College Culture Roommates – Draft

I say roommates are a part of college culture because this is the first time students will have a roommate in their life. A roommate is someone you share the same living space with. The space that you once called your own, where you went to be by yourself, the space that you found to be your most comfortable, is no longer just your space. Not only is it a new place that you haven’t called your own yet, but you have to now share this space with a complete stranger.

This is what happened to Brayton and Kaylin. They came to Morningside knowing that they were going to be roommates with each other, but had no idea what the other person was going to be like besides what’s on their Facebook.

“My first impression of Kaylin was that she watches a lot of TV.” Brayton laughs. “I knew she was a cheerleader, but that’s it.”

“When she first entered the room, she greeted me and immediately I thought, she’s friendly and is going to be really more outgoing than me.” Kaylin chuckles with a thoughtful expression. “And then the first thing we talked about with each other is how messy we are.”

Luckily, though, everything worked out because three years later Brayton and Kaylin are still roommates. Kaylin says what made it work best for them was that they weren’t spending every minute of the day together. The two had their own friend group that they hung out with during the day but at night, in the room they shared, they could be friends.

Some people though aren’t as lucky. Kari came to Morningside and picked out a roommate she went to high school with and things didn’t really go according to plan. They weren’t best friends, but they knew each other and got along. Yet, before the end of their first year living together, some things happened, and by the end of the year, they didn’t even talk.

The next year, Kari moved in with a friend she made in college and that didn’t go as planned either. Whether it was the different personalities or maybe Kari can’t have roommates, we don’t know. Things just don’t always go as according to plan.

As for my experience with roommates, I moved into a house with a bunch of strangers. The logic living there was I don’t have to talk to these people, I can just do my own thing and I sleep there. These people aren’t my friends, just housemates and I was fine with that.

Looking back at that time in my life, I call them my shitty roommates. I lived there with my boyfriend in the attic, on the main floor lived a drug dealer and a lesbian couple, and in the basement lived a college dropout and another Morningside student.

Living there was a nightmare. The kitchen was always a mess, strangers were always in the house, doors were always unlocked, no one ever helped with the housework, and whatever else could go wrong basically went wrong. There was a leak in the roof over the kitchen, there were two untrained dogs, the dishwasher was broken, the water heater broke, the fridge was falling apart, and the house just wasn’t built sensibly. The house wouldn’t be a problem if the person who had the landlord’s contact information wasn’t a piece of shit and care about only himself. Needless to say, I moved out before the end of the year.

Senior year, I now live with my friends and things are going very well, as they always do at the beginning of the year. What I hope will be different from my previous roommate experience is that I live with my friends. I hope we will be able to communicate with each other and not get into arguments that’ll ruin our friendship forever.

After college, I’m not sure if I’m still going to rely on roommates. If I do, what I’ve learned about roommates, thanks to college culture. Is that live with people you like but also give each other space. Don’t be afraid to talk about house things because it’s better to be handled sooner rather than later.

College Culture Article – Sketch

 

Freshman year

I lived at home

Nothing changed

(Kaylin and brayton, roommates since freshman year, started out random roommates and became friends)

 

Sophomore year

Shit happened

I lived rent-free on a couch with really good friends

2nd semester I moved on campus with an unknown roommate

same hall as my friends

I learned a lot about myself this year; especially how to love myself.

(I keep my friends separate)

 

Junior year

I’ve been on my own

After the summer, I move doff campus and into a house with strangers

I call them my shitty college roommates

I moved out by 2nd semester back into my parent’s place

 

Senior year

I am now living in a 4 bedroom duplex with a mix of my friends

All has been well

lets see how this goes

 

Crashed on the floor when I moved in, this little bungalow with some strange new friends. Stayed up too late and I’m too thin. We promised each other it was til the end. –White houses

 

Happy and Angry Moment

This scavenger hunt is to write about what makes me happy or mad. Here’s one better, one that makes me feel both.

I find it funny and odd that this assignment has come up because a year ago, 10/25. I adopted my baby kitten, Noble Neeson Madison-Nguyen. It’s funny because this little booger makes me so mad some nights, but he always makes me happy.

It’s mainly at night when he really pisses me off because he’s a cat. He doesn’t have to be anywhere. He doesn’t have a job, school, work, or dates. He’s a cat with the only care on when his food bowl will be filled. Other than that he sleeps all during the day, plays with his brother, and gives a whole lot of love.

At night, after he’s slept the entire day, every human wants to go to bed because we’ve all been running around at school or work, doing different things and not sleeping. So, after a day of everything, I’d like to come home and sleep.

Noble normally comes into the room with me and curls up on the end of the bed and sleeps there until morning.

Some nights though . . .

There’s a whole lot of meowing or what I’d like to call whining. He’ll want to go out. So, I let him out and close the door behind him. Next thing I know, he’s meowing outside of my door:

“MOM! MOM! LET ME BACK IN! MOM! MOM!”

So, I get back up from the bed and let him back in. When the door opens, he shuts up, rubs up against my legs, and jumps onto the end of the bed. I close the door yet again and take a seat on the bed and immediately he jumps off and starts meowing at the door:

“MOM! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OUTSIDE! MOM! WE’RE STUCK IN HERE FOREVER! MOM!”

At this point, I couldn’t really kill him, but I’m thinking about it because I just want to sleep. Again, I let him out and happily, he walks out the room without a look back, and I close the door behind him. The cycle then repeats itself and that’s when I consider killing him.

It repeats itself because I’d rather answer the door to him meowing then at him clawing the door. “Declaw him.” Some people have said to me and as a personal choice, I will NEVER declaw my cat EVER again. The first time was my family cat and after watching her careful steps every time she placed down her paw, only to pick it back up to lick better, and how she still pretends to claw her scratching post. I promised myself I would never do that to another animal.

Eventually Noble shuts up or I fall asleep. Then it’s morning and every morning right when I walk out that door, I am greeted by Noble with a rub against my leg and he follows me for a little bit before I begin my morning routine.

I say good-bye to them as I leave the apartment and immediately, I see Noble jump up the window and I wave good-bye as I walk away. It makes me smile and it breaks my heart because cats love so much, they just like their space. I think that’s why I like them so much over dogs because cats get me. If I have no commitments or responsibilities, I would stay in my jammies and lounge around all day and be perfectly content.

Then when I get home, I’ll take a seat on the couch and Noble, always playing with his mouse toy, will carry his toy, and take a seat on the couch next to me and continue to play. Once he’s done, he’ll stay snuggled close to my leg and take a nap. I’ll coo and enjoy the adorable moment.

Yet, at this point, I’ll consider pushing him off the couch just to keep him awake. So, then he’ll want to sleep at night like his mom.

NonFiction Text Final – Still Life

“Milgrom’s engrossing study of taxidermy is both a general history … and an introduction to figures in its contemporary subculture.”

This is what The New Yorker says about Melissa Milgrom’s book Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy. In this book, Melissa follows her friend, retired taxidermist David Schwendeman. Mr. Schwendeman isn’t your normal everyday taxidermist, he was the last chief taxidermist ever employed by the American Museum of Natural History. Everything Melissa learns in this book about how to taxidermy, she learns from him.

This novel is a chronicle of Melissa’s adventures among taxidermists from learning the basics of taxidermy, mingling with the best taxidermists in the world for art, even talk about taxidermy for scientific purposes, and even attempting to taxidermize her own squirrel. How the author wrote this book was take us on this adventure with her and as she did that, she dipped into the history of why this information on taxidermy is important and then brings us back to the past. The number one thing I learned from this book is taxidermy isn’t about ‘stuffing’ an animal, as I’ve always thought, but rather it is an art form.

Overall, the book is rated a high 3 out of 5 stars with very positives reviews from The New Yorker, USA Today, The New York Times, and much more. A review that stood out to me was from A.J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All and The Guinea Pig Diaries, “Who knew a book about dead animals could be so lively? This is a wonderful look at a quirky, passionate, sometimes fanatical subculture.” Which I think has to be a positive review about a book on taxidermy.

There isn’t much to say about the author, Melissa Milgrom, besides the basics. She is the author of Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy. She holds a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, is a visiting professor at the Pratt Institute, and lives in New York City. On her LinkedIn page, she calls herself a journalist with wide-ranging experience as a public speaker.

Melissa Milgrom has written for The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, Marvels & Wonders, Travel and Leisure, and Metropolis, among other publications. Since the publication of her book in 2010, she has spoken about taxidermy at Yale, Harvard, The American Museum of Natural History, The Museum of Arts and Design, the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and at literary events, conferences, and book festivals.

Melissa’s first book was selected as an Amazon Best Book of the Month and received praise from The New Yorker, The New York Times, People, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, and Publisher’s Weekly, among others. Her style of writing is taking an interdisciplinary approach to culture, which has led her to write in-depth profiles of artists, artisans, inventors, and others whose work and passions speak to society at large. Milgrom’s style of writing is investigative where she researches a topic to have a better understanding of it and then dives into the art to try it out. She likes writing about popular culture, subcultures, and people with eccentric areas of expertise going to places that are possibly misunderstood.

I wish I knew why she wanted to write this book, but I looked at her LinkedIn page, her website, and even her Facebook page. She doesn’t have anything written down as to why she wanted to write this book or what she hopes to accomplish. I’m sure there is an interview somewhere about this, but that is research for another day.

My idea is that she wanted to write this book to give people a different perspective on taxidermy without putting her own opinion into this piece. She never said ‘I dislike…’ or ‘I like…’ or ‘I think…’, she just gave the facts and wrote what she saw. I definitely have a different view on taxidermy after reading this book. What I thought was just a weird, kinda morbid, pastime/hobby. I now see it as an art form and another way of expression, taxidermist try to capture life. Such as an artist tries to capture still-life.

I’m not the only person who thinks this way, Lisa V (satyridae), reviews: “Oh, this was fun! Yep, a book about taxidermy was fun. Milgrom delves into the history of taxidermy, and takes us on a fascinating natural history adventure in the process. She also, at the end, mounts her own squirrel. There are journeys into reconstruction of extinct animals as well as forays into fine art. It’s a delightful book, if you like that sort of thing. The writing is workmanlike, the storyline linear and clear. Nicely done.” So, whatever Milgrom was trying to get across, didn’t just change my view but another’s, and probably much more as well. She doesn’t even have to write this to change the mind of others but rather for her to learn more about the taxidermy industry.

Nonetheless, taxidermy is weird, but I do have a better understanding of why people do it now because I’ve read this book. You can be freaked out by something but still have an understanding of it. I find now, I am much more educated on the topic and can have an opinion about the topic and justify my opinion because this book talks about the different aspects and uses for taxidermy because it’s just not for decoration but also science. Overall, I would recommend this reading to a friend or anyone who asks about it. It’s an interesting read if you’re in the mood to learn about something and have a deeper understand for taxidermy.

NonFiction Text Paper – Outline

View post on imgur.com

Really though. Because in 3 to 4 short pages someone’s gonna learn something that I just learned myself. It’s also my 5:42AM-Tropical-Redbull-induced-self-hatred-of-pure-death-writing-nightmare. BITCHES! LET’S GOOOO!

 

Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy:

1 summary of the plot; brief situation “what is the book about?”

  • Start with a book review; The New Yorker
    • Milgrom’s engrossing study of taxidermy is both a general history … and an introduction to figures in its contemporary subculture. -The New Yorker

That is what The New Yorker says about Melissa Milgrom’s book Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy.

  • Talk about the book and who she followed; the person the book was based on
    • David Schwendeman a retired taxidermist
  • What she did; Mention quote from Lisa V, who wrote a book review on the Library thing
    • Oh, this was fun! Yep, a book about taxidermy was fun. Milgrom delves into the history of taxidermy, and takes us on a fascinating natural history adventure in the process. She also, at the end, mounts her own squirrel. There are journeys into reconstruction of extinct animals as well as forays into fine art. It’s a delightful book, if you like that sort of thing. The writing is workmanlike, the storyline linear and clear. Nicely done. –Lisa V. (satyridae)
  • What she talked about and how she did it; talked about the present and dipped into the history but then brought us back to the present
  • Conclude with A.J. Jacobs quote
    • “Who knew a book about dead animals could be so lively? This is a wonderful look at a quirky, passionate, sometimes fanatical subculture. – A.J. Jacobs, Author of The Know-It-All and The Guinea Pig Diaries
  • Transition with who the author is

 

2 Who is the author briefly;

  • author of Still Life, a chronicle of her adventures among taxidermists
  • She holds a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She’s a visiting professor at the Pratt Institute and lives in New York City.

Expertiseà What have they done?

  • She has written for The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, Marvels & Wonders, Travel and Leisure, and Metropolis, among other publications.
  • Since the book, she has spoken about taxidermy and other topics at Yale, Harvard, The American Museum of Natural History, The Museum of Arts and Design, the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and at literary events, conferences, and book festivals

credibility of writing the book à background

  • I’m an author and journalist with wide-ranging experience as a public speaker.
  • My interdisciplinary approach to culture has led me to write in-depth profiles of artists, artisans, inventors, and others whose work and passions speak to society at large.

Where the story has also appeared

  • Melissa’s first book, it was selected as an Amazon Best Book of the Month and received praise from The New Yorker, The New York Times, People, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, and Publisher’s Weekly, among others.

Style – investigative and to find out what about and tries it out

  • Milgrom’s writing about popular culture, subcultures, and people with eccentric areas of expertise has appeared

 

3 Authors purpose to write this. Why did she write this book? What did she hope to accomplish?

  • Yknow I wish I knew why she wanted to write this book, but I looked at her linkedin, her website, and facebook. But she doesn’t have anything written down as to why she wanted to write this book or what she hopes to accomplish.
  • My idea is that she wanted to write this book to give people a different perspective on taxidermy without putting her own opinion into this piece. She never said ‘I dislike…’ or ‘I like…’ or ‘I think…’, she just gave the facts and wrote what she saw.

 

4 Explain how they did the book

  • What methods; reporting, interviewing, observation, research, and participation
    • all of the above:
      • Reporting=telling the reader
      • Interviewing=asking questions and learning stories
      • Observation=watching people at the hotel and explaining things
      • Research=goes into depth on why taxidermy is a thing
      • Participation=stuffing her own squirrel
    • What was the most important accomplishing what they wanted to do?
      • Taxidermy isn’t stuffing an animal, they aren’t making stuffed animals they are making art.
    • Consider author’s perspective: are they objective or depend on opinion or subjective observations?
      • Subjective observation; isn’t everything subjective.

 

5 Is the author emotionally involved with the story or is it just another news story?

  • Emotionally involved because she created connections with these people.

 

6 Your reactions

Taxidermy is weird; I still really don’t get it, but maybe that’s because I don’t hunt. But I do have a better understanding of why people do it now because I’ve read this book.

 

Want cohesive paragraphs? Don’t want bullet points? Want complete thoughts?

I want sleep and my body not to hate me. I’m a wreck and this is not as good as it could be, but something better is gonna happen!

Article 1 – Sibling Distance Rewrite – 10/10/16

The phone stops ringing and at the top of the screen, it says: “Tiffany Facetime unavailable” and with a sigh, I tap the cancel button. Within the next minute, the ringing is back and it’s my little sister Tiffany FaceTiming me back.

This year, Tiffany is a sophomore at the University of Omaha. I tap the answer button. She is wearing a towel and in the process of drying her hair. It’s 11pm. She likes to shower late, just like when all of our conversations happen. Late.

Yet, once the other answers it’s like we aren’t even apart. It immediately goes into a conversation about her day and others just to catch me up on her life. Some days there just isn’t time for us to talk. “It’s really hard being here,” Tiffany said. “Hard because sometimes I just want to talk to someone who understands everything about me, but I can’t because our schedules are different. When one person is free the other isn’t or sleeping or working . . . it’s just hard.” It’s the really bad days that get us to call each other.

Long-distance sibling relationships aren’t your typical relationships because casual relationships fade over time, while sibling ties are forever. When you stop seeing a friend and you meet back up sometimes the relationship is still there but other times, the connection is gone. You don’t really have that problem with siblings; it’s the family connection, blood ties. Whatever you’d like to call it, it’s like how that saying goes: “You can’t choose your family.” You don’t have to talk or interact often because no matter what family ties last.

Brayton Hagge, in her last year of college at Morningside, has a younger sister, Keely, who just started college at Doane. It was between Brayton’s classes when she got a call from her sister needing to talk to her as soon as possible. That’s what’s so good about a cell phone because it keeps you in constant contact with those you love.

Brayton agrees that sibling conversations are never chit-chat, it’s always: I had a really bad day can you listen to me? or Oh my god! This just happened! or This just happened to me! or even Hey, I just wanted to hear your voice.

Those are the only times Brayton hears from Keely, and I agree because those are the times that I hear from Tiffany. It’s the dramatic moments or the big moments in life that make long distance sibling relationships hard because you’re only in contact with those moments. Even when you do get to hear about what happened it’s a couple of days late.

Jordan Heim a resident assistant (RA) on Morningside’s campus is trained to handle problems such as homesickness. The summer before the year starts, he and the other RAs go to training, where they are given a calendar of the year of when the students are more likely to feel certain emotions such as depression, stress, and homesickness.

“You eventually get to know your residents,” Jordan says. “You all live together, so it’s easy to get an understanding of people and their day to day life.” This is Jordan’s second year as an RA. Being a returning RA, he notices more details in his residents, new and old, every year. After talking to other RAs, a big indicator for when something is wrong the resident will stop acting like themselves, they’ll start skipping classes, and do things that they don’t normally do. Also, friends of the resident will even tell their RA that their friend is acting up and these are all warning signs that something is wrong.

Not only are RA’s trained and advised about what emotions will hit at a certain time. RA’s are trained to see the warning signs of certain ailments. For homesickness, residents will begin to isolate themselves from others, keep friends distance, keep communication to a minimum, and overall not be themselves. RA’s are trained and taught to get to know their residents and to listen for certain keywords that students will say. At this point, RA’s would just check in on the resident, engage in some friendly conversation, and just see how things are going. Just being friendly and letting them you’re there for them is a helpful way to battle homesickness.

Telby Madison, a part-time Iowan from Minnesota, thinks a little differently. His home in Minnesota, where his brother lives, is six hours away from Telby’s Sioux City home. He says he talks to his younger brother, Tyber, once or twice a week via phone call, snapchat, or text message. “I think it’s relaxing,” Telby laughs at the distance between the two. “This means I don’t have to deal with Tyber and his nonsense.”

Distance with siblings is a part of growing up and it can’t be avoided. You go to the same elementary school but are in different classes, you make your own friends, you choose your own fields of studies, and you choose different schools. Yet every step of the way, your sibling is there.

There are ways to adjust to the distance such as setting aside time during the day to make plans to talk. Texting is also an option but it can be harder because other things can distract you while you’re texting, while a phone conversation is in the moment with the person.

Jordan, while communicating with a student who may be showing some symptoms for homesickness, will use a technique residence life taught the RAs in training called: verbal judo.

Verbal judo is a communication technique used to communicate with residents and is mainly used one on one to see how the student is doing. There is a difference between small talk and asking how a resident is doing, verbal judo is used when an RA is worried that the resident is isolating himself or herself. When using this technique, the RA uses careful words when communicating when talking to the resident and embracing the silence for reflection on both parties. The silence that would be considered ‘awkward’ is encouraged here because it opens a channel of communication that allows the resident to think about their feelings before sharing with their RA.

The distance of being in another state is the silence for siblings with such different schedules. “This time, when we’re away, it’s permanent because you never know when you’re going to see the person again,” Tiffany says. I agree, you never know the next time you’ll see or even talk to the person. You can make plans, but sometimes plans fall through.

Keely and Brayton for example, Brayton was studying abroad in Northern Ireland last year and because of that, she had to miss her sister’s high school graduation. It wasn’t an intentional to miss her graduation, it just happened that way. Keely was mad, but because they’re siblings they got over it together.

Yet, with the distance and silence being a problem it also brings people together.

“Now that Keely is in college it’s easier for us to better relate to each other because we are dealing with the same challenges,” Brayton says.

Telby says, “Being apart has made our relationship better and I appreciate him [Tyber] more when I do spend with him.”

My FaceTime conversation with Tiffany has changed from crying about how hard the past week has been, to the happy things during the day, to the funny stories of the dog she dogsits, and to how we can’t wait to see each other again. The conversation takes a pause to collect our thoughts to see if either of us is forgetting something.

My sister breaks the silence first. “Hey, I’m getting sleepy. Thanks for talking to me,” she says.

“No problem. Good night.”

We blow each other kisses and then we hang up. Distance doesn’t get easier, but it’s all just a growing process. Some days are better than others, but family will always be there for each other. Being on our own is just learning how to be independent adults that and sometimes we need that distance from what makes us comfortable. And sometimes we just need someone to hear us.

Personal Narrative – Final

I snapped out of a trance and I found myself sitting next to the fire circle with people twirling flames inside and I had no memory of how I got there. Looking around, there were two guys next to me and I didn’t know who they were but in arm’s reach was my friend, Owen. At that point, I wasn’t completely alone, but I was scared because I had no clue how we had gotten there.

“So, how did you guys find each other?” someone asked.

“Oh! Ask her!” Owen waved the person off to me, “my sister is better at telling the story than I am.”

His group looked over at me. Somehow, in our drunken state, we managed to keep the story of us, Owen and me, being siblings rolling and everyone there believed us.

Alcohol abuse is an important topic for me to write about because alcohol is fun, but drinking excessively is not fun. Sure, you always hear the fun stories of how great it is to be drunk, but the horror stories of college binge drinking are real. I’m saying this out of an experience and according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) “One in every twelve adults abuse or depend on alcohol.” If you don’t consider yourself an adult, here’s another statistic, “each year one out of every five deaths among young people is caused by addiction.” That is why this topic matters.

That was me and thanks to this experience, I’ve turned into a better person. I only went to the music festival Revival because Owen asked me to. He described it to me as a major hippy fest. What could go wrong at a hippy festival? A lot of things and because of those things it changed my drinking habits, for the better.

Revival means rebirth. Did I go to this music festival intending to come back a changed person? No, but I did and the lessons I learned from there came with a prince, but because of them, I am better.

Owen is my friend and fake sibling. He was also a resident assistant (RA) on campus for the last two years. When RA’s are trained, they are not trained in alcohol or drug abuse; they are informed to advise the student to talk to Bobbi Meister Morningside’s on-campus counselor or Carol Morningside’s registered nurse.

Have you heard that if you admit that you’re an alcoholic it means you really aren’t one? It’s because alcoholics don’t admit that they have a problem. Yet you know when you start getting out of hand. It’s just your choice whether to believe yourself or not.

Louise Delage, @louise.delage, is a 25-year-old Parisian Instagram star. According to Self.com, “her photos are the definition of Insta-envy. Her clothes are always simply chic, and her hair effortlessly styled. Her extravagant, party life translated to Instagram gold.” Louise joined Instagram 2 months ago in August and has more than 47,000 followers. Yet there is more than what meets the eye.

Going to Revival, It was mid-afternoon when Owen and I arrived at the campground. Driving in we saw people dressed as fairies with big torn up wings, others dressed like gypsies with the coin skirts, some dressed in furs like foxes, and some with just jeans with body paint. Revival is one weekend a year and I wondered: Where do these people live? What do these people do for a day job? How do these people live outside of Revival?

Revival happened over the summer going into my junior year of college and now that I’m older, I’ve learned that drinking underage is a hassle. I think it’s a hassle now because when you’re underage you have to find someone to buy you alcohol and if you aren’t with that person when they buy the alcohol you find a time when you’re both free to pick up the booze. If you do manage to get the booze, you aren’t even allowed to have it because you’re underage. So, you go through more work to hide it.

This is a music festival, what’s a music festival without booze? So, obviously, we needed booze. Owen and I needed someone buy for us, our guy brought it for us, I picked it up from our person, we hid the booze, and snuck it into Revival.

Eventually, our friends showed up and the real party had begun. The first night turned from a casual night of drinking to just get a feel of the place into a hard night of boozing. Owen wandered into a tent and stole someone’s goldfish crackers, we lost our friends, the lie about Owen and I being half-siblings who found each other in college began, and then I woke up puking.

This moment was nothing compared to other moments where I’ve drunk way more than last night. I’ve woken up feeling worse and with more bruises than I could count. Last night was baby stuff. This was only bad because instead of being in the comfort of my own home, I had port-a-potties.

Next came an afternoon nap knowing that tonight was going to be a night of even heavier drinking. I used a bag of beer cans as a pillow. When I woke up, I laid there accepting that new way of living was now my life. That’s what camping festivals do to you. You get immersed into the world of where you are and you forget what the outside world is like. It felt like a part of me had died but another part of me was alive.

At this point, I needed to eat something else besides slightly warmed hot dogs. At an overpriced food stand, I got a quinoa bowl with avocado and veggies and paid extra for the chicken. It was a small bowl, but it wasn’t a hot dog. After I ate, I felt better knowing I had solid food in my stomach and that made me feel like I was ready to drink. I think I felt ready to drink because people always say it’s better to drink on a full stomach rather than an empty one. That way the alcohol soaks in the food rather than goes straight to the blood stream.

This was the night that changed my drinking habits. This was when I saw my drinking get out of hand and basically become a problem. The same could go for Louise, who poses in every Instagram picture with a drink or bottle of booze. There’s nothing wrong with a drink in a picture. Yet Aaron White, Ph. D., senior scientific advisor at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) says, “studies show that the life people portray on social media tends to reflect what’s happening in their real life.” Yet, those are assumptions. Alcohol and drug abuse are hard to tell in anyone. So, who’s to say anyone has a problem?

We thought we had everything planned after experiencing the night before. We put balloons that lit up on the outside of our tent. So, our drunken selves would see the glowing balloons and know we live there. Our friends brought some Revival wear like glow sticks and fairy wings. One started to wear a gypsy coin skirt.

When I think of Revival, I still hear the sound of that skirt. It gives me a headache and makes my whole body ache. Just recently, I went to a Renaissance Festival and those skirts were there. My mind went into a spiral downhill, I knew where I was but I wasn’t completely sure. I felt myself freeze and I felt like I needed to run away. When I hear that sound I can’t focus and I lose myself but not in a good way.

The night started off with a pill of Adderall each between Owen and me then a nap. When we woke up we were both surprised that the Adderall hadn’t kicked in. “It’s old,” Owen said.

“Let’s take another?” I suggested.

We shrugged, took another Adderall, and immediately started drinking in the tent. We took pulls from wine in a bag, chugged ber-ritas, and drank our livers dead. We just wanted to get as much drinking in as we can before we left the comfort of our tent. Before we left the tent we filled empty water bottles with booze to take with us to the stage ground.

There was dancing, cheering, lights, pictures, and that’s when things started to become fuzzy. That’s when I woke up from my trance next to the twirling flames.

Sunday morning, the last morning at Revival I didn’t puke but I felt heavy. It was raining outside and I was still wired from the Adderall. I tried to think about the night but couldn’t remember what happened to me or even what I did. That’s what I began to notice the pain; my left knee was bandaged up with gauze being held down by four band-aids, my ankles were scratched up, my ribcage felt bruised, and on my left breast looked like a cigarette burn. All I wanted to do was go home and Owen agreed.

Remember Louise? Well, she’s fake but her addiction is real and relates to many other people. I’m not an addict and if I was, I saw a lifestyle that I didn’t want. I guess, I can say I want to change my life and that’s how lifestyle’s change, but I’m just one example.

Louise was a part of a campaign created by Addict Aide to be used as an eye-opener to help people struggling with addiction. The Guardian says that this campaign goes as far to show people that you see people every day, but never even suspect them of being an addict.

Revival has taught me multiple lessons: know your limits otherwise, you’ll drink yourself sick and go from handling 5-7 drinks like a champ, into only handling 3 drinks and just want to go to bed. Don’t mix drugs and alcohol, I didn’t think anything bad would happen but I woke up with no memories of the night before. You can drink and have fun but drinking in moderation is the best way to go about things.

I mention Louise throughout the piece because she was a fake account created as a reminder that alcohol abuse is dangerous and isn’t always easy to identify. If you know someone is having trouble, help can be found here: https://www.ncadd.org/family-friends/there-is-help/helping-a-family-member-or-friend Change your life for better, but don’t do it by doing the worse.

 

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/06/shell-drink-to-that-fake-instagram-louise-delage-profile-highlights-alcoholism

http://www.self.com/story/this-fake-instagram-account-teaches-a-surprising-lesson-about-addiction

My Revival Experience – Draft

This is important for me to write because alcohol is fun, but drinking excessively is a problem that most college students face. You always hear the fun stories of how great it is to be drunk but the horror stories of where bad things happen is real and should be known and that is why this matters.

I’m not an interesting person, but ever experience is interesting and different. That is why I think I need to write about this.

Begin:

I woke up, but didn’t really wake up, more like snapped out of a trance and I was sitting next to a fire circle with people twirling flames and with no memory or recollection of how I got there. Looking around, there were two guys next to me and I had no clue who they were but in arm’s reach was my friend, Owen. So, at this point I wasn’t completely alone, but I had no clue how we had gotten here.

“So, how did you guys find each other?” someone asked.

“Oh! Ask her!” Owen waved the person off to me, “my sister is better at telling the story way better than I am.”

His group looked over at me. Somehow, in my drunk state, I…we managed to keep the story of us, Owen and I, being siblings rolling and we had everyone here believing us.

With music festival season coming to an end, a whole new season of music and festivities are coming up. Music festivals are fun and full of life. There is just something energizing about being in a space full of your favorite music with other people who also share your love for this music. Maybe you aren’t even a fan of the music, but rather the atmosphere of a festival. This was me. I wasn’t into the whole, indie-mello vibe. I’m more punk rock princess that likes to mosh. My friend, Owen, was going to this festival, Revival, and asked me to go with and after he described it to me, I wanted to just be apart of this music festival and just surround myself with peace, love, and joy. This was a hippie fest. This is my recollection of the music festival Revival and how it changed my drinking habits, for better.

Now, backing up where do I begin with this.

 

Owen is my friend from college and probably my only Asian friend. We became friends by accident, I was hanging out in my friend’s dorm unraveling her yarn ball and Owen, who at the time was an RA on campus, was making rounds, stopped and helped me unravel the ball of yarn. From there our friendship blossomed and we only got closer. I went to him with my boy troubles and he always asked me to hang out and to go get food with him, because I’m always down to eat. We eventually saw each other as siblings and that’s our relationship. Siblings.

 

It was mid afternoon on a Friday when Owen and I had arrived to the revival campground. Driving in there were people dressed as fairies with big torn up wings, others dressed like gypsies with the coin skirts, some dressed in fur like foxes, or just jeans with body paint, but for a fact no one was wearing shoes. I wonder what these people do for day jobs; this is one weekend a year. Where do these people live?

 

Now that I’m older, drinking underage is a hassle because you have to find someone to buy you alcohol and find a time to pick it up if you aren’t with him or her or your schedule just doesn’t match up. Or if you do manage to get the booze you aren’t even allowed to have it so you do more work to hide it. Yet this is a music festival, we needed alcohol for the music festival because music festivals have booze. So, obviously we needed booze.

 

At this time, Owen and I were underage, and we had glass bottles of Redds but Owen put the backpack on, because he was closer to 21 than I am, and we had to pass the security guard before getting into the campground.

“Anything in there that shouldn’t be there?”

Owen turned around to face the security guard, to get the backpack away from her. “No, of course not.”

We were so guilty but we managed to get into the campground. We decided to set up the tent and after that we went to the car to get the rest of our stuff. On our way out the security guard that let us in with somewhat of a problem, was replaced with a guy searching every nook and cranny of EVERY bag.

 

Luckily for us, our car neighbor was also bringing stuff in.

“Can you bring our alcohol in for us?” I asked.

A girl laughed, “Is this your first time?”

I nodded. “Don’t worry.” She said, “We’ve all been there.”

And she and a guy took our bags.

“There’s no glass in this right?”

“Oh, no.”

“Good because I don’t want to get caught with glass.”

 

Owen and I gave each other a look, what would happen if we were caught with glass bottles?

Thinking back on it now, I understand why no one wanted glass bottles because everyone was barefoot and if a bottle broke, disastrous. Luckily for us nothing broke and we kept the drinking in the tent. Rules are made for a reason, but they were also meant to be broken.

 

Walking up to the security guard, he searched all of their bags and gave them a weird look about a bag just full of cans of beer. “Got enough to drink here?”

“no.” the two laughed and after he checked all of their bags he let them through.

 

Our friends were still a couple of hours out, so we decided to explore everything. We got caught up at a fortune teller’s teepee. Which we learned was apart of the ‘Doctor’s’ stations and that was just a bunch of stations that helped find yourself and hone your inner chakra. There was a giving tree, where people just put things around the tree and to take something you had to leave something. Someone had a tent that you could draw on to get to know people. There was an electric neon tree next to someone’s tent, they were the definite suppliers of the good kush. Besides that there were 3 stages, left stage, right stage, and main stage where the performers will perform.

 

Last, was a fire circle, where the people who could spin fire, were allowed to spin fire here and only here. It was just a clearing in the camp ground with the trees cut high above, the circle was marked off by torches, and anyone inside had to be spinning fire. It was a definite hot spot of the festival.

 

During the day people are lounging around, shopping, or enjoying the company of others because here you’re family. Not just that families made the plan to come here because across from our tent were families and their children, running around and being one with nature. Strangers come here to be with other strangers who they will call family for the next few days.

 

Eventually our friends showed up and the real party was about to begin. The first night, the lie began about us being half-siblings who found each other in college. As a writer, I thought it was easy coming up with some long and elaborate true story for people to believe. It was a joke that brought people to tears and gave them hope. How could I tell them I was kidding?

 

The next morning; Saturday, I puked. I stumbled out of the tent and crawled against the ground, leaning over our fire pit, I puked up everything in my stomach. I leaned against a tree trunk and messed with my hair to help me breathe. People walked passed and I ignored them. I remembered what happened last night and didn’t think much of it. I’ve drank way more where I woke up with more bruises then I could count, feeling worse. This was pretty bad though because instead of being in the comfort of my own home, I had to deal with port-a-pottys. I used the bag of beer cans as a pillow and basically froze because we only had one sleeping bag.

 

We all woke up and the others had to do volunteer work because they got discounted tickets as long as they helped out. So, Owen and I experienced a little of Revival.

 

Then came an afternoon nap knowing that tonight was going to be a heavy night of drinking. I remember waking up, but just laying there accepting that this new way of living is my life. I knew there was an outside world to this wooded hippy place. I knew there was because I had my phone, how was it still alive? No freaking clue. But my phone, specifically snapchat, showed me that there is an outside world from this festival, but that’s what camping festivals do to you. You get immersed into the world of where you are and you forget what the outside world is like. It felt like a part of me had died but another part of me was alive.

 

We were on our last few hot dogs and after a heavy night of drinking and just casual drinking. I needed to eat normal food. There were food trucks/stands, but far from what I think is normal food. Everything was organic, homegrown, and super just healthy. I got a quinoa bowl with avocado and veggies and having to pay extra for the chicken. It was a small bowl, but I felt better but hungrier, but I felt ready to drink.

 

This was the night that changed my drinking habits.

We thought we had everything planned after experiencing the night before. We put balloons that lit up on the outside of our tent. So, our drunk selves would see the glowing balloons and know we live there. Our friends brought some Revival wear like glow sticks and fairy wings. One brought and started wearing a gypsy coin skirt.

 

I still hear the sound of that skirt when I think of Revival and it gives me a headache and makes my body ache. Just recently, I went to a Renaissance Festival and those skirts were there and my mind went into a spiral downhill, I knew where I was but I wasn’t completely sure. I felt myself freeze and I felt like I was going crazy. It’s an indescribable feeling, but I can’t focus and I lose myself and not in a good way.

 

The night started off with a pill of Adderall, then a nap, then waking up, and we were both surprised that the Adderall didn’t kick in. “It’s old.” Owen said.

“Let’s take another?”

We shrugged and took another Adderall pill and immediately started drinking. Using empty water bottles, we mixed the ber-ritas together with the Redds or the ber-ritas with ber-ritas making weird combinations. Taking pulls from wine in a bag, we went all out and chugged as much as we could and then we went to see the music.

 

There was dancing, cheering, lights, pictures, and things started to become fuzzy here. That’s when I woke up from my trance next to the fire circle.

 

In the moment, it wasn’t as scary as soon as I saw Owen. I don’t know what I would’ve done if Owen wasn’t around. He managed to get the guys that were following me away from me by playing the big brother card. Definitely reflecting on this is scarier because for a portion of the night, I don’t know what happened to me or what I did.

 

Sunday morning, the last morning at Revival. I didn’t puke but I felt heavy, it was raining outside and I was still wired from I’m assuming the Adderall. All I wanted to do was go home and Owen and our friend agreed. We decided to leave for civilization and go towards St. Paul, MN.

 

Revival means rebirth. I don’t know if this music festival really intended this new me to come out of it, but it did. I honestly don’t know if id ever be back here again, but I left with some unforgettable memories. Along with some multiple lessons learned.

When people say know your limit, know your limit. I let my drinking get out of hand and now alcohol isn’t the same. I used to be able to drink 5-7 drinks and still be ready to party. I can barely drink 3 without wanting to hate myself and just go to bed. That being said I can still drink but the ber-ritas. I cannot drink them anymore.

 

Don’t mix drugs and alcohol, especially drugs that aren’t yours. I honestly didn’t even think anything bad would happen, but it did I’m glad nothing too terrible happened to me. Waking up Sunday morning, there were band-aids holding down gauze on my left knee, I felt the bruises all along my ribcage, and on my left breast is a cigarette burn, which is now a scar that I use to watch my drinking. The redder it is means I should stop drinking, while the more blended it is to my skin, the more sober I am.

 

Drink in moderation and don’t be dumb. You hear that a lot I’m sure, but take it from someone who lived it and is grateful that nothing bad happened to me. Waking up somewhere with no memory of how you got there surrounded by strangers, is scary. Drugs are bad, especially other’s, nothing good ever really comes from them besides for their prescribed purpose. Change your life for better, but don’t do it by doing the worse.

End~

This is long and not all of it needs to be there. So, there will definitely be some cuts.

I’m thinking about adding some of my family aspects in the blank spaces of this experience. To almost remind people that drinking not only affects yourself but your family as well.

I have already set up my meeting with Karmen and plan to add her information over the weekend.

 

What are your thoughts?

What do you think is missing?

CD Review – Echoes by Young Guns

With already established rock bands like Three Days Grace, You Me At Six, Papa Roach, and other bands that may not fit in this genre like Twenty-One Pilots noted as alternative hip hop. Young Gun’s  new album Echoes, easily sets them apart from the rest of the rock genre. This has it all.

Young Guns is an alternative rock band from the UK. Since their beginning in 2004, Echoes is their 4th album released September 2016 following after their previous album Ones and Zeros.

Honestly, I liked this album so much from the first song that I immediately saved this album onto my Spotify.

When I first listen to an album, I listen to it from beginning to end without skipping songs. Then I go from there. I can always tell if I think a song is good because it’ll keep me interested the entire time versus a song that sounds just like another generic song (think something on the radio that has been played 4 times time in the same hour) where they just end blended up in the background.

“Bulletproof” is the opening to the album Echoes and immediately grabbed my attention. I’m a sucker for the sound of the guitar, it’s hearing the way the string vibrates pulls me into the song. The song kicks off with the sound of drums and guitars and immediately sets the mood on what kind of album this is going to be. Rock.

Another song that stood out to me is the 9th track “Mercury In Retrograde.” It’s the softer one on the album and really focuses on the singing; it’s like a Twenty-One Pilots sound. The song’s focus is the singing with the drums in the background, but all is heard above the electronic keyboard (listen to Car Radio by TOP for more understanding.) Then it goes into the rock, bringing back the guitar and then points the focus back onto the singer. Definitely a slow song, but kept the pace of the album.

“Bones” featured on their first album Bones released in 2012 is their most popular song on Spotify. Listening to that album and now Echoes Young Guns sound hasn’t really changed from when their first album was recorded.

What gives these guys a listen is that this album is a mix of sounds but still has a sound that people like and look forward to when it comes to rock music. If you’re a fan of Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, or Twenty-One Pilots definitely give them a listen. You won’t be disappointed. You’ll find a song on this album that will definitely suit your fancy.

Website

Twitter: @YoungGunsUK

Personal Experience – Personal Narrative

“Can I try some of that?” my 14-year-old sister asks me after I sit down with a glass of wine. I give her a look that she knows she’s in trouble and shouldn’t have asked that. Yet, she insists.

It reminds me of what our middle sister told me. Our dad used to be a self-diagnosed alcoholic, meaning he saw that he had a drinking problem and stopped on his own. Then, when I moved out of the house, I started drinking and he was scared for me. He never told me about his problem and I wonder if I had known would I have watched my drinking?

Now, my youngest sister is 14 and is curious about alcohol and I’m scared for her. Whenever I drink, she always asks if she can try some. I say no. Yet, even when I don’t drink around her, she’ll see my alcohol sitting on the cabinet and ask for a glass.

 

I didn’t even stop drinking on my own. It was one experience that changed my drinking habit. It’s been a year since my experience at Revival. Thanks to this experience though, I’m able to tell this story and tell first-hand what over drinking does to you.

 

I wanted to include something like this in the personal narrative because the only thing i have in my personal narrative right now is my drinking experience at Revival.