Thursday, January 31, 2013

So About Janaury

Wow, all I've got to say is that I've been one big slacker when it comes to blogging. I have hardly even been on my own page this month. Shame on me. Sorry if you guys were looking forward to reading more things on The Column...I have failed you this month. I have two Letters to The Column lined up already and I promise I'll get back to writing soon. I've been juggling 2 jobs and 18 hours...a book and essay a week for just one class. To say the least, I've been a bit overwhelmed. So hopefully it won't be long until something goes up.

Thanks for stopping by as always and be sure to take the weekly poll. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Home Is Where The Heart Is

After spending nearly a month back in Charlotte, North Carolina, I returned to Charleston yesterday. Today, my second day back, has been spent lying around, eating ice cream, planning which Chinese restaurant I'm going to get take out from, playing inside of Schylar's teepee and enjoying the Charleston weather at Marion Square. As I've been sitting around and reflecting on last semester and anticipating this coming semester, the notion of home has been floating around in my head quite a bit. They say home is where the heart is, but when you're heart is in so many places, the concept of physical home starts to fade, and to be frank, it's pretty strange. 

Last semester when we were out at a restaurant or a club, home referred to the dorms. When I was in the dorms, home referred to Charlotte, where I grew up. When I was in Charlotte, the word home seemed to slip out of my mouth in reference to Charleston, but when talking to a friend from school home meant Charlotte. It gets somewhat confusing. As I sat in the car while we drove back down to school I began to wonder what home truly was for me, and how to deal with this transforming nature of a supposedly everlasting place. Home is supposed to always connote friendliness, security, and that one special place that is simply incomparable to everywhere else. And I know that the trend will only continue when I graduate and (hopefully) start my own career and (hopefully) own my own house. Where is home when your heart is in so many places? 

This all brought me back to the movie Garden State. When contemplating the nature of home, the main character, Andrew Largeman reflects:
You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of the sudden even though you have some place where you can put your stuff that idea of home is gone. You'll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day one day and it's just gone. And you can never get it back. It's like you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place.
Though grim, it's interesting. As for this post, nothing more than some thoughts as I start off a new semester at a new home. Only time can tell where we'll all wind up and where we'll all call home. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Walk Down Memory Lane | The Column in 2012

Well if you were anticipating a super exciting post to follow the title, I regret to inform you that this is nothing close to exciting. Imagine A Week In Closing, but on the scale of a few months. It's essentially just a big recap of some of my favorite pieces as well as some of the top rated pieces based on views. It'll be a long list of links to serve as an easy map for The Column in case you just want to catch up on a post you missed or forgot about entirely. Let's begin.

Before I get started with the recap, I have some news! I talked with a few of my frequent readers to get some feedback on the blog and they helped come up with some new ideas. I really like the idea of more reader interaction, and the readers completely agreed. I want to continue with Letters to The Column, but soon I'll be posting some new things that will make it easier for readers to be involved. Perhaps there will be a monthly photo contest or something to that extent. Either way, I want to keep up reader participation. Feel free to send in whatever you want as a Letter to The Column. It can even just be a photo with a little description. Your call! Also, I think I might be moving to "A Month In Closing" rather than a weekly update just started to feel somewhat unnecessary. Never fear, the weekly poll will continue to go up!

The Column started out with a simple welcome message with somewhat of a promise to myself. The first piece of writing that really entailed any opinion or thought was a bit of a cheesy metaphor about what I intended to bring along with me to college. Once in college I threw together some silly Haikus that are pretty funny in retrospect.

My first major piece of writing and opinion based work which received some of the highest views of all posts on the blog was Chicken, Anyone? and I have to inform you that I have indeed had CFA a few times since writing the post. I have eaten it when basically there were no other options or it was purchased on my behalf; however, just in case you were wondering, I still hold true to what I originally wrote and I still intend to curtail my consumption of CFA food. Another popular opinion piece that I just recently posted was about cellphone usage and can be found here.

I then started a period of series writing, and the first was titled Beyond Landing the Job and received a very high number of views to my genuine surprise. If you revisit that series you can find a link to Part II at the end of the linked post. Yet another popular series was centered around my summer reading of Eating Animals. In this series, called Alimentary Contemplation, I speculated on the food industry and my own eating habits. The last series that I put together was about the legality of marijuana. The three part Let's Talk About Drugs Series can be found  here

I also put together two pieces that were a mix of contemplation and creative writing. Both quickly became two of my most popular posts, which was very surprising to me. Regardless, thanks for the support on both Becoming Okay With "I Don't Know" and On Summer Nights. One other piece of semi-creative-writing was a little birthday celebration for myself, and can be found here.

I decided to also start a few different series type things with an international focus, which included some school work as well. Both Country Studies can be found here. They are short pieces on Suriname and Kazakhstan, and I intend to keep up with the series during 2013. A capstone piece that was quite long and hopefully not too boring was on the South Korean Identity Crisis that I perceived while on my trip. Finally, I posted several essays and projects that I did for my first semester classes at the College of Charleston: the Global Awareness Project, introductory essays on social movements, and my essay on Turkish energy/EU aspirations. I'm sure you're all super excited to check those out. 

The last 2 posts that I want to bring attention to are the Letters to The Column and the Photo Archive. The photo archive has all of the pictures that I've posted in one consolidated place. It's pretty self-explanatory once you get there. I really want to see more people sending in pieces as "Letters." It really is awesome to have reader interaction. Send in a photo, send in a poem, whatever! It's your little spot on the blog so do what you want with it. I'm happy to accept pretty much anything.

You made it! 2012 in closing is over. Thanks for your continued support of The Column and I hope that I can keep coming up with material that interests readers. I always appreciate your feedback. Hope everyone had a happy new year and that 2013 will bring plenty of adventures.