New Posts for a New School Year

Hello everyone,

Let me first apologize for being an inactive blogger for a very long time. I promise to post about my summer very soon because I know a lot of you like to follow my trips to Germany! I’ll also try to be more frequent with my posts.

Anyways, the reason I’m posting now is to introduce you to a series of entries I’ll be posting this semester. In my public relations writing class (PRL 215), we are required to keep up a weekly blog. The topics will be assigned to us but I will try to make them interesting. It might help you gain a better understanding of public relations, so stay tuned!

One of my professors always ends his lecture slides with a sunset – so this week, here’s a picture of a Croatian sunset that I took this summer!

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Month of the Military Child

I’ve been an army brat since before I was born. As you can imagine, the military has been a very significant part of my life. Actually, I don’t think I can even say that it was “part of my life” instead, it was my life. I’ve moved all over, lived in a different country, said goodbye to friends… but I never realized how different my childhood was until I ventured off to college and was exposed to a large group of non-military kids.

There are some characteristics of military children that you just can’t deny are different from normal kids. This life style is hard and grueling but I don’t know a single one of us that would change their experience for the world.

That’s probably one of our finest traits, we truly appreciate what we have. When your entire life gets up-rooted every few years, you really find the things that you’re thankful for. The opportunity to travel, the few times my father got to see me run in high school cross country races, my brother, Joe, who got me through everything, and the strength of my mother who raised me in a loving environment, even when she was on her own majority of the time, are a few things I truly appreciate that a lot of other children take for granted.

When I was really little, my Dad decided became a member of the special forces and became ranger certified. With this honor came the price of his absence from my life. He missed my first 8 birthdays, countless first days of school, and a lot of other things in my childhood. But every time he came home, it was the best thing in the world. Even as an infant, I knew how special it was when he came home. My Mom always tells a story of when he came home from a long deployment and as he held me, I’d stare into his eyes, then rest my head on his shoulder and giggle for a minute, then look back up at him.

I just remember every waking moment with him being the highlight of my day. My Dad was a jump master, he helped tell his soldiers when to jump out of airplanes and helicopters with their parachutes and he would have to practice his commands at home. To spend extra time with us, he taught me and my little brother the commands and we pretended to be his little jump crew. During the time we had my brother Dad and I would do push ups, learn defense moves, and go play on the base training obstacle courses. We’d camp out and eat Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), those little bags of military food you see in the movies and we loved every second of it.

Although we had fun with the military life, it was really hard to keep a grip on things. I literally moved every 1-2 years. One time it got so bad that as we pulled up to a new house, my brother (in first grade) looked over at me and said, “Don’t make any friends, Margaret. We aren’t here long enough.” We also lived in some pretty less-than-stellar base housing. In Ft. Leavenworth Kansas my Mom cried on the spot when she saw our living quarters. But because of these experiences, I learned to appreciate what I have. I’m so easy going now. As long as there’s a roof over my head, I consider a place liveable and I’ll find a way to make it home.

Once I hit the 5th grade, my Dad decided that he needed to settle down to be a bigger part of our lives. He moved from special forces to being a comptroller. Who knew then that he’d wind up deployed twice to Iraq and being away from us almost more than when he was one of the special forces elite. The years he went to war took a toll on all of us incredibly. But in the end, we pulled through together, as a family.

Now that I live in a different country than my parents, even though my Dad is recently retired, I can’t help but to look back on all of these moments and realize that they prepared me for anything that’s going to challenge me in life. I have the ability to adapt and deal with a lot of different situations quickly and that helps me every day here at school. It’s definitely hard, but coming from this lifestyle I really know what home means. Home is not a house, a name, a bedroom, a neighborhood, not even the high school you graduated from, its where your family is, the people who love you and care about you more than anything.

This is the month of the military child and I just had to get a little bit of my story out there. This isn’t even the half of it, but there’s no way I can explain it all. It’s just something that only other military brats can truly understand. Families serve along with our soldiers, we suffer with them, we laugh with them, the military is a family commitment and anyone who says otherwise, needs to open their eyes to the world in front of them. Support our troops and their families.
Here’s a video of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden discussing the month of the military child.

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Real Veterans Wear Orange

I made this video with my group members Paige Carlotti and Nick Ferreiro for my COM117, Multimedia Storytelling class.

Thank you to all Veterans all for your service.

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Sophomore Year Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about school. I thought that I would let every one know how my Sophomore year is going so far in Newhouse.

To start off, my schedule is not pretty. 8 a.m classes on Monday & Wednesday, class until 8 p.m. on Thursday, and then 3 classes on Friday, ew! On the bright side though, I’m really enjoying them. I’ve had more work to do than ever before but I feel like I say that every semester.

I’m taking three Newhouse classes to get caught up in my Public Relations degree. Communications and Society, Multimedia Storytelling, and Practical Grammar for Public Communications. Yes, the last one is as boring as it sounds.

In the mean time, I got a Teacher’s Assistant position for Introduction to Public Policy. It’s not as fancy as it sounds, there’s 18 TA’s total. But I’m really enjoying it and getting to know other people as well. Because of this, I also decided to double major in Public Policy and Public Relations. I’ll be able to declare it next semester!

I’m also taking British Literature and Introduction to Statistics for Liberal Arts Majors (a.k.a. Stats for people who can’t do math).
It’s all certainly enough to keep me busy!

Socially, I’ve been putting myself out there more and making more friends. I’ve also been hanging out a lot with people that I met last year, but never really hung out with before. I have a great room mate, Vania and I’m super glad we decided to room together here in Ernie!

Still missing my Mom, Dad, Joe, and Mitzie though! You guys mean the world to me. ❤

So I guess that’s just a little Margaret Sophomore year up date!

P.S. My Blog hit 1000 hits!!! 🙂

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September 11th Class Discussion

Last Thursday my COM 117 classmates and professor engaged in a very interesting conversation about September 11th coverage that basically left me speechless. I couldn’t think of a way to express what I was feeling during class but after contemplating for a few days, I think that I finally know what to say.
To give some background about my situation, I’ve been a military child since before I was born. My father served in the United States Army for 26 years and just retired in June. We were stationed in Washington D.C. during the 9/11 attacks and my Dad often worked in the Pentagon. The day of the attacks, we knew that he had a meeting in the building (the office that his meeting was supposed to be in was actually in the direct area of the plane crash). The phones were tied up all day and we did not know if he was safe until very late that night. It took him 6 hours to get home, usually a 1 hour commute. He finally got through to my Grandmother via telephone, who called my Mom to let us know he was safe.

The Day My Dad Retired

These attacks changed my life at a very young age. It was my first encounter with the concept of evil and my first idea of death. Two years later, my family was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany and my Dad was deployed to Iraq twice. I’ve always remembered 9/11 as a huge turning point in my military life and my understanding of war, terror, and life in general.

Because the attacks hit so close to home for me and changed my life, it’s hard for me to hear that the other children my age didn’t experience that day the same way that I did. Some of my friends even claim that they hardly remember the event. Conversations of 9/11 and the war on terror often prevent me from participating in class discussion because I don’t know how I will be perceived.
The other day in class, when we talked about how the media covered 9/11, Iraq & Afghanistan, and Vietnam I made several personal conclusions.

1. These events need to be censored to some degree for the sake of the families affected and the images that were exposed on 9/11 are enough to be burned into our minds forever.

The Twin Towers on 9/11

2. The Vietnam war was covered entirely too much. The families of those soldiers who died on broadcasted television will never recover. It’s impossible. More censorship would have been better in this case.

3. The Iraq & Afghanistan wars are not covered enough. I’ve heard these wars classified as ‘wars that do not affect us,’ a statement that stuns me because they have been affecting my life daily for 9 years. When these wars are covered, only deaths and hatred for politicians are portrayed. The actual progress that has been made in Iraq and Afghanistan is seldom reported.

I feel like during September 11th, the media handled the situation in the best possible way. But honestly, I’m bitter about the way they have handled the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. If I was around for Vietnam, I’m sure I’d be bitter about that too.

As the anniversary of September 11th comes and goes all of the families affected by terrorism, in any form, will be in my heart, as they always are.


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Zombie Plans pt 1

Those of you that know me well, must have realized by now that I’m pretty much paranoid. Therefore, it can’t be a surprise that I’ve dedicated my free time this summer to developing zombie survival plans. Now these zombie plans will not be amateur, I’ve been thinking about them for years, researched, and of course my brother has helped me (his plans are a bit different from mine but we have discussed the topic for endless hours).

How things start is a mystery. The outbreak could happen in the middle of the day, at night, first thing in the morning… this is why you should always be prepared. If indeed, my family (Mom, Dad, Joe, Mitzie) have learned about the zombie outbreak via the news things will be easier. But if worse comes to worse, and we find out because we’re attacked leaving the house or even just being in the house… we’ll still be prepared.

So, without further ado, this is what one should do if they are in my house during the zombie apocalypse:

So, first things first, kill any zombie(s) inside the house. Hopefully, there aren’t any… but I guess you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do. We all know that the only way to effectively kill a Zombie… again, is to destroy its brain. I won’t go into gory detail but you should grab any sharp or heavy object near you and start whacking. Whack away for your life. Seriously. I don’t care if it hurts you, don’t stop until there’s no chance that Zombie(s) is getting up again!

Then as soon as the zombie is taken care of, lock down the house. Luckily, our house has rolladens, those nifty metal german blinds that you can pull down with a little lever/rope and they cover all of the windows from the outside, blocking out all sunlight. This way, we can’t see the zombies and the zombies can’t see us. It also prevents the zombies from getting through the glass windows.

Barricading the doors is also a must. My house has four doors, one in the basement, one front door, and two side doors. In the basement, we’d use the treadmill and all of the other exercise equipment to block it. The side doors have rolladens, but we could use the kitchen table and couches to block those. The front door is the most important. We would use everything we possibly could. Bench in the hallway, television stands, wardrobes, etc.

Because we can’t have guns in Germany, we would need to find any item that could be used as a weapon. Tools, knives, heavy pottery, kitchen appliances, bottles. Rationing the food is also extremely important. However, we would not be staying in the house forever, just waiting until the zombies move elsewhere.

Ladenburg is a fairly small town and my house is located near the farm part of it, the center of the town is in the opposite direction. The zombies probably wouldn’t stay in our area very long, they would all try to migrate to where a lot of people are located. Who knows, they could even make their way to Mannheim.

We would call the military installations in Germany hoping for survivors, after all, the bases are gated and they have guns, so maybe those people have a better chance at living. Maybe they would be able to make a rescue mission and come save us. But if this fails, after probably about a week and a half, I’d assume most of the zombies from our part of Ladenburg would be gone. We would be able to make a quick run for one of the cars and take off down the deserted farm roads behind our house.

Then, we would have no choice but to drive to the black forest. Stopping only at gas stations, and all of us getting out and fighting any zombies in our way to fill up with the gas. The black forest isn’t that far away and areas are pretty deserted. We would just have to make a new life up there by taking over one of those houses at the top of a mountain in the forest, away from all civilization. We could live off of the land, water from fresh streams, rain. My dad has also been through ranger school & special forces training, so I’m sure he’d know how to live off of the land like that. If not, we’d figure it out. Anything to live!

I assume that after a few years, the zombies would decompose and be unable to attack. Anyone left would probably come out and the world would try to rebuild with the few survivors.

THE END.

Disclaimer: Please do not blame me if my zombie plans don’t work for your house! You never know, zombies are unpredictable. My plan could very well be a complete fail but it’s better to try than go down without a fight.

Stay tuned for pt 2!
😀

Btw, this makes me giggle!

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Cycles.

So far this summer, I’ve had a lot of time to think. In just three short weeks, I’ve said many goodbyes, been reunited with friends, saw my high school close with it’s last graduation, and realized a lot about life.

I’ve never really considered karma as a real thing but now I’m starting to believe it. If someone is a genuinely mean person, some good things may happen to them but I truly believe that they’ll never be happy. And if you’re a good person who is polite, nice, tries to find the best in people and do not go out of your way to hurt others, things may be bad but in the long run… you’re going to be great. I know that all might sound pretty cliche’ but that’s how I really feel. I’m tired of being abused because I’m a nice person but that’s not going to change me but I have decided not to let people walk all over me anymore.

All of this made me start thinking about cycles. I realized that almost every time I say goodbye, I also almost immediately say hello as well. Seeing Mannheim’s last graduation was kind of sad, the school/base that I graduated from is not going to exist in a year. But weirdly, my Mom just got transferred to Wiesbaden to teach, the place we lived for five years before moving to Mannheim.

Wiesbaden wasn’t always good to me. My Dad deployed while we were there twice and I went through a lot. But this is also the place that I met Evan, found my love for running, and made many memories that I hold dear to my heart. So, once Joe graduates and moves to the states, my parents will move back to Wiesbaden, and that soon will be my home again. That’s pretty cool.

So yep, there you have it. Who knows when you’ll wind up in old places, with old friends. Who knows when you’ll be in a new place and make new friends. All I know is, what goes up must come down. When things are bad, they won’t be like that forever. (:

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Adele.

I just saw this and thought that it was amazing. I don’t really have much else to say other than, I love how she handles the fame. Just wanted to share. (:

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Poetry.

I don’t really write poems anymore but I used to all the time. Here’s one that I wrote a few winters ago. I know it’s not really seasonally appropriate right now, but oh well. I felt like posting it. 🙂

“Snowglobe”
At first glance, it seems harmless,
beautiful, even enchanting. Swirling
white, inside is just
darling. But contemplation brings
on reality. Entrapped. Freezing.
Reliving the events every moment,
every second. Old ways, memories,
the darkness. Take over. Thinking
causes pain, it shatters the fragile,
tiny, beautiful heart. It never stops.
No way out. At the mercy of a
stranger’s hand, shaken, thoughts
swirl like snow. Falling, falling.
The glass shatters. Freedom
is the equivalent of self-
destruction.

Here’s a beautiful picture of pennsylvania for you to look at while you try to analyze the poem. Baha.

P.S One of these days I’ll be blogging about my zombie plans, so stay tuned.

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The Hammer of Thor

Tonight I went and saw the new Thor after dinner at Apple Bees with Evan, his two aunts Jenna and Mandie and their husbands John and Mike. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the movie!

Sadly, before seeing the movie my knowledge of Thor and his magical hammer was limited. I was certainly excited that my favorite actress, Natalie Portman was in it but I couldn’t possibly think of how they would work her role into this super hero movie. I think that they did a great job incorporating Jane and Thor’s separate worlds together.

The film had gorgeous landscapes, colors, costumes and more! It was very visually appealing but I don’t think it was overkill. Sometimes with movies like this, I feel like the graphics to create these extraterrestrial worlds are exaggerated and overused (almost like in Katy Perry’s E.T video) but I think that they managed it very well.

Also, no girl can complain about Chris Hemsworth’s casting. He played his role well and really brought Thor to life.

I won’t bore you with my rambling anymore, but if you haven’t considered going to see Thor, you should think again. I really liked it. You should go see it. (:

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