Tag Archives: Student blogs
Sitting here watching a little league baseball game, I can’t help but wonder what is circulating through the heads of the loud, rude and, in my opinion, confused parents who feel their kids will achieve ultimate sports success if only they can ridicule the officials and shout instructions to their children from 100 feet away. It seems most parents these days have taken way too much of an interest in the Western culture’s belief that individualistic success is of above all importance. Why these sorts of parents do not understand the uselessness and possibly traumatic effects of their actions, I will never know.
Some of the rudest comments I have ever heard from one human being to another have come from a parent of a young child and was directed to a sports official of one kind or another. Officials, whether it is a referee of basketball or an umpire of baseball, do not become inhuman when they put on the black-and-white striped shirt that unfortunately, is more of a bull’s eye than a piece of clothing. These parents bank on the idea that it is OK to ridicule the men and women that make every sport possible. Without them, their child’s beloved sport would be no more; without officials, who would call the games? The parents? I think not; they would never last. Instead of being forever grateful of these people, they mock every call and every decision that is not in their favor. The point and the goal to a competitive game is to have two teams fighting to be the best, making the game close and exciting and triggering passion within the players. But it seems these parents dream at night for all of their children’s games to be a one-sided stomping event and, of course, only their team ever getting the “W.” Why can’t a game just be a game? After all, it is only a game.
The most hilarious piece of this sad, but true, story are the many examples of “coaching” provided daily by these kinds of parents. They all believe they could coach the New York Yankees, or God forbid, my struggling Seattle Mariners. First off, these parents, I can only guess, are seemingly too old to remember that children do not listen to chatter from the sidelines. Maybe the younger bunch of kids will stare longingly at their parents behind the fence simply for their begging to go home, but not for coaching advice! The majority of kids will only ignore random calls from the stands. And second, if they do listen, does it help? Does the continuous criticism and demands of these parents help their children who are only trying to concentrate and have fun during a sporting event? What wisdom is so important that it cannot wait till after the game? This conversation has come up many times in my past playing sports, talking with my friends and teammates about this very subject, and I have heard too many times how traumatic these experiences had been on my then-young teammates. I myself was insanely lucky to have two quiet and supportive parents.
Support and understanding are the two most important qualities of a good parent in sports, or just life in general. Children do not need coaches at home; they do not need best friends at home; children need parents who will teach them about life and guide them through anything they need help with. I am afraid that the actions of these kinds of parents will develop certain complexes in the next generation of children as they become adults, as well as teach them inappropriate sporting activity behavior which, for all intents and purposes, transposes into the real world almost indefinitely. For arguments sake, the most friendly, respectful, and responsible people are most likely going to be those people who have a great sense of sportsmanship. Sports shape children like nothing else; this shaping can be excellent for a childhood because a child can use what he or she learned from their sporting activities, like respect, hard work, and passion to do good in the world as they mature into adulthood. But it can also be deleterious to a childhood, and to the subsequent adulthood. For example, the children who unfortunately learn, by accident, the wrong things from sports like the disrespect of others, cheating, and selfishness.
Only a very small percentage of children will ever grow up to play any sport professionally; with that said, shouldn’t academics be praised by parents a bit more than sports? Sports are great for children, my childhood and young adulthood would be nothing without them, but I still knew that I could make a bigger difference in the world, not squatting behind home plate.
Above all, humans are humans, and they should be treated as such despite opinion, profession, or other various differences.
Columnist Hannah McCluskey can be reached at email@example.com
It was almost empty in the “dining hell” this morning. Those of us who had dared to enter made a close circle and sat together on this quiet day. I ate my food in silence. We foreign exchange students gloomily smiled at each other, sighed. My attempt to enlighten things by conversation did not go the way I hoped. “Hi, where are you from?” I asked with my most spontaneous voice, even a large fake smile on my face. For a moment the girl looked me into the eyes. “From my mother’s belly!” she cried out.
Even though the ancient Greeks already had an annual festival in March to honor Cybele, a great mother of the gods, and every ancient Roman mother received a gift on her annual Juno-dedication day, I am proud that the modern Mother’s Day celebrated in many different countries has derived from the U.S. I was impressed as well as I walked over an empty campus today. I assumed that everyone absent was spending quality time with mama, and of that I very approve.
When Germany had the lowest rate of birth in Europe in the 1920s, it introduced Mother’s Day as a means to get the women to bear more children. In Indonesia, entire surprise parties are thrown, or cooking contests between daughters are being held. In Sri Lanka, every day is Mothers day. And in the U.S., Mother’s Day generates almost 8 percent of the jewelry industry’s annual revenue.
I couldn’t surprise my mommy this morning with breakfast in bed (“What a surprise, you do this every year”). As a result of this sad fact, I probably spend more time appreciating her love than I have ever done on Mother’s Day. I even dedicated this blog to my sweet mama – but that’s also to make up for the lack of a real gift this year.
Doris ter Horst
Columnist Doris ter Horst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple of year ago, I picked up a cheap used record for a dollar. It was The Big Chill Soundtrack, and though I had never seen the movie, I bought the album simply because it featured excellent songs.
Most of songs featured on the soundtrack are Motown hits. Songs include Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” The Temptations’ “My Girl” and Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Many songs appear on the film that are not included, such as “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones
Since purchasing the album, I’d often been curious about the film. It seemed strange to listen to a soundtrack so many times despite never seeing the context in which the songs were placed.
Last night I happened to be perusing Comcast’s free On Demand movies and I stumbled across The Big Chill. I couldn’t have been more surprised, and, after watching it, I couldn’t have been more pleased.
The Big Chill (1983) revolves around a group of college friends (including Tom Berenger, Glenn Close and Jeff Goldblum) who reunite after one of their friends commits suicide. They fly in from around the country and greet each other at the funeral, where they are forced to try to reconcile their friend’s unexplained death.
They spend a weekend in the same house, and realize in many ways they’ve changed a lot from their college days. Their lofty aspirations and dreams of bettering the world have turned into normal, everyday jobs. But they aren’t really sad. They just say they’ve become realists. These Baby Boomers must confront their lost youth, forgotten goals and mediocre marriages and lives. Old emotions flare up, and it’s not always pretty.
Something about this film really struck a chord with me. Perhaps it’s because I’m in college now and it’s easy for me to imagine going away after graduation and leaving this life behind, friends drifting apart, and how odd it must be to be reunited with old friends once we’ve become adults and taken our place in the real world.
During the group’s conversations over wine in the living room, record are always spinning. They come in at a low volume, but if you listen closely you can hear them. The film features a little jam session where everyone dances in the kitchen to “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” This is the music of their generation, of their youth; music that brings up old memories, the messy histories of our college years after they’ve been forgotten and left behind.
This is a great movie to watch with your college friends, especially if you’re a senior and graduation and is inching its way toward you. Before you say goodbye, watch this film and enjoy your time together.
I would recommend this movie for the music alone, but the film itself is quite a powerful statement of growing up, of what we leave behind in youth, about trying to reconcile our realities and our dreams to find happiness in the modern world.
Columnist Jordan Jacobo can be reached at email@example.com
Video courtesy of Columbia Pictures
On the Dum Dum Girls’ MySpace page, the Los Angeles-based indie outfit categorize themselves in deadpan fashion as Melodramatic Popular Song. Certainly, it’s a bit more complex than that. Take in a wide range of influences: Iggy Pop (who notably wrote a song titled “Dum Dum Boys”), Patti Smith, Billy Holiday, The Ronettes, early-1960s pop. Give it a modern aloofness, a concern for self. Mix in a fascination with lo-fi music. That’s their sound. You can hear that wall of fuzzy warmth scratching throughout their songs, blending in with the vocals and making the steady kick of the drumming really stand out. It’s a unique set of influences for a modern band with such retro aspirations.
Dum Dum Girls is the brainchild of Dee Dee Penny, who originally started the group out as her solo project. She expanded the group to add Jules (on guitar), Bambi (bass) and Sandy Vu (drums) before signing with Sub Pop in 2009. The group’s first full-length LP, “I Will Be,” was released on March 30, 2010. They manage to stuff 11 songs into 28 minutes of music.
“I Will Be” starts off with a bang, and the Dum Dum Girls relentlessly stripped down sound doesn’t let off—sometimes they slow it down, but usually the songs are loud, fast and in your face, the vocals reverberating and full of static so sometimes you can’t hear what Dee Dee is singing, the guitar and bass blending into the wall of noise, the drumming lively, sure and steady, a heartbeat to give life to this sometimes schizophrenic sound.
They are four women dressed in black sucking on colorful Dum Dum suckers, playing an infusion of punk and pop, a mix of old and new, of archaic, simplistic pop given an edginess by its lack of fidelity and the resulting dissonance.
And then there’s that haunting album cover, like something dug out of a box of forgotten trinkets in hot attic or a dusty, forgotten closet. A woman dressed in red, hair down, freckles dotting her cheeks. Endlessly intriguing for what it doesn’t say, what’s left to be imagined. It’s a picture of Dee Dee’s mother, young and free, with that untelling look on her face, a lot like the girl from Vampire Weekend’s “Contra” album—though the two look strangely similar, the LPs they adorn couldn’t be more different.
Official website: http://wearedumdumgirls.com/
Check out: “Oh Mein Me,” track 3; “Blank Girl,” track 7; “I Will Be,” track 8
Dum Dum Girls are touring the West Coast this summer, playing at the Hawthorne Theatre in Portland on June 25. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.
Columnist Jordan Jacobo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Sub Pop