Sunday, December 12, 2004

Social Commentary by guest blogger Anna Conkle

This season, why get a Strawberry Shortcake or CareBear for your 6-year-old daughter, when you can teach the values of make-up, fashion, and boys with the new Toy of the Year....The BRATZ!

A Saturday in December was the best place to learn more about this phenomenon. I set out to collect verbatim comments from the crowded Bratz aisle at Target. "Isn't Chloe pretty, mom?" from a toddler holding up a doll with glitter on her legs peaking through a transparent mini- skirt. "Oh, yes, honey!" And a mom's cell phone call home of "I know Sarah said she wanted a Bratz Safari, but which one....oh, she doesn't?...well then, I'm getting Yasmin, she's the hottest." Not once did I hear the expected commentary "What are these trashy sluts doing on our daughter's Christmas lists?"

Now, Wild Life Safari Chloe happens to be wearing a camouflage bra, cargo capris, high-heeled sandals, and an expensive-looking purse. (though she does has a change of clothes consisting of a halter top and mini skirt)
"Tons of Thrilling Accessories" is prominently displayed on the package, which consist of a water bottle, earrings, and some other unidentifiable objects one would probably find in a convenience store bathroom, the only other venue such "thrilling accessories" can be found.
I worried about Chloe's survival in the Wild Life until I discovered that the adventure involved "hitting the clubs and cafes"...and that Wild Life is two separate words...

And then we have the "Blind Date" edition, the two-doll combo pack with the Bratz Boy hidden behind the packaging. Who will be Sasha's date? It could be Cade, Dylan, Eitan, Cameron, or Koby. Let's hope it's Koby, affectionately called the "Panther" by the Bratz because he's "always on the prowl."

We wonder we junior high girls dress and act the way they friends, the answer can be found on aisle 17 at Target.

To learn more about the Bratz, please visit, where you will also find the Celebrity Photo Gallery where Paris Hilton, Usher, and Tom DeLonge of Blink 182 "pose" with Bratz dolls.

And for those of you still shopping for my Christmas present this year...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Danger... Heavy Load.

It's after 1 AM on Thursday night/Friday morning. Less than 100 hours away stands what will hopefully be a very long and relaxing Christmas break. But what stands between me and the yuletide heaven towards which I strive? My 10 pages of 30-40 page paper and an exam regarding the inner workings of a finance director's duties.

Ahh, welcome to graduate school. THIS is orientation. Yeah, I had some of those things they call orientation when I first got here. I stood in a big circle with all of the HPER kids who don't know each other, and we stood shoulder to shoulder, turned to the right and sat on each other's laps. But knowing that the person behind and in front of me isn't going to fall and I'm going to magically find a place to rest momentarily when no chair exists didn't really do a whole heckuva lot to indoctrinate me into the wonderful world of post-graduate study.

NOW I'm learning. I have already had a hand in 48 pages of research and analysis that has been turned in to graduate professors this week. Yes, THIS week. I personally wrote a little over 20 pages of those. Like I said, before this week is over, I will be able to add at least an additional 10 pages to that tally. And let's not forget the finance exam Monday morning.

You see friends, I spent my first four weeks here at lovely IU thinking that grad school was just like undergrad. Specifically, that I could go to class, plug out the homework in a relatively short period of time, and then spend a few hours reading or micro-managing a soccer team on my computer. Not so anymore. In fact, my books are gathering dust and my "players" have probably given me up for dead.

But like the old cliche goes, "if it were easy, everyone would do it." And through this whole process, I feel as though this will be a crowning accomplishment for me when I get through it (or should I say "if"). And I still feel pretty good about the path I have chosen as a career. Although I have no idea where in the country it will lead me, there's something inherently exciting about that.

My point is this, sports fans: some of you out there are thinking about graduate school, like I was a year ago. And to you I say only this: don't do it on a whim. Thankfully I took a long, hard look before I made the decision to do more schooling so I don't regret making the decision, but that doesn't mean it's been easy. This has certainly been the most trying few weeks I've experienced in school and I'm not out of the woods (for 3 weeks) until next Monday. Certainly, all the work gets done, but make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into.

Anyhoo, enough preaching, I've got 10 more pages to write.

Quick decisions are unsafe decisions.