Thursday, January 20, 2011

"be brilliant."

is what my english professor told me when i became a staff member of the inkwell. well, she said that and "expose the bullshit." my first week at the newspaper has been an eventful one. i read the entire "ap stylebook of 2010," cried on the floor, and hid in the closet every time the editor called me to find out where the articles were. 

so, i am pleased to introduce you to the final product.

click here to read about one of armstrong's black history events 

click here to read about the economic forecast of the coastal empire region

my first byline/article ever. 

listen to this song because it leads to a dance party. every time. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

english 1102.

greetings! college is back and i am finally reaping the rewards of all of my hard work from last semester. which includes being hired by the inkwell, armstrong's newspaper! the newspaper even has an official website so i can send you links of my articles, how swell, right?

it was my first day back and my english professor immediately asks us to write our definition of literature:

Beverly Cleary helped me grow up. C.S Lewis is why I have an imagination. Howard Roark (The Fountainhead) is the greatest misunderstood and badass character in all of literature. I painted my room yellow, got a haircut, and rode my bike for hours on end after reading about Edna Pontellier (The Awakening). I felt at home with Joan Foster (Lady Oracle) and after I read it I began journaling in hopes to look back one day and find my own versions of dance recital fiascos, Royal Porcupines, and fake deaths. Frankenstein warned me about just how terrifying revenge can be. Three Cups of Tea changed the course of how I process information. The Great Gatsby is the grand influence of my fashion sense (I swoon over the thought of the crisp linens, seersucker, dresses, and bowties.)  On The Road made me feel antsy and in search of adventure. I have stared at The Avoider (a painting at the High) for hours because as unhealthy as it is, my philosophy tends to lean towards hoping that problems go away if they’re ignored. I am a product of a childhood spent listening to Paul Simon and James Taylor, they are present in every memory I have. The Format (the greatest band to ever live) is how I survived high school and why I’m on the indie side of life. Their lyrics have weaseled their way into my everyday language. Literature is there when I brood, when I drive in my car, when I feel restless, when I am devastated beyond measure, when I am elated. Literature is drinking hot tea and reading blogs, and rejoicing with others as our favorite band plays on stage. Literature changes people. Literature changes me. Literature makes my heart ache.  Literature is home. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

breakfast club.

a few days ago, i was asked to write about a tradition that i have, but other than going to school, work, church, and the occasional frozen yogurt, my "traditions" resemble more of a to-do list and less of a story told after the holidays (i.e "my family and i always vacay at the beach house over the winter break"). but there is one "to-do" activity that i have become proud of as my life as a college kid progesses, and that is my weekly "pancake and chocolate milk breakfast." every saturday my college has a pancake bar (varieties of batter, syrup, fruit, and whatnot) and because of this, saturday brunch has become one of my favorite traditions, because that is when i enjoy the greatest breakfast ever and i get to spend a few hours reading my Bible and going through my devotional. 

i am applying to a few christian summer camps and all of the applications asked me to share my testimony, so rather than share an essay that i wrote for english class (which i usually do on this blog) i am sharing the essay that i wrote for my summer camp counselor applications. (and if anyone would like to be a reference, just let me know, lol.)

I’m not sure when I was saved, whether it was at VBS when I was seven or if it was February 3rd when I was 18. I used to be obsessed with the answer, I desperately needed to know when it was, but I’m not so worried anymore, because I am saved and that’s all that matters.
So anyway, I am saved. For the past 10 years I have loved God, I have reserved Sundays for God, and I have joined all of the Church centered activities at church and school. 
But there’s always that feeling, I guess. Like when I realized that I wasn’t going to be the cool kid in school, when the boy broke up with me the day before Prom, when I didn’t get the part I wanted in the play, I didn’t make the soccer team, I couldn’t afford the college I wanted to go to, not everyone showed up to my party, or when my best friend turned out to be not my best friend. All of that stuff got to me, made me believe that I wasn’t special. I thought that if I couldn’t keep the attention of a bunch of 16 year-olds, how was I ever going to captivate the Creator of the Universe?
So I developed a belief that I was mediocre. That God loved me because He promised that He would love everyone, so it was kind of like when people say, “I love them because God says to love everyone, but I don’t like them.” And that was how God viewed me, He loved me because He loves everyone, but He didn’t like me.
For my devotionals, I was convicted about how I would rather read books about the Bible instead of the Bible, so I decided that my quiet time would be a book of the Bible. Because of this, I have read through the New Testament several times, but I kind of ignored the Old Testament. I felt that the Old Testament was just that, old. I perceived it as irrelevant, a list of rules that we no longer had to follow because Jesus died on the cross. But when I started college, I felt led to read the Old Testament, to see what it was really all about. It angered me, truth be told. I found myself enraged at the Israelites, God’s chosen people. They were saved after years of enslavement, they walked through the Red Sea, they defeated all of their enemies, their bread and meat fell from the sky, and their water supply came from rocks; because they were God’s chosen people and God loved them. But they didn’t care. It was as if they watched the Red Sea part, walked right on through, and watched as the Egyptians drown in the sea, and then they praised God. But then the next day they forgot about all that God had done for them and has promised to do for them, and they went off to worship the bull they made out of gold.
I couldn’t stand it. All I have been waiting for was for God to part the Red Sea for me, and He did it for His chosen people and they acted like it was a common occurrence, like they deserved it.
That was when I realized that I was the Egyptian. God created me so that His chosen people could shine. The Red Sea would have never needed to be parted if the Israelites were not being chased by the Egyptians.
I was reading the book of Jeremiah one night and I came to verse 31:3,
“And I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
And that was that. God loved me with an everlasting love. It was as if the words were on fire, in 3-D, moving across the page. That verse was for me. It canceled out the way of thinking I have lived by for the past 10 years. God loves me with an everlasting love, not because He feels obligated.
After further reading, I realized that God was speaking to the Israelites when He said that. God was telling the Israelites that He loved them with an everlasting love. God thinks of me as an Israelite, as one of His chosen people, He parted the Red Sea for me.
The Creator of the Universe loves me with an everlasting love, and that’s what’s up.  

just a song that i really like.

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