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Hope Aspirations

By: Corinne Jenkins

When I think about hope, one, particular person pops in my mind. My mom gives me the most hope out of anyone who surrounds meTo think I’m related to a woman who is so strong, intelligent, inspiring, motivational, and who has the kindest soul of anyone I know, is amazing. 

 

Sometimes I look at my mom and the person she is, and I hope to be like her one day. Someone who is capable and willing to get up every day and go to work, while also handling the many other aspects in life. She makes keeping the house tidy, taking care of our dogs, and only getting a few hours of sleep look easy. I can barely get up for my 11 a.m. most days, and my mom gets up every weekday at 4:30 in the morning. I’m 95% sure she has super powers, which I will hopefully inherit one day. 

 

My point is that I am in a stage in my life where the responsibilities are lacking. Sure, I have two jobs and I’m a full-time student, but my mom handles actual responsibility on a day-to-day basis, with ease. My hope lies in the desire that one day I can achieve my goals and handle my aspirations as courageously as my mom has 

 

As time continues to speed on around me, and my graduation date travels closer and closer, I feel at ease. I’m not as scared because if my mom could do it, if she could become a responsible adult in the real-world, with a real-life job, then so can I. My mom motivates me enough into believing that I can be like her one day, and I know I always have her to support me, which is the greatest gift of all.  

 

Having this role model in my life has given me a sense of ambition. I want to make my mom proud one day, and her giving me the strength to do so is something I could never repay. My mom gives me hope through her own, driven personality, and dream to become as successful as her. She is my hero, she is my inspiration, and she is certainly my hope. 

Ring of Armor

The term “lucky charm” brings to mind a delicious cereal with mini marshmallows and an all-too-happy leprechaun on the front of the box. A lucky charm for most, though, is something they might keep with them to grant an extra vote of confidence and help navigate through life’s tricky obstacles. My blessed token that I deem as my lucky charm is my great grandmother’s ring. My ring has been passed down to my grandmother, my mother, and then me. It has a rounded blue jewel in the middle and tiny white diamonds surrounding it. 

 

Luck has always been something that I believe in. Not in the form of cereal, but in the ways of there being some sort of fate involved in our daily lives. My mom finally presented me with the ring when I turned 21. For years and years, she would refuse to let me have this precious ring because of the tradition to officially receive it on my 21st birthday. I drooled over it for years and struggled to give it back, when my mom would let me borrow it on special occasions. (If you’re picturing me as the creepy dude in The Lord of the Rings, you’re about right). After treasuring this ring on my mom’s hand for so long, it was finally mine. 

 

This beloved ring is more to me than just a fancy accessory, though. It is a part of me and my family. When I put it on, I feel as though my great-grandmother and grandmother are still with me, watching over my life, making sure that I am okay. This ring is not only an heirloom, but one of my most valued possessions. Wearing it calms my mind into believing the world isn’t so terrifying and gives me enough confidence to believe I can handle more than I know. It gives me a way to trust in something greater, as if it has a magical power to bring me good luck.  

 

Believing in luck, and in my lucky charm, lets me feel better about this sometimes-scary world. This mental shield gives me courage on a daily basis. My ring is that one possession that makes my heart stop if I don’t know where it is. It provides my own, possibly imaginary, and invisible protection against any challenges in my life. 

 

 

Jake

By: Corinne Jenkins

I don’t deserve you, 

I don’t deserve the way you look at me, 

Or the way you put me first. 

I don’t deserve how you handle me at my best, 

And especially at my worst. 

I don’t deserve the nights you stay awake for me, 

When you know you’ll have to get up at dawn, 

As you patiently listen to me go on and on. 

I don’t deserve the countless visits, 

Or the thoughtful gifts, 

And the way your family treats me like their own, 

You make me feel as if I’ll never be alone. 

But you always convince me 

That I do deserve all this 

Because you are my home. 

You are the reason I get up in the morning, 

The reason my heart sings, 

Lifting me up in thankful prayer, 

You hold my heart to the world and make me care. 

You’ve treated me so well 

That I assume I don’t deserve you at all 

Even under this beautiful love spell. 

 

But that’s just it, 

Because I do deserve your love,  

And kindness, 

Every bit. 

And you deserve mine, 

I’ve gone through my life 

Thinking just the opposite. 

And I do hope this will last for a long time, 

As I’ve explained through semi-rhyme. 

You’ve shown me what I am worthy of, 

By giving me what I deserve, 

Through love. 

Fantasy Meets Reality

Trash television is a way of life. It is now known as the era of reality TV, the time of true entertainment, and (presumed) no scripts. I am a well-known enthusiast of reality television; it is my home away from home, and my ultimate guilty pleasure. If I had to choose one of my beloved shows to star in, it would be a Real Housewives series, hands-down. These shows follow around a group of women who pick fights with one another about their latest Botox scandals and other deeply important topics. The Real Housewives series document women who live in certain states like: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Georgia, and New Jersey. 

 

Real Housewives of wherever they are from, started on the Bravo channel many moons ago. It has grown so popular, that these reality stars are paid to clash with one another over who has the better car, bigger house, and prettier facelift. These women feed off of drama and the money that rolls in while they do it, so I ask you: who wouldn’t want that life?  

 

I imagine I would be a part of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills- a favorite among many audiences. They have the biggest diamonds, the flashiest handbags, and, my god, the shoes are worth more than my tuition at JMU. 

 

As I’ve watched this show for nearly a decade, I’ve imagined my own life as a real housewife, and boy is it fabulous. I have a pool the size of Kentucky in my backyard, a huge closet bursting with clothes, and of course, maids and a chef because I am just too busy to clean a house that size or even cook for myself. I mean, I most likely just had an extremely expensive manicure, and I’m expected to cook? I don’t think so. 

 

Each housewife on the show has their own tagline during the opening sequence, which is basically a 10-to-15-word phrase to describe themselves as human beings. Mine would be: “Caring about what others think is just as exhausting as counting my money.” I think that would sum up my outlook as a housewife nicely. 

 

Can you imagine being paid to live a glamorous life in Beverly Hills? It sounds amazing to me. Imagine the clothes you’d get to wear, and the jewelry! So, all I need to do is become a millionaire, or marry one, or somehow accomplish both of these goals, then move to Beverly Hills and enjoy my time in the spotlight. What could go wrong? 

Silver Lining Surgery

Once upon a time, my health wasn’t nearly as good as it is now. My freshman year of college was a time of new experiences and meeting people- it was also a time I suffered the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my whole life. I’m a klutz, so I’ve encountered broken bones and a great deal of discomfort before, but this pain I felt at 18 years old was something I’d never felt before.

 

One morning I woke up and there was a sharp throbbing in my lower abdomen that was unbearable. I was nauseated and in agony, so my RA at the time was kind enough to drive me to the emergency room. After a few tests, I found out I had multiple kidney stones tearing their way through my body and an ovarian cyst the size of a baseball.

 

The kidney stones would pass on their own time, and were the main cause of my pain, but the worst part of it all was that I would have to have surgery to remove the cyst. I was extremely lucky though; the cyst was benign and the c-word (cancer) were nowhere to be found. Although this was good news, I was terrified. Having surgery was something so foreign to me-something I only could only correlate with movies and TV shows.

 

The worst part was the date of my scheduled surgery. Christmas Eve. There I was, doped up in a hospital bed during my Christmas break, going through one of the most traumatic incidents of my life. Nearly everyone else outside of the hospital was celebrating the holidays, while I was pressing my pain pump for more numbness.

 

I was so focused on having the surgery, I didn’t realize how difficult the recovery would be. I could barely walk afterward, and the pain made me grateful for the invention of Vicodin, but I left the hospital and I was healthy and had my family to take care of me. Knowing I had a support system in my family and friends made me realize that my life was something to be thankful for, and I found the silver lining in my situation.

 

Looking back on that time now, I don’t take for granted that my diagnosis could’ve been so much worse. The fact that I had only one surgery and my cyst was benign was extremely lucky. As I look forward to Thanksgiving break, I am tremendously thankful that I have my health and I always make it a point to send happy thoughts to those who are not as fortunate.

A Story Too Scary

Any basic scary story growing up involved the typical monster under the bed, or the boogey man in the closet. Although these didn’t scare me as much, I would still check my room before sleeping, to make sure I was safe. Being alone in your room, in the dark, though, is completely different than when having a sleepover with your friends. When I was younger, any time someone had a successful sleepover, a scary story was told late at night to keep the adrenaline at a peak as the sugar high wore off. At sleepovers, I was usually the one telling the scary stories. The classic, Bloody Mary or Redrum (spoiler: spelled backwards it’s murder) were my go-to classics to freak out my friends. Although telling these stories was fun for me, the scary story I couldn’t shake as a kid transpired from the movie: When a Stranger Calls.  

For those of you who are unaware of the plot, the story focuses on a high school girl who is babysitting two kids in a giant house in the middle of nowhere. The parents pay her to watch television and the kids are already sleeping when she gets there. Sounds like easy money, right? Oh, you’re so wrong.  

The babysitter gets creepy calls from a guy all throughout the night. His voice is scratchy and chilling, especially to me, as a thirteen-year-old girl watching this for the first time. He nefariously whispers questions through the phone like: “why do you have the lights turned off?” Or, “have you checked on the children?”  

Can you imagine being in the middle of nowhere, in someone else’s home, and a psychopath is somewhere out there watching you? That is equally as terrifying to me now as compared to when I first watched the movie. The babysitter calls 911, which I would do too, and they say if she can get this freak to talk to her for a certain amount of time, they can trace the call. So, the babysitter finally gets the psycho to talk for over a minute by asking him questions back, and come to find out he is in the house. This may sound lame to those who watch hardcore horror films, but as someone who grew up making her money through babysitting gigs, you can only imagine my dismay after finding out the killer is in the house. I was the babysitting guru back in my day, but after that movie, I changed to walking dogs during the day.  

After When a Stranger Calls came out, I swore off scaring my friends with my own shuddering stories. To this day, this is the tale that still frightens me. Although I don’t have sleepovers with my friends anymore, if I ever were in a situation that prompted scary stories, this particular one would be off limits. 

 

Fall Feelings

This school year was the first year I felt unprepared to go back to school. I was enjoying the sun beating down on me every day, and the lack of papers I needed to write. I’ve always been someone who was ready to get back into the swing of the semester, but this year, I was dragging my feet to restart. I spent my summer abroad in Ireland, and visiting family and friends. Going back to school seemed like my fun was ending. That being said, being back on campus, and feeling the air around me grow cooler, I await the change of the season excitedly. I can’t wait for the trees to burst with color and for the endless events that seem to emerge during this time, like football games, bonfires, and Halloween.

Some love the blistering heat, and others enjoy watching the snow fall, but my happy medium comes from the beautiful balance between the two extremes. Beginning a new season means the start of a new wardrobe. A wardrobe with layers. The endless options of scarves and boots and long-sleeved shirts are among us. It also means legging-season for many JMU girls, myself included. Comfort is the best way to enjoy this season. Having the temperature drop also means a substantially decreased amount of back sweat after all of the walking students do on campus.

Although the three beautiful months of summer included no homework and a lack of responsibilities, fall is the time to get back together with good friends and enjoy another wonderful year at school. I have so many great times to think back on because of hanging with friends on the JMU campus. There are so many events that take place when school is back in session and it’s a fun way to meet new people and make new friends. The nostalgia wrapped in the season of fall brings back fond memories and makes room for new ones to prosper.

Snowfall will be coming soon on the heels of autumn—white, and beautiful over campus.  As the nights begin to darken quickly, I will snuggle into my bed as the air outside grows crisp; happy with the wonderful medium between too hot and too cold. To watch the incoming freshmen take in what has become my home, and to enjoy this campus alongside them is something I look forward to. This is my last year at this school, and I want to enjoy every changing minute of it.

Technology and Design, Tommy Koehler