AH! A Bear Attack!

Who’s the Best?

Eliud Kipchoge vs. Usain Bolt; who’s the better runner? Pernille Blume vs. Katie Ledecky; who’s the better swimmer? One athlete finishes their race in less that 10 seconds, the other takes far longer, but maintains an equally impressive pace. Clearly all four of these athletes are worthy of their olympic titles, but who is better? In order to answer this question, I think back to a time when there was no competition to measure an athlete’s talents on the track or in the pool; a time where there was no such thing as an athlete, only a particularly strong individual able to run for a really long time or swim wicked fast. Back then, being the best at something didn’t mean that you might one day win a medal at the olympics, it meant that you just might survive another day.

If we take this universal concept of survival and use it as a means to measure how good someone is at something, then perhaps we can determine which runner or swimmer is better. That being said, we would still have to figure out what is more important, speed or stamina? Who can outrun a bear or swim to shore if they’re stranded in the middle of a lake?

Runners and swimmers are easy to evaluate on this primitive aptitude scale, but there are some talents that prove to be more tricky. What about a writer? There are millions of amazing writers that excel at their disciplines across the globe, but which is the most adept to survive? Is it the world renowned scientist who writes books that explain complex astrophysics, or Anthony Doerr, the author of All the Light We Cannot See, a haunting work of historical fiction? Does the president’s speech writer have a better chance at survival than a journalist from the New York times?

If we turn back the clock to a time before newspapers and presidents; before astrophysics and novels, what disciplines of writing are we left with?

One man’s words rally his warriors before a gruelling hunt while his friend watches closely, ready to relay the details of that expedition to the man’s wife who waits by the fence, fearing that this time her husband won’t come home. There’s a woman explaining how to build a fire while another enchants the children of their village with a story of how their mighty ancestors battled the vicious saber-tooth tiger.

Motivator, messenger, teacher, and entertainer: who will survive?

Our instinct is to respond with “depends on the situation”, and perhaps that’s true, but what sorts of situations were you likely to find one thousand years ago, what situations do you often come across today?

We like to label people as being the “best” at what they do, but we’ll never really know who places highest on this primitive aptitude scale until a bear attacks the stadium. We worry that we’re not good at anything, but having made it to this moment proves that you are good at something, keeping yourself alive. How did you do that? You used your unique skill set the persevere through life’s obstacles. You may have run or swam or written a kick-ass english essay, but all that matters is that those talents brought you to this moment. Go you!

To Prep or not to Prep… Not even a question

When I first began considering studying abroad in France, I searched every inch of the internet for advice. What should I wear? How does their school work? What will I be eating besides macarons and croissants for 6 months? Fortunately, the internet is full of information that ranges from “Just be yourself and nothing can go wrong!” To “Whatever you do, DO NOT wear leggings in public.”
Although I could use this blog post to tell you that indeed, leggings should be kept to the house and that you can never go wrong with black jeans, adidas, and a sweater, the information I hoped to find online, but rarely did, was pre-France French language preparation. No matter what any program website says, it makes a big difference whether you have a single year of French under your belt or five. That being said, you can’t be expected to show up day one with a complete vocabulary, but you can prep ahead of time so that you can at least ask your way around and tell your host family that your allergic to eggs.

Here are some of my favorite resources that I’ve found to be the most useful both before and during my time in France.

Youtube:

Youtube is, in my humble opinion, the best free foreign language resource on the internet. Besides the plethora of French teachers who post their lessons online, they’re are tons of entertaining channels that are certainly worth a good watch before you step on the plane. I recommend the channels Damon and Jo, and Comme une Française TV.

Grammar Books:

As vital as vocabulary words are, the ability to organize and express coherent thoughts is equally important. Picking up a basic grammar book that you can start over the Summer and continue working through during your time in France is a great idea if you want to jumpstart the French experience. I use the CLE International “Grammaire Progressive du Français” books, which come in five different levels. One caveat with this books is that they’re made for anybody learning french, regardless of country of origin. For that reason, all explanations are in French, but then again, I view that as a good thing! Another option would be picking up a DELF preparation book, even if you never plan on taking the test.

*The DELF is a French language proficiency test that determines your fluency level. It’s offered from the A1 level (Beginner) to the C2 level (Native Speaker). Having taken 5 years of French already, including AP, I picked up the B2 book and found that it was the perfect compliment to the schoolwork I was doing.

The Phrasebook:

Buy it. Learn it. Live by it. I recommend buying the Lonely Planet Phrasebook, but I would suggest getting an English Phrasebook made for French speakers. I know, it seems silly, but I assure you, this is the best way to learn genuine French phrases. A lot of English expressions don’t translate well, but with this method, your getting a genuine French phrase and an English equivalent. Definitely learn how to introduce yourself, ask directions, and school vocabulary.

Spotify:

Spotify is an underrated, often overlooked method of foreign language learning that may just hold the key to adapting colloquial expressions and, of course, French slang. If you go to Spotify’s top 50 by country section and select France, you’ll probably see a whole lot of English music, but buried in the mass of perky American pop music and whatever genre “Panda” is classified as, you’ll find some popular French music. Give it a listen and look up the lyrics online. I suggest decoding it line by line using wordreference.com, that way you not only learn the vocabulary , but also memorize the lyrics.

To resume, no matter how much you prepare, there’s no magic formula that will save you from frequent awkward pauses and missing vocabulary words on a daily basis, but knowing the difference between past and present tense is something I would definitely recommend knowing pre-departure.

Noël en France

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Christmas in undeniably my favorite time of year. The cold sets in, strings of lights trim every tree, and best of all, we stressed out students get to look forward to two weeks with no alarm but our Christmas morning anticipations waking us up before noon.

Somehow, though, this year, the Christmas spirit seemed to be lacking. I didn’t feel the tug of excitement at the thought of weeks without school, and Christmas morning, I woke up at 10. That being said, I thought that with Christmas rounding the corner and with me being so far from my hometown traditions, Christmas would feel sad. After all, I can say with absolute certainty that Thanksgiving was my worst day in France.

This holiday, however, I didn’t feel that Nostalgia might drown me or that I was missing out on a special occasion. Why? Because although we celebrated differently here in France, we celebrated all the same.

Allow me to walk you through the Holiday Season; France style!

Around mid-November, every city with a reasonable population size puts up their annual “Marché de Noël”, a formation of vendors selling everything from Christmas candle holders to German sausages and freshly fried doughnuts.  In the case of Lille, my home city in France, an entire village sprouts up in Grand Place, complete with a giant Christmas Tree and a Ferris Wheel.

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Next up: The family room transforms from casual living area to Santa’s Playground, with presents lined up by the fireplace and snowflakes covering the wall. When I arrived home from a trip to Strasbourg with STS, my host family had already put up the tree and decked the halls which made my homecoming ten times happier.

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Christmas reaches its peak here in France on the 24th, the night before Christmas. The table is set, full of every typical “French Food” you can imagine, escargots, foie gras, pain surprise, and of course, champagne, and in between each course, presents are torn open with greedy hands.

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The night draws to a close with a special speculoos cake “la Buche de Noël”. After each family member has had their helping, they sit down to watch a movie, unfortunately not Christmas Themed, or perhaps the “12 Coups de Midi” Christmas Special Edition before tucking into bed, stomachs full.

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The following day consists of a late wake-up, lazy morning, then getting ready for the family Christmas Lupper, a meal that lasts nearly four hours, and involves so many courses of appetizers that I was stuffed before the “plat chaud” even arrived at the table. A quick walk helps you digest before you eat yet another Bouche de Noël, a cup of coffee and some macarons.

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Christmas in France is a two-day affair, but each day brings with it a plethora of delicious food, holiday cheer, and family. It’s not quite my typical Christmas Morning celebration, but I see the traditions that my host family has created for themselves, and I can accept that although they are different, they hold just as much meaning as my family’s matching PJs and Christmas Carols.

Not-so Americana

See! I Told You I Speak French!

Two weeks ago, I began writing a blog post that was to be entitled “Dude, I Speak French!” and included many an anecdote about my various encounters with shopkeepers, baristas, and waiters here in France that had me red-faced and sweaty by the time I left the counter. When you begin learning a language, you’re eager to practice with somebody, and if you’re fortunate enough to practice in the country where said language is actually spoken, your heart starts fluttering before the girl at the register in Starbucks even asks for your order.

Just as we all know the excitement to finally practice our foreign language, we all know the nervous pit that eats all of our carefully memorized vocabulary and the following disappointment that arises when the waiter switches back to English or immediately recognizes that you’re American.  In these sorts of situations, I used to turn bright red and repeat my order in English, but as I’ve progressed in my French abilities, I’ve started simply repeating myself in French until the lady or man finally stops responding in English. I still encounter this problem sometimes, normally when I don’t quite hear what people say over the sound of coffee machines, or if there was just one word I didn’t quite get, and it can be frustrating to lose that perfect practice opportunity just because you listen to your music too loud and may have damaged a bit of your eardrum.

Anywho, this blog post was going to be a three page rant about that, but after spending a weekend in Paris with my American parents (which was absolutely amazing by the way!) I’ve decided to spin the second half of this article into something new. Maybe it was my new black boots, or the way I folded my heaping scarf, but I found myself walking into restaurants and being met constantly by French, even after I talked! You might be thinking, it’s Paris Dumbo, of course the French are going to speak French, but when the woman handing out pastries at a tourist trap café automatically speaks in English to the couple in front of you after a single glance but keeps up a conversation with you in French right after, you feel pretty proud of yourself. I even once got to a register where the girl did speak to me in English, but then apologized and told me that she was so used to Anglophones that English had become a reflex.

Now, I’m not cocky enough to believe that I have a perfect French accent, or am now fluent in French, but I can tell you straight up that living around native speakers for months on end really does affect the way you speak, even if you don’t think you’re improving.

I’ve picked up so much of my host family’s speech patterns and colloquial expressions that even if my American accent does poke through, the French know that I can understand them, and that I have more that a few expressions from a phrasebook in my pocket. That sort of ease of expression can’t be taught from a textbook or another Anglophone classmate or teacher; because no matter how hard we try, we’ll never speak perfect French, at least not like the French can.

It’s frustrating when conversations get flipped back to English, and it’s hard when the words seem lost when you need them most (It happened to me today!) but it’s important to recognize that we live in a world where English is a default language, and as Americans, our seemingly inescapable accents often give us away.  I can’t stress enough how stubborn you must be to get over it and give up the comfort of your mother tongue. You can do it though, it just takes time- and possibly a twelve year old host sister who speaks through a slur of abbreviations and trending hashtags on twitter-

My Current Bookshelf (Jess)

My Top 5 Favorite Books

I hate choosing my favorite books because I have SO many. But here are the 5 books I would consider my top 5. I’m not going to give a summary of the books, but the reason why I like them so much. If you want to find out more about them, read them! Or just google them.

  1. Pride & Prejudice Jane Austen. This is easily my favorite book. Once I started to read it, I couldn’t put it down. It’s good, very good. However it’s not for everyone, if you don’t like romance or historical-fiction, you probably won’t like Pride & Prejudice, but if you do then you’ll love this book. It’s an easy story to get involved in and doesn’t require analytical analysis.
  2. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez. I don’t know how to put my love and respect for this book in words. Márquez is the best author that I know of. His control of the words and plot is impressive. You feel like you’re in a dream as you read, you get lost in the story. It’s weird, but in a good way. Definitely the book I would most recommend.
  3. Half the Sky – Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn. THIS BOOK. This book is what awoke me. My goals and aspirations became clear and concrete after reading this book. This was the book of “realizing things” (Hi Kylie Jenner!). It opened my eyes to the injustices around the world and the desperate need for radical change. Before this I was a feminist hater (another story for another time) and after this I was a full fledged feminist. The style of writing and informational narrative is extremely educational. There is also a multi part documentary that is on Netflix. So worth the read and watch.
  4. Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card. What a book. Ender, the main protagonist, was who I wanted to be when I was younger, and still who I want to be today. There was finally a kid that was respected by his peers and adults alike. He is not just good, but untouchably good at everything he does. It was one of those books that just makes you feel good the entire time you read it.
  5. Blood and Earth – Kevin Bales. This isn’t really a “fun” book. It’s an extremely informative, well written account of human trafficking and its effects on humans and the environment. It’s a unique take on why we should get rid of human trafficking as well as engaging. Like Half the Sky it awakened something inside of me and has helped educate me in the ongoing fight against human trafficking, a topic I’m passionate about. Even if you aren’t interested in modern slavery the book acts as an important resource.

Relativity in Non-Astronomical Terms

Time, Space, and Relativity

If you’re wondering if watching Interstellar for the fourth time finally inspired me to become an astrophysicist, unfortunately not even Matthew McConaughey’s quantifiable love can make multi-dimensional physics appealing to a foreign language nerd. As an exchange student, I prefer to think of relativity in the context of travel; far less complex, far more comprehensible to an average human without the genius gene.

If you live in the US, how far is “far.” How long do you need to spend in the car or on a train to feel like you’re truly “traveling”. If you’re from a small-ish town like me, anything within 10 miles is “right around the corner”, while a shopping center 20 miles away is “a bit out of the way.” Something you don’t realize until you’ve spent time in a smaller country like France, is that the United States really is enormous. Flying from one end of the country to the other takes six hours, approximately the same amount of time it takes to fly from Boston to Paris.

Where I live in Massachusetts, it takes 6 hours in a car to reach the Canadian border, and God knows how long to get yourself all the way to Mexico. Those two countries are America’s neighbors, yet it still takes quite a bit of work to cross a border. In Northern France, I can hop in the car and buy my groceries in Belgium or take a one hour car ride, the same amount of time it takes me to drive to and from my rink back home, and wind up in the Chunnel on my way to England. Nevertheless, according to my host Family, Spain is very, very far away; a whopping hour long plane ride! With a flight like that, maybe I could fly a few states down the east coast to North Carolina.

I think that the differences in size of our two countries tend to influence the ways we think about time; and since time is the module through which we organize our lives, it can be interesting to look at the lifestyle differences between us. For example, I have no problem skating at a rink that’s forty five minutes away from my house because for me, that’s pretty close. In France, a forty-five minute car ride is practically a road trip. For that reason, all of my host family’s activities are within a 20 kilometer radius of their house, making it easy for my working host parents to pick us up from school, drive up to sports practice, and still come back in time for dinner. In the US, a forty-five minute car ride my not be far, but it does take quite a hefty chunk of time, meaning that I’m limited as far as the variety of activities I can participate in and the role my parents, aka my chauffeurs, play in my extracurriculars.

Since my mom doesn’t want to drive all the way home then back again to Boxboro, she stays at the rink, watches me skate, and has build a network of friends who are a part of the same community. That community may not exist if not for the inconvenience of distance. Trippy.

Anyway, next time you’re deciding how much time you consider to be reasonable, remember that every country has their scale of measurement and their own theory of relativity.

Why I Refuse the Refundable Ticket

My choice- Surrender or Victory?

I’ve been in France for a nearly three months now, and I feel comfortable enough to say that I have a relatively decent understanding of the effects France’s most recent tragedies have had on the population. For anybody who has been living in a reclusive wooden cabin in the middle of the forest, there have been numerous, devastating terrorist attacks in the last year that have resulted in high casualties and low self esteem when it comes to security in major cities.

France is not the only country to endure major acts of terrorism recently, but the scale of their two most deadly encounters with extremists, Paris (13 November 2015) and Nice (14 July 2016) have been highlighted in the media as some of the worst in the world. These sorts of attacks are heartbreaking and terrifying, but with time, the community has to return to some sort of normalcy and figure out how to go on with their lives.  

Moving on after tragedy is hard enough on its own, but when the time comes for another highly publicized event, all of the emotions of fear and trauma arise again to torment the minds of every citizen within a 20 mile radius. Terrorism inevitable succeeds in its goal to instil terror simply by attacking and causing grief, but the extent to which it can truly succeed in breaking our society depends on how much control we give that fear. It was not until my host family told me to pay extra for a refundable train ticket to Strasbourg for the annual Christmas Market that I realized just how strong the hold of terrorism is here in France. My host family warned me that they might cancel the Christmas Market, just like they had canceled a festival in Lille last weekend and an air show in Marseille last month.

For some reason, hearing them talk about this broke my heart and filled it with fire; I honestly don’t think I have ever felt as bitter and angry as I did at that moment. I hated it. I hated that the French people were giving in. I hated that they were ready to ignore tradition for the sake of security. I don’t have a very extensive French vocabulary, but I managed to make my feelings quite clear in a three word phrase. “Je deteste ça.” I hissed.

My host family then looked at me very surprised and almost looked offended. I went on to tell them that the entire point of terrorist attacks is to make us live in fear and to make us feel unsafe- like every city is a war zone and every crowd surrounded by hostile soldiers. If we adopt that mentality, then they win. We say that we are engaged in a war on terror but if that’s true, then each time we cancel an event or chose not to go to a concert or a soccer match because of safety concerns, we lose a battle.

We keep surrendering.

I couldn’t seem to get this across to my host family- they didn’t understand why I was so upset. After all, this was meant to protect me. But the thing is, I want to make my own choice whether or not I go to that Christmas market. I want to decide whether I think the war against terror is a cause worth risking my life for.

If I wanted to shelter myself completely from danger in the United States, then maybe I wouldn’t go to school or shopping malls because of all of the mass shootings. I would never go to concerts or walk down Newbury Street or go watch the start of the Boston Marathon. But I choose to do all of those things because I chose to have faith in law enforcement and faith that the more I demonstrate my endurance despite the constant reminders of danger, the more I prove to terrorists that terrorism doesn’t work. Why? Because I chose to ignore it. I will respect the ones who have died in this war and I will be more cautious when I attend high profile events, but I refuse to stop living my life.

I choose to adapt to my new reality, not hide from it, and I trust my fellow citizens and government officials to do the same. I will ignore the flood of emails I receive daily from the State Department reminding me to avoid crowds, areas of worship, concerts, demonstrations, and basically every else that I walk past every day. I live in a world terror that I cannot escape, so I chose to live in spite of fear to prove that we will win this war.

I am alive and I am not afraid; I have already won.

Mandy Signature

Plot Twist! I miss American schools?

I’m currently writing this blog post whilst sitting in the upstairs lounge of a Starbucks in Lille with a hoard of Americans on my left, and a group of french lycée students on my right. Although I’m drinking my typical winter holiday latte, I’m munching on a pain au chocolat that I picked up at the boulangerie down the street. No moment has encompassed the entirety of my French experience better than this Saturday afternoon snack.

There’s a certain art to finding a balance between indulging in comforts from home and daring to immerse yourself completely into another culture. I need my American staples, especially as the holidays come around, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t exchange the free wifi at Starbucks for reading a french book outside a café tomorrow.

In today’s blog post, I want to talk about one of the French things that has challenged my American instincts the most these last 3 months… School.

If your anything like me, then schools in the United States are not exactly your favorite places. Ironically, the longer I spend in the French school system, the more I miss our governmentally corrupted American schools (this may be the only time I praise our school system, so value this moment)

School Day length: This is one thing that the US has really gotten right. Back home, I’m done with school before 2, giving me plenty of time to delegate between sports, homework, and, yes, because I’m a procrastinator, a few episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

Extra Curriculars: Any american student knows that without a hefty extra curricular resumé, top universities seem completely out of reach. On a normal day, I have at least one sport after school, oftentimes two, all the while trying to participate in clubs, peer tutor, and work/volunteer. *sigh* no wonder I need the extra after school time. The french aren’t too big on the extra curriculars, at least not those offered through the school system. If your looking for sports or clubs, they’ll probably be organized by your town.

Teacher/Student Relationships: I don’t know how I would have survived AP classes without my amazing teachers. Building connections with school staff is encouraged in the US, but in France there’s a level of formality that makes it hard to get to know your teachers. That’s not to say that French teachers are all scary and mean, but it definitely takes student initiative to form a relationship, teachers aren’t going to constantly check in.

Grading System: Everything in France is graded on a 20 point scale, and 10 is truly considered average. A 11.5 will get you a proficient marking, while a 16 will be marked “trés bien!” The French love their dates and specific details, so it’s easy to slip up and loose points if you only know the big picture. Not to mention that your note can easily drop from a 19 to a 15 if your handwriting is two messy, you mess up the “méthodologie” or the specific organization of a dissertation (God forbid you use pencil on a DM in maths!)

Classroom method: The French are no nonsense when in comes to classroom behavior. Teachers will call you out for bad grades, announce your notes in front of the whole class, and gladly tell you to “Taisez-vous!” if the volume gets too loud. Most likely teachers will lecture for the majority of the class pausing momentarily while your write down definitions word for word. Although the language barrier and my pitiful spelling habits make diction a little difficult, there’s a beauty to the crisp organization of my history notebook.

There are things that the french have going for them, and I it wouldn’t be fair to not acknowledge that which the french have figured out that we Americans have not.

Recreation breaks every two classes

Longer lunch times

More class specification: Starting in the second year of highschool, (Première) you can choose between a Literature (L), Economic Sciences (ES), and Science (S) specification which basically means the the majority of your classes will be centered around the theme of your area of specification and will determine which version of the BAC (the big end of highschool test) you’ll take at the end of “Terminale”.

At the end of the day, we are all accustomed to the system we grew up with and it can be hard to accept a different manner of education, especially if you’re a university obsessed Junior like me. But it’s those differences that make an exchange so important, right?Mandy Signature

He Is Not My President

Love Always Wins

“Love always…what does love always do, Bren?”

“Love always wins.”

When my mom first told me she was pregnant I was six. I was so excited to have a younger sibling that I punted my Dolly against the wall. Leading up to the due date I excitedly planned what I would teach my new sibling, how I would dress them, what games we would play together, what life lessons I would pass down. When he was born, I wasn’t even the slightest bit disappointed that it was a boy not a girl. The only time I was disappointed with his gender was when I pass by the baby girl clothes section in Target.

Growing up, we have always butted heads. I’m his least favorite sibling and he has never been on my good list. But he is still my best friend. I’m closest to his age. I can empathize with all of his sadness and jealousy when the older kids go off alone. In the middle of arguments we use sign language to tell each other “I love you” just to make sure we both remember.

That’s why last night, before my mom read to him, I laid with him on the bottom bunk of his bunk bed and cuddled with him. We sat there while I explained to him that despite Trump’s recent election, that we can’t let hate dictate us. He voiced the concerns he has for the safety of his Muslim, Black, and Latino classmates. I had to remind him that despite Donald Trump being the President-elect that Trump can’t spread hate unless we let him. I told him that he has to be an advocate for the rights of others if their voices are being silenced. He has to amplify the voices of others every chance he gets. It’s his duty to be loving, to be a kind and welcoming citizen. I had him promise that he won’t let hate define him.

That’s probably the only time I taught him something good. All of my plans of being a fantastic role model disappeared as soon as he could talk. But I knew that if I had to have him remember one thing, it would be this.

After the disheartening election results I couldn’t decide whether crying or throwing up was better. I did neither. The day after, I watched as people tweeted about a racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. encounter they had. Their attackers felt they had the right to discriminate and be hateful because our president was exactly that. Unfortunately Trump’s presidential campaign embodied hate. And every time a new story of disrespectful and unforgivable words or actions it was dismissed because that was Trump, a disrespectful, outspoken man. Last night I watched videos of people protesting his election. My sister sent me a snapchat of people protesting on her commute home in Boston.

I admire the protestors and the strong individuals who will have to face harassment for the next 4 years. I admire the girl at my school who wouldn’t stand for the pledge of allegiance. I respect all of those who are fighting against him.

Trump is the 45th president, that is fact. But the hate he spews can not define the American people. He is not my president, he does not reflect the identity of America. It is our responsibility to love. And in the end, love always wins. I won’t let my brother forget that. He must grow up loving.

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The Double Standard in Pop Culture

Sports Fans = Boyband Fans

There was a period of my life where one of my bedroom walls was completely covered in cutout One Direction photos. Yes, I was that kid who spent an entire weekend cutting up all my One Direction magazines and hanging my 5 posters on my Honolulu Blue wall. 40 Harry Styles saw my naked ass every night for six months.

My family loves to make fun of me for my juvenile obsession.  Constantly reminding me that my existence is unknown to the *four boys I’ve dedicated hours of my life to. Or mocking the tears shed over Zayn Malik quitting the band in 2015. Oh and let’s not forget that they take every chance to mention that One Direction is on an indefinite “break”.

But as my brother taunts me when I swoon over Harry’s magazine cover (#blessed), I remember that time he chased Patrice Bergeron, 1st line forward for the Boston Bruins, down Commonwealth Ave.. He couldn’t stop smiling as he looked over the paparazzi like pictures we took of Bergeron walking.

It’s easy to scorn teenage girls at a concert for screaming so loud and singing at the tops of their lungs, but for every teenage girl at a concert there is an adult male at a football game screaming just as loud. When was the last time a violent riot broke out over a boyband? How about a violent riot for a sports team? I don’t think there has been a violent riot over a teenage heartthrob; however in 2011 a large scale riot broke out in the streets of Vancouver, BC after the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Why is there a double standard? It isn’t fair to shame boybands fans if we aren’t going to ridicule sports fans. Either way, neither should be ridiculed. If something like a concert or sports game can invoke so much positive and passionate emotion in someone it’s completely worthwhile .

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*Rip Zayn

Throwback to that time I flew to Peru just to recreate this photo with my friend……okay so maybe sports fans don’t take their dedication that far.

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I’m just kidding, this photo was an after thought.