An Urgent Open Letter From An EIC Of Odyssey

An Urgent Open Letter From An EIC Of Odyssey

To those who misunderstand the platform.
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This last weekend, there was a march. More specifically, there were several marches, each of which was overflowing with marchers of different races, colors, religions, genders, sexual identities; it was like the Hilltop Coke commercial from the '70s only without any commercialization to screw it up. It was an entirely peaceful effort to call attention to women's rights.

Now, naturally, in the days since the march, there has been somewhat of a backlash. Spearheaded by women who feel invalidated by millions of marchers around the globe (allegedly) telling them that the choices they've made in life are wrong, the march has come under attack by scores of women. Some of these women have taken to the vast void of the internet to air their grievances. Some of these women are a part of Odyssey.

The articles featured on Odyssey are not in direct response to the march, yet they are recent enough to circulate around the internet in the days after the march and carry that same defensive (self-aggrandizing) tone that is dismissive of feminism. These articles demonstrate a glaring misunderstanding of the fundamental foundation of feminism (the first and only rule, if I'm not wrong) which is that you do not talk about feminism feminism is nothing more than a belief in and support of the equality of the sexes. If you don't subscribe to this particular school of thought, you're perfectly entitled to your system of beliefs. I'm not here to address the ethics of modern ideology.

I'm writing this to those who are slandering Odyssey:

In the last few days, I have encountered social media post after social media post attempting to shine a negative light on Odyssey as a whole, as opposed to the individual authors of the individual articles. And while I am an avid fan of public humiliation and mob mentality, as the Editor In Chief of the Allegheny community of Odyssey, the attention that these misinformed authors are garnering for all the wrong reasons is becoming a thorn in my side. Not for making the already imbecilic public even stupider, but for lowering the collateral of the articles I have listed on my résumé and taking away the modicum of dignity this position granted me, damn it.

Odyssey is a platform, not a publication. It was created to house many perspectives, perhaps perspectives that I and thousands of others don't agree with. Some people naturally seek out other points of view, but not everyone does. It's frustrating to read some of these posts, but it also starts an important conversation.

My name is Andrew Hopf. I'm a senior in college, and I don't have a lot of talents. I love to read, and I love to write, and all I can picture in my future is doing those two things until God takes what mental acuity and precious little eyesight I have left. How am I ever going to get a leg up in the current job market if you people keep trying to call attention to the seemingly deliberate spread of untruths?

Journalistic integrity is one of those tricky gray areas in life that no one can seem to come to a conclusive definition of; Barbara Walters probably never even picked each year's ten most interesting people herself. And so, if you see someone trying to completely refute feminism and set the clock back to 1960, when women couldn't have credit cards or apply for loans without a man's signature, just close the tab and smile with the knowledge that they'll be the ones picking up the shards from the glass ceilings you shatter.

For my sake and the sake of my future bank account.

Please.

- Andrew Hopf

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Teaching Is An Amazing Career, It's More Powerful Than We Give It Credit For

Teaching is a career that is heavily overlooked — it is much more powerful than people realize.

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When it comes to teaching, it's not always easy or fun. But, let me ask you this: what career really is easy or fun all the time? Being challenged can beneficial. Otherwise, you are just going through the same routine over and over. Teaching will definitely keep you on your toes because there's always something happening.

People seem to think teachers just lecture on information that they hope their students remember for the test. You know what? Those people are dead wrong. Teaching is more than that. Teaching means having the passion and drive to educate children. Teaching is turning something dull to something that students will find more interesting and enjoyable.

Teaching is also about providing tools and other resources for students in order for them to succeed, especially the ones who tend to struggle in school. Being able to give those tools to help them accomplish their goals is extremely rewarding. A teacher will work with a student who is behind on his/her reading skills to have him/her be right at the level he/she needs to be by the end of the school year. Not many jobs provide a reward quite like guiding a student, if not more, to success.

Although it focuses on academics, teaching is not just about that. Sure, being an effective teacher is key, but there are other aspects that are just as significant. As a teacher, you also have to connect with your students. Knowing your students on a personal level is so important. The connection can build respect that will, in turn, help them to succeed. Plus, students spend more time with you on a day-to-day basis than they do with their parents — isn't that frightening? So, you have to be able to support them and let them know them that you are there for them if they are having trouble.

Additionally, that connection you build with your students can last a lifetime. You can witness the growth of a student right in front of you. In fact, I am still very close with some of my teachers from elementary school. Many of them inspired me to become a teacher. Because of those great bonds I built, I had the opportunity to intern with some of my past teachers, which was a rewarding experience for everyone. Being able to develop such a connection with someone so different in age is something that is so powerful and that doesn't come with many other careers.

Teaching is so amazing. There are so many layers and beautiful aspects to it. Again, it can be difficult, but it's also a lot of fun. Not many people can say they have fun and laugh every day at work. I also truly believe that not many other people can say their careers provide as rewarding of a feeling as teaching does. To be able to make such a difference in someone's life is an incredible thing. Teaching is my passion. I know teaching will not be only gratifying but something that will bring me pure joy.

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