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Lovatic.

The other day I was hanging out with a few friends and we were talking about tattoos. I said that I wanted to get another one, but one of my friends didn’t know that I already had one. I have a quote going around my lower calf, and by the title of this post, you could probably guess who said it: Demi Lovato.

The quote says, “Love is louder than the pressure to be perfect,” and if you’re a Demi fan, you know what it means to her and why she said it. For those who aren’t fans, you’re probably more than aware of the fact that Demi was in rehab for some time for mental and emotional struggles. Either during or following her recovery came the quote, which I didn’t get just because Demi said it. I got it as kind of a reminder, not specifically for me, but as a reminder to me to let people know that love is louder.

But I’m straying away from what I really wanted to say … So I have this Demi tattoo. I have two Demi wristbands with her name and ‘Stay Strong’ written in her handwriting, and I have a board devoted to Demi on Pinterest. I have all her CDs & just about every other song she’s done, solo or having been featured, and people don’t seem to understand why I like Demi so much, besides other Lovatics, of course.

So here’s why: 1. She’s gorgeous. After she got out of rehab, people were calling her fat, but OMG. No. She looked healthy and curvy and like a real woman is supposed to. She’s beautiful, but modest about it, and I love that about her.
2. She can sing like nobody’s business. When she first sang “Shadow” on ‘When the Bell Rings’, I said to myself, “That girl is going places.” And look where she is now. I saw her once in concert; she was opening for the Jonas Brothers, and ever since she started touring by herself, I’ve been dying to see a show!
3. I find her simply inspiring. I personally haven’t experienced the same struggles that she has, but the fact that, for someone at such a young age, to openly admit they have a problem and seek help and then speak out about a problem that she knows thousands of girls and young women are struggling with is phenomenal to me. Most of the time, when a celebrity enters rehab, they seem to use the publicity coverage negatively & there’s more than likely a relapse. You never really see any real progress, but with Demi, she overcame her demons and became the epitome of it’s always darkest before the dawn.

While I obviously don’t know Demi, she just seems like a beautiful person inside and out, and I hope that she stays strong and keeps fighting because we don’t have enough positive and empowering female role models in the world. While everyone might not see her that way, she’s definitely something special. 🙂

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The Joys of Motherhood (Before the Baby)

If you’ve ever had a baby or seen a woman have a baby, you known or could only possibly imagine what the pain must be like. However, what this left me wondering is was this more painful for the men because there bodies weren’t prepped for this, not having gone through nine months of pregnancy or is childbirth ultimately this painful for all women, give or take their pain tolerance?

Thought Catalog

Watch This Hilarious Video Of Men Experiencing Childbirth

A Dutch TV program had a brilliant idea: have men put on devices that simulate childbirth contractions and film the results. Hilarity ensues. [tc-mark]

You should like Thought Catalog on Facebook here.

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Students Serving for Social Justice

I know there are probably gofundme accounts for almost anything and everything, but this a serious matter.

I go to a college where each and every student receives a tuition scholarship, and while that may sound great, it’s not a walk in the park. My school is competitive and we have to work hard, not just academically, but have jobs on campus. However, the reason all students who attend my school receive a scholarship is because the majority of us come from low-income households. For some of us, myself included, if we didn’t get accepted to Berea, there’s a good chance some of us wouldn’t have been able to attend college or at least would have been tens of thousands in dollars in debt.

That aside, here’s the thing: I’m an education major, and a class that we are required to take for our major is somewhat of an active learning experience in which we—the students—spend anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks over the summer volunteering for some kind of cause or widely known program that is unlike the environment in which we are accustomed to. And in the process of volunteering, we’ll be learning from that experience and will be able to take what we learned and use it to become better teachers/educators in the future. For example, a few students this summer will be traveling to Arizona to live on an Native American reservation, living with no water and no running electricity, sheering sheep and picking corn. As I said before, many of us have grown up low-income, but not compared to the poverty that many Natives live in today. I can’t imagine the type of experience this will be for the students who go as well as what they’ll be able to take to their classrooms where there’s a good possibility they’ll have Native American students.

I myself will be volunteering with a program that helps and teaches refugees and immigrants how to become accustomed to the United States, as well as helping students who are English Language Learners in subjects that they’re finding difficult to master.

All that said, being that Berea is a school for low-income students, while we don’t pay tuition, there are still certain bills and books that must be paid and paid for. Many of us require the money that we earn over the summer to pay those bills, but with us not being able to work for a full summer, that’s money that we can’t put towards paying for next semester.

And so, if you donate money, even if it’s just five dollars, you’ll be helping us help the world. The program that I’ll be working with just lost ten of their usual employees due to the sequestration, and they were begging my school for students to help. And I want to go. I want to so badly, but there’s a possibility that if we don’t raise this money, that many of us will have to change our summer plans and go home and work instead of learning and making in a difference in at least one person’s life. 

So PLEASE, PLEASE donate if you can. PLEASE! and reblog this post!! You pushing that reblog button could change and have an effect on so many lives.

Please and thank you,

Janelle

Our website got shut down but thank you for the support!

his eyes

So, I liked this guy once, and I wrote a poem about him . . . 

 

his eyes

green

like the grass of our native land

with a shade of grey

as the clouds roll across the moon on a clear October night

slightly hazel

dancing on the edges of the glass of our memories

and a hint of gold

like the sun setting on the horizon of the African pride lands

tell me so much

past, present, and future

–our first kiss

the warmth of his hand in mine

when we became one–

that words can’t express

dreams, ideas, stories

all told

through

his eyes

lost friends

first love

big hopes

even bigger aspirations

time lost

days spent

together

with me

with her

with them

with us

laughing, crying

fighting, forgiving

hating, loving

no words spoken

no sounds made

all told through

his eyes

Words, Words, Words

I have a bad habit of making up words, and not ridiculous words like (gnorker–combination of geek, nerd, and dork which I created to be my gmail account name), but words that seem like they should be words but aren’t actually words.

Therefore, I’m going to keep a list of all the words that aren’t actually words. I’ve come up with a few, but as of right now, I can only think of these two:

1. Conversate [kon-ver-seyt] (v.): the act of having a conversation: past tense → Origin: Janelle’s head

2. Mystificity [mis-tuh-fis-i-tee] (adj.): having an intense mystical quality

3. Confuzzled [kuhn-fuhz-zld] (v.): in a state of extreme confusion, sometimes mixed with minor irritation and/or agitation

More to come later!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I did not proofread this, so if it’s rough, my apologies.

I’m one those people who always reads the book before I see the movie, unless I don’t know the movie was a film adaptation of a book. (Though, over Christmas break, a friend of mine and I continued our reoccurring argument came up that reading a book before seeing the movie ruins the movie. You could probably guess that I’m on Team Gotta Read The Book, but I see his point. Reading the book before you see the movie gives you certain expectations that more times than not aren’t always lived up to, so I wouldn’t say never read the book first. However, I think I’m going to try reading the book after I see the movie next time. Beautiful Creatures is coming out pretty soon and shows promise.) So, when I heard that Perks was being released, I bought the nookbook and I read it.

If you haven’t read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, I won’t say that you’re missing out. Not to say that it’s a bad book. (I don’t think I actually rated it on Goodreads, but if I would have, I probably would have given it 3.5 out of 5 stars.) Perks is a heavy book, and while I’ve been feeling like most of the books I’ve recently read have been disappointing, all having the same base plot (boy meets girl; girl meets boy, all the in between, yadda yadda yadda), Perks doesn’t fall into that category.

Besides having some fantastic quotes, Perks flirts with a range of controversial issues such as depression, physical abuse, pregnancy and abortion, infidelity, mental and emotional breakdowns, homosexuality, personal acceptance, molestation, relationships, and the trials and tribulations of being a teenager in high school. On the other hand, there are some good themes, like self-discovery, communication, friendship, and finding people who accept you for who you are. Even though the book was relatively short (it can’t be more than 220 pages), it’s very deep and well written. With this detailed list of heavy topics laid out for you, it might make you think that Chbosky  just shoves it all in your face, but as I was reading the book, I was taking in all that was happening but didn’t realize all that had happened until after I had finished the book.

The reason I chose to write about this is because I watched the movie a few weeks ago and it was good. It was, what I consider to be, a good film adaptation and had a pretty epic all star cast that wasn’t all in your face. (For example, Valentine’s Day with Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Kathy Bates, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, etc.) The book is written in the letter format, with Charlie, the main character (portrayed by Logan Lerman) writing letters to his friend, who Charlie places in real life settings (like at party), but who is never identified. Charlie starts his story off basically saying that he is both happy and sad at the same time at the same time, and he’s trying to figure out how that could be. It’s the summer before Charlie is to start his freshmen year of high school; his best friend has recently committed suicide, and he’s trying to figure out his life and run away from it at the same time.

Charlie begins high school. The people he was friends with in middle school have moved on, and Charlie’s left alone. His older sister (Nina Dobrev) has a new boyfriend and doesn’t want to be seen with her kid brother, so Charlie is left to navigate the waters of high school on his own. That is until he meets Nothing, also known as Patrick (Ezra Miller) and his stepsister Sam (Emma Watson), two seniors looking to make the most of their senior year. Patrick and Sam take Charlie under their wings, introducing him to their friends, helping him experiences many firsts—his first kiss, accidentally getting him high, taking him to his first Rocky Horror Picture Show, etc.—eventually dubbing him a wallflower, Patrick saying to him, “You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.”

As Charlie’s relationship with Sam and Patrick grows, he develops feelings for Sam who is in a relationship with an older guy. Not knowing what to do, Charlie starts dating Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman), but during a game of truth or dare, when dared to kiss the prettiest girl in the room, he kisses Sam instead of Mary Elizabeth causing some tension between him and the group.

Even after repeatedly apologizing, Charlie is told to lay low while this blows over. Thrust out on his own again, Charlie starts spiraling. Forced back into the experiences of the beginning of his freshmen year—eating lunch alone with his only friend being his English teacher, Mr. Anderson (Paul Rudd)—Charlie starts going through the motions of his everyday life without really acknowledging what’s going on. Until one day, a fight breaks out between Patrick and a few members of the football team. Not realizing what he’s doing, Charlie intervenes, knocking one of the football players out and breaking one’s nose. Later that day, Sam approaches Charlie and thanks him for saving her stepbrother.

As Charlie and his friends catch up, he learns that Sam has broken up with her boyfriend, who had been cheating on her, and as the end of the school year approaches, it begins to dawn on Charlie that all of his friends and his sister will be graduating and going to school. After graduation, but before Sam leaves for college, Charlie and Sam have an intimate encounter, in which Sam triggers a memory Charlie, at that moment, can’t comprehend. He later comes to realize that his Aunt Helen has molested him as child. Not being able to handle that, Charlie mentally shuts down and is hospitalized for about two months. During his stay in the hospital, Charlie had a lot of time to talk and reflect on things that had happened to him as well as the things he thought and felt. He eventually came to the conclusion that “it’s okay to feel things. And be who you are about them.”

I wrote this piece in part because I enjoyed the book and the movie, but also because I think The Perks of Being a Wallflower portrays the turbulence of adolescence pretty accurately.

Adolescence is this transitory stage in a person’s life where they’re going though physical, social, emotional, and mental changes as well as trying to figure out who they are in relation to who society is telling them they need to be. Often times, as teens are going through these changes, they’re not taught an appropriate way to express themselves, sometimes resulting in extreme situations, like Charlie and his friend Michael. Granted, from an outsider’s perspective, Charlie’s situation may seem a little exaggerated, but not living Charlie’s life, I don’t think it’s fair to jump to that conclusion. Despite how much an open book someone may be, there’s always a message behind the words that may not be caught.

Personal experiences have taught be me to always be kind, even when I may not want to be, because everyone is fighting a battle that I know nothing about or has a story that would probably break my heart. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will take you from standing on the fringes of life to seeing what it looks like from the dance floor.

NBC’s “Smash”

NBC’s Smash is like an adult version of Glee because singing and dancing is apparently what people like these days. Glee has been fairly successful since it premiered in 2009/2010. ABC just introduced Nashville which I heard is a hit, and then there are all these reality TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, Dance Moms, The X Factor, etc. With the success of most of these shows, it is no surprise that NBC would pick up a musical of their own.

Season 1 of Smash follows the life of newcomer and waitress Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee) on her quest to make a name for herself on the New York Broadway scene. She auditions for a work in progress of a Broadway show about the life of Marilyn Monroe, gets a callback, and so it all begins. The rest of show follows Karen and her relationships between her boyfriend Dev Sundaram (Raza Jaffery) and her competition Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) who also got a callback for Marilyn and has the experience on the Broadway show as a member of the chorus/ensemble of Heaven on Earth. The show also follows the lives of Julia Houston (Debra Messing) and Tom Levitt (Christian Borle), the writer and songwriter of the Marilyn production, as well as Eileen Rand (Anjelica Huston), the producer, and director Derek Wills (Jack Davenport) with celebrity guest appearances from Nick Jonas, Ryan Tedder, and Uma Thurman. (I believe Jennifer Hudson is joining the show for season two).

I watched the first season, which was fifteen episodes, in the last three days, and I kind of loved it. I think I fell in love a little bit with Debra Messing . . . As the show unfolded, you keep seeing all these good things happen to/for Karen and all these not so good things happen to Ivy, and that’s really the point of this post. Karen Cartwright is the definition of a sweetheart. She is SUCH a nice person, and that’s not something you see often on TV anymore. Even Ms. Rachel Berry pulled out her claws a few times before going off to New York to ensure that she stayed on top, but Karen (aka Iowa) is SO genuine. I don’t know if that’s the way the character was purposefully written or because she hasn’t been in New York long enough to let it corrupt her, but whatever the reason, Iowa seems to be the epitome of Good things happen to good people. And the opposite can be applied to Ivy. She tried to sleep and connive her way to the top and ended up not getting what she truly wanted.

I’ll admit, Karen’s character does get a little annoying from time to time, mainly because she is so sweet. She never sticks up for herself, but that seems to be changing in season 2 (premiering on February 5th). Needless to say, I am excited! We’ll see if Little Miss Iowa has what it takes to survive the catty, ruthless, and vindictive competition of New York Broadway.