If You Love Something, Let It Go

If You Love Something, Let It Go

The possibility that it may not be meant doesn't make you miss something you love any less.
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Growing up, Mr. Jenkins always lived down the street. My parents always told me not to bother him. They never gave me a reason, they just told me not to leave the man be. I walked by his house every morning on my way to school and every morning he was sitting on his porch in his rocking chair next to an empty matching rocking chair. He was never doing anything, like reading the paper, just sitting watching the few cars that drove down our street go by. He just became a fixture in the neighborhood for me, like the big maple tree across from the elementary school.

Then I was home from college one holiday season and my mom asked me to take the dog for a walk. While I was out I realized that Mr. Jenkins was still sitting on his porch, still doing nothing but watching the cars go by. I turned the dog back to my house and decided to ask my mom the question that had been haunting me for years.

"Mom, why does Mr. Jenkins always just sit outside? Even when it's freezing and bitterly cold he just sits out there in his rocking chair." She gave me a small but sad smile, put down the dishcloth in her hand and sunk down in a kitchen chair.

"Come sit." She waited for me to join her at the table and then continued." Jim's wife, Claire, left him a long time ago."

"Okay, but why does he just sit outside waiting for her?" I was deeply confused. People leave their significant others every day, but what does that have to do with him sitting on the porch by himself.

"Claire and Jim were high school sweethearts. They got married as soon as they turned eighteen, saved all their money to buy that little house. They tried forever to have kids, but they just couldn't. It almost killed them both. But, then one of their friends died in a car accident. She had a little boy and after his mother passed he had no family that would take him. He was about to go into foster care until Jim and Claire offered to adopt him." This was such a sad story but, I was still confused.

"Mom, that's moving and everything, but why does he sit on the porch?"

"Calm down. Calm down. I'm getting there. Anyway, so they were all a perfect little family. Tommy was getting ready to graduate when the planes hit the towers, so after graduation, he took off for the Marines and never came back. Then, Claire left a week after the funeral and no one has seen her since."

I was crying now, this was so awful.That was horrible. He had been through so much. His only child dies then his wife leaves him.

"But, wait. Why does he sit outside all the time? He always looks like he's waiting for something. Is he waiting for his son?" My mom smiled sadly.

"No, he's waiting for Claire."

"But why? She left him, right?"

"Going through life we always hear, 'If you love something let it go. If it's meant to be it'll come back.' But, that doesn't make it hurt any less. The possibility that it may not be meant doesn't make you miss something you love any less." After that she got up and went upstairs.

Finally, I understood why Mr. Jenkins sits on his porch. He sits there waiting for his wife every day because he misses her, because he loves her so much that he allowed her to leave with the hope that she would come back to him one day.

A few months later, I came back to visit my parents and Mr. Jenkins was not sitting on his porch. I don’t know why he was't in is rocking chair on that porch, but I like to think that Claire came back.

Cover Image Credit: Seyfettin Dincturk

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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