Carpe Diem

Halloween is now over. Kids now have a hefty stock of sweets, and the costumes have been donated or thrown away because honestly who reuses costumes? Now it’s time to celebrate the next holiday coming up; Christmas! Grab the trees and tinsel! Santa Claus is coming to town. Lights up at every house, and the Christmas commercials are playing nonstop.

I’m gonna stop you right there.

Unknown to most people, there’s actually another holiday between our creepy day of the dead and the day of snow and presents. It’s a little thing called ‘Thanksgiving’ and believe it or not, it’s really quite important. Sure, you don’t give eachother gifts or dress up and get candy from strangers, but it is just as if not more critical to history.

If someone is to really understand the importance of Thanksgiving we would have to start at the beginning. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year, and it was proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day in 1863 during the Civil War by Abraham Lincoln. However, what began all of this turkey eating and family get together? September of 1620, a small ship named the ‘Mayflower’ sailed from England to what they called ‘A New World’, better known as Massachusetts. It took sixty-six days but at long last, they landed with about one hundred and two people onboard.

They were met with a brutal winter. With that winter came diseases they couldn’t fight such as scurvy and famine, as they couldn’t grow anything during this time. Only half of the original crew survived to see their first spring in this new land. Many more would have died as well if it hadn’t been for the help from the Native Americans who had been living there first. In March, the remaining settlers moved to the shore and were met by a Native American from the Abenaki tribe who spoke English. The Native American told them to stay there so he could get them some help. He then returned a few days later with another Native American named Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe. He had been kidnapped and sold into slavery before he ran away to London and returned to his homeland. There, he had become fluent in English and taught his fellow Native Americans it as well.

This man was bought by a white man and forced to do slave work, yet he looks at the dying pilgrims and doesn’t let them just kick the bucket one by one. Personally, I would have said ‘Your mistake for coming over here, bye!’, but not Squanto. He helps to teach them to grow corn and catch fish in the rivers around them, what plants to eat, and which ones were poisonous to them. On top of that, he personally assisted in forging an alliance with the Wampanoag tribe that lasted for fifty years. It’s one of the few examples of peace between Europeans Colonists and the Native Americans.

The pilgrims’ first corn crop was a success, and the current governor, William Bradford, arranged a giant feast to thank the Native Americans for their help and to celebrate their alliance. The funny part is, that during the three-day feast they held, turkey may not have even been on the menu. Although there’s no solid list of what foods were eaten that day, deer was brought by the Native Americans according to one of the pilgrim’s journals, along with swans, lobsters, and other assorted birds, eels might have also been feasted on. The pumpkin pie that this holiday has been associated with for many years has absolutely no connections with the ‘First Thanksgiving’. In fact, no desserts were there at all!

Even with the multiple ways we have changed these traditions, the baseline of what this holiday means remains. It’s about the fact that even back in the 1600s, we worked together to try and make the world a better place. As cheesy as it is, it’s true. Without the help of the Native Americans, everyone on that ship would most likely be dead and history would be very different. That’s what they were thankful for, and we should still be thankful for it as well. Christmas is about giving loved ones gifts, but Thanksgiving is about reminding yourself that we’re all in this together. Squanto saw this centuries ago, and it’s something that still applies to this day. Sometimes we have to put aside all the differences we have because underneath it all, we’re all human.

 

By: Ellie Cartier

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Stress

By: Maya Schenne

What is stress? Stress is defined as “a state of mental or emotional strain/tension resulting from very demanding circumstances.” Many people experience stress weekly, or sometimes, daily. There are three different types of stress: chronic stress, acute stress, and episodic acute stress. They have varied symptoms and treatments.

Acute stress is the most common type of stress. It is usually caused by trauma, both emotional and physical. Getting in trouble at school would be an example. Some symptoms are headaches, chest pain, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, dizziness, fast heartbeat, etc. If you have acute stress, try going for a walk, taking a bubble bath, or even reading a book. Take some time to de-stress. You can use essential oils, such as lavender and chamomile, to help relax.

Episodic acute stress is when you have acute stress for a long period of time. Common symptoms include tension headaches, chest pain, heart disease, hypertension, and migraines. Episodic acute stress is long-term acute stress. You just need to unwind and use any of the treatments for acute stress, but you may need to use these treatments more often.

Chronic stress is the worst kind of stress. Chronic stress is dangerous because it can cause depression, heart attacks, strokes, and even suicide. Many people with chronic stress don’t even know it’s there. They just forget about it and give up. Treatment includes calming down before bed by listening to soothing music, meditating, taking a relaxing bath, or reading a book. Try not to eat a heavy meal or do intense exercise before bed. You can also try to find the source of the stress and modify it.

There are also positive types of stress that encourage creativity and productivity. An example of this would be if you have a deadline for a project, paper, etc. and it encourages you to finish in time. Another example of a positive stress would be studying hard for a test and getting a good grade on it. It’s stressful, but the benefits are worth more than the stress it creates.

I asked Jennifer Schenne, a doctor at YRMC Physician Care Clinic, the following questions about stress:

Maya: How would you define stress?

Dr. Schenne: An event that can cause an emotional or physical response, whether it be positive or negative.

M: How would you recommend dealing with stress?

DS: I usually recommend an activity that can relieve the stress, either physical (such as swimming, walking, yoga, etc.) or any activity that is calming (such as meditation, breathing exercises, reading, painting, or any enjoyable activity).

M: How does stress affect your life?

DS: Small amounts of stress can be beneficial in creating positive outcomes, whereas cumulative stress causes illness, disease, and mental strife.

M: What are some common causes of stress?

DS: Work, family situations, finances, politics, injuries or acute trauma, change (such as moving, death, marriage, children, etc.)

M: Why is dealing with stress important?

DS: If you leave the stress unattended, it will cause emotional harm, and potentially physical, and it continues to build upon itself, so you need a way to deal with and manage it.

Here are some quotes about stress that may cause you to stop and think:

“It’s not stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it.”

-Hans Selye.

How you react to stressful situations, determines its outcome. If you react positively, the outcome will be much different than being negative.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

-William James

If you choose to relax instead of becoming tense, you can defeat stress and change the outcome of a situation.

“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.”

-Eckhart Tolle

The only time you have is now, live in the present. Don’t focus on where you could be, focus on where you are right now.

What do you think? What causes stress in your life? And how are you going to manage it? Are you going to think about it in a positive way? Learn from these examples and don’t worry about the past or future, just focus on the present with a positive attitude. When stress levels are high, take moment, breath, and focus on an activity that makes you happy. Carpe Diem. Seize the day.

Apologies

By Isabel Ehrlich

I must garner my sincere apologies to the writers and readers of Denobis. Due to many things both within and outside of the control of the editors we have a backlog of Halloween articles which shall be posted over the next couple of weeks. While it may no longer be the season they are well written and engaging articles.  In the future, we shall endeavor to get all the articles we can, posted within 2 weeks of submission.

To increase the speed of publishing there are some things our writers can do; check word count, run your article through Grammarly and/or Hemmingway Editor, and do the suggested edits. It saddens us to have to forgo publishing articles because they are too short.

Best wishes for this holiday season and hope you will bear with us while we straighten out the editing situation.

What is cosplay?

By Allison Miller

Most people upon hearing the word ‘cosplay’ will either not have the faintest clue of what it means, or will have it associated with something derogatory. They might think of the “weird” people who go to Comic-Con dressed up as an anime girl with a revealing outfit or as a character from a video game with a ridiculous amount of armor. However, the latter are generalizing a whole group of people into a very small stereotypical part of a whole. Although there are people who will dress as the more complex characters, there is a whole other side of this large community. Because this is the view most people have of people who cosplay, many of these cosplayers will hide one of their favorite hobbies from their friends for fear of judgment. However, if we can bring a realization to more people that cosplay is more than just “dressing up”, maybe we could all be more open about the things we’re enjoying outside of the lives other people know.

The term ‘cosplay’ comes from two words: costume and role-play. What cosplay actually is is the activity of making or buying costumes in order to dress up as a character, whether that character is from a movie, book series, TV show, anime, manga, video game, or even a podcast. ‘Cosplayers”- people who actually wear these costumes- generally take pictures or videos of themselves in their cosplays, posing in regard to how they believe their character would act in the situation they are taking a shot of (which is where the role-play part of the word comes into use). But why would anyone just take photos of themselves dressed as someone else? Most cosplayers have linked themselves to online groups where they can share their photos and get feedback from other people who have more experience than them in making a costume of the same character. Another reason would be that there are cosplayers who have become so advanced they are actually paid to model in photo shoots. As well as still pictures, many cosplayers have gotten their videos monetized on YouTube, and many have even made a living off of it!

As a newer cosplayer, it seems hard to make costumes that you’re happy with, especially with the constant fear of judgment from a person who doesn’t fully understand what you’re trying to do. For many people, the appeal of cosplay is getting to join new communities of others your age with similar interests as yourself. For others, it’s about getting to be a different person than you normally are- someone you wish you could be- since most of us don’t seem to have the same amazing powers as some of these characters. Other cosplayers may be making their costumes to sell to others who want to become a part of this growing body of people. Some people may only be making their costumes for sewing practice or to wear on Halloween. The point is, though, that no matter what the motivation behind these cosplays is, no one should be judging others for practicing a hobby that makes them happy.

Cosplay can help build a person’s confidence. Having to do something embarrassing in front of a crowd, or even just worrying about messing up something that shouldn’t be embarrassing, like a speech, is extremely hard for shy and anxious people. However, if that person is able to wear a costume, wig, and makeup, the person speaking is no longer them, especially to the people who don’t know them without cosplay on. Cosplay can drastically change how a person looks, and that can boost confidence much more than a pep talk from parents. When a person begins to feel comfortable in different cosplays, and they learn how to act confident as someone else, this usually bleeds into their ordinary life. Their friends can see a change in them, like they have slowly grown into someone else in an amazing way.

Because cosplay is largely misunderstood, many people have had to conceal something that makes them happy, for fear of being made fun of or judged. However, if those individuals who think one thing about this vast circle of people can think more about this group’s hobby and what it means to those people, maybe more of the world will be happy, confident, and excited to tell others about what they really want to.

An American Mind

By Ellie Cartier

“Bonjour!” Rose said as she sat down across the diner table. Amy looked up from her coffee and smiled at her friend. She noticed there were dark circles under her eyes due to lack of sleep. But Rose’s smile showed that the minimum sleep she had during her trip wasn’t bothering her at all. “How ‘re zings in America?” Rose asked, her French accent thick in her English tongue.

Amy placed her mug on the cool metal table. “Oh yanno,” she shrugged. “Same old, same old. How’s France? Nice of you to visit me during your trip.” Around her, voices from other conversations in the diner carried through the air. The smells of hot, fresh food were strong and it made both girls even hungrier.

“I rarely get ze chance to come to Arizona, and it iz an even rarer chance to see you.” Rose gave a quirky smile. “But really, how ‘re zings going? You ‘ave a new president I hear?”

“Yeah, Trump or whatever his name is. He’s pretty cool I guess…”

“What ‘as he done in ‘is first months of presidency?”

Amy tried to think of anything she had read or seen in the news lately. All that came up was the latest ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians.’ episode and the news of Chris Pratt and his wife’s marriage troubles. “I mean, he’s done…stuff.” She said, trying to think of something to change the subject with.

Rose laughed and shook her head. “You know, ma amie, I ‘ave asked many of my friends ze same question I just asked you and yet no one ‘as given me an answer.”

“Yeah, well there’s a lot of stuff that happens here in America. You can’t expect us to remember everything, now can you?” Amy shot back, slightly embarrassed she couldn’t name anything at the moment. There was laughter heard from a group in the back.  The waitress came by with her coffee pot, asking for refills. Even though her mug wasn’t even half empty, Amy was grateful for the distraction and called the waitress over.

After she had poured them both a mug, she took their orders. “Such a shame about hurricanes going on right now.” The waitress, whose name tag read ‘Elizabeth’ said while she finished jotting down their orders. “I hope everyone can get out safely. It’s nice we don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff, I couldn’t even begin to imagine.” And with that, she closed her notebook and strutted off.

Rose peeked at Amy from the top of her coffee mug. “Hurricanes? Where ‘re those happening again?” She asked, placing her chin on her hands after setting her cup down.

“Uh,” Amy had just seen this on the news. Where were they happening? “Texas and Florida, I believe. Horrible really, but let’s talk about France.” She challenged. “Anything new?”

“Our new president just spent thirty grand on makeup in the pass… how do you ‘ay it? Un…deux…oh! Three months.” Rose said, shrugging. “Nothing new, our presidents ‘ave always ‘ad a zing for make up.” There was silence for a moment. “You watching that one show, what iz it? TMZ?”

Suddenly, Amy was filled with stories of who was with who, what this one person said about some other celebrity, and what was hot on the top 50 list in pop music. Because just like Amy, many Americans have no idea what’s actually going on in the world today. Unless it was on the cover of some gossip magazine or in TMZ, half of the world doesn’t know more than maybe one fact about it.

We often allow petty things like celebrity divorce hold more importance to us than the lives that are at stake in the hurricanes, or we don’t bother ourselves with knowing exact details of politics because Trump’s fake tan was more amusing than the actual plans he has for the U.S. So now, no one truly knows what they’re voting for these days. If we worked harder to actually understand the things going on around us, it would be easier for people to not only agree with but work alongside of each other. We would be more knowledgeable about other cultures and opinions people hold.