Michelle's Blog My life is almost as interesting as this theme.

January 31, 2013

Assignment for 1/31 Animal, Food, Weather

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 2:24 pm

Snuggles looks into the distance as he ponders household domination over the dog.


A bunch of apples being defeated by the deliciousness of the Ho ho.


LeAnn Kuester plays frisbee with her dog Cocoa on an uncharacteristically warm January day.

January 28, 2013

Assignment for 1/29

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 11:15 pm

Feature Photos

Bad: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/cats-compete-for-top-prize-slideshow/maine-coon-cat-examined-judge-during-athens-21st-photo-161737361.html

Good: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/life-chimps-in-space-slideshow/chimps-in-space-photo–2116969032.html

General News Photos

Bad: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/2013-sag-awards-slideshow/jennifer-garner-arrives-19th-annual-screen-actors-guild-photo-092910847.html

Good: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/2013-sag-awards-slideshow/ben-affleck-left-channing-tatum-seen-during-cocktail-photo-080234609.html

January 24, 2013

Assignment for 1-24, AKA It’s lucky I’m not in jail

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 3:00 am

1-2 1-21 1-22 1-23

January 21, 2013

Assignment for 1/22

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 10:16 pm


Under “Eat, Sleep, Fish, Click”

Bad Feature: #4, #9

Good Feature: #3, #19

Under “Pictures of the Day: Pakistan and Elsewhere”

Bad Spot News: #3, #5

Good Spot News: #1, #8

January 17, 2013

Photojournalism 1/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 4:58 am

Tess Kirkholm, Liz McQuistan, and Kelci Teut at a Sigma Tau Delta meeting100_1874 100_1873 100_1872 100_1871


December 5, 2012

Slice O’ Life REVISED

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 3:01 am


Black Friday (or Thursday night, as it is becoming) is the biggest shopping day of the year. A time for visiting family to get up early, or stay up late, fight the crowds, and bond for the sake of good prices. However, the people who have to work these ridiculous hours in the stressful and chaotic conditions of Black Friday often go un-thanked and even unnoticed.

Black Friday started because of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In the early 20th century, the holiday shopping did not begin until after the parade and continued this way for decades. Macy’s would follow up their parade with advertisement for their outrageously low holiday deals. Even though stores start the holiday shopping season much before the day after Thanksgiving, it is still tradition that the shopping season “officially” begins on Black Friday.

Also, according to BlackFriday.com, it is called “Black” Friday because, back when records were kept by hand, records written in red denoted a loss in sales and records written in black indicated a profit. Black Friday was the start of the records being consistently kept in black ink.

However, the unsung heroes of Black Friday often receive no recognition for having to leave their families’ Thanksgiving get-togethers to be to work at 8 pm or go to bed early so they can be rested for work at 4 or 5 am.

For the first time, several PetSmart stores opened their doors at midnight for the throngs of people who wanted half-price on dog beds and apparel, aquariums, and hamster treats.

The PetSmart in Sioux City, Iowa was optimistic about its sales potential prior to Black Friday.

“I talked them into letting me open at midnight,” said manager Matt Boos excitedly. “It’s going to be a great night to be in retail.”

The consensus among the lower-level workers for the store could not have been any different.

“I mean, I’d rather work midnight until morning and get it over with than have to get up early,” said pet care worker Cindy Robles, “but, honestly, this is the last place I want to be on Black Friday.”

Why would their views be so different? It’s easy. In the retail world on Black Friday, the winners are those who are higher up in the company making money off the work of the lower level associates or the local managers, striving to impress those higher-ups, who can hide in their offices and pile up sales numbers.

The losers, however, are those peons doing all the work, notably not making any more than normal day, even though the amount of work and stress is easily doubled from the average work day.

“The CEOS and their henchmen rake in the money from today,” said groomer Tanya Johnson, referencing Black Friday, “but I make the same as the average day. I do at least twice the work.”

One top of this, the associates must deal with disgruntled and impatient customers who are often in a hurry.

“I worked six in the morning until four in the evening,” said cashier Rachel Sanford. “I had a customer throw a ball at me. It’s beyond rudeness at this point. It’s just blatant disrespect. Maybe they don’t think I’m a human being.”

“I literally had a customer call me bitchy because I wouldn’t accept her coupon that was 2 months old. At what point do we get to stop being ‘PetSmart workers’ and stand up for ourselves?” said associate Leslie Andersen.

Black Friday may only come once a year; however, once is enough for these PetSmart associates.



December 3, 2012

Art review for the every (wo)man

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 4:58 am

The two pieces that I have chosen to review are the Earth Stones by Andrea Stanislav and the Tiananmen Square in the Hickman Johnson Furrow Learning Center.

The Earth Stones are six large pieces of rock with mirrors on top on the south side of campus. They are arranged like an arrow pointing into the heart of campus. They are possibly the biggest waste of space and money that Morningside College has come up with thus far, to my knowledge. I think that the rocks would have looked prettier in their natural place, as opposed to stuck randomly on to some college campus full of students who don’t appreciate art, including myself. This is not art as I define it. It is easy to appreciate the art and work in a painting or a photograph, or even earth’s natural beauty, but when earth’s natural beauty is forcefully moved and plucked on to a random college campus, there is nothing of value to this.

Earth Stones

Let’s not forgot the random pieces of metal stuck to the top of them. What does this reflect? The poor spending habits of Morningside College? It’s a convenient place for vain girls on their way from Eppley to the Science Center to check their hair and make-up. And thank god for that because that’s just what the world needs: more accommodations for people who think they are just the most attractive things on this planet. On a more serious note, it could represent some sort of reflection in the sky and infinity, but that is a bit of a stretch.

Now, let’s move on to the Tiananmen Square created by Elaine R. Williams in 1989 in the Hickman Johnson Furrow Learning Center. If you like large, broken squares of glass with what looks like vomit all over them, this is the piece for you. The vomit of this piece is actually some sort of copper that was melted onto the glass, which presumably broke the glass. This could be seen as violence of some sort. The copper may be like blood, and the broken glass could represent a struggle. The plaque vaguely notes “Requiem for a Chinese Student,” and it is up to the viewer to determine what that could possibly mean.

Tiananmen Square

This piece is located in the most social area of the learning center, also known as the Spoonholder Café. There are several tables and chairs sitting near this piece of fine artwork, proudly on display for everyone to see. Again, I don’t see how this could be considered art. I would call it a project, to put it nicely. In all honesty, if I saw something like this in a dumpster somewhere, I wouldn’t think twice about it. Something like this could be created by accident on construction sites across the globe. Does that make Jimmy the glass guy the next great artist? I would have to say no, and I don’t see how doing it on purpose makes any difference. It is all the same end result.

So, enough of this “art” stuff. Here’s a link to a video of stuff exploding because America.


Shutterbabe Review

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 4:20 am

It’s the late 1980’s, and a young American female photojournalist sent to the war in Afghanistan is bleeding profusely.

She can’t change her tampon.

This beginning to the Deborah Copaken Kogan’s Shutterbabe, a memoir of sorts following Kogan’s years as a war photojournalist, is highly representative of the rest of the novel to come.

This novel is about being a little girl in a tough man’s world. It follows Kogan through the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles down in Africa. There are some moments, particularly when Kogan’s commentary about the war situation becomes factual, that the novel redeems itself, but as a whole, the “woman playing by her own rules in a man’s role” mask the novel wears just doesn’t work.

The biggest reason for this is because Kogan never really decides if she wants to be viewed as a man-crazy woman off on an adventure or a serious photojournalist trying to make a name for herself.

When Kogan says things like “Men are like books, to be read or skimmed, studied or forgotten … they can’t all be Anna Karenina, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy them just the same,” she sounds like the fictitious sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City fame.

When she says things like “There’s a dead body in a shower room. And there are children tied to beds. And flapping hands… I have seen footage like this before… women and children standing gaunt behind barbed wire, branded with numbers and yellow stars,” describing a Romanian orphanage, she sounds like a hard-hitting photojournalist.

It’s not like Kogan doesn’t have the intelligence to back up her desire to be taken seriously. She was a Harvard grad and went on to her career in photojournalism from there. Some of the photos that she took ended up being published in famous publications such as Newsweek, Time Magazine, and The New York Times. It almost is like she is trying to undermine her success by being completely man-crazy and sex-driven. Perhaps she sees it as freeing and powerful to be sexually adventurous as a woman. It’s all in the eyes of reader.

Can she be both Carrie Bradshaw and a respected photojournalist? Absolutely. Does it work in this book? Not in my opinion. The chapters of the book are named after her “man of the moment,” and yet, she discusses brutal and hard-to-digest things within those chapters. It takes some seriousness away from what could have been a powerful novel. Instead, it leaves the reader unsure of what to think.

November 19, 2012

Profile- Attempt #3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 5:02 am

President Barack Obama has not always been the polished Commander-in-Chief that America has known for the past 4 years.  He started from a much humbler upbringing, but soon went on to greatness. A fact that could very well be at least partially attributed to his wife of 20 years.

Barack Hussein Obama was born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother is a white Kansas native while his father, from Africa, was on a scholarship to pursue an education at the University of Hawaii.

Obama enrolled in Punahoa Academy where he excelled in basketball and graduated with academic honors.

He graduated from Columbia University in 1983 with a degree in political science, and he moved to Chicago to work with low-income members of society.

In 1985, he attended Harvard Law School where he met Michelle Robinson, an associate at a law firm. The Obamas graciously welcomed me into the White House where they discussed their relationship.

“It was all uphill from [when I met Michelle],” Obama said with a smile, looking around the lavish Red Room of the White House.

Michelle laughed, “Our relationship was first a friendship. It took off from there.”

Barack scooted closer to his wife on their ornately designed red leather couch with yellow trim and exchanged smiles, obviously in love.

Even though Barack was advancing in the political field, Michelle felt like he never changed as a person.

“To me, he was still the guy who’d picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by through a hole in the passenger side door.”

Eventually, the two were married in October 1992.

Despite the fact that their marriage and love looks so easy to the public eye, it’s hard work to maintain.

“We have adjusted to maintaining a really solid relationship at a distance. We talk every day, every night. If we have a moment, no matter how tired we are, we go on a date,” remarked Michelle.

Barack nodded next to her, “It’s vital.”

The Obamas had their first daughter Malia in 1998, followed by Sasha in 2001, which added love but also more work to their already stressful lives.

“Those early years [of child raising] are a whole lot of work. But the truth is that everybody struggles with it — we just don’t talk about it out loud. And then also I had to change. Because there were a lot of things time-wise that he couldn’t provide, because he was not there,” said Michelle.

When he was at home, though, Barack was still a typical guy.

“It is important that when I’m home to make sure that I’m present and I still forget stuff. As Michelle likes to say, ‘You are a good man, but you are still a man.’ I leave my socks around,” he said with a smile aimed right at his wife. She rolled her eyes and playfully punched his arm.

The two adapted to the struggles of child raising along with a political career quite well. Through it all, they have maintained a closeness and a genuine respect for each other.

As I watched the night the Obamas took the stage when Barack won his first presidential term in 2008, his daughters looked out to the crowd with hesitant smiles. Amidst the flashing lights and waving flags, Malia gripped her mother’s hand tightly and Michelle looked down at her with a huge smile, reassuring her daughter by mouthing, “We won.”

President Barack Obama said it best that night in his first inauguration speech,  ”I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years … the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady … Michelle Obama.”

November 16, 2012

Personal Narrative- Happy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 2:01 am

I know I’m supposed to tell a story, a day that was happy. Frankly, I can’t do that because I can’t remember the last day I had that was happy. Every day that I’m in college is a bad day because there is always something to do. Even if you finish your homework for the next day, you can always do the next day’s, and so on. I always feel guilty and anxious whenever I am not doing homework or working because I know there is something that I COULD be doing. So, even on days when there is nothing pressing I have to do, they are still not happy because I can’t help but dwell on the work I will have to do later and could be doing at that moment. So, instead of a happy day, I will describe moments that make me happy.

You know, when you wake up 5 minutes before your alarm in the morning and you get to casually wake up instead of being jolted awake. My personal favorite is when I get to sleep in, and the weather outside is cold and snowy. I can stay in my warm blankets as late as I want followed by the ultimate joy: reading for pleasure.

Another little thing that gives me joy is old men with dogs. I know, this sounds weird, but I have heard so many stories of old men who have lost their wives so they adopted an old dog to care for in its last years, as they did for their wives.

Animals in general make me happy, actually. If you know me, you know that in general I dislike people. I would so much rather have a dog or a cat than a human friend. Dogs don’t guilt you if you don’t text them every day; cats aren’t always mad at you because you want to be alone instead of having “girl time.” They are just there, and they don’t judge you. Something that we all, especially me, could learn from.

What else makes me happy? Romantic gestures that aren’t spurred because I ask for them. Summer nights where there is no homework and I can just be the weird girl laying in my driveway with a book about stars trying to find constellations. Seeing that I am doing better than ex-boyfriends (I’m human, don’t judge me.)

I wish I could end this with some theme that pulls everything together or a “Most of all…” with a happy little cliche, but I can’t think of one. So, just a final thought, it makes me a little sad that this post was so much harder for me to write than the post about what makes me angry. I hate my job, I hate school (although I love learning), and even though those are the majority of the components of my life, I need to work on finding the little joys in life more often. People pay so much for therapy, and I just had all kinds of self-revelation for free. Free stuff makes me happy, too.

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