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Why the mailman on ‘This is Us’ brought me to tears

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I’m sure a lot of people cried through the last few episodes of “This is Us.” (Don’t read any further if you’re not caught up.)

Like millions of us, I’m obsessed with this show, although it destroys me week after week. I was still recovering from the beautifully painful goodbye between William and Randall two weeks ago, and then last night was a whole new torture. Watching the family grieve evoked such familiar emotions and memories and brought fresh pain from long-ago losses right to the surface.

But the part that hit me the hardest wasn’t Kate breaking down, or watching Randall and his mom talk about how much time he lost with William, or even seeing the cracks in Jack and Rebecca’s marriage knowing more tragedy is ahead.

It was the mailman.

In a brief but poignant scene, a mailman – played with such tenderness by  Bill…

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Welcome Home

Last November (2014), I returned “home” to my high school alma mater and began my new career at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School (Kennedy Catholic) in Manchester, Missouri  as the Director of Marketing. With my “tool kit” full of marketing skills I have learned and picked up from my experience from college, I have began my attempt to revitalize a high school who’s halls were once filled with over 1,000 students in the 1970’s, but who’s enrollment is now hovering around 300.

The landscape of Catholic high schools in St. Louis is much different than around the country. Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I had the experience of living in an area dominated by large public high schools and only two Catholic high schools in a mid-sized city of around 188,000 people. In St. Louis, there is a rich history of the Catholic faith and Catholic education, with over 20 Catholic high schools. The biggest challenge for Kennedy Catholic is the prestige and history of the private Catholic high schools in St. Louis, which are ran by religious orders of priests and nuns, as opposed to Kennedy Catholic, which is an Archdiocesan Catholic High School, ran by the Archdiocese.

Kennedy Catholic has been seen in the past and still struggles being seen as a second-tier education compared to private high schools, with its openness to accept students of all academic levels, in spite of having a National Merit Finalist and a National Merit Honorable Mention winner in the senior class this year. Another struggle Kennedy Catholic faces is its lack of identity and familiarity in the very community it exists in, with very few Manchester residents knowing anything about Kennedy Catholic.

I will be blogging about my struggles, triumphs, and realizations as the Director of Marketing of John F. Kennedy Catholic High School on this website in the coming months. Stay tuned.

Goodbye St Louis

As I begin the last 24 hours of being able to call St. Louis “home,” I am filled with emotions. The sadness of knowing that I will not see so many old friends again and the anxiety of not knowing what awaits me in my new life in Charleston. You can sit there reading this as a friend of mine and say “Of course, I will be seeing him again, we will never drift that far apart.” But trust me, it happens a lot easier than you think. This situation is all too familiar. Moving five years ago from Michigan was one of the hardest times for my family and me. Starting a new life in a place where you know zero people is extremely difficult. I have it a little easier than the rest of the family, because I will continue to go to school at Truman in Kirksville, Missouri and I am quite thankful for that. But seeing my brother say goodbye to his girlfriend today just reminded me of how hard it is going to be, for all of us. Please pray for my family and me as we start this new chapter in our life and may whatever lies ahead of us not be anything we cannot handle. Thank you everyone who has made this city an amazing place to call home. Goodbye St. Louis.

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Humans Vs Zombies (HvZ)

It’s that time of the year again. It is the time of year that Nerf Blasters are a common accessory to have when walking to classes on a normal day. Humans Vs. Zombies is a live-action game that is played predominately on college campuses across America. The ultimate goal of the game is to not get tagged by zombies. At Truman, HvZ lasts roughly 5 days. Humans use Nerf blasters and rolled up socks to “stun” zombies, while zombies attempt to tag humans to convert them into zombies. HvZ receives a lot of scrutiny because the majority of players are labeled as nerds or socially awkward students. I cannot count how many times people yell obscenities at my fellow players and I on a day-to-day basis because they do not understand the purpose and culture of the game. HvZ serves more of a purpose to players than just a way to annoy the rest of campus for one week during each semester. HvZ is a unique social activity for those of us that would not normally interact. I have met just as much, if not more people during HvZ games than I have in any other of my organizations. As with any team sport or survival situation, members of each side are forced to work together to further the progress of their respective teams. I have a unique friend circle from HvZ that I enjoy hanging out with outside of HvZ. I play Dodgeball with them every week and always give a friendly “hello” when I pass them on the Quad. I feel sorry for the students at Truman who are too afraid to try HvZ because they will get laughed at. HvZ is a fun and unique experience that I value every semester when I prepare to take my Nerf blasters and rolled up socks out of the bottom of my closet and I strap on a bandana to my arm to prepare for the semester’s zombie encounters.

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The Emotions of my Internship Decision

Well, I haven’t posted in a while, so I want to apologize to everyone. Life has been crazy lately. With school beginning to wrap up, I have so much to do, but not enough time to do it. Right now I am supposed to be working on a Marketing project, but blogging is so much more fun! The biggest news in my life lately was accepting an offer for an internship with Target in Charleston, South Carolina! As many of you know, my family will be moving to Charleston in May after my sister’s graduation. My father is already there enjoying the beautiful weather. Accepting the internship has come with so many different emotions. On one hand, I love Charleston, I love my family, and my mom’s food! But on the other hand, I am leaving behind my girlfriend, so many close friends, and St. Louis Style Pizza. It was a very difficult decision, but the opportunity of a paid internship with Target and living with my family one final time won me over. I have no idea what this summer will bring me, but I am excited. This move feels very similar to my last big move, which sent me from Grand Rapids, Michigan to St. Louis, Missouri. That move came with extremely mixed emotions as well. At least this time, I have actually been to the place I am moving to for more than a two-day period. If you ever want to hear the story of my move to St. Louis, it is a great one filled with thrill and excitement, trust me. The first move has definitely prepared me for this one. The only difference is that I will be returning to Missouri to finish out my last year of college. Have a great day, you deserve it! And here is a picture of my high school friends and I from St. Louis for your enjoyment! I will miss you guys this summer!

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Birds: A Fascination of Mine

My whole life I have had this unexplainable fascination with animals, especially birds. The way they can freely fly as they please sparks a feeling of freedom within myself. I have recently attempted to trace back this fascination. I believe it all began when I was just a little youngster. My family would go to John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan and one of the first animals in the park was the Bald Eagle. If my mom would have let me, I would have stared at that pair of Eagles all day. The way they would perch on top of their tall nest all day made them look so dominant over the rest of the park. I love taking pictures of birds. When I am in Charleston, I love going in the backyard, where we have a pond, and taking pictures of the countless birds that migrate to the pond and the feeder we have hanging in the back. Some of the types of species we have are cardinals, doves, and cranes.

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New York City!

I spent the beginning half of my Spring Break in New York City attending a Collegiate Media Conference. I had the opportunity to stay in the Sheraton Hotel on Times Square! It was such a great and rewarding experience. I came away with a lot of useful information and am pretty excited to see where the new editors of the Index take us next year! The opportunities that I have received because I work for the Index have been amazing. I have had the opportunity to try photography, which I have always wanted to try, I had the opportunity to go to New York City and I have had the opportunity to be challenged and to do my best at being a salesman. Being an advertising manager is a difficult task, but it has been a great opportunity for me while attending Truman State University. If you are not involved in something currently, I highly recommend you go out and try something new. Who knows, it may open the door on a world of incredible opportunities.

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