by Azilee Ball
Tattoos are viewed negatively in American society. For generations, they have been associated with criminals, gang members, and other generally negative connotations. In modern society, tattoos are on people of all sizes, shapes, ethnicities, races, sexual identities, and backgrounds. They are a form of self-expression and are very common. There are still hundreds of U.S. employers that have a no-tattoo policy, including Calvin Klein, Gamestop, and even Starbucks. Many companies state that tattoos are unprofessional, impact customers negatively, are not images they want for their company, and other twisted reasoning for not allowing tattoos to be shown. I disagree with these companies and their reasoning. Today, it infuriates me that so many people can not accept change or even put forth an effort to understand previously-controversial things like tattoos.
by Theresa Dooley
As you may find yourself feeling a little angry, here are a few fun things to think about.
Tonight, I decided to make myself some tea. After letting it steep for a few minutes, I went to take a sip to find that it was still too hot. Deciding that I didn’t want to simply wait, I went to the freezer to get an ice cube. I gently put the ice cube into the mug and as I did I became immediately entertained by the behavior of the frozen water. As it was submerged into the hot tea, there was a sharp cracking sound, and then little jagged patterned formed to be seen through its translucent sides. The amount of ice quickly decreased as little bubbles crept up the sides. And then, quite suddenly, the cube flipped over onto another side. I perceived this behavior as the bottom part of the cube melting at a faster rate than the top, making the cube top-heavy and resulting in it flipping over. I watched the little ice cube flip over a couple times, and then it grew so small that it was lost in the little bubbles that it produced. So, there you go: watching something as simple as ice in hot water can provide joy, and perfectly-heated tea accompanies that joy.
By yourself, headphones in, good song—this is the perfect scenario for dancing. This may seem odd because moving your body in ways that you are not used to is vulnerable and awkward. Despite the awkward feeling, however, I believe that allowing yourself to dance creates a unique release of joy that nothing else provides. Throughout history, dance has been a part of human culture, taking many different forms. Over time it has grown into a performance art, which I still love, but I believe that the popularity of performance has taken away from the original reasoning behind movement. It is natural for humans to dance. If you don’t believe me, spend some time with a toddler and observe how they react to music. It doesn't have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to look cool, it is just moving to a rhythm. So I dare you to try it, turn on some music and allow yourself to dance. I hope it brings you as much joy as it brings to me.
by Maia Wheeler
We live in a society constantly rushing toward the same thing. It's always, “What’s next—what are we going to do now?” Sometimes, we aren’t content with what we have in ourselves, always wanting something more. We look at what will happen later. We always want to do the next big thing. But what happens when you forget about the future and stay content with yourself now and what you have to offer to the world? What happens when you just let yourself be who you are?
Over the course of some time, I have captured photos of people and friends during moments where they felt content with themselves and let themselves be who they are. It could be a simple laugh or even a passion that they have that made them forget about what's next and let them live in the moment.
by Maia Wheeler
Mary Oliver was a woman of many words. She was a woman of poetry, changing the way the mind looks at the beauties around us, specifically nature. Her works focused on the natural world and the details contained in nature. She was beloved by many and opened the eyes of many young writers aspiring to create diligent pieces connecting with nature and the beauty of life. She wrote from the heart, making artists able to connect and relate to her works. Though not an artist of paintings nor sculpture, she was an artist of words and creativity of the mind. Mary Jane Oliver holds a special place in many hearts as a woman of powerful words inspiring others to create their own stories.
Mary Oliver sadly passed away this past January from lymphoma. She is always in our hearts when writing and reading the poetic mind and she will always be recognized in history as one of the most inspiring poets. She will keep inspiring many writers for generations to come.
We encourage you to read her beautiful and heart-wrenching obituary from the New York Times, accessible here.