Tuesday, December 13, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Break...

Yes. It's happened. It's the time of the semester when my brain shuts off, and my eyes start to shut regardless of what time it is. I was sitting at my desk thinking when I asked myself, "Self, what are you going to post for your last blog for your media writing class?" Then, it all became clear! I want to end this great semester and start my Christmas break with a fun poem based on 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. I hope you enjoy it! Here goes...

'Twas the night before break and all through the dorm,
Every creature was stirring, and the room was too warm.
Studying for finals, and thinking of Christmas
With tests on their minds, and A's on their wish lists.

Snacking and munching on everything they could find
With sleeping and snoring and dreams on their mind.
Statistics and Media Writing study sheets on their desks
Their goal is by 3, to be asleep in their beds.

But focusing was out of the question that night,
For Christmas was so close in both of their sights.
They longed for family and time wrapping gifts,
When their exams ended, their spirits would lift.

When all of a sudden, there rose such a clatter, 
And out jumped their suite mate, and they asked "What's the matter?"
She stood with a grimace on her poor tired face
And she said, "I need to study! There's no time to waste!"

So all of the girls in East River Hall,
ran back to their rooms and studied it all!
Soon their exams would be said and done,
and they would gather their suitcases and get up and run!

The 12 Days of Christmas at the Christmas Convocation

It's Christmas time here at Bluefield College, and there's no better way to say hello to the holidays than the last convocation of the semester...Christmas convocation.

The different vocal groups started out the service by singing different Christmas songs. You had traditional Christmas songs to contemporary Christmas songs. It was fun to sit back and relax and listen to the wonderful music. You could look through the crowd and see everyone singing along or bobbing their heads to the beat of the songs.

Then, the oral interpretation class and the drama class acted out "Twas the Night Before Christmas" on stage. They were all dressed in pajamas with stuffed animals reciting the famous poem that we all know. It was a great performance. But that's not what the main attraction for our Christmas convocation.

Mr. Moxley gets up in front of the room and tells us all that we're going to sing the 12 Days of Christmas. He told us to look at the overhead screens and that different groups would sing different parts of the song. When it came your turn to sing your group's part, we were supposed to stand up.

Everyone sang the last line "And a partridge in a pear tree!", but other than that, we were all separated into different groups. The student council had a part, commuters, faculty, choirs, Greek life, and freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. I know I'm missing a group, but I don't remember which other group was involved.

Me, being a junior, stood up for "11 swans a swimming" and then "and a partridge in a pear tree!" It was a lot of fun to hear everyone's parts and it was a great way to end convocation for the semester.

I talked to some of my senior friends and they said "We've been waiting our whole college career for that moment! We finally got to sing '12 drummers drumming' and now it's over." It was a bittersweet moment for seniors.

Next year, I'll get the pleasure of standing up and singing "12 drummers drumming" that one, short time. I'm already excited! It was a great convocation and I'm excited for the next one.

Merry Examas!

Yes, it's that time of year. It's when my family stays up late each night, drinking hot chocolate, wrapping Christmas presents, and watching a Christmas movie. While they're all laughing and having a jolly good ol' time...I'm sitting in my dorm room studying for exams, writing blogs, writing 10 page papers, making powerpoints, flyers, and filling out study guides. 

Okay, I know I know. It's part of being in college, but it's really taking the fun out of Christmas. Christmas is coming so fast and I'm working endlessly on work! I'm a junior in college, and I'm one exam away from finally finishing this semester. That means only one more Christmas like this, and then I'll be free!

But it's okay. Even though it seems like a big deal right now, I know that it will be over soon enough and I've just got to study and make sure that I know my material. 

I saw someone's Facebook status today that said "Whoever decided that an entire semester should be determined by a single test is probably the worst human ever." Harsh, but understandable. That's all you see this time of year from people in college and from some high schoolers. Stress for you, and for you, and some for you!

Again, I know that in 14 hours it will all be over for this semester, and I will be happy once again, but this stress is driving me crazy. Lack of sleep, late nights full of snacks and studying is the typical life of a college student this time of year. 

I know this will all benefit me in the end, but isn't it grand to rant about something every once in a while? This is Autumn the exam hater signing off! Merry Exams!

You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch!

Do you ever feel like the Grinch? Or maybe Charlie Brown? You know what I'm talking about.

The Grinch: "That's what it's all about, isn't it? That's what it's always been about. Gifts. Gifts...gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts!"

Or . . . 

Charlie Brown: "I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn't have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don't know what Christmas is all about. ISN'T THERE ANYONE WHO KNOWS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT?!?!"

Well, isn't there? Is it all about gifts? Does anyone know what Christmas is all about. Sometimes, it saddens me. We exchange gifts at Christmas, and I don't think there's a thing wrong with it. But what about the real meaning of Christmas?

I went to the mall tonight, in search for a few gifts for my sisters. I was always raised to have manners and always be respectful. So when that grouchy lady that is trying to take everything off the shelf and wears the permanent frown comes and grunts her way past me to take just what I was reaching for, I smile. I always act happy and say "Oh, excuse me!" and scoot myself right out of her way. But Grandma isn't the only mall grouch.

There's always the entire family of sour pusses who grimace and grunt at you when you pass them. Even the baby in the stroller seems to be mad at the world.

But you know what? I'm not going to let this get me down. I know the true meaning of Christmas. I celebrate Christmas because of my Creator. My amazing God sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for us, to save us from our sins. Where would we be without Him? 

So while some people just celebrate Christmas, just because, and get grouchy at everything, I'm going to keep my eye on the real reason that we even have Christmas. What a sad world we would live in if it wasn't for God's amazing grace.

Who could blame Charlie Brown and The Grinch? I understand. But just like they do in their movies, we have to find out the true meaning of Christmas as well. It's a time to spread cheer and hope to those who need it. That's exactly what I'm going to do.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Double Take

Last Thursday at Bluefield College, the entire campus had no classes and we had what we call a study day. My roommate and I were sitting at our desks with our headphones in, doing our own thing, when I decided to check my Facebook page.

I was scrolling through my news feed, seeing what petty drama was going on and seeing who reached the next level in farmville and all those other silly little games, something caught my eye. One status. It read: "VT shooting?!?"

Shock hit me instantly. I tapped my roommate, Sara, on the shoulder. "Hey, has there been a shooting at Virginia Tech again?" I figured she would know because her boyfriend goes to VT, although he lives off campus. Sara's eyes got wide as she grabbed her phone to send him a text.

We checked local news channels, and sure enough, it was true. A policeman had been found shot in one of the parking lots. Soon, there was a second body found. We didn't know at the time, but the second body was the 22 year old from Radford University who had shot and killed the police officer, who had ran away and taken his own life.

I immediately texted my boyfriend, who was working in Christiansburg, and told him the news. The text I got back from him shocked me.

"Autumn, they haven't released his name yet, but I knew that officer. He's my co-workers husband. They've got 5 kids."

Tragedy struck me. Somehow, having a connection like that really changes the way you view a situation. Suddenly the mystery officer became a real person, with a wife and a family. It turned my stomach to think about it. I could not even begin to imagine the sorrow I would feel to lose someone I loved so much in such an awful way.

Call me crazy, but I even felt complete sadness for the young man who was so messed up that he took someone's life, and then his own. I can't imagine being in a place so dark where I could believe that that was okay.

Today was the viewing. I didn't go, but my boyfriend did. He called me as he was driving home. My boyfriend, Jeff, isn't easily discouraged or saddened, but he sounded so. . . distressed. Whether he'll ever admit it to me or not, I know he was crying. He has a huge heart for people, and knew the man and his wife on top of that.

So today, I reflect on life. That sounds quite cliche, I know. But in all reality, it's true. Everyone has their view of how someone should live their life, and even if you're living it perfectly, you can't keep tragedies like that from happening. Life is so so so short. I read an interview with the officer's wife and she said one of her first thoughts when she heard the news was "I wish I would have kissed him better this morning."

I don't want to live my life with a regret like that. Every day is a blessing, and I refuse to waste another day being upset about something that really doesn't matter. I'm focusing on the important things that God has blessed  me with.

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." -Albert Einstein

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Herman Cain Edition

It's final. It's happened. It's done. Thank goodness. What is it I'm talking about? Herman Cain has finally bowed out of the race for the Republican presidential candidate for 2012. All I can say about it is...it's about time.

Herman Cain started out as a candidate in the background. I watched most of the GOP debates, and it started with Herman Cain standing in the background with a question thrown at him here or there. But it was out of nowhere, it seemed, that Cain rose to the top, catching everyone's eye.

I followed the campaign religiously thinking, "He could be the right guy for us," and then, I slowly started to see that it was too good to be true. The seriousness of the race became a soap opera. Just as quickly as he rose to the top, he fell to the bottom. Woman after woman started speaking up saying that they had been sexually harassed by Cain. Then, another, and another, and another...

Cain denied the accusations and tried to continue on with his campaign, but it seemed impossible. Every time you looked online or turned on the television for news, there was always a new story about Herman Cain and the sexual harassment accusations with a video of him denying it and saying he wasn't dropping out of the race. He was consuming the news and it was almost impossible to keep up with the other candidates and what was actually going on in the race. All of the other candidates (except for Rick Perry's "oops" incident) were being overshadowed by Cain's drama. Cain just shrugged the accusations off and said he would not back out of the race. He seemed strong...or stubborn. Ginger White was the piece of straw that broke the camel's back.

Ginger White, a Georgia woman, comes out of the blue saying "Hey guess what! I had a 13-year affair with Herman Cain! Ta-da!!!" Okay, okay...it wasn't exactly like that, but it gets the point across. Herman Cain, shockingly, denied the affair, saying they were only friends. The media asked him if his wife knew about this "friendship" with White, and for once I believe, he didn't lie, and said "no."

Herman Cain finally told the media on Saturday that he was pulling out of the race after meeting with his wife this weekend. I'm thinking, "What does he expect her to say? 'Oh yes, honey. Please please PLEASE continue on with your campaign! I'm completely okay with these countless women's accusations and this secret friendship you've had!'" No way.

For now, the media is still covering the story of Cain dropping out, but hopefully, soon and very soon, they will turn their attention back on the candidates who are serious about their campaigns. I'm happy to see him finally bow out, but I'm sad for his family and hope for the best. There will be no way of knowing if the women were lying or not, but I wish Cain and his wife the best of luck.

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." -Sir Walter Scott

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Walking in a winter wonderland...or sliding on a newly dusted floor?

One cold, snowy night at Bluefield, there were three girls who were bored of homework and who were looking for a way to procrastinate...

"Where is this going?", you might ask. Well, it's going exactly where the title says it's going.

When I came back from Thanksgiving break on Sunday, I brought back a floor lamp for my dorm room. It was a little dirty so I wiped it down and dusted it on the hard floor. No harm done, right? Wrong!

Just before we went to bed, my roommate jumped off her bed right on the slippery spot our dusting spray had gotten sprayed on the floor. Of course, she slid. After seeing she was okay, we broke out into fits of laughter. My suite mate is all into fun and was also looking to procrastinate, so she joined us.

We picked up the rugs out of our floor, dusted the entire floor, and found the fluffiest of all our socks, and ice skated through our room. We slid, we laughed, we cried from laughter, and eventually we had a line of girls from our hall lined up outside of our door waiting for a turn to slide on our extremely slick floor.

"This is what happens when you can't really go anywhere, and you're tired of doing homework," I thought. It was hilarious to watch everyone slide into the room. No one got hurt, but it was quite entertaining. My roommate and I felt accomplished that we had brought people into our room to have fun, just by our own laughter. Some people didn't even slide, they just watched and laughed.

After about 30 minutes of our "figure skating", we all returned to our homework and put the rugs back down on the floor. Even though is sounds extremely cheesy, I'm extremely grateful that I attend a college where everyone knows everyone, and we all feel comfortable with asking the question: "Hey, I'm wearing fuzzy socks...can I slide on your floor?"