Column: Brace for unexpected adventure

It was the age of braces. Missing junior high social studies for dental appointments.

For most, a dreaded memory. Picking lunch out of your metal mouth cage. Rubber bands snapping on your gums.

For Sarah, however, they hold some of the best memories she has with her father.

The College of Dentistry in Lincoln offers great discounted dental work by students (supervised by actual dentists, of course). Sarah and her father spent five years making trips back and forth every six weeks.

The braces were just the beginning. Sarah’s father often used the opportunities for fun, grabbing a pint of ice cream at the Dairy Store and eating the entire thing on the way home.

One particular day, Sarah and her father thought they should visit the Nebraska State capitol building after driving by it so many times. She would miss a little more school, but hey, it could be considered educational. It would take the place of social studies anyway.

While navigating through downtown Lincoln, they struggled to find a place to park (as expected). The thick fog was making it more difficult.

Right turn, right turn, left turn. No parking spaces.

Left turn, right turn, left turn. Nothing.

Even through the fog, they could see something wasn’t right.

“I knew we were lost when we drove over the railroad tracks,” Sarah said.

It was clear that their quick trip to the capitol building was turning into more of an adventure than initially planned.

They back tracked through the fog, pint of vanilla ice cream in one hand, spoon in the other, and after all that, finally found their way on the steps of the Capitol.

“Honestly I have no idea how we got back to the capitol. Dad knew the streets of Lincoln pretty well so I guess we just eventually got back,” Sarah said.

On top of all that, they got a personal tour of the capitol building. This was Sarah’s first time in the Capitol.

Their tour guide took them through the hallways and grand ceilings of the government building. They even took the elevator up as high as they could go.

Sarah remembers the staircases, the marble, and the painted ceilings as the coolest parts.

Her mouth was sore from getting her braces tightened, but the pain melted away after all those hours laughing with Dad.

“The photos of me with braces just remind me of all the years spent going up and back to Lincoln, so I don’t mind remembering those memories,” Sarah said.

Skipping school wasn’t so bad either.

“I don’t think I missed anything important in social studies anyway.”

She cracks a smile. Perfectly straight teeth.

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Bracing for excitement: lost in Lincoln

It was the age of braces. Missing junior high social studies for dental appointments.

For most, a dreaded memory. For Sarah, some of the best memories she has with her father.

The College of Dentistry in Lincoln offers great discounted dental work by students (supervised by actual dentists, of course). Sarah and her father spent five years making trips every six weeks.

The braces were just the beginning. Sarah’s father often used the opportunities for fun, grabbing a pint of ice cream at the Dairy Store and eating the entire thing on the way home.

One particular day, Sarah and her father thought they should visit the capitol building after driving by it so many times. She would miss a little more school, but hey, it’s very educational. It could take the place of social studies anyway.

While navigating through downtown Lincoln, they struggled to find a place to park (as expected). The thick fog was making it more difficult.

Right turn, right turn, left turn. No parking spaces.

Left turn, right turn, left turn. Nothing.

Even through the fog, they could see something wasn’t right.

“I knew we were lost when we drove over the railroad tracks,” Sarah said.

It was clear that their quick trip to the capitol building was turning into more of an adventure than initially planned.

They back tracked through the fog, vanilla ice cream in hand, and after all that, finally found their way on the steps of the capitol.

“Honestly I have no idea how we got back to the capitol. Dad knew the streets of Lincoln pretty well so I guess we just eventually got back,” Sarah said.

On top of all that, they got a personal tour of the capitol building, with a sneak peek of the governor’s office.

“The photos of me with braces just remind me of all the years spent going up and back to Lincoln, so I don’t mind remembering those memories,” Sarah said.

“I don’t think I missed anything important in social studies anyway.”

Wind blown dreams

Have you ever felt like you could fly

Right off this deck into the big blue sky

 

With braided nylon woven round your grip

You could harness the breeze and begin your trip

 

As you bounce off the waves like skipping rocks

White caps become clouds over disappearing docks

 

 

Country music concerts are usually bad

Unsurprisingly, I had a rather annoying encounter at the Josh Turner concert.

Shortly after Makayla, Rachel, and I arrived, Josh Turner took the stage and started his set.

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It was mediocre at best.

Everything happened as expected. Drunk college students flooded the gym floor. Girls screamed with heart eyes at Turner.

Almost on cue, a young man in a plaid shirt and jeans came up next to me and put his arm around me. My eyes rolled so far back into my head that I caught a glimpse of my frontal lobe.

Unfortunately he didn’t see this telltale sign because he was 6 inches shorter than me. I took a few steps away from him and he relentlessly kept his hand resting on my shoulder.

I shuddered and looked over at my friends who had missed this entire interaction.

I nudged Makayla.

She immediately flicked his hand away like a mosquito.

He finally left me alone, but shortly after, stepped directly in front of me and put his arms around two girls who did not know him either. I watched this for a while, but after a few minutes, a different guy told him to maybe ask the girls if they even wanted him there.

He whispered in this girl’s ear, and she shook her head and made a face like a toddler who was asked if she wanted vegetables.

Finally this dude took the subtle hints from the females around him, and left the area.

As if the country music didn’t make me gag enough.

Pulitzer Prize Winners: Heroin in Cincinnati

“Seven Days of Heroin: This is what an epidemic looks like” peaked my interest because of the large scale reporting of 60 journalists and the documentary that came out of the project.

A special report: In the next seven days of the heroin epidemic, at least 180 people in Greater Cincinnati will overdose and 18 will die. Babies will be born to addicted mothers. Parents will go to jail. Children will end up in foster care. This is normal now.

They released a day to day report of heroin-related scenes in Cincinnati. They also released a story about why they took on this project and what it means to the people of Cincinnati.

The deeper I get into the stories of these people, the more distant I feel from that world. It’s so hard to imagine being so trapped in life-ruining addiction that affects everyone around you, and for expecting mothers, their unborn children.

The amount of reporting that went into this project is extraordinary. The stories, photos, and videos are hard to read, but make you interested in how people find themselves in those situations.

We set out to do this project to not to affirm or deny differing views on the cost of battling addiction and its impact. Rather, we set out to understand how it unfolds day in and day out. I believe you will find what we found to be staggering. In the weeks ahead, The Enquirer will build on this effort, devoting more attention to actions our communities can take to make a difference against heroin’s horrible impact.

 

Media criticism: Sexism in broadcasting

I can’t tell you how many times after hearing that my major is multimedia and journalism, someone has replied with “Oh, you’d like nice as a news anchor/weather person.”

What?

It’s crazy, but the TV broadcasting industry has proved itself to be extremely sexist, and that’s how people expect it to be.

Longtime Channel 5 anchor Heather Unruh abruptly resigned from her position and stated that she was encouraged to dress more provocatively than she felt comfortable doing.

“All women in the industry are being subject to it. Is it sexist? Yes, it’s sexist,” she said. “Men come to work and are allowed to wear what feels appropriate to them. It might be a business suit or blazer that doesn’t hug them in certain places. I would have been very happy to wear a blazer every day of my career.”

-Heather Unruh

Diane Dimond of FOX news said the network was a “good ol’ boys thing” and “You’ve got to wear your skirts short and your heels high, and you’ve got to put lots of makeup on if you’re a woman.” Dimond was also asked to dye her hair blonde.

Gretchen Carlson of FOX news filed a sexual harrassment lawsuit against CEO Roger Ailes after he repeatedly commented on her looks, asked her see her backside, and then fired her after she declined having sex with him.

Dimond commented on Carlson’s firing that she “probably hammered the nail on her career. I don’t know that anyone will hire her again after this.” Dimond said she’s seen high-profile women in the TV business file a sexual discrimination lawsuit and end up never working in the field again.

While some women find it hard to face the harsh commentary of viewers about their appearances, Katy Tur of NBC News says she has started to go more natural, and she thinks it will be a trend in news.

For so long there was an expectation of how you’re supposed to look when you walk into any broadcast makeup room, where makeup artists would Fox-ify—as in Fox News—any woman by adding fake lashes, bright lipstick, and lots of eyeshadow, and perfectly coiffing her hair. But that’s just not who I am… The makeup artists probably want to strangle me because I’m like, “Less, less, less!” I’ve had a few days when I’m like, “Oh God, we put too much on,” and I’ll wipe it off during a commercial break or when somebody else is onscreen. Thankfully, NBC has always allowed me to be me.

Hopefully the industry follows in Tur’s footsteps and allows women to be themselves, not a made up version of the “perfect” woman behind the desk.

 

Plagued by migraines

I’m seeing spots. Lots of lots of spots.

My head is pounding beyond belief and my face is so hot it feels feverish.

I’m sitting in the middle of the annual Honors Program banquet and I’m getting a migraine. Flippin fantastic.

In the last year I’ve been plagued with migraines, something I’ve never experienced before in my entire life. I only started getting mild headaches around that time as well.

Twice I’ve had migraines last over a week (literally waking up and going to bed everyday and it never goes away) and had to get steroid and pain killing injections to make it stop.

Once during a sand volleyball game I got a migraine so bad that I can only describe it as the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life. And I’ve broken a toe before. The next day I had what I would consider a migraine hangover.

Since the migraines are so random, doctors won’t do a lot for me yet until we figure out what triggers them.

So for now, I take four ibuprofen, attempt a nap, and push through it if I can.

I welcome any advice you may have for me.

Media criticism: News media handling fake news

NBC News has a great article going over the rapid fire spreading of “fake news” and everything that term encompasses.

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They added a lot of facts and research into the article, including why fake news spreads faster than the real stuff. I enjoyed this article because it went so in depth into the matter.

This issue is of high importance to NBC and all news distributors, which is why it’s nice to see them writing articles about the problem itself, whether to defend themselves or to inform the public of the dangers of not researching news and believing everything your hear or see on Facebook.

The end of an era

I’ve been playing competitive sports for 10 years. My adolescence and early adulthood have been completely sports-centric.

I played three sports in junior high and high school: volleyball, basketball, and track. I finally grew into my body and was pretty good by junior and senior year of high school. But let’s (finally) close the yearbook and move on…

Well, after all those sports, I couldn’t stop playing in college. Luckily I lived in Men’s Hall for two years, which allowed me to make a lot of friends who also liked to play sports.

I’ve played every intramural sport I could for four years, and collected so many free t-shirts I can’t even remember how many there are. I also won a pretty hefty scholarship junior year because out of all the females on campus, I had won the most intramural games and championships.

This is the last week I will be playing intramurals. It’s been a pretty big part of my college experience. One that I’ll always remember, and one that I’ll miss. It’s also quite possibly the end of competitive sports playing for me, but only time will tell.

(These aren’t even all the photos…)

Political Commentary: Physician Assisted Suicide should continue to be legalized

Hawaii is joining six other US states and Washington DC that have already made assisted suicide legal. Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California, Colorado, and the District of Columbia all give the decision to the individual person, while Montana brings the decision to the courts.

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Information from 2016

The highly controversial idea of assisted suicide is contested around the world. In the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Canada, and India, human euthanasia is legal, while assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, and Japan, along with the  places in the United States.

Assisted suicide is defined as a physician providing the means for death in a prescription form and human euthanasia is defined as a physician giving a lethal injection directly to the patient, according to the World Federation of Right To Die Societies.

In the United States, a person sometimes has to have a terminal diagnosis of only six months to live in order to get the prescription for assisted suicide.

Such was the case for a elderly couple who chose to pass away at the same time after both only having six months to live. There is a 45 minute documentary about them entitled Living and Dying: A Love Story.

On Debate.org, 74% of people said that assisted suicide should be legalized. The comments from the 26% were often citing religion reasons, like, “Stopping the human heart is God’s business and this is a common belief of nearly all religions.”

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Reasons from the 74% were that people will commit suicide if they want to, whether assisted suicide is legal or not, but often said that it should be reserved for the ill and dying as a comfortable way to pass away.

If that’s not official enough for you, the a Gallup survey taken in 2015 says 68% of Americans say doctors should be legally allowed to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide.

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Even where it is legal, it isn’t being used as much as you might think, says The Gospel Coalition. In 2015, 132 people died by physician assisted suicide.

The fact is, assisted suicide is not an easy way out for people who have not given enough thought to ending their lives or continuing it, it’s a way for sick people to end their pain when and where they choose to end it.

When it comes to the argument that doctors swear to do everything they can to heal or save someone, there comes a time when the patient is in control, even when signing a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). After a certain amount of pain and suffering, a person decides how much more they want to endure.

Doctors often give opiate prescriptions, morphine, anesthesia, and even terminal sedation to patients nearing death to ease the pain. These do not stop a person’s heart, but rather take away all feeling and sometimes consciousness until it does stop. That process is arguably as close to assisted suicide as it’s gets without actually crossing that line.

Is physician assisted suicide really that unreasonable when you look at the facts? It’s not a go-to fix for everything, but rather a last ditch effort at ending years of pain and discomfort that have absolutely no way of being cured. It’s about being able to say your goodbyes and make peace with your life, and then leaving it comfortably.