Regret (A Poem)

Regret tastes like a rusted penny and the sharp tang of too much salt.

It’s that feeling after you say words that you can’t take back. The words pour from your lips like a glass full of water that’s been knocked over. The glass shatters into a million pieces. You can’t fix that, instead all you do is admire how the shards looks like the stars in the black as pitch sky. The water pours over the linoleum, making it slick and slippery. Dangerous.

You try to pick up the pieces, making tiny little cuts on your fingers, little rivers of red. Sharp, piercing pain that fades over times.

You wish you could take the words back, but you can’t. You grip the shards tighter and tighter, your skin falling apart as you fall apart too. As they walk away.

You want nothing more than to apologize. To scream I am sorry into the dark abyss of regret. But the words get stuck in your throat. Like you are choking and you need someone to pound on your chest to dislodge.

And as they get further and further away, as their silhouette becomes nothing more than a tiny speck in the distance. You regret.

Oh, do you regret.

You wish you could press rewind. Wish you could rewind and start all over. Start with I’m sorry instead of I blame you. Start with I love you instead of I wish I didn’t. Start with I need you instead of I hate you. But it’s already too late.

You crash to the ground, knees bruising, hands flat on the ground, blood pours from your hands like the water on the glass.

The curtain closes.

-K

Characters Meeting Other Characters

I found this on my personal gmail account. I thought I’d share. It’s hilarious. You should do it! It was a lot of fun.

Write Down Ten Random Characters.

  1. Dick Grayson 
  2. Jason Todd 
  3. Severus Snape 
  4. Jace Wayland 
  5. Spencer Reid
  6. Daryl
  7. Hermione Granger 
  8. Rose Hathaway 
  9. William Herondale 
  10. Beast 

1. Four invites Three and Eight to dinner at their own house. What happens?

So, Jace, who is an asshole, invites Severus, who is also an asshole, and Rose, who is a a bit of a bitch but not meaning to be, to dinner? Remind to make sure NOT to be there. Jace would annoy Severus so much that Severus would end up killing him, while Jace would be flirting with Rose and Rose would be wondering why the hell she came in the first place. 

2. You need to stay at a friend’s house for a night. Whose house, One or Six?

Hmm. Staying with Dick and his crazy family or staying with Daryl and his zombie problem…That is a really tough decision. 

3. Two and Seven are making out when Ten walks in. Ten’s reaction?

Beast would be wondering how that happened, grunt and walk out because he knows that Hermione can take care of herself and punch Jace like she did to Draco. 

4. Three falls in love with Six. Eight is jealous. What happens?

First of all, do you want me to die? I swear I can feel Daryl and Severus’s presence over my shoulder right now…Rose would just deal with it. She can handle rejection unless it’s Dimitri.

5. Four jumps you in a dark alleyway. Who rescues you, two, ten, or seven?

If Jace jumps me, I wouldn’t want to be saved. Seriously. Although, between Jason, Hermione and Beast, I would prefer Hermione saved me. She’s more dependable than Beast and Jason.

6. One decides to start a cooking show. Fifteen minutes later, what happens?

The whole building is on fire because for some reason I can’t picture Dick knowing how to cook. He’d probably burn toast. 

7. Three has to marry either Eight, Four, or Nine. Who do they choose?

Severus would chose Rose, mainly because she’s not nearly as annoying as Jace and William can be. If he married either of them, they would be dead in an hour. 

8. Six kidnaps One and demands something from Five for One’s release. What is it?

Daryl kidnaps Dick. Interesting. I give him credit for doing that. I wouldn’t want to piss off Bats. Hmm. Demands something from Reid…Probably for Reid to find the cure for the zombie disease.

9. Everyone gangs up on Seven. Does Seven stand a chance? 

Does the phrase “brightest witch of her age” not ring a bell? Sure, she is dealing with a hero, an anti-hero, a Death Eater, two Shadowhunters, a genius, a zombie killer expert, a Guardian and a, well beast, but you bet she should get out of it pretty quick.

10. Everyone is invited to Two and Seven’s wedding except for Ten. How does Ten react?

Beast wouldn’t care if he got invited to Jace and Hermione’s wedding. He’s too busy trying to get Belle. Not too mention he doesn’t think they’d work in the first place.

11. Why is Six afraid of Seven?

Again, brightest witch of her age. Daryl knows that if he pisses off Hermione, she will make what zombies do look pleasant. 

12. Nine arrives too late for Two and Seven’s wedding. What happens and why were they late?

He’s William Herondale, he is always late. He thinks it adds to his style.

13. Five and One get drunk and end up at your house. What happens? 

I have the sexy Dick and the equally sexy Reid at my house, drunk. What do you think would happen? Lol. A lot of fun, that’s why. 

15. Three and Seven are in mortal danger. Does Three save Seven or themselves?

Severus may say Hermione is annoying, but in the end, he would save her. He would never make her forget it though. 

16. Eight and Five go camping. But they forget food. What do they do?

Rose is freaking out because she is like a garbage disposal while Reid is wondering how the hell he ended up camping in the first place and going into coffee withdrawals. 

17. Six is in a car accident and is critically injured. What does Four do?

Jace laughs because that is how he covers up his worry while Daryl is trying to not kill Jace with an arrow. 

18. The quiz is over. By the way, how did Two and Seven end up?

Well, Jason ended up leaving Hermione at the altar because he got trashed with Roy. Hermione was PISSED, thinking that he had changed, slapped him and then ran into Dick’s arms. Meanwhile, a certain Batgirl is planning her revenge…

List twelve of your favorite characters from your fandom, in no particular order. Since, I am like uberly obsessed with Batman, here it goes. 

  1. Roy Harper 
  2. Dick Grayson 
  3. Barbara Gordon 
  4. Selina Kyle 
  5. Jason Todd 
  6. Poison Ivy 
  7. Bruce Wayne 
  8. Damian Wayne 
  9. Joker 
  10. Starfire 
  11. Bane 
  12. Ra’s Al Ghul 

1. Have you ever read a Six/Eleven fic? Do you want to?

No. I have not read a Poison Ivy and Bruce Wayne fic and I don’t plan on it. Bruce belongs with Selina, even though they are both in denial. 

2. Do you think Four is hot? How hot?

Yes, Selina is hot. In fact, she is like the image of sexy, sultry and seductive. I love her. 

3. Is there any such thing as One/Eight fluff?

Ha. Roy and Damian would kill each other. Snort. Anyways, there probably is but I haven’t bothered to look. 

4. Suggest a title for a Seven/Twelve hurt/comfort

Hahaha. This makes me laugh. Ra’s hates Bruce, well Batman, and vice versa. But if I had to write a title for a hurt/comfort, it would be, “How To Kill Your Enemy With Love.” 

5. Does anyone on your friends list read Three hot?

No. Most of my friends aren’t as obsessed with Batman as I am…

6. Does anyone on your friends list write or draw Eleven?

Ha. I wish. Though now I want to draw Bane…

7. Would anyone on your friends list write Two/Four/Five?

No. Again, none of my friends are as obsessed with Batman as I am. 

8. If you wrote a Song-fic about Eight, what song would you choose?

“Let the Bodies Hit the Floor.” Because it is Damian. He might be only ten, but that brat is evil. Hence the nickname of “Demon.” 

9. If you wrote a One/Six/Twelve fic, what would the warning be?

Warning: This fanfiction will involve two redheads trying to seduce each other and old, immortal man trying to turn them evil. 

10. When was the last time you read a fic about Five?

Ha. I’m reading one now. A Jason and Tim Fanfiction, actually. 

11. What would you think if you found (5) was a really good friend of a sibling or relative of yours?

Remind myself NOT to tell Jason if I have a boyfriend in fear of him using the guy’s privates as decorum for his car. [OH GOD WHAT DID I JUST READ]

12. How would you feel if (2) dissed you in the worst possible way ever?

I would snort. Dick is a sweetheart. If he was dissing me, it was probably because he was having a bad day. 

13. What would you feel this second if (4) gave you a daisy right now?

A bit weirded out and wary. I’d probably wonder what Selina had up her sleeves and slowly, slowly back away. 

14. (7), (9), and (4) have banded together at 3 in the morning and starts to sing the most annoying song you know as loud as they can, waking you up. What is the first thing you think?

First, I would wonder WHO THE HELL LET THE JOKER IN MY FUCKING HOUSE, and then I would have Bruce karate chop Joker out of my place while Selina is busy…undressing Bruce. 

15. (2) and (11) are your teachers. What would you do?

Well, I would hit on Dick, because, well, HELLO HE’S FUCKING DICK GRAYSON. HELLO, HOTTIE. And then, with Bane, I would skip class. Every. Single. Day. [Don’t mind me while I join you skipping class.]

Be A Superhero, Wear a Mask

When all of this first started, we didn’t wear masks. After all whenever we went to Walmart or Home Depot, everyone avoided each other like they had a plague. . . .poor joke, but it’s true. There weren’t people at Walmart or Home Depot or any where else we went. They were like a ghost store. And those people that were there, while not all of them wore masks, they did keep six feet apart. Hell, I remember seeing a woman about to come down an aisle we were in and she swerved her buggy and went to another aisle to avoid us. That was at the beginning however. So, no. We didn’t wear masks. Now though? Well, we do. Why? Because no one is listening to the social distancing. No one is wearing a mask. Once again I nearly get ran over by buggies in Walmart and then glared at like it’s my fault they’re not paying attention. We are at more of a risk now that we were at the beginning of this COVID-19 pandemic. Why? Because people aren’t taking it seriously. You wear a mask and people call you a pussy. Well, no. We are taking it seriously. Hello, Arkansas had 700 new cases the other day! And honestly, after going to Walmart today, I get why we keep getting new cases.

Mom and I went to Walmart about thirty minutes ago. We decided to do a bit of a study. She counted all those who wore a mask. I counted those who did not wear a mask. In total, we saw 61 people. Mind you, this was barely a 10 minute trip to Wal-hell and we were only on the Home & Pharmacy side. However, the numbers we came up with were still pretty telling.

Of the 61 people we saw, only 21 wore masks. 40 of those people did not wear masks. Now, that’s roughly two-thirds of people who don’t wear masks. Again, I reiterate, no wonder we keep getting cases. No wonder other states cases are rising. No one is taking this seriously.

Here’s the thing. Just wear a mask. If not for you, for those around you who can contract this disease. Heck, they even have cute masks on Etsy you can buy if you don’t want to look like a surgeon from Grey’s Anatomy. Wearing a mask isn’t just about you. It’s about protecting those who are more vulnerable, more susceptible to this disease.

I’m honestly to the point where I want to buy a bunch of masks, and every time I see someone without one, hand them one with a smile.

So do us all a favor. Wear a mask. It’s not that hard.

-K

Maybe You’re Just You

When people first meet me, the first thing they usually say is this:

You’re really sweet.

You’re really kind.

You’re really nice.

At first, it seems like that’s not a bad thing, you know? Like being really of something. That’s fine. That’s good. Over time, however, that really changes into too.

You’re too sweet.

You’re too kind.

You’re too nice.

All my life I’ve heard that I’m too sweet/kind/nice {insert-whatever else synonym here}. All my life. It’s the first thing anyone says. Or they mention that I’m short or that I have a great smile. Now, yes. I am short. And you know what? I do have a great smile. I’m confident enough to say that. I smile at everyone I walk past because you never know what people are going through. Maybe they could really use a smile. And maybe — just maybe — they could use a little kindness.

When I was younger, I was a people pleaser. I did what my friends wanted because well, I wanted to have friends. I did what Heather (my mother) wanted because I thought that maybe if I made her happy, she’d stay home and be with us kids. Growing up as a people pleaser — and if you were and maybe still are one you know this — kind of sucks. People walk all over you like you are nothing to them. You are their doormat. That’s all you are to them. As I grew up I realized that. I realized that I had no voice because I thought — believed that I wasn’t allowed to speak up because it would be rude. I believed that if I said something wrong that I would no longer have friends. That they would turn away after I finally said no. It wasn’t really until I moved to Arkansas at 19 that I realized that I could say no. I could have an opinion. I could have a voice. Thank you to my aunt Wendy for that. Yes, I am proud of that. I’m proud that I am not afraid to voice my thoughts. Now, don’t get wrong. Sometimes I still do bow down or out of an argument because I simply don’t care enough to say someone is wrong or because I simply don’t want to continue on with this argument. That is something I’m still working on. It will take time but I will get there.

The thing is, even if I do get to that point where I am the first to give my opinion, I don’t want to lose my sweetness or kindness or niceness. No, I’m not going to let anyone walk all over me. I am not a doormat. I am not however going to be the person who is so aggressively opinionated. You know the ones. The ones on the internet who start arguments and never let it go. The people that my aunt and I look at and say:

Tell it to them, Taylor.

Here’s the thing, I don’t see a problem with being sweet or kind or nice. Don’t let people walk all over you. Don’t be a doormat. But also, don’t be a jerk. The world is shit, okay? And yeah, it’s full of shit people at times. Most of the time, honestly. But I still believe that there are good people. And if you can just be that one person who can be kind, then maybe, the world won’t be such a shitty place. No, I’m not saying that kindness is going to save the world. I’m not saying that love is either. That’s some Lifetime, Hallmark bullshit. What I am saying is this. There are already enough assholes in the world. How about you not contribute to the asshole pandemic? It takes more effort to be kind to someone that it does to be a jerk.

So yes.

I am sweet. I am kind. I am nice. But never mistake that for weakness. I will have your back if you have mine. I will keep your secrets if you keep mine. I will protect you if you protect me. If you betray me, that trust takes a long time to regain. But you can regain it, if I feel you are worthy. If you hurt someone I love, you will never see me coming. I am ruthless when it comes to the people I love. I am fiercely passionate about the things I believe in.

I am sweet. I am kind. I am nice. But there is so much more to me than that. Those words do not define me because I like the rest of you am a complicated individual. But while those words do not define me completely, I am also not ashamed to be those things. Sweetness, kindness, niceness is not a weakness. It’s a superpower.

So I want you to take a moment. What is your weakness? What do people tell you you are too much of? Maybe you’re too loud. Maybe you’re too proud. Maybe you’re too sweet. Like me. Maybe you’re too serious. Maybe you’re too funny. Maybe you’re too brave. Maybe you’re too cautious. Whatever it is. I want you to think. Because maybe, just maybe, that’s not a weakness. You’re not ‘too‘ much of anything. Maybe you’re just. . . .you.

-K

50 Random Questions

Here’s a bit about me! Copy and paste and join in on the fun!

  1. What is the color of your hairbrush? Red.
  2. Name a food you never ever eat.
    Blueberries.
  3. Are you typically too warm or too cold? Cold.
  4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Watching Criminal Minds
  5. What is your favorite candy bar?Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Cream candy bar
  6. Have you ever been to a professional sports game? One basketball game and one hockey game.
  7. What is the last thing you said out loud? “Three things helped with my headache. Mom cuddles, a crystal and a shower.”
  8. What is your favorite ice cream?
    Cookie Dough.
  9. What was the last thing you had to drink? Mountain Dew.
  10. Do you like your wallet? Yes. It’s The Lion King so awesome!
  11. What was the last thing you ate?
    Lasagna.
  12. Did you buy any new clothes last weekend? Nope.
  13. The last sporting event you watched? Super Bowl LIV.
  14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? Buttery popcorn.
  15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? Angela Ash.
  16. Ever go camping? Yes. It’s been a good 10 years though.
  17. Do you take vitamins? No. Probably should though…
  18. Do you go to church every Sunday? Nope. Not on Wednesday either.
  19. Do you have a tan? Yes.
  20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? Yes. I love Chinese food.
  21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? Only at restaurants and fast food places.
  22. What color socks do you usually wear? Colorful.
  23. Do you ever drive above the speed limit? No. I’m an old lady. My mom is always telling me to speed up.
  24. What terrifies you? Driving. I guess.
  25. Look to your left, what do you see? Roku remote.
  26. What chore do you hate? Laundry.
  27. What do you think of when you hear an Australian accent? Hugh Jackman.
  28. What’s your favorite soda? Mountain Dew or Barq’s Root Beer if I can find it.
  29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive? Drive thru generally.
  30. What is your favorite number? 13.
  31. Who’s the last person you talked to? My mom.
  32. Favorite cut of beef? Hamburger?
  33. Last song you listened to? What A Man Gotta Do by Jonas Brothers.
  34. Last book you read? Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined.
  35. Favorite day of the week? Thursday.
  36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? Nope.
  37. How do you like you like your coffee? I don’t.
  38. Favorite pair of shoes? My boots.
  39. Time you normally go to bed? I try to go to bed my midnight.
  40. Time you normally get up? Around 9 or 10.
  41. What do you prefer, sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
  42. How many blankets on your bed?Two.
  43. Describe your kitchen plates?Round and mistmached.
  44. Do you have a favorite alcoholic drink? White wine. Specifically peach white wine.
  45. Do you play cards? Rarely.
  46. What color is your car? Invisible.
  47. Can you change a tire? Ha. No.
  48. Your favorite state? California.
  49. Favorite job you’ve had? Wildwood Park for the Arts.
  50. How did you get your biggest scar? Punched a brick wall.

Share your answers!

Stay safe and sane, everyone!

-K

Making A List

This is not how I wanted to spend my last semester of undergrad.

The truth is, even before this semester started, I’d been struggling with senioritis. I was struggling with motivation to do, well, anything. I’d been giving only half of myself to my courses, my job, and my hobbies. It’s only been recently that I got that fire, that passion back. The finish line is so close. I’m so close to graduating with not one, but two bachelors. And yes it is scary but the realm of possibilities once I cross that finish line is overwhelming. What can’t I do? That question kept driving me. It made me realize that I needed to stop with this senioritis, get my butt in gear, and not screw up my last semester because I’m afraid of what happens next. I’ve always hated the idea of change. Always. And yes maybe change is scary but sometimes you have to take a chance. That’s what my goal was this semester. I wanted to take chances. But now with everything that’s been happening, that might be halted.

I’m sure you know what’s been happening. I’m sure you know about the pandemic. Coronavirus. Cities, even states are being locked down to stop the spread of the virus. The entire world is in a state of panic, fear, and desperation. You can feel it in the air. You can see it when you go to Walmart and people are stocking on toilet paper. You can see it when people walk around wearing gloves and masks. It’s everywhere. I don’t need to tell you what’s happening because you already know.

Last week my university migrated from face to face to online. I have no doubt that soon the campus will close. Then that brings up of what will I do for work? I’m a receptionist. I can’t really work from work. And it’s not like I can go get another job. I highly doubt most places are even hiring with everything that’s happening. Once I think about that, then my thoughts spiral.

When will the campus open again?

How will my classes be handled?

Will I still be able to walk come graduation May 16th?

And it keeps going and going and going.

I know I’m not the only who is questioning what happens now? How will this effect us not only now but in the following weeks? That’s all I think about. That’s all we think about.

But I don’t want to think about what if. I’m tired of being stuck in this rut of panic, fear, and desperation. Anger, frustration, and depression. So I don’t want to think about what if anymore. Rather, I want to think about what I can do if campus does close and we’re all confined home. Thus begins my list.

Here’s my list of things I can do if campus closes.

Keely’s List
1. Produce more episodes of podcast
2. Make more macrame scarves
3. Edit UALR documentary
4. Work on poetry/memoir book
5. Make a YouTube channel
6. Start one of my stories or maybe both
7. Paint a masterpiece
8. Take only close ups of stuff in the house
9. Read all the books on my bookshelf
10. Finally touch my toes with knees not bent

I’m going to keep working on this list. I encourage all of you to make one of your own. Keep thinking positive. It will be okay.

-K

Students and Professors Thoughts on the Migration from F2F to Online at UA Little Rock

As I walked out of my dance class across campus to my job yesterday, my phone buzzed with an email notification.  I felt a sense of foreboding as I clicked on the email. I didn’t even have to read it as the subject made it very clear what the Chancellor had to say: “UA Little Rock Migrates to Online Classes Immediately.” Not even an hour and a half ago, my classmates and I talked about the coronavirus and how our class would not work online. It’s not feasible for a dance class to be online. Now what we were only discussing, was a reality. Yesterday morning when I got to work at 8, Wynter, Jerry and I talked about important questions we would have — as students — if  UA Little Rock decided to close. Now, all of those questions we had, is a reality.

While I was at work before my dance class, I worked on a Google Doc shared with several chairs of different departments around UA Little Rock, and helped to compile a list of questions students, faculty and staff would have about this migration — and what would happen if the campus completely closed.  Currently, the offices on campus such as Undergraduate Academic Advising, Admissions, Financial Aid, etc., are still open — for now at least, we will see how long that lasts — while all classes have now been moved online. This isn’t going to work for all classes, however. Such as my dance class. I am not the only student with these concerns. I interviewed several students to get their opinion on what is happening at our university.

Trinity McCracken-Howard, a mass communication major, is angry. She doesn’t understand why UA Little Rock is doing this. “The virus is not harmful to most people of college age, so why are they acting like it is? The whole virus is blown out of proportion, we had a higher chance of getting the flu, but we did not close then, what makes this different?” Trinity feels cheated because the courses she’s enrolled in are not set up to be online, such as Reading like a Writer, Essential Elements of Poetry, Motion Graphics, and Equinox Internship. She believes that the internship will be the most difficult because they are in the process of trying to print their next journal. “My biggest concern is how this will affect those that have skill-based classes. How are you to learn proper skills if you are stuck doing everything online rather than in person? Also, will this affect graduation?” 

(For context: The flu has a higher infection rate than COVID-19, but a lower mortality rate.)

Latosha Newman, another mass communication student, agrees with Trinity when it comes to the transition from face-to-face courses to online. She doesn’t believe that all courses can be online. She had this to say, “All classes can’t just go from in-class to online. It’s just not logical and a realistic decision especially when all departments are still open because you can’t shut every place down.” She understands that the university needs to take precautions. “I have mixed emotions but I do understand the need to take precautions but at the same time this is ridiculous and I can’t stress this enough: everyone is overreacting,” she said.

Like myself, Trinity and Latosha are graduating May. We’ve all been wondering how this will affect commencement. Will we still be able to walk? I know that all three of us want to walk but with how things are going, that might not happen. So far, the university has stated that commencement will still happen and they will keep us updated.

Alex Hughes, a music education student, feels alienated. Alex said: “I agree with their decision, because our well being is their top priority and that’s very admirable.” For most of us, this is a new experience. We’ve never gone through something like in our lifetime. Yes, we’ve lived through major outbreaks before — SARS, swine flu and Ebola among those — however, not to the extent where schools are closing in fear of the virus spreading. At least not in the United States. Italy is shut down because of this virus. As are several other countries. Now schools and universities across the United States are shutting down. How will that affect schools? What about parents whose children are out of school but they are still working? While yes, perhaps this type of action could help prevent coronavirus from spreading more, what will the long term effects be?

Christian Tobler, an English major, minoring in Theatre and Mathematics, is in my dance class. He joined the conversation in dance class about the coronavirus, and how our dance class could be migrated to online — if it even could be. Though he feels somber about what is happening, Christian understands the reasoning. “I would obviously rather have most courses face-to-face, but also have no desire to pass on any kind of deadly virus to those at risk.” However, Christian disagrees with the timing of the shift, and said “had they began to shift things more gradually from an earlier point in time, the issue could have resolved more efficiently.” He also feels concerned about the professors who are unfamiliar with Blackboard as well.

At our university, professors are not required to have online courses — or even to know how to operate Blackboard and other applications to have online courses. My cousin Paige, is taking American Sign Language II this semester. This class requires a lab. She’s wondering how that lab will taken care. Will her class be canceled? Other classes where being online could be a problem are: theatre, art, dance, engineering, and science. Students are anxious about how all of this is being handled.

Katie Zakrzewski, SGA president, is a double major in Criminal Justice and anthropology is one of those students feeling anxious. However, she’s also hopeful that everything will be resolved. In fact, she believes that the migration from face-to-face should’ve been done sooner. “As student body president, I want to work and continue to ensure that all student situations are addressed, and ensuring that students are sheltered, well fed, healthy and educated.”

Students aren’t the only ones who are affected by the universities decisions. I spoke to a few professors from the Rhetoric and Writing department at UA Little Rock. They all agree with the decision to close campus. Dr. George Jensen said, “I think the university has done everything it can to make a smooth transition to online. We have a number of workshops set up to help make professors who have never taught online make the switch and get up to speed. Most of my concerns are for the general public. I worry about how the virus will affect small businesses, like restaurants, and people who work in service jobs.” Dr. Jensen brought up an excellent point. What is going to happen to restaurants? If people are staying at home then they aren’t going out to eat. Those businesses are going to suffer. Dr. Heidi Harris says that her main concern is how this transition will effect students who have children, and “who are now also trying to manage their schoolwork and their childrens’ online school work.” For students who can still work but have children, how are they going to handle childcare? How are they going to handle their schoolwork plus their children. Not to mention, over time, I imagine the children will get tired of being cooped up. It is a stressful situation for all. Dr. Barbara L’Eplattenier is also worried about how this transition will effect the students. She said, “I’m also concerned about how these shifts–the push to work from home, schools letting out for two or even three weeks, increased work on the computer because we are all online — is going to impact our students. Any one of these is a major stressor and to have all three plus the possibility of illness — it’s just a LOT. I keep reminding myself and my students to breath — big breath in through the nose/out through the mouth. Repeat. It’s going to be okay.”

Who knows how long we will be face-to-face to online? Who knows how long offices will remain open? All I do know is that it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. Even on Wednesday — before the announcement — when my cousin Paige and I went to Dollar General for hamburger buns, they were out. We went to Walmart and the entire shelf of bread was empty. We had to hunt to find one package of hamburger buns. It’s normal for people to panic and buy all the bread, milk, and eggs — it happens every single time a massive storm is about to occur — but this was different entirely. A woman overheard us talking about how crazy the fact the bread was all gone and told us to check out the toilet paper section. We walked over to the toilet paper section. . .and there were only maybe 6 to 10 packages left. In Fayetteville, it isn’t only toilet paper and bread that’s been depleted, but also rice, ramen, and other non-perishables. My uncle told us how when he went to Sam’s, and saw so many people pushing flatbeds stacked with toilet paper and other necessities. While I was scrolling through Facebook, a friend mentioned how even Amazon is running low on certain supplies such as hand sanitizer.

The paranoia is only starting, and I imagine it’s going to get worse. Schools in Arkansas are closed until the end of March. Universities are online until further notice. All campus events at my university are canceled until April 30th. And it’s not only campus events. Even events on Facebook are being canceled. DisneyLand, Disney World, Universal Studios, and many other places where a lot of people gather are closing. Sports events are closed. TV productions have stopped.

(The following is a link to what is all canceled in Arkansas: https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2020/mar/12/coronavirus-cancellations/)

We’ll have to stay vigilant and keep our eye on updates. Until then, don’t panic. Just breathe, like Dr. L’Eplattenier said. Keep yourself informed. If you have questions about what’s happening, ask someone. If you have concerns about how your university is handling the transition from face-to-face to online, email your professors. Whatever you do, don’t give into the hysteria. We’ll see how everything goes. For now, take care of yourselves and your family.

-K

What Am I Listening to This Week?

“Underdog” by Alicia Keys

I first heard this song on my cousin Paige’s Pandora shuffle. I fell like, instantly in love with it. It’s got an incredible beat. It makes you want to get up and move. It’s also has an incredible beat. This is a song that has power behind it. Or rather, it empowers you. When I listen to this song, it makes me believe that I can do anything. I think we all need a song like this. Alicia Keys has this way of singing songs that you feel something. This makes me feel invincible. Take a listen to it.

“Before You Go” by Lewis Capaldi

First, I love Lewis Capaldi. Period. I love his voice, his songs. Everything. I first heard this song on the radio. This song is vastly different than “Underdog” but I am in love with it. “Underdog” makes you feel invincible. This song makes you think. It makes you think about how everyone is going through their own crucible. You never know what they are going through. This song addresses mental illness and suicide. It’s a beautiful song for such a hard topic that no one wants to talk about. It made me feel feelings. It’s so raw and open. Take a listen to it.

“Stupid Love” by Lady Gaga

SHE’S BACK. Yes. When I heard Lady Gaga had a new single, I dropped everything and instantly listened to it. This song is drastically different than “Before You Go” but similar to “Underdog” in the way that it makes you want to dance. It makes me want to call up my girlfriends and have a fun dance night with wine and ice cream. “Stupid Love” reminds me of the 70s and 80s. It got such a great beat. In the world we are living in right now, we need songs like “Underdog” and “Stupid Love.” Take a listen. And as always, Lady Gaga has a weird but awesome video.

“Gooey” by Glass Animals

Now we are switching gears. “Gooey” is nothing like any of the other songs. I first heard it in my friend Ivana’s car when we heading to a shoot for our capstone class. “Gooey” has such a chill vibe to it. This isn’t a new song compared to the other ones. It came out 6 years ago, but it’s new to me. I thought I’d share. This song also makes you want to dance but more like sway and hang out with friends while probably smoking something. This song makes me feel all chill and relaxed. Take a listen to it. It almost reminds me of the 60s in a way.

“Better Man” by Little Big Town

Another drastic change since this is a country song. I heard it on the radio as well. I’ve always loved Little Big Town. This song is so beautiful. She’s basically saying: “The bravest thing I ever did was leave you. And maybe, maybe if you were a better man, you would’ve deserved me. But you weren’t.” Again, not a new song since it came out 3 years ago. But it’s new

Honorable Mentions:

“Lost on You” by LP

When I was on YouTube on a random playlist, this song came on. I fell in love with LP. This song is from 2016 but it doesn’t matter. It still goes hard. I love it so much. I want to learn how to sing it really well and maybe make a video for it. Who knows? Either way, you should listen to this song and LP’s other songs.

“The Man” by Taylor Swift

I’ve been listening to this song since Taylor Swift released her newest album, Lover. This song is amazing. Taylor is exploring lyrically how different would her life have been if she was born a man? Would she had gotten the same flack she got as a woman as a man? And now there’s a video. You should listen to it.

I hope you enjoy these songs!

Also it’s kind of amusing to me how different all of these songs are. It shows how my music is all over the place.

-K