Quick Glance Back At 2017, A Month-By-Month Catch-Up

Quick Glance Back At 2017, A Month-By-Month Catch-Up

2017: the good and the bad
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As we start on a new year, we must not forget everything 2017 brought to us. It has been QUITE a year. A lot of changes have been seen, both good and bad. I hope that 2018 brings more change and positivity to our precious and one-of-a-kind Earth.

January

3rd: Kim Kardashian West came back on social media, following a traumatic experience in Paris.

15th: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announce that their circus will be coming to an end May 2017. Finally justice for the animals that did not deserve that cruel life.

20th: The inauguration of a new president, which brought anger, confusion, and turmoil around the country for the months that followed.


21st: The Women's March - is there anything that really needs to be said? It was a powerful event..

27th: New president Trump signed first travel ban of the year. Many lawyers showed their compassion and stood up for these people, lending their help in airports around the country.

28th: Serena Williams won the Australian Open, while pregnant.

February

4th: NYC subway riders gather to remove hurtful graffiti and Nazi symbols from a subway car.

5th: Super Bowl Sunday, a great win for the New England Patriots.

26th: Viola Davis gave an empowering speech at the Oscars.

March

1st: "USA Today" released an article containing the birthdates of 31 influential women born in March in support of Women's History Month.

April

18th: Starbucks released the Unicorn Frappuccino with all of it's sparkly uniqueness.

19th: Bill O'Reilly was canned by 21st Century Fox amid sexual harassment allegations. Soon to be followed by at least 100 men.

May

22nd: 22 people were killed in a suicide attack during Ariana Grande's concert at Manchester Arena. The bomber injured an additional 59 people.

June

29th: The iPhone turned 10 years old.

July

10th: After 27 years Steve Whitmire will no longer be voicing Kermit the frog for the 'Muppets' as he was fired by Disney.

30th: Germany legalized gay marriage. Making a total of 23 countries to have legalized it.

August

17th: Category 4 Hurricane Harvey touched land.

24th: Taylor Swift releases the single 'Look What You Made Me Do', her first single since 2014.

26th: J.J. Watt launched a fund to raise money for Hurricane Harvey victims. (Ending with over 37 million dollars)

30th: Hurricane Irma appears off of the east coast.

September

3rd: Hurricane Harvey dissipated.

16th: Hurricane Irma dissipated.

October

5th: Harvey Weinstein was accused of decades of sexual misconduct "allegations".

13th: Was the first Friday the 13th in eleven years.

15th: The #MeToo movement was encouraged and spread all over the internet to raise awareness to sexual harassment.

November

3rd: Everyone began counted down a year till the next presidential election.

December

28th: Apple sends out apology to its customers for affected batteries and performance on iPhone 7 and later. Apple dropped $50 from their battery fee, taking place January-December 2018.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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As A Member Of Democracy, It's My Duty To Be An Election Judge

Conducting a fair and fast election is critical to a healthy democracy, and that's why I volunteer.

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As you may or may not have known, Chicago had a historic election on April 2, 2019.

As a result, we have elected our first black woman and first LGBTQ person as Mayor of Chicago. Moreover, we managed to potentially turn City Council one-tenth democratic socialist.

Regardless of how you feel about Tuesday's outcome, it was most certainly historic. But a lot of people don't really know who makes sure that elections like these run smoothly and free from outside influences: election judges.

The April 2 election was my fourth election judging. What an election judge essentially does is help check in voters, make sure everyone has a smooth experience voting and making sure that everyone and everything is in order at the polls.

It sounds easy, right? Yeah, you could argue that it is. After you survive the 4-hour training and the 15-hour work day beginning at 4 a.m., it's actually a pretty easy job that gets you an easy $220.

The task sounds daunting and might even trivial, as you're essentially a customer representative for your local government.

But for me, being an election judge was never about the money or waking up at the butt crack of dawn: it was about facilitating local democracy.

I'm not going to lie: it really does feel like hell on earth waking up at 4 a.m. to work an election that typically has paltry turnout. Moreover, on April 2 I started a whole new set of classes at DePaul (we use a quarter system), so it was also hard getting acclimated to that alone.

But without election judges, there would be no one there to stop shady things from going on as you exercise your right to vote. No one shoving mailers in your face both inside and outside. No one to stop anyone from tampering with ballots for your favorite candidate. No one to make sure no one harasses you for exercising your constitutional right to vote your conscience.

Democracy is a very problematic system, but only because not a lot of people partake in it. As an election judge, though it's a daunting, day-long obligation, it's my duty to make sure that democracy retains its importance, credibility, and that everyone participates in a safe and cordial way.

So, the next time you go out and vote, thank an election judge for their service. It may seem silly, but judges are seldom mentioned when it comes to guardians of democracy.

In fact, maybe even consider being one yourself. Because after all, we're all in this thing together.

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