Junior Year Reflection

It’s already gone. My junior was no more than a blink of an eye. I could tell you things about the beginning of the year that feel like they happened yesterday.

Time seems like it went by so fast when you turn around to look at the past. Knowing you can only look but never go back is hard. I don’t like to live with regrets, but there are certainly things that I would do differently. I would have studied harder for that one test, I would have curled the next weight up, I would have given someone a hug just because, I would have said thank you to the people who deserved it most and I would have stood up for myself when I needed it most. Time goes by so fast but the one thing I now I can do now is look back on those memories and make sure I cherish and learn from them.

I can only walk forward on this path that I am on and looking into my senior year I am more scared than ever. What am I going to do with my life? How am I going to leave the people I have spent my last four years with? What is life like without the pine cone curtain? These are all things I have to figure out. But, if I take it one step at a time, day by day, I know that I will be lead to the place I am supposed to be. Whitworth has taught me that.

Before I walk off that campus for the last time next year I want to say I studied as hard as I could have for that test, I want to say I curled as much weight as the guy next to me, I will give someone that hug for no reason, I will tell everyone I love thank you and I will stand up for what I want and who I am.

Goodbye junior year, it truly has been a blast.

 

Disney Princesses

As we were sitting there watching Once Upon A Time, my friends and I were talking about the changing role of the princess over the years. One person was upset about how Snow White in this show was saving the prince and being a dominating force in the story. To me, it reflects a societal shift.

Take a look back at the first Disney cartoon Snow White. A damsel in distress who waits for a prince to save here day. Flash forward to one of the newest Disney princess stories, Rapunzel. There is nothing about this girl that screams damsel in distress. This reflects how women’s role in society has changed because no longer are women seen as someone who can’t live on their own without the support of a man, women are seen as self sufficient.

When I pointed this out, no one seemed to really listen. It made me realize how the shifts in our expectations of norms shows up in the media and even in cartoons. Children grow up watching cartoons and how they see a princess being treated on screen will definitely have an affect on the way they expect women to act. Rapunzel is running around, swinging on her hair and even smacks her hero across the head with a frying pan. Did you ever see Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty do that? I think not.

A quick reflection on a John Kaplan’s cancer documentary

When Pulitzer Prize winner John Kaplan decided to share with the world his story of his battle with cancer it was not the way I had imagined it to be.

Kaplan shared his story with pictures, audio and video but it was much more than a random YouTube video. As Kaplan shared his story, the photos became more and more personal and the audio more emotional to listen to.

The ability to share such a personal story with great detail absolutely surprised me. How does someone open up a window into their world enough to allow people to feel what they went through?

Kaplan’s amazing skills in photography showed as he told his story. This piece was a prime example of how effective multimedia can truly be.

Multimedia reaches people because it provides a different learning experience for the story line. You can listen and watch photos slide across the screen and video tell the story.

Everyone has a story to tell and being able to access simple technology to help tell a personal story is within everyone’s grasp.

Social Media

Social media connects people, helps them to communicate and to talk faster than e-mail. Social networking is available to everyone with an internet connection and according to http://pewinternet.org, 66% of online adult users participate in social networks. The research also shows that women are more likely than men to use social networking sites except for LinkedIn.

Other interesting numbers include the average Myspace user is under 39 and Facebook 38 while Twitter’s average user age is 33.

Why is this important?

This is important because it tells organizations how to communicate with their community. Without figuring out where your constituents are spending their time, there is no way for a organization to effectively connect with them. Knowing where to target your audience is the first step to reaching the people you want to talk to.

Even though one of the main reasons people say they used internet in this research was to stay in touch with family and friends, people still use it to connect with people with similar hobbies or to read up on public figures.

Maintaining the social ties is just one way organizations can have a closer connection with the people supporting or doing business with them.

Pet Peeve #12: Another photo of you!?

I understand that Facebook is supposed to be a profile about who you are. Some people like to update their every thought or action and some people are constantly sharing memes. When people are posting multiple updates or memes every single day, it becomes annoying, but my peeve is the “picture-of-myself-everyday” trend.

Not everyone is guilty of this crime, but the ones who are make it obvious. You know it’s bad when they have photo albums of pictures they have taken of themselves. Not to mention the fact that under the picture it usually says, “New hair do!!! :)” or “Soooooo bored!” or how about this one, “Got my tan on”. Don’t worry, we noticed with your three other pictures you took of yourself the past two days.

Not to mention those who do this with their significant other as well. Photo albums strictly titled to fit their relationship and solely made up of pictures of kissing and holding hands is a little bit too much. This is about the time I want to block you from my news feed, permanently.

Why do people insist that this is a good idea?

Sure, use your Facebook to express yourself however you want. That is what it is there for right? But, are people just becoming more self centered by posting about themselves all of the time? I mean, just exactly how much time are they  really spending on Facebook in order to make up all of the albums and post updates more than once a day. I am not saying that I am innocent of spending time on Facebook either, I admit it’s pathetically addicting. I also make sure to spend time reading the newspaper instead of reading Facebook’s news feed. I also prefer talking to someone face-to-face and not just through chat or messaging on someones wall.

I fear that some people will resort to hiding behind their social networking profiles and completely miss out on what is happening in front of them. Why sit there and chat with someone online if you have the opportunity to grab a coffee with them instead? Why sit their and take a bunch of pictures of yourself with your webcam in your room to bulk up your photo albums when there is so much going on outside your walls. I think people need to take a step away from their computer, enjoy the little things in life, and give the flash on your camera a break for awhile.

Kony 2012

I find myself to be a late player in the game when it comes to joining the discussion about Kony 2012. Just last week I watched the Kony 2012 video from start to finish and learned about a serious issue. The phrase that is spreading like fire.

Better late than being ignorant.

Invisible Children put together a viral video explaining their mission. The organization’s goal is to spread the word about Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army that started 25 years ago in Uganda. It is said that thousands upon thousands of children have been taken since then and turned into soldiers along with murders and rapes.

As the word continues to spread people continue to show their support by sharing links, wearing shirts and getting ready to paint their hometowns with posters using the Kony kits to help continue spreading. The kits contained bracelets (one for you and one for a friend), pins, and posters.

KONY 2012 BRACELET (Photo by k-ideas @ Creative Commons)
KONY 2012 POSTER (Photo by Big C Harvey @ Creative Commons)

Today, the website currently read, “DUE TO HIGH DEMAND, THE SALES OF THE KIT HAVE BEEN PUT ON HOLD.”

I think the word is spreading more so than you or I realize. This issue at hand proves that someone who is fueled by a mission can make as big as impact as their heart desires. This is an inspiring story but the way the mission was executed by the Invisible Children organization is amazing and their hard work will truly pay off as the word continues to spread rapidly.

Posters can be geo-tagged and on April, 20 after sundown those who are participating will paste posters “demanding justice on every corner” according to the Kony 2012 campaign.

Pet Peeve #25: Pajamas in public

Why do people wear pajamas in public?

It does not matter if you are just taking a quick trip to the store, I still do not understand why people think it is OK to wear the same thing the slept in to go places.

According to an article called What happens to your body while you’re asleep by Angela Epstien on the Daily Mail, our body is constantly shedding skin cells throughout the day. At night, the rate of metabolism for the skin cells speeds up during sleep and because of this “many of the body’s cells show increased production and reduced breakdown of proteins.” If people are walking around in the same pajamas the slept in they then are carrying around an increased amount of dead skin cells.

YUCK.

Not only is it less than tasteful to do this, but it also sends a message to people. I am all for those who say they don’t care what people think, but in reality the people we see during the day are sometimes people we need to impress.

I’m not the only one who does not like the idea. According to an article in Time magazine writtin by Courtney Subramanian, this past January Michael Williams, a Louisiana commissioner in Caddo Parish, wanted to pass a city ordinance prohibiting the people in the community from wearing their pajamas in public. He argued that if people are allowed to wear pajamas, there is not much stopping them from pushing the limits on wearing less than that. Although he admits underwear being the next issue is a little bit of an exaggeration, but he wanted to make a point that a line should be drawn.

Is making an ordinance a little extreme? Yes it is. The idea is that people should take the few extra minutes to change out of their nightwear and into different clothes. It is more hygienic and in my opinion helps you get ready for your day.

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-90598/What-happens-body-youre-asleep.html#ixzz1oDSu9V4t

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/01/17/louisiana-official-moves-to-ban-wearing-pajamas-in-public/

A few days ago, my housemate and I were chatting about pet peeves. She said that you can’t write a blog based on a pet peeve and I am going to prove her terribly wrong.

I have created a list of pet peeves that I have and am going to share them not only to prove her wrong, but because someone out there most likely will somehow relate to some of them. I plan to randomly select a pet peeve to write about from time to time starting with my first post today.

Valentine’s Day

What exactly is Valentine’s Day?

Roses, fancy dinners and chocolates are popular ways to show affection for a significant other. It is almost like everyone tries harder to be more affectionate on Valentine’s Day just because it has a special name. Aisles get dedicated to this day and you can walk down a section to see the word “love” stitched onto cute stuffed animals and enough red boxed candy to make your stomach ache just by looking at it. 

Are we supposed to need an excuse to show someone how much we care about them?

We shouldn’t have to use February 14 as the only day we put a little extra effort into our relationships.  What is the point in taking one day out of the year to try harder if we don’t take the time to celebrate our relationships on a regular basis? I’ve never been in love, I couldn’t really say I truly understand what the word means when it comes to a significant other, but what I do know is that I see people take each other for granted every day. Valentine’s Day should not have to be a reminder that you are married or that you have someone else in your life that cares about you. If you truly care about someone Valentine’s Day should just be like any other day. Celebrate Valentine’s Day, but don’t make it the one day out of the year you show someone you care.

Taper: The pinnacle of a swimmer’s season

You can sense when a swimmer gets closer because you can catch a whiff of chlorine, you categorize them as a cult because they’re always around each other and question why they are so comfortable being half naked all of the time.

Don’t worry, swimmers are fully aware of how you perceive them.

We are a rare breed and just like any other sport have unique qualities. Today I am going to share with you a big part of a swimmer’s season: taper.

One thing you may hear a swimmer talk about a lot is taper. It is where months of work boil down to one moment. A swimmer will spend hours upon hours each week training by gradually increasing in the amount of yardage and intensity as the season goes on. Once the one major meet of the year creeps closer, the intensity and yardage start to decrease and taper begins.

The NWC conference meet will be in Federal Way this coming weekend and it is something that my teammates and I have been drooling over the past season. We have gone through many ups and downs to get to this point and it is finally time to shine.

But, taper comes with some side effects.

As our bodies experience an usual amount of rest after being beaten down for the past six months we tend to act different. During season you can see a swimmer having five plates of food for dinner, opting out of any activities past 9:30 at night in order to rise before the sun and telling a non-swimmer friend that they can’t hang out because they have practice at 5:15 in the morning.

The last few weeks of season are many things different because of taper. Random bursts of energy usually end up leaving us in a crash but most of the time you see us taking elevators or not opening doors because we say, “It will ruin my taper.” Yes, it may sound ridiculous, but you don’t mess with a swimmer’s taper. Don’t do it. We avoid stairs, we hitch a ride as much as possible and never want to walk anywhere and we aren’t afraid to admit we have become couch potatoes. We take pride in our taper as well as milk it for all it is worth. But, don’t be fooled, the dedication we put into our season requires this sacred rest where in the end, will result in a spectacular performance.

Oh, the life of a swimmer.