Tag Archives: holiday

Thanksgiving: Love it or hate it?

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and for some people it’s an exciting holiday, one of nice family get togethers and the sharing of love and great food. For others, it’s a holiday to be dreaded, dealing with racist and homophobic extended relatives and having to answer the same damn questions over and over again. No matter what your circumstance is, Thanksgiving is happening and you’re going to have to deal with people that you don’t like. However, here are some tips to deal with awkward and uncomfortable family encounters.

  1. Force your way through small talk

Dealing with relatives can be easy or hard. It all depends on how you approach the situation. Small talk is something that I, personally, can’t stand. It’s superficial and boring. I don’t really care how your job has been or how your snot-nosed child is doing. I know that they really don’t care about the classes I’m taking in college or what I hope to do in the future, but for some reason, society says it’s what people do to be polite, to be conversational.

To get through introductions and small talk with your family, answer one of their questions as quickly as you can and then excuse yourself to the bathroom. Trust me, it works every time. If they attempt to approach you again, excuse yourself once more by saying, “I have to help my mom in the kitchen.” Not only do you get away from their stupid questions, you also are perceived as helpful and kind to your mother. What more could you ask for?

  1. Ignore or call out you bigot relatives

Depending on your relatives and your personality, these two options are up to you. If you’re shy, don’t feel like starting a fight, or you know your relatives would react badly to any sort of argument to their dumb comments, simply ignore them. Depending on how old they are, trying to change the mind of your 92-year-old grandma on why you dating a black person is okay is a pointless argument. She’s old and was brought up in a certain way of thinking, just like you were. At this point, it doesn’t really matter.

On the other hand, if you are sick and tired of hearing the same bigotry that you do every year, stand up to them. Make them understand why they are wrong and why it needs to stop. Even if you simply say that their comments make you uncomfortable, without saying why or how it affects you directly, it should be enough to shut them up. Do whatever feels right to you.

Do you have a crazy family? Photo from pinterest
Do you have a crazy family? Photo from pinterest

Thanksgiving is a holiday you either love or hate. You can choose to love it if you pick your battles and know when enough is enough. The point of Thanksgiving is to be love and give love, be thankful for what you have and who you have it with. Stupid relatives with dumb views shouldn’t affect the meaning of the holiday. Have fun and tell those bigots where to stick it.

The flip side of Halloween costumes

Halloween is right around the corner, and you can already feel campus abuzz with activity and excitement. Though some might argue that the holiday is childish, many people feel as though it invigorates them in some way. It makes October exciting and worthwhile, and the milestone makes it that much easier to get through the month.

Personally, Halloween is and always will be my favorite holiday. That being said, as I’ve grown up, I feel myself being able to take a step back and look at it with a hint of skepticism.

As a child, I’d never noticed all the things wrong with Halloween — or, more specifically, the costumes. I never saw dressing in a kimono for the night, or painting on a different skin color, as problematic. That was, until I saw concerns being raised over social media.

Being who I am — hard-headed and always fighting to voice my opinion on any subject — it was hard for me to come to terms with the racism and other basic discrimination that comes with the Halloween costumes that are produced in bulk.

As a white female, it didn’t have any effect on me. Of course, if it had no effect on me, and I wondered how could it have an effect on anyone else? It was just a costume for Pete’s sake, how dangerous could it be?

Well the short answer, I’ve come to find out, is very.

Are politically incorrect costumes becoming the Halloween norm? Graphic from college Humor
Are politically incorrect costumes becoming the Halloween norm? Graphic from College Humor

Black face, brown face, and yellow face have been issues during Halloween probably for as long as the commercialized part of the holiday has been around. The thing is, it’s 2015– not 1964.

Nowadays, it’s a lot less obvious as we see kids play pretend as Cowboys & Indians all the time and kimono knock offs are being sold in Forever21 to pass as a fashion trend. We’re becoming accustomed to seeing these things everywhere and the shock factor has worn off and worn down until there’s basically nothing left.

These are now everyday occurrences and most people have no idea the effect it’s having on the specific culture it comes from. Some people aren’t bothered by it, but others are. You making light of a culture for personal gain, even if it’s personal gain as simple as being a “joke” for a singular night, is cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is dangerous in several different ways. Not only does it erase and invalidate a culture, but it erases and invalidates the everyday experiences that people of certain races undergo because of skin color or origin.

While you can shed your costume at the end of the day, people of color or different cultures are stuck with all of the racist comments at the end of the day.

Before you buy a costume this year, take a look around, check out the internet. Make sure that your costume is something you enjoy that everyone else can enjoy too.

A culture is not a costume.

Quick holiday recipes

During the holiday season, Radford University students have a million things to do on top of finishing out the school semester. After ending the semester with finals, there is nothing that students want to do more than just relax, but with the business of the season that is not always an easy thing to do. Cooking, cleaning and shopping are things that are next on the to-do list for RU students. The Whim staff is here to help with easy solutions on ways to simplify your life during this hectic holiday season. Continue reading Quick holiday recipes

Top 9 free iPod touch applications

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For those who were lucky enough to receive an iPod touch this past holiday season, here is a little list of need-to-have free applications or apps for the iPod touch or iPhone.

1. Shazama

Ever hear a song and wanted to know who it was by and what it was called, only to forget it later? This is no longer a problem. The app “Shazama” will listen to a snippet of a song and in a matter of seconds, display everything about that song, from its title, to where you can get it. This used to be a purely iPhone app, but since the second generation of iTouch allows for microphone input, it has made its way to the iTouch.

2. IM+ All-in-One Mobile Messenger

This neat little app is all of your messenger options wrapped into one. It has everything: AOL Instant Messenger, iChat, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and more. This is perfect for those who can’t go without being in-touch with people for any period of time.

3. Scribble

Not the most useful of apps, but one of the more fun. Scribble allows you to create drawings and “scribble” over existing photos. From there, you can e-mail them using iPod Touch’s e-mail client.

4. Text Free Lite

This application does exactly what its name says it does. It allows you to send free text messages to be sent to US mobile phones. Misplaced your phone but have something urgent that needs to be shared? Not a problem, thanks to this app, however, there is no way to receive incoming text messages.

5. Social Networking Apps

This is a grouping of the several social networking site applications. For Twitter, there is Twitterific. This app allows you to view and publish tweets from anywhere there is Wi-Fi. There is also the Facebook app, which allows people to view and update their status on Facebook. Myspace app serves much of the same purpose as the other two, allowing quick, easy access to users’ Myspace accounts.

6. Wikipanion

“Wikipanion” allows for people to browse Wikipedia with ease on their iPod touch or iPhone. This app is perfect for those who enjoy browsing Wikipedia as both a way to expand knowledge and waste time looking for random facts.

7. New York Times

This app allows for you to read stories from the New York Times. The nice thing about this app is if the user wanders off away from a wireless hot spot but still wants to read the Times, they can. The app stores the latest stories when it has access to the Internet, allowing for reading later.

8. Instant Paper

This app allows for people to save Web pages for later viewing. This application is perfect for those long blog entries or articles that take forever to read. Unlike book marking, this app literally saves the page, allowing for it to be viewed offline.

9. Flashlight

This app turns your iPod Touch or iPhone into a flashlight. It even has the option to change the color of the lights. While not the most exciting app ever, it is still a rather useful one.

Be quick to get these applications while you can. It is only a matter of time before the publishers rethink offering these great apps for free. Who doesn’t love free stuff?

Cover photo from Sotckxpert

Story photo from Creative Commons

Halloween, is it most fun holiday of the year

It’s getting close to the end of October and Halloween season is on everyone’s mind. There are three phases that a person goes through when Halloween rolls around, and each one involves being dressed in a costume; whether it’s creepy, cute, or just plain hilarious. Halloween is the time of year when people get to show off, use their imaginations and just go out and have fun. It’s the time when a kid can eat all the candy he or she wants, and mom and dad won’t tell you not to (this is assumed of course). It’s a time when people may come up with clever ways to scare those who enter their front yards, and of course, there’s the pranks and the parties.

Phase 1:

The first phase of Halloween for everyone will probably bring back plenty of childhood memories: Trick-or-treating. Kids dress up in whatever costumes they want, go out into the neighborhood and collect as much candy as they can from the neighbors who will have a bucket, bowl or basket of goodies waiting. Halloween is always fun for children. It’s always nice to answer your door and see what the neighborhood kids came up with for their costumes this year. For some neighbors, it might be the only time that the neighborhood kids are happy to see you. All children need to know how to do for halloween is say two things, “trick-or-treat!” and of course, “thank you” (it’s good to be polite).

Phase 2:

This is the phase that not everybody goes through for Halloween, usually only kids who like to be daring. Obviously trick-or-treating becomes overrated eventually. Kids will stop wanting to do it because the older they get, the more it begins to feel a childish. So when kids become adolescents, what are they to do on Halloween night? There’s only one fun thing to do: go out and prank the neighbors houses. Pranks consist primarily of a house being bombarded by eggs, or covered in toilet paper. Pranksters usually come out late too, after all the children are done trick-or-treating. Getting caught in the act of performing these pranks by the cops is a guarenteed arrest, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.

Phase 3:

This is the final phase before a person becomes a parent handing out candy. Seeing as this is Radford, most people know this phase all too well. It gets to be later in the teenage years, coming out of high school and going into college. Trick-or-treating is overrated, and even pranking the neighbors’ houses seems kind of immature now, so what does that leave? There’s only one thing left to do, and here at Radford, it’s a year-round deal: partying! In college, that’s the only thing students think about when they think of Halloween, partying. It’s always fun to see what clever costumes people can come up with. Halloween is the one night that a college student can go out and be someone other than themselves.

After going through all three of these phases, usually the only thing left to do is get a house and start handing out candy to the kids as you watch them begin their Halloween adventures. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for pranksters, they won’t approach anyone’s house who’s watching them. Halloween is a great holiday. From all the staff of the Whim, we wish you a happy Halloween!