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An open letter to those who think we should “get over” Trump

Like many of you, my heart sunk into my stomach and churned as I watched the votes come in for Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. I felt the universal pain of anyone who has been discriminated against—women, immigrants, Muslims, minorities, the LGBTQ community, those with disabilities, and the numerous other groups that Trump has been able to offend in such a short amount of time. The sharp pain of the sexual assualt survivors that had to hear this man say that men can “do anything” if they are rich or famous enough. The loss of hope in the children who want to change the future…

It is no secret that I am against what Trump stands for. I cannot simply look past his unreleased tax records, countless lawsuits, and hateful comments toward many groups that I myself or my friends belong to. I have heard some of the people who voted for him say that we can’t take his words too seriously. It’s easy to say this if these words don’t affect you directly or jeopardize your own safety and ability to live freely in this country. I have always been taught to judge someone by their actions and so far, his harsh words have matched many of the things he said that had me so worried.

We were already living in a world where the environment is deteriorating, people are shooting in schools, and groups are divided because of hate. Instead of working on plans to make things better, this president has already created a ban for Muslims, furthered plans to build a wall between the US and Mexico (God help me if I cannot get my avocados), taken away protection for transgender people, and appointed people to his cabinet who are unfit, uninformed, and inexperienced. For any position in this country, you need to have a certain set of skills and experiences to receive the position. It doesn’t make sense as to why this rule isn’t being followed for government positions.

I love this country and one of the beautiful things about it is that we accept those who are different. My grandmother came to this country, like many others, as an immigrant trying to make a better life for herself and her future children. Everyone wants to feel safe and I get that, but spreading hate and shutting people out will only lead to them becoming mad and even more hateful toward us. This can be seen throughout history, which tends to repeat itself. It is also important to note that more guns will not make us safer. They will lead to more deaths and mass shootings, especially since the House approved to do away with background checks for gun sales. Look at the gun deaths for other countries who have stricter gun laws and compare it to the US. There is clearly a problem when the US has about 3 times the gun deaths of any other country and is the world leader in gun violence. That is not something we should ever be proud of. Regulation is key and there needs to be more education about the use of guns and other means of protection in order to decrease these rates.

I am worried about terrorism but the fact of the matter is that most terrorist attacks come from our own citizens. The chances of a terrorist attack being carried out by a refugee is 1 to 3.6 billion per year, which is extremely lower than the chances of getting struck by lightening twice. Refusing refugees who have no other place to go and will die without leaving their country will create hatred against our country. If we open up our country to refugees and help them get through their tough time, we can create more allies and not enemies. Take a look at the current standards for the vetting process. It is extremely difficult already for a refugee to get into the country and there is little to no chance of a terrorist being able to get through that rigorous process.

I highly encourage anyone who stands by Trump’s policies to read the research and not just what they see on their friends’ newsfeeds.

fake news vs real.jpg

As you can see, the most reputable and unbiased sources are the ones in the middle. It just so happens that NPR is one of them and Trump wants to cut funding for it, along with the arts. It seems as though any news that disagrees with Trump or calls him out on his lies is “fake news”. Trump even called CNN fake news when it is clearly a reputable source.

Like I said, I am a proud American, but that does not mean that I have to agree with whatever the president does when I know it is wrong and will have detrimental effects on many different people. Just like any employee would be expected to educate themselves about their position and the issues at hand, it is Trump’s responsibility to consult with others instead of just signing off bills. Whether the president is a democrat or republican, they need to learn to consider what is best for the people as a whole, rather than favoring one particular demographic. Our country was built on fighting against injustices such as racism and inequality. We are also built on the idea of free speech. What the president has done within his short time in office has made me very scared for the future of many aspects of the country that I live in and love. We need to look at the research and understand what is going on instead of blindly believing everything we hear. Although everyone is entitled to opinions, there are some things that are just facts and we need to be aware of these if we want to change our country for the better. We need to treat others with respect and keep everyone safe. We need to promote love and not hate because hate just creates death, war, and even more separation from one another. This country is about coming together no matter what race, religion, sexual orientation, or political party you fall under. Everyone is created equal—not just white men, straight men, Christian men, or men at all—everyone.

 

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Gilmore Girls Revival (Spoiler Alert)

If you are a fan of the classic show, you have probably already binge-watched the 1st season of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. And if you haven’t, stop reading this and go watch it right now!

There were many things I loved about the revival. I loved the nostalgia and the famous lines that were brought back such as “I smell snow”. I also loved how Lorelei and Emily were going to therapy together. As a future psychologist, I really wish this went further and actually helped their relationship. I feel like it would be a good way to patch up some of the grudges that both parties hold for each other and finally come together. I didn’t like how Emily still resented Lorelei for getting pregnant so young, especially because without that event, Rory would not be in their lives. I understand how difficult that must have been but come on you have to forgive eventually.

I liked how they brought many people from the series back. I especially loved the memorial for Rory’s grandfather, who died recently in real life. This made it especially heartfelt and emotional. This scene was especially dramatic and it helped to show just how broken Emily was.

I noticed that there were a lot of strings left untied (besides the ending of course). This is why I feel like there has to be another season. There was a scene where Emily woke up at noon and seemed to be very disoriented. I was immediately wary because I thought that they would go in the direction of Alzheimer’s with that storyline and prepared for the worst. But they didn’t address that incident at all and she seemed to be fine after. Yes, it would be heartbreaking, but now that I think of it, it would be good to shed some light on the topic. Also, because they didn’t have Lorelei and Emily patch things up through therapy, this could be a great way for Lorelei to finally have a motive to set things right with her mother. It would also teach her some responsibility.

I also was confused when Emily mentioned a terrible letter that she thought Lorelei wrote for her. This was not talked about again, so I feel like it would be helpful if we knew more about this letter and who sent it so that Emily isn’t harboring a grudge over something her daughter didn’t even do.

I think it would be interesting if Emily were to have to live below her normal means. Although Richard is gone, there is no income. She needs to be a little more frugal instead of giving money to Lorelei and Rory whenever they need it. I also think it would help if they had more of an incentive to work for it, especially Rory! It is not normal for a 32-year-old Yale graduate at the top-of-her-class to be homeless and jobless. At least get a waitressing job or something to pay the bills!

And about Rory…this made me really upset! Yes, she did have a past of going for the bad boy and even being the other woman, but this was a long time ago! You would think she would learn by now. Especially because she seems to have a large moral compass. Last time we saw her, she was off to cover Obama’s campaign for president. I would think she would be getting into more serious political journalism and working for the New York Times or traveling the world to cover severe injustices. I think that this would have been a great way to show that she is trying to make the world a better place. It would have also made up for the lack of diversity within the entire show (which is a whole different story). I could see the old Rory covering the Syrian refugee crisis and even traveling to war-stricken countries in order to get the real story. I do like that she is a creative writer, but she is so much more than that in the old series. I think it would have been okay if Rory was having a “where do I go next” crisis after being so successful as a journalist, but she was unexpectedly lazy within the last ten years. This was extremely out-of-character for her.

Logan? Seriously? I’m unapologetically Team Jess and wanted more of an interaction with the two. I believe he was Rory’s soul mate and that they would have a great life together. Maybe they both would become writers, who knows? But they had to stick her with Logan who is basically an ass and just reinforcing her non-productive behaviors. I could see them having a painfully boring life and being able to solve all their problems with money. It also goes against everything her mother fought for when she decided not to grow up rich. Rory won’t agree to marry Logan but she has no issue sleeping with him when there’s someone who is engaged to him. Makes perfect sense.

I felt like it was unbelievable for Lorelei to actually think that she was going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. The girl cannot go one day without needing people around her. What would she do without Luke constantly fixing things she didn’t even know were broken and there was no mention of how she was going to get her coffee fix! Even some instant coffee would make this more believable. She also doesn’t seem like she’s ever been camping a day in her life, so there’s that and she would not have access to a food place either. It would have been more believable if Lorelei went to find herself on some kind of European food tour or adventure. It would also be amusing to see her interact with people who don’t speak her language and learn more about herself on the way.

How do these girls still eat an amount of food that qualifies under the binge-eating category and not gain weight?! This was completely unrealistic. You would think maybe Jackson and Sookie would open up a farm-to-table restaurant and provide them with fresh, healthy food but no. I love junk food and there’s no shame in that but the amount that they are eating would surely give anyone some type of health problem.

There was also a good amount of shaming in this revival. There was a scene where Emily Gilmore calls a woman with Bipolar Disorder a “nightmare”, which is highly insensitive and ignorant. Then Lorelei and Rory body shame every guy at the pool! You would think that with their love of food, they would understand and be a little more empathetic. Lorelei also jokes about “trigger warnings” which are common for sexual assault victims and those with PTSD. I understand the attempts to be cute but it just did not work.

Although it was 2016, it didn’t feel like 2016. Where was the mention of the ridiculousness of Donald Trump running for president? I would have expected Rory to be covering Clinton’s campaign trail, due to where she left off in the original series.

I did enjoy the Kirk bits but we did not find out if he married Lulu! This was something I was even curious about when the original ended.

I thought it was a little out-of-character for Lorelei to be so against Rory writing a book about their lives. Lorelei is usually very open with people, so why would she be so against it now? You would think she would be excited to be written about since she loves the spotlight. It would be more like Emily to forbid her private details from getting out in public. She could have used her reputation in the community and the DAR as an excuse and then had an epiphany that it was something that needed to be written when she told off the DAR and moved to Nantucket.

While there were many things that needed to be fixed (diversity being the main one), I did enjoy the revival. I think it gave me that sense of what the old series didn’t when it ended and provided a lot of nostalgia for me. I also thought it was super smart that they decided to air it on Thanksgiving weekend. This made it easy to watch when you’re home and gave me a designated time to binge-watch the episodes, rather than taking out time from my busy schedule. I really do hope that the series comes back and maybe even with Rory’s baby already born. It certainly adds a very interesting dynamic to the show now that four generations are included.

What a Trump presidency means for sexual assault victims

Congratulations to those of you who decided that this man who has been notorious for bullying those with disabilities, trash-talking people of other races and religions, and disrespecting women would be a better president than a woman. Now, anyone with a heart would recognize that he is wrong for our country but let’s take a look at something deeper. What does it say if our president already has many sexual assault charges against him before he enters office? During the infamous “bus” conversation with Billy Bush scandal, it was clear that he does not respect women or their right to have a say in what happens to their bodies. This is clearly evidenced by his pro-life views and comment stating that “you can do anything” to a woman and get away with it if you have some sort of high status.

I remember that week being a huge trigger for every single woman who has had an experience with sexual assault. I spoke to my adolescents at work and they were all terrified of the idea of Trump as president. How are they supposed to feel safe when their own President is not punished for sexual assault? How are they supposed to flourish in a world that is constantly shutting them up and telling them to “get over it”? We already have a system that favors the rapist over the victim. Cases like Brock Turner, Anita Hill, Jameis Winston, and those in the documentary Audrie and Daisy have exposed the horror that life becomes once the victim speaks out.

I urge you to take a second and try to imagine what life must be like for anyone, man or woman, who has been sexually assaulted must be like. Having to carry on with work or school because you don’t want to let them ruin your life but at the same time feeling broken, used, and worthless. Being told to “move on” when you are constantly bombarded with flashbacks of the incident and terrified that it might happen again. Not being able to sleep because of the nightmares and not being able to trust anyone. Try to imagine what that can do to a person. They literally become a shell with nothing left inside because society has told them it is not acceptable to talk about it so they have to become numb just to walk around without breaking down.

Make no mistake, the women I work with are strong. It was never their fault. The assault led them to turn to alternative methods to numb or forget the pain. They suffer from eating disorders as well as PTSD, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. It’s heartbreaking that they would have to turn to these methods because being open about it just isn’t acceptable in our society.

You can see the pain in their eyes, the way they carry themselves, and the fear they describe when they talk about men and the possibly of dating in the future. You can feel their despair when you sit down with them when they are breaking down and have no idea how to get the horrible experience out of their minds. Needless to say, their lives can never be the same again.

Many people still defend this man stating that they are “just words” or seem to not classify this as sexual assault. I assume the ones defending him would be other white men who have never been victims of sexual assault or women who clearly cannot empathize with a woman who has been assaulted. These are the same individuals who hold the belief that women are objects instead of people and do not deserve the same amount of respect or rights because of their gender.

But I urge you to read stories of sexual assault victims. Try to see it from their point of view. Be grateful that you were lucky enough to never have to go through anything they do. Be kind to people who feel hurt and scared after this election because you never know what they have been through or are going through.

Yes, we do have to move on eventually but give people time to grieve and make sense of things. This is a decision that affects so many different people and although it may not affect you, it may affect someone you know. And if you care about that person, please let them voice their opinion just like our 1st amendment freely allows us to do. Recognize that there are going to be populations of people who are hurting from this and allow them to feel it.

In order to move on, we need to protect our rights as people. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Even if something may not make you happy or fit your culture, religion, or personal views, you do not have the right to control others. Just let that person be who they are. Is it really affecting you? Do you really need to fixate on what someone else is doing with their life? Stop the hate. Hate will just break you down and hurt others. Focus on making yourself happy and making yourself a better person because that is how we will actually make this nation great.

Confessions of a Pinterest Queen

Pinterest is a beautiful thing. It’s basically a drug for all who like to plan and it’s so easy to use. I routinely use Pinterest and have a couple of confessions other serious users can relate to…

You wish your real life was as fun as your Pinterest life

Through Pinterest, I can escape to New Zealand, Paris, or even Antarctica. I can get lost in fantasies of skydiving, or even plan my own wedding. There is no limit to what I can accomplish.

You pin a bunch of recipes you will never make and exercises you will never do

Yes, yes and yes. This is why having your mother on Pinterest is the best, since she might even surprise you with a recipe you pinned but were too lazy to make.

You think you’ve found the most creative DIY craft ever

Chances are that thousands of people are thinking the same thing. You will most likely all end up being the same thing for Halloween or making the same decoration for Thanksgiving.

Your boards are more organized than anything else in your life

You’d rather spend time organizing your pins and boards than organizing your actual room!

You’ve learned to recognize who is pinning what before you even read their name at the bottom

“That is just so her style!” “That’s definitely Rachelle’s sense of humor”

You think it’s perfectly okay to plan your wedding years in advance and your future children’s outfits

Because you know there are so many ideas! They are some of the most important events in your life, so why not start early to make them the best, right? (But then seeing your mother’s “future grandkids” board totally freaks you out! Too soon!)

It’s your go-to source for anything you need to find out how to do, make, create or dress for

It’s just a simple search away…

You’ve had to add the Toolbar to your Internet browser

God forbid you can’t pin a recipe you see outside of Pinterest that you don’t want to lose!

You get really upset when you accidentally put a pin in the wrong board

It takes forever to find the board and delete the post!

You try to convince all your friends to become active on Pinterest

They need to know how great it is!

You know that it has boosted your creativity and made you see life in a whole new way

Let’s face it, exposure to that many pins will definitely make you more creative than non-Pinterest users! You’ve also learned how to find the best, most unique gifts for people. In all, you know it has made you a better person.

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