Friday, 10 February 2012 21:09
Thursday, 09 February 2012 16:49
The older I get, the more people I meet who genuinely dislike Valentine’s Day. My response – since when is it popular to be a Scrooge?
True, companies use it as an excuse to sell ridiculous things we don’t need. True, there is no better way to make single people feel especially lonely. And true, we’re actually celebrating some guy’s death. But what kind of society would this be if we didn’t put aside one day of the year to revel in the concept of love?
Most American holidays are religious, which, let’s be honest, aren’t all-inclusive. Then there are founding fathers’ birthdays and historical events, etc., etc. We all gladly accept them as an excuse to get out of school and-or gorge ourselves. Who wouldn’t?
But if I’m being honest with myself, I know I don’t feel any sort of true inspiration. They just don’t speak to me on a personal note.
Then, there’s Valentine’s Day, a day to unify us all.
During this time of political turmoil and social divide, what better way to unite the country than with every human being’s ultimate desire – to have someone care about you, to have someone miss you, to have someone say to you, “I love you,” and really mean it.
There are naysayers who may argue that you shouldn’t need just one day. They say that if you truly care about someone, you will tell them every day, with every breath you take. This, of course, is a parody of romance.
The purpose of Valentine’s Day, however, is not to force you to send a cheesy card, buy a stupid teddy bear and squeeze out a single, insincere tear. Rather, I think of it as a chance to take a day out of our crazy, busy year to focus on our relationships, whether they are with a romantic partner or not.
So, to all you Valentine’s Day scrooges, get over yourselves, shed your bah-humbuggery for one day and let someone know you care for them. It will feel good. I promise.
Thursday, 09 February 2012 16:47
It’s coming. Valentine’s Day. It will be here sooner than you think, and more than likely, no one here has any idea what one needs to do, nor have, for this particular occasion.
And how could we? On this day people say they want nothing, no gifts, no proclamations of love and desire, but what they really, truly want is to be surprised in ways they could never imagine.
And yet, there is always that moment when you realize they know something special is going to happen, and the surprise is essentially ruined. This is the fundamental flaw in Valentine’s Day.
I could go on and on about how horrible Valentine’s Day is due to the effect it has on single people, and honestly, it feels horrible to be single on Valentine’s Day, walking into a restaurant only to see nothing but couples enjoying a romantic feast and then being refused service because the restaurant is at max capacity, not to mention the pitiful looks thrown your way because you don’t have your arm draped around someone, or because there is no one with their arm draped around you.
Damn those hosts and hostesses for making pity another part of their job.
Honestly, I find I dislike Valentine’s Day even more while being in a relationship than being single. I don’t want to be forced to do something for my significant other because someone else, or society, told me to.
If I can’t make the person I am with feel special every day that we are together, then I shouldn’t be with that person. The same is true for everyone.
It seems as though Valentine’s Day exists simply for those who enjoy the thrill of a challenge, trying to best some other couple. It doesn’t matter if you bake a cake that spells out their name in binary because your best friend just did the same thing.
Nay, I shall not give into this clumsy holiday and instead treat that day like any other day – cook dinner for someone who deserves it and not worry about creating the cake that disproves the Banach-Tarski paradox once and for all.
Thursday, 09 February 2012 16:40
Nothing says romance like a cramped coach flight. For President Michael Shonrock and his wife Karen, it was “love at first flight,” as the couple met on a plane from Lovett, Texas to Dallas. Southwest Airlines’ tag at the time was “the love connection.”
“Obviously, she is beautiful,” Michael said. “No one has a greater heart, and she is absolutely the sweetest person in the world. She touched my heart on the airline, and it didn’t take long to realize that she is just as beautiful on the inside. That was really something special to me.”
It only took a month for the couple to get engaged, and after a year of engagement they had a small wedding in Dallas. The Shonrocks celebrated their 20th anniversary last December.
“They are just a phenomenal couple,” former student regent at Texas Tech Kyle Miller said. “They are really the epitome of the perfect couple. They always present themselves well and are fashionable when they are out together. They are such a young couple at heart and they know each other like best friends.”
Karen said her role as first lady at ESU is to support her husband. During her time in Texas, Karen was the president of the university’s women’s club and hopes to get involved in activities like that here.
The Shonrocks will spend Valentine’s day apart. With their furniture still in another state, Karen is leaving to oversee the move, but Michael said they plan to celebrate earlier.
“I really enjoy decorating,” Karen said. “I am so excited to finally get our furniture here. I think it is going to look great in our house. We are definitely going to have an open tour after we get all moved in.”
The couple doesn’t have any kids but considers family very important with 18 nieces and nephews.
“The way the world is these days we are always in contact,” Karen said. “I am talking to my family constantly, whether it is on the phone or by text. It is also a really easy trip back with just a three hour flight back to Texas.”
While their marriage is not “Facebook official” – neither of the Shonrocks currently have Facebook accounts – they plan to be more active on social media sites in the future so they can stay in touch with family back home and so students at Emporia can get to know them.
The Shonrocks’ best Valentine’s Day advice – “get on the plane.”
Thursday, 11 February 2010 16:32
Big Tobacco’s House of Ink, located at 517 Sunnyslope, will host a Punk/Metal Valentine’s Day concert this Saturday. The show, “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” will feature four local bands of all ages.
The show will open around 8 p.m. with Tragedy of Romance, a pop-rock band made up of students from Emporia High School. Next, the band formally known as Killfloor, now named Suicide Gene, will take the stage. The Dead Idols, a punk band will perform, and Balldozer, a metal band, will close the show.
Joel Austin, sophomore communications major and guitarist/singer for The Dead Idols, encouraged singles and couples alike to come enjoy the show.
“There will be some really good bands, and it is pretty inexpensive,” Austin said. “It will be a good time.”
The cover charge for the event will be $3, and there will be a raffle for a $100 gift certificate good towards a tattoo from Big Tobacco’s. Raffle tickets are available for $1.
Logan Herrara, senior at Emporia High School and bassist/singer for The Dead Idols, also expressed that all interested should come to the show, and enter the raffle.
“Why not (come)?” he said. “(Big Tobacco’s) is a new kind of atmosphere for Emporia, and it is a nice place, so it will be really fun to come hang out and listen to some local music.”
Though the show is advertised as an “invite only” show, Austin insisted that anyone who wants to come should be there.
“Basically, if you got a flyer, or hear about it some other way, you are invited,” he said.
Since Big Tobacco’s is not a bar or restaurant, alcohol and beverage sales are not permitted inside the tattoo parlor, according to a 1986 amendment to the Kansas Constitution.
The show is described by Austin as a “house-party” atmosphere, and any beverages attendees might drink during the show are “bring it yourself.”
“There are a couple big coolers in the back and you bring your own drinks and they will put them in the cooler for you,” Austin said. “It is somewhere between a house party and a bar atmosphere. Something different. It’s pretty cool… Everyone should come. It will be a lot of fun.”
Thursday, 11 February 2010 16:27
You’ve done it. We all have. Type the name into the search bar. Hit enter. Bam. There’s the Facebook profile. Is he single? Check relationship status. Does he have any crazy ex-girlfriends? Check photos. Or wall posts.
Are you doing this for everyone you know? “Friending” every single person you’ve ever talked to? You may have a problem.
But if you’re just the occasional Facebook peruser, the following sites might just help you in looking up your date for this Valentine’s.
- The first stop on your Valentine stalk – er, search – is generally going to be Facebook. From there, you might be able to see if the person has listed any blogs that they write.
- The next stop on the love train is Google. Google can be a great, but sometimes daunting, resource. But you can be a smarter Googler by using the advanced search options or by file type.
- Some additional sites that search the deep web include www.pipl.com, www.123people.com, www.whostalkin.com, www.samepoint.com and www.icerocket.com. However, the biggest problem with these sites is the search options, as there are limited advanced searches beyond first and last name and state. If there are over 500 people with the same name, it could amount to some lengthy research.
Care to see if your sweetie has a criminal conviction?
- In Kansas, most court records and criminal information are open to the public. By utilizing these records, a person can easily check to see if the person they’re going out with has been convicted of any crimes.
- One Web site, www.criminalsearches.com, allows users to search by criminal history, neighborhood watch and sex offenders. Users can also sign up to receive criminal reports and can look up crime statistics.
- To take a more serious tone, one resource that must be checked is the National Sex Offender Registry, which can be viewed at www.nsopw.gov. The benefit of this site over regular state offender registries is that the national registry tracks offenders if they move from state to state.
- The violent offenders list for Emporia State can be found at the Police and Safety office. Under the Clery Act, the university must produce the list of offenders upon request. Other court information can be found at www.kansascourts.org and inmate lists for the state of Kansas can be seen at www.dc.state.ks.us.
But in all seriousness, the best way to use these resources is to find out what kind of information is available about yourself on the world wide web. By searching out yourself, you can find out how to better monitor your privacy on social networking sites and restrict what information is available.
Thursday, 11 February 2010 16:04
The holiday brings up many iconic images – red paper hearts, the colorful Valentine’s Day cards we shared as children, the disgusting, chalk-flavored candy hearts, flowers, Cupid, etc. It has been touted as the most romantic holiday and has been shunned as a practice of materialism. Whatever it is, one can see its presence all over, even on our own campus.
It seems that most of the people who do not like Valentine’s Day feel the way they do because they don’t want to spend money on a meaningless day just because it’s a social norm or because they don’t have anyone to share the day with.
But Valentine’s Day should not be a day in which we begrudgingly buys gifts and dinner for someone else or a day when we stay at home and watch sad movies all night. It should be a day for enjoying love and life and being happy that we have what we have.
If you have a significant other, or “lover,” you know that Valentine’s Day can be an expensive endeavor. We Americans have a tendency to show our love towards each other with material goods, it’s only normal in our culture. But where is the love in buying a box of candies made on an assembly line? Where is the romance in taking out a loan for flowers that will die in a week or a mass-produced card?
When you feel the materialist blues, simply don’t buy into them. Talk to your partner about having a buy-free Valentine’s Day. Any rational lover would appreciate a hand-made gift that required time and effort over a store-bought one. Cooking a meal together is much more romantic than going out to an expensive restaurant. But I stress talking to your lover first, or you may end up embarrassed.
Then of course, there is the gloom of facing a Valentine’s Day single. Staying at home in a puddle of self-pity and various movies can be trying on a soul. Although I can understand that this is a very frightening prospect, I see it as a boon instead.
A single person can enjoy a completely buy-free Valentine’s Day, if they want. Even if they don’t want to be alone, they do not have to spend a single cent on anyone else if they do not want to. Union Activities Council is having a free two-minute speed dating session that night from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom. They also have the opportunity to hook up with others who are single in a bar, since there are less couples diluting the concentration of singles on Valentine’s Day.
All in all, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful day. It is the official day of our culture to celebrate romance and no one should cry or whine about the day, as it is in their power to make it better. If you do not want to spend money, then work out a cheap date. If you become depressed because you are single, think of all of the reasons why it is good to be single. Do not let this celebration of love pass by you because you are scared.
Because, as some wise sages once said, “Love is all you need.”
Thursday, 11 February 2010 15:52
Love is in the air at Emporia State as students celebrate Valentine’s Day across campus.
The art department is showing their Valentine spirit with their 6th annual Valentine’s Day Art Show at the Emporia Arts Council. The show opened Feb. 2 and ends with a reception on Sunday. Works from ESU faculty, former students and current students are featured. All artwork is for sale and proceeds go to the art department’s general scholarships. Admission to the show is free.
“We’ll have refreshments and some food and it’s before all of the really big stuff starts, so it’s kind of a prelude to Valentine’s Day events,” said Roberta Eichenberg, assistant professor of sculpture.
Students who live in the Towers Complex can send each other V-Grams. There will be a table in the Towers lobby from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow. Hearts are 50 fifty cents and cans of crush soda are $1. Profits from the V-Grams go to Shiloh House, a local women’s shelter. Complex coordinator Carol Blade said she’s done this at other schools and called it “a crush for a crush.”
“It’s only for Towers this year. We’re kind of just starting it, so we want to see how it goes before we start working on making it any larger,” Blade said.
V-Grams will be delivered in students’ mailboxes or to their rooms, depending on how many are sold.
“It’s just kind of a program to help people spread a little bit of Valentine’s joy to each other,” Blade said.
The Towers Complex will also host a stoplight party on Feb. 15 where those who are single wear green, those who are dating wear yellow and those who are taken wear red. Blades said there will be food and games at the party.
“The Towers is all first year students so we just want to have a lot of activities to build up that first year class and help people to get to know each other and also just to build a community between the first years,” Blade said.
The Union Activities Council is holding a two minute Valentine mixer tonight at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom. It is free for all ESU students, but donations will be taken for Hearts for Haiti, sponsored by the American Red Cross.
“It’s a freewill monetary donation so you don’t have to donate right when you come in, but we will accept them,” said Christina Holt, sophomore elementary education major who planned the event.
Holt said there will be cookie decorating and Valentine making.
“It kind of is like the high school dance set up,” Holt said. “It’s just a night for fun and to relax and be with everybody. It’s kind of cheesy so everyone likes that.”
The A Capella choir is doing Valentine-O-Grams on Friday and Saturday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. around Emporia. Valentine-O-Grams are singing telegrams that come with a hand-made Valentine. Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities Terry Barham said they have been doing these valentines for 10-12 years and people seem to love them.
“People call and say ‘they made me cry,’” Barham said. “We’re talking really good singers, you know.”
Orders for the valentines had to be made by Feb. 7. People got to choose two of four songs: “Baby Face.” “I Love You Truly,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck.” They were $10 for ESU students and the proceeds are helping students make payments on the choir’s tour of England, which will be from May 27 – June 4.
“We think it’s a public service and the students they love doing it, they really do,” Barham said.
Thursday, 11 February 2010 15:47
There are many legends that tell the story of how the modern world came to celebrate Valentine’s Day. While the holiday is a western invention, countries across the globe have come to observe the U.S. version, as well as their own.
People in China celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14 in the western style with gift exchanges and fancy dinners.
“The tradition is that the ladies would pray to the goddess to become a better woman and if she’s not married, she may want to pray for a handsome husband,” said Henry Yu, graduate student in business administration from China. “Ladies who aren’t married would do art work to compete to see who has the better skills.”
But there will also be a more traditional lover’s celebration called Qi Xi, the Seventh Night Festival. This year’s celebration falls on Aug. 16., the seventh night of summer on the lunar calendar.
The story goes that the seventh daughter of the Jade Lord came to earth, fell in love with a poor farmer and married him. When her mother discovered what she had done, she was so upset that she created the ‘star river’ (the universe) to flow between and separate them.
In an attempt to help the sad couple, millions of birds made a bridge across the universe so that the farmer could see his wife again. But the birds could only hold the bridge for one day and this was the only day each year the couple could be reunited.
“The story inspired people to develop a tradition to celebrate lovers,” Yu said. “The story is unique. People around (the couple) are good and helpful and they can meet once a year. It inspires people to value the relationship they are having now.”
However, these traditions are somewhat outdated and time consuming and are no longer practiced.
“Now ladies makes chocolates and give them to her boyfriend or a boy that she likes,” Yu said. “Between the boys there is a competition to see who gets the most chocolates.”
Koreans, Vietnamese and Japanese celebrate a holiday that is similar to the seventh night festival, Yu said.
In Paraguay, the locals celebrate what they call Día de los Enamorados or Lover’s Day.
“We do celebrate Valentine’s Day in Paraguay,” said Alex Vuyk, masters in special education in an email interview from Paraguay. “Even though that is the official name, we don’t call it that.”
The method for celebrating is very similar to what is done in the U.S., including gift, flower and chocolate exchanges. Clubs in Paraguay throw anti-love parties for singles.
“It is not a day for friends, only romantic love is celebrated,” Vuyk said. “Friends have their day on July 30, which is Friendship Day.”
Ugandans celebrate a more relaxed version of Valentine’s Day.
“It’s not really a holiday,” said Strap Nkoba, sophomore graphic design major from Uganda. “People spend time with the ones they love. There’s a lot of red stuff and it’s really westernized. “
Roses are a typical Valentine’s gift in Uganda.
“We export roses,” Nkoba said. “It’s a tropical country.”
However, Nkoba thinks that affection should not be saved for Valentine’s Day.
“If you want to show affection to someone, you should show affection every day,” he said.
According to the History Channel, the most popular Valentine’s origin legends stem from stories of a war hungry Roman emperor who outlawed marriage with the belief that single men made better soldiers than married ones.
St. Valentine defied the emperor and married young couples in secret. When he was found out, he was jailed and fell in love with a young woman who visited him.
Before being put to death, Valentine wrote her a letter that he signed “From your Valentine.”
Thursday, 12 February 2009 19:22
With the current state of the economy, students may feel the need to forgo Valentine’s Day celebrations this year. But with tips from a few money-savvy professors, they may not have to.
“Valentine’s Day is really important and I think that people will still do something,” said Allen Walker, webmaster for the School of Business. “(Students) will make the day special to those that are important to them. You don’t always have to spend money to do that.”
Dipak Ghosh, associate professor of accounting and computer information systems, said the best way to save money on this holiday is to do special things oneself to celebrate, rather than spending a lot of money.
“For students, it may not make a big difference because they are living on a limited budget anyway,” Ghosh said.
Instead of taking that special someone out for dinner, students could try making a home cooked meal as an alternative.
Barbara Railsback, assistant professor of business administration and education, said that making the holiday a little less intimate and inviting others to enjoy a meal with would be a good way to cut down on individual expenses.
“By buying non-prepared foods, or not already cooked foods, you can plan a menu that will be a lot cheaper than it would be otherwise,” Railsback said.
Walker said that students could try making cards by hand instead of buying them.
“Instead of buying things that are expensive that (students) can’t afford, they should focus on doing things that are creative and things that are fun,” Walker said. “For someone special that they want to connect with, it’s always nice to get something that is unexpected or something that you didn’t know was coming.”
Handmade gifts are also one way to save money and create something that may be more memorable than a store bought item.
“(Students) could utilize their talents and create a gift,” Railsback said. “Make their own gift, versus going out and buying expensive chocolate or buying flowers.”
Railsback also suggested patronizing an entertainment venue that doesn’t require paying a cover charge to enter.
There are also entertainment options for those who would rather stay on campus this Valentine’s Day.
There will be two performances Saturday in Heath Recital Hall. Dean Somerville, a tubist, will perform at 3 p.m. Liliam Rodriguez, a vocalist, will perform at 7:30 p.m.
The art department will host a reception for their love themed exhibit from 4-6 p.m. Saturday at the Emporia Arts Council.
Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Student Society of Industrial/Organizational Psychology will host a table in the union where they will sell roses, bags of assorted candy and stuffed animals for under $15.
Ghosh and Railsback agree that students will not have to worry about saving money on Valentine’s Day because, if they are going to buy something, they will buy it whether or not the economy is down.
“What you spend on that day is not an economic decision because the decision is not based on economic factors,” Ghosh said.
They also agreed that the effect of Valentine’s Day on the economy wouldn’t vary much from years past.
“A lot of people don’t spend a lot of money anyway,” Railsback said. “They don’t spend on Valentine’s Day the way they do on Christmas. There may be a 10 percent reduction but I don’t think it’s going to be any more than that.”
Ashley Peaches/The Bulletin