Gabbing with Grunt: graduation means leaving neverland

neverlandFor approximately 16 years I’ve been attending school. I’ve survived monkey-bars, drivers-ed, and college-level math. I beat the odds against the “freshman-fifteen,” and even had the honor of becoming the editor-in-chief of a newspaper.

All in all, school has been good.

So when it’s time for it all to end — at least for now, I just may further my degree someday — will it feel any different than graduating from high school? Am I going to wake up the first day after finals and feel like the adulting has officially begun?

I can think of at least 10 reasons off the top of my head as to why I’m not yet qualified for the “adult” position:  

  1. I am the WORST at remembering to do the dishes. Or putting my clothes away after they’re washed. Or taking out the garbage when it’s full. Or cleaning….vacuuming I’m a total champ at, but the rest just sucks. Pun intended.
  2. I hop aboard the struggle bus every time I have to open the lid to a pickle jar.
  3. I cannot “flic the bic” on a lighter, and I tend to break a match in half whenever I try to strike it. I would not survive in the wild. Not even if I had a matchbook.
  4. I’m not ready to stop wearing my fuzzy Cousin Eddie winter hat around Christmas time. Either the other adults comply, or I refuse to join their club.
  5. I enjoy staying up into the late hours of the night watching Netflix; my classes are all basically in the afternoon, so it has yet to become an issue. But it will be. Someday.
  6. I haven’t begun to “officially” save for retirement. I have so little money now…
  7. I never remember to carry an umbrella, even though there’s one in my car. I know it’s there, I’ve seen it.
  8. Sometimes I have a hard time pouring the water out of the macaroni when I’m cooking. There always seems to be a stray noodle that pops out, lands in the sink, and mocks me.
  9. I don’t take a vitamin, and I’ve heard that’s a thing “responsible” people tend to do.
  10. I always feel like chickening out last minute when it comes to calling to make appointments for things; I don’t mind being on the phone with people, I just would love it if my mom did it…

Not to say I won’t figure it all out as I go along — if our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents have figured it out, so can we.

There are hundreds of us graduating on May 19th; completing our time at Black Hawk College is just the next step.

I wish all of my readers the best of luck — it’s been absolutely fantastic being able to have a column where I can openly discuss things that I have found other people have similar distress in. For two semesters, I’ve been fortunate to interact with students at BHC who were excited to be quoted in the newspaper; they didn’t run away from the blonde girl running around from student to student, brave souls. Some students even signed up at the Promotional Fair to receive emails from me about the newest column idea; I couldn’t thank you guys enough.

If you were ever interested in journalistic writing, I have to say that there is almost nothing more rewarding than seeing your work printed in the newspaper.

I also know that if you are graduating this month and you still haven’t got a clue what you want to do for a career, you’re not alone. When I find the right niche for me, it’s going to be just like how Prince Eric expects he’ll realize he’s found the right girl. It’ll just hit me, “bam, like lightning.”

Don’t be afraid to grow up, even if you feel at times that you will never be ready. All that matters is that you’re happy; I’ll be staying up to unreasonable hours in the evening, and you do what you enjoy.

Peace out.

please let your babies grow up to be cowboys

the ranch

If you’ve been browsing on Netflix lately, chances are you’ve seen a show that incorporates top-grade country music, an iconic mustache, and an unfortunate pair of Ugg boots.

The Ranch is a sitcom unlike anything else Netflix has produced to date; filmed with only a handful of different sets in the studio, its essence is a throwback to other classics like Cheers or Full House.

Ten episodes of the first season were released on April 1st of this year; with each show only being half an hour long, a binge-watcher could do some serious damage in just one day.

Everyone in my household actually came together to watch history unfold: Danny Masterson and Ashton Kutcher, the infamous Steven Hyde and Michael Kelso, teamed up again as the Bennett brothers.

Colt Bennett, played by Kutcher, is the hometown football hero, who has arrived home with his tail between his legs after falling short on his dream of becoming a big-time professional football player.

Jameson ‘Rooster’ Bennett, played by Masterson, has continued to help out his daddy on the ranch for the last 15 years while Colt has been away. With a lot of the same quirks and mannerisms as his character “Hyde” from That 70s Show, this beer-guzzling redneck has the best “horse walks into a bar” jokes on television.

Sam Elliott portrays their father, Beau Bennett, who’s the living definition of a stubborn old ox. Thankfully his voice is enough to cause any woman to swoon to the floor in a puddle of mush — my mother included.

While the story unfolds, we see the screenwriters taking full advantage of the fact that the show is not on cable; there are multiple instances where characters drop the F-bomb, or some other forgivable four lettered words. You will also see a hiney — I’m not gonna say who’s — but the ladies will not be disappointed.

And if you’re a George Jones fan, there’s a scene that is pure GOLD.

Some of the haters/critics alike argue that the show is nothing that we haven’t seen before. Colt is just another son who is seeking the approval of his father. Beau is just another cranky, hard-headed old man who can’t even stand the fact that there is almond milk in his fridge: “What the *bleep* is almond milk…show me the tit on an almond.”

However, the show’s charm emulates a family many viewers either relate to, or enjoy learning more about. It takes a character that would otherwise be made into a cliche and manages to poke fun at it in a loving-family way.

The Bennett men win the medal for quick-wit sarcasm and stubbornness; without a doubt, Colt and Rooster have learned from the best. Sam Elliot’s lines in this show are a mix between the ideals of your grandfather and the comedic wisdom of Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation.

Just some examples include: “What kind of *bleep* spends 85 dollars on a pair of jeans?”, “Sushi is fish for men who don’t know how to build a fire”, and “A man doesn’t grow a mustache, the mustache grows the man.”

Many of Beau’s ideals may seem old fashioned, but there’s enough modern-day turmoil occurring between his marriage and the state of the ranch for the character to be relatable to the generations after him as well.

The Ranch is one of those shows that can perk you up regardless of the mood you’re in. My family would sit down and watch it at the end of the day for the same reason we’d turn on Jimmy Fallon after the news — it makes you smile.

More episodes are set to debut later this year, but the release date is still pending. Hopefully they air sooner rather than later; I miss seeing me some Rooster!

No vacant seat at miguel zenón performance


The jazzy melodies of Miguel Zenón, a renowned saxophonist, teacher, and composer, swept through the halls of Building 4 on February 24th.

This traveling artist did not perform alone; accompanied by Luis Perdomo on piano, Jorge Roeder on base, and Henry Cole on drums, the quartet entertained the overflowing classroom of faculty and students.

Two selections were performed, the first “Ciclo” and the second, an impressive piece with a meter of 11/8, “Academia.”

Born in Puerto Rico, Zenón began practicing the saxophone at age eleven. For twenty years, he’s been most comfortable playing with his own instrument, an alto Mark VI.

At the end of the session, the crowd was encouraged to ask the band members questions; one of the last inquiries made by a student was over how much of their performances are improvised.

“I had a harmonic concept that I wanted to use and a rhythmic concept I wanted to use,” confirmed Zenón. “Most of it, about ninety percent, of it is improvised. What they’re playing, the solos, every time they’re kind of different and fresh.”

The former Grammy nominated artist was a noteworthy and exceptional spectacle for any student with an ear for music.

Gabbing with grunt: Is there a perfect time to be single?


Image courtesy of

Life in your twenties is magical; you can be studying for your Masters while drinking chocolate milk out of a Superman cup. People make excuses for you if you were out all night because obviously you don’t know any better. And all around you, your high school classmates are getting married and having babies, not necessarily in that order. Continue reading “Gabbing with grunt: Is there a perfect time to be single?”

down the hall, to the left: I’m not staring, I’m a social scientist


Image courtesy of Horner-Brackett

The human species has evolved for millions of years, from the Sahelanthropus tchadensis and the Australopithecus afarensis, to the Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Neanderthals. Without these wonderful people, we wouldn’t have you, and we wouldn’t have Professor Rachael Horner-Brackett. Continue reading “down the hall, to the left: I’m not staring, I’m a social scientist”

Gabbing with Grunt: Why your New Year’s resolution flopped

We’re only an entire month immersed into the New Year; however, I abandoned my New Year’s resolution about 28 days ago. Perhaps it says something about my character, or my lack of motivation, but it could also be saying something about the entire tradition itself. Continue reading “Gabbing with Grunt: Why your New Year’s resolution flopped”

Clinton supporters hustle to Danceland Ballroom


Image courtesy of Madison Gritton

Hillary Clinton was just one of the primary democratic nominees making the rounds in Iowa on Saturday, January 23rd.  

At an event titled “Hard Hats for Hillary,” Clinton supporters rallied at the Danceland Ballroom in Davenport from 4:30 to 6:30.

As the name of the event suggests, Clinton’s designated audience was largely union workers; however, dozens of Clinton well-wishers attended the speech.

Madison Gritton, a BHC graduate of 2015, was among those eager to observe the nominee. “Not all of what she mentioned in her speech really could relate to me considering I’m not in a union…but a couple of things did resonate with me. She mentioned how she was going to raise our incomes, but not raise our taxes.

“As of right now with my current income, I cannot afford to live out on my own. If my income was raised, I could finally be able to move out of my parent’s house.”

Gritton also described how Clinton spoke of wanting to “build up our infrastructure” by repairing or building new roads and bridges.

“Hillary didn’t really talk about different controversial topics, I’m guessing because it was really close to caucus,” admitted Gritton.

When asked how the spectators reacted at “Hard Hats for Hillary,” Gritton gushed, “When she speaks, it’s almost like she’s talking with her friends…Seeing her in person made me support her even more.”

As caucus-season is kicking-off, events like “Hard Hats for Hillary” are crucial for nominees, including Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, who also were campaigning in Iowa at that time.

Written by Gayle Grundstrom