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Friday, February 28, 2014

Elon Abbey

Take a moment and enter Elon Abbey, the hub of aristocracy at Elon University.

This is a short (and I mean short) film I created for my Writing for Broadcast course. Our assignment was to create a spin-off of the popular television drama Downton Abbey. I loved shooting it because I am quite obsessed with the time period of Downton Abbey, and it just so happened that I bought that hat recently. Life is so peculiar.

I thought I would share it because I am quite pleased with how it turned out. Take a quick stroll through Elon Abbey and enjoy! Thanks for watching!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blog Challenge Day 5: Comfort Foods *YUM*

Here it is! I give to you Day 5 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge. What's funny is that I'm pretty sure the point of a 30 Day Blog Challenge is to blog every day for 30 days...but alas I have blatantly ignored that part of the challenge. On behalf of the wonderful Drake: "YOLO."

Today's topic: "Your favorite comfort foods and why."

Now this is a topic that I can write about.

Seriously, if there's one thing I'm absolutely passionate about in this world, it is the quality taste of some good, comforting munchies melting onto my taste buds. Yummy.

To be honest, I wish I was like my brother who was blessed with the "I don't like the majority of foods that are bad for you" disease. Life would be so much easier--and healthier. He doesn't do chocolate, cake, candy, and most ice cream flavors. Why wasn't I born like that? Then again, he doesn't eat anything good for him either. He doesn't do vegetables, most fruits, and anything weird that he hasn't tried before.

In the end, I cannot change who I am, and unlike my picky older brother I am a 110% all-things-food lover. I don't discriminate. (Minus the small fact that I'm a vegetarian).

However, there are some specific "comfort foods" that are the best of the best in my eyes. These delicious suckers make it impossible for me to deny their mouthwatering goodness whenever we are in the same room. So, without further ado, I present to you my all-star comfort foods.

1) Ice cream. Specifically: Ben and Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream.
I'm in love with the little swirls of cinnamon found in a pint of Ben and Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake. If I'm having a bad day, if I'm having problems with the male species (99% of my life), if I'm watching a good movie... there is absolutely nothing that could not be improved with a pint of Ben and Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake at my side. Like I said before, though, I don't discriminate, and I know that if I was stuck on a desert island with only one food to live on, ice cream would be my partner-in-crime.

2) The muffins from Acorn Coffee Shop at Elon University.
Nothing goes better with a cup of coffee than a freshly baked muffin. I'm almost positive that I have tried almost if not every flavor of muffin that Acorn bakes. They are always sitting right by the checkout and I can't help but glance down at them as I'm buying my coffee, ultimately caving and deciding to add one of those fluffy goodies to my order.

3) COFFEE!!!!!!
I know that coffee is not a food, I wasn't born yesterday. But if you couldn't tell by my lack of ability to blog every day during a 30 day challenge, I don't like to play by the rules. So, I'm choosing coffee as my third favorite comfort food. If I need to be productive and get a lot of things done, you can bet that there is a cup of coffee chilling at my side. It's like a best friend that doesn't let you down. With that said, I would like to take this time to thank coffee for being the perfect pal. Thanks dude.

Until Day 6 of the Blog Challenge,

Monday, February 17, 2014

Blog Challenge Day 4: Views on Religion

Today's topic: "Your views on religion."

...And now we get controversial.

Foreword: Please know that as I write this blog post I am NOT pushing my personal beliefs or views of religion on anyone else. I am merely retelling my story and my views of religion. Though I think it is absolutely vital to know the other point of view if you are nonreligious, if you are uncomfortable with the idea of reading about religious views I would suggest directing yourself to one of my other blog posts.

To answer straight up, yes, I am a very religious person. To this day I can easily picture the day I became a Christian. I was in 3rd grade and I was at church camp with my best friends. Our evening speaker ended his sermon by telling us that if we loved the Lord and wanted to spend our lives serving Him, that we should think about asking Him into our hearts. And so I did. I realized that before that moment, I had only considered myself a Christian because I went to church every Sunday with my family. After finally professing my faith that evening on the rickety, wooden steps outside of my cabin, I was overwhelmed with feelings of immense joy and fulfillment. I broke down in sobs next my camp counselor, who enveloped me in the warmest of hugs. I felt pure. It is something that typed words cannot fully express and one of my fondest memories of my childhood.

However, when it comes to the word "religion," I'm mortified with the negative connotation attached to it. When today's society thinks of religion, it immediately pictures clones of the Westboro Baptist Church members and their hateful protests against gay marriage, all whilst declaring that their horrifying acts are "an act of God's will."

This is large load of absolute crap.

First of all, God taught us to love. What those people are doing is the complete opposite of loving on all of the people of the world. If the world is striving towards world peace at some point in the future, our first move should be to ban the Westboro Baptist Church. Sorry, crazies, you are cordially uninvited to our peace party.

Another image that comes to mind when people hear the word "religion" is the Republican Tea Party. I would just like to point out that my grandmother was a hardcore Democrat and head-over-heels in love with the Lord at the same time. So you can knock that stereotype out of your head because I know without a single sliver of doubt in my mind that she's rocking it upstairs in Heaven right now. I love you, Grandma.

Today's society puts too much emphasis on the idea of "religion" and not what it really pertains to, which for me is my faith in God. That's it, bottom line. Where did that idea of religion go? As a Christian, I think that the word "religion" is a very broad and public display for an intimate and personal relationship with God.

However, because "religion" has become so warped in our society, people are beginning to dissociate the word from one's faith and belief in a higher power of the universe. According to a report released by the Public Religion Research Institute, 6 out of 10 Americans (59 percent) think that a religious person is "primarily about living a good life and doing the right thing."

For me, religion will forever remain a large, tacky poster board sign that automatically categorizes me as a person. Before people can even get to know me, they will have already given me characteristics and determined whether or not they will like me based on my association with Christianity. They will see me as homophobic, superficial, judgmental, intolerant and hypocritical.

If you know me as a person, you will know that these characteristics are far from true. One of my best friends is gay, for crying out loud (SHOUT OUT TO JESSE IMHOF, you're the greatest!). Just because I consider myself to be religious does not mean I am a indecent human being. So please, next time someone says they are religious, don't be quick to label them with a preconceived idea of what it means to be religious.

Until Day 5 of the Blog Challenge,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blog Challenge Day 3: My Top Five Pet Peeves

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday afternoon. I would like to take this moment to recognize the fact that this is the first time I have written two consecutive blog posts. Hooray for progress. I knew this 30 Day Challenge would be good for something!

Today's topic: "Your top five pet peeves."

Well what about them? Am I just supposed to list them? Am I supposed to tell a story about them? Does anyone actually care what my top five pet peeves are? As much as I'm starting to enjoy the 30 Day Challenge, I wish these topics had more clarity. 

To be honest, I hadn't really thought about what my pet peeves were before I was presented with this blog topic. Sure, there are things that annoy me and I know there are things I do that annoy others, but who actually keeps a running list of these things? 

Nonetheless, pet peeves is the challenge topic of the day, so I present to you: Leah's Top Five Pet Peeves (They are in no particular order).

1. People who go to bed abnormally early.

If you go to bed before 10 p.m. you really need to check yourself. I realize that I may be coming off a bit aggressive, but I find sleep to be the most pointless activity humans are required to do in order to live. Imagine what you could do with 8 extra hours in your day if you didn't have to sleep! The possibilities are endless. I, for one, like the idea of having extra time on my hands so I find myself choosing not to sleep much too often which is probably taking a toll on my goal of living to be 117 and beating the oldest Asian woman out of The Guinness Book of World Records. However, the people who choose to cut their day short just for a couple more hours of "beauty sleep" need to reevaluate their life decisions and social lives. I guarantee that if you slept like a normal person, more people would like you. Including me.

2. People who don't respect the rule of seniority.

Listen up, freshmen, because this one is a shout-out to you. I don't care if you were the coolest thing to grace the halls of your high school since sliced bread or if you can recite all of the numbers in Pi. There is a little rule I like to call seniority, and we all have to experience it. So please don't try and tell me what to do, because I am finally an upperclassman and I don't want someone running all over the seniority I've been waiting to achieve since entering college. Thank you.

3. Slow walkers.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. In my opinion, there should be separate lanes for people who are just dallying about their day. I live a busy life and I have places to be. When a string of slow walkers form a pack and stretch across the entire pathway, I am also forced to travel at an excruciatingly slow pace. Be considerate of others and either learn how to walk at a normal pace or travel by a different means of transportation because walking, my slow paced friend, is definitely not for you. 

4. People who ask questions during movies.

If I'm at the movie theater seeing a movie for the first time, please don't lean over and ask, "Wait, why are they doing that? What's going on?" I have not seen the movie before, so clearly I don't know what's going on either. Even if I have seen the movie before, don't ask! You know what's brilliant about movies? The fact that they tell a story as you watch them. I'm sure if you actually paid attention instead of bothering me with your questions you wouldn't even have a question in the first place. 

5. Exceedingly boring, torturous lecture courses.

I cried once during a class I took in Sevilla because it was so bad. Tears actually poured from my eyes. 

Until Day 3 of the Blog Challenge,

Monday, February 10, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 2

I am sorry for the delay in Day 2's post! I was at a retreat this weekend with the other editors of the university newspaper, so I didn't exactly have time to sit down and blog. But alas, here is "Day 2" of my 30 Day Blog Challenge.

Today's Topic: "Where you'd like to be in 10 years"

Why did I decide to do a 30 day challenge again?

10 years from now  I will be 31 years old. First of all, that just sounds foreign and old. People complain at 21 that they feel "ancient," but 31? That's when you're really racking in the numbers.

However, I'd rather not look at it as old. I'd like to think that at 31 years old I will be living life for myself and that I will be well into discovering who I am and what my purpose is in this world.

That's right, I said discovering. Whoever told you that at some specified age you are supposed to have it all together and know exactly who you are must be missing a screw somewhere in their noggin. Now I will admit, I was definitely one of the confused folk and thought that as a 21-year-old junior in college I should have my whole life figured out, but it was my dad who thankfully helped set me straight. He laughed and sympathized with me when I thought my life was falling apart (when really I was just having one of those college student anxiety moments), telling me that he didn't even have his life figured out yet. Upon hearing that I decided to readdress the age of "having it all together."

After some quick calculations, I came up with a new answer: never.

What does "having it all together" mean anyways? Life is a journey, and as such you are set on the task of figuring things out the entire time. I used to wish that my life was straight out of a movie like "The Lord of the Rings" or "Star Trek" because the characters were always on grand adventures. Now I realize that my life is nothing like those movies, it's better. I have so many cooler adventures than Frodo or James T. Kirk (even though I would take the chance to explore space on the USS Enterprise without a moment's hesitation). With all of my cool life adventures going on, I guarantee that as an old woman I still won't have it together. That could be due to the fact that I'm not exactly a "having it together" person, but I think that still applies to everyone. If there is someone out there who truly believes they have life all figured out, please let me know. I would love to learn your secrets.

So with that in mind, in 10 years I may not know who exactly I am or have it all together, but I would like to have matured. I will be 10 years older, you know. If haven't matured, then that's pretty sad. I will be so annoyed with myself. I would like the fact that I will have lived another 10 years from today be visible in the idea that I am wiser and stand just a little taller.

I would also like to have a family of my own, especially a husband that still gives me those strange butterflies in my stomach when I see him or that Cloud 9 dizziness when we kiss. He will know how to laugh and have silly moments, but will also help me to remember when it is time to be serious. My family will be strong within one another and a great support system. I am sitting here with a toothy grin on my face as I type, because I am so pumped to meet them. Shout out to my future fam, you all are the best.

In 10 years, I want to be acting. Yes, I know I am in school for broadcast journalism, but my true passion lies in acting. I love being able to tell a story and escaping reality for a little while. I am taking an acting class right now for my theatre minor and I am so excited to go to class every time. I find pure bliss in acting, and that's something that you can't pass up in life. I have a large imagination for someone my age, which can be both a good and bad thing, but it makes a career in acting seem inevitable for my future plans. When I think about my future, I haven't seen one that doesn't involve me acting.

It's not about the money, either. I would be happily broke for the rest of my life as long as I have my family by my side. I would love to live in California, but that doesn't mean I need to live in Beverly Hills. I could be very content with a simple life under the sun with my dreamy husband at my side, living life as it comes and taking every obstacle it throws at us in stride.

However, that doesn't mean you aren't going to see me at the Academy Awards. Just because Leonardo DiCaprio is clearly having some struggles securing an Oscar award doesn't mean I will. In fact, in 10 years I would love to have an Oscar award already on my shelf. Boom.

I would also like to star in a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and own a teacup pig. But hey, these are just details.

Until Day 3 of the Blog Challenge,

Thursday, February 6, 2014

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 1

To answer the thought rolling around your head, no I did not die. I could tell you were starting to wonder.

If you weren't wondering, well...hey. My name is Leah, and I am very much alive.

I was merely getting used to the idea of "normal life" again, which consisted of me going to class, doing homework, balancing a trillion different activities in my life, and coming to terms with the fact that no, I am no longer living in Spain. *sigh* *tear* *more sighing*

I would like to take this moment to sponsor a warning from myself to everyone, which is to NEVER STUDY ABROAD. It will ruin you.

-End study abroad rant-

Spring semester started this past Tuesday for me, so I decided that I wanted to do something that would keep things fresh and exciting. You know what I decided on? 

A 30 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE. Boom. I bet you didn't see that one coming.

I've realized that I have this problem where I don't write on my blog as much as I want to, so I figured that if I committed to a 30 day challenge then I would be forced to write every day. Genius, right? It might get a little excessive since you'll be hearing from me every single day for the next month, but it will bring us much closer. I promise.

I randomly picked a 30 day challenge that I found on Pinterest. I know there's an infinite amount of variations on the 30 day blog challenge, so you won't know which topic is coming next, which again keeps things interesting and keeps you on your toes.

Today's topic: "Your current relationship, if single discuss how single life is."

...10000000% single.

Let me begin by saying that my single life and I have a love/hate relationship. Mostly hate, but there's some love thrown in there occasionally. 

I can't really complain too much though. Single life is great. I don't have to make sure I'm in shape or looking good for anyone but myself, and every time I look in the mirror I realize that I am just plain gorgeous. Seriously, men are really missing out on this Class A Hottie. 

Then there's the fact that Valentine's Day is a mere 8 days away. Personally, I've never had a valentine. Every year that stupid holiday rolls around and I'm like "Guess I better buy myself some chocolate...?" 

But who am I kidding, my pantry is already stocked with chocolate.

Since I've never had a valentine, I don't truly know what I've been missing out on, so I'm still content with joking around with my fellow single friends and labeling February 14th as "Single Awareness Day." We do exist, and while the rest of the world is doodling hearts in their binders and making out in public places, us single folk are standing firm and strong in our singleness and declaring that love sucks. And just because the acronym for Single Awareness Day is S.A.D. does not mean we are sad about the "love" issue at hand, because we're not. We're joyous about spending our lives forever alone.

Now here's the truth: I've been hurt many times in my life because I thought that I was finally experiencing relationships and love, when really I was just being naive. I've always wanted Prince Charming to stroll up on a white horse and swoop me away as we ride off into the sunset. I'm very much a romantic. I honestly believe that there is someone out in world right now that was made to be my partner in crime, but I haven't met him yet. When he does stroll up to my front door, he may not look just like Prince Charming. He may have glasses, he may be a giant, he may be sarcastic, he may not even own a white horse (though that may be a deal breaker). What I do know is that when my mysterious someone strolls up to my front door, I'm going to put my hands on my hips and firmly ask him, "Now please explain what took so darn long because I've been waiting for you my whole life." And then we will live happily ever after.

Until that Disney-knockoff becomes a reality, I'm perfectly content with laughing with my friends about our misfortunes with guys, our single lives, and Single Awareness Day. Why should I let the male species put a damper on my day? If I had a relationship, I probably wouldn't be doing a 30 day blog challenge right now. I may not even have a blog at all. Life is too short not to cherish every moment, and I'm not going to let relationships stand in the way of living a perfect life. 

Well, not perfect. Perfectly imperfect.

Until Day 2 of the Blog Challenge,