Why I Write

Why write? I suppose many people say they write to find themselves or to dig deeper into their own minds. However, I personally write to take advantage of the opportunity it gives me to explore the worlds outside of myself. It allows me to observe and piece together the bits that make life what it is. Whether it’s the wind blowing through her hair, or the sweat dripping down his face, or the smell of cookies in the oven, these moments of experiences make up our lives. And by writing them down we remember them; we relate to them. These seconds in time, whether within this universe of another, show us how other people live, and prove that diversity exists. I truly believe each person has a story to tell and, no matter if that person is real or not, their story deserves to be shared.

Maybe that’s where good writing comes from: the constant search for others’ stories. Writers should be driven by their refusal to accept a dead end, knowing that there are always more stories out there, waiting to be found and shared.

I’m Obnoxious for a Reason

For as long as I can remember, I have been an avid sports fan. Despite growing up cheering for losing teams, it is still a major characteristic of mine. I do not know if this love of sports developed from being a fan for so many years, or from playing so many different sports growing up. It is very likely it came from a combination of the two. My love for sports has shaped who I am, and is now shaping my future. I find myself loving sports for three main reasons: the stories they create, the lessons I learn from them, and the connections they allow me to have with other people.

Sports stories have always captured my attention and inspired me. I grew up cheering for underdogs, which only fueled my love for a Cinderella story. For instance, growing up an Alabama fan was not as great as it is now. My early memories of Alabama football are during times of coaching hires and fires, and the never-ending years of Mike Shula. I can remember the names of players who I knew had the talent to make us great, but 500 seasons were the best we were getting. I remember losing to Auburn six years in a row and having kids at school bully me about it, only because my love for Alabama was so widely known. That is what made the 2009 Iron Bowl victory of 36-0 so sweet, and not just because it was on my birthday. In the six years of losing to the Tigers, they had never shut us out. It was only right that the streak ended with one in our favor. It seemed to be poetic justice for both me and my team.

When I was not cheering for the Tide on Saturdays, I was cheering for the New Orleans Saints on Sundays. My dad is from New Orleans and was born the same year that the Saints started. I knew that I was cheering for one of the worst teams in the NFL, but it was our family team. Everything turned around in 2006 when the Saints returned to the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina. I clearly remember Steve Gleason blocking a punt and it being returned for a touchdown to secure the first win back in New Orleans. Not to mention, it was against the rival Atlanta Falcons. This single play not only brought about success of a team, but also the success of a city. Then, just a few years later, something happened that everyone in the world had joked never would: the Saints won the Super Bowl. It was huge for the city, and for underdogs everywhere, but also for my family. I do not know if I’ve ever seen my dad so excited. The Saints had finally come into their own and had their time. It proved that even the impossible could be achieved.

These stories gave me hope growing up that things do eventually turn out like they should. It sounds silly, but that is how they made me feel. And soon I found it even in fictional stories such as Remember the Titans and Glory Road. I found out that no matter how much the odds are stacked against you, you can overcome them by working hard and doing the right thing.

I learned these things as a fan, but I learned even more lessons as an athlete. I started playing sports when I was five and have not stopped since. I remember knowing sports were for me when I walked into ballet class and told my teacher I was quitting to play basketball. She argued that ballet would help with my balance and whatnot in basketball, but even as a seven-year-old I knew that dancing was not for me and that sports were. I played basketball all through elementary and middle school, with my dad as my coach. What he taught me as a coach has resonated with me since the third grade. He taught me to play with H.E.A.R.T. This acronym stood for Hard, Enthusiastic, Always, Respectful and Together. This lesson not only carried with me on the court, but also off of it throughout life.

In fifth grade, I also picked up volleyball. To do this day, I do not know why I started playing, other than maybe my friends were and talked me into it. I was one of the tallest girls on the team at the time so I played middle blocker. And to fulfill the cliché, I fell in love at first spike. And first pass and first serve. I learned what it was like to truly love every aspect of a sport. This love drove me to stick with it for years, all the way to high school. By that time, I knew I was not the best athlete on the team. I was no longer the tallest one, and I could not jump to save my life. I was not fast and was not the best passer. I got moved all around the court, but I stayed a member of the team. This time made me grow as an athlete and realize that I have to put in my best work for something more than myself. I knew I would not be getting a lot of playing time, but I also knew that if I practiced my best, it would make my teammates better and the team better as a whole. This instilled in me the discipline to lead by example in every aspect of life. I learned to do everything I could for the team, so that we might all be successful in one way or another.

Being both a fan and an athlete has made me grow as a person in ways I never would have otherwise. It has made me trusting, disciplined and hard working. But most importantly, it has connected me with countless people. I remain friends with childhood teammates, despite not having played with them for years. Some of my fondest memories of childhood are with those girls and the times we had. My high school teammates had a major influence on me. They pushed me to work harder even when I was hurting. They encouraged me to do my best and patted me on the back when they saw I did just that. Even in college, I have found new friends through sports by playing on intramural teams. It has brought me closer to people I would otherwise barely know. Doing so has made me realize the importance of community and connection.

But nothing has taught me this more so than being a fan. For instance, I found friends here at school based on the fact that they are Saints fans and are people I can watch the games with. It has makes me feel proud and included when I find that connection with someone, especially fellow Alabama fans. I love being able to say “Roll Tide” to anyone wearing anything with the script “A” or houndstooth, no matter where I am. Instances like these make me realize that sports are something that can connect people universally. They can come from different places, social classes, or backgrounds, but none of that matters once that one common love for a sport is revealed.

There is no doubt that sports are a major part of my life. I have watched and played them for as long as I can remember, and I hope to someday be reporting on them. Studying sports and their impact has made me sit back and look at how they have impacted me. I am happy to say that without sports, I would not be who I am.

Who am I? (Not 24601)

Who am I?

I am a mixture of many combinations of opposites, leaving others constantly unsure of which me they will get.

I come from a combination of places: city and country. New Orleans and Greensboro were my second homes.

I grew up a combination of girl and tomboy, always wearing hair bows with my tennis shoes.

I became a mixture of private and public, as I went to Catholic elementary school and public middle and high school. The two proved to be quite different.

I am a combination of sporty and artsy, singing to myself while shooting free-throws.

I am also a combination of fan and athlete. I love to watch the game, but I love playing it even more.

I struggle with handling the combination of independent and extrovert, wanting to do my own thing but always needing people around me.

Another combination that is sometimes hard to handle is that of Southern and Democrat. I have as much Southern pride as the next Alabamian, but I will forever be just another blue dot in a red state.

I am a combination of free-willed and rule follower, always wanting to have a good time, but doing so in the right way.

My music taste is a combination of old and new. While I love to groove along to The Who, Elvis, and Zeppelin, I am always stoked to hear the best of recent artists.

I have grown to be a combination of hipster and preppy in more ways than one. For instance, I can have long conversations about the control of The Man while sipping on Starbucks.

I hope to someday be a combination of a rebel and a stereotype, as both a sports journalist and a wife/mother.

Who am I? Whoever I feel like being.

Two Decades

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I have found out that it’s appropriate that my birthday is in the fall. It’s a time of change, transition, and letting go. This past Saturday I turned 20. TWENTY. That means I’m two decades old. I found myself feeling the same way the leaves on the trees looked: hanging on to the last bit of the year refusing to let go until I was forced to.

The biggest realization I had about turning 20 is that I would no longer be a teenager. I would not be clumped into that group of people who are thought of as youthful, adventurous, or impulsive. Granted, I would also be away from the stereotypes of immaturity, apathetic, and full of angst.

I am now a 20-something.

But what does that even mean? So far I’m taking it to mean somewhere between a “young person” and an “adult” who can’t decide if she is excited for the future or frightened by it.

I’m a sophomore in college and having the time of my life. Why on Earth would I ever want to leave? All of the fun and not too terribly much responsibility (though enough to stress me out just about every day).

But then I see friends and colleagues getting jobs in their field, getting engaged, and starting families. And there’s no doubt that I want those things.

I’ve realized over the past couple of years that I have a bad habit of thinking too far ahead and only keeping the future in mind. So while I’m in this transitional year, I’m going to try to get better about living in the present. Because if I look back at the past, I’ll probably feel sad about how old I am. And if I look ahead, then I’ll become anxious about how old I’m close to being.

So I’m going to rock this year of my existence. I’ll begin this new era with an enthusiasm for life like I’ve never had before.

Frisbee Friday

Here are a few more photos I have taken for my photojournalism class.

For this assignment, I had to snap some sports pictures. Naturally, I went to the Quad at 3:00 on Friday to capture some shots of ultimate frisbee.

For those of you who don’t know, Friday Frisbee at 3:00 on the Quad is quite a big deal at UA (especially among the students who go to St. Francis). It provides a weekly outlet to relieve stress and kick off the weekend. Here are some of my favorite pictures that I took.

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Marr’s Spring

I am in a photojournalism class this semester and have decided to share some of my projects with y’all.

This set of pictures was taken at Marr’s Spring on campus at the University of Alabama. Built in the 1800s, the spring is the reason for the campus’s location and is still a popular place for students and visitors to relax and enjoy the beauty of campus.

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SPORTS IN 90 SECONDS//I’M SO EXCITED

Howdy y’all! My name is Caroline and this week I share my excitement with you!

Sorry about the background noises; I was washing clothes and my roommate was watching a show. I had no idea the camera would pick those up lol.

So if you can’t tell from this video, my channel will be changing a little bit from here on out. My “Sports in 90 Seconds” videos will now be an occasional upload. They will go back to my rant style, so I will only be making them when I have something to say.
My focus is now shifting to my “Sports Terms 101″ videos. I’m hoping to expand this series to include terms, rules, plays, players, teams, etc. This style of video has become a new passion of mine, as I find it really important to educate girls about sports so boys don’t get to have all the fun. Not to mention, they appeal to a wider audience. These videos will be what’s uploaded regularly every Wednesday (except for this week obviously).
Some weeks I may post both styles of video, others I might only post one. I hope that you will continue to support the channel and ride along with me as I make these changes. I appreciate your support!

HERE ARE SOME COOL LINKS:
SUBSCRIBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS29F8_Ecd5MF8V_l3GKYQQ
COLLAB CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChS3PHOj03AnZppFGhYP6xg
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/BamaBee13
TUMBLR: http://bamabee13.tumblr.com/
BLOG: https://carolinevncnt.wordpress.com
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/bamabee13
PINTEREST: http://www.pinterest.com/cvandwv/