Calissa Writes

I see, but do I perceive?

Nathan Kitrell: Without a pituitary gland but with ‘the gift of music’

Harmonium. Nathan Kitrell says the name with confidence. He stands, explaining the constitution of the new club. The suit he wears makes him stand out, being the only one so formal for a very informal meeting.

He’s smiling as he speaks with his hands, the passion for music radiating off his body. He talks about how the club would meet to hear compositions, and the discussion erupts to what counts as a composition and what are just “GarageBand beats.”

Nathan in 2019

Nathan Kitrell is the founding president of the composition club Harmonium. His involvement with music doesn’t stop there. Nathan plays the saxophone and currently sings in the Morningside College Choir.

Whether he’s singing or playing, the music seems to pulse through him. It’s in his face in the expressions he makes and in his body in the way he sways to the beat. You would only have to watch him for a few second to know he is no stranger to performing.

You would only have to watch him for a few second to know he is no stranger to performing.

However, if you had met Nathan only two years earlier, while his passion would be the same, he would look a little different.

Nathan’s solo his sophomore year

Two years ago, on a show choir stage with his peers, Nathan is dwarfed by them. The suit he wears doesn’t fit his small frame quite right. His face is rounder than the other young men around him and his voice, as he begins his solo, is sweeter.

Nathan’s love for music started when he was small and stuck with him while he was still small. But why did Nathan remain a lost boy as his peers grew up? He wasn’t just a late bloomer. Nathan Kitrell was born without a pituitary gland.

This ailment, called panhypopituitarism, is rare. His mother, Shelly Kitrell, expressed how it scared her when he was born.

Shelly explains how they found out

“He had a seizure that’s how we found out,” Shelly said, “and then, from there they didn’t know what caused it so he had an MRI, and they still didn’t know for about 5 days or so. And then, they finally figured it out when it was almost time for him to go back home.”

“I didn’t know how low his blood sugar could get before he would have another seizure or how to take care of him so I told the resident doctor. I handed Nathan to her and said ‘Here you go, he’s yours’ while I was crying and said ‘I can’t take care of him, I don’t know how to take care of him.”

The doctor sent them to a children’s hospital and got Nathan on a medication routine. “He’s been a little bit of challenge ever since with medical management,” Shelly continued, “but every time he gets sick and he has a temperature, he ends up in the ER.”

‘The gift of music’

Even with Nathan’s health scares, music still became a large part of his life. “Nathan, you could tell right away was a great singer,” said Jess Kitrell, Nathan’s dad, “Even at a young age he’d sand in the car with perfect pitch.”

“I always say because he was near death when he was born,” Shelly said, “that the angels kissed him and said ‘I’m giving you the gift of music.” 

Shelly explained more about what the pituitary gland does: “The pituitary gland is the master gland: it controls your thyroid, your growth hormone, your male-femaleness, testosterone level. The main thing is cortisol level for your brain to function.”

When Nathan would start testosterone was based on bone age. “They [the doctor] take an x-ray of their hand to see how far their bones are developed,” Shelly explained, “and when they get to be a certain age, when a normal child would go through puberty, and that’s when they start the testosterone.”

So, Nathan began testosterone the end of his sophomore year. The drastic change affected the voice he had grown to know as his. A voice that other people identified him with.

Nathan and a fear of expectations

“Y’know, toward the end of my high school year, you have all of these people who saw me with this high voice and expect me to still have this high voice, and yet you can’t deliver on that because your voice has started to change. And so that was a really rough part of my development.” Nathan said.

 “I feared anytime I had to try to sing that high. I was just scared that it was not going to come out.” He continued, “Same thing with my junior year solo. It was like ‘I should not be singing this high’ and most of the time I couldn’t. I still wanted to hold onto that fact because that was what made me notable in the past year.”

“I guess that was the biggest thing that led to that fear of change was the fact that it came at a time when my voice and everything should be continuing to develop. It was me trying and struggling to hold onto this voice that just wasn’t mine anymore,” Nathan finished.

Nathan’s positive growth and how it relates to teaching

After letting go of a part of his identity, Nathan is proud of how he’s grown. “Overcoming the fact that just because what everybody expects you to be isn’t what you are doesn’t mean you can’t find value in what you do have. I can still, more or less, look at my sophomore year and think ‘Yeah that was a really good year for me’ but I’m constantly growing and I’m constantly trying to make my voice into the best thing it can be. And even though it’s not the same as it was, I still appreciate what it is as an instrument.”

“I think the biggest thing is now, wanting to be a music teacher, I want to prevent the loneliness that I felt in that scenario from happening in my students.” Nathan continued, “If anybody has that problem with the delayed puberty or even just in general if their voice is just changing and they feel so out of control, just reminding them that the change is good and eventually you will come out stronger.”

Getting into teaching wasn’t just one moment for Nathan. “I’ve always cared about other people and other people’s growing and developing. That baseline of caring a lot about the person next to you is the foundation of everything.”

“But then you just have small little things sprinkled in,” Nathan continued, “my eighth-grade year you had Dr. Luebke who was like ‘Hey why don’t you conduct this one piece for concert choir’ and then you have ninth-grade when Mrs. Smith was like ‘Hey why don’t you come help me with this musical now that you’re graduated from middle school.’”

“What started solidifying everything was when I started helping out with Siouxland Youth Chorus my junior year.”

Dr. Shirley Luebke, director of the Siouxland Youth Chorus, provided more details on Nathan’s time there.

Shirley Luebke on Nathan

“He came to me, cause he sang in Siouxland Youth Chorus,” Shirley said, “even when he was a freshmen he would come in and help. He’s the kind of kid that wants to gain as much experience and opportunities. I mean, he just grabs.”

“So, he would come in and he would help run warmups [and] he would run sectionals. I actually gave him pieces to conduct on the concert and we would work like a teacher would with a conducting student and refine some of those skills.”

“He did an incredible job. He has great insight. He’s very serious about what he does.”

Nathan is still helping Siouxland Youth Chorus, even with his new, busy schedule. “He’s taking a huge role with the concert choir,” she continued, “We had our concert on Saturday and he directed almost half the concert.”

“The singers really enjoy having him there. They respect him, even though we talk about him being a student conductor. They are very open to him being there.” Shirly finished.

Nathan continues progress as a person, a musician, and a teacher. Music has always been a part of his life. He looks forward to what he can do in the future, seeing teaching as not only a way to help others develop, but a source of personal joy.

“Ultimately, when it came to my senior year, I was like ‘Well I’ve enjoyed this in the past’ so like there’s really nothing else that brings me as much joy.”

Explosion at Mega City Mall

Mega City is a city searching for answers after two people were killed in an explosion this morning.

At 9:50 a.m., an explosion occurred in the food court of the Mega City Mall. Police reported to the scene, followed by fire rescue teams from Mega City, Central City, Starling City, and Astro City. Early responders reported less than 100 injuries.

Mega City Police Chief Ross Fuglsang held a press conference in city hall after the explosion. According to Fuglsang, the police department had no prior warning before the incident occurred. Fuglsang said, “We are working closely with Mega City Mall management to make sure the investigation is thorough and timely.”

Mega City Mall released a statement saying, “Our sympathy goes out to all the families impacted by today’s events. We will work closely with authorities to find answers and insure that the MCM remains a safe place for our customers and associates.”

The police department is working on clearing the building to gather better information. The investigation is being treated as an accident until proven differently.

Several mall employees were outside after the explosion. A custodian, who requested to remain anonymous, said, “I was cleaning in the food court when I was suddenly struck by a chair, breaking my collar bone. I ran and didn’t look back.”

Another employee, an elf at Santa’s Workshop, said “I wasn’t near the food court, but I heard it. I just followed everyone as they ran out.”

Ross Fuglsang is holding another press conference at 2 p.m. to give any updates on the ongoing investigation.

Plantation Weddings: Why Pinterest and The Knot are taking a stand

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/pinterest-knot-stand-plantation-weddings/story?id=67499154&cid=clicksource_4380645_null_card_hed

Catherine Thorbecke writes about Pinterest and The Knot are no longer promoting the plantation weddings after the disrespectful nature of the weddings to their attention. The information was brought to their attention by Color of Change. Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, interim senior campaign director at Color of Change, explained how the promotion of planation weddings often glosses over reality. The marketing often describes the plantations as historical sites. Pinterest plans on denying ads from plantation sites, as well as changing search autocomplete and recommendations. The Knot is working to update its guidelines to prohibit the romanization of slavery history. Ogunnaike says the end goal is to keep the advertising from using history as a selling point if they are going to deny the involvement with slavery.  

I feel like the story could have been split up better. All of the pictures are located at the front end of the story and the end is just left with links as text. It would have been an easier way to keep attention throughout. The article is paced strangely. The title talks about the stand Pinterest and The Knot are taking but doesn’t get into it till several paragraphs in. There is more about Color of Change before which makes me think that should be in the title. However, when Thorbecke did get to how Pinterest and The Knot are acting, it was super interesting. It would have been more engaging if that was earlier in the story. Ending the story with Ogunnaike was another weird move that put more focus on Color of Change and not the companies in the title.

News Release

Midland Zoo is mourning the tragic loss of our oldest polar bear, Homer.

16-year-old Homer was found at 7 a.m., an hour after his feeding. Zookeeper Sara N. Getty recalled: “Homer was a very curious and playful polar bear and we will miss him terribly.”

Dr. Shanda Lear, senior staff veterinarian, said “The zoo will perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death.”

Chris P. Bacon, the zoo’s director, stated, “Animal welfare and the preservation of species are out primary goals here at the zoo.” Polar bears have thrived at the zoo since 1985. The bears are ambassadors to their wild relatives, educating zoo visitors about these threatened animals.

Profile Draft

Harmonium. Nathan says the name with such confidence. He stands, explaining the constitution of the new club. The suit he wears makes him stand out, being the only one so formal for a very informal meeting.

But, he’s smiling as he speaks with his hands, the passion for music radiating off his body. He talks about how the club would meet to hear compositions, and the discussion erupts to what counts as a composition and what are just “GarageBand beats.”

Nathan Kitrell is the founding president of the composition club Harmonium. His involvement with music doesn’t stop there. Nathan plays the saxophone and currently sings in the Morningside College Choir.

Whether he’s singing or playing, the music seems to pulse through him. It’s in his face in the expressions he makes and in his body in the way he sways to the beat. You would only have to watch him for a few second to know he is no stranger to performing.

However, if you had met Nathan only two years earlier, while his passion would be the same, he would look a little different.

On a show choir stage with his peers, Nathan is dwarfed by them. The suit he wears doesn’t fit his small frame quite right. His face is rounder than the other young men around him and his voice, as he begins his solo, is sweeter.

Nathan’s love for music started when he was small and stuck with him while he was still small. But why did Nathan remain a lost boy as his peers grew up? He wasn’t just a late bloomer. Nathan Kitrell was born without a pituitary gland.

Without the pituitary gland providing Nathan’s body with hormones, he was gifted with a very unique voice as he grew up. A voice that was surrounded and nurtured by his family around him.

He explained how he came from such a musical family. From his mother working with their church choir, his father being an avid music listener, and the musical accomplishments of his siblings, he’s always had music.

“Because of the fact that my voice has been a bit more unique,” Nathan said, “music has become more and more a part of my life.”

But the voice Nathan had was a piece of his identity he learned to let go. The end of his sophomore year of high school, he was going to start testosterone. However, his unchanged voice was flying high on a solo in show choir. His parents were concerned about how a voice change may affect his performance.

So, they waited a bit longer. Nathan explained: “There was the fear of the fact that if we don’t time it right, it may be detrimental to my vocal health.”

With the little control that they had, Nathan and his family tried their best to time his voice change right. But, there really was no good time. No matter what time it hit him, the drastic change would affect the voice he had grown to know as his. A voice that other people identified him with.

He struggled with how he had been identified by others. With his new and changing voice, Nathan could no longer deliver on what people expected him to sound like.

He was pushed to the edge of his new vocal range his junior year. The solo he had didn’t come out all the time. It was at a height his changing voice couldn’t fly to anymore. Yet, he wanted to hold on because that height made him notable in years passed.

It was a source of fear for him. Fear of change. The voice he was known for changed. Instead of growing each year, reaching a peak when he finally graduated high school, he got reset in the middle of it all.

“It was me trying and struggling to hold onto this voice that just wasn’t mine anymore,” Nathan finished.

  • 2nd source ( Shelly Kitrell)
  • Stuff about what he proud of
  • Who inspired him
  • 3rd person (Shirley Luebke????)
  • How he got into teaching
  • What he wants to do as a teacher

(We takin a break it’s 10:27pm and im tired)

Anecdote

Harmonium. Nathan says the name with such confidence. He stands, explaining the constitution of the new club. The suit he wears makes him stand out, being the only one so formal for a very informal meeting.

But, he’s smiling as he speaks with his hands, the passion for music radiating off his body. He talks about how the club would meet to hear compositions, and the discussion erupts to what counts as a composition and what are just “GarageBand beats.”

Nathan Kitrell is the founding president of the composition club Harmonium. His involvement with music doesn’t stop there. Nathan plays the saxophone and currently sings in the Morningside College Choir.

Whether he’s singing or playing, the music seems to pulse through him. It’s in his face in the expressions he makes and in his body in the way he sways to the beat. You would only have to watch him for a few second to know he is no stranger to performing.

However, if you had met Nathan only two years earlier, while his passion would be the same, he would look a little different.

On a show choir stage with his peers, Nathan is dwarfed by them. The suit he wears doesn’t fit his small frame quite right. His face is rounder than the other young men around him and his voice, as he begins his solo, is sweeter.

Nathan’s love for music started when he was small and stuck with him while he was still small. But why did Nathan remain a lost boy as his peers grew? He wasn’t just a late bloomer. Nathan Kitrell was born without a pituitary gland.

The ‘epidemic’ of violence against trans women of color

https://abcnews.go.com/US/trans-women-color-facing-epidemic-violence-day-fight/story?id=66015811&cid=clicksource_4380645_null_card_related

Ignacio Torres, Jessica Hopper, and Juju Chang write about the growing epidemic against trans women for Transgender Day of Remembrance. The story focuses on trans women of color. The article opens with the story of Muhlaysia Booker, a trans woman of color from Dallas. Her visibility lead to her being attacked in April. Only weeks after speaking out about violence that faces the transgender community, Booker was shot to death. She became the 22nd transgender individual to be killed in 2019. In October, the American Medical Association called the murder of transgender people an “epidemic.” While transgender stories are more visible, the article dives into different individuals and groups supporting the community.

The story is very well organized. The transition to the next section is either a related link or a picture, but it doesn’t interrupt the main idea. The short paragraphs allow for good flow and allow some sentences to stand out. The sentence “But Booker never saw justice.” is isolated. The ebb and flow allow the more emotional parts of these women’s struggles feel closer. They are written like people. The article is a follow-up profile. It puts names and faces into the inhumane killings of these transgender women. The story also presents how they won’t give up, another short sentence being isolated. The small bit of hope in “’But I cannot stop living,’ she added.” is a breather in the story.

Amanda / Description

Amanda and a few others loiter in the Eppley lobby. She and I talk as if we still see each other everyday. Her curly hair is tied back in a braid, the blonde only a few shades darker than her pale skin. Amanda stands a little taller than me, but at my 4′ 11″ that isn’t much of a feat. She’s wearing straight-leg jeans and a black pullover. She’s small but stocky, an obvious strength in her posture. Her voice is low. It sits in her mouth for a moment before she speaks.

She’s a senior in high school, and her lamentations about her terminal senioritis are all you would need to hear to know that. Her face is round, but expressive. She smiles as she praises the artists from the evening, Presidio, a brass group. Amanda, who plays the trumpet, practically fawns over the trumpet playing that night.

Flooding in Venice

https://abcnews.go.com/International/venice-flooded-highest-tide-50-years/story?id=66968754&cid=clicksource_4380645_null_card_image

 Phoebe Natanson describes the historic flooding happening in Venice. The city is experiencing record high flooding of 187 centimeters, which is about 6 feet of water. Natanson sprinkles the article with picture of flooding, from a tourist pushing her suitcase through water to the flood in Gritti Palace. The water receded about 43 centimeters this morning, leaving the Venetians in about 144 centimeters of flooding. Sea-water damage to buildings and works of art wrecks preservation. Mayor Luigi Brugnaro believes climate change is the source of the flooding. He asked the government to declare “a state of emergency. While flooding is not new to the city, a project to use floating gates to prevent flooding has been delayed since 2003.

This article thrives on imagery. The pictures that break up the story all have different feelings. Natanson has imagery in her writing as well. She does a good job molding a frame of devastation, not just of the people but of the pieces of the city itself. The pictures do another job of splitting the story from the current flooding to some of the history. It is one of the first stories I’ve read that uses pictures well. Natanson also does a good job in ordering the article. She begins with the flooding, does some history in the middle, and ends with what is happening now.

Article 3: Never Again News

Hello and welcome to Never Again News. I’m your host C3 and here are today’s top stories.

As November swiftly passes, many students may be counting the days to Thanksgiving break. However, Thanksgiving marks not only the closing of the first semester, but also the end of the “red zone”: when risk of sexual assault on a college campus is the highest. 

According to USAtoday, half of college sexual assaults occur between the beginning of the school year and November.

College women from ages 18 to 24 are three times more like to experience sexual violence.

So, as November begins, do the women on Morningside’s campus feel safe?

Jolene Horn said: “I feel safe walking around campus, but I know I have teammates and friends who are not safe because of suspicious vehicles or just the conditions of the sidewalks and stuff like that.”

Marissa Herll, added: “No, I don’t feel safe on campus at all. It’s dim lit and there’s been lots of break-ins and creepy things happening around campus.”

If you witness something suspicious or don’t feel safe, call Campus Security at 712-274-5234.

Our second story today highlights how a little goes a long way when it comes to respecting another person’s identity.

Using someone’s correct pronouns is a simple way to show respect. Yet, when it comes to the acceptance of singular “they”, people tend to express doubt.

Often, gripes about the use of they/them pronouns are rooted in grammar. However, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, one definition of “they” is, “Used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.”

Here on Morningside’s campus, you can visit the student group, Gender Undone. The group discusses gender identity along with other topics.  

Dr. Valerie Hennings, faculty advisor for the group, says when referring to another person: “What’s important is trying to be respectful of using the pronouns an individual requests, simply because it’s who they are. The name and the pronouns that we use, that’s something that we should be able to determine.”

So, if you find yourself questioning someone’s identity, ask yourself: Are your feelings of being “correct” more important than respect?

Finally, with the winter season approaching fast, so is the festive concert Christmas at Morningside.

With a pinnacle concert looming closer, it begs the questions: how does music impact Morningside’s students?

Kelsey Toomey, a sophomore, describes music as: “It allows me to make a lot of new friends and it provides a space in time away from my classes, where I have to actually think about what I’m doing, where music I can just…be and it’s nice to just be sometimes.”

Josie Meads, another sophomore, provides a different angle: “I think some days it’s enjoyable, and other days it makes me stress out because I have to memorize a lot of stuff and I don’t have time for it.”

Music can reduce stress while also adding to it. It’s an individual experience. So, whether you’re participating in music or just popping headphones in, music is resounding part of student life at Morningside College.  

I’m C3 and this is Never Again. Tune in after the break to hear a breathtaking story about crabs running mazes. But, for now I leave you, with the weather.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2019/08/26/rape-college-back-to-school-sexual-assault-safety/1930485001/

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/aug/05/he-she-or-gender-neutral-pronouns-reduce-biases-study

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