About Wolves

“I was raised by wolves.”

The wolves have many names and come in many forms. Most dominantly, it’s Louie and Gus, my big brothers. Lou’s 11 years older than me and Gus is 4 years older. Chad is my hilarious 30 year old brother in law, Nathan is Gus’s best friend and my first ally against him. Ian, Aaron, Ryan, Matt, Zach, Chris, Nate, Special K, Ben, and Andy are wolves too.

I looked up to those guys like no other baby sister, and while Louie always made time for me and Gus never missed any opportunity to put me down, they’re who shaped my personality most notably. Gus, while a considerable jerk for so many years, instilled competition and work ethic into my life; Lou gave me humor and authenticity, and the fearlessness to show it. So many of the other names are their best friends who contributed to that. They encouraged me to be me, to be annoying and threatening because that’s how they were, so get down in the dirt with them in baseball, football, hunting, camping, and fishing because there was no reason for me not to. Wolves who refused to talk to me any differently than they talked to each other, profanity and innuendos included, so I would be as cynical as they are. Indirectly, I learned to only pursue what I though was most important for my own person or what I was passionate about, because that’s what the wolves did.

Even now, I’m shaped by what they all do. A wolf who earned the honor graduate award in his marine class. A wolf who took a year off to work towards medical school. A wolf who’s pursuing a career in writing. A wolf who’s married happily.

I lost a wolf on Wednesday. His name was Danny Heller, and he was Louie’s best friend in high school and onward. Danny was the goofball among goofballs, the rebel among rebels, the most natural non-conformist among the pack. From what I remember, he was full of smiles, but was distinctly a lost soul. He bounced around jobs or where he lived, he struggled to be grounded, he struggled with money, but him and Louie were always good for a day of fishing followed by a round at the Mason Pub.

I can’t tell you when the last time I saw Danny was, but at anytime in the past seventeen years of my life I can recognize that name and his face, beard and all. But it doesn’t matter how often I saw him, or when our last conversation was, a wolf is a wolf because of how he affected me growing up and how I could see him in ten, twenty, or thirty years and know exactly who he is.

Lemme tell ya, I was raised by wolves, dammit.

About Piglet & Stress Fractures

Dear Admissions,

“A quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business.” -A.A. Milne

My inspirational tribute that correlates to this quote by distinguished author of the scholarly book series, Winnie the Pooh, is also undeniably associated with my career and college goals that so perfectly fit into insert name here University! Here is the tale of the injury I recovered from that encompassed a grueling period of recovery to which I realistically cried about daily and/or was truthfully a period of three months into which I couldn’t go out and exercise which I didn’t do much of anyway–however you Sir/Ma’am will only read about how much this pilgrimage taught me how much intransigence I achieved from overcoming this detriment. Now, I will so adroitly show how this quite subtly incorporates every vestige of insert name here University and distinguished author A.A. Milne of the Winnie the Pooh series’ quote.

Lemme tell you, insert name here University, about your own rich history, your own transcendent please circle one: business/education/music/english/science/math/engineering/medical/economics/psychology undergraduate program, and how I plan on joining every club on your campus that has anything to do with my heritage, hobbies, studies, books, movies, and, of course, the Quidditch team. You see, Sir/Ma’am, I would join all of these clubs in your college because I was in similar ones at my high school and would relish in perpetuating with these groups. Also, now you have read that I was in an extensive list of clubs and activities in high school which should impress you because, not only did I take AP science, math, history, and english, while have leadership positions in all these associations, I did with minimal sleep! Joining all of these activities will show that I will be completely committed to the school and will pay a lot of money towards shirts for everyone of these organizations, also that I have not learn the difference between college and high school.

Here I shall revisit my courageous Winnie the Pooh/injury tale that obviously correlates to the academics I am interested in at insert name here University. Perhaps I’ll elaborate cleverly about the quote that slimly dovetails my fable, I’ll pray that this will make my balderdash a little more believable because even I know that there’s not enough rhetoric in the world to adjunct Piglet to a stress fracture. Right here will be one more redundant statement about how I belong at insert name here University because of A.A.Milne. I can’t wait to be a please circle one: eagle/bulldog/panther/knight/lion/tiger/bear/warrior/hawk/wildcat.

Sincerely,

College Applicants

About Kiwi!

Lemme tell you that what I am about to hyperlink here, I apologize for haunting you.

This is the story of Kiwi!

Many of my fellow Chronicle staff members would be well acquainted with this video thanks to the glorious Lori Roth and Stephanie Nally, our fearless AP Comp teachers.

For those of you who did not experience this during your high school English courses, this video has a strong correlation to the essence of “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald. The bird works its entire life to build this synthetic world for it to achieve a dream that was never possible for it. Kiwi! knew it could only experience the overwhelming joy once, but accepted the inevitable death nonetheless. Gatsby never had the wings to be with Daisy, but he too nailed trees to a cliff to win her over. Then, when he got his chance but looses her, he accepts that he has nothing more to live for and peacefully lounges in his pool (until Mr. Wilson shoots him of course).

And yet I wonder, could I ever do that? Could I ever feel so passionate for one dream that I would defy all laws of physics or social standings just to get a glimpse of that reverie? Would I be to give up my life-literally or physically-for such a fantasy?

I have my passions, things that I invest a majority of my time and my conscious into. Although, am I willing to give up my life for them?

So I wonder if that makes Jay Gatsby a more passionate person than me, or narrow minded. Was it his enduring strength that made him able to manufacture a new life for himself just to be with Daisy once more? Gatsby demonstrated the utmost dedication to Daisy regardless of their lost relationship. Or did Jay Gatsby never see the other beauties in life because he couldn’t let go of Daisy for five years? The man fought in a war too, but he never forgot about that one girl from Louisville. Sounds like a Nicholas Sparks book when I say it like that, but I don’t see what’s so romantic about that. Dedicating your existence to one person who may not even love you back? I wouldn’t want someone I love to surround their life around me and miss out on those other beauties, I’d want them to live. 

And to live longer than the few days Jay and Daisy were together, or the few seconds Kiwi! was finally flying.

No Dog Has Ever Been This Fascinated by Carrots

Excellent.

TIME

It’s always fun to see what dogs will get really excited about. Maymo the beagle, for example, got super pumped when his humans tied carrots to the ceiling fan, creating a magical swirling universe of vegetables.

To be fair, Maymo is interested even before the carrots start moving. In the above video, he inspects them, considers biting them, sniffs them and watches them dangle for a while, all while they’re totally still. But then somebody turns on the fan and everything gets so much more exciting. He shows off some real ingenuity, too, climbing up on a table to get closer to the carrots.

In the end, Maymo is victorious. He manages to snag a carrot, which means he has beaten the evil swirling carrot monster and also gotten his day’s dose of vitamin A.

(h/t Mashable)

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About who The Grind belongs to

Lemme tell you about my lacrosse team. If you ever want to see what hard work and determination looks like, just watch my team warm up. Watch us condition. Watch us do fundamentals. Watch us play. You don’t have to know what women’s lacrosse looks like to understand traits like athleticism, grinding, and dedication.

There’s a universal language among athletes that includes the phrases “on the line”, “again”, “what was that?”, and “back when I played… *insert exaggerated story about waking up at 3 am to swim*”

Not denying that dedicated athletes don’t rise and grind before the sun.

Yet, there is still an animosity and arrogance the encircles the word “sport”. Being a women’s lacrosse player I have endured my fair share of “girls lacrosse is not a sport”. Especially coming from my “bros” who care about their hair more than I do-just saying. But how can you just determine what is and isn’t a sport? Yes there is the dictionary, Webster defines “sport” as “to amuse oneself, frolic”. Oh, *scrolls* “sport: noun, physical activity engaged in for pleasure.”

Well, not only do I occasionally frolic in a game, but playing women’s lacrosse is extremely physically demanding and I play because I love it. Many times has a guy said to me “you don’t run, you just stand there” or “what’s the fun if you can’t hit anyone?” Goodness gracious this aggravates me. Just because I play a sport in which I don’t have to act masculine in order to be successful does not mean it’s not fun. Sprinting downfield, kilt flying, ball in some stick that you are swinging back and forth and dodging around the insignificant defender to dart one past the goalie before she even knows it? That’s fun. I get a rush just thinking about it.

So yes, women’s lacrosse is a sport. And so is gymnastics, dancing, competitive cheerleading, fencing, football, softball, soccer, basketball, field hockey, volleyball, cricket, skiing, iceskating, and so many more. Don’t let some weirdo on the hockey team tell you that synchronized swimming isn’t a sport! Just twirl around, flick your cap at them and flash your perfectly pointed toe because they sure as hell can’t do what you do, and they can’t take the grind away from you. You wake up at 0600 and hold your breath for three hours. Or you run 10 miles in before school. Or march for 12 hours on Saturday. Or shoot some hoops, goals, do some batting and lifting while everyone else is watching Netflix. Those who do that, they are the athletes, the grinders, the dedicated. They hear the words “on the line” and their muscles ache and faces cringe. They play a sport, and it may be something as common as football or as out there as handball, but its your sport and you work for it and you do it for you and your team.

And yet, curling? I always get lost here. Olympic sport? Or world’s largest drinking game? Whatever, those guys have the best pants anyway.

About Laura Belvins

Lemme tell you about my AP Composition and Language class (also known as AP Comp, Composaurus, Compocaplyse, and so on). The greatest thing about this class, other than my fantabulous teacher Mrs. Lori Roth, is that it isn’t all essays, reading, writing, analyzing, arguing, writing. The course teaches you to be an excellent writer and reader, but also an educated one. Weekly, our class presents “News You Can Use” (NYCU) that should discuss the event in the news that has taken over the media that week. We use these NYCU to become more global learners who can better discuss every topic (especially those that could potentially appear on the AP test in May).

My group presented today (we were supposed to go last week-sorry again Roth) and our topic was the read verdict on the “American Sniper Trial”, as so coined by various news casts. Facts on this case: former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, author of autobiography “American Sniper”, now an Oscar nominated film, along with friend Chad Littlefield, also former SEAL, were working with former marine Eddie Ray Routh to help Routh deal with his PTSD. Kyle and Littlefield ofter work with veterans to help them cope with PTSD by taking them to shooting ranges, as they did with Routh. On February 2nd, 2013, Kyle, Littlefield, and Routh went to a shooting range in Kyle’s truck and that day Routh shot and killed Kyle and Littlefield. No more than two weeks ago the verdict of the case was finally read, where Routh was found guilty of the murder of Kyle and Littlefield.

Discussions in my group: Routh pleaded insanity by PTSD, but was found guilty. Or was Routh using PTSD as a convenient excuse? While my group was reading off our discussions and quotes from columnist, journalist, writers, I found myself getting upset about the thought of Routh being guilty. Especially when discussing the idea he could’ve used PTSD as an excuse. Although I am not naive enough to believe all people are good no matter what we may know about them, I still can’t help but associate Routh with all the heroes I know.

I have quite a big handful of family members and close friends who serve, my brother included, and my future self to (hopefully) be included. Spreading across all the branches of the military, I put every single one of them into category “Hero”. Not only in their service, but in their natural compassion and motive to help others. Even my big brother, who for years I would’ve referred to as my worst enemy, is now a hero to me.

So when I think of this event, I think of it in the shoes of Laura Belvins, Routh’s sister.

After committing the murders, Routh took Kyle’s car and went to the house of Laura and Gaines Belvins and admitted to them that he shot and killed the men “before they could kill me”.

It’s painful to imagine my brother coming to my doorstep like that.

After reasoning and searching through the articles and columns I’ve found on the trial, I still can’t find a single quote or phrase that motivates me to believe Routh was acting with a clean, sane head. Being a former marine means a lot; “The Few, The Proud.” are not words to these men and women, they are ways of living, acting, they influence every action of their day. If Routh was under his own, complete self control, he would not have shot these men. I refuse to believe he would. Routh was suffering, and suffering massively, from PTSD. He should instead be getting the needed help for his PTSD than be in a prison cell.

Furthermore, PTSD should be actively more researched and diagnosed and treated. Real men and women suffer from this disorder, and we need to do for them what they’ve done for our country.

About our new Subwoofer

Lemme tell you that you have not truly experienced Benedict Cumberbatch’s true voice until you watch “Star Trek: Into Darkness” with my father’s new subwoofer. Three weeks ago tragedy struck our house hold: the subwoofer my parents went out and bought together 22 years ago finally passed on to speaker Heaven. My father-heartbroken; my mother-amused. How could we enjoy any cinematic entertainment without slightly deteriorating our home’s foundation with every blast of bass coming through the television? Oh woe was us! Father came through though, as he always does, with the new, even more powerful, Sudwoofer 300 (not its real name-I did name it Bruce after my favorite Pixar voice ever). So then we celebrated with the thrilling action of “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and the glory of Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice.

Yet, it is not Bruce who I really wanted to write about, it’s the journey to Bruce. The three weeks leading up to Bruce I had gone on three college visits, missed two days of school, and had one interview. It was this interview that has gotten me here, on my couch, wrapped in a blanket, writing this blog post. The interview was for The Chronicle, my high school’s newspaper. I had no idea what to expect, wished I had dressed nicer, and refused to say “like” incorrectly. The students who interviewed me were all good friends of mine, which baffled me further as to why I was so incredibly intimidated. It haunted me for three days until my very good friend got a second interview for the newspaper and I didn’t. So I went on my second college visit and accepted the fact that I lost my chance to join the newspaper and that I would have to support my friend when he made it.

Receiving the slightly thick letter during my 5th bell of school, I didn’t even process the possibility of making it. I figured I was too old, didn’t have enough experience, wasn’t the best they could get. Even after I read that I got in, I still believe that I am inexperienced and unprepared, but I am excited and driven. Fun fact: I am a very driven person. I deleted my Instagram and Twitter just so I could have time to work out more, a feat unthinkable to many of my peers. I now have this position of Chronicle Sports Writer and boy am I going to tackle it (tackle-see I’m already inclined to make sports references whenever possible).

Now, whenever I write a piece, it will be packed with the same punch of Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice thanks to Bruce the subwoofer.