Reason #5236 why I will miss Winona

Now that I have officially graduated college, I’ve moved home for the summer to work my part-time job. I’ve started unpacking, and the reality of it all is beginning to set in. Already, my friends who go to school or live around here are anxious to catch up and get together. Of course, I can’t wait to see them either, but lately I’ve been less than excited to actually get up and drive to see them, and the reasons behind my apathy have never made complete sense until today. Let me explain.

I’ve lived in Mequon my entire life. My parents built the house we live in a few years before I was born; it was all I knew before I packed up my life and moved to small-town Minnesota four years ago. My friends that I have here I made in high school; I got used to driving to school, to restaurants, to the mall, to their houses. That’s just the way things were. But studying abroad in Europe where I didn’t have a car and HAD to walk everywhere, combined with living in Winona, has really changed my perspective on that. More


Dear major news networks: You’re not losing to Twitter

The archenemy

Stop throwing darts at him and embrace him instead. If eight measly birds can do it, so can you.

I saw this article today, and every time I read these stories with such befuddled language towards twitter sprinkled with the slightest tinge of jealousy (“Twitter is once again being credited for outracing traditional news sources on a major story…” aaaand cue sympathetic violins) I have to laugh.

I can see all you news directors and producers, fuming in your newsrooms like a villain that got busted on Scooby Doo (“And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling Tweeters!!!”). Let’s face it, major news networks: You don’t want to admit it, but Twitter scares the hell out of you. You feel like you’re losing your audience to this beast, and you’re frustrated because you don’t understand how or why people actually trust or turn to Twitter to get their news. What does Twitter have that you don’t? Is it the 140 character limit, or that blasted fail whale with the gorgeous blue eyes?

While that adorable whale does hold a special place in my heart (even though he’s probably the bullseye of a dartboard you have hanging in your newsrooms), that’s not why I use Twitter. I was one of millions who heard the news about Osama bin Laden on Twitter before all else. I hate to break it to you, but I don’t watch the news every night; I don’t even have a television in my room anymore, and the number of times I’ve actually sat down and deliberately watched TV over the last few months are few and far between. I am the generation Y prototype who seems to have so much power, and who you feel threatens your very existence. I am the elusive college student who rarely reads the newspaper and gets all the day’s important news from aggregates like Google News, word-of-mouth on Facebook, and my News list on Twitter. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s convenient because, let’s face it: social media is my part-time job. I know that’s exactly the last thing you want to hear right now, but drag yourselves out of your corner of shame, put down your darts directed at the fail whale, and just hear me out. As a soon-to-be journalism graduate who knows a thing or two about this topic, here’s a few words of advice, direct from me to you.

There IS hope, O Disgruntled Mainstream Media! More

My religion: Astronomy

I think astronomy is the closest thing to a religious epiphany I’ve had in my lifetime.

I don’t remember when it started; I wasn’t always interested in space and stars. But somewhere in middle school, something just clicked with me, and I started to realize and understand how freakin’ huge this universe is. And how freakin’ awesome it is. Also beautiful. But that’s a sidenote.

I’ve never really jumped on the whole “life on other planets” bandwagon. Everyone seems to be so obsessed with martians and aliens and life in other galaxies. I think it’d be pretty cool to know that we’re not alone in this universe, but it’s never captivated me as much as simply looking at everything in the sky for the beautiful things they are and understanding the concepts behind them. Very un-scientist-like of me, I know, but I’ve always been more of an observer than a question-asker. Let me put things into perspective for you, how I’ve learned it and the way I see it. Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. More


Me in Madison this weekend

Had you told me 10 years ago that in 10 years I’d be out protesting something, I might have believed you.
Had you told me 10 years ago that in 10 years I’d be out protesting something because I was interested in politics, understood what was happening and was truly passionate about the issue, I may have found that harder to believe.

I’ve never been Nancy Politics. I’ve never been genuinely interested in social studies or history or government or economics or unions; I learned it because I had to, and that’s that. But when I read that Walker was planning on taking away collective bargaining rights from unions and wanted the bill passed in a week, something struck a chord inside me, and I was pissed. I did my research, made sure to read up on both sides. Posted on facebook, had debates with neighbors. The more news stories I read, the more interested I became. The more debates I had, the more fascinated I became. And it all culminated with me taking a trip to the capitol this weekend – to do a news story for senior sem, yes – but more importantly, to give Walker a piece of my mind. And it was fantastic.

I’ve never been involved in a protest before. Closest thing to it was the gay pride parade I attended in DC, which was also wonderful. But this was something different. This was democracy in action; this was what it means to be American. There was so much anger yet so much respect for one another. It was unity in its purest form. It made me proud to be an American and even prouder to be a Wisconsinite. This is MY state and I’m not going to let some idiot eff it up.

There were firefighters marching down the streets with bagpipes, showing their support for unions; there were doctors writing notes for teachers; I EVEN SAW MY SIXTH GRADE TEACHER AND GOT TO SAY HI TO HIM. I knew I always loved him :) Anyway, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was history unfolding in front of my eyes.

It was invigorating. It was enlightening. And I can totally see myself becoming one of those politically-obsessed people I used to hate. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but if I ever cross a line with any of you, please let me know. This is all new to me, and I still have so much to learn. But I couldn’t be more excited.

(picture is of me on State Street today in front of the Madison, Wis. capitol building :])

A quick post…

…to let you know that I am OFFICIALLY going to be vice president for THREE different clubs next semester: National Broadcasting Society (and I’m still going to be treasurer, too), Astronomy Club and Sigma Delta Pi. I’m pretty pumped, but I hope it won’t be too much for me! I’ll let you know how everything goes, of course :)

In other news, you should read my latest post (about the ridiculous travel crisis in Europe right now) and let me know what you think. C’mon guys, I got a WordPress blog for a reason – I’m addicted to the STATS! I know you’re reading, and I want to know what YOU think. Don’t be afraid to speak up!! :)

Also, coming soon, I hope to touch upon everyone’s favorite subject: aging. I’m young for my grade, and it seems like I can’t turn 21 soon enough. I’ll talk about why I’m so excited, and it won’t just be because I want to go out to the bars with my friends. Stay tuned and take care! :)

Time and Birthdays

It’s so funny how views on birthdays change over the years. Remember when you were little, and you had a birthday and got SUPER excited? And then when your parents’ birthdays came around, you got really excited for them, but they never did? I never really understood that until these past few years. I mean, I did, but I’m reaching that point where it truly makes sense.

I am, of course, excited for my 21st birthday for obvious reasons (and, sidenote, this is relevant because ANOTHER one of my college friends turned 21 today, another one turns 21 on Monday and another, the Monday after that). Yes, I’m excited to be able to legally drink (and after being able to legally drink in Spain, I find the age limit here more absurd every day). I’m excited to go out with my friends to the bars if I want. To have a glass of wine with dinner at a restaurant. To be able to make myself a few drinks with liquor I purchased myself and not worry about paying someone back, or getting caught. Yes, that will be nice. But the other half of the reason I’m so excited is because from here on out, I’ll be the one who gets to gloat.

See, for the last, I don’t know, 20 years or so, I’ve been playing catch-up with my friends from my grade. I’m not turning 21 until my SENIOR year of college… I didn’t get my driver’s license until my junior year of high school and didn’t turn 18 until I got to college. So, yes, I am young for my grade. My birthday always falls at the beginning of the school year, and it’s a nice way to start off the year. New school year, new age…. but then it’s overshadowed by the fact that everyone else who had a birthday after me was a year older. I was FINALLY turning 16 when everyone else was turning 17. And when I FINALLY turned 17… well guess what, all my friends were about to turn 18. no big deal. And like, I never got teased about it. But I’m younger than all my friends in my grade, and yeah, I feel like I’ve been playing catch-up my whole life.

This year, the tables turn.

I’m starting to see that 21 is the last birthday everyone looks forward to. And it makes sense. Some of my friends complain, “ugh, 22? I’m so OLD!” After you turn 21, you’re an adult. And not only do you get the liquor, but everything else that comes along with turning said age: the responsibility, the job, the underlying expectation that you know what you’re going to do with your life. You actually have to face the *real* world. And yeah, it sucks. I’m not looking forward to it, and I’m not necessarily excited to turn older in subsequent years.

Except for the fact that instead of playing catch-up, and instead of being the envious one… for the rest of my life, *I’m* going to be the envied one. My friends might have beamed proudly when they got to turn 10, 13, 16, 18, before me. But guess what? That also means they get to turn 30, 40, and 50 before me. 21 years of watching my friends reap the benefits of growing up…. and from now on, I’ll be the one to lay back and calmly watch everyone panic as they turn a decade older, knowing that I have at least 9 months before I have to worry about it.

Yes, revenge is sweet my friends, and I firmly believe karma will always even everything out. 21 years of “haha, I’m 16 and you’re 15!” or, “haha, I’m 21 and you’re 20!” (even though it never went *exactly* like that :p) will soon turn into, “haha, I’m 29 and you’re 30!” or, “haha, I’m 39 and you’re 40!” yep, I am definitely looking forward to this. You never realize it until now, but being younger definitely has its benefits. :)

Summer Plans!

Hello, all! I apologize for such a horrid delay in updates! Once the year took off, it really took off and left me with hardly any time to think. I’m now nearly a month away from finishing the semester and becoming a senior in college! CRAZY! With summer fast approaching I’ve been giving some thought as to what plans I hold. And let me tell you, I do have some exciting plans :)

First of all, a month or so ago I bought a plane ticket to Barcelona. Which means I am officially going back to Spain mid-May! Commence child-like squeeing!! I’m meeting a friend from WSU there, and we will spend two days in Barcelona. Then I’m taking a train up to France to visit a high school friend studying there, then another train back down to my old stomping grounds, Granada! I’m going to be seeing and hopefully staying with two good college friends who just happen to be staying with the host family that I stayed with. I have to get back up to Barcelona because that’s where I leave from, and then I have a 23-hour layover in Amsterdam before flying home. This sounds absurd but I purchased this ticket on purpose – this way, I’ll be able to explore the city! I have never been there but I hope to take a river boat tour and just explore a little bit. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place! I am beyond excited and plan to keep everyone updated on my travels here! Hopefully I’ll be able to update before I leave on May 10!

Secondly, and even more importantly, I have an internship for this summer with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)!!!!!! I have been following this organization since I was very little and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to be given the chance to work for them, even if it is only for credit. In the beginning of June I’ll fly out to Washington D.C., where their U.S. headquarters are, and spend about two months working on editing and producing video in their Creative Services department. While I’m not looking forward to paying insanely high rent out there, I am beyond stoked to live in the nation’s capitol for two months. I’ve spent a lot of time this academic school year in video editing and production, and I really enjoy it. I’m excited to learn more and hopefully have a lot of fun as well! I’ll definitely keep you updated on how that’s going here, too!

I know this update was extremely brief, but I’m at home right now and I’m probably going to be eating dinner and getting together with the neighbor folk soon. But, I promise I’ll try to update sometime before I leave for Europe and let you know how everything is going! Take care!!

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