Month: April 2016

The Eagle editorial: Keep growing, don’t rot

Originally published in The Eagle newspaper April 28, 2016 (http://csceagle.com/2016/04/28/keep-growing-dont-rot/)

“When you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you rot.”

That quote is credited to Ray Kroc, a businessman who is credited with building McDonald’s into the success it is.

This statement has a message that has been passed around the newsroom multiple times through the years. There is a poster in the newsroom that reads, “Oh, that’s good enough.” This poster is hanging as a sarcastic reminder that we should always strive to be the best that we can be, in all aspects of our lives.

We are nearing the end of the semester, and it is easy now to do the bare minimum in order to get by. Admit it, you’ve calculated the lowest grade you could possibly get on your final test or project to still pass your class. But this quote from Kroc reminds us that once we have the mindset that we are the best we can be and we stop trying, that is when we start to rot.

When we take on the mindset that we can do more and we can do better, that is when we will be growing and improving. The other mindset, the “Oh, that’s good enough” mindset, is an easy one to have. It is so much easier to settle for average than it is to strive for great.

Many of you may be preparing to graduate, leave school and move on to the real, adult world, but as cliché as it sounds, this is not the end of your journey.

It is important to go through your life always learning, always improving, always striving to be better than you are right now. Otherwise, you are just going downhill; there is no standstill in today’s world. Even if you feel like you are treading water and maintaining, the believers and achievers are going to be leaving you in their dust, and eventually you will choke on it and find yourself at the bottom of the ladder.

Two weeks ago, the staff of The Eagle took home the “Best in Overall Excellence” in both the newspaper and the digital medium divisions for the sixth and second consecutive year, respectively, at the Nebraska Collegiate Media Association Golden Leaf Awards banquet.

It would be easy to say that what we are doing is good enough and we do not need to do anything more in the next year to improve because we are obviously the best already. But, if we think like that, we will lose next year. That is a guarantee. The other schools in the association are improving, and this year was already the closest competition it has been in years.

If we keep the mindset that we will continue to win just doing what we are doing now, we will rot.

We, as journalists, promise to always give you, our readers, the best we have and always do the best we can, and we promise to always remain green and growing. We don’t want to rot because you deserve better.

In these last few days of the semester, we ask you to take a look at yourself and your mindset and analyze if you see yourself still as green or ripe.

Give all you can in the final projects and assignments for your classes. Strive a little harder to turn that B into an A, or maybe give more on a group project than is required of you.

Always be green and growing; don’t let the final days of the semester rot you.

Confirmation: a step in maturity

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I was born in January of 1995. My parents baptized me in the Catholic Church in May of 1995. They picked two of the best people I know for my Godparents, my aunt Joyce and my uncle Jim. Mom and Dad picked some of the greatest people to help me on my journey through my faith life, which they are still doing.
A few years later, in December 1998, my parents gave me my little brother Jarred. They also baptized him in the Catholic Church.
I confirmed my faith in the Catholic Church in September 2012. During confirmation I was able to pick my own sponsor to continue to guide me on my journey through the faith. I picked Angie, a wonderful lady I babysit for, who is raising six kids and still makes time for her faith, for this task. Anyone who knows me knows just how incredibly important Angie and her family are to me. And all of them are still helping me grow in my faith.
Saturday, Jarred decided to confirm my parents’ decision and he was confirmed in the Catholic Church. Jarred now got his turn to pick a sponsor.
I was honored, blessed, and taken aback that Jarred picked me as his sponsor. When I think about how important Angie is to me, my heart is incredibly full that Jarred picked me.
Picking a sponsor is important because you are trusting this person to help you to question and learn more about the Catholic Church as you grow older. The Catholic Church is big and complex, yet extremely simple, but it can be confusing. That’s why picking a sponsor is so important. You are going to need those people later in life to help you if you ever doubt your faith. (And it’s bound to happen at least once…)
Confirmation is described as the sacrament of maturity and coming of age. This Saturday I watched my brother take a big step in his life and I watched Jarred suddenly become about 10 years older in my eyes. Confirmation is important because now you are looked at as an adult, at least in the eyes of the Church. This signals the time to grow up.
Jarred’s been in my life for 17 years, but I have always looked at him and thought of him as that cute, little, fat-cheeked 3-year-old, but this weekend, he was suddenly a young adult.
Jarred has been through a lot in his 17 years on this earth, and anyone who spends much time with me will learn just how incredibly proud I am of this kid. He’s made amazing progress and success stories in his life, but Saturday, it took all I had to not start bawling in that church. (I did happen to let one little tear fall down my face, but how could you not when you’re helping someone receive the Holy Spirit.)
My confirmation day was one of the most important days in my life and I will never forget that experience, but the more important day was Saturday, when I was able to help Jarred receive the same Grace (God’s life…living within us!) I did.
I want to give a final shout out to all 18 confirmation students at Sts. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church. I’ve known most of you for your entire lives and I am so proud of all of you. You all made a big step. You confirmed that you want to remain in the Catholic Church. Never forget to keep growing, loving, and serving God and others.
I specifically want to congratulate Amanda, Haleigh and my cousin Zachary, you’ve all made a huge difference in my life, whether you believe it or not, and I couldn’t be prouder of you guys for making this decision as well.
But finally, to Jarred, I love you and I thank you for this amazing opportunity to be your sponsor and to be your big sister. I promise to always help you in your continued journey through the Catholic faith.

Me? A blogger?

I’ve been told a few times by a couple people I admire in my life that I should start a blog. And many of my friends have started blogs that I LOVE to read.

But I’m a communications arts major with an emphasis in journalism and blogs are basically ruining editorial content in newspaper.

So I wasn’t going to start a blog.

But… here I am.

I’ve been debating with idea of a blog for about a year now and have finally come to the conclusion that a blog is just another platform to get my name out in the writing world, and that’s not going to hurt me, I hope.

Putting yourself out into the world with something like a blog, where feedback can be so immediate, is terrifying. (So terrifying that I’ve only told two people in my life about the possibility of starting one because I’m scared of the idea.) But I talk about the virtue of courage often in my life and want to live it out.

So, I have two goals for this blog:

  1. I want to share my faith in a bigger way. (Right now, I write a monthly column for The West Nebraska Register and will continue to do that, but this will be another avenue to share my faith.)
  2. I want to be able to use this blog to share my thoughts and opinions on various topics. (Is this a selfish goal? Probably, but I’m not settling on that answer for sure yet.)

So… I got into journalism originally because I wanted to be a sports reporter, because I simply love sports. But my topics for my writings have expanded since going to college and I’ve decided there are three things I love to write about most:

  1. My Catholic faith
  2. Still sports, especially baseball/softball
  3. My family

You can probably expect one of those three things to be in almost every post I make.

So…basically this is where I’m at in my life right now…