How a Girl Scout Billboard May Influence You to Advocate Against Injustice

This past Sunday, I was driving to my grandparent’s home in Georgetown, Ohio. I was between two towns in Clermont county, when I passed a billboard sign advertising girl scouts. The sign was simple, showing a girl in a uniform with the words:

“There is power in every girl.”

I could not help but think about the billboard the rest of the way to my grandparent’s home.

In the United States today, there are so many social justice issues, whether its race, gender, healthcare, etc. The country is never at rest. There is always an injustice to be fought. The first thing that came to mind when I read the billboard, was of course gender equality. That every girl has the power to be something, or to do something great. (OBVIOUSLY) Then I got to thinking about the sexual injustices in our country against men and women both. How the President of the United States, finds humor in the unequal rights of women and the idea that you can just “grab [a woman] by the pussy”.

To be honest, I do not find that President Trump takes the issue of sexual assault seriously at all. In a 2013 tweet that recently resurfaced, he said:

“26,000 unreported sexual assults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”

potus

To give my completely unbiased opinion, this man is the biggest douchebag of all time. (By the way, did you note his typo?) Like I said, unbiased. It just gives me an uneasy feeling to know that our president, is so slimy and gross and does not care about the seriousness of sexual assault. One of my friends was raped by another student where she attends college and the effects it has on someone is devastating. We need a president who will speak against those who have sexually assaulted another person, not one who blames it on men and women being too close in proximity.

There is power in every girl. We have the power and the RIGHT to stand up for what we believe in and to stand up against an injustice. We, as women and men have the power to stand up against gender inequality, against sexual predators, against our president. We have the power to advocate for racial equality, for healthcare, for children, or for LGBT rights. We have the power to stand up. Never forget that you have power inside of you to do something that is worthwhile. You are worth something and have every right to have a voice, whether you are male or female, you have an equal voice.

Take a stand today against inequality because there is power in very man, woman, child, in every race, in every sexual orientation. You have the power to make a difference.

Advertisements

Blink!

This weekend in Cincinnati was a giant light show. Blink Cincinnati ran from Oct. 12 until Oct 15.  There were lights all across the city. My favorite place we went was Smale park on Riverfront. There were teeter-totters next to the “Sing the Queen City Sign” and lights lit up the steps on the walk down to the river. Buildings were lit up with moving light shows and in OTR the ground was lit with lights that changed when you stepped on them. My friends and I went Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night and each night it was different and fun. Hanging out with friends in the city was a lot of fun and best of all…it was free! You can see all of the lights for nothing, but the price of parking depending where you park. Of course, if you want food or a drink, you can buy those at a convenience store or a food truck. Everything is in walking distance or you could take the trolley to every attraction. It is definitely worth the trip! 

I Can’t Understand You!

Language can tear us apart or bring us together. Learning ASL taught me how to appreciate different cultures.

Nelson Mandela once said that “if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Language is a basis of communication that gives people a sense of togetherness. Genesis tells the story of how language can bring people together or separate them. In the Story of Babel, every man, woman and child on earth spoke one language and they wanted to build a tower to Heaven. God saw the people working together and did not like what they were creating, so he scattered them across the earth and confused their language. This was the moment when God created different languages. The separation of language created differences among people. When we think of other languages, that is not our own, we may think these people are different from us and in some ways that is true. People with different languages usually come from different parts of the world and share different cultures. This can definitely create some barriers between people who do not speak the same language. At work, I sometimes call someone who may speak Spanish and have a hard time understanding each other, so I must send a language barrier email to my supervisor, so they can pass the call onto someone who can speak Spanish. Language can be hard to understand and I have heard many languages over the years and learned about their cultures. However there was one language that I could not even hear that was the one that interested me and impacted me the most.

My first encounter with Sign Language was as a little girl. My grandparents would sign “I love you” to each other, myself and my family. I did not actually realize it was an actual language until I got a little older. My grandparents had taken a sign language class when they were first married and their teachers were a deaf married couple. They learned a lot about the culture and the lives of their teachers. Being a small child and learning that there were people who could not hear was a scary thought. I became interested in how they could talk to others and understand their parents. Then in elementary school, during our library time, we learned the alphabet in sign language and I would practice until I could spell my name, my friends names, and my family’s names. After learning the letters, we watched a video about Helen Keller and that was really the first time I understood their was an entire language for those who could not speak or hear. The next time I encountered the language was at church when a deaf couple attended one Sunday. They brought a translator who sat on a chair in the aisle and signed directly to the people. Instead of paying attention to the sermon, I watched the interpreter sign the message to the couple. I watched how fast, easily and smoothly she moved her hands and the way her facial expressions changed with each sign. Since then, there have been several times where Cindy, a woman at church, has signed to a song. I remember wondering, how they could enjoy the music if they could not hear the sounds. I later learned that they could feel the vibrations and it spiked my interest in the language even more. In middle school, I kind of forgot about the language, the alphabet left my mind and I forgot about the couple who attended our church that Sunday.

In high school, instead of taking Spanish for my foreign language, I took American Sign Language. I learned a lot about the deaf culture and the language itself. The class really gave me an appreciation for the intensity of the language. The Deaf Community communicates with their hands and their faces. Their facial expressions really help you understand what they are trying to say. Also, the closeness of their hands to their body, tells you if they might be upset. The angrier a person is, the farther out their hands go. The language is so fascinating, but it is also difficult to learn. There is not just one set version of the language, either. There is French Sign Language, American Sign Language, etc., but there are also three forms of sign language, American Sign Language (ASL), Pidgin Signed English (PSE) and Signing Exact English (SEE). Most deaf in the United States use ASL and that is why it is used to promote the assimilation into the Deaf Community. I did not just learn about the language and culture, but I also got to meet several Deaf people. I met David, who was blind and deaf. I was able to sign to him and talk with him and he taught us a lot. Since he was blind, he held your hands and moved with you as you signed. I never really thought about the fact that being blind does not affect any other languages, but with ASL you have to be watching the person to understand them. However, the language adapts for those that can not see. Being able to speak to those who use the language really gave me an appreciation for the culture and those who speak sign language.

We always relate language to speech. Communication, though, can be done in may ways. Of course, most language is talking, but in today’s world, we also have a texting language. The way people communicate through text or on social media is different than how people speak to each other in person, or even how they write papers or email. Being able to communicate clearly with one another gives us a sense of being alike, whether we are speaking, using our hands, writing letters, or texting. Learning about the Deaf Community and American Sign Language gave me a sense of pride, knowing that I was able to speak another language and communicate with another group of people. I felt like I could communicate and build relationships with many different kinds of people. Learning a new language can be scary, but it can also be beneficial. Being able to speak with other groups of people will stop those barriers and can help people understand people who may be different from them. I encourage you to learn a new language, so that you can expand your relationships outside your community.

Jury House Art

As we are all paitenently awaiting to see who takes home half a million dollars this season, (my bet is on Paul) the houseguests in the jury house were working on art work this week. Yes, even Cody. 

Although it was not much, his finger painting is exactly what is expect of him. He also dabbled in another canvas where he drew some military items.


Mark decided to draw himself as the incredible SULK, and also drew a teddy bear on his second canvas. He must be proud of his true crybaby self. 


My personal favorite is by Elena. I don’t know if this is directed at the other houseguests or her advice on life in general, but I’m digging it. I’ll pay half a mil for it. 


Kevin partook in the action as well, but I’m not really sure if he did it or one of his eight children???


Matt painted his orange shirt that he wore EVERYDAY on to his canvas and I assume he did it because he’ll never get it back from Raven. Of course he painted his cereal addiction as well, the only competition he took part in. To beat himself. At eating the most bowls of cereal. 


His gypsy girlfriend, Raven painted something that had to do with her disease, whether she has it or not, she is spreading the word. 


Alex continued to be petty when it comes to the game and painted “#TrustNoOne” onto one of her canvases, but also painted her cat ears as well.

The season finale premieres Wednesday and I am so excited!! I will be live tweeting, so check it out! 
Photos from cbs.com/cbs snap chat 

Boat Party! College tits take Lake Cumberland 

My weekend trip to the biggest boat party of the year

This weekend I went with my roommate and her boyfriend to Lake Cumberland in Kentucky! I had never been and I was super excited. I love being outside and enjoy nature and I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend on the water. But of course Friday morning I wake up with what feels to me like a sinus infection, but I was not gonna let that get me down, because I was super excited for the lake! 

So about 5:00 PM, Kait and I set out on our 3 hour drive. We stopped at this cute little Chinese place in Convington, Kung Food. It’s definitely my new favorite Chinese place, it had great food, huge eggrolls and the best atmosphere. I’m really excited to go again, since it isn’t that far from Campus.   


The rest of the trip we jammed out to my road trip playlist and of course some Hannah Montana. It was a great time and a fun way for us to bond, since we’ve only met a few weeks ago. Which also made me nervous for the trip because I barely know these people, like are they gonna murder me?? 

Anyway, we got to the cabin around 10 PM and Jayden and his grandpa were watching the news about hurricane Irma and after chatting for a bit, we went to Kroger to get breakfast food and lunch, snacks, and drinks for the boat the next day. While in the parking lot, Kait sets my left over Chinese on the dash while she’s putting her shoes on and as she does this, something in the parking lot made Jayden slam on the breaks and the Chinese goes all over Kait. She was hot pissed and instead of helping Jayden just leaves us and goes into Kroger, which made me hot pissed, because some boyfriend right? 

We clean Kait and the car up and go inside the store. While wondering around we find an elevator and it didn’t say “employees only” so we were like, screw it, and got on. Let me tell you this was not an elevator, it was a sketchavator. It just creeped up to the second floor and when the doors opened, it was a creepy dim lit hallway with random carts and old food and a few lockers at the end. Kait flipped out and pressed the down button and the elevator started to go down but it stopped for what seemed like minutes, but it was probably mere seconds in reality. I could see the panic on kait’s face and she was so scared she said “I about shit my pants and had a heart attack at the same time”. We met back up with Jayden and went back to the cabin.

The next day we got up at 9 and headed out to the lake. It was about an hour drive in the boat to where we were going. When we got to “party cove” there were so many boats, it was insane. It was the biggest boat party of the year. We tied up to a boat and another came up beside us and we tied up to them. It was hundreds of boats anchored and tied to each other. People were drinking and boats kept driving by and as they did, girls would show their tits and they would get bead necklaces. I like to party, honestly, but I prefer house parties where I know everyone there, not huge parties where I get hit on by a stranger every five minutes. 


I would also consider myself somewhat of a femenist, so I was extremely uncomfortable. The fact that women were showing their tits to get beads was just so demeaning. I’m comfortable with sex and my sexuality and I’m all about “freeing the tits” but the whole party was a bunch of Pervy old men looking at women’s tits and getting beads in return. And let me tell you, these were not just attractive women showing their tits, there were old women showing their saggy tits as well.

Even with all the tit & dick showing, I met some pretty cool people and I really did have a good time. I was feeling pretty sick towards the end of day though. After we unhooked from the party we headed back to burnside and I was ready to head home. I did not feel good. On the way back, Kait asked Jayden to stop the boat and when he tried to start it again, the battery was dead! We swing our arms and a bright yellow shirt and three boats stopped to help, but only one had a jumper box, which was dead. But the man gave us his extra battery and said he believed in karma, “what goes around comes around”. 


We were so thankful and Jayden tried to pay him for it, but the man just gave it to us. He was so kind and I wish I could properly thank him. We finally made it back to burnside and Jayden was driving the boat obnoxiously fast and not only did we lose the cooler lid, but my Columbia jacket flew out of the boat with all my medicine inside. I was hot pissed. 

I just wanted to go home, so at 10 at night we set out back home and I drove all they way back to campus & did not get there until 1 AM.

Even though I lost my jacket and didn’t feel good, I’m glad I got to experience something new with friends, new and newer. 

Check out my VSCO to see more pics from this weekend http://vsco.co/sydneydotson/images/1
Or check them out in the gallery! 

Anticipation 

By: Sydney Dotson

I sit and watch. Legs crossed, back straight, hands clutching my coffee, phone & umbrella. The rain is soft, but the wind brings it into the bus stop shelter and it hits my face. My phone vibrates. I look down at it as I sip my coffee. Another Snapchat; I lock my phone and glance at the woman leaning against the shelter wall. She’s talking loudly on her phone about a presentation she is anticipating. She’s wearing red galoshes and kicks at a puddle as she speaks, her scarf blowing in her face. A car goes zooming by and I move my attention to the man across the street trying to call a taxi. As each one passes, he anticipates each will stop, but none do. When the traffic slows, he runs across the street and sits on the bench next to me. I notice how wet he is, the rain dripping from his floppy hair. Buzz. My phone vibrates again, I look down, but it’s just a text from my roommate. I stare back across the street at the Starbucks and take another sip of my coffee. When will he text me? I think to myself as I unlock my phone, only to lock it again. The bus pulls up to the shelter and the woman gets on quickly. The man rings himself off and steps on. As I gather my things my phone buzzes again and YES! It’s him. I anticipate what his response could be as I get onto the bus and take my seat next to the woman in galoshes. I take another sip of my coffee as I unlock my phone. 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/anticipate/

Everyday we anticipate something. Whether it be something big or small we look forward to something. I wrote the short story above to describe a few of the small things we anticipate often. All three characters are anticipating the arrival of the bus. They may not be patiently waiting or excitedly waiting, but they are waiting for the bus. Each person is also anticipating the rest of their day. The main character is nervously waiting for a text. That may be a small thing to anticipate, but it’s something. Sometimes we anticipate big things, like election results, hurricanes, or a new baby. To anticipate is to predict or look forward to. Each day you should strive to find something to look forward to and I guarantee you’ll live a happier life. 

8 Resons I Could Never Be a Contestant on Big Brother

I love reality TV game shows. I’ve been watching them for as long as I can remember, honestly. My family loves watching Survivor and Big Brother. It’s something that we really bond over. I mean my dad literally called me just to talk about Thursday’s episode of big brother and we spent at least 30 minutes talking about the game. 

If you don’t know what Big Brother is, it’s a game show where 16 strangers are stuck in a house for 3 months. They compete for power and every week someone is voted to go home. This season is the 19th season of the American version of the show and it is in its final episodes for the season. 

I always wanted to play the game of big brother, but this season I’ve really payed attention to how hard the game really is, so here are 8 reasons I could never be a houseguest on big brother: 

1. My Social Game is Weak.

I’m a social person, when I feel like it. I love going out and doing things with my friends, just as much as I love chilling on the couch, or around the dinner table just talking. BUT I also get annoyed with people very easily and I also like to have some alone time as well. When you’re in a house with 16 people there’s rarely gonna be any alone time. There is also plenty of opportunity for people to annoy you. I think I would have enough social game to have an alliance and have friends to protect me, but I also think people might find me rude because I just straight up tell you how I feel. 

2. I’m not good at lying.

Tieing in with the social game, I would not be able to lie to people. I literally carry my emotions on my face and I can not hide them. Everyone is always able to tell when I’m lying. I especially would not feel comfortable lying to someone that I trusted or even just liked as a person, so I would definitely dig myself some holes.

3. I would suck at competitions. 

Endurance comps would not be my strong suit, call me Christmas, because I would not be able to compete. I couldn’t even imagine the physical pain of holding yourself up on a wall for hours at a time. I can’t even do a wall sit for 30 seconds. On the other side of things, I think I would be good at memory competitions. Those are usually easy for me to do when I’m playing along. You seriously have to be physically and mentally fit to play this game. 

4. I would gain a lot of weight.

The house is equipped with gym equipment, but I know myself, I’m lazy. I would never use that stuff. I’ll stick to sun bathing and watching those meat heads workout. Like I said, I’m lazy. If there is nothing to do, I’m most likely gonna be asleep or eating and there is NOTHING to do 24/7 in that house. I can not even begin to imagine how much I would eat. I would probably exceed Matt’s record of bowls of cereal. 

5. I would not be able to be a Have-Not.

So the opposite of getting a great nap and eating whatever I want in the house, is being a have-not. When you’re a have-not you have to eat “slop” and sleep on uncomfortable beds. At least I wouldn’t be gaining weight because trust me, I’m not eating that stuff, but not getting a good night’s sleep, I’d be a total bitch and I’d be walking out the door that week. 

6. I would miss my phone too much.

Being in the house all summer, means no contact with the outside world, which means no television and no phones. I would  probably go crazy. If there is nothing happening, I’m usually chillin on twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, which is honestly boring, but it’s something to keep me busy. 

7. I would get depressed being stuck inside all the time. 

Even though there is a yard space, you can not leave the house. You can’t go to the movies, go shopping or hiking. I am always on the go. I love just going out and doing anything. I would honestly be so sad all the time because I hate just sitting around.

8. I would be too emotional for the game.

This season has brought a lot of drama. There has been so much bullying and people turning against everyone. I would be getting so angry or crying. I would definitely be made a target just for this reason. 

Would you want to be a houseguest on big brother? Leave your comments and let me know why you would or would not.

Good vibes,

Sydney