Mizzou Protests

Members of the black student protest group, Concerned Student 1950, raise their arms while addressing a crowd following the announcement University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe would resign Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Members of the black student protest group, Concerned Student 1950, raise their arms while addressing a crowd following the announcement University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe would resign Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

I graduated from OVS last year, and I am now a lowly freshman at the University of Missouri. I wrote for this blog frequently during my three years as a writer for On the Hill, and thought it would be a good outlet for me to share my firsthand experience of the recent protests at the University of Missouri. Alvarez — I better get a 10/10 on this!

Before I start, I should give you a little background about me. I’ve grown up in what I guess are fairly liberal communities mostly around California and Colorado, where racism was an idea and never something I actually witnessed. I think a part of me didn’t even believe it existed until I came to school here. I’m white, and have never had any personal experience as a target of racism, and it is unlikely that I ever will. And while I was not at the center of the recent protests here at Mizzou, I have witnessed some of the events leading up to and surrounding the protests. I recognize that there are countless opinions about everything that has transpired, and my opinion is just one of those.blackout_02_26732332_ver1.0_640_480

First, let me say that racism does exist at Mizzou. I have friends who have been called the N-word, and who track every pickup truck that drives by them at night. People have driven around campus with the confederate flag proudly displayed in the bed of their truck, and the N-word isn’t a rarity. I think racism is embedded here at the university, it has been since the very beginning – though that it just my personal opinion. Missouri was a slave state, and there are buildings on this campus that were built by slaves. The majority of the buildings are named after white males, with very few exceptions. And though our recently resigned Chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin, declared that racism has no place here, I agree with Payton Head that it does, and that it is quite comfortable.

The Mizzou Hunger Strike arose from years of experiencing the divide between students, and from the administration failing to address the issues. Personally, I think it culminated during the homecoming parade in October when the president of the UM System, Tim Wolfe, was in a car where his driver revved the engine and nudged some of the protestors that had blocked the road. Wolfe, rather than issuing an apology for the incident, chose to ignore it and didn’t apologize until earlier this month as the protests really began in earnest. But as they started, Concerned Student 1950 made it clear that the reasons they were going to these lengths and demanding change is because they love Mizzou and want it to be the best place it can be.

To accomplish that, Jonathan Butler, a graduate student here at Mizzou, went on a Hunger Strike about two weeks ago, declaring that he would not eat until Tim Wolfe resigned from his position. What shocked me was that this went on for EIGHT days, and that although Wolfe stated he was concerned for Butler’s health, he did absolutely nothing to ensure the health and safety of one of his students. In fact, it wasn’t until members of the football team declared they wouldn’t play until Wolfe stepped down, which resulted in the entire team following suit, that Wolfe resigned. That was almost a week after the Hunger Strike began. An article by the New York Times summed it up perfectly: “The Missouri athletes showed that the color that matters most is green.” But as an educator, I would have expected Wolfe to be more concerned about the wellbeing of one of his students than his position.Unknown

I went to Carnahan Quad a little after Tim Wolfe announced his resignation, and I was blown away by the movement. The emotions that were present that day were overwhelming, and everyone who cared even a little bit about equality on this campus was swept up in it. I was choked up, and I wasn’t even in the middle of it. It was truly a beautiful thing to witness, this first step on a long road to making Mizzou a racism-free campus. The fact that students were able to make such a huge impact and evoke so much change is incredible. And I got to witness that history being made.

That Tuesday night, death threats were made to blacks on campus, and someone posted on Yik Yak the same thing the Oregon shooter posted before the shooting. It was scary, especially as rumors began to take over social media about the KKK being on campus and bricks being thrown through dorm windows. I think a lot of those rumors were born out of a lack of information – for hours, the students got absolutely no information about what was going, whether the threats were being investigated and if they were real or not.The only statements we got from the university were that security had been increased and there were no credible threats. But then the next morning the man who posted the threats was arrested. Pretty much no one went to class on Wednesday – that is if their classes hadn’t been cancelled.

It’s been just over a week since then, and now we’re just about to leave for Thanksgiving break. But the movement hasn’t ended, and Tim Wolfe stepping down was just the first step. The protests have continued, and not just at Mizzou. Over 100 schools have shown their support for the movement, joining in on the chants, stating that “we have nothing to lose but our chains.” And other schools, including Yale, Ithaca, and Chapman University have begun demanding change at their own universities.

Mr. Alvarez asked me that if I had known this was going to happen, or if it had happened a year ago while I was still choosing where to go to school, if I still would have chosen to attend Mizzou. I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I definitely didn’t realize when I chose this school how prevalent racism was. But in the end, I chose my school because of the journalism program, which is one of the best in the world. I’m glad I did choose to come here though, because I do love this school, and everything that has happened hasn’t taken away from that.

I’m proud to have been a part of something that I believe in and that has sparked a nationwide movement. I had the opportunity to witness something beautiful and empowering; to witness students fighting for what is right. Change needed to happen, and so students took the initiative to make sure that it did. I couldn’t be prouder of my school.

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Let’s talk about planned parenthood

Welcome to Planned Parenthood, a place of murder. Real live people  being killed in this “safe” place, despite what some may say. Sure, people have choices, but why choose violence? Isn’t the government supposed to protect us from this stuff?

I bet you thought I was talking about fetuses, didn’t you? I was actually talking about the recent terrorist attack at a planned parenthood, in which three people were killed and nine injured. But you probably didn’t know about that. This is because there is little to no coverage, no conversations in class, no #prayforplannedparenthood, no artsy pictures to post about it, there is nothing. As a country, there is a huge blind spot here. Why?

Let’s cover the facts about the terrorist himself-

  • Robert Lewis Dear
  • 57 years old
  • White
  • Male
  • From South Carolina
  • Living in Colorado
  • Previous arrests for- 2 counts animal abuse & “peeping tom”
  • Accused of domestic assault

 

Now the story of the attack-

It was about 11:30 am on Friday when police received a call for help from the clinic. All the shoppers, workers, store owners, and passerby’s of the shopping center were told to take cover where they were. It took more than 4 hours for the police to secure the terrorist and give the people the go ahead, all the while they were evacuating people from the building and transporting them to the hospital. Nine were injured, and three were killed.

So, why are we still talking about this? Or better yet, why aren’t we talking about this?

Among many reasons, motive. The police said a motive could not be determined, but you heard the story. And to quote Dear, the attacker, “no more baby parts.” Doesn’t that seem clear enough? Or perhaps the very fact that he decided to plan his attack in a planned parenthood could be a cue for every news channel to support this incredible healthcare provider? Which brings us to news coverage. Where did it all go? Terrorism in the country, and we didn’t have it on every channel, covering it like the issue it is? Or, it would be, if eit were somewhere else by someone else. Besides, I bet that would be a pretty easy thing to talk about, I mean, Preaching pro-life and walking in with a gun, a bit backwards isn’t it? That sounds like priceless material for all the charismatic reporters.

So, I ask you, where did all the awareness go?

 

read more-

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/28/us/colorado-planned-parenthood-shooting/

robertlewisdear

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2015/11/27/ff579e40-9543-11e5-b5e4-279b4501e8a6_story.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/victims-planned-parenthood-attack-kearre-stewart-jennifer-markovsky/

 

 

 

Anna Wintour GIFS that Express Every Stage of Finals

I’m going to say it, Anna Wintour is queen (in my opinion). Some find her intimidating, and have coined her the “ice queen.” But I disagree, she is the god of Vogue and Anna’s opinion matters in the fashion industry. Needless to say, she is my idol. So I have rounded up the best GIFs of Anna to show the progression of students gearing up for finals week (you have no idea how much I wish it was Fashion Week instead).

When finals are mentioned in class

Photo Credit: NY Mag

When you hear how much of your grade the final is worth

Photo Credit: NY Mag

When your teacher asks you how you feel

Photo Credit: NY Mag

How you really feel

Photo Credit: NY Mag

When you talk to your friends about finals

Photo Credit: NY Mag

Walking into the final

Photo Credit: NY Mag

Sizing up your student competition

Photo Credit: NY Mag

When there’s material on the final you never learned

Photo Credit: NY Mag

When theres only 20 minutes left to finish

Photo Credit: NY Mag

When finals are over, and break has begun

Photo Credit: NY Mag

IT

It’s like a beast clawing and gnawing the constant pool of snakes in your gut. The cold ice shard between your shoulder-blades.

Arms and stomach numb, eyes shifting beneath downcast lashes, shaky sighs, jerky movements. Jumpy, jaw clenched. Eyes everywhere and unreadable thoughts drift in a palatable cloud. It’s enough to make ones skin crawl, eyebrows furrow, and mouth go dry.

Even with headphones in there’s whispers and there’s always the eyes. Left to wonder, is it ghost whispers or is it real; are they ghost eyes or are they real? Is it lack of sleep or am I perfectly awake?

Photo Credit: http://www.polyvore.com

Wondering what it’s like to be able to live in a bubble, unaffected. But would that have adverse effects as well? Hands and ribs and chest go numb. Lips sealed. What could I say, or more importantly what should I say. What will the eyes and whispers do if you say something wrong? Do you even want to know? No, so lips stay sealed and the whispers say silent, the eyes noncommittal.
Why does it feel like the eyes are focused on you the, whispers the voice in your head, as if you’d be important enough to hold their time and attention. You’re not are you? No definitely not, and yet why do you feel the need to claw your skin off to ease the feeling of insects and numbness.
You’re left, grey and fraying at the edges. Wondering: Is it me? Is it me? Is it me?

Photo Credit: https://www.nga.gov/>
Painting By Mark Rothko

Until It Happens To You

Photo Credit: http://www.lawyer.submitinfo.com (not my accident)

Before every Thanksgiving break, the Ojai Valley School’s upper campus receives a speech from headmaster Mr. Cooper about safety. This talk consistently includes the statement, “the most dangerous thing you can do it get in an automobile.”

I listened attentively, but never truly comprehended how accurate Mr. Cooper’s statement was.

On the first night of break, I got into a car accident.

Although it was much more complicated than just an accident, I need not go into detail about the chaos that followed.

I am okay and that’s all that matters.

I write this blog simply as an attempt to open the eyes of other young drivers, like myself, and help them realize that have a license is absolutely NOT a right, it is a privilege.

All it takes is one split-second to change someone’s life forever. Whether it is your fault or the other driver’s, the physical and mental damage affects every person involved.

It is not that I didn’t take my parent’s advice about driving seriously, or that I did not do well on my driving test, but it was honestly an accident, hence why they are called “accidents”, not “on purposes”.

From the age of 16, we drive these large, metal death-traps around, unaware of the mass amount of damage that can be caused by them. We are taught about the dangers of drinking and driving, and speeding, but none of us knows the honest abilities of our cars until we experience it for ourselves.

Currently in recovery mode, I have the daunting task of deciding how to continue as a driver and monitor the collateral damage that has come from this event.

You can do everything possible to prevent accidents from happening, but every time you get in a car, you are choosing to take that risk. Stop for a second next time, and evaluate what you are capable of as soon as you turn on the engine.

You never think it will happen until it happens to you.

 

 

City Girl

I find myself often dreaming about cities far away from the sheltered place I called home.  New York, London and Tokyo called my name, but I couldn’t respond to them. 

Seeing picture of New York made my heart ache.  I longed for the busy streets, bright lights and the constant noise New York would give me.  Part of me wanted the city because I would become invisible.

Living in a city where no one knew your name was a comfort for me.   As someone who has only lived in small towns, the thought of fading into the background excited me.   In my life, I’ve only ever called one place my home, as I get older and more mature I look for new places to call my home.  

At the ripe age of sixteen, I have become bored with my life and I hope for something bigger and better.   

When I walk the streets of New York, or nearly any city I visit, I look around at the houses and apartment buildings and think about how my life would have been different if I lived there. 

I would be a city girl, with the street smarts of a mature woman in the body of a teenage girl.  I would be cultured and smart and everything that mattered in the world would be down the street from my house.  I craved the status being in a city would give me.

  As selfish is that may sound, It seemed fine to me.  I wanted to be happy, and I felt the only way to do that is to be in a bigger place.  

Where you live doesn’t matter though, this is something I have found out.

  Whether it be in Ojai or New York or some small town that you can’t even find on a map, it matters who you’re with and what you feel inside. 

Moving to a bigger city isn’t going to make all of my problems go away, and the years I spent thinking that was only due to the blind hope I still had in the world. 

Credit to Pexels.com

Wanderlust

If I could live anywhere in the world, I wouldn’t limit myself to one location – I would backpack across the world and escape from society, exploring each corner of the earth. I would separate myself from civilization as I went from place to place, exploring my inner self and soothing my soul. Wherever I […]

Thanksgiving Debunked

Tonight, the dormers come back from their homes/vacation stays and start unpacking and studying after our wonderful Thanksgiving break. This past week I’ve thought a lot about what I’m thankful for. I’ve also thought a lot about what Thanksgiving means, and did a little research on how this holiday came to be. After some research, I found out one thing I shouldn’t be thankful for: this holiday.

My quest to find out the truth behind Thanksgiving started with this video:

Franchesa Ramsey, the creator and main actor in this video, brings up startling facts and those certain facts make me ashamed to celebrate this holiday.

Thanksgiving is what I like to call an “American Guilt Holiday.” What’s an American Guilt Holiday? Well, to keep it short: An American Guilt Holiday is a holiday, usually where schools and some workplaces take the day off, to celebrate victories of our ancestors, but refuse to acknowledge the atrocities that lead to that victory. Most Americans know about the first Thanksgiving feast, which was a three-day celebration to showcase the parity of the English settlers and Wampanoag people. However, this wasn’t because the settlers and Indigenous people were kind, neighboring groups. In fact, the Plymouth colony took their land and the Wampanoag’s savvy hunting and growing skills to essentially overthrow these kind people.

The settlers came to America with one mission: colonization. They wanted to settle in America and take up as much land as possible before other countries stole it. However, they weren’t familiar with the idea that others had already lived in this land before them. Native American tribes had lived relatively peacefully among one another. If one tribe was struggling with game or growing, they’d ask to use some of another’s tribe territory, and more times than not, they’d be able to borrow the other tribe’s land. Before Europeans, there was no “real estate,” a Christian concept brought to America with the colonists. So, when the English arrived wanting land, the Native Americans didn’t know that they wouldn’t get their land back. They were pushed out of their homes by force, usually via guns or bombs, or enslaved to work for the home-stealers.

The Native Americans had lived on these lands before anyone else; thus, knowing every little detail needed to survive in this territory. The Europeans used the Indigenous people as human manuals. Like any beginning country, the pilgrims had many problems; the main problem being food. Without any knowledge of their “New World,” their crops died and livestock was hard to find. They turned their sad fate around and made their days without food “Days of Fasting” to pray to God for a better outcome. When they did get food, they feasted and celebrated God and their good fortune and they called these meals “Thanksgiving,” as they were giving thanks to God. The colonists wrote that word down, and the name for this holiday was born. Most of their food was given to them by local Native American tribes, however, the Puritans never shared it.

This holiday wasn’t even celebrated country-wide until 16 years after the “First Feast.” It was declared a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln, after the New Americans had a great feast celebrating the great massacre of the Pequot tribe. Basically, this holiday was started as a celebration of murdering, infecting, and raping an entire population of people and pushing them out of their land. Speaking of the Native Americans, (or the ones left, anyways) they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Instead, they use it as a Day of Mourning. They pray for their ancestors and family killed by the Puritans.

Why does all this matter? Well, history books have twisted this holiday. If more people knew what truly started this holiday, we wouldn’t be smiling and laughing at the dinner table while eating turkey and pumpkin pie (both of which weren’t present in the first Thanksgiving feast). I hope next year you really think about the true meaning of this holiday and are thankful for you and your ancestor’s good fortune on this holiday.

 

Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-greener/the-true-story-of-thanksg_b_788436.html

http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving/videos/bet-you-didnt-know-thanksgiving

http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving/videos/history-of-the-thanksgiving-holiday?m=528e394da93ae&s=undefined&f=1&free=false

 

 

Foods I Hate

I’m a picky eater.

I am the type of person who spends 20 minutes ordering at a restaurant because of all the substitutions.

I know a lot of people are like this (or at least I hope), and if anyone reading this takes me out to eat, I hope this helps you.

The first food that I strongly dislike are tomatoes. Especially raw tomatoes. If you like raw tomatoes, you are a strong person. The texture, the taste, and basically everything about tomatoes makes me sick to my stomach. I’m pretty sure the reasons that tomatoes are red is because they are the spawn of satan.

If that doesn’t show how picky of an eater I am, here is number 2

Oranges. I really wish I like oranges. Trust me a tried. As a youngster, at half time at my soccer games, I would always grab a slice of orange, but I just couldn’t do it. The texture is the only thing that really puts me off.  It’s just that when ever the orange hits my teeth, bam, instant gag reflex. (I apologize to anyone who hates the word gag.) As a substitution, go with apples. I like apples.

The last food I don’t like is iceberg lettuce. The texture sends shivers down my spine and it also has zero taste. Also it is basically all water. If I’m going to eat something I better enjoy it. If you want something with more nutritional value, try spinach.

If you get me any of these foods, I can not promise that our friendship will continue.

Credit: cheezburger.com

 

False Hope

Tuesday morning I woke up, brushed my teeth, got dressed, and prepared myself  for another day in the life of a high school senior. However, that morning was slightly different than all of the other ones I’ve had since my senior year started.

As I was stood in front of my closet, trying to decide what I was going to wear for yet another Tuesday, my mom ran into my room holding a big package. She said the words I had been waiting to hear, for what felt like an eternity,         “It’s here, it’s here!!” I turned around to see my mom holding a big envelope, with the words, University of Massachusetts, Lowell. For those of you who don’t know, a big envelope means accepted and a small envelope means denial.

My stomach flip-flopped and I was overcome with excitement and nervousness. My heart began to pound as I crossed the small distance from my closet to where my mom was standing. I took the envelope from my mom, preparing my self for the exciting news that would impact my future immensely.

I couldn’t get the envelope open fast enough. I ripped it open, pulling its contents out, looking for the words               ” Congratulations!”,  saying that I had been accepted.

As I scanned the letter, looking for the words that would make or break my day I realized that this letter was not what I though it was. My stomach dropped as I realized that this was simply just another news letter, outlining the programs that the school has to offer.