Monthly Archives: November 2011

It’s beginning to look a lot like…OH she stole my waffle iron!

Just like I promised, the events that took place on Black Friday did anything, but disappoint. From two fist fights, to a screaming match, to a little old man pinned to a pile of waffle irons, to an arrest outside of Target, to sleeping outside of Belk the Cantrell Black Friday had it all.

The fateful night began at 9 pm as Madre Cantrell and I arrived at Super Wal-Mart to await the 10 o’clock season opening.  I took my position near the waffle iron/mini chopper pile, while mother took hers near the Tupperware section.  The great thing about Black Friday in our family is that we never NEED the items we are looking to buy, but I mean really who can pass up a $2.84 waffle iron?! 

Digression-Since my family has chosen to forego gift giving and instead take a surprise trip for the past few years, Christmas gifts have not been given in my family for quite sometime. This year is a bit different because instead of a surprise trip the family is travelling in the Spring to visit me in Liechtenstein for Easter Break.  Since this is the case, this year there will be gifts; however, one per person doesn’t exactly justify Black Friday shopping so we decided to adopt a woman from the Center for Nonviolence and focus our Black Friday mission on her.

Return to story -With mother in her position and I in mine, as the clock slowly approached 10 the store became more and more crowded.  I had helped divulge a plan with the women around me, and when the madness began they would get the items and pass them back to me where I would throw them into the buggy to be distributed later.  At about 5 till…the world (or so those around the pile of waffle irons thought) came to a standstill.  A woman slowly pushed her buggy down a nearby aisle with the sale Tupperware in tow, a loud thud soon followed, which apparently signaled to everyone that it was time to go! Before I knew it there was a furry of fists and women were leaping every which way.  The little old man who I had befriended wound up pinned to the pile of waffle irons, and was laughing hysterically at his misfortune.  Well of course this made me begin to laugh, and as mother approached with Tupperware in tow she began to laugh as well.  Let me just tell you when my mom begins to laugh it doesn’t stop until oh about 30 minutes later!  So the little old man was laughing, I was laughing, mother was laughing and Black Friday fury was raging all around us.

Word to the wise-the only way one can truly enjoy Black Friday is if you can laugh at the mayhem that surrounds you. 

Two fist fights and one screaming match later (both were observed, I did not participate), and one long Wal-Mart story short, my mother and I emerged victorious with one $2.84 waffle iron one $2.84 mini chopper, Tupperware, and 4 $1.96 DVDs.

After departing Wal-Mart we quickly relocated to Target, and boy was this a mistake.  I had thought we had experienced madness in Wal-Mart well let me just tell you Wal-Mart mayhem didn’t hold a candle to Target mayhem.  The line wrapped around the ENTIRE building, and while mother and I are no stranger to lines, this line was just a bit extreme for us.  We decided to wait in the car, after all at midnight who/what was going to stop everyone from just crowding the doors and entering?  We camped out in the car for an hour or two, and around 11:50 we headed to await the midnight rush to the doors.  Well there was in fact something to stop people from rushing the doors, and that something just happened to be 5 rather large security guards that were adequately educating the crowd that if they tried to rush the doors, they would in fact stop them, and that we could only enter after the entire line had.  Seeing as most of the people had been waiting since 4:00 that afternoon his announcement seemed reasonable so most of the crowd complied and decided to patiently wait our turn.  Key word MOST. There were a few lone rangers that decided to take matters into their own hands and force their way through security and through the line. Security did in fact stop them, the doors were shut, and the cops were called.  Yes, the cops were called to stop people from pushing in line…ARE WE IN KINDERGARTEN AGAIN???  Again, long story short, people were arrested, Target was too much to handle and mother and I left before even entering the store. There is just no sense in that amount of hostility!

After evacuating Target, mother and I headed to await the Belk store opening where the first 200 people would receive free store gift cards valued from $5-$1000.  I actually won $100 last year…this year I won $5, but hey five dollars is five dollars right?!  We were about…fifth in line with two hours ago, so I put to use a skill I have acquired at Millsaps in order to pass the time: falling asleep anywhere at anytime.  Yes, I curled up and went to sleep on the cold hard concrete outside of Belk at 1 o’clock in the morning, I considered social suicide for a moment, but on Black Friday all judgements and potential embarrassment are thrown out the window.

I’ll save you the long boring details of the next few events, and skip to the part that after nearly eleven hours of shopping we returned home around 7am for a quick power nap.  Around 1 o’clock Mama was ready to go again, and we departed for round two at the Outlet Mall in nearby Gulfport.  Nothing too eventful happened this time around, except for the purchase of a $210 blazer for….$6.61.  Yes. I AM that serious when it comes to shopping, come to Millsaps  and I may teach you my ways.

While the day was indeed eventful, I was a bit disappointed at the media headlines that summarized the events. I completely understand, and even take thrill in midnight shopping and getting that “life changing deal”, but violence, rudeness, and simple inhumane actions are NEVER called for.  I will now step off my soapbox…

Enjoy the official beginning of the Holiday Season, and while out shopping for those must have presents remember it isn’t officially a deal unless it is 75% off!

*Here is my standard “come to Millsaps it is the best college around” plug*

 

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The holiday of all holidays

As Thanksgiving break draws near the student body at Millsaps becomes more and more scarce.  Students who live farther away skip out at the beginning of the week, while the rest of us that stay behind are swamped with papers, tests, assignments, and the dreaded group projects.  Don’t let this scare you interested high school students!  While we do have out fair share of assignments I can assure you every student well…most students …will say it makes them better off in the long run.

Along with a mountain of pre-Thanksgiving work we also enter the holiday with the mountain of work during finals week that awaits our return.  The main thing that keeps our focus, and motivates students to continue working hard is the fact that unlike high school where teachers aren’t afraid to assign papers/work over the Christmas holidays, in college once Christmas break begins we are absolutely done! Those particular classes are over, and unless you’re “lucky” enough to be applying to grad schools or working on senior research papers nothing follows you to that month-long holiday!

With three  research papers, an exam, and a presentation, the main thing that is driving me this week is….BLACK FRIDAY! I have come to realize that I can not fully appreciate something if I have unfinished schoolwork looming over my head, and since Black Friday is probably my favorite holiday of the year, let me assure you I am kicking butt on some homework! 

My mother and I depart the house a little before midnight every year  on that fateful Friday, and head to the dark sleepy world outside.  We usually end up at Walmart around 4 am where the shopping turns even more of a madhouse.  If you haven’t witnessed Walmart on Black Friday you are pretty much missing the modern-day depiction of Gladiator except instead of gladiators it is middle-aged women with finger nails as sharp as swords clawing their way to that $10 crock pot!

After the excitement at Walmart we head to the mall where some stores open at 6 am, our favorite Black Friday store, Belk, is one of these early opening stores.  Belk is our favorite because the first 200 that walk through the doors not only get the first pick of the Early Bird specials, but also get handed a store gift card worth a mysterious amount of money.  Let me just say I happen to be quite the lucky person and two years ago got a gift card worth $100!  Mama got $5…

I won’t give too much of the Black Friday festivities away, after all I do need something to blog about next week!  It is always an eventful morning and I will undoubtedly have a number of stories to share like the time it was too cold to wait outside for the doors to open so we pulled the car up as close as possible to mark our spot in line (first), and slept in the warm cozy car.

On the road again…

The Millsaps cheerleaders embarked on yet another memorable road trip this past weekend.  The squad traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to take on the Birmingham Southern Panthers in the final game of the season.  We were scheduled to leave at 3:30 Friday afternoon, but….that didn’t exactly happen.  Around 5 o’clock we were finally on the road, and so the trip began!

Future Millsaps cheerleaders joined us for the final cheer!

I decided I would maximize the three plus hours in the van and type a five-page paper that I had been procrastinating for well…3 months. The trip there was significantly less eventful than the previously blogged about trip, but that doesn’t mean that it was entirely uneventful.  We arrived in Birmingham around 8:30 and headed straight to Flip Burger, the restaurant where we were planning on eating.  Our lovely Coach Jen had called ahead; however, she CONVENIENTLY forgot to ask how dressy the restaurant was!  So there we are in our white unmarked sketchy van, parked next to a Mercedes convertible in our Nike shorts and sweatshirts ready for a table for 10 at a nearly fine dining place. AWKWARD!

Missing you Sara Del, Cat, Lindsey, and Morgan 😦

About 5 minutes later, they conveniently overbooked with another party of 10, and we were left without a place to eat.  There were a few neighboring restaurants; however, of course on a Friday night a party of 10 had NO chance.  California Pizza Kitchen was kind enough to accept us so crisis averted, and the rest of the night went well.

The next morning as the other lazy college students slept an extra three hours, my mother (who came in to watch the game) and I embarked on our favorite pastime: SHOPPING!  We did a speed race around the stores, and emerged victorious with some great sale items.

Kickoff was at 1 so I met them at the game where we prepared to cheer on the Millsaps Majors for the last game of the season. While the outcome of the game wasn’t preferred we had a great time cheering in the foothills of the Appalachians and enjoying the Homecoming festivities of the home team.

Following the game, we set out for Superior Grill; a Mexican restaurant that came highly recommended and did not disappoint! While travelling to the restaurant, we did in fact take a wrong turn and ended up taking a “scenic” tour of residential Birmingham (more specifically Vestavia Hills). I guess it wouldn’t be a cheerleading road trip without a U-Turn in a random city!

The Mexican feast was delicious and around 6 we set out to return to good ole Mother Millsaps! The ride home involved candy, deleriousness, candy, and more candy.  Unfortunately the return trip did not include earmite drops in the eyes so I have no riveting story to tell you all.  Moment of silence for lack of humor….

Now to continue the story: All in all the trip was a great success! The Millsaps cheerleaders know how to make a trip worthwhile, and it was a great end to a perfect Football season!

Why Millsaps?

Working in the Admissions department, every day I am faced with the task of portraying the face of a Millsaps student and encouraging others that they too can envision themselves here.  From day one (well actually a bit before then seeing as my older brother was here for 3 years prior to my freshmen year) I fell in love with the school, campus, and community and knew I wanted to share this love with prospective students.  I can tell you that Millsaps is the PERFECT college for me and that I could not have seen myself anywhere else, but until just the other day I was never put on the spot and asked so summarize in ONE SENTENCE why.

A parent on one of my campus tours could tell through my incessant talking that I had an abundant pride for Millsaps; however, he wanted a quick summary of WHY.  Why was I so in love with Millsaps? Why did I see myself at no other college? And why of all the colleges in the nation should his daughter choose Millsaps?

I can honestly say at that particular moment I had no idea.  I mean who was I, a young college undergraduate, to tell an adult that his daughter should make a life shaping decision because it had been the best for me?!  I paused for  a moment in an effort to collect my thoughts, but I still was unable to provide a mere sentence that captures everything that Millsaps means to me and the role that it has had in my life. This is when I realized that I was having such a difficult time with this question, because there really is no single way to summarize Millsaps in one sentence.  You can not capture something that has helped build the person that you have become in a single sentence, because it simply would be inaccurate. (as my Econometrics class has taught me I would undoubtedly suffer from specification error)

I have always been told that when I don’t know the answer to a question to simply admit “I don’t know”; however, this particular question I definitely knew the answer I just also knew that it would take me a good long time to (in my opinion) adequately answer.  My solution: state the disclaimer that the question is rather difficult to answer in such a short amount of time and then proceed to ramble on until the parent and , more importantly his daughter, could vividly see my passion and love for the school.

Even this blog is too short to adequately describe why I chose Millsaps, and how the college has influenced my life, but I will do my best to give you some of the main highlights.  (Considering I have a minimum of once a week to blog, I will continue to update the highlights as the weeks progress.)

The first reason that I gave as to why this man’s daughter should choose Millsaps is that they actually CARE.  The teachers, faculty, staff, fellow students, and administration CARE that you get the most out of your four years here.  The professors at Millsaps actually CARE that you understand the material they are teaching, and that beyond that you are able to foster your academic passion however you like.  Professors offer research opportunities, help locate internships, offer additional one on one study time, hey my Economics professor even takes us out to lunch once a semester! At what other school are you sitting around a table eating burgers while discussing what the opposite of the Law of Diminishing Returns is?! The administration at Millsaps from President Pearigen to the records office all CARE that Millsaps students are treated with the utmost respect and that you are given opportunities to excel.  There has not been a time when I have passed President Pearigen and he has not stopped to say hello, asked how my family is, or congratulated me on whatever my most recent accomplishment has been.  This small fact is something that I have taken for granted until I recently stopped and thought, at what other college does the PRESIDENT not only know his students by name, but will go out of his way to talk to you no matter who you are? At what other school does the Dean of Students (Dean Katz) call each and every student by the title “Leader”.  Any given day Dean Katz will enter a room with the greeting “Hello Leader Stevie, Leader Jennifer, Leader whoever else is in the room”, and the truth is.. he is right! We are all leaders at Millsaps, because that is what the college fosters in its undergraduates.  The college community CARES so much about your success and development that they will do everything in their power to help you become the best leader (in whatever field) that you can be.

Ok for the pessimist who is thinking right now of another college where they care just as much about their students ,here is another reason.  The academic programs and learning here is no joke!  The saying often goes that Millsaps is the Harvard of the South.  Newsflash…this is wrong! Harvard is fortunate enough to be the Millsaps of the North.  Every undergraduate is expected to not only complete their requirements, but to excel in their field and to display this knowledge senior year in a comprehensive exam.  “Comps” as they are called are not simply another tests, comps are the “yes or no” to graduation test…kind of a big deal!  Millsaps aims to develop the most well-rounded well prepared individual for the world after college, so it is only fitting that in order to be honored with a Millsaps diploma one must demonstrate adequate knowledge.  The percentage of Millsaps students that are employed or enrolled in grad school one year after graduation is astounding, and the acceptance rate into medical school is as well!  I am currently studying my butt off for a Microeconomics test; however, because of my brother’s success I know it will all be worth it!  A Millsaps degree is not just a slip of paper.  A Millsaps degree, no matter what the field, carries an added value due to the excellent caliber of every department on campus.

Millsaps Alum, Tate Reeves, recently elected Lt. Governor found his way to serve the community and the state through public service.

As if academic rigor and personal attention were not enough, Millsaps doesn’t stop there.  I tell my tours that there is not a day that goes by that I don’t have an email asking for help or offering me the opportunity to get involved in some sort of community service.  Millsaps truly understands that not all learning happens within classroom walls, and that there are valuable lessons to be taught in the outside world through service.  Whether it is the Faith and Work Initiative that offers specific  courses geared towards service and calling, or the Wellspring community service program for Freshmen, Millsaps arms its students with service in every aspect.  The business students help children operate lemonade stands and discuss marketing and profits.  The English majors help out in the local elementary school’s library. The language students offer tutoring to foreigners in the Jackson area.  EVERY Millsaps student serves the community in some way or fashion!

Yet again I have run out of time to adequately tell you why I chose Millsaps and why you should.  You will have to be satisfied for now, and read later for more reasons why I found my home away from home at Millsaps!

It’s like coming home…

 

This past weekend was not only the weekend that a number of alumni, family, and friends made the trek to Millsaps, but more importantly the weekend that college students get to dress up and act like foolish little children…HALLOWEEN weekend!

Before I explain the epic Halloween events, I will first depict the fabulous Homecoming festivities that took place.  Early in the week, the Board of Trustees paid their semiannual visit to the College, and beginning on Friday a multitude of alumni events began. 

Three generations of Millsapians return to campus for Homecoming festivities!

Greek reunions, courses of study reunions, class reunions, and merely friends reunions took place flooding the Millsaps campus with alumni both young and old. 

One of the Greek life tents serving homemade egg rolls for Tasting at the Tents

On Saturday student organizations gathered in the Plaza to compete in the second annual Tasting at the Tents competition.  The event included dishes from SBA chili, to CMT apples and peanut butter, to KD grilled oysters, to PIKE soufle!  Along with a pep rally and introduction of the Homecomingcourt, the pre game festivities were  a success and at 1:00 game time began. 

Once the official Homecoming festivities ended, the “un”official Halloween festivities began.  I found myself explaining the meaning of Halloween as a

The possessed doctors in one of the Haunted House rooms. Scary indeed!

college student to my dad, and the best explanation I could come up with was that it is a holiday that allows students to live vicariously through a costume and act a fool!  What could be better than that?! 

Saturday night was the night of the Halloween festivities; and last night (actual Halloween) was reserved for the on campus Haunted House.  This second annual event is hosted by one of the fraternities, and each of the rooms of the house becomes a “theme” by other organizations and students pay $3 to have the living daylights scared out of them by their peers. 

I am NOT one for scary things AT ALL.  I mean literally, I have given someone a black eye while watching a scary movie before…NO joke.  So for some unknown reason, I wound up paying my $3 and entering the scariest haunted house ever!  That rule about not grabbing people in haunted houses? Yea, we don’t follow that one!  So…I travelled through the house literally leaping from wall to wall after being chased, grabbed, and scared to the point that my abs were sore from screaming.  Obviously the night was a success!