November 2010 Archives

THANKSGIVING or MY ODE TO FAMILY!

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WARNING: If you hate Thanksgiving and holiday's family spirit or people who love it don't read my article!

Like almost every American students, I couldn't wait for Thanksgiving to come. First because it means a week of break and second, because I will celebrate my first Thanksgiving. Yes, another thing that we don't celebrate in France! The only things I knew about it were what I saw in movies: A celebration to gather family around the enormous dinner and its incontrovertible Turkey and to be thankful for what we have; that's all.

 

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Thanksgiving meal. Google and Bing Image.

 

I discovered that it was celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November each year and that it was ways to give thanks to God for helping the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony survive their first brutal winter in New England.

A lot of people were surprised by the fact that we don't celebrate it in France. Thanksgiving is not a worldwide celebration. The only countries which celebrate it are The United States; Canada; Grenada, a West Indian island; The Netherlands; Liberia, an African country and Norfolk Island, an Australian external territory. In all these countries, Thanksgiving is celebrated at different days and in different ways.

Contrary to the other students I don't have my family here. So, I spent my break in Pocono Mountain, Pa in one of my friends' family.

 

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                                                                                                      Mont Pocono. Citydata.com

The day before Thanksgiving, her parents spent the night cooking the meal: green bean, turkey, chicken, rice, sweet potatoes... The nice smell of all this good food in the house was a good first step to immerse myself in the Thanksgiving ambiance. Her brothers, sister, nieces and her uncle came during the night. It was so pleasant to be in a house full of people, to feel again how it is to be in a family house and sharing this day with them.

The D-day morning, I was awake by the effervescence of a house full of people; it feels so good. It reminded me my own house during Christmas. The most amazing was the unexpected guest: the snow, like in movies. It snowed only this day. Kids were watching the parade on television and parents in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the meal. Later, we finally ate. It was so good; too much things to eat and not enough room in my stomach. We spent the rest of the day watching the football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints and Disney's classic cartoons.

 

 

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                                                                                                                          Thanksgiving's family dinner. Google image

 

 

I really enjoyed my first Thanksgiving. It made me think about the importance of family but also made me be thankful for being here to discover all these things.  

For all who were with their family and people they love, I really hope you enjoy your luck.

 

And you, what are you thankful for this year?

What is your favorite moment during this day?

 

 

BOYZ II MEN SET FISHER AUDITORIUM ON FIRE

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It was the event that a lot of people were waiting for last week and to tell the truth I was one of these. The R&B group... no sorry they don't want to be call like this anymore, the vocal group Boyz II Men came to IUP to celebrate their 20 years of music and their 60 million recordings sold, in Fisher Auditorium Friday, November 12 at 8pm. I had already attended one of their concert in France. I wanted to see how different they are from a country to another and what and how their audience looks like America.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Boyz   II Men. Picture from onstageatiup.com

 

A crowded of people well dressed- some students were wearing old fashion clothes like pink or orange shirts with suspenders, with white pointed shoes- packeded in front of the doors of the IUP auditorium to recollect all the songs that we listened to during the 90s: "I'll Make Love to You", "A Song for Mama", "End of the Road" or "Bended Knee"... I was really surprised to discover an auditorium with so many different people. Students, parents, teachers, coaches, simple Indiana citizens, young, old, white and black; everybody was gathered for the Philadelphia group.

When the first notes of the songs' medley started, everybody was already singing. When they appeared on stage, it was just crazy. People were screaming, some standing up. Although they are only three now-Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman. Michael McCary left the group in 2003 due to health issues- and older, the group succeeded to give their fans the same emotions as before. During the night, they went on with their old songs, songs from their album "Motown: A Journey Through Hittsville USA" and cover versions of other artists' songs.

Watch the video

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155858_457634226948_599341948_6020434_3961440_n.jpg                                                                                                                                      Boyz II Men setting Fisher Auditorium on fire. Pictures by Laurie Ajavon and jhana Jones. 

 

The big moments of the night were, first of all, when they sent flowers in the audience on the song "Bended Knee". All the girls ran in front of the stage reaching out to receive their rose like bachelorette contestants. The singers were perfect in their charmer role. The other one was at the end; the curtain call was a real explosion. Fisher Auditorium transformed itself to a dance floor when the group came back on stage to sing a last energetic song. The front of the stage was crowded. People were dancing and singing, trying to touch the hand of one of the singers, with a hand and taking pictures or videos with the other. On stage, Wanya, Nathan and Shawn were overexcited, doing their best 90s dance steps.

 

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                                            Boyz II Men throwing flowers in the audience, dancing and singing and Motown songs and the final. Pictures by Laurie Ajavon and Jhana Jones.

 

It was a real good concert between emotion and energy. Everybody I have met at the end told me they liked it, even Lee Vest, the journalism department secretary.

 

Some people could meet them at the end of the concert paying $24. So, if you were one of these lucky, tell me if they were as nice as they looked like on stage.

I couldn't find a person who hated the concert, so if you do, tell me why.

IUP VOLLEYBALL IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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This week I decided to honor the IUP women's volleyball team since the university doesn't really do it. I have to admit that I wasn't very interested by watching one of their games, until one of my friends tells me that these girls played very well and that their games were interesting. So Saturday, Nov. 7, 2010, I decided to watch their final home game against Edinboro, in the Field House. I was really surprised to discover that the only stand opened was almost full. My friend told me that, unfortunately, it wasn't the same every time. She explained me that first, it was the family weekend and then, that a lot of students were there only because they will have some advantages for their classes by attending this game- like extra credits. The only thing that they had to do was to sign a paper in front of the doors. It's the reason why half of them left at the halftime.

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                                                             IUP women's volleyball team. Picture from iupathletics.com. Another reason for you guys to watch their games... 

 

Before the game, three seniors, Chelsey Kreinbrook, Emily Pany and Jessica Bodkin, were honored.

As my friend told me, the game was very intense. Both teams really wanted to win. I was really into the game, cheering them with their few faithful supporters, shirtless and wearing placards with IUP colors. Unfortunately, they lost 3-0- they lost the three sets 20-25, 19-25, 23-25. Both of the teams were, for me, at the same level. The first set, IUP team was too nice; it's only at the second and third sets that they started to be more aggressive. We could see more desire to restore normality and win the game. They dominated the third set thanks to a real aggressive number 17, Jessica Bodkin, and a determinative number 13, Emily Pany, but a lot of miscommunications and a bad dispersion on the court at each set make them lost these few points they needed. They were always in front of the net leaving room in the back for their opponents to score. Edinboro's players had a very good defense and did a good digging work -action to prevent the ball from touching one's court after a spike or attack, particularly a ball that is nearly touching the ground.

 

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IUP games. Jessica Bodkin blocking the ball and Emily Pany digging. Picture from iupathletics.com

Despite the score, I wasn't disappointed at all to have been there. It's was a really good game. I don't understand why, with the good team that we have, their games are not more advertised and why the gymnase is almost empty. If you don't go often to the Field House, you can't see a lot of poster for their games whereas football or basket ball ones have a good coverage. Alex Patterson, a student in Regional planning major, who attended to the game, thinks the same: "The volleyball game was more entertaining than I expected. I was surprised by the athleticism some of those girls showed because when you look at them they don't look like they would be able to do some of the things they did."

When I asked him, why, according to him, people don't watch their games, he answered: "It's not advertised like other sports. Moreover, with football and basketball, you know that the games are every week. Because there are so many of them, people don't feel guilty if they miss one; they can go to the next one."

As an IUP student- athlete, I feel bad for them. If we have a track meet in IUP I wish a lot of students will come to cheer us; that's why I decided to watch as many sport event as I can. I think that all the IUP athletes should do the same.

Can you help me to answer this question:

A lot of students are wearing IUP shirts or pants, if they really like the university, explain me why they don't go and cheer our teams when they play at home?

And you, have ever attend an IUP sport event? (except football or basketball)

And if no, why?

 

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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