Category Archives: Spring is Sprung 2014

Popular TV Shows – Why?

by Molly Robinson

I like to watch TV because good shows are a way to escape reality for a while and immerse yourself in an alternate frame of mind. This being said, I want to highlight a few shows that have been extraordinarily popular in the past few months and share my thoughts.

The Bachelor– He’s a single dad, a former pro-soccer player; he’s Juan Pablo. Why multiple attractive girls find it necessary to fight over one guy, no one really knows. Is it too much to wonder why some of these women are still single at age 32? Clare, for instance, basically throws her body at Juan whenever she feels like “opening up.” Whereas Sharleen, the Opera singer, judges everything based on whether or not she feels organic. Who will be the one who “wins” the game of marrying Juan? Does it matter?

Pretty Little Liars– Who is A? Ali is back from the dead, but maybe that’s not necessarily a good thing. Probably the most captivating part of this show is how these girls wind up in the same situations over and over again. When will they ever reach the conclusion that being alone on dark, rainy nights in mental wards, cabins, or deserted schools in never a good idea? Spencer, Aria, Mona, Ezra, Toby, Wren—the range of unique names in the show never ceases to amaze.

Nashville– Is it endless cheating and affairs what makes this show so popular or is it the bad attitude and temper tantrums of main character, Juliette? Sure, the music in the show is sometimes surprisingly good, but is that enough to resolve the horrible family conflicts and secrets?

Breaking Bad– This show may illustrate everything bad in the world in just thirty minutes: drugs, murder, family betrayal, stealing, ect. Props to the creativity of the producers and sincerity of the actors and actresses—I could never pretend any of the content was remotely okay.

If you’re sick of the popular main stream shows check out Castle, a murder mystery show about a comical writer and a female police officer with attitude, or the West Wing seasons on Amazon Prime—I know it’s an old show, but it’s worth it—its captivating, real, and touching without themes of cheating and competition as the main attraction.

JMU and Female Longboarders: Give ‘Em a Break

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( Photo retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/101106985@N03/ )

Guys who longboard? They’re cool. Girls who longboard? They’re unskilled wannabees.

I’m not quite sure when gender became an indicator of ability to ride a piece of wood with four wheels, but as a girl who genuinely enjoys a good longboard ride at home, it irks me how I don’t feel comfortable bringing my longboard to JMU.

I’m a Delaware native which usually implies one of three things: I’m a northerner from around or near urban Wilmington, a redneck who lives amongst hundreds of acres of corn and soybeans, or I’m a beach bum. And although I do live in the middle of a cornfield, I am definitely a beach bum through and through. The beaches I grew up around, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island, are family-oriented and include hundreds of massive beach houses and miles of flat, skinny side roads. So, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise to you that my summers were spent outside. And most of the time, my transportation during the day did not involve a car. I traveled with my feet, a bike, or—you guessed it—my longboard.

Okay, let me clarify before I continue: I would never claim to be an awesome or skilled longboarder. In fact, by most standards, I suck. The roads I typically ride on are flat and straight. The few times I went to our local skate park to ride, I sat on my butt as I rolled down the hill. But that doesn’t eliminate one factor—I have fun. I thoroughly and genuinely enjoy longboarding.

When I came to JMU, I was keenly aware of how many hills existed here. I moved from one of the flattest states on the east coast to one of the mountainous, but I was optimistic. I knew how to ride a longboard (in its simplest form), and I needed to get from East Campus to the Quad in less than 15 minutes. So why not longboard from class to class? It made sense, right? Even if I did fall on my face, I could slowly learn how to master the hills.

My optimism and confidence was quickly shaken, but not from some horrible face-plant at the bottom of the Village Hill. In fact, the first time I tried to ride around campus, I didn’t fall at all because I knew my limits and would pick up and walk my longboard if I felt I wasn’t ready. My confidence was shaken by the judging looks I received throughout campus. The guys I saw riding to class were completely ignored, as if a guy on a longboard was more natural than a sorority girl holding a Starbucks cup. But I—a girl—was met with a spectrum of reactions. Some looked at me with a judgmental glare; some just stared because they were shocked that a girl was even within touching distance of a longboard; others would stop me and ask questions about my board or experience—questions I couldn’t answer because, as I mentioned above, I was under no impression that I was going to have a professional longboarding career. Longboarding was just a hobby to me, not a passion. So my lack of knowledge, honestly, just made me look like an idiot.

I kept trying, but eventually gave up. And by the time my freshman year ended, my longboard was just a dust collector under my bed. I brought it back to school for my sophomore and junior year, but never touched it. And when it came time to pack up my things for senior year, I just left my longboard at home.

Even today, I read tweets people post about girl longboarders on campus: “Do they even know what they are doing?” or “Ugh, if you are girl, just stay off the board.”

Now, this isn’t to say that everyone one looks down on a girl who longboards, or that there aren’t highly skilled girl longboarders at JMU. I am just saying that, from experience, longboarding became a lot less fun for me.

Looking back, I wish I could have just grown a back-bone and ignored everyone around me. However, being the people-pleaser and introvert that I am, longboarding just became less and less fun. And now, I only ride at home, on flat land, near the beach.

So can we all just agree to give us girls a break? We are allowed to enjoy longboarding, and yes, some girls do kick butt at it.