My Top 10 Favorite Spongebob Episodes

My Top 10 Favorite Spongebob Episodes

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

A few days ago at work, I was talking to some of my co-workers about some of our favorite T.V. shows growing up, most of my co-workers are a few years younger than me, so a few of our favorites were a little different. However we could all agree the all time favorite was none other than "Spongebob Squarepants." I have so many memories watching Spongebob with my brother and my Dad practically everyday. We could recite so many lines. Here are my favorite 11 episodes, not in any particular order.

1. The Graveyard Shift

The sash-ringing, the trash-slinging, mash-flinging, the flash-stringing, ringing the crash-dinging

This episode is a classic.

2. Spongebob Meets the Strangler

When Spongebob hires the strangler to be his "bodyguard"

"With these spikey cleats anything is possible!"

3. Band Geeks

The episode with Patrick's famous line:

4. Pizza Delivery

"It's not just a boulder, its a rock!" *soft sobs*

5. Survival of the Idiots

Dirty Dan and Pinhead Larry.

6. I Had an Accident

Spongebob breaks his butt while sand sledding, refuses to go outdoors and makes friends with a used napkin, a penny and a chip.

7. Club Spongebob

All hail the magic conch!

8. Frankendoodle

Who could forget evil Doodlebob.

"Me hoy minoy!"

9. Grandma's Kisses

When Spongebob's Grandma drops him off at work leaving a lipstick kiss on his forehead and everyone makes fun of him.

10. Just one Bite

"You like Krabby Patties, don't you Squidward?

11. Chocolate With Nuts

Patrick and Spongebob are inspired to make money after looking through a Fancy Living Digest magazine.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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A West Virginian's Honest Opinion On 'Take Me Home, Country Roads'

"Oh, like the 'Country Roads' song right?"

"Oh, like the 'Country Roads' song, right?"

Almost inevitably, every time I disclose to someone that I am from West Virginia, I am asked this question. John Denver's folk song "Take Me Home, Country Roads" seems to be one of the only reflections of the Mountain State which resonate with many. Toward the end of last semester, one of my friends from New York insisted on singing me the song every time he encountered me--complete with an exaggerated Appalachian twang.

(Needless to say, his renditions of "Country Roads" quickly dissipated after one 2:30-something A.M., during final exams week, at which he set a speaker outside of my door and played the song at maximum volume. A mob of stressed, sleepless females then angrily rushed into the hall to bombard him, and that was the end of that.)

Generally, the comments on the song are positive. "Oh, that's such a good song!" "I don't really like country, but that song isn't bad." "He really captures how beautiful the state is."

Coming from an ardent admirer of simple, heartfelt folk music, I agree. Yes, "Country Roads" is, in itself, a good song. Coming a West Virginia native who has no choice but to accept the song seemingly as part of my identity, I cannot form a personal opinion toward it. I neither particularly like nor dislike the song.

After all, when was the last time you thought, "Hm, that 'Star-Spangled Banner' song really deserves a Grammy?"

And yes, like students learn the national anthem or the pledge of allegiance, a girl once asked me if West Virginian students actually learned "Country Roads" in school.

Maybe, if anywhere in the state, they do in Morgantown.

On the contrary, I can recall the first time that I ever heard the song. I was five or six years old. Ironically enough, I was actually riding along the infamous winding, wooded backroads with my aunt--herself the epitome of a true West Virginian, a die-hard WVU Mountaineers fan and a manager of a whitewater-rafting company on the New River. I remember asking her to play it again and again, wondering whether or not we could see the singer in concert.

She told me about his sudden death in a plane crash, to which I asked again to hear the song. At such a young age, I remember realizing how his death somehow fit so appropriately to the song and to the state itself. It somehow reflected even more perfectly the tragic loss, and the desperate longing, of a place that, despite being so naturally beautiful, remains economically poor and socially stagnant.

The song is not perfect. Often, my father and I have jokingly questioned whether or not John Denver is actually singing about West Virginia and not western Virginia because his first verse sings of "Blue Ridge Mountains" and the "Shenandoah River"--the latter which only partially runs through West Virginia and not Virginia, and the former not crossing into West Virginia at all (The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches through Virginia into North Carolina).

However, the next verse sings "All my memories gather 'round her/miner's lady, stranger to blue water." Now he describes the Mountain State. My memories do gather around my home, and the coal mining industry is at the heart of West Virginian identity. I can recall several "miner's ladies"--my own aunts, grandmothers, and friends' mothers among them.

They are some of the most resilient women I know. As for "stranger to blue water," my own interpretation may seem strange, but I have always considered the lyrics to refer to the blue water of the ocean. West Virginians are familiar with the crashing "whitewater" of the rivers and streams flowing throughout the mountains, but, in a landlocked state, we do not experience the "blue water" of the ocean. Of course, "misty taste of moonshine" refers to none other than the infamous bootleg liquor itself, which does indeed abound in West Virginia.

However, it is the third verse that, especially hearing it now that I have moved away from the Mountain State, thoroughly resonates with me:

"I hear her voice, in the morning hour she calls me.

The radio reminds me of my home far away.

And driving down the road, I get the feeling

That I should have been home yesterday--


John Denver's repeat of the word "yesterday" is not an accident, nor an added frill for auditory pleasure. If you have heard the song, you recognize that when he utters the word, his voice rises and wavers--a vibrato cry that is so rich with the feeling of regret.

If you are a native of West Virginia, you understand. You understand that your state is not a place people leave. Your people are a people who, for centuries, has hidden so deep within the mountains and has been digging so deep into the earth to survive, that they had no choice but to turn their gazes toward the ground rather than to the sky.

The world that lay beyond the mountains was a government that economically exploited their labor and a nation that socially ridiculed their intellect. The state itself was born out of its people who did not belong with the southern aristocrats of Richmond. The Appalachian people learned that they could trust no one, and they just wanted to be left alone.

This mentality has changed little. Mistrust of what lies beyond the mountains gives way to a fear of anything that is unfamiliar. Growing up, you are weaved into this culture and are tightly bound to your family and to home. However, also growing up, you learn about what is "unfamiliar." You learn that your state is economically struggling, that there is little opportunity unless you study engineering or accept a career in the medical field.

So, you become dissatisfied. Your dreams grew too large to be confined to the mountains. You move away.

Yet, that initial bind to your home never really leaves. Inside you, there is a guilt that settles within you, like the coal dust that settled in the lungs of your ancestors that you now abandon. You receive a call that your grandmother is gravely ill, that your little brother has won a statewide award, that your best friend is engaged to her high-school sweetheart--and you are not there.

You are no longer on the inside of the mountains, and you realize that you yourself have become the outsider to distrust. You too think, "I should have been home yesterday--I should be, I should--"

Thus, there is this conflict. There is the struggle to stay when, in reality, you know that you cannot. A real movement, #thestruggletostay, is being led by young West Virginians who, in leaving their home, suffer this inner conflict. (More information on #thestruggletostay will likely follow in future articles.)

Yes, my state is the state featured in John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads." No, it is not my favorite song, nor is it even the official state song. It is one out of four state songs, and it was approved as one only in 2014. Unless, of course, you're in Morgantown, where students have been taught it is the state song for probably over thirty years now. (I'm totally kidding by the way. I really do love some of you Mountaineer fanatics!)

In all honesty, albeit cheesy, seriousness, however, I do feel nostalgia every. single. time. Every time you even mention that song to me, I smile and even quietly laugh accordingly. Inside me, though, is that little guilt ever weighing against my heart. Inside me are those binds that still tie me to the mountains, to the rivers, and to so many loving faces ever winding softly around my memory, like the country roads themselves.

John Denver's voice sings, "Almost heaven--" and I think of yesterday. For a fleeting moment, the regret that I am usually able to ignore suddenly presses unrelentingly. To the place I belong, right? I think, "I should be home."

Perhaps that is why I cannot ever really like the song.

Cover Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons

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5 Of The Best Things About Coming Home For Break, If Only We Didn't Have To Go Back To School

As much as we all love college, we need a break sometimes.

As much as we all love our colleges, I think all students can agree that by the time breaks come around, we are burnt out from a week of midterms and stress of the semester. When you live far away from home, the long period of time between Christmas break and spring break starts to become difficult as the homesickness creeps in. While living on campus is an exciting experience, here are five things all college students appreciate when they're home for the week.

1. Reuniting with your parents

The feeling of your loving parents welcoming you home with a warm dinner waiting on the table, do the laundry and simply take care of all your needs for the week is a huge relief from the hustle of life on campus when we have to fend for ourselves.

2. Homemade food

A universal statement that is agreed upon among students is that dining hall food is hit or miss. Some dining halls have great, healthy food and then most of the time, the others make your stomach upset because nobody is really sure how long the food has been sitting out there. When I came home from college for the first time, I almost cried when my mom made a plate of homemade fries for me Nothing beats homemade food!

3. The privacy of your bedroom

Dorm life can get a little crazy, especially on busy weekends when everyone is getting ready to go out for a night of partying, the RA is constantly doing rounds to make sure nobody is dying on the bathroom floor after a wild night and you just want to get some sleep without anyone bothering you.

Coming home to a warm bed and a clean room without overhearing everyone's conversations through thin walls is the perfect time to catch up on all the sleep you've lost over late nights of studying. And unless you are one of the lucky freshmen to live in newly renovated halls, chances are that your room is a little bigger than storage closet that comes with gross bathrooms.

4. No homework for the week

There is no greater joy than finishing up a stressful week of midterms and putting aside all the stacks of textbooks with large cups of coffee to take a break from studying and focus on some personal care; i.e. bubble baths, face masks, and Netflix marathons to catch up on all your favorite TV shows.

5. Reuniting with old friends

College has made me appreciate the love and support of my childhood friends back home so much more for cheering me on when I'm 8 hours away from them. It makes my heart happy to see their smiling faces and hug them in person after countless group Skype calls on the weekends in our dorms.

College has made me thankful for home. Now that I've been thrown into a new environment with new people, living on campus has taught me how to be independent and take care of myself when mom and dad aren't around to nag me about all those responsibilities 24/7. Going home for break lifts the weight of the hectic atmosphere on campus and gives students a chance to come back refreshed and ready to finish the semester strong. It's an important balance to maintain in our age!

Cover Image Credit: Anna Kropov

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