Posts Tagged ‘cordmn’

Happiness: A Three-Part Blog Series

Posted in Mackenzie McCloud on January 14th, 2015 by Mackenzie McCloud – Be the first to comment
"A smile takes just a moment, but the memory of it lasts forever."

“A smile takes just a moment, but the memory of it lasts forever.”

Yesterday in my Wellness lecture, we touched on a lot of different things, but the main focus was psychological health. Probably my favorite part of class was when we got to talking about when we’re happy. For me, it’s easy to get into a deep philosophical discussion about happiness as an extended state of being versus a temporary condition versus a handful of chemicals you can get from a pharmacy (courtesy my inquiry seminar from last semester, Brain Enhancement). BUT that’s not what was discussed. It was way better. It was all of it. It was all the things, big and little, you do or experience throughout your day that might make you happy. You could choose anything that makes you happy to share with your group, however silly or trivial or ridiculous it may have been.

This wasn’t on my list, but it definitely should have been. Part One of Happiness: I am happy when other people make me smile.


That’s too easy, right? Maybe it is. And I’ve talked about it before. But it’s true. Smiles are incredibly powerful. Potent. They’re contagious, infectious. Fast-acting. When people make me smile, I’m automatically happy. I’m actually pretty sure the use of those facial muscles triggers an emotional response (I know there’s a study on that somewhere out there). It could be a corny joke (Cobber humor at its finest), just someone randomly complimenting me on a scarf, or even laughing at the way I talk (I still can’t believe some of y’all think I sound funny).

That’s the most amazing thing, though: When someone goes out of their way, makes a tiny bit of extra effort, to make my day. It’s so easy to do, make someone’s day. That girl holding the door for you? Let her know you think she looks exceptional when you toss her a quick ‘thank you.’ (I kid you not, this might change the course of an entire week.) The guy sitting at the far table in the library? You heard him sing one night in the Maize (or any place you could hear someone sing), and it was amazing! Tell him. Or hey, it’s Wednesday. There is very little emotional significance to a Wednesday, in my opinion. So what better time to drop a sweet note, or some flowers, or a Buffalo Wild Wings gift card, in a loved one’s mailbox/doorway/office/etc.? That’s right. There is no better time than right now. It doesn’t even have to be a material thing. In fact, I am going to text my brothers after I post this, and tell them exactly what they mean to me. Because all we’re guaranteed is right now. This second, this moment. And then it’s gone. So, yes, when someone takes a couple extra steps and a couple extra breaths to tell me he thinks my hair is pretty, I’m happy. When I get a massively (and wonderfully) long text from a friend back home, telling me that she feels just as connected to me, like she can still talk to me as if I’m right there, even though we haven’t seen each other for months, yes, I’m happy. Because he didn’t have to do that. She didn’t have to do that. They had their ‘right now’s, and they chose to spend them on me.

Think about that for a second. Some people know all too well that one second, that one tiny moment, would change everything.

We, as individuals gifted and blessed with multiple means of communication, have an unbelievable power of influence that should not be taken lightly. I think we sometimes take it for granted. And I think we sometimes misuse it. It’s a choice. Choose to smile. Choose to make other people smile.

This post is dedicated to the memory of a young woman who chose. She gave an infinite number of smiles, and left us with infinitely more.

Suzannah Catherine Piercy

December 26, 1995 – Forever. Forever, sweet girl. I promise.



Fly On

Posted in Mackenzie McCloud on January 3rd, 2015 by Mackenzie McCloud – Be the first to comment
Winning the county championship was easily the best way to end my high school athletic career.

Winning the county championship was easily the best way to end my high school athletic career.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo da Vinci

We all have high points in life. We have great days, great dates, give great presentations, receive great grades. That’s all well and.. erm.. great, but that’s not all there is. I’m really talking about those moments in life where you look back and say, “Wow. That was incredible.”

When I was younger, it was that World Series trip to Panama City Beach. A week of nonstop softball to be the last team standing had me feeling like I was on top of the world. I thought I had to stop playing; there’s no way I could beat that experience.

Not totally true. Winning the state fastpitch tournament my sophomore year was amazing as well, and comes very close. And believe it or not, winning the county lacrosse championship my senior year almost tops winning state.

College, though. After only one (slightly bumpy) first semester of college, I’m back on top of the world. It’s the independence to – and the realization that you ­can – figure out what you like and what you dislike, discover who you are and who you want to be, without the weight of who we thought we had to be in high school.

It’s never going to be perfect, but I can promise you, even just after a couple weeks, you’ll know it’s worth it. It’s worth the late nights studying, the less-than-stellar test grades, the awkward introductions. There’s a simple and dangerous beauty to being responsible for yourself. Yes, even making mistakes.

Right now, I’m sitting here going through my clothes and jewelry and other random things that I’m taking back home to Cobberville. I keep looking around my room, and it’s making me a little crazy with déjà vu. I remember going through this same routine when I was packing for school in August. Checking and double-checking that I have everything I need or want, doing last-minute laundry, procrastinating by playing with my dog… I feel the same way, too. Just like last time, I’m a little nervous and a lot excited. Honestly, I hope it never goes away.

It feels like flying.

Seven Simple Smile Sources!

Posted in Mackenzie McCloud on January 1st, 2015 by Mackenzie McCloud – Be the first to comment
This is one of my favorite pictures of my pal, George! How can you not smile at this?? :)

This is one of my favorite pictures of my pal, George! How can you not smile at this kid?? 🙂

In the interest of sticking with my resolution, I hereby begin my list of seven things that make me smile every day.

One thing that made me smile today was my dog. Today was bath day, and my favorite furball was less than excited about it. Nevertheless, he obediently stood in the bath while I soaped and scrubbed away the adventures of the last few weeks. The worst part for him is getting rinsed (he trembles when I get to this part). Once I was done, I stood up to grab a towel to pick him out of the tub, and he made the cutest little whining sound. He looked pathetic, but I mean that in the most affectionate way. All of his normally poofy long hair was slicked back away from his shih tzu snout! I started laughing so hard, and I think he got mad at me, because he decided to shake out his fur when I bent down to pick him up. Brat.

Another thing was the bowl of ice cream I had. We’re out of chocolate syrup, so I took the liberty of popping open a jar of fudge topping. And yes, it was deliciousssss.

Conversations with my friends will be a consistent cause of smiles. There’s something about being able to talk to someone and laugh endlessly at nothing, everything, and anything, that can make your day. It could be a random string of emojis, a picture, a Skype session, a Snapchat video, anything. And we all have those inside jokes with our favorite people – phrases that, to anyone else, make absolutely zero sense.

This next one is a bit off the wall. Candles make me smile. I love the soft glow of a single flame, the colorful arrangements of decorative candles, the different scents. I think they’re so pretty and peaceful. And although we can’t have candles in the dorms, I’m looking into some cheap LED lights that should have pretty close to the same effect!

My neighbor George makes me smile. All the time. He came over today to hang out with my brothers (he thinks they’re so cool – I don’t see it). They had a little bonfire and George got a huge kick out of it. He’s always asking questions and running around and being as curious and adventurous and silly as a little boy should be, and an awesome friend!!

I really like looking at the stars. I smile at the sky all the time when I’m at school, because I swear there are more stars every single night. They make me smile because – actual science aside – they’re just minding their own business, burning, twinkling, shining away. And just because we can’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They still are, just chilling, being stars.

The seventh thing that made me smile today was a video my mom showed me. Now, I’m sure it’s made its rounds on social media, but I hadn’t seen it. I’m pretty sure it was from Britain’s Got Talent, and Simon Cowell had just cut off this young boy’s singing. You could tell he was nervous and scared as Simon held up his hand to stop the music and informed the boy he ought to try a different song. So he did. His rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Who’s Loving You” blew everyone away. A wonderful and entertaining reminder that sometimes when everything feels like it’s going wrong, it might about to be going very, very right.

“But God can only smile because only God can know what is coming next.” – Desmond Tutu

Family Weekend 2014

Posted in Madeline Johnson on September 29th, 2014 by mjohns65 – Be the first to comment

This past weekend was Concordia’s own family weekend. One weekend every September, the Family Weekend Committee plans a weekend for parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and everyone in between to come and appreciate Concordia. My parents have come to all four of the family weekends – one year, my grandparents came and this year my aunt, uncle, and brother came. It was a fun weekend with ambitious homework goals and the reality of little scholarship accomplishments. But I don’t regret a single minute because I love my family.

Dinner with my wonderful Aunt and the whole famjamalam at Leela's!

Dinner with my wonderful Aunt and the whole famjamalam at Leela’s!

On Saturday, my family arrived at my townhouse with a lunch in tow that was expansive – there were at least 4 different salads and the apples came complete with carmel dip. This benefited me because then I got to receive the leftovers and sometimes college students just want a free lunch.* Afterward, I used my admissions training to give a brief tour of the campus, primarily for my uncle’s benefit who has never visited campus. We got stopped in Olson forum by the lure of frisbee and air conditioning, so the tour was put on hold. Later, we meandered over to the ice cream social in the Knutson Campus Center, one of the awesome events put on by the Family Weekend Committee. Then, my bro and I decided to go to my friend Rob’s house, who is our mutual friend from camp and we played some spikeball. Dinner time came around, and the whole family went to Leela’s, a thai food Fargo favorite for the Johnson Clan. We concluded the night with the Family Weekend Showcase and said farewell after church the next morning. It was a good weekend.

*We want this all of the time.

My Response to the How I Met Your Mother Finale

Posted in Jasmine Lara on April 3rd, 2014 by Jasmine Lara – Be the first to comment
A look at a couple Cobber's opinions on the How I Met Your Mother Finale

A look at a couple Cobber’s opinions on the How I Met Your Mother Finale

If you’re as big of a fan of How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) as I am, you’ve probably got some strong feelings about the series finale that aired on Monday night.

Honestly, I still don’t know how I feel about it. I only hopped onto the the HIMYM bandwagon about three years ago when my friend Patrick suggested I start watching. Even though I am fairly new to the fan base, I still felt a connection to the characters and I’m sad to see the series end. I can’t tell you how many days I spent binge watching the first 8 seasons over my Christmas break last year to make sure I could remember everything for the upcoming 9th season.

For me, the HIMYM finale was as much of a disappointment as it was a success. The first reason I was disappointed  was because the finale made the whole series about Robin. It felt like I just spent nine seasons waiting to hear more about the amazing life that Ted had with Tracy (the Mother) to only find out that Tracy was nothing but a a side note to Ted’s love for Robin. I could have lived with Tracy dying, but I can’t live with it all being about Robin. Tracy seems so minimal in the the grand scheme of the series because it seems like this whole time, we’ve been listening to Ted tell a story of love all while asking his children’s permission to pursue their Aunt Robin.

I think the biggest disappointment for me, though, was Robin and Barney’s divorce. To me, their divorce completely erased three seasons of character development for Barney. His proposal to Robin in the 8th season completely threw me for a loop in the sense that I never imagined him to let go of who he was for love. Honestly, I didn’t imagine that Barney was capable of loving anyone other than himself.

As much as these were major disappointments in the series for me, they were also things that made me realize how much these characters have grown, and how this is the beginning of another journey for them. Yes, I’m disappointed that the past nine years have been devoted to asking permission to move on. Yes, I’m disappointed that Robin and Barney didn’t work out. But the importance of these greatly outweighs my disappointment. If you look back on the series, Ted has always been willing to sacrifice what he loves most in favor of those he loves. He sacrificed moving to Chicago for Tracy. He sacrificed his love for Robin by letting her go up to the top of Goliath National Bank to let Barney propose. He sacrificed his apartment when Lily and Marshall got married. I’m not saying that Tracy was a sacrifice for him, but rather Ted finally being gifted with someone who was not only a perfect match, but also someone who had loved and lost before as well. If you also remember, Tracy’s first love was Max. Ted and Tracy both sacrificed their first loves, willingly or not, only to meet someone who they were compatible with and who they were able to love.

Secondly, I’m partly glad that Barney and Robin didn’t work. Barney never said that he didn’t love Robin. In fact, he said that despite his love for her, the marriage just wasn’t working. As far as we know, Barney was completely faithful to Robin in their three years of marriage. Barney grew as much as he was thrown back in those few seconds it took to admit that it just wasn’t working. Carter Bays and Craig Thomas took those few seconds to show us how important honesty is in love. They showed us how important it is to be true to ourselves and to not change just to make someone else happy. Yes, the breakup was devastating. But Robin and Barney staying together for the sake of happy fans isn’t worth making two characters unhappy.

In the wise words of Ted Mosby, “love is the best thing we do”. While the finale was a disappointment, I think the series as a whole did its job in teaching viewers the importance of the relationships you build, and how sometimes you need to make those sacrifices and struggle to find your yellow umbrella.