How important is marriage?

I recently read an article from Pew Research on the decline of marriage. The article stated “the share of American adults who have never been married is at an historic high.” Even though I can see both sides of the debate, this honestly just makes me sad. I think it’s obvious that times have changed from when the normal thing was to be married at 18 years old, and that is probably for the better, but I could not imagine a life without marriage at all.

Because my parents have been married since they were in their early 20s, I have always just seen it as a thing you do. I think marriage is so beautiful and I can not wait for that day to come for me.

If you are in a committed relationship with someone who you can see yourself spending the rest of your life with, why would you not want to celebrate that? I think that marriage could make a couple’s bond even stronger and for me, at a certain point I wouldn’t want to have a ‘boyfriend’ anymore…I’d want to have a husband. As I get older and more mature, I would want my relationship to also become more mature, and to me, marriage is that mature next step.

I’m really interested in hearing other peoples opinions on this though and may decide to write a short piece for my school’s newspaper. If you’d like to contribute please don’t hesitate to comment!

When your dream falls apart

This summer, I completed my first internship at The Times-Tribune, which was quite an intense experience. You hear so much about interns being the people who have to do the “bitch work” – for lack of a better word – so I was not expecting to be given much responsibility. But I was taken by surprise when I was thrown right into the swing of things.

My first assignment was a disaster. I was to cover a press conference at the Scranton Cultural Center and write it for next day publication. Actor Harry Connick Jr. would be calling in to answer questions and to promote his play that would be performed at the Cultural Center around Christmas. I was incredibly nervous when I was given a question to ask the actor. To make a long story short, the question was completely denied. It only got worse when I went back to the office to write. I struggled so much. I had no idea what they wanted and almost every word that I wrote was changed. It was one of the most devastating moments in my life. I don’t remember ever wanting to be anything but a journalist and when my first real chance failed, I thought that was the end of my career before it began. I had a complete meltdown, thinking that I wasn’t good at my dream job. My writing was something I was always very confident about but after that first article, I felt like I was terrible.

But my supervisor didn’t let me give up. I was given several more assignments and I improved with each one. I interviewed a local band, a “Northeast woman”, a restaurant owner, a “kid wonder”, along with others, and I was in charge of a weekly Q&A column. Now, I am only more confident in my writing and my ability to be a journalist.

Seeing my name in print was an amazing feeling and I hope it never goes away. I’m proud that I didn’t let myself become completely defeated after that first mishap. I’m following my dream and I’m incredibly proud of myself.

I’m excited to see where the future will take me, especially now that I have published clips from a major newspaper to show other companies.

This summer was an incredibly busy one and I can’t believe it’s basically over. But it was an experience to say the least.

The real world of journalism

My internship threw me right into the swing of things after only a few days. I thought I would be doing a lot more busy work and shadowing of reporters before I got stories of my own to write, but I’ve been given two stories already and a short q&a column I’ll be taking over for the summer. I should be more excited but my nerves aren’t letting me enjoy this huge career opportunity just yet.

Even though I am really confident in my writing I’m honestly afraid that I won’t be as good as I think I am in a real world situation like this.

I just need to relax.

Let yourself live

It’s funny where life takes you, especially when you aren’t paying attention. I think the saying is, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” And I’m learning that that is the truth. I have spent too much time imagining what I want life to be like, trying desperately to plan out ways to make things happen. But I hardly ever let myself actually live. But that’s about to change. However I may still imagine certain aspects of life that are not mine, but I think that’s just the aspiring novelist in me. 

Here it goes…time to start livin’

Are we living in a rape culture?

In a few classes I have taken while in school, the topics of “slut shaming” and “rape culture” have come up quite a bit.

What the hell is rape culture? By definition, “Rape culture is a concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, and even condone rape.”

When you hear that, you may think America does not fall under that category. But, it seems as though that may be wrong. Recently I have noticed that when the media reports on rape cases, people end up blaming the victim. You read a lot of, “those poor boys,” “they have to live with this forever” when it comes to the rapists but when it comes to the victim you hear things like, “she shouldn’t have been dressed like that” or “she shouldn’t have drank so much.”

In the last few years there have been several national rape cases, usually involving several boys who are on a prominent sports team (Steubenville rape case, for example), and one girl who was probably drinking that night. People often hear the word drunk and assume the girl did something that she regretted in the morning and then cried rape. Which, unfortunately, has happened. Being drunk does not excuse bad decisions and it also does not mean that you can’t have consensual sex while under the influence.

Because there have been cases were girls have tried to say they were raped in order to cover up something they were embarrassed about (it happened at my college), people aren’t taking actual cases seriously. It’s like the boy who cried wolf.

It is 2014 in The United States of America. Women and men should be able to dress as they please without “inviting” people to attack them. That’s something you have probably heard a lot of. “Well she was dressed scandalously, she was asking for it.” When you go to the beach and wear a bikini that may reveal more than your underwear would, that is not an invitation to be assaulted. Neither is a short dress or low cut shirt. Neither is being inebriated.

I think what scares me more than the fact that the public has such horrible things to say to rape victims, is that so many boys and men apparently don’t see the problem with forcing someone to have sex with them. In a class I’m taking, the professor brought up a rape case where several boys forced a young girl to have sex with them and were calling up their other friends to come join. (Forgive me, I can not for the life of me remember the name of the case.) The friends they called agreed. I realize that there are certain people out there who want to do these horrible things, but how do that many boys not see the problem in rape? How has a huge portion of a generation been taught that rape is OK?

As a country we have progressed in to not making sex such a dirty word, thank god. But have we made it such a casual thing that people don’t realize you can’t force someone to preform sexual acts?

Where do we go from here?

“Dear Daughter, I hope you have awesome sex.”

Dear Daughter, I hope you have awesome sex

I came across this article when someone shared it on Facebook and I thought it was really great. More people should think like this. Parents should not necessarily encourage their kids to go out and have a ton of sex, but they need to acknowledge that it happens and teach them to be safe, respectful, and responsible instead of saying not to have sex at all. Sex should not be a dirty word.

Remembering Biggie Smalls 17 years after his murder

     It’s March 9, 1997. Rapper Notorious B.I.G was leaving a music industry party in Los Angeles. The 24-year-old was seated in the passenger side of a Suburban when a car pulled up alongside of it and shot several times. It was the second drive by murder of a rapper in six months, the first being Tupac, who was a known rival of Biggie. It has been speculated that both their deaths were a result of the bicoastal feud.

     Weeks later, Biggie’s second album, Life After Death, was released.

     Most people my age were about 3 years old at the time of his death and probably had never heard his music at that point. But ask almost any teenager today who he is and they’ll know. His music has continued to entertain fans and inspire musicians.

     Sean, Diddy, Combs, who worked with Biggie in the 90’s, reflected on his passing back in December, “Words can’t really describe it,” Diddy said. “You know? He’s really the foundation of like almost everything I’ve done musically. He made me believe in the impossible. Cause hearing him rap it was just—I was hearing something that I couldn’t believe I was hearing. So, it made me push the limits of what I was doing musically and as a producer. You know, he’s constantly a muse of what I strive to be and he’s the definition of greatness.”

     Despite being killed on a busy street, as was Tupac, no official arrests have been made and both cases remain unsolved.

     Biggie may have rapped the words “You’re nobody ’til somebody kills you” but he was somebody before his untimely murder and will remain one of the biggest names in hip hop for years to come. Forever notorious.


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