Friday, September 23, 2016

In Celebration...

...of our two-month marriage anniversary, here are some pictures from the big day! I'm kind of obsessed with them.

I hate the smell of flowers, so all our flowers were hand made of paper by one of my bridesmaids :)

Maid of Honor, my sister Sarah!

Cassidy, my best friend who made all the flowers!

College roomie, Harley :)

Childhood best friend and fire fairy, Jesse :)

Now sister-in-law, Abigail!

Another childhood best friend and fire fairy, Ellie!


You can't tell, but the cake topper bride is pinching the cake topper groom's butt. That cake topper was the first wedding thing I picked out.

Best day of my life--so far :)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Processing "Rape Culture"

I'm not sure how to write about this. I don't even know what I want to say yet (which is--as always--why I'm writing in the first place).

You've probably already heard more than you care to about the girl who was raped behind a dumpster and how her rapist got sentenced to only six months in prison. Part of me agrees that you can never say too much about how awful that was. But part of me is also emotionally exhausted by all the hate and horror floating around on the internet.

If it's not police violence, it's a gorilla getting shot. If it's not a gorilla getting shot, it's how males are absolute pigs and responsible for "rape culture."

Are males responsible for rape culture? Well, they are statistically more often the rapists and than the victims. Males do have more of a reputation for objectifying and sexualizing women, and reputations don't just form for no reason. So, I guess yeah, males are primarily responsible for rape culture.

But not ALL males. Gem is not responsible for rape culture. My dad is not responsible for rape culture. And I resent all the broad, sweeping statements about how "No, you know what, because you have a penis you ARE part of the problem and the fact that you don't think you are means you're even worse and there's nothing you can say or do to make me change my mind."

I'm sorry, but isn't that just another form of sexism? Don't women get enraged when sweeping statements are made about them? People are individuals. "Men" is not a homogeneous group of macho rapists any more than "Women" is a homogeneous group of emotional bitches.

Brock Turner did something wrong. But TWO other males did something right by stopping him and calling the police.

Yeah, males are primarily responsible for rape culture. But not ALL males.

I also happen to think that it is really stupid for a young woman to get so drunk she can't remember her night, so drunk she thinks it's wise to wander behind a dumpster with a strange boy. I do NOT mean that it was "her fault" that she was violated. But you are more likely to get knifed in a dark alley alone than in a well-lit Starbucks. You are also more likely to be molested if you are totally plastered and unable to enforce your wishes. (A 2012 study posted by Campus Safety Magazine reports that "90% of acquaintance rapes involve alcohol.")

But then again. I just read an article (why do I even do that to myself? It's like reading the comments on YouTube) by a 20-something Christian guy who made a point I had somehow overlooked:  "As men, it’s our job to protect women regardless of what they wear or how much they drink."


How could I have forgotten the way I was raised? How could I have forgotten the Southern values I hold to so proudly? How could I have forgotten the Biblical responsibility of men?

I've been so caught up in how dumb and irresponsible it is to wear short skirts and get plastered in an alleyway that I forgot that THAT SHOULDN'T MATTER. In a common sense and empirical kind of way, it totally does matter, but on a moral, Christian, Southern level, it shouldn't matter at all.

Men are supposed to protect women, not because women are weak or cowardly, but because it's polite (and clearly women are the ones who need protection in this particular case, since most rapists are men and most victims are women).

But no matter how confident in and proud of Gem and my dad I am, I will never wear a short skirt and get plastered in an alleyway.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

You Might Be an English Major If...

~ You like to laugh at whoever made notes in your literature book before you. They had no clue what they were talking about.

~ You get a special thrill when you've already underlined a passage your professor highlights in class.

~ It takes you three times longer than necessary to study for a literature exam, because you keep getting caught up in how beautiful the words are.

~ Your idea of "relaxing" is paraphrasing Paradise Lost in modern English.

~ You're reading a book for pleasure, but keep feeling like you ought to be taking notes.

~ People ask you grammar questions instead of looking up the answers, because you're faster.

~ Some of the truest joy you've ever felt comes from finding a book source that is truly PERFECT for your research paper. (This happened to me about an hour ago and I'm not gonna lie, I'm still coming down from it.)

~ If listening to your favorite song looks like this.

~ You experience gut-wrenching horror, anger, and sorrow when book-burning is mentioned.

~ A fun evening of relaxing can totally include watching a Macbeth adaptation or reading scholarly articles on femininity in "The Birthmark."

~ You are beyond tired of the question, "So do you wanna teach then?" English majors do not have to be teachers any more than math majors have to be calculators.

~ It feels completely normal to spend 80 minutes talking about phallic and yonic symbols. In fact, you don't really even notice.

~ The inappropriate use of "literally" makes you want to walk away from a conversation--LITERALLY.

~ You are the go-to person whenever someone needs his or her paper edited. And you don't mind.

~ You hear the phrase "country matters" and start giggling mischievously, because Hamlet.

~ You check out a book at the library called "Gold-Hall and Earth-Dragon:  Beowulf as a Metaphor" JUST BECAUSE IT SOUNDS INTERESTING.

~ You have turned in over 100 pages of writing this semester.

~ You cringe whenever directly quoting forces you to use controversial punctuation. {I like my Oxford commas, thank you very much.}

~ You actually have an opinion on the Oxford comma.

~ You go out with your friends and end up talking about Hamlet's psychological state, why you're in love with Emily Dickinson, and how Wallace Stevens was a total nihilist.

~ You care enough to compile a list of things called "You Might Be an English Major If..."

Bonus Round:
You might be a SENIOR English major if...

~ You accept the challenge of writing a paper on a text you have not quite finished reading.

~ You email your professor a question about your paper and justify crossing off "work on paper" from your To Do list.

~ You really hope your professor remembers the amazing paper you wrote freshman year and gives you a massive benefit-of-the-doubt about this current one.

~ You write a blog post about your paper and justify crossing off "work on paper" from your To Do list.

~ You do not crumble at the thought of reading 250 pages in a weekend, and another 400 between Monday and Thursday.

~ You start crying when your professor changes a paper requirement from "12-15 pages" to "10-12 pages."

~ You start crying when your professor postpones a paper deadline by a week.

~ You just generally start crying a lot.

You might be a senior English major at Campbell University if...

~ Your professors are some of the most important and amazing people you've ever had in your life, and you are going to miss them every bit as much as you're going to miss your friends. Free pizza.

I'm not even going to make a joke about Just Kidding I'm Gonna Miss Free Pizza More.

I can't believe this part of the journey is almost over.

~ Stephanie

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: The Best Year of My Life

More will come. Right now I'm still in shock. I've been shaking and beaming uncontrollably for the past...sixteen hours.

There was mud. And an argument. And literal fireworks.

And then my best friend, the man of my dreams, my rock, my partner, my love...

Got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

After gasping, asking if he was serious, and feeling tears of joy, I managed to say "Yes." It was the happiest and surest word I'd ever spoken.

Guys. Gem and I are engaged. I could not be any more joyful.