My personal 4-H story began before I was born. It began generations ago and continued with my grandparents, uncles, and mother. It now continues with my cousins, brothers, and I. 4-H has been a part of my family for so long that for me it has become a way of life. This part of my life has had a tremendous influence on the person I am today, the skills and relationships I have developed, and my plans for the future.
I first attended the Clark County Fair when I was a little over four months old and I have returned every year since. My family has had cattle tied in the same spot in cattle barn two for as long as anyone can remember. The Clark County Fair and the preparation leading up to it has always been a family event. We were taught to work together and help out anyone we could. I helped my cousins at the fair every year and could hardly wait until I was old enough to have my own 4-H project. Being involved in 4-H helped build my love and appreciation for animals. This is something I will always have no matter where life takes me. I learned skills early on that included responsibility. My animals were depending on me no matter what the weather was or what else I had going on that day. The Clark County Fair will always be one of my best 4-H memories and one that I hope to continue for many years to come.
My 4-H story has also allowed me to grow socially. The friends that I have met through 4-H will be lifetime friends because we will always share 4-H as a connection. For most of them 4-H is a way of life, as it is for me. I have networked with many new adults through 4-H and have learned from their experiences and mentoring. I look forward to always networking with my 4-H family.
One of the best things about 4-H is that it offers something for everyone. For me it has been working with animals, but for others it is something different such as sewing, woodworking, or being a camp counselor. You can pick the things that interest you the most and challenge yourself by choosing something new. As I have grown up in 4-H my favorite activity has become working with the younger 4-H members. My mom’s 4-H club has grown to over 50 members, most of them with a non-farm background. There are many younger members that take goats and dairy feeders. They need help learning about their projects. I really enjoy showing them how to lead their animals, how to groom their animals, and answering questions about proper nutrition. I remember looking up to the older members when I first became involved in 4-H. The younger members like attention from the older members. It is very rewarding to see them show well in the show ring and come up and thank you for helping them get started.
My 4-H story began as a family affair and will always be a family affair. As my story has grown it has included learning lifelong skills such as responsibility, patience, work ethic, time management, money management, and sportsmanship. It has made me a stronger communicator. It has blessed me with many lifelong friendships and an appreciation for animals. Hopefully my 4-H story will continue for generations to come.
The Daily Posts asks: When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?
The first time I ever felt like a grown up was when I received my letter of acceptance to college. That moment in time, made me realize that a new chapter of my life was about to begin. I was so excited to have my letter, it came on February 1, 2012. My hands were shaking like an earthquake while opening the envelope. All I did was read the first sentence, then started screaming, jumping, and its hard to tell what else I did. After I calmed down, I thought to myself that this is really happening. In a matter of seconds, my life changed forever. I was about to embark on a new journey and not knowing where it will take me.
It is a Remembrance Day
For every man, woman, and child
Treasuring the calamity in New York Bay
Not one was beguiled
It is a Remembrance Day
For those who arrived in Heaven
And look down upon us everyday
Two thousand-one, nine eleven
It is a Remembrance Day
Five thousand passed through the gate
Sitting in the clouds to pray
For the great Empire State
It is a Remembrance Day
As every American united
We watched the flag sway
A spark was ignited
It is a Remembrance Day
As Americans came together
To clear the debris away
And plant golden heather
It is a Remembrance Day
The towers fell with pride
We wiped the tears away
As we stood side by side
A couple weeks ago, I was able to spend my evening with the one and only Nicholas Sparks. Sparks came to visit the university to speak in front of a group of students. The tickets went on sale about two weeks before he came, and I waited in line for over an hour just to lay my hands on one. Did I also mention the tickets were free?! Anyways, I had a hard time deciding which book to take with me for him to sign; however, I finally decided on taking The Best of Me. This novel is his latest book released, which came out in the fall of 2011. Nicholas Sparks came on February 11th and was appearing on stage at 8pm. I wanted a front row seat; consequently, I stood in line for three hours…to be honest I actually sat on the floor. It sounds ridiculous but I did get my front row seat, directly in front of Nicholas Sparks.
Sparks spoke to us for around two hours telling us a range of varying topics. He told us about his high school days, college at Notre Dame (he holds a track record), and then to his early writing days. He gave us a glimpse of his writing process and the inspiration behind his novels. He said most of his novels are based on his own family experiences, including his first novel The Notebook. This novel is based on his wife’s grandparents, Message in a Bottle told the story of his father, and A Walk to Remember was a written story about his sister. Many students and myself were astonished to find the truth behind his work. I believe some students did endure a few tears when told the experiences he has gone through and is still able to maintain a positive outlook in life.
After his two hour long speech, he opened the floor for student questions. One student asked if he was invited to Liam and Miley’s wedding, which of course he is. The main question that brought the room to complete silence, was when a student asked about his next book release. He smiled at us and then paused for a moment. Sparks then said his next book was titled The Longest Ride and will be on bookshelves September 24th of this year. The Longest Ride, will follow two series of intertwining love stories. September 24th can’t come fast enough!
Moving into your dorm can be one of the top emotional experiences. It is stressful, exciting, nerve wrecking (to the extreme), depressing, sad, anxious, and the list just goes on. It is like an emotional hurricane. Theres no more high school, friends you know, people you know, places you know, its a whole new world. I couldn’t believe that the time had come for me to move in. It was like the summer never even happened. I had to take my next step in life and I was ready.
My friends and I had a bonfire one night, right before everyone left. Nobody knew that it would be the last time we’d see each other for the months to come. We parted our ways, each ready to face what life gave us.
The week before I moved in was indescribable. I ran around town grabbing the last minute things I needed, said my goodbyes, and packed everything up. I was one of the last ones to leave, so all my friends were gone and settled into their new lives. Now it was my turn and I couldn’t wait. However, about two days before I moved out it all hit me. All the things I wouldn’t be doing anymore, the things I would miss, and knowing that everything was now in the past. I moved in on a Sunday, August 19th.
For future advice I would say get there as early as you can, that way you get first pick of your desk, bed, closet, etc. If your last, you get whats left. Another reason for going early is hopefully, everybody won’t be there all at the same time. Talk about a crazy mess. Actually, the colleges have the move in very well organized and planned…you hope. Everybody will be excited too! All the helpers and college students love it when the freshmen move in. Move in day is kinda like a bees hive, thousands of people buzzing around with something to do and somewhere to be.
The most important thing to remember is that every other freshman who is moving in, is just as nervous as you are. They are going through the same ordeal as you. Don’t be shy either! Make some new friends and be yourself. There are so many students on campus, that its likely you’ll never see them again…but not always. Those friends you make will become life long friendships. College will be an experience of a lifetime. The best feeling is after you move in, you walk around campus, and its another emotional hurricane.
If I were able to go back in a certain period of time to live, the 1960′s would be my period. The Sixties were the time when youth dominated the culture as 70 million post-war baby boomers swept across the United States maturing into teenagers and young adults. The movement from conservative fifties to revolutionary reforms shifting the American culture. These changes affected every aspect of life, creating a new America.
College campuses during the sixties became the center of attention. Scenes of protest and debate took way across the land more prominent than ever seen before. Young adults/baby boomers caused conflict between the different generations, wanting change and not to be a replica of their elders.
With teenagers dominating the decade, fashion began to evolve. Skateboards, barbie dolls, and G.I Joe were ‘in’ trend. The hairstyles consisted of crew cuts for men and bouffant styles for women. The men wore button down plaid shirts, while it was custom for women to wear knee-length skirts. However, this was only the early 60′s. They transformed into mini skirts, in the fad of go-go boots, the exposing of the legs, showing of body curves, and hairstyles of short or long hair. The time had come for men to start wearing bright colors, polyester pant suit, double-breasted sport jackets, and turtlenecks.
Music began to be replaced my the mid sixties. Elvis came back from the war to join other artists such as The Beach Boys, Frankie Avalon, and more. People wanted a change; consequently, black rhythm and blues remodeled the music world. A famous group from England began to rock out the U.S. The Beatles surfaced into popularity and appealed to the young crowd.
Music wasn’t the only thing that fabricated the sixties. Broadway production ratings began to escalate and the plays that proved popular were made into movies. The famous films The Sound of Music, My Fair lady, 101 Dalmatians, and the six James Bond movies. Television allowed for shows such as The Flintstones, Star Trek, The Jetsons, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. We also can’t forget the drive-in movie theaters.
Overall the 1960′s were a prime time for young americans. The decade that changed the way we live today.
The Daily Post asks: “You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please, what’s the plan?”.
My plan would be to make one of my dreams come true. To start out with, my plot of land would have to be in England. I would build myself a Stately Home in England out in the country. I want it to be magnificent, a sight that brings wonder to the eyes. I home that makes you stop in your tracks and takes a breath away every time you see it.
I want the house to have an “older” look to it. The look of the a home built in the 17th or 18th century. I want there to be a fountain in front of the house with a statue in the middle. There will be gardens all around the house, that will take days just to walk all the way through them.
I want there to be a horse stable on the property. On the inside of the house, there will be a grand ballroom and dinner hall. This way I can host dinners, dances, parties, etc. I would also like to have a pond or creek somewhere around the plot. My plan will be to build a manor home and pass it down from generation to generation.
I was asked a question last week pertaining to the preparation for college. “When should I start preparing for college?” My answer, as soon as your foot steps into high school freshmen year. That’s when preparing for college all begins. Everything you do that day and after will be on your record and every college you apply to will see it. Make sure you get that through your brain!
I remember siting in “freshmen success” freshmen year and my guidance counselor saying college preparation begins now. I was like I’m not going to college for another four years! I thought she was just trying to scare us; however, she was being serious. She said “It all starts now” and in reality it did. For those of you who don’t believe this, let me know how applying to college works out for you. Starting high school your GPA is a 4.0, now your job is to maintain it. Don’t joke around with your GPA because once it gets low, you’ll have fun bringing it back up. It won’t be easy either. Theres nothing worse than a low GPA, for it will get you nowhere. Colleges will just shred your application to a million pieces. About junior year and beginning of senior year is when a lot kids finally realize they need to get their act together. By then though, it’s to late.
I’ll admit, it’s hard to start thinking about college your freshmen year. It seems like it’s so far away, but when you turn around it’ll be right there. Don’t blow off your first two years of high school and don’t just focus on school. You need to find that happy in between place. Get your school work done, but still have one of a heck of time. Get that foundation of a good GPA right off the start and maintain it all the way through. I would have to say this is the most important start for preparing for college. I have seen kids who don’t care in high school, they just want to fool around, party, and not work. We’ll see how far that gets them! Don’t worry they won’t be going anywhere, anytime soon. Don’t be one of them. You might think your “cool” but high school doesn’t last forever.
Therefore, get your act together and start preparing for college the first day of high school. It is never to early to prepare for anything. When the time comes for you to apply to college and receive that acceptance letter, it will be like skipping through a meadow.
Waking up in the morning around 5:30, and I jumped out of bed. I didn’t need an alarm clock, my body just knew. I ran to the bathroom and then back to my room. I put my jeans on first, then my shirt, and the belt always coming last. I strained my ear to hear grandpa, just to make sure he was awake too. Then I slipped down the stairs and poured myself a glass of sweet tea and waited on him. I stayed with my grandparents during the summer occasionally when I was little. I enjoyed spending time with them and it always meant being on the farm. I could hear grandpa coming down the stairs and knew exactly what he would be wearing–his white button down shirt with the sleeves cut off, blue pants with the ends rolled up twice with his pocket knife in the right pocket, and of course his watch on the left wrist. He smiled at me when he walked in the kitchen. He sat down in his chair, I sat down in mine, and we put our boots on together. I think he enjoyed this ritual, being together, watching his grandson grow up.
We left the house and started walking towards the barn. It was still dark with only the stars twinkling in the morning sky. The gravel rocks crunched beneath my feet. I walked faster than him for he had years of hard work behind him, but I always stayed by his side. We got to the road and he grabbed my hand, his hands were rough from baling hay, milking cows, driving tractors, and making a living. We crossed the road and walked into the barn at exactly 6:00am just like every morning. This was my favorite part of the day. Nobody else awake, feeling like I had the world and Grandpa to myself. Grandpa flipped on the lights as we walked through the barn. I could smell the fresh cut hay in the loft above, the animals, and my favorite smell, the farm. By the time we came to the cows, they were all up for they knew their day had started. I ran to the back of the barn, where all the babies were housed. I looked into the pens to check on them and as soon as they saw me, up they went ready to be fed. Grandpa went over to the dairy store to get coffee and apple juice, while I raced around the barn checking all the animals. We sat in the office like best friends drinking apple juice and coffee, holding some conversation about the weather, today’s schedule, and the farm. I enjoyed talking to my grandpa, he told me stories about the farm when he was a kid. All the while, I thought that I had to be the luckiest kid in the world. And I was.
Now it was time to go to work. Grandpa got the feed cart and down the aisle we went as the cows waited impatiently for their turn. I can hear the calves mooing, the goats baaing, the chickens cackling, and pigs oinking. As Grandpa milked the cows, I fed the rest of our family. I prepared each breakfast recipe by mixing all the grain, corn, wheat, and pellets together into buckets. I walked from pen to pen with all my buckets, scooping pan after pan of feed into the tubs. Grandpa saved some milk for me and I walked back to the calves who were ready to jump out of their pens. I poured my milk into the bottles and down the row I went, calf to calf. I spent time with each one thinking of the perfect names. We didn’t stop for a break, because work needed to be done. With everything fed and watered, we started our next chore. With the cows knowing what came next, they started to get anxious. My favorite thing to do on the farm, is to let the cows out. I looked each one in the eye, said her name, gave her a pat, and then out she went. Grandpa and I followed the cows out to the pasture. They ran out into the fields playing like children on a playground. Grandpa leaned against the white fence and I sat on top. We gazed at the cows grazing in the pasture, with the sun rising in the east. I smiled to myself, knowing life doesn’t get any better because tomorrow we will do it all over again…just Grandpa and me.