How My Parents Made Me A Writer

How My Parents Made Me A Writer

I’ve told stories my whole life. My parents made sure that I knew it was worthwhile.

I’ve always loved reading and telling stories, but not everyone who reads or tells stories becomes a writer. I’ve recently found myself trying to piece together how it all started. I could point to many teachers who have shaped my writing, especially since I enrolled at the University of Iowa, but none of them were around to get me on the road to being a writer in the first place. For that, I have my parents to thank.

My parents kept our house full of books and they often sat and read with my siblings and me when we were little. However, there are people who grow up in houses full of books who don’t grow up with reading and writing as their favorite things (my brother is one of them). My love of stories came from inside me. I can’t remember anyone ever teaching me to narrate the adventures of my toys in the dollhouse, it was just a fun thing that I did on my own. I have two major childhood memories of things my parents did for me that, I believe, set me on the path to becoming not just a story-lover, but a writer.

One morning, while I stood at the front door, waiting for the bus to come and take me to kindergarten, my dad sat down next to me and started to ask me questions about the story that I’d narrated with the toys before breakfast. Who were the characters? What were they doing? I answered his questions and he made notes on a piece of paper. When I got home that day, he presented me with a typed sheet of paper. On it was the story that I’d told him, all official and in print. I still get excited thinking about that day. It was the day that my Dad showed me that the stories that I casually made up for my toys were worth hearing, they could be written down and read. People would be interested in them, just like how people were interested in "Harry Potter" and "The Berenstein Bears." After that, I started to write my stories down and I told them to other people more often.

My mom provided the other big contribution to making me a writer, but because the memories of those moments are much less fun, it’s taken me years to realize how important they were. In elementary school, there was a competition called “Young Authors.” I wrote little books for that contest every year. Mom was the one who told me that my stories didn’t make sense and that I needed to edit. I would kick, scream, and insist that my stories were fine just the way that they were, but she wouldn’t back down or give up. She would stick with me until I had improved my work. In doing so, Mom showed me that my stories were worth putting effort into and that I could and should improve my craft. Even though I never won the Young Authors contest, I know that that was when my writing really started to improve. I learned to self-critique and to put my writing in other people’s hands not just for praise, but for constructive criticism.

To this day, my parents are still my cheerleaders and my editors. I’d probably still love stories without their influence, but I know that I wouldn’t be the writer who I am today. I’m heading towards a future in which writing is the main thing that I do with my life and, while telling fun little stories to my toys was a good starting point, I couldn’t have made it this far on fun alone.

Cover Image Credit: Sophie Katz

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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.

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A Beginner's Guide to Milwaukee Sports

Part I: The Bucks


Being a college student in Milwaukee has its perks, especially for sports fans. Now, while some may have brought their hometown teams to college, others (myself included) may have warmed up to the Cream City teams without knowing much about them. If this is the case for you, then these pointers can help you start enjoying Milwaukee basketball without looking and sounding like a bandwagon fan.

Quick History

Here are some facts about the Bucks that can make you feel more knowledgeable about the franchise:

- They have only won one championship (back in 1971) and have lost one NBA Finals series (1974) (Land of Basketball)

- They have only had one* MVP-caliber player in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#33) during the 1971, 1972, and 1974 seasons (Land of Basketball)

- Other Notable Players Include: Oscar Robertson (#1), Sidney Moncrief (#4), Jon McGlocklin (#14) and Ray Allen (#34) (Land of Basketball)

*Giannis Antetokounmpo may win the MVP award this year


Gear Up

This one is a bit of a no-brainer. Wearing team's colors or spirit wear is a must, especially if you're going to a game. Most items like hats and t-shirts are perfectly acceptable, and these are great if you're not trying to break the bank. Buying your gear from a sporting goods store will usually be cheaper than buying them from the team store (the main one of which is located in Fiserv Forum). Most online stores like, Fanatics, Fansedge, and sometimes even the team's online store will have sales on sports gear, so getting a good deal on team wear is always a plus!

A Word of Caution: Jerseys

All three of these players are not part of the 2018-2019 roster and #77 and #3 have been reused by current players Ersan Ilyasova (#77) and George Hill (#3)

If you're willing to go the extra mile, buying a jersey can really get you into locked in and pumped for the live action. However, it should be kept in mind that official Nike NBA jerseys range from $110-$250, so they definitely are an investment. While there are other options available like the FastBreak jerseys by Fanatics, they are a simpler (still official) knockoff of the Nike jerseys. Also; beware buying sale jerseys. There are usually three reasons why jerseys are ever on sale (aside from a storewide sale): a player is injured, a player doesn't play much and is about to be traded, or a player has been traded. While there is nothing wrong with having the jersey of a player who went on to another team (like Kareem and Allen), you are not exactly going to get brownie points for wearing a Jabari Parker or a Thon Maker jersey anytime soon.

Know The Current Squad

Fiserv Forum, Home of the Milwaukee Bucks

Everyone in Milwaukee has heard of Giannis Antetokounmpo, but who else is part of the supporting cast?

Starting Five for the 2018-2019 Milwaukee Bucks (Basketball Reference):

- #6 Eric Bledsoe at Point Guard

- #13 Malcolm "The President" Brogdon at Shooting Guard

- #22 Khris "Money" Middleton at Small Forward

- #34 Giannis "The Greek Freak" Antetokounmpo at Power Forward

- #11 Brook "Splash Mountain" Lopez at Center

Student Perk

Using your university email, you can get special discount ticket offers for home games by signing up for the Bucks' Student Rush Program. Tickets usually start at $15 per ticket, and the seats available may depend on who the Bucks are playing (and how well they are doing during the season).

Get Involved and Have Fun!

Mascot Crawl GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy

Don't be afraid to get into it! The Bucks are an amazing team to watch and they love Bucks Nation. In addition to cheering at games, going to team events and player appearances can be great ways to make memories and even get an autograph or two!

Are You a Bucks Fan Now?🦌

I think Giannis would agree!

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