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A "Writing for the Media" Class Blog

My Motivation

 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

This is my favorite bible verse which is also my motivation as I go through life. A lot of the time I find myself having to overcome adversity. Times like now, as I try to conclude my semester on a good note. In my mind I wonder how am I going to get through this. I close my eyes and pray because I always rely on my faith. I feel that God will never put me in any situation that I can’t handle. Whenever I pray, I always ask God to continue to give me strength to overcome all obstacles that may come my way. To this day, I cant think of I time where God hasn’t led me in the right direction.

God is my motivation, whats yours?

 

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Peru Amateur Circus

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, CHILDREN OF ALL AGES…

Swinging. Jumping. Flying. Catching. Flipping. These are just a few terms that are used under the big top.

 

circus building

Usually people think of circuses that travel, have bearded ladies, giants, half ladies, have two heads, and trained lions. Pretty much freaks. I have heard it all. In my hometown, Peru, Indiana, there is nothing but farm land, a few small restaurants, a high school, some houses, and a circus. Weird, right? I know. Every time that I have to tell someone about my hometown and I mention the circus, it is like I just spoke jibberish to them.

The Peru Circus is filled with kids that range from the age of 5-21 that are performing. There various acts such as the flying trapeze, high wire that is not even an inch thick, tumbling acts, trampolines, and other advanced acts that require a lot of time and practice.

Growing up, I was highly involved with the circus, as were my mom and grandma when they were younger. Growing up in Peru, the circus was equivalent to pick up ball at the YMCA or the ball park. Almost everyone did it. It was normal to everyone to say, “yeah I was apart of the circus.” As when I moved to Fort Wayne and everyone just looked at you like you were a freak. We have acts that people are flying through the air, flipping on the ground, and even walking on a wire that is not even an inch wide. Seems almost impossible right? WRONG! We did it all.

There is much more to circus than just the flipping and flying through the air. You have to have the right costumes and makeup has to be on point. We would spend hours on hours making sure that our makeup was on point and A LOT of it.

Growing up in the circus has made me realize certain situations but as also made me lifelong friends. I am very fortune to say that I have been a part of something that not many has been apart of.

MAY ALL YOUR DAYS BE CIRCUS DAYS!!!

Park It Mister!

Today I am going to discuss a hot button topic.

PARKING

(insert ominous music)

Even with great technological advancements in parking tools, few people seem to get this one right.  Sometimes it’s poor etiquette; others seem to believe they own the road.  Whatever the excuse, it drives reasonable people everywhere nuts and should be stopped.

The source of my frustration.

I love my residential neighborhood, it’s full of older homes, nice mature trees and good neighbors.  Until I have to drive through the neighborhood.  You see, many of my neighbors are mistaken about the purpose of the box attached to their house with the really large doors called a “garage”.  Garages are used as “storage” and driveways are often empty or contain perhaps one car.  The other family cars are left on the street.  I’m often confused by this, I sort of get not wanting to move one car to let out another.  But failing to use the driveway altogether, the mind reels.

I understand that some families have teenagers and more cars than driveway space. Where I get annoyed is the empty driveway crowded street problem.  You know the morning slalom in and around cars hoping another car isn’t about to come over the hill when I pass a parked vehicle.  Even worse when I am on my bicycle.

Sorry for the Lewis Black moment, it is just so frustrating.

Then there are the common parking issues that we have all been through.  How many times have you entered a crowded parking garage; with at least 6 spaces that are too narrow for a vehicle?  And you think if everyone parked within the lines we wouldn’t have these problems.  Some days I look at those tiny spaces and think “If I only drove a vespa!  I could park there.”

Alas, Vespas lack kid space let alone grocery and dog space.

Fear not frustrated drivers, there is an anonymous tool available, thanks to the clever people at knock knock.

So the next time you see a truck with duel exhaust that has been raised up to look like a monster truck.  

You can cite them for “driving an ego machine”, if you can reach the windshield. While it won’t solve the problem you will feel better.

What is your worst ever parking story?

Do you think you would use the citations?

 

Commissioner for a Day

mlb logo

If I was the commissioner of baseball, I would change a lot of things. I would start out with shortening the season. The season that is being played now is simply way too long and taxing on the players. To me, playing almost every day for about six months would absolutely drag as a player as well as the coaching staff. I would lose interest by July. I would have the season start at the beginning of April and have it end by Labor Day. With that being said, I would expand the playoffs immensely. There’s no way that only four teams should make the playoff from each league after that long and grueling of a season. I would start the playoffs after Labor Day and have eight teams from each league make the playoffs. They would play a best of three series until there were four teams left. Then from there on it would be a seven game series for the rest of the playoffs. I don’t mind the way they do it now through, I enjoy the wild card play in game. It gives a game seven feel instantly to the playoffs and gets people excited for what is to come the rest of the postseason.

bud selig office

The next thing I would do is limit the amount of relief pitchers in each inning. Too many times managers just put in a pitcher for one batter and pull him instantly. While I am fine with this strategy, I don’t agree with doing it to every batter. I would have a limit of three pitchers per inning and after the sixth inning I would enforce the coaches that if they are making a mound visit they have to make a pitching change. Another thing I would enforce the pitchers to do is have them use the baseballs they are given. It annoys me so much when a pitcher gets a fresh new ball and then calls time and asks for a new one. It takes time and wastes money on a perfectly good baseball. I would also have a time clock for in between pitchers during the at bat.

I would also try to make the strike zone of umpires a lot more consistent. Too many times in the world series we saw inconsistent strike zones for the home plate umpires and it came back to hurt the teams a lot. I would try to have all umpires have the same strike zone so we can have more consistent calls. Also, when a manager calls for a challenge there should be a time limit on that. The umpires seem to take too long on close calls. If they cannot make a decision on a call within three minutes, then the call on the field should stand and they should get back to playing the game. The length of time spent trying to make these calls messes with the pitcher and the batter that is coming up next.

The Tar Heels overcome adversity!

Three.. Two.. One.. and the buzzer sounds as a shot was made by Villanova player, Kris Jenkins. Just like that, the North Carolina Tar Heels lose the NCAA National Championship to Villanova. The number one seed Tar Heels battled hard through the NCAA tournament, to make it all the way to the championship. It was arguably one of the most devastating upsets in all of sport’s history. Just imagine being so close to something you worked hard for all your life, and you fall short.

Image result for villanova buzzer beaterImage result for villanova buzzer beater

As an athlete, one of the biggest things we are taught is to overcome adversity. Our darkest moments in life are the moments that define us. The moment North Carolina came up short, they had a choice. They could hang their heads and feel sorry for themselves, or they can work hard to get back to the National Championship. The Tar Heels did just that. They came into the next season hungry for success. They started the season off rough, but got things together around tournament time. They heated up around tournament. The Tar Heels battled through the tournament to meet the number one seed Gonzaga. They worked hard, overcame adversity, and became the 2017 National NCAA Champions.

 

Slavery in 2017

You would think that with how advanced of a society we are, basic human rights and equality would be at the top of the list of concerns, right? Unfortunately, it’s actually a concern that’s being pushed under the rug instead. Slavery comes in many different forms, with many different names, and disrespects every basic human right that every human being on this earth is entitled to. The “END IT” movement campaign is taking the necessary steps to bring this horrible occurrence to an end.

END IT’s main goal is freedom for everyone. Each of their coalition partners focuses on awareness, prevention, rescue and restoration. In order for people all around the globe to be able to help, they must be properly educated in the facts and stats of the people and places being effected. What you don’t know may be disturbing; human trafficking is happening in 167 countries (87% of the nations), 55% of the victims of human and sex trafficking are women and children, and 1 in 5 of those women are under 18.

This form of slavery is still an epidemic because of the lack of knowledge people have on the topic, and the inability to understand the severity of the situation. To help you put this in perspective, can you imagine being captured? Controlled? Violated? Threatened? Put yourself in the shoes of someone around the world who experiences that every day, and ask yourself; What would I want someone to do to help me?

Is it a Sign?

Are dreams from God?

I’ve always had it in my heart that I want to be a foster parent, and be able show a child what true love is. Here recently, I’ve been having a lot of dreams about the foster system, but specifically me saving babies and toddlers, whether they be birth homes or foster homes. I’ve been questioning a lot if this is a sign from God telling me I need to do something with foster children or if it’s just my mind coming up with it.
RemovedWith this newfound interest in why I am having these dreams, I have been coming across a lot of foster care campaigns. For example, I went to Winter Jam this past month and they had an intermission where they talked about donating to help a foster child get adopted, but even more recently, in class I found a foster campaign that really struck my heart. It’s called Removed. This video takes you through this emotional roller coaster of the life of a little girl who is in foster care. It’s so impactful that I’m not ashamed to say I teared up and went on to watch their second video: Removed 2. There are two forms of connections to this campaign. They have these videos on YouTube that hit the pathos of connecting with their audience, but then they also have a website that gives you more information on who they are, what they do, and why, hitting on the logos and ethos of the audience connection.

Whether coming across these campaigns were a coincidence or not, I don’t know. I wish I knew the answer, and hopefully I will someday, but I don’t right now. So, I guess this blog is me telling you to really try to listen to what God has to say to you. It may seem like a coincidence, but if it keeps happening, it might be a sign from him. Open your ears and your heart to God and what he has to say to you, and go check out Removed. Who knows, maybe that’s your calling too.

Making a Ruff Day, Better

One of the greatest things someone could ever do would be to get a dog. Dogs are natural born companions, and are loyal as can be. My dog, Lola, is a trained therapy dog, and is capable of brightening anyone’s day. Even though obedience training is a time consuming pain in the neck, the payoff is priceless.

brittany puppy

In order to fully understand how much dogs can change your lives, lend me your ear. In the summer of 2013, I was pretty sad, not so far as clinically depressed, but there was definitely a somber vibe beaming off of my entire family and myself. After the loss of my cousin, Carlo, and my cousin Jeannie, it seemed as though nothing could go right for my family. We never interacted with each other, and were as distant as physically possible. That all changed once we met Lola. Lola was a difficult puppy, but the more consistently we began to train her, the more dramatic the results got. My family started to strengthen our familial ties, and everything just got better.

smiling brittany

I would wake up extra early in the morning, and go to bed extra late–just so I could see her cute little face, feel those razor sharp puppy teeth, and cuddle with my perfect little princess. The painfully tedious hours of obedience training, and being yelled at by the dog trainer was ruthless. But as Lola improved my mood, my health, and my overall quality of life, it all became worth it.

Just about four years later, Lola is a certified therapy dog who travels to nursing homes and hospitals to help everybody, not just me. Lola serves as a source of comfort for patients with cancer, dementia, and other life altering illnesses. Tonight, my mom shared a story of how Lola made some elderly woman with Alzheimer’s cry tears of joy, and claim that Lola made her day. Nothing is more rewarding than hearing that positive feedback, and knowing that it came from my hard work over the years. A dog’s smile touches more hearts than any human could ever try to.

american kennel club

Marvel or DC?

Someone recently popped the question towards me – which do I prefer, Marvel or DC? I had to pause for a moment as I thought it over. Because each universe is so spectacular, it is a very tough answer. In the end, I had to go with the reply of “both,” simply because that was the truth. Looking at the cinematic universe is unfair at this point, as Marvel’s films far outnumber DC’s so I’ve just been looking at the comic verse.

When it comes to heroes, I had to cast my vote towards Marvel. When we look at the creator, Stan Lee, he found it was important to have well rounded heroes. Not just heroes with cool powers who always got the girl, but characters who had just as many flaws as good attributes. That is why we can see Tony Stark with his extreme case of narcissism, and Spiderman with all the complex emotions of a teenager. Marvel also tries to tie in the real world as much as possible as many of their heroes are set in New York, London, and places that at least sound real.

Not to say that Marvel doesn’t have it’s flaws.  Many would say that although Marvel has the best heroes, their stories are lacking. Marvel also runs into the issue of having almost to many characters. Sure you have the Avengers but in this same universe you are also supposed to have the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Blade, Inhumans and countless other heroes all smashed into one universe. No wonder they all had to have a civil war.

Marvel&DC

When it comes to DC, I would say its no contest that they have the better villains. Joker, Lex Luthor, Braniac are all legends when it comes to the comic book world. This makes for amazing stories and plot lines within the DC universe, such as the second Robin, Jason Todd, dying by the hand of the Joker, and Batman’s battle with himself over the loss of his companion, and internal conflict as he battles not to kill the Joker, as it goes against his moral code.

DC also has its flaws, though as it only more recently, within the last twenty years, started to develop their heroes more. DC established its characters as heroes first and then moved on to fleshing them out as people as later. Hence, they became living legends with fantastic adventures that shaped them into the characters we know.  DC tends to use their alternate universes to tell stories within their main universe. Marvel tends to allow their alternate universes to stand on their own to tell stories different from the main universe. Also, DC uses the several major realities: New-Earth, Earth-1, 2, and 3. Marvel uses a lot more alternate realities that aren’t always notable.

I’ve only named a few facts here but already you can probably start to see the struggle of just choosing one of these universes. If you would ask me who my favorite hero was I would probably name one from Marvel and DC. (Rogue and Barbara Gordon, if you were interested.) It isn’t wrong if you can’t decide between one or the other. They are both fictional universes and they both exist apart.

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