Sunday, August 7, 2011

Explanation of Temporary Hiatus

Hello, my wonderful readers.

After much debating with myself, I've decided to start an entirely new blog for my semester abroad. Because I'll have more than enough to blog about while I'm over there, I've decided to take a temporary hiatus on this blog.

You can follow my adventures in Europe at:

Thanks for reading!! :) I love you all for it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tornado, Tomato

Earlier this summer, a friend of mine had a post on Facebook (yes, I know all of my friends personally on Facebook) asking how she could help her daughter stop being afraid a tornado was going to hit their house.

The beginning of the summer heralded tornado season for those of us here in the Midwest, and they hit full-force with unusual frequency. An area really close (a couple neighborhoods over) to my friend's house was hit in one of the tornadoes and her daughter is now terrified that one will hit their house. Understandable.

Now, this may seem really weird (dare I even confess this particular story?), but when she asked for help, I reminisced on my terror of tornadoes when I was younger.

My fear, unlike my friend's daughter, originated from my mom. Now, let me give you some context before you go blame my poor mother:

My dad is a total adrenaline junkie. When tornadoes hit our area (as they so often do in the Midwest), he would go out and try to find them. While there are many things I could say about this, some of them involving his earlier exploits in life (like the time with the moose ... no, I will refrain and save that story for another time), but I think I'll simply limit it to this ... *ahem* My mom was terrified that her (bored) children were going to die if they went into a room with windows. (In a house covered with windows, our only shelter was a meager bit of hallway we crammed into, not very fun for a five year old more interested in toys than being safe.) She was also frantically trying to get a hold of my dad (this is a time before cell phones were more common than toilet paper), who was nowhere to be found - he was out chasing the tornadoes, leaving a young (terrified and fiercely protective) mother alone to protect her children from elements that were not under her control.

Okay, so now you know the context, back to the story.

After seeing how scared my mom was of this mysterious thing called a tornado, my five-year-old self was scared that this thing my strong, protective mother couldn't stop from hurting me, was going to burst into our house and hurt us all.

Except, that when my mom said 'tornado,' I heard 'tomato.'

True story.

So, I believed (for much longer than I dare confess to) that giant tomatoes seven feet tall, with arms, legs, and angry faces, went around smashing windows and houses down. Because that's what mom had said, and mom knows everything, right?

In the end, the tomatoes didn't get us and my overactive imagination moved on to more interesting things. But as tornado season is in full force this year, I thought I would try to add some tomatoes to the sauce to make things a tiny bit more lighthearted.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Grass, Allergies, and Hippies

So, due to an increased homework load, I've been noticeably absent from blogging for what seems like forever. I apologize, but I feel that I must post a warning: I cannot promise to post regularly because of my crazy schedule this semester. With that disclaimer, let's get to the topic I've been really excited about for a while: hippies and the environment.

I recently took an Environmental Writing class and it wasn't what I was expecting. I thought that we were going to be forced to sit in a field and wax poetic about the grass and the trees and how we love mother earth. Now don't get me wrong, I love this planet ... but I think I'm allergic to grass and anything having to do with germs or dirt. That being said, you might be wondering why I took the class in the first place. Yes, it was a requirement, and yes, I wasn't exactly thrilled about it. At first.

So, with my lovely expectations for the class, and a full-blown anxiety attack hovering over me like a dog hovers over your feet just when you're about to get up from petting it, I walked into class with a smile pasted on my face and a serious case of jumping frogs in my stomach (yes, that's what it felt like, not butterflies, but frogs. Gross).

And guess what I found out. The class was about raising awareness, through writing, about our planet and how it's being treated by the dominant species that inhabit it (that's right, you guessed it - us). We read famous authors like Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, and Henry David Thoreau.

I also learned that we, the younger generation, are considered to be more environmentally minded.
Personally, how this came to be is a mystery to me, since I - like many of you Gen Y'ers out there - was raised by parents who just don't get the importance of helping our planet out. And so I was wondering about why there is such a difference in the attitudes of our generation as compared to our parent's generation regarding the "green" movement.

I blame the hippies. 
My dad (who is a wonderful man as well as a great father and husband) has always made references to the hippies throughout my childhood. Whenever I told my dad that our science teachers were teaching evolution in class, he would call said teacher a (and I'm paraphrasing the general intent here): chain-themselves-to-a-tree-crazy-hippie-that-has-smoked-one-too-many-tumbleweeds that had no right to abuse their position by teaching us lies. Okay, okay, most of the time he was kidding, but I have to believe that there was some seriousness in there somewhere, otherwise my childhood just got a bit duller. Anyway, eventually my dad would claim that all of my teachers were hippies. (Ironically, my mom is a piano teacher and whenever my younger sisters and I pointed this fact out to him, he would kind of choke on his words and then change the subject. My mom wasn't a hippie, apparently, but the rest of my teachers were. Irony, it kills me sometimes.)

So, those hippies that my dad was always blaming stuff on, well they loved the environment. And maybe that love, when combined with some things the younger generations hated about their parents, was associated as the thing that parents did. And we all know kids - they don't want to do what their parents did. So that love for the earth faded into something tainted by memory.

And finally our generation is coming back to it. Could it be that the same (well, in my line of reasoning at least) desire to do something different from our parents has brought us back to loving our environment? Because our parents didn't really care, does that mean that they conditioned us (in the crazy and nonsensical ways that parent-child bonds work) to love our environment?

Something to think about, I guess.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Why "Generation Y"

So I've finally decided to write a blog (and no, it's not because everybody and their brother is also doing it). I've set this up for my semester abroad mainly, but also to have a place to put all of my musings and random happenstances. I promise to try not to bore you with my thrilling (sarcasm noted) experiences of heroism and mystical adventures in everyday life.

As it happens, I've been trying to think of a title for this blog for a long time. I finally came up with the one you'll see above: "Finding Our Way in Generation Y." Running this past a couple of writer friends (and a non-writer roommate) today, the question of why our generation has been named "Generation Y" arose and has haunted me all day. So, being the inquisitive person that I am, I googled it.

There are many different speculations as to why and where "Gen Y" got its name. One of my favorites was a cartoon of a boy showing him from the back; his pants and underwear were sagging and ... well ... I think you can visualize the rest to get "Y." Another theory (which is highly plausible, but not entirely reliable since it came from Wikipedia) is that the generation of World War 2 was called the War generation. War = "W," therefore: Generation W. It's not much of a stretch to see that the next generation was called Generation X. After that is Generation Y (me!). On a personal take, though, about Y? Because we just don't know yet (pun intended).

As one of the younger Gen Y'ers, I feel like I have the world at my finger tips and am just hovering over the precipice, frantically grabbing at the ticket that's held just in front of me. If I take one more step, I could reach it and go soaring off into the frightening (yet wildly alluring) unknown that is my future.

So, with a year and a half left of college, I'm fast approaching that edge. And I'm one step closer to leaping into that free-falling flight that we call "the real world" with each passing day.