters, leggings, and UGGS?
Come September, streets and college campuses all over the U.S. become overrun with girls in oversized sweaters, supporting their school/state football team of course, and those, oh so, stylish UGG boots. Hey, I'm not complaining though, I've rocked this look more than once and it probably won't be the last time. We can't all dress up everyday. But let's not forget a perfected messy bun and Starbucks pumpkin spice latte to complete the look, it is fall after all.
3. Huntin' season is upon us once again.
While some of us may be relishing in the festivities of fall, others are out for the kill, literally. Neither land, sky, or water is safe from the hungry hunters of autumn. Hunting isn't for everyone, but for those that do, there is no better time than those cool fall months.
4. Hut, hut, hut! It's football season.
Almost everyone recognizes fall as football season, but for some their love for the game surpasses all reason. Football fans deck out their homes with all things football, they host game day parties, they go the full 100 yards so to speak. From high school to the NFL, you can't contain a football fanatic come September on.
5. Fall holiday logic: BOO! What are you thankful for?
Fall might just have more holidays than any other season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, and heck even Black Friday make fall one of the busiest seasons by far and for those that love the hustle and bustle there is no better time of year. Open the flood gates and let the festivities begin!
From yummy pumpkin spice lattes to scary movies, fall has it all and then some. So, whatever fall means to you let's take this time to truly enjoy all that it has to offer.
Going to the state fair? Sign me up.
If you're like me, by this time of year you're over summer. The beach, the sunshine, and the heat were all great, but now we're itching for blanket scarves, football, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! As the new season approaches, your relationship can benefit from some old traditional dates and some new fresh ideas! Here are a couple great date ideas for you and your boo to try out this fall.
1. Light a bonfire and roast some s'mores.
Fall is the best time to snuggle up by a bonfire and roast s'mores. It's a great time to take advantage of the great fall weather and look up at the stars while eating your sweet treats.
2. Go out to a football game!
Whether it be college or high school, fall is notorious for Friday night lights and football games. If you both like sports, find a football game in your area and become apart of the fan section in the stands!
3. Carve a pumpkin.
Hit up the local pumpkin patch and pick out the pumpkins that best fit you! Then, later get creative and carve the pumpkins together. The messy times will be the best memory.
4. Paint a pumpkin.
If you're not into the messy side of pumpkins, be creative and decorate your own by painting it, or better yet, paint a pumpkin for each other!
5. Hit up a local or state fair.
I know it's stereotypical, but one of the best parts of fall is the fair. Whether it's county and small or state and big, the fried food, rides, and games will give you the perfect fun night.
6. Go to a corn maze.
Just like an escape room, a corn maze provides a fun challenge for you both to work together to get out, and if you're feeling adventurous, go to the haunted mazes to get spooked.
7. Go to an outdoor movie night.
Either a drive in or a projector and sheet in your backyard, take movie night outside while the weather is nice and watch either your favorite movies or some Halloween themed movies for a new spin on a night in.
8. Take a day trip.
Finally, take a day trip to your place of choice, maybe have a picnic, and enjoy the weather and the beautiful fall colors.
While these are just a few, there are plenty of date ideas for this upcoming fall, discover your favorite. Make the most of the season and "fall" for your significant other all over again.
To the generation that cares way too much about affirmation.
- This semester I am taking the ever so famous class, Writing 101. Walking into it, I had heard the horror stories about each major assignment. I have to admit, it’s not a class that I am fond of. But, major assignment #2 got me thinking, we had to create a research question based off of a topic that we are interested in.
Two weeks prior, I watched a very interesting documentary on Netflix. Miss Representation was recommended to me by one of my friends and I have to say the topic is absolutely mind blowing. Social Media and Female Body Image. How Social Media makes girls see this unnatural perfection of ‘beauty’ that really doesn’t exist. But female body image isn’t the only thing affected by social media.
This got me thinking, why do I use social media? I used to say “because I have friends in other states who I want to be able to keep in contact with.” But, couldn’t I just text them if I want to get in contact with me? Yes, yes I could. Likes and Followers, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, do they have any real purpose in life. No, they do not. I was able to live without social media for 13 years, so why is it now that I find it impossible to go a day without checking my Facebook? It’s depressing. What am I trying to achieve by posting a picture of Instagram? All I am seeing is the affirmation from my peers. But, all social media tends to make me do is feel bad. Few people will admit that, but social media does that. If you post a certain picture and don’t get 100 likes, you may delete the picture. It’s absolutely ridiculous
Why do we need affirmation from people to love ourselves? At the end of the day, the only person you are stuck with is yourself. Not your Instagram followers or your Facebook friends. Thinking about all this, I made the ‘bold’ decision, yes ‘bold’. I deleted Instagram and Facebook from my phone for a few days. Not my accounts, let’s face it I’m not ready for that yet. Just the apps, I found out that I didn’t miss much. I didn’t like a few posts, but those people won’t miss my like.
I did discover that if someone truly cares about you, social media won’t matter in a relationship. They will contact you, they will keep in touch. They will call you when they miss you because social media has no real purpose in life. Yes, it’s fun to post a cute picture on Instagram, but does that do anything to you? No, it doesn’t. Your worth as a person shouldn’t be based on social media.
At the end of the day, you won’t be remembered by your Instagram or Facebook. You will be remembered by the content of your character, how you treated people, how you presented yourself in person, not in an Instagram post. It is very easy to false represent who you are as a person over social media. That’s why I hate social media. I love it for keeping in touch with my friends who I don’t have the joy of seeing every day. But, I absolutely hate the people who put their soul purpose into followers and likes. There is so much more to life than getting over 300 likes or over 1,000 followers on Instagram. Yes, it may feel nice in the moment. But, in the long run, it doesn’t matter.
I want to go back to when people actually put effort into things, writing letters to people who you love, sending pictures for the purpose of showing them their purpose in your life, having to go and find someone in order to talk to them. I want to go back to the times when personal interaction meant more. When social media wasn’t such a priority. When people genuinely had a good time for the purpose of enjoying life and not just to post it on social media.
Social Media is addictive and I try to remember that there is more to life than how many likes or followers I have. There is this very interesting thing called actually connecting with people. Meeting people face to face, not being on your phone, knowing people from actual interaction and not from text messages or social media.
I crave interaction, meaningful interactions with people who I care about and who care about me. Real people value real friendship, real relationships, real emotions, real experiences, and real life more than social media. In the words of Selena Gomez from The American Music Awards, “I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram. I want to see what’s in here,” she said patting her heart. “I’m not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore…And if that’s anything, whether you respect me or not, that’s one thing you should know about me is, I care about people.
Don’t be the kind of person who shows how much they care by liking an Instagram post, text the person or meet up with them to see how they are doing. Smile at them the next time you see them. Be loving, caring, don’t be petty and superficial. You won’t gain anything by being immature. Tell people how you feel, don’t be passive-aggressive towards them on social media. Be an adult and treat people with respect. It’s okay to be human and feel emotions. Just don’t be the kind of person who has more confidence and value in their Instagram than in themselves.
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign