On the Death of Professor Snape

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We all deal with loss differently. The universal truth behind it, though, is that once you lose something you know it’s never coming back. With celebrities like Alan Rickman, otherwise known as Professor Snape, you can rewatch movies, plays, TV shows, interviews, what have you over and over and over again. It feels like they’re still there. That is, until another tabloid pops up in the check-out isle of the grocery store months later promising “the real truth” behind his death.

Death is a funny thing with celebrities. We’re allowed to feel so close to them because of social networking and the media, but in fact we’re very, very far away from their world. When Alan died it reminded me of how I handled Snape’s death. I didn’t like what was happening in the book so I reread previous chapters when he was alive, replaying everything up until his mortality caught up with him. You can do that with actors because they’re preserved on the big screen with movies and television, and now on Netflix and Youtube. It’s a horcrux of sorts, if you will. As long as you keep replaying the movies you get to keep watching them live.

Because we, the in-famous folk, aren’t living in a world where we interact with celebrities on a day to day basis, accepting the finality of death isn’t as hard. We don’t have to stare it in the face and watch it take the professor we love. Instead, we have the opportunity to reread all the other chapters in the story until we’re ready to greet Death as an old friend and accept finality. Not finality for us, of course, but the understanding that Alan won’t be making or playing in any new movies, or going to premiers, or being  a part in a ten year Harry Potter reunion.

‘Besides,’ said Sirius, ‘the ones that love us never really leave us. You can always find them…[puts hand over Harry’s heart] in here.’

This an article on the last project Alan Rickman worked on before he passed.

What are your favorite roles Alan Rickman played over the course of his life?

Appreciation Post!

I’ve found that getting a crap ton of stuff I don’t really need from a fat guy in a red suit makes me appreciate the things I already have. On Christmas Day, after everything’s said and done, I smuggle all my gifts up to my room and stow them away (neat, organized, either color coded or alphabetical). Sometimes I use them that night, but most of the time I pull out a CD or a book I’ve been meaning to get to. As I’ve gotten older I appreciate more of the simpler things, and since we are headed into 2016 I’m going to talk about the things I’m most grateful for in 2015 (shocker, right?).

  1. College

6.7% of the world has a college degree. I am so so thankful to be able to go to college! I’m learning every day, I’m meeting new people, AND I get to be away from home. It’s like a vacation, but a really really expensive vacation with lots of books and essays and labs. But it’s still great! Go to college! Live life! Learn important thingymajigs! Yes!

2. My Health

Honestly, I take this for granted every single day. This year someone close to be had a big health scare and it made me realize how important taking care of ourselves is. I’m eating healthier, exercising more frequently, and making a point to take my medications in a timely manner (because when it comes down to it, I can and will put off just about anything).

3. Friends and Family

Bailey, why didn’t you make these two categories? Well let me tell you something, friend, my friends are close enough to be family and my family I sometimes treat like very distant friends (sorry guys, I still love ya). Even though we fight, my parents and brother get me through life’s struggles. And for the struggles they create, my friends come in to rescue me and save the day! I love them all dearly and certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

4. Literacy

A large portion of the world is still illiterate, believe it or not. I am enormously grateful that my parents instilled a love of reading in me at a young age, other wise I would not be able to sit staring at dead, sliced, tattooed pieces of trees for hours on end while hallucinating vividly. Uh, I mean, reading. Yeah, reading.

5. Stability

Like an eighties aerobics woman on a BOSU ball, clad in neon leggings, leotard, and leg warmers, I have obtained the up-most of stability in my life this year. Well, that’s a stretch, but I’m thankful for what I have!

6. Wifi

Dad, this one’s for you. Even with ghostly household wifi problems, he’s our guru, and he hates it. Wifi is one of the many loves of my life, so thanks Dad for holding it together long enough so I can do my school work, surf through social medias, and update my blog.

7. The Bottom Rung of Haslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

That covers the basics, doesn’t it?

8. J.K. Rowling

Because what recent great article hasn’t featured her?

9. Laughter

The best medicine. Unless you actually need a doctor, then maybe some antibiotics would work.

10. Life, the Universe, and Everything

I’m truly honored and blessed to be a part of the world. With its light, its dark, and its in between, I’m happy I’m here to take part in it’s marvelous misadventures with all 7.3 billion of you.

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xo Bailey

Social Media and the Ready-Made Opinion

In light of recent events around the globe, let me just chip in to say a little something about social media. Not everything you read on there is true. No brainer, I know, but some people don’t know where to draw the line when it comes to believing things. Just because John Doe’s grandmother shared an article on Facebook about how the recent bombings in France were attributed to the Syrian refugees doesn’t make it 100% credible. Do your own research. Find your own facts. Don’t fall for the click-bait, as many of us are prone to doing. Social media is the greatest source of ready-made opinions, and too many people that I know gobble those opinions up and make them their own, without even batting an eye!

Another thing to keep in mind is to not get so wrapped up on what social media is presenting that you forget what’s going on around you. Social media likes to present to us one angle. It’s necessary to step back and look and everything else before making a judgement. Whether you think it’s right or wrong that people are changing their Facebook profile pictures to the colors of the French flag, that’s up to you, but please make that decision for yourself – not just because Aunt Jane from Whoknowswhere made a status update about it 3 hours ago and it popped up on your feed as your most popular post of the day.

“He was no longer quite sure whether anything he had ever thought or felt was truly his own property, or whether his thoughts were merely a common part of the world’s store of ideas which had always existed ready-made and which people only borrowed, like books from a library.”

― Milan Kundera, Life as Elsewhere

Social media is great for keeping up with relatives and old friends, connecting with people from around the world, and also just for general entertainment, but it should never be where you’re getting all of your information for current events. While it’s helpful to scroll through Twitter and see politicians’ tweets on Kenya or Israel right now, there’s more to the story than just that. Go watch the news. Read an article from the New York Times, NPR, or the Washington Post. Yes, sometimes those articles pop up on Facebook and it’s great to see credible editorials on that site, but most of the time I see things like “Betty White Dyes Peacefully in Her Home” and we all know how that turned out. While social media definitely has it’s perks, I’d caution you to make your own decisions during this time of turmoil. Post what you like, but don’t let someone else’s post become your opinion. Think for yourself. 

 

xo Bailey

Boring Keeps You From Getting Fired

We’ve all heard the saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” but in most cases showing up at work dressed as Catwoman would probably get you fired. This keeps workers showing up in dress coded pencil skirts and the humdrum black blazer, but don’t you wish, even if just for a millisecond, you could whip out that costume of yours and parade around the office? How happy would that make you?

Now I’m not condoning wearing a Catwoman outfit to work every other day just because it makes you feel like you could jump out the window and scale a wall to stop a bank robbery (you can’t, please don’t try). What I’m saying is be true to yourself. But don’t get fired. That’s the fine line we all have to walk every single day. Some of us do it by wearing crazy socks to spite our boss’s dress code. Other’s write fanfictions that no one else will ever read. A few have blogs, or vision boards, or inspiration journals.

We all have something that makes us feel empowered, and sometimes that something is also the reason we look forward to the plethora of tomorrows we face.  

No one can play it totally safe for their entire life. No one’s bulletproof. But the way to feeling invincible (without needing a Catwoman suit to get there) is through making yourself the best version you can be. Be happy for who you are, and what you like, and all the dreams you have for yourself. Don’t let someone else’s dream become your own because someone tells you it’s “cooler” or “more realistic.” No. Your dreams are just as valid as theirs, but they’re even more special because they belong to you. Be dangerous. Be bold. Be creative. Be you. Boring keeps you from getting fired, but it also keeps you from being happy.

xo Bailey

The Art of Getting In

It was at this time last year my mother nearly threw away my first college acceptance letter. Yes, you heard me correctly, she nearly threw it away. UNC Wilmington had been sending me tons, and I mean TONS, of advertisements for their school, so my mother assumed the gold and teal envelope was yet another ad to be recycled, trashed, or collaged onto my vision board. It was my younger brother who saved the day, and my acceptance letter.

Nowadays, colleges make it almost painfully difficult to get it. First, you need the grades. I had a high GPA and still didn’t make it into some public  and private universities, which led me to thinking GPA really isn’t the be all end all. What matters is how many classes you take, if they’re AP or Honors or Standard, and if you took any from a community college or university near you. Having a vast array of high level classes from your high school and from a college near you gives your college application a competitive edge.

But wait, that’s not all! Need I even discuss the plethora of volunteer hours and service projects colleges beg to see? I volunteered with a service club at my school, worked on mission trips and other excursions with my church, and spent two years contributing at a fair trade store in my hometown. I’d participated in volunteer work all through middle school and even spent one summer chipping in as a junior volunteer at the local hospital. I genuinely love helping people, but sometimes I felt as though I was volunteering only to enhance my college app. And don’t even get me started on extra curriculars. Half the clubs I joined my freshman year were disbanded because they didn’t have enough members or the seniors got lazy and didn’t feel like hosting meetings anymore. So by the time junior year rolled around I could say that I had a job, played volleyball for the school and for a traveling team, and participated in two school-based activities: spoken word and SERVE-Interact.

I applied to six schools. Originally I was only going to apply to five, but everyone around me was applying to ten, or fifteen, or twenty six for crying out loud, so I felt inadequate. I hastily applied to Oglethorpe University because it looked like Hogwarts. Rash decision making, I know, but I’m a Harry Potter geek through and through (I later found out that Oglethorpe has a great science program, if you’re interested check it out here). You wanna know how many schools I actually got into? Four. I didn’t get into my top two schools. I felt cheated for the longest time. I made up all sorts of excuses for not getting in – I didn’t take enough AP classes, my adviser told me to take too many arts courses instead of science, the top 20% of my school was going to my first choice and UNC Chapel Hill couldn’t take any  more students from my high school (blatantly untrue, by the way), and my favorite excuse of all time: my valedictorian didn’t get into Duke so of course I wouldn’t get in!

I’m here to tell you that the saying “when one door closes another door opens” is the best thing you’ll ever hear when getting your acceptance (or denial) letters. Why? Because it’s so true. I thought I’d had two doors slammed in my face when I didn’t get accepted to UNC or Duke, but looking back on it, I’m happy I didn’t get accepted there. I ended up going to the University of Georgia. It’s about twice the size of Carolina, but just as pretty. I’ve met hundreds of new people from all over the globe, gotten the chance to watch world renowned orchestras perform, and have been introduced to authors, such as Alice Walker, and entrepreneurs, such as Erin Condren. The University of Georgia was but a blip on my radar when I applied to colleges my junior year, but now that I’m here I don’t know of anywhere else in the world I’d rather be. So for all you high schoolers out there, getting in isn’t the end of the world. You might be like me and end up somewhere that’s a better fit for you than originally thought, or you might end up like some of my friends who transferred in to their top choice school. Any way you look at it, if there’s a way to get you where you need to be, you’ll find it, I promise.

xo Bailey