This summer I will be vlogging, as well as writing. It’s my first summer after graduating Central Connecticut State University, and I’m so excited. Join me on the journey to a driver’s license, a job, and “down this road that we call life.”
Also, I’m definitely a Boy Meets World Fan.
Check out my vlog playlist for the summer below. Check out my channel for all of my videos as well.
In college (Central Connecticut State University) I was confined to canned soup, and the hope for a 4 for $5 sale at the Stop & Shop on the Newington and New Britain border. Homemade soup wasn’t an option while living the Vance residence hall life, even if homemade things are cheaper. It was something I accepted though, and would eventually become well known for my different breakfast choice.
My residence hall had ovens, but it didn’t have burners, and we weren’t allowed to have hot plates. Even if we had been able to use them I didn’t have a personal fridge to store things in, and we all know your entire floor raids the communal fridge. With soup cup* in hand I often made chicken or turkey noodle soup, among closely related others. Sometimes it was in my works break room, my [Vance] floors kitchen, or the basement kitchen as the microwave constantly had an out of order sign in front of it. Either way, soup got me through breakfast in one of the cheapest and easiest ways possible for a college student.
My soup obsession started when I received opening shifts at the STC (Marcus White Computer Lab). As a transfer student I spent two years at CCSU, and a year and a half of them were spent working inside that wonderful lab. I actually enjoyed opening as mornings were relatively quiet, the only bad side is that the dining hall didn’t open until after I started working. I wasn’t the biggest fan of dining hall breakfast to begin with though. The staff did their best, and bacon days were my favorite, but my idea of a traditional breakfast is pizza bagels, and their’s was omelet’s and cereal. The clash sent me to buy cereal bars for the first semester of Saturday opening shifts at the STC. I wanted to liven things up for the next semester though, and that’s when I received a free soup cup at a club leadership training workshop. My days in a breakfast rut were over.
Throughout the year I would continue my soup breakfast routine, especially when I had three opening shifts. I became “famous” to other coworkers, and eventually the boss, for my unconventional morning meal. During one Saturday morning I spent a good amount of time googling “soup for breakfast,” explaining to a coworker how awesome soup for breakfast was, and that the internet supported my decision.
It was always a shock to some of my fellow openers if I had Dunkin’ Donuts or Subway (The meal…I know…odd) instead of my usual. It’s a funny identity to have, “Soup girl,” or “Coworker who loves soup,” something like that, my former coworkers and I never really had a title for my workplace role, but I was always happy to be known for my breakfast.
*The hyperlink does not show the soup cups that I use, it is just an example of what a soup cup is.
Just before the dawn of 2016 I made the big switch from the flip phone life to being a smart phone user. I could call myself a complete millennial, but even my middle aged mother had a smartphone before I did. As a 22-year-old I broke stereotypes every time I snapped my flip phone open. I would find kinship with older students in need of assistance at my colleges computer lab, where I work. They would take out their outdated models, and I would quickly show them mine. They were always happy to find out that they weren’t alone in this smart phone world.
My last “dumb phone,” as nonusers call them, had been a present from my Mom during either my junior or senior year of high school, and I had once shared it with my twin sister. Later on she purchased her own flip phone, and I was allowed to keep the shared one. Before that we had also shared another flip phone, adorned with a small stub, known as an antenna. We had started on minute plan, but when I took over the bill I switched to an unlimited plan. Prior to that ancient device we had shared an AT&T Go Phone. It was a small rectangle, but I remember ninth grade me (and my sister) being so happy to finally have a cell phone.
As a current Journalism major I realized that switching was inevitable. If anything I should have done this a few years ago. Not being able to take clear pictures was getting in the way of assignments, and I kept having to borrow my Mom’s phone during a summer/fall freelance job at an online newspaper. Eventually I couldn’t even use my flip phone for Facebook posts that well, as Verizon didn’t allow outdated phones to send photos to an online album. I would have to text someone my photos, and email them from that person’s phone. It was a first world struggle. Mad annoying and whatnot.
Friends at my college had also encouraged me to switch, and I was planning to by graduation, but I needed to find the right phone. Which meant a cheap one offering a low cost phone plan. A slightly unfortunate event would lead me in the right direction.
My laptop had broken just before Christmas at one of the hinges used to close the screen. Everything still worked, but I couldn’t properly close my laptop, a hassle for a college student moving between a dorm room, classes, the library, a computer lab, and so on. Being a college student on a budget, I hadn’t purchased a warrantee. I know I made a mistake, but all colleges students do at some point. No warranty meant it would be very expensive to fix the problem, so I had to purchase my post-graduation laptop a semester early. Trying to be positive, I decided to think of it as getting a head start on the “real world.” Draining my savings three days after Christmas in order to do so.
After ordering the laptop I wanted, as Best Buy had just sold the last one in the store, I strolled through the phone section. A prepaid smartphone was on sale for $40. After I went home and looked up some YouTube reviews of the product, and most importantly the camera, I decided I would again dip into my savings.
During the pickup trip two days later for my laptop, I allowed the Verizon Transpyre 4G LG prepaid phone to fully enter my life. My flip phone was dropped to a junk pile, and my smartphone was activated. I am now addicted to emoji texts and taking pictures, although I don’t plan on getting a snapchat, and I wouldn’t have things any other way.
“Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?” writes 8 year old Virginia in her famous 1897 letter to Frances Pharcellus Church.
Santa Claus is a staple of childhood for most people. Regardless of religion many children still experience Christmas through the big guy in red. This explains why a letter over 100 years old still finds itself part of pop culture. Whether someone has actually read the original letter, or they only know the famous lines, the idea of “childlike faith” as Church phrases it, is a staple for adults.
In 1989 a Christmas film, Prancer, clearly inspired by the letter, was released. The story centers around an 8 girl named Jessica Riggs (Rebecca Harrell), who loves Christmas. That interest shields her from the harsher side of her life. Her mother is dead, and her father’s apple farm is struggling financially. Amongst all the disarray Riggs still posts reindeer window stickers in her room, and loves going by her small towns reindeer statues. Unfortunately the Prancer statue falls from the line one day. The situation heads north again however, when Riggs finds a reindeer in the woods, believing that it’s Prancer.
Within the movie a sermon is given about how children are growing up faster than before. The idea being timeless, because 92 years prior children were also losing their fantasy worlds relatively early as well. The 1897 letter proves that. Within different mediums, over different decades, the idea is accepted well by audiences. No one understands how important it is to stay young until they’ve grown up.
In one of the final scenes Riggs admits to not believing Prancer it the real Prancer. Her father John (Sam Elliot) takes the same approach as Church, and takes the response out to read. The final lines of Church’s letter, “Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A Thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood,” capture the point of the film, and the original article. Innocence is something to hold onto, in this case specifically for little girls.
In Majorie Williams piece, The Halloween of My Dreams she struggles with her third grade daughters Halloween costumes. “I court her wrath by refusing to buy the kids’ fashions that seem designed to clothe tiny hookers,” writes Williams.
In a common mother/daughter struggle Williams has to keep her child from wearing something too mature. An unfortunate twist to the story however, is that Williams is sick, and might not be able to see many more years of her daughter’s life. During this latest Halloween she is able to create a fantasy though, by having he daughter wear something mature, but not too skanky.
“I’d just seen Alice leave for her prom, or her first real date. I’d cheated time…” writes Williams of the costume. It allowed her to see her daughter grow up, without stealing her daughter’s innocence. Something that Williams wants to hold onto, even if darker circumstances are around her.
Both pieces follow the idea of little girls staying innocent. It’s not to say little boys should grow up quickly, but something about a little girl seems more fragile. You can present them as princesses, always kept away from the more terrible aspects of life. A job similar to that of a security guard, that different types of people take on, because everyone seems to agree that we need to maintain the innocence of little girls.
Church, Frances Pharcellus. Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus. September 21, 1897.
Prancer. Dir. John D. Hancock. Nelson Entertainment, Cineplex Odeon Films, Orion Pictures. MGM. 1989. Film.
Williams, Majorie. The Halloween of My Dreams. November 3rd, 2004.