Just A Smile

Just A Smile

Zacko Rightmire, Sophomore, FLIS Major

                I am a Foreign Language Major. The language barrier is an obstacle I will face for the rest of my life. Traveling to nearly all 50 states, as well as 11 foreign countries, I have encountered more problems than I can count because of the language barrier.  Whether this barrier be in a foreign country, or even a small part of my own town, I have one weapon to combat it: a smile. I believe, that a smile, in any language, means “I love you.”

My Great Aunt, who lives in San Diego, has some trouble getting around. Every year my older brother, mother, and I all go to San Diego to help her out for at least a couple of weeks over the summer. One day, my great Aunt was in dire need of groceries, so we went to the local Asian food market. We arrived at the Pilipino grill, and she recited, in Tagalog, her order. It became very evident that the man did not understand Tagalog. Then we tried English, to no effect.  The conversation then slowly devolved into shoulder shrugging and frustrated shouting. My first instinct was to pull my Great Aunt out of the store and continue on with my day. Then, without thinking, I shushed my Great Aunt and smiled at the man. The frustrated scowl vanished from his face, and at that instant I knew that I had dissolved the tension by merely smiling at the man.

Though the grill employee could understand neither English nor Tagalog, he could understand my smile. He understood that I loved and respected him enough as another human being to calm down and resolve the conflict in a civil manner. Following a brief moment of silence, he retrieved his English speaking manager and I placed the order for my still flustered Great Aunt.

On the car ride home, my Great Aunt asked me how I calmed the man down. I told her all I had to do was smile. She then told me words I would remember for the rest of my life. “Even when you were little, your smile was contagious. It made everyone else smile, and it lit up the whole room. Smiling at anybody is as good as telling them you love them, please never forget that.”


Not Everyone Likes Cookies


Not Everyone Likes Cookies

Ross Fenimore, Sophomore, Exercise Science Major

I Believe…That not everyone likes cookies.

This is obviously a huge metaphor, but still holds an abundance of truth. I still remember, today, when my mother used to sit in the kitchen and make her homemade cookies. She is the best baker in the land, if you ask me. Her cookies are better than any dessert that I’ve ever had. If she puts them in front of me, the aroma is truly irresistible. I can’t help but reach in and eat as many as I can before I get nauseous. That’s beside the point, though.

 When I was young and naïve, I used to sit in the kitchen while my mom made cookies. I used to help her add the ingredients, mix the batter, and even lick the spoon as my reward. She’d always make chocolate chip first, and I was perfectly content. Afterwards, she would make oatmeal raisin. This wasn’t my particular favorite. As she added the oatmeal and raisins, I would ask “mama, why are you putting that in the cookies? I don’t like that.” She would always respond with “because there are people who like oatmeal and raisins in their cookies, and not everyone has to like chocolate chip.” I nodded, but always wanted every cookie to be the same that I enjoyed. I thought everyone would like them as much as I would. It was very narrow-minded but, like I said, I was very young and naïve.

 If you think about it, different personalities are like cookies. We all have different ingredients that give a different outcome. Not everyone is going to like the cookie they receive. And even broader, some people just won’t like cookies. Some people could like pie instead, for example. This is really symbolic of personalities. Yes, a lot of people don’t like cookies, but guess what? A lot of people do. You can’t worry about the people that don’t enjoy who you are because there are a whole bunch of people who do, and would, love you for exactly who you are. You never have to be anyone other than who you are at heart. If you’re a cookie, be a cookie. However, understand that not everyone will like cookies. Contrary to belief, that’s a good thing because we have all these unique perspectives and personalities. While one person may dislike what you’re giving them, someone else is coming to love it.



Hogwarts Is Not Never, It’s Just Not Yet.

Hogwarts Is Not Never, It’s Just Not Yet

Katherine Thesing, Sophomore, English Major

I believe Hogwarts is not never, it’s just not yet.

 Sure, my letter may not reasonably be lost in the mail for eight years.  (However, they never mentioned American wizards so maybe we are all prejudiced from the European wizarding world! There could be equality protests happening right now and as soon as the just laws are passed, we will be invited with open arms, able to rush through Hogwart’s grand doors to begin our real education.) But regardless of my fantasies, my whole life in muggle schools happened. There was no secret time turner or apparition taking me to a more magical world by night. I spent fourteen years of teachers pushing me towards a more realistic version of adulthood.

 Childhood wasn’t all pure magic. There were bruises and lonely days. There was extreme happiness and extreme jealousy. But in childhood, everything was imaginative. I was allowed to climb trees and make homes for fairies. Instead of beginning to live house, I got to play it. Maybe to some extent this is a metaphor about how childhood doesn’t have to end and I can carry that magic with me throughout my life, but on the honest end of this spectrum, I know someday I’m going to Hogwarts. It doesn’t make me crazy or delusional; it gives me hope that the stories we knew when our world began are real. It changes a mundane world to a place of possibilities. I may not have real magic, but unlike muggles I believe in the beauty of a world where we can be carried away by the stories we love.

 Going to Hogwarts is a state of mind. It’s walking barefoot to feel the world changing under your feet. It’s talking to your dolls because you know they listen. It’s believing a dandelion seed carries your wishes to safety. It’s appreciating the beauty of childhood, and never removing the magic of discovery and anticipation that something amazing, unique, and incredible can happen with your life.