Greetings and why I’m here

Hello, my name is Megan. I’m 23 years old and live in the metro Detroit area. I’m a public relations major at Wayne State University and am expecting to graduate this May! I just recently got engaged to my fiance Dalton. We have been together for just over three years and he is the best! I currently have a part time internship and volunteer at two local animal shelters in addition to finishing up my degree with three classes.

Since I was 13 I’ve been busy between the months of September and June, so I’ve learned some tricks and ways to balance all that goes on in my life and to stay sane at the same time. Nothing I say, do or suggest on this blog will work for everyone, but why not share it if it could help someone else who is just as busy or gets just as anxious as I do?

Why am I here?

This blog was created for a class last year and I only ever used it for class assignments. As I’ve grown a lot this past year, I’ve decided to use this blog more and share experiences, stories, thoughts, or even just random things on my mind or going on in my life. If nobody reads this blog, fine. If some people read it, great! I’m not really here to get followers or friends.

One of my new year’s resolutions was to start reviewing things I buy more often. We all go to the internet and depend on it to tell us if a product is a good one or not. So, I am going to kind of do that with life. Being 23, I’ve barely even began my adult journey and I know if things happen in my life, I search to find others that have had similar experiences to make sure everything I go through is ‘normal.’

I’m looking at a busy next few years, so I feel this will be a great place to share my thoughts and experiences. I’ve always been busy and that’s how I like it. As long as I have a few hours at home each day and weekends off, I really can’t complain.

MC.

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Same-sex couples could gain equal rights across the country

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are one of many couples fighting for their rights at the Supreme Court. If the ban on same-sex marriage is lifted, it could benefit thousands of couples across the country.

marriage

Since 2011, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a couple from Hazel Park, Mich., have been fighting for their rights to adopt each other’s children. The Huffington Post states that in 2011, they met with a lawyer after a truck nearly collided with their van head-on. Upon the almost-accident, the couple felt it was necessary to figure out what would happen to their children if one or both of them were to pass. The Detroit News states this is what started a four-year battle on Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban.

Photo courtesy of MSNBC.

Photo courtesy of MSNBC.

The Huffington Post reported that if something were to happen to one partner, the other partner would not have legal custody of the children she did not legally adopt. It also stated that since they both are not legal parents to all of their children, only the parent that is legally responsible for them can make any legal or medical decisions.
Section 551.1 of Michigan’s legislature states, “Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman.” The Associated Press reported that DeBoer and Rowse are the first couple to challenge the state’s same-sex marriage ban, which passed in 2004.

Today, DeBoer and Rowse are among several cases that the United States Supreme Court will hear as they attempt to come to a decision on same-sex marriage. The Detroit News reported that by June, the ban could be lifted on the remaining states that do not allow same-sex marriage upon receiving the nine justice’s decisions. Today, 37 states allow same-sex marriage.

Although DeBoer and Rowse are a case that has been heard often in the metro Detroit recently, they are not the only couple that is affected by the same-sex marriage ban.

Suzy and Krystal Patroll, another couple from Hazel Park, Mich., got married almost a year ago, May 23, in New Mexico. Krystal explained that although they are legally married in that state, the state of Michigan does not recognize the marriage and she said she cannot even have her married name on her Michigan driver’s license.

Suzy and Krystal Patroll on their wedding day, May 23, 2014.

Suzy and Krystal Patroll on their wedding day, May 23, 2014.

They have been together over eight years and Krystal has two sons, Matthew, 10 and Ayden, 8. Currently, Krystal and Suzy live in San Antonio, Texas, because Krystal is stationed there through the military. Krystal’s sons are living in Michigan with their father.

If Krystal were to get pregnant now, she explained, “Suzy could not adopt the baby through the state, but through the military she would have full guardianship over the child if anything were to happen to me.”

Krystal said they believe that DeBoer and Rowse are doing the right thing because in most cases, the children get put in foster care or eventually get placed with the blood parent, thus leaving the other partner without his/her family and maybe with no rights to even see them.

Suzy and Krystal after a color run, April 2015.

Suzy and Krystal after a color run, April 2015.

“Suzy, who has helped raise Ayden since he was four months old, could not take him to the hospital when he was sick because they refused to treat him without a biological parent’s consent,” Krystal said, “All those women are trying to do is protect their children.”

Matthew, Krystal, Suzy and Ayden.

Matthew, Krystal, Suzy and Ayden.

“If these two brave mothers win, the floodgates would open for the protection of all children, including ours,” Krystal said.

Krystal said she does not think the state of Michigan is the place to change the law, which is why the fight is going to the Supreme Court.

“The reason is has gone so far is that no judge wants it on them,” she said. “They wash their hands of it.”

Samantha Patroll, Rob Patroll (Suzy's father), Donna Patroll (Suzy's mother), Krystal Patroll, Suzy Patroll, Ayden and Matthew Kopman.

Samantha Patroll, Rob Patroll (Suzy’s father), Donna Patroll (Suzy’s mother), Krystal Patroll, Suzy Patroll, Ayden and Matthew Kopman.

Samantha Patroll, 22, sister of Suzy, says it is not fair that legislatures have the say over something that people have no control over.

“You don’t wake up one day and decide to love someone, wake up another day and decide to love someone else, you don’t choose who you fall in love with,” she said.

Samantha said she likes that DeBoer and Rowse are going so far with the issue, because not only will it benefit them and their family, it will benefit her sisters and nephews as well.

Donna Frye, 54, a Hazel Park resident, says that she does not think it is anyone’s business who marries who, and she feels that the government should not have control over that just because it is not a heterosexual marriage.

“They didn’t say anything to me when I got married to my husband 33 years ago, why do they have a say in [DeBoer and Rowse]’s marriage?” she said.

Desiree Jennings, 24, a Wayne State University student, said that she thinks it is a great thing that DeBoer and Rowse are going to the Supreme Court.

She said she believes that all people should have equal rights, no matter what color their skin is, what their sexuality is or what their religion is.

‘Going Viral’ by Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley

GoingViral_bookcover
http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/12/03/new-book-going-viral-explores-nature-impact-of-internet-virality/

‘Going Viral’ by Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley explains not only what going viral means, but also how it happens and what happens after an artifact goes viral. While we all think that going viral is simple and it all depends on how many views the artifact gets, it is much more complicated than it seems. I was very interested to learn how things go viral because I have never had a personal artifact of mine go viral, so by the time it gets to me, it has already gone viral which is probably the main reason I am even seeing it. Something that specifically stuck out to me was the “decay” of virality as Nahon and Hemsley call it. “Even after the peak of a viral event, people continue to consume the content and the number of cumulative views continue to rise, however, what is decaying is the rate of growth of the number of views that a viral event receives” (Nahon & Hemsley, p. 125). I found that the book is strongest with providing clear and concise details on what going viral means, how it happens, etc. One of the weak points I found was it read like a research paper. Since it is a book, I do not think it is completely necessary to write ‘in this chapter we will discuss this,’ or ‘in the last chapter we talked about this.’ I found that every chapter started with the authors telling the reader what they were going to discuss in the chapter and what they already discussed in previous chapters. I would prefer to have a concluding chapter that summarized each chapter for us if they felt it was necessary to recap. It also made me want to skim over the first few pages of the chapter in order to get to the information I was seeking from the chapter.

http://webtrends.about.com/od/howtoguides/a/Viral-Online.htm

http://www.cjr.org/feature/going_viral.php

Can journalists use social media to express opinions or advocate for causes?

ashton-kutcher

Eric Carvin, social media editor of The Associated Press, suggests that journalists from traditional news organizations should avoid expressing their opinions on social media for certain issues. Readers of the publication or even that person’s Twitter page can easily assume that what they tweet may also be the views of the news organization, which can result in major conflict depending on what is expressed. There may be some exceptions, for example, Carvin says opinions on sports and entertainment may be appropriate for the journalists that do not cover those areas or bloggers or columnists who express their opinions as part of their jobs. Jay Rosen, a New York University journalism professor, believes that journalists should express more about their beliefs. Rosen doesn’t want a whole page from a journalist on who they voted for, whether they believe in abortion rights or what political party the journalist stands with, he just thinks that their opinions should be expressed more than they currently are. Philip B. Corbett, The New York Times’s associate managing editor for standards says he flatly objects the notion that there is no such thing as impartial or objective journalism, but says that professionals in all different fields like judges, police officers and teachers are expected to keep their personal opinions aside, so why expect anything less from a journalist? Corbett says he does not expect journalists to be faceless and encourages them to take part in web-based chats where readers can get to know them behind the bylines. Corbett supports Times journalists’ use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media to communicate in a more personal way.

Stories to help create balance in life.

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Here are a few stories that recently caught my attention in regards to being busy and trying to create balance in your life.

First, I came across an article from the Huffington Post listing several reasons you may be stressed out. While some of these were no-brainers, there were other suggestions that surprised me a bit, and made me realize that some of these could be exactly why I am stressed.

The next article I discovered was one from The New York Times explaining why it could be very beneficial to take a walk during your lunch break. Not only can stepping out of the office put you in a better mood, but it can be beneficial obviously for your health and the way you handle stress at work.

A funny, yet true list to help you get on the right path to a healthier life.

World War II: Resistance writers vs. collaborationists

A French instructor at Wayne State University takes a look at both sides.

Claire-Marie Brisson, a French instructor at Wayne State University, is currently doing research on the writing in France during World War II. She is looking at resistance writers, people who were against what was happening in France during that time, as well as collaborationists, people who went with what was going on.


She said the significance of the research is during that time, France was under turmoil, people were fighting for their voices to be heard, being censored, trying to get their words across.
“The methods of research are starting from point zero,” she said. She also mentioned it is necessary to understand the context of the period. She said it is important to understand not only how France was in the 1940s, but also how Northern France was different from Southern France.
She has looked into some historical documents, including doing research in France. From there, she said she started to look at what some of the laws were during that time and some of the books. While reading the books, she said she tries to focus herself on one side or another, somebody that was pro-France, somebody that was just dealing with what they have or somebody that was pro-occupationist.


Brisson said the meaning of her research is that people need to realize even under the worst situations, they have a voice, and voices should always be heard and always be told. “Even in the worst of times you can be creative, you can express, you can make art, you can make music, you can make literature, and that’s the most important point that we can take even today,” Brisson said. “Never stop being creative.”

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Stagecrafters presents ‘Spring Awaking’ for second year in a row.

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Stagecrafters, a community theater group in downtown Royal Oak, MI, presents ‘Spring Awakening’ for the second year in a row on the second stage at the Baldwin Theatre running February 13 through March 1. Most theaters have an obvious gap between the audience and the actors, but on the second stage at the Baldwin, the actors are up close and personal with the audience, making it a different theater going experience for all. The audience was completely full the night I went to the performance and the actors received a standing ovation from more than half of the audience members at the end. This event is important because community theater’s do not usually do the same show for two years in a row, so it made me feel that it was a “must see” show since they were performing it again a year later.