Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Denim Off-the-Shoulder Top






I've been searching for the perfect summery off-the-shoulder blouse and found this chambray beauty from Zara. I love chambray clothing and the light wash makes it easy to wear during warmer weather. Instead of reaching for my favorite pair of J.Crew jeans, I styled the top with these flowy cotton shorts from Mahina. I dressed up the outfit with classic nude flats and my favorite black purse.

Monday, May 30, 2016

A Full Summer Day





On what seems to be the first full day of my summer, I was reunited with my two favorite people- Kaiʻolu and Brandon. Although we're three different people personality wise, we always have a great time together. Today we ventured out toward Kahala and Hawaii Kai with a few stops in between. Brandon and I picked up some fresh fruit from Whole Foods (we ate most of the free samples and flipped at every price tag we saw) before carpooling with Kaiʻolu to Hawaii Kai. The agenda for the day was a trip to the driving range and heading to any beach we wanted. Before going "golfing", we bought Teddy's to go and almost died of laughter at the driving range. When Makapuʻu was too rainy for swimming, we headed to Kahala Beach and finished the day eating our fruits at Diamond Head. Here's to many more days like this with the best people and without Whole Food's disgusting soda!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

My Updated Skincare Routine


If there's one beauty tip I've learned throughout the years, it's that taking care of my skin is of highest importance. The wrong cleanser or toner could be the defining key between you and the skin of your dreams! Likewise, certain products can lead to more facial concerns. I've struggled with redness, acne, and dark spots from a young age, so I like to think that thorough skin treatments are my forte. I start off my nighttime routine by removing my makeup with the Bliss Fabulous Makeup Melt Gel-to-Oil Cleanser, which dissolves even the most stubborn mascara. I love this makeup remover because it feels emollient on my skin and doesn't tug at my eyes. While I only use the makeup melt during night time, I use every other product day and night. The next step in my routine is cleaning my face with the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser. I received a sample of this face wash a few years back and have been using it everyday since. It doesn't strip my skin or make it feel tight- rather it cleanses in a gentle way. To exfoliate after cleansing, I apply a few shakes of the Pixi Glow Tonic all over my face and neck. Most people think of exfoliating as rubber beads or gritty cleansers, but a chemical exfoliant is actually more effective. I like this one by Pixi because it's cleared up my skin well without making my face overly sensitive or red. The Body Shop Vitamin C Energizing Face Spritz might seem like an unnecessary step in my routine, but it serves many vital purposes! I love the spray to prep my skin, quench its thirst after chemical exfoliating and to refresh my makeup. I've been a cult follower of the Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix for at least four years and it hasn't let me down yet. I discovered the product while blog surfing and it truly is the most gentle product to combat stubborn acne. I still struggle with spots, but I know that the fast fix will be a staple in my beauty bag for years to come. The product I'm most fickle with in my routine is moisturizer, but the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel has found a secure spot in my regime. The moisturizer is lightweight and never leaves me feeling greasy, which is rare for a gel cream. I love how refreshing it feels on my skin while creating the perfect base for makeup. Last up in my routine is lip care and I've been using the EOS Pomegranate Raspberry Smooth Stick Lip Balm for a month or so. I never liked the EOS round lip balms, but the new stick formulation feels a lot more nourishing on my lips!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

5 Things

1. Celebrating our one year graduation anniversary


2. Brunch with my sister (sad side note: this restaurant aka her favorite breakfast place closed forever)


3. The cutest summer dress from Zara


4. We waited 45 minutes for a table but the food was worth it


5. Eating chocolate haupia pie out of the pan because of sadness

Friday, May 27, 2016

My Hero, The Coach




When I was a little girl, I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. My notebooks were filled with clothing sketches, accessory ideas and biographies of my favorite designers. Coco Chanel was my hero. Her classic style and talent in creating the perfect suit inspired me. As Coco's legacy drew me in, I deliberately labeled myself as a 'girly girl' while becoming distant toward any and all forms of boy-ish activities. I hated sports and the idea of participating in P.E. class gave me nausea. My classmates knew me as nothing more than a girl who liked clothes and I aspired to earn the 'best dressed' or 'best hair' superlatives over anything else. Football was never a part of my life up until 2012.

While most sports fans grew up watching games and cheering on their favorite teams, I was sat in my room creating images of women wearing beautiful clothes while asking my family to stop cheering so loud during a game. The only athletes I knew were Peyton Manning and Joe Montana and although they're both great men, my interests always laid away from the television screen (unless of course, Project Runway was playing). After visiting Baylor in 2012, I discovered how exciting and inspiring football actually is. Whereas I used to dodge Super Bowl ads and my sister's plea to let her show me why she loves Peyton Manning so much, watching a team with so much heart and the determination to succeed sparked a fire in my heart. I wrote a short memoir about my relationship with football where I said, "My love of football didn't start when I was a child. I haven't sported an NFL jersey to school or watched my team play on the weekends. I used to think that I was a damsel in distress because of my love for all things girly, but discovering a devotion to football showed me that I’m stronger than I’ve always thought I was. Just like the young men who play their hearts out every week on the field have endured hardships and have succeeded in ways that they never thought to be possible, loving football has instilled a new courage in my heart to conquer any obstacle I might face as well. I've discovered a passion for one team that will never go away. The Baylor Bears have taught me so much about dedication and spirit for the game I adore. Although I've never played football, my adoration for the sport burns in my soul. It's no longer just a game to me." 

The main reason why I decided to love football was because of head coach Art Briles. CAB grew up playing football and took his career to the next level as a wide receiver at the University of Houston. On October 16, 1976, his parents and aunt were on their way to watch his game in Dallas when they were involved in a car accident, leaving all three dead. He eventually left Houston after the accident and moved on to coaching. CAB has always focused his talents on the betterment of the men he coaches, even through their trials and tribulations. He's used his story to inspire them to persevere even when the odds are stacked against them. Unlike most coaches in the FBS, CAB handpicks the underdogs over the star players. He chooses the ones who work hard but don't necessarily catch the eye of powerhouses like Alabama or Ohio State. After recruiting the kids he sees potential in, he inspires them and molds them into strong men both on and off the field. He's the only reason why men like Corey Coleman and Taylor Young succeed in life and football; his persistence in making players know how much they are worth leads to success stories.

If you haven't read the news lately, CAB was put on suspension with intent to terminate yesterday after assault allegations against players were released. Reactions to the news have varied, but I've chosen not to look at what people are saying about the man I've come to adore. Coco Chanel taught me to be graceful and poised, but Art Briles taught me how to persevere when the odds aren't in my favor. He's inspired me to become a coach despite the fact that women aren't widely accepted or known in the coaching world. I, like everyone else, will never know the full story of what happened between the accusers and the players. However, I choose to believe in the character and integrity of the coach who's never proved me wrong. He's taken punching bag teams to conference championships and young men to higher heights than they ever thought possible. Losing the person who has inspired me most is devastating (and I will be mourning and eating chocolate haupia pie for the next few days/weeks/months), but I know that CAB will rise from the ashes just as he always has. And I believe that one day, I will have the honor of coaching under the legacy of a person greater than I could ever hope to be. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Grown-Up Overalls






Topshop dressTopshop tee, Kate Spade bag (old, similar here), Daniel Wellington watch, Nine West shoes

I've always loved denim overalls so it was exciting to discover that the trend was resurfacing this past year! This overall dress from Topshop is a fresh take on the classic onesie and is an easier way to style all over denim. I paired the dress with my favorite cropped Topshop tee. I love the contrast between the white shirt and its blue edges. The tee wears comfortably under the denim dress and to keep the outfit from becoming too "young", I added classic black accessories and chunky nude heels.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Favorite Broadway Plays


For as long as I can remember, I've been involved in choir and band- two activities that exposed me to the world of musicals and Broadway. The first full-length musical I saw was RENT (the movie of course) at the age of six and I instantly fell in love with the music and lyrics. Much to my dad's dismay, I begged him to play 'La Vie Boheme' on repeat during our car journeys even though I had no idea what I was singing about. It turns out that even though my first grade self knew nothing about the sex and drugs RENT's songs represented, the story itself changed my life. RENT was my first musical love, but I've discovered a handful of others that have been just as influential on who I am today.

  1. Les Misérables is my favorite play of all time. I first saw the show when I was eight at a Diamond Head Theater adaptation. Although the musical consists of mature themes such as war, sacrifice and unrequited love, the songs are some of the most beautiful melodies I've ever heard. The story of Éponine will always hold a special place in my heart as will the story itself, as it's the only play I've ever seen on Broadway.
  2. Hamilton is the most recent musical added to my list. I hadn't heard about composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda's cult-classic until the cast performed the title sequence at the 2015 Grammy's. After watching the performance on repeat 24/7, I was instantly obsessed with the story of the U.S.'s first treasury secretary. Who knew that the story of Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, his rivalry with vice-president Aaron Burr and his emotional affair with his sister-in-law would translate so beautifully on stage? The most exciting parts of the play are its diverse cast consisting of mostly actors of color and a strictly hip hop and R&B soundtrack- two genres not used on Broadway. Although I'll probably only encounter Hamilton through its soundtrack and book, imagining the story in my head will be enough.
  3. RENT was my first love and will always be in my top five favorites. When I first saw the movie, I was a six year old child who knew absolutely nothing about the dramatic themes of the play. I didn't know that my favorite song consisted of references to sex positions and marijuana use, but I loved the music anyway. Although my parents weren't too keen on allowing their elementary-aged daughter to listen to a risqué album, the soundtrack has been a part of my life for well over 10 years. I learned about the early AIDS epidemic, living through poverty and the characters' struggle through their own sexual and gender acceptance. 
  4. The Phantom of the Opera was the second musical I watched solely in movie form. My dad was lucky enough to see the play on Broadway and he brought the DVD (or was it on VHS?) for the rest of my family to watch. Emmy Rossum shined as lead character Christine in her complicated relationship with the Phantom- brilliantly played by Gerard Butler. Although the story seems to be about the good guys versus the evil villain terrorizing the theater, it turns out to be so much more. I won't spoil the ending for you all, but I'll just say that I was left crying for the Phantom and all that he represented- an outcast in society aching for the one he loved.
  5. Allegiance is another recent addition to my musical must-sees. The story is inspired by famous actor George Takei's experiences in Japanese interment camps during WWII. As a mixed Japanese girl myself, the play struck a chord in my heart and I will always dread the fact that I'll never be able to see the musical in person. Takei plays the main role in the play along with fellow Broadway Asian stars Lea Salonga and Telly Leung. The story is inspiring must continue to be told in order to avoid letting the past repeat itself.
*The plays that just missed my top five: American Idiot; The Sound of MusicHairspray; Mama Mia! and Spring Awakening

**Author's edit: I completely forgot that the first play I saw on Broadway was West Side Story! Thanks to my mom for reminding me!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Kamehameha Alumna


Today marks one year since I graduated from Kamehameha! After one year away from high school, I have grown and changed immensely. During my senior year I never would have expected to delve so deeply into collegiate and professional athletics; pursue an interest in politics; or become a skilled writer. However, 10 months at Baylor has taught me how to become independent and grow into the person I have always aspired to be. I have grown apart from a few high school friendships and given up interests that were an integral part of my life, but those aren't necessarily bad sacrifices. My friends and I have grown up and I've learned that it's okay to let go of the people who don't contribute anything to my life. The same goes for marching and concert band as I've decided to stop the activity I've been involved in from the age of nine. As sports have taken over a large chunk of my life and I've gotten jobs in those departments, band is no longer a part of my life. Thankfully however, the friendships and activities I truly cherish will always remain in my heart and soul. I'm thankful for all of the memories and friendships I made at Kamehameha and am excited for what's to come...

Monday, May 23, 2016

On the Battlefield


At the end of my second semester English course at Baylor, my professor discussed the research paper assignment we would have to write. While the topic was open to our choosing, the assignment was full of due dates and requirements. I chose to compose an essay about the importance of football and the game's safety. If you're an avid reader of my blog, you would know that I'm extremely passionate about football so every aspect of the sport is of great priority in my book. This is the final paper I wrote and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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Former Vanderbilt running back Brad Gaines played a life-changing game against Ole Miss on October 28, 1989. In an ‘easy win’ game, there was a play that decided the fate of an opposing teammate. On third and goal, Gaines’ quarterback threw a pass to him closing in on the end zone. Once he caught the ball, Gaines felt a linebacker ram into him with great force, breaking up the pass. The defensive player- Chucky Mullins- wouldn’t get back up after the play and was airlifted in a helicopter ambulance back to Memphis. During that play, Mullins broke his spine and would never be able to move his limbs ever again. Gaines decided to visit the player in the hospital after feeling immense guilt over the future of Mullins. When he arrived at the players’ room, Mullins told Gaines, “It’s not your fault,” (McEvers, Silverman and Sullivan). After becoming friends with Gaines, Mullins died in 1991. Gaines visits Mullins’ grave every year on Christmas and on the anniversary of that life-altering college football game. Football safety and its risks is important to all football players, their families, coaches, team owners, NFL administrators, and football fans because the sport is not only a form of entertainment, but also affects the health and wellbeing of the players.

Football is one of the most influential features of American culture because it combines the unification of strangers cheering on a common goal with learning how to rise from the ashes when life (or a massive lineman) knocks you down. Football has been a civilian-favorite pastime since the late 1800s. In “The First Concussion Crisis: Head Injury and Evidence in American Football”, Harvard University doctoral candidate Emily A. Harrison wrote, “Football was one among many team games that emerged…following the Civil War. Explanations for the new appeal of recreational sports…have ranged widely, from a restless American spirit’s need for a new outlet once the frontier was lost, to a compulsion to simulate wars looming on past or future horizons,” (824). Football was established as an alternative way to experience the feeling of the battlefield once the war was over. When the war ended, the excitement of the battlefield left a mark on the lives of young Americans. Over time, the game has developed into a form of brutal hand-to-hand combat, which allows players to assault one another with the sheer force of their bodies. The idea of patriotism associated with football has increased immensely throughout the years as fans began to think of themselves as a part of the team, and the winning players as American heroes. Whereas the first football players played the sport for a small audience, state champion-winning high schoolers are touted as community giants and college athletes are thrust into the national spotlight. Nowadays, football fans are not only sitting in the stands, but also are having a relationship with the players they cheer for because of social media. Connecting with a favorite athlete or coach is as simple as pressing the ‘follow’ button on Twitter, while others go the extra mile and send players personalized gifts or letters representing their devotion to the individual. Friendships with fellow fans are also prevalent as rooting for a common goal draws people together. Although non-sports fans think of football as a glorified game of fetch between meaty men, the ‘die-hards’ will argue otherwise. Sitting next to someone who is cheering for the same team as you makes it easy to become instant friends. Football games, similar to concerts, allows people to find the common ground between one another: we might be in different walks of life, but we all want to believe in something. Whether it be in a religion, a political ideology, or a person, football gives sports fans the belief that anything is possible and with hard work, one can achieve the unimaginable. Football also provides viewers with the notion that it’s possible to get back up even when you think you can’t. Quarterbacks are the main football players in danger of injury during every game. To a defensive player, getting a sack or tackle is the best feeling in the whole world and for this reason, quarterbacks must do whatever they can in order to avoid getting hit. Sometimes, they’re protected by their offensive linemen, and other times, they’re knocked down. While the crowd cheers for the defensive player who made the hit, it can seem like the whole world is against the quarterback. However, he must get back up to prepare for the next play. When quarterbacks rise from the ashes even if the whole stadium looks as if they are conspiring against them, fans are inspired to get back up in life as well. 

Youth football is important for players to practice their skills at a young age and the addition of baseline concussion testing and tailored rules will make the game safer because parents can ensure that their kids are healthy enough to play. In Ahead of the Game: The Parents’ Guide to Youth Sports Concussion, brain injury educators Rosemarie Scolaro Moser and Bill Pascrell Jr. explain, “This kind of neurocognitive testing is particularly useful because it can identify lingering cognitive symptoms. Because we know that allowing a young athlete to return to sports too soon puts him or her at risk of developing post-concussion syndrome,…baseline testing can offer a certain added measure of safety,” (1). When parents of young athletes want to protect them from body or brain injuries, baseline testing is an important resource to take advantage of. Before researching for this essay, I had never heard of baseline testing. It seems like such a simple way for parents to reassure themselves that their children are safe as they begin to play contact sports. The way baseline testing works is that parents take their kids to a neuropsychologist who, when running tests on the brain, can determine if the child is at a high risk of obtaining a concussion or other mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). It’s important for parents to allow their children to play sports in order to boost their leadership skills and to participate in a social activity, but the health and wellbeing of the child always comes first. Moser and Pascrell provide parents with an alternative way to make sure that their kids are safe and having fun at the same time. In “Youth Sports & Public Health: Framing Risks of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in American Football and Ice Hockey”, professors Kathleen E. Bachynski and Daniel S. Goldberg note that children playing sports often don’t realize the dangers they are subjecting their bodies to. This observation relates to Moser and Pascrell’s book because all four authors state that children are at a high risk of mTBI whenever they thrust themselves into a contact sport, and the combination of brain testing with rules tailored to their age groups will make the game safer for youth. Whereas adult men playing football can take the hard tackle or hit, youth football leagues must change the game’s rules to fit the children’s capabilities and size. Parents, youth football coaches, and league administrators must enforce having children tested for brain injury risks and also make sure that the rules of the sport are appropriate for a child’s game.

College football and the NFL are extremely popular in America, but they’re considered as some of the most dangerous leagues to play in because players are constantly putting their bodies in danger every week. In “A Stopping Rule for Scholastic American Football?” assistant clinical professor of biostatistics in the Yale School of Public Health Michael Wininger describes, “Of the injuries that are recorded by the NCCSIR, (The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research) American football accounted for 62% and 58% of high school and college injuries- making it by far the most catastrophically injurious scholastic sport both by volume and by person-years,” (30). Although football has a series of set rules that players must follow, serious injuries are still prevalent in the non-professional games. This statistic doesn’t surprise me because I’ve seen my fair share of players carted off the field during a game. Ambulance sirens break the stadium silence as fans and parents watch limp bodies lifted onto gurneys and athletic trainers rush to an athlete lying on the turf, unable to get back up. While many parents would prevent their children from playing the game after witnessing such an event, Wininger offers a possible solution to the massive amounts of injury in the high school and college levels: a stopping rule. The new rule would require teams in the trenches of defeat to stop playing the game. Some might see this rule as waving a white flag or simply forfeiting the game, but it would only be put into action if a team is too battered or is facing such a deficit that the players have no chance of coming back to win the game. Although this rule would be extremely difficult to implement in the college level, it’s one step closer to achieving a game that’s not only exciting, but also safe.

Severe brain injuries are often the first danger that people think of in relation to football because constant rough tackles and hits to the helmet lead to concussions and other neurocognitive and neurodegenerative diseases. In “Epidemiology of Neurodegeneration in American-Style Professional Football Players”, employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Everett J. Lehman wrote,  “The first study [of 2,552 retired players] noted that traumatic brain injury has been identified as a potential risk factor for neurodegenerative dementing disorders such as mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease,” (1). Brain injuries are becoming a growing concern for current and former football players as the effects of the contact sport can result in deteriorating brain function. Although the NFL and college leagues have implemented rules to make the game safer, players consistently grow in size and strength. With athletes weighing an upward of 300 pounds tackling and shoving each other, it’s no surprise that the amount of former athletes with head trauma is increasing over time. While playing football in front of a crowd brings fame and glory, the aftermath of the game matters just as much as the career. Suffering from multiple concussions from pee-wee football to the NFL can lead to brain problems that are incurable. Lehman offered former New York Giants running back Frank Gifford as an example of how blows to the head can affect athletes for the rest of their lives. Gifford retired before the 1961 football season after he suffered from a severe concussion. Although not discussed in this journal article, Gifford passed away in 2015 because of complications from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a neurodegenerative disease, which has affected many prominent football players. 

Cervical spine injuries are prominent risks in American football because if a hit goes the wrong way, a player can become paralyzed and his brain may also be affected. In the “Cervical Spine Injuries in American Football”, medical professionals at The Rothman Institute, Jefferson Medical College and Hospital São João-Porto Medical School, Jeffrey A. Rihn among others explained, “Although quite rare, catastrophic neurological injury is a devastating entity referring to permanent neurological injury or death,” (697). Spine injuries not only affect players’ bodies, but also their brains. This section of the journal article relates to neurodegeneration of the brain as well. Similar to the snowball or domino effect, when a player suffers a spine injury, his brain might also be affected, which can lead to concussions or other brain diseases. Most onlookers think of paralyzation as the only outcome of a cervical spine injury. When a player goes down on the field after a powerful hit and can’t move, the threat of a stunned or incapacitated body is prevalent to fans, teammates, and coaches. In order to reduce the risk of traumatic spine and brain injuries, the professional and college leagues have eliminated the use of ‘targeting’ and any form of tackle or hit using an opponent’s head as the original form of contact. While these rule changes have helped trim the amount of damaging and sometimes deadly injuries, cervical spine damage is still a dominant hazard in the American football organization.

After football players retire, many suffer from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which changes the direction of their lives forever because the brain injury leads to personality disorders and even death. In journal article “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in a National Football League Player: Case Report and Emerging Medicolegal Practice Questions”, Dr. Bennet I. Omalu among other medical professionals wrote, “CTE is a syndrome of chronic progressive cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms or dementia manifesting with contemporaneous, multi-domain impairment of intellectual functioning including language, visuospatial skills, personality, cognition, emotion, and mood disorders,” (44). As a passionate fan of the game, it’s hard accepting the fact that this disorder is real and that it affects former football players. The difficult part of coping with the discovery of CTE is how the diseases not only affects one’s mental state but also often leads to suicide and death later on in life. In the journal article, the authors discuss that CTE is a difficult disease to diagnose because brain testing can only be done after a player dies. After medical professionals test the brain post mortem, they can then determine whether or not the player in question suffered from the brain defect. In the case of the player examined in the article, he played football throughout high school, college, and nearly a decade in the NFL. The player endured dozens of concussions by taking countless hits and tackles over the course of his football career. He was always an outgoing person both on and off the field, but the concussions and brain injuries lead to a personality shift. The player became extremely forgetful, depressed and avoided all forms of social interaction. After a while, paranoia set in and he eventually committed suicide barely a decade after quitting football. This CTE case is deja vu among former players who suffered from consistent brain damage. All of the cases sound the same: a football player starts off healthy and happy, plays the game throughout his life, deals with continual brain damage and suddenly isn’t the same person anymore. The unfortunate part of these CTE cases is when a former pro ends his own life. Former NFL linebacker Tiaina Baul “Junior” Seau was a legendary player who dedicated 20 years of his life to the league. Similar to the case study previously mentioned, Seau suffered from CTE and took his life two years after retiring. Because most fans only see football as a form of entertainment, we sometimes forget that the game takes a physical and mental toll on players. 

The NFL and other football organizations are taking steps to increase the safety of the players because hard helmets and game rules in the past have proved inefficient in the long run. 
In “New and Improved Safety Measures for America’s NFL Stars”, author, editor and publisher Mark Venables wrote, “Riddell’s [NFL helmet supplier] Head-Impact Telemetry System (HITS)…provides coaches and medical staff with valuable information that can be used to identify potentially dangerous head impacts,” (85). The professional league has ultimately realized their forms of player protection aren’t working. Riddell’s helmet updates are impressive and hopefully the new head armor will safeguard players to prevent brain injury. While rule changes can only do so much, the technology lining the Riddell helmets will provide coaches and athletic trainers with substantial information about the impact players heads are taking after every snap of the ball. Over time, the hope is that the helmets and others like them will let football coaches know when players are suffering from too much damage and need medical attention. A rule that the NFL and the college football league have enforced is ‘targeting’, which has two meanings: players are not allowed to initiate blunt contact using their helmets and they’re also not allowed to use helmet to helmet contact against a defenseless player. If officials discover that a player targeted another, he will immediately be ejected from the game. Although sometimes it’s difficult to accurately determine whether a player meant to inflict damage on another, football officials know that it’s better to be safe than sorry. This rule implementation and advances in helmet technology will ultimately help the sport transform into one that is both exciting to watch and safe for the football players themselves. Ultimately, using the knowledge of the football coach is the only way to ensure that players are safe and healthy. In “The Football Coach and Football Safety” in the book Safety in American Football, author Richard P. Borkowski wrote, “The single most important key to football safety has been and will always be, the coach,” (165). While parents can prevent their kids from playing football and players can determine if they want to pursue the sport, the coach is the only one who can decide whether to remove a player from the game in order to keep them safe. 

Although it can be argued that football is dangerous enough to be eliminated altogether, it must remain available for viewing and playing because the sport itself isn’t the problem. In Ahead of the Game: The Parents’ Guide to Youth Sports Concussion, brain injury educators Rosemarie Scolaro Moser and Bill Pascrell Jr. said, “Despite all the dangers associated with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), concussions are not something we can fully prevent. Even if you were to forbid your child to play sports, kids are not immune to falling off a bike…or the risk of injury in more serious, spontaneous events,” (1). With all of the protection and prevention in the world, it’s still impossible for children and adults to remain safe forever. Understandably, parents want to protect their kids from any form of danger, but in the end, preventing children from playing sports isn’t the answer. The game of football should not be abolished. While there are many risks related to the game such as brain injuries, CTE, and cervical spine damage, football does more good than harm. Football players instantly find themselves a sense of camaraderie within their teammates. The game teaches men to become team players and to focus on what’s best for everyone, not just themselves. The companionship associated with an organized team sport can help players with their leadership skills. When the athletes disagree over a play or a route, having thoughtful authority can help solve the problem. For many football players, the game has given them self worth and the chance to create a better life for themselves and their families. Some of the best football players have come from rough neighborhoods and disadvantaged households where an extraordinary future doesn’t always exist. Former Baylor football wide receiver Corey Coleman grew up in the Highland Hills neighborhood in Oak Cliff where a community of gang violence, drugs and prostitution were prevalent. Rather than becoming another statistic of growing up in poverty, Coleman was lucky enough to find a mentor in former Baylor Bear and NFL cornerback Ray Crockett, who showed Coleman a world outside of one filled with violence and desperation. Because of his natural talents, Baylor offered Coleman a spot where he thrived and became the school’s all-time leading scorer. After finishing his college football career with the most touchdowns in the nation, Coleman will likely be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft- showing his family and the entire nation that football changes lives. The only way for football to truly become safe for its participants is for coaches, owners, parents and players to educate themselves of the risks and how to prevent them. 

While football is an exciting pastime, rule changes and uniform updates must be implemented because the aftermath of the game alters players’ lives forever. The football process begins for players at a young age as they work to become the next stars in the NFL. Unfortunately, playing a contact sport throughout one’s life can lead to spine and brain injuries such as CTE. In order to make the game safer, the NFL and other organizations are incorporating new rules and helmet technology. At the end of Chuck Gaines’ interview, he said, “I know that it’s not the game’s fault. I know that. And I know that there are going to be injuries. But when you love the game, you accept that. You accept that there could be consequences like this,” (McEvers, Silverman and Sullivan). Although the consequences from playing football are dangerous, the game ultimately represents American culture and benefits both its fans and the players on the battlefield.

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Works Cited

Bachynski, Kathleen E., and Daniel S Goldberg. “Youth Sports & Public Health: Framing Risks of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in American Football and Ice Hockey” The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 42.3 (2014): 323-333. Web. 8 April. 2016.
Borkowski, R. P., "The Football Coach and Football Safety," Safety in American Football, Ed. Earl F. Hoerner. Pennsylvania: American Society for Testing and Materials, 1996. 167-171. ASTM Compass. Web. 8 April. 2016.
Harrison, Emily A. “The First Concussion Crisis: Head Injury and Evidence in Early American Football.” American Journal of Public Health 104.5 (2014): 822-833. Web. 10 April. 2016.
Lehman, Everett J. "Epidemiology of Neurodegeneration in American-Style Professional Football Players." Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 5.4 (2013): 1-8. Web. 8 April. 2016.

McEvers, Kelly, Silverman, Lauren, and Sullivan, Becky. “Deaths Persist in Youth and Student Football Despite Safety Efforts.” National Public Radio. 25 Nov. 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Moser, Rosemarie Scolaro, and Pascrell Jr., Bill. Ahead of the Game: The Parents’ Guide to Youth Sports Concussion. Hanover: Dartmouth College Press, 2012. Print.

Omalu, Bennet I., Hamilton, Ronald L., Kamboh, M. Ilyas, DeKosky, Steven T., and Bailes, Julian. “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in a National Football League Player: Case Report and Emerging Medicolegal Practice Questions.” Journal of Forensic Nursing 6.1 (2010): 40-46. Web. 10 April. 2016.

Rihn, Jeffrey A., et al. "Cervical Spine Injuries in American Football." Sports Medicine, 39.9 (2009): 697-708. Web.
Venables, Mark. “New and Improved Safety Measures for America’s NFL Stars.” Engineering and Technology Magazine, February 2013, 84-85.
Michael Wininger. “A Stopping Rule for Scholastic American Football?” Significance 12.6 (December 10, 2015): 30-33.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

ASTR Floral Romper





Despite the fact that I purchased this floral romper last summer, I've only worn it once! I fell in love with the cornflower blue background and cinched in waist. Rompers are my favorite pieces to wear during the summer because they're not only light and airy but also can be dressed up or down. I chose to pair the one-piece with a baby pink handbag and my strappy nude flats. I'll definitely sport this romper throughout the summer!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

5 Things

1. Fetus family


2. Breakfast with Brandon


3. A short trip to Mokūleʻia


4. My favorite food at my favorite place


5. The puppies

Friday, May 20, 2016

My Net-a-Porter Summer Wishlist


Summer is the perfect time to restock and refresh a wardrobe and I'm looking toward luxury website Net-a-Porter for all of my closet essentials. Net-a-Porter stocks only the highest quality and most fashionable brands such as Isabel Marant, Chloé and Rag & Bone. Although most of the website's pieces are out of my current budget, I hope to one day stock my collection with the best of the best fashion options. The Lisa Marie Fernandez Mira Off-the-Shoulder Striped Cotton-Blend Gauze Midi Dress is the perfect warm-weather frock for a sunset dinner or night out. I would pair it with strappy sandals like the Valia Gabriel Pink Gin Leather Sandals in the bottom right corner of the collage and a denim jacket thrown over the shoulders. Speaking of tie-up shoes, the Sophia Webster Juana Leather-Trimmed Jacquard Espadrilles are a fun pop of color for the summer and I would style them with the Frame Denim Le Cutoff Distressed Stretch-Denim Shorts and a bohemian top. Red is always a fun color to wear in the summer and the Sensi Studio Embroidered Cotton Mini Dress is a closet must-have. I love it with a woven hat and stacks of gold jewelry. Every girl needs a swimsuit for the beach or styled with high waisted shorts and the Solid and Striped The Anne-Marie Striped Swimsuit is a modern update on the classic one-piece. The high-cut suit lengthens the leg and would look beautiful under a loose tunic when going from the beach to dinner. A soft dress like the Elizabeth and James Kenji Crinkled Silk-Georgette Mini Dress is the most gorgeous mint frock. When the weather warms up, an airy piece is the perfect way to dress up without feeling weighed down. My favorite type of blouse to wear during the summer is a fun cami and the LemLem Jaha Cotton-Gauze Top is comprised of my most favorite colors! I would pair the top with ripped jeans and pale pink sandals. Last but not least is the Paloma Blue Havana Off-the-Shoulder Embroidered Woven Mini Dress- an airy cotton shift that's perfect for a fancy brunch or dinner date.
Which piece is your favorite?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Baylor Football Preview | Quarterbacks


If there's one aspect of football that Baylor is known for, it's their star quarterbacks. Robert Griffin III started the recent chain of strong-armed team leaders whose skill set clicked in the spread offense. After winning the first Heisman trophy in Baylor's history, RGIII decided to forgo his senior year in favor of the NFL draft. Nick Florence took over once Robert left for the NFL and the team didn't miss a beat. Bryce Petty stepped under center during the 2013 season and led Baylor to its first back-to-back Big 12 championships. When fans and critics alike thought that Petty was the best we could get, underestimated junior Seth Russell took over the starting position and proved everyone wrong. Russell was hands down the best quarterback in the 2015 CFB season before breaking his neck, leading the nation in yards per pass (10.5), pass efficiency (189.7) and touchdown passes (29). With what was arguably the best Baylor football team of all time, Russell could have taken the Bears all the way to the national championship. However, luck wasn't in favor of the team as QBs Russell, No. 2 Jarrett Stidham and No. 3 Chris Johnson all went down with injuries in a span of four weeks.

The 2016 Baylor team have the odds stacked against them as they've lost four of five offensive linemen and five defensive linemen along with countless receivers, tight ends, defensive backs and a fan favorite long snapper. However, with both Russell and Stidham fully healthy along with freshman Zach Smith on campus since January, the quarterback situation at Baylor is bright.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Songs that Changed My Life


I've been a lover of music for as long as I can remember and there are certain songs that have made a distinct impact on my life. Whether it's an indie ballad or a famous Broadway tune, these selections brought me through the good times and the bad. I wouldn't be who I am today without the music in my background and these are the most important ones in my life.

Snow by Sleeping at Last


Vienna by Billy Joel


A Little Fall of Rain by the cast of Les Misérables


Trouble Man by Marvin Gaye


Without You by the cast of RENT


Your Song by Elton John


Youth by Daughter


My Shot by the cast of Hamilton


To Build A Home by Cinematic Orchestra


This Is the Last Time by The National


You're Beautiful by Phil Wickham


The Call by Regina Spektor


Amazing, Because It Is by The Almost

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How I Dutch Braid My Hair



My hair has grown well over the past year and I've discovered many different hairstyles to suit my moods. One of my most-worn styles is a dutch braid, which I learned accidentally. Dutch braids are similar to french braids except the braid goes on top of the hair as opposed to underneath. Here's how to achieve two dutch braids:

  1. Part your hair down the middle.
  2. Take one side of your hair and separate it into three sections.
  3. Start to braid the hair but instead of crossing each section under each other, cross them over each other.
  4. After crossing the braid under twice, grab another section of hair and add it to the existing section. 
  5. Continue adding parts of hair to middle section until all of the hair from the scalp has been added into the braid. Remember to cross each section underneath the middle section rather than on top.
  6. Keep braiding the hair until you get to the bottom of the braid. 
And voilà! After a bit of practice, these braids are easy to achieve. I like to style my hair in two braids whenever I'm lazy or I'm wearing an especially girly outfit. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Coach | Bill Snyder


There are many people on my list of heroes and Kansas State football head coach Bill Snyder reigns near the top. Although I've been exclusively loyal to Baylor athletics, there is a place in my heart for the Wildcats because of their incredible coach. Bill Snyder has spent 77 years on earth and over half of them were on the football field. A former defensive back for William Jewel College, Snyder has been contributing to CFB since 1960. He began coaching at California's Indio High School in 1964 and held positions at Santa Ana Foothill High School, University of Southern California, North Texas State and the University of Iowa where he improved every team during rebuilding years. After ten successful years at Iowa, Snyder accepted the head coach position at Kansas State, where he currently remains.

Before Snyder's arrival in Manhattan, the Wildcats were a sight for sore eyes. Although his first season in 1989 ended with a 1-10 record, the players and fans felt a fresh potential in their team under his leadership. Snyder instilled a sense of camaraderie and enthusiasm in a former losing team. In just nine years, Snyder's team was ranked No. 1 in the nation and finally had a dominating presence in the CFB world. In his career, Snyder has produced 55 different All-Americans, many of who have been successful in the NFL. At Kansas State, his team has advanced to 11-straight bowl games and has recorded six 11-win seasons over seven years. He has won more coaching awards than he can count and the Hall of Famer is still going strong as the oldest coach in the league.

Not only is Snyder a remarkable coach, but also a phenomenal person. He has become famous over the handwritten letters he sends to fans, opposing players and Kansas State faculty. His sportsmanship is unrivaled (pun not intended) and the respect he shows to everyone around him is inspiring. As I discovered my desire to coach, I've looked to coach Snyder as an example of handwork, passion and real kindness. He truly is one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Lace White Blouse






Forever 21 topJ.Crew jeans, Kate Spade bag (old, similar here), Daniel Wellington watch, Kate Spade Saturday shoes

This sheer cami has been my go-to blouse during the spring and early summer time. Although half of the top is nearly translucent, it doesn't ever look too risqué. I've been purchasing multiple white blouses and am always pairing them with my favorite J.Crew skinny jeans. The denim fits like a glove and covers up the lower half of my body as the top half is quite exposed. Adding black accessories and gold accents finishes the outfit on a classic note.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

5 Things

1. Missed my pets


2. Wading in salt water


3. I could eat Genki Sushi 24/7 (aka french fries and chicken)


4. My favorite poem of all the time


5. The second best shave ice on the island

Friday, May 13, 2016

MW Restaurant


My family and I went to MW Restaurant to celebrate my sister Megan's belated birthday. Although I had a difficult attitude about the food selection at first, the dinner turned out to be one of my favorite meals of all time. We ordered the Fried Chicken and Calamari appetizers along with a Caesar salad to start off. The salad came with homemade croutons and pipikaula poke, which was phenomenal. I was also a huge fan of the "fried chicken" and its sweet chili sauce. For our entrées, I ordered the Beef and Foie Gras, mom chose the Red Braised Pork Belly Buns, dad picked the Grilled Ora King Salmon Soba Noodles, and Megan got the Mochi Crusted Opakapaka. Every dish was delicious and I even though I didn't eat the foie gras (I know, I wasted about $30), I devoured the rest of my short ribs. We couldn't leave without dessert so we picked the Banana Cream Pie, Tropical Fruit Creamsicle "Brulée", and the Chocolate Mousse "Two Ways". I would give our dining experience 10 out of 10 footballs and I highly recommend this restaurant for any special occasion!
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