Basketball season is over, but Kevin Durant is by no means finished being a superstar.
For the last two days, I have covered the Kevin Durant basketball camp at Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City.
I have to say, I admire Durant’s ability to stay positive after a tough loss to Dallas and while staring in the face of an NBA lockout.
These kids seemed to have had a memorable experience during their sessions. The “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” after every basket Durant made alone told the excitement of these young ballers.
I have nothing else to say, except that Kevin Durant is just an all around good dude. I’m proud as an Oklahoman to say that Kevin Durant represents my city.
For more photos, go here.
My very first post I wrote about how this blog would be my outlet. After this week I am extremely glad I do have that privilege, considering the fact that writing has always been a way for me to heal and overcome adversity. Today, I want to discuss the Top 3: Disadvantages to having a disability and the lessons I have learned from it.
For the majority of my childhood I’ve had to cope with the negative affects and effects of having epilepsy due to a brain injury I received while I was at the skating rink when I was young. I have not had a seizure for at least 6 years know nor have I had to take medication for epilepsy. I haven’t really discussed the disability I once had, but sometimes I feel as if I am still coping with having once had a disability. Through it all I most consistently remind myself of these three things below when problems arise.
1.) Remembering the important things in life - More than one time this week I’ve had experiences that have brought me to tears. I had been upset with myself for misplacing items that would have cost more money to replace. So, I cried from being so upset and frustrated with myself for not remembering important things. At my age, I should have no problem remembering.The hardest part is not knowing. Not knowing why I forget things as much as I do. Not knowing the effects of the many seizures I had while I was a child. And not knowing whether the medication I had been given by doctors has caused long-term effects that I still have to cope with today.
The lesson I have learned is: To take things slow. While somethings may be harder for me at times, I have to remind myself to just take things slow and my circumstances will get better.
2.) Basic and Simple task - Tasks that are simple and easy to do are things I have trouble with at times. As a journalist, this especially becomes a problem. Basic information is crucial to every story. If journalist cannot get the basic information in a story than more than likely his/her career becomes short lived. The other day, I was just reminded by an editor to try and remember to include the basic information in a story, and I immediately came down on myself for forgetting to include that information. I’m pretty sure it crossed my mind to include the information he was asking for in the story, but I became so involved in the story itself and all the details I wanted to include to make it a good story that I forgot about the basic information. In spite of him saying that I did a good job on the story, in my mind I didn’t. I always strive to do my best, so it is very disappointing to know that my best is not good enough.
The second lesson I have learned is: Never be too critical of yourself. It’s never easy to cope a disability nor is it easy to overcome. But if you keep trying to achieve your goals, eventually you will succeed. Persistence pays off.
3.) Equality - I’ve never been one to think of myself as having a disability, but the reality is I did have a disability. I believe most people who have a disability want to be treated as an equal. The ironic thing is, as much as you want to be treated equal, there are some situations when you placed on an unequal playing field due to a disability and necessary accommodations may need to be made. In spite of adversity, I strongly believe in the adage, you can do anything you put your mind to just like anyone else. Even if you have to accomplish things in a different manner, the only thing that matters is that you believe in yourself.
The third lesson I have learned is: Remember the positive things more than the negative. When you have bad days, deal with them accordingly, but don’t dwell on the negative. Cherish all the positive moments in life. Celebrate every victory, even if it is small. Smile in the face of adversity.
Over the last few weeks I’ve shot many assignments that were physically strenuous.
I’ve shot three straight games of softball in 105+ degree heat. I’ve been sand-blasted down on the Oklahoma River in the horribly offensive wind. I’ve even gone running into wildfires, breathing what I am sure was toxic smoke….
Nothing seems to compare to the one food assignment I had to shoot.
For what felt like hours, I had my face about 6 inches from the dishes at Jamil’s Steakhouse. I was sweaty, my spine was contorted, and I was trying desperately to hold a light over my head to illuminate the dimly-lit room.
At the end of it all, I was winded and sweaty. People think I’m ridiculous for saying this, but that assignment took a lot out of me.
All in all, it was a great learning experience and I got to eat some of the delicious food that I shot.
Special thanks to Nate Billings.
Compared to many states in nation Oklahoma is young state. In spite of Oklahoma being relatively young its residents have had cope with many tragedies. As a result, I want discuss the Top 3: Historical Events in Oklahoma.
1. Murrah Federal Bombing April 19, 1995 – Before 9/11 many Americans were too comfortable with the notion terrorism was something that often happened overseas. The aftermath of acts of terrorism were too often only seen through the portrayal of media in nations that were at war or under the leadership of a dictator.The OKC federal bombing had been one of the first major terrorist attacks in the U.S. since Pearl Harbor. And it all too quickly changed the lives of many Oklahomans. Many Oklahomans today still are affected by the aftermath of this terrorist attack.
Video posted by AssociatedPress at youtube.com
2. May 3 Tornado – When an F5 hit Missouri, many Oklahomans already understood what it was like to go through such a severe storm. Several cities in Oklahoma were devastated including areas close to neighborhood I used to live in. Out of this tragedy came so many stories of survival and a sense of what a community is supposed to be.
Video posted by GualdAnubis at youtube.com
3. 2007 ice storm – This is the first time, I truly understood what life would be like without all the modern gadgets and invention we enjoy today. For, at least two days we were without electricity and heat. There were no working phones. And for those who lived in the country and drew water from wells, many did not have running water due to frozen pipes.
video by briandjin2 at youtube.com
I did a search on my hometown, Blanchard, Okla., in The Oklahoman archives and I came across these photos of Burrito Grill shortly after it opened in 2003.
First of all, $3.25 FOR THE SUPER VALUE MENU?! I can’t imagine such a perfect world. That price has since gone to $5.59, which devastated my bank account when I was in high school. I say “devastated,” because it was an addiction that I had to support daily if I didn’t want to shake during Senor Brown’s Spanish II class.
Burrito Grill is owned by Matt and Erin Cosby, a nice couple that wanted to start up their own business after a fast-paced modeling career in Europe. They have a high standard of quality and a goal to make “awesome, fresh food.”
It is, by far, one of my favorite burrito joints. And when I say favorite, I’m also considering places like Chipotle and Freebirds.
The Blanchard Burrito Grill is the only BG in existence, so I encourage all readers and especially my fellow interns to try this place out if they get the chance. These photos and the article that ran with them are still hanging on the wall.
Tell them Garett sent you. It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure Matt still knows who I am.
You can click here to see a photo of me during my senior year of high school… in complete ecstasy.
Stillwater’s Other Lives apparently impressed Mates of State when they opened for the group during a show in Norman this past spring.
Other Lives is set to open nine shows for the San Francisco native Mates of State, starting with a show in Columbus, Ohio in October.
For a full list of shows with Mates of State, click here.
Those shows will come after the band plays six shows with Indie Folker Bon Iver in September.
Plus, the band made perhaps one of the greatest music videos in the history of music videos that take place in space… (Probably only edged out by Michael Jackson’s Scream video. You just can’t beat Pong in space.)
If there was one request that I could honestly say I have received every day since my internship started, it would have to be the heat feature request.
The guys in my department are obsessed with heat features; an image that embodies the spirit of summer. And who could blame them? It’s a great chance to connect with the community and tell the story of summer.
The heat feature photo mentality has been branded into me, and now it’s become a daily challenge.
Here are some heat feature photos I have made this summer.
It’s the type of assignment I’ve dreamed about: The opportunity to travel and write about my experiences.
That being said, it should come as no surprise that I’ve looked forward to the Oklahoma road trip series my editor assigned me that will take me to various parts of Oklahoma.
The first trip was to places in Pauls Valley, Davis and Sulphur.
Toy & Action Figure Museum
At first glance, the Toy & Action Figure Museum in Pauls Valley came across as a nerd’s collection of toys on display.
While it is a collection of various toys and action figures, it takes you back to much simpler times when your biggest challenge was finding a way to not eat your vegetables.
The place was jam-packed with action figures. There were the usual superheroes with Star Wars and Disney characters thrown into the mix. The figures are set into sections and displays with similar toys.
One area is a child’s play room with costumes for children and adults to try on. I’ve never wanted to be Spiderman, Superman or Batman. Instead, I’ve had the dream most little girls can relate to: I want to be a princess. With the help of a dress at the museum, that’s exactly what I became.
Sure, it was silly. It was fun to step outside of the norm and indulge my inner child.
Bedré Fine Chocolates
After a little GPS mishap, I made it to Bedré Fine Chocolates in Pauls Valley. Long story short, my GPS and I have a love-hate relationship. I love the way it gives directions, but it enjoys taking me to the wrong places.
The unforgettable aroma of freshly made chocolate greeted me at the door.
The woman behind the counter asked if I wanted to try a sample. This is what I heard, “Would you like to sample of this Heaven-sent chocolate?” Absolutely.
From the moment the chocolate touched my lips, the delectable mix of chocolate and peanut butter threw my taste buds into bliss overload. The pure, rich taste had me hooked.
As my mind was on the amazing candy, I walked further into the building and watched workers making the delicious creations.
As I left the store, the woman said some of the items are online and can be shipped to my house. My family should prepare themselves because I know what they are getting for Christmas.
As I looked for postcards to send my family, I saw one with a beautiful waterfall. The postcards featuring Turner Falls are deceiving.
As my car approached the outlook for Turner Falls, I looked forward to a breathtaking site of nature. Though I didn’t expect a mini-Niagara Falls, I thought it might be similar to Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan.
I was sadly mistaken.
Don’t get me wrong, Turner Falls is beautiful, but I expected too much. I enjoyed the scenery and the view of the surrounding area.
Though I was slightly disappointed, watching the water relieved the every day stress and brought about a peace that can only be found in nature.
Chickasaw Cultural Center
It’s the beat of the drum, dancing around a fire and chanting often associated with Native Americans. What people don’t always remember is the history of how they got to where they are today.
The various exhibits in the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, bring the history of the Chickasaw people to life.
The hallway resembling the Trail of Tears misted my eyes as motion-censored stories played. The stories talked about burying love ones during the journey.
As I walked out of the museum, I had a greater understanding of the Chickasaw people and their way of life.
Though there were some bumpy roads, my first trip went without any major problems. I look forward to my next trip.
Sunday’s are usually my day to sleep in and catch up on household chores. I usually put the chores part of my day off until it’s absolutely necessary to start them and then I stay up extremely late finishing them. This Sunday however,
I strayed from my routine and participated in the Edmond Road Rally which is part of the week long LibertyFest. This summer I’m aiming to not only learn more in the newsroom but learn more about the community by being an active participant in the areas events.
According to the Liberty Fest website the “Road Rally is designed as a fun family event and really easy to participate in. It is just like a scavenger hunt on wheels.” While I agree that it was fun, I beg to differ with the easy description. Most of the questions were like an I Spy book, requiring participants to find answers to cryptic riddles along the trail you were driving for example a bright food – Daylight Donuts. The difficult part was finding the answers and refraining from being a traffic hazard. But crowds were not deterred by the difficulties. Mike Moore the Road Rally event chair said 48 cars participated this year. Prior to the event Moore said that despite rising gas prices in recent years the event has never seen a downturn in participation. While I waited for my teammates to arrive I spoke with a few of the volunteers and even met a group who was returning for their tenth Road Rally competition.
Where are we?
Two participants minimum per car were required for registration. I and two other interns participated for a total of three in my car. After paying our $10 registration fee we set off. One person navigated, I drove and we all looked for
clues (though I probably should’ve focused on driving). Despite the rough conditions (see footnote) we were able to find most of the answers out of about 140 questions… until we got lost. Most of the trail was a big circle and, though I’m not from Edmond, I know my way around fairly well. The issue was the directions were in riddle form. We had been traveling down Memorial for what seemed like forever before we realized we were lost. Later we reflected on our route and how we came to be lost but none of us could quite remember how or when it occurred.
Once was lost but now we’re found
After eventually meandering our way back to the starting area, I realized we’d been out for nearly three hours. We arrived with just enough time to make it to the awards ceremony. Hot, sweaty, a little disoriented and sure that we hadn’t won anything, I decided to attend the awards ceremony though my teammates had to leave. I was really surprised by the large crowd and how diverse the groups were in both age and size. Teams answer sheets were scored. These scores were a combination of answers correct and the time and mileage it took to return to the starting area, also the finish line. Places one through ten were given a trophy. The top three winners also received a cash prize of various amounts. An eleventh trophy was awarded to the last place “winner,” the person with the lowest score. I thought we were definitely in the running for the eleventh trophy but we finished nearly fifty points ahead of last place.
At the end of the day I was happy I participated, though I wasn’t looking forward to filling up my gas tank. I plan on participating in the future as long as I’m around Oklahoma. I do however think it may be a good idea for future Road Rally organizers to consider making a shorter trail for bicycling participants.
*Let me just issue a statement about my car however: It is a piece of junk. A tree fell on it a little over a year ago and though the windshield has been replaced and most of the glass fragments removed my car has yet to get over that experience. Doors do not open and air conditioning is non-existent. To the two that came along – Thanks for not complaining about my car.
Through journalism, I have acquired a great interest in historical events. As a result, I would like to discuss the TOP 3: Most Significant Historical Events in the history of the United States.
With a rich history of a little more than 230 years, the TOP 3 events isn’t an easy task, but why not go for challenge?
The single most important event in U.S. history is:
1.) The Declaration of Independence in 1776
Without the Declaration of Independence, the U.S.A. — as it exist today– probably would have never been… I would dare to say that this was the time when Democracy existed in its purest form. Not that Democracy doesn’t exist today, but I strongly believe the nation has strayed far from democracy and what the “founding fathers” intended it to be.
2.) The Civil War
The Civil War should be in any list about historical events considering the fact that it was the Civil War that United the States. Without the War The USA may have easily been known as the DSA – The Divided States of America.
I wonder if the U.S. would be like N. Korea and S. Korea today?
Many people believe the Civil War happened as a result of slavery. However, The Civil war was no more than a power struggle between two competing economies, two competing viewpoints and two competing presidents who wanted to be on top…For the record, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free all states in South. In my opinion, the slaves became free because the war devastated the South leaving them with very few means to continue to enforce slavery to the same degree they had before the Civil war.
3.) The Civil Rights Movement
I shutter to think about what the America we know today would be like without the Civil Rights movement. In spite of what many may think the Civil Rights was not about race. It was about obtaining the very rights that were sought for all citizens of the “new world.” The “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Those unalienable rights were sought for every U.S. citizen regardless of gender, race, religion, creed, etc.
P.S. Its hard to analyze events that have occurred within the last 20-30 years or so because I don’t think we can even begin to grasp the magnitude of just how those events may have changed American History. So I did not include any events that occurred within that decade.
Other events that I thought about choosing from include: WWI, WWII, Pearl Harbor, the Womens Rights Movement, the assassination of former president Kennedy, the Louisiana Purchase, the Moonwalk, the Industrial Revolution, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl,the Vietnam War, the Mexican American war…there’s so many events that could be listed here this list is by no means exhaustive.