I haven't posted on here in quite some time. Quick recap: I'm now in college! I'm a member of the Class of 2016 at Saint Mary's College and I sort of really love it. One of the perks of being at SMC means I get to go to Notre Dame every once in a while and watch some sports...including football. Today was my first football game as a student. (I really enjoy Section 34, by the way.) I was so excited to experience Notre Dame football as a student, as a comrade to the players. To get to sing the Alma Mater with my arms around people I'd never met, to hug them after we won the game, and to be in such an electric environment was amazing. But there were some less-than-amazing things about this game, and one really got to me. It wasn't the final score, which I thought should have been bigger. A win's a win. I don't care. It wasn't the turnover. It wasn't the missed field goal attempt. Nope. It was the "boo." The announcer said, "Number 11, Tommy Rees is now in for quarterback for the Irish," and almost the entire student section started booing. I'm standing there thinking, "Who are these people and where did Purdue fans put the real ND/SMC students?" Here's my problem with the booing: HE IS STILL PART OF THE TEAM! Rees is not perfect. He's 20 years old for Pete's sake. He's still a kid. If you'd rather see Hendrix or Golson in at quarterback, fine. You're entitled to your opinion, but please don't be so negative. Like that's going to help Rees play any better. This game was the first of the "Take A StaND" initiative to give the home-field advantage back to our players in Rockne's House. Last time I checked, booing the quarterback does not make him feel more advantaged. That would be like me going home for Christmas break, walking in the door, and my family looking at me and yelling, "EW! We don't want you here. Go away! Get out of here." That wouldn't be very pleasant. As I'm standing there in a sea of boo's, I'm praying and hoping that Rees gets the job done. "Prove them wrong, Tommy," I'm thinking. First pass, no good. Second pass, no good. Third pass, CAUGHT! John Goodman runs the ball for a first down and I find myself yelling, "SEE?! HAVE SOME FAITH!" I was so happy in that instant. (That "have some faith" attitude goes for Kyle Brindza as well. He's human. He's going to miss a field goal and PAT every so often, but have some faith in him. Especially when he's about to kick a field goal that will either win the game or send it into overtime.) When did Notre Dame fans become so pessimistic? Have some faith in our players. Have some faith in the coaches. Have faith in the other fans. And don't you dare boo our team or any of its members ever again.


New Faces in Lawrence

KU football is not a deep interest of mine because when it comes to sports, I’m 100% Irish. When I found out Dayne Crist was transferring to KU, though, I took more interest in it. I wondered how he’d do at a new school (where he’ll only be for one season) and if he’d do better under his former/recruiting coach. That’s why when I got the opportunity to go to the KU Spring Football game, I said, “I have to go.”
Anyone with any exposure to KU knows that basketball is more important than anything in Lawrence. Football is just basketball’s annoying sibling that tags along in the athletic department, which is why admission to the game was free and seats were not hard to find. Compared to my previous week, I was far less than impressed. The Blue Gold game is HUGE in South Bend. The Spring Game at KU is just another reason to eat a hot dog and drink a beer.
The prospect of a new coach and a new, seasoned quarterback is exciting. Charlie Weis has a lot of experience in coaching, and he’s being reunited with a guy he recruited who did well at Notre Dame. (At least until that patellar tendon ruptured. Thanks, Tulsa.) Crist has always been a good quarterback. I think that was the biggest misunderstanding with the KU fans. They think (and I heard it said at the game), “He left Notre Dame because he was inched out by a freshman, so he must be pretty bad.” Not true. He just wasn’t quite the same at Notre Dame after his injury. Someone else stepped up and took his spot. He wasn’t as accustomed to Kelly’s coaching as Tommy Rees. What’s amazing about Crist though is how he handled all the change. He was very mature about it, and he saw that he had opportunity elsewhere, so he took it. He’s not a bad quarterback at all. I think he began to prove himself today, and he’s slowly regaining hope for KU football fans. From what little I know about things, Crist (who threw 19 passes for 11 completions and 156 yards) looked pretty good with the Jayhawks. Clearly, he’s made a good impression since he’s been named a team captain, and he’s only been in Lawrence for a few months. He was a very strong leader. His team scored the only points made during the scrimmage—all 45 of them.
He and Kale Pick looked like they’ll be quite the dynamic duo this season, but only if their O-Line holds up against stronger defense. At the game, I overheard many things said about Crist, and one of the truest things I heard was, “He can definitely throw the ball. He just needs someone who will catch it.” But it sure looked like between Pick, Beshears, and Patterson, Crist should be sitting fairly comfortable. There’s another story on the other side of the football, though. KU isn’t a defensive team and Weis isn’t a defensive coach. The defense was pretty commonplace, minus Michael Reynolds who had 3 sacks and 5 tackles (who was named Defensive MVP for the game) and safeties Bradley McDougald and Lubbock Smith.
In short, the KU football team looks like it has much more potential this season. There’s still a long road to recovery, but Crist’s previous 4 seasons of experience and strong leadership should help improve and rebuild the Jayhawk team. While I’d love to see Crist in blue and gold again, I think he’ll do okay in crimson and blue. He may be a big game-changer in Lawrence this year, and I’d love to see that. Will KU gain a winning season? Hard to say. If we’re talking just offense, I think so, but the defense will have to hold against other strong offenses this season for us to see a stunning change for the Jayhawks. Either way, this fall is looking much brighter for Lawrence.


Just A Jumble of Letters

I'm going to do a little bit of bragging here. I got a perfect score on the writing portion of my SAT. Don't ask me how I did it, because I don't know. Actually, I credit my past English teachers for teaching me how to write and speak properly and how not to use bad grammar EVER! When I told my parents about my score, they both told me, "Anna, you're just good with words."

Words. That's something to think about.

I mean, really! Think about it! A word is just a jumble of letters, which are just shapes and symbols, that are put together in a certain order to mean something! An example, you say? I took one of my favorite words, shenanigans, and entered it into an online anagram server. 433 results came up. That's a lot from one word. Granted, most of them didn't make any sense, but that's still 433 combinations of words from 1 other word!

We can interpret those symbols and they can tell us a story. Books, anyone? There's a 5-tier shelf in my bedroom dedicated to the written word. That doesn't include the books under my bed and in my closet since my shelf is full. Book are great! They can take you across the world and put you in situations you'd otherwise never have a chance to be in. I'm never going to live in a cowtown in the 1880s, or England in the 1700s, or India in 1920, but now I don't need to since I got to live there in a matter of 400 pages or less. Words can make us feel emotion. I can't tell you how many sad songs have made me tear up, but some make you happy, too. And--knock knock, who's there? Jokes!

I think Mark Twain hit the nail perfectly on words. (He was pretty good with them, too.)

"The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."

I'm not going to elaborate on that. It's just pure genius.

Poetry is another form of turning words into something more than sounds or letters. Poets have the gift of putting just the right words together in the perfect fashion to give the reader (or listener) a mental image and even hear or feel things.

"It sounded as if the streets were running,
And then the streets stood still.
Eclipse was all we could see at the window,
And awe was all we could feel.

By and by the boldest stood out of his covert,
To see if time was there.
Nature was in her beryl apron,
Mixing fresher air."

In her poem "Storm," Emily Dickinson (my favorite poet) does all those things. We hear the noise described by the streets "running" and then stopping. We can see the "eclipse" at the window, and we feel their awe. I can even feel the wind and the cool air I associate with a storm.

There are even games dedicated to words! Tell me you haven't played Words With Friends, Scrabble, Boggle, or Bananagrams. You might even be able to include Apples to Apples. (If you can tell me that you haven't played one or all of those games, I'm telling you to go play them now. They're so much fun!)

Now I know we live in the age of technology, so something of the past is going to perish as it always does. (The car eliminated the horse and buggy. The cell phone eliminated the land-line. Playstation eliminated Atari Pong, and X-Box eliminated Playstation.) Something's always gotta go. I just hope that with texting and IM-ing, the proper use of words doesn't perish.

2 is not to/too.
U is not you.
R is not our/are.
UR is not your/you're.
C is not see.
L8R is not later.

Give words the credit they deserve. Write out a whole damn sentence for once! I dont want 2 C U typ3 like dis. Ever!

Well look at that. I just dedicated a bunch of words to words. Silly me.

"Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure."
- Edward Thorndike