Black Friday contradicts Thanksgiving’s values

Manitou Messenger - 45 min 40 sec ago
What do you associate with Thanksgiving? Many people cannot think of Thanksgiving without thinking about friends, family, turkey and pie. Thanksgiving in the United States has traditionally been a time to relax, express gratitude and spend time with loved ones. Taking these tranquil associations into account, one cannot help but wonder how the nature of Thanksgiving suddenly devolves into the chaos of Black Friday less than 24 hours later. Incredible amounts of money are spent on Black Friday each year. The most recent Black Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, generated upwards of $1 billion dollars in mobile revenue. In case you’re curious, the five best-selling toys were Lego Creator Sets, Razor electric scooters, Nerf Guns, DJI Phantom Drones and Barbie Dreamhouses. Alternatively, the best-selling electronic products were Apple iPads, Samsung 4k TVs, the Apple MacBook Air, LG TVs and Microsoft Xbox. No one can deny that the deals on Black Friday make it possible for many Americans to buy expensive products that they may not usually be able to afford. But do these shopping sprees negate the spirit of Thanksgiving? Black Friday contradicts the community aspect of Thanksgiving through people’s obsession with hunting down the best bargains and only benefitting themselves. Millions of people wake up early on Black Friday each year in order to improve their chances of obtaining the items they want at reduced prices. Instead of giving thanks, consumers give each other headaches as they compete to get their slice of the Black Friday pie. The more recent shift to online shopping has only made participation in Black Friday easier. Rather than spending time traveling to a particular store and staking out a spot in what appears to be a never-ending line, consumers can purchase goods from the comfort of their own homes. Why brave the elements when you can snuggle up in a warm blanket, make a cup of coffee, sit down at your computer and purchase what you want online with merely a few clicks? The purpose of Black Friday seems directly opposed to the holiday of Thanksgiving. Nonetheless, many Americans love the concept of the “holiday.” It provides them with a convenient opportunity to save money just in time for Christmas and the holiday season. From a psychological perspective, Americans see the deals on Black Friday to be a reward for their  preparedness and for already knowing exactly what they “need” to buy. Missed out on the opportunity to snag a Black Friday deal? Fortunately for you, there’s still Cyber Monday. “Cyber Monday” was created by marketing companies to convince people to shop online on the Monday following Thanksgiving. This tradition began in 2005, and sales in 2016 started off with $554 million. Much like Black Friday, Cyber Monday has evolved into an annual ritual for holiday shoppers. Even as Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to encourage us to focus on accumulating material possessions, perhaps there is a better approach to welcoming the holiday season. Many national and state parks across the U.S. offer free admission to visitors on Black Friday. The Minnesota State Parks system offered free admission to all 75 state parks and recreation areas this past Black Friday. This growing initiative that encourages people to spend time in nature instead of at the malls has been dubbed “Free Park Friday.” In another attempt to refute Black Friday, many Americans now participate in Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is an international event developed in response to mass consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season. It’s a movement which encourages people to give back and donate to the charities, nonprofits and organizations they care about on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. While Thanksgiving has come and gone, the holiday season is only beginning. Whether you are frantically searching for the perfect gift, timing your shopping to take advantage of sales or contributing to the organizations you support, I hope you have discovered how to reflect your values in your activities. In this way you can continue to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive long after the food has been eaten. 
Danny Vojcak ’19 ( is from Naperville, Ill. He majors in environmental studies and political science.
Categories: Colleges

Happy Holidays!

Manitou Messenger - 45 min 40 sec ago
Happy Holidays from the Manitou Messenger staff. We appreciate your readership and look forward to seeing you in the spring. Good luck on your finals, Oles!
Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf Sentiments: Unity

Manitou Messenger - 45 min 40 sec ago
As winter is slowly easing its way back into my life, I seem to be more nostalgic than I would typically be on a day-to-day basis on the Hill. Particularly, I have been thinking about the exact reasons why I left my perpetually sunny southern California hometown, and ended up at a college with a smaller population than my high school. It was because I found a unfound sense of warmth in the smallness of St. Olaf that I had never felt anywhere else in my life. I think the size of St. Olaf and the proximity of its buildings has a profound influence on the campus and its students. From the start of my freshman year I found enjoyment in the cyclic routine my fellow Oles and I take across campus. It captivated me and made me feel unity with everyone around me. However, this unity has slowly begun to stagnate into a double edged sword. I do not just see the beauty in the unity, I see the hurt. The hurt comes from my experiences being shackled to the very campus itself. The campus has a way of manifesting negative memories through my senses, from mundane things like tripping on ice near Skoglund, to significant moments of heartbreak. These memories are bound to the places where I experienced them, and every day I am thrust back into those moments. To the girl whose smoothie I knocked out of her hand while entering Tomson, I am sorry. To the iced tea I never got to drink because I spilt it all rushing to Great Con last year, I am sorry. To every person I have had an awkward interaction with at the doors entering Buntrock, I am sorry. The very simple act of going to the Caf can boil up such unnecessary anxiety that sometimes I wonder what captivated me about this school in the first place. But the beauty does come in waves as well. Though right now the bad may appear more often to me than the good, the good is often a stronger feeling, bringing me back up from the shadows of melencholy. The past echoes throughout this campus bringing memories of joy. Every time I look up at the stars on an especially dark night I remember stargazing during Week One with people I barely speak to anymore. But the joy is still there. Every time I walk by Holland Hall I remember Professor Taliaferro’s introduction to the philosophy major that completely entranced me. And of course, Ellingson Hall, the shining gem of my freshman year: every time I walk by it I am reminded of the friendships that I made there that continue to flourish this year. These are some of the memories that serve as the rock on which I base all my other experiences on this hill. Like waiting for spring in the winter, I know more good times will come after the bad.St. Olaf is a beautiful beast of emotion and memory. No other place has grabbed me by the heart and thrown me higher than the sky and lower than hell. It is in its walls that I feel the experiences I have had here, and as the highs get higher and the lows get lower, I will continue to battle with its complex unity.
Categories: Colleges

The Failure of Words

Manitou Messenger - 45 min 40 sec ago
When you think about it, really hard, it makes no sense.How words fail to do their purpose,Of giving meaning to feelingOf describingNo matter how hard I try, Words will always fail me when I’m describing you.You are so much more than anything, than everythingMore than cute,More than kind,You’ll even always be more than all mineIt’s not just you,But everything about.The things you doThe words you sayHow I think about you every day.It’s always you, but I have no words.I’m more than happy, more than excitedWhen you’re around.More than disappointedMore than saddened,When you have to go.Understanding doesn’t make it easier.I can’t help the way I feel,How my heart still jumps when I see you,How my face lights up.I wish I could tell you all the things you do for me,All you make me feel.But we’d be here forever,And never scratch the surface.You are the reason I break out laughing when no one’s around.Why I seem to smile for no reason.Why some days are better than the weekend.
Categories: Colleges


Manitou Messenger - 45 min 40 sec ago
Black tea
White snow
And the earthen rests of each
Make up the scale of this quiet day

Retreating from the cold blowing
Of thoughts titled “Can” and “Can-Not,”
I steeped, then poured
Then sat at the kitchen table
Watching thick flakes fall,
The laggards of the bunch

How simple, this clearing came
Swiped down like a pine
Beneath the axe of some flannel-clad viking
While I can sit here and imagine

The bright warmths are beautiful,
But it is the dark warmths that love
The blanket, the socks,
The ruddy cup of tea
Beating ceramic against my fingers 

I sit here, drinking the dark,
Watching the light fall like stars
And put myself at ease
Between them
Categories: Colleges

2016: The Year in Northfield Poetry

Rob Hardy - Rough Draft - 5 hours 5 min ago
Sidewalk Poetry. In 2016, nine new poemswere added to Northfield sidewalks as part of the Northfield Sidewalk Poetry project. Reconstruction of Woodley Street between Division and Prairie Streets provided nearly a mile and a half of new sidewalk for poetry. 41 poems were installed along Woodley Street. The 2016 winning poets were Barbara Belobaba, Becky Boling, Julia Braulick, Steve McCown, Orick Peterson, Anne Running Sovick, Lori Stoltz, and Richard Waters.
Poetry Out Loud. In March, Arcadia Charter School student Anna Kochever was one of the top six finalists in the 2016 Poetry Out Loud state championship, held at The Loft in Minneapolis. Poetry Out Loud is an annual poetry recitation competition for high school students, sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. More than a dozen Arcadia students participated in the local competition. 
Poem in Your Pocket Day. On April 21, during National Poetry Month, Northfield again celebrated Poem in Your Pocket Day. Boxes full of poems were available at local businesses, some of whom offered discounts for customers who shared a poem. In 2017, Poem in Your Pocket Day will be on Thursday, April 20.
TORCH Poetry Slam. The second annual TORCH Poetry Slam took place in December. This year’s winners were Chris Lazaro (third place), Delina Haileab (second place), and Alondra Perez Gonzalez (first place).
Poetry Nights at ContentContent Bookstorehosted nine Poetry Nights in 2016 (January-June, October-December). Poets featured were Susan Jaret McKinstry, Greg Hewett, Kaethe Schwehn, Leslie Schultz, Freya Manfred, Ken McCullough, and the winners of Arcadia’s Poetry Out Loud Competition and the 2015 TORCH Poetry Slam. The June 2016 Poetry Night was a bilingual reading of poems of Pablo Neruda.
New Books. Two Northfield poets published books of poetry in 2016: 
  • Leslie Schultz, Still Life with Poppies: Elegies (Aldrich Press)
  • Kaethe Schwehn, Tanka & Me: Poems (Brain Mill Press/Mineral Point Poetry Series)
Contest Winners. Two Northfield poets won contests in 2016:
Northfield Poet Laureate. In September, the Northfield Public Library selected Rob Hardy to serve a three-year term as Northfield’s first Poet Laureate. In November, the Northfield Public Library received a $9,600 grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) to support the Poet Laureate program. Rob read poems in September at the annual Joseph Lee Heywood graveside service, the dedication of Wheeler Park, and the community celebration of the U.N. International Day of Peace. In November, he read a poem at the opening of a City Council meeting. He also worked with students in several classes at Northfield High School, hosted nine Poetry Nights at Content, and created and administered the Northfield Poet Laureate Facebook page.

The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) has provided a grant for this project thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund made possible by the voters of Minnesota.
Categories: Citizens

Bridgewater Elementary joins the Makerspace movement, increasing hands-on learning

Northfield News - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 4:39pm
Brought to Bridgewater in October by the will of its PTO, MakerSpace has left carts full of equipment constantly checked out by teachers seeking to bring hands-on learning through a range of projects corresponding with class lessons.
Categories: Local News

Wayne Eddy Affair | Barry ZeVann

KYMN Radio - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 4:32pm

Barry ZeVann, the Weatherman, returns to the show to recall his colorful life in show business and talk about his new autobiography “My Life Among the Giants, a Memior. wayneeddy012012 Listen in to the Wayne Eddy Affair every weekday. Monday through Thursday, 9:00-11:00 a.m. Fridays from 10:00-11:00 a.m.

The post Wayne Eddy Affair | Barry ZeVann appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

Drumpf’s “Questionnaire” to Dept. of Energy

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 4:09pm

Trump’s energy agenda, vague as it is, has been essentially to promote “clean coal,” nuclear and to deny climate change and dismantle federal climate change and “renewable” energy programs, of course with no move to eliminate subsidies for coal and nuclear.  The “transition team” sent a big laundry list of questions to the Department of Energy, and it’s pretty broad.  It’s also something that would be both telling and intimidating to receive.  Looking at this, there’s no doubt where they’re headed.

Here’s the document — read it and see what you think… and note how many of these questions are “Can you provide…” which are easily answered with just a “Yes” or “No” and that’s the end of it!

DOE – Trump Transition’s Questions

But wait… there’s another version (similar, but different order, etc.):

DOE – Trump Transition Question #2

I think Trump needs somebody to write his questions for him, somebody new that is.  He obviously didn’t come up with this, but his staff person who did, well, if they worked for me, “YOU’RE FIRED!”

Categories: Citizens

Bailey Ulbricht '15 earns prestigious Marshall Scholarship

Carleton Sports - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 2:28pm

Former Carleton College women’s soccer player Bailey Ulbricht ’15 has been named a Marshall Scholarship winner. She plans to use the funding provided by this award to attend graduate school at SOAS University of London.

Categories: Colleges

Community News: City employees pony up for Christmas Sharing

KYMN Radio - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 1:49pm

On December 8, 2016, city employees gathered together to show their Christmas spirit. Each year, members of the City Wellness Committee work to find ways employees can give back to the community. This year, in addition to monetary donations to the Northfield Area United Way, gifts for children were purchased as part of the Community […]

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We're Cooking

The Children's House - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 12:27pm
Winter is a great time to initiate, or expand on, children's roles in the family kitchen. Our weekly cooking classes at MCH follow the Montessori principles of empowering young children to be independent and feature hands on developmentally appropriate and fun projects for young children. Each year we compile a cookbook of our child friendly recipes for families to try at home and have their children take the lead in the kitchen. There are several good cookbooks on the market geared toward preschoolers, such as Molly Kasten's Pretend Soup, Honest Pretzels and her newest, Salad People. Habits for healthy eating and participation in family life can never start too early. It's a great way to empower your child to develop fine motor skills, concentration, a sense of order, independence and more. The end results are sweet rewards--you'll be surprised what even picky eaters will try if they have helped to make it themselves.


First Lady Michelle Obama's blog, Let's Move, has a treasure trove of recipes from Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids' "State Dinner" winners over the years. Go there while it's still up...and get cooking.

Categories: Citizens

Northfield undocumented speak on experiences; community gives input on sanctuary status

Northfield News - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 12:14pm
Editor’s note: Two persons identified in this story as Jose and Maria had their names changed by their own requests. The change serves to protect their identities.
Categories: Local News

Today’s news update – First degree murder charges in Burnsville store killing; Fatal on Rice Co. roads, Full house for Fire Facility presentation;

KYMN Radio - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 12:02pm

First degree murder filed in Burnsville Dollar Tree killing A Dakota County Grand Jury, yesterday, indicted a South St. Paul man of premeditated First Degree murder in the death of a Rosemount man at a Dollar Tree Store in Burnsville.  27 year old Grant David Hendrickson is accused of killing 69 year old Donald Joseph […]

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NAFRS hosts public presentation on fire facility, awaits commitment

Northfield News - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 11:00am
The Northfield Area Fire and Rescue Service Board made it known Thursday where it stands with a fire station renovation project. Now it awaits the stances of each of the entities that make it up.
Categories: Local News

ArtZany!-Radio for the Imagination | CVRO Handel’s Messiah and Guild Happenings 12/09/2016

KYMN Radio - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 10:21am

Listen Fridays at 9:00am (replayed on Saturday at 9:00am) to Paula Granquist on ArtZany! – Radio for the Imagination Today in the ArtZany! Radio studio Paula Granquist welcomes conductor Paul Niemisto from the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra to preview this weekend’s Handel’s Messiah: Christmas Edition! Also, Alyssa Herzog Melby, Executive Director of the Northfield Arts […]

The post ArtZany!-Radio for the Imagination | CVRO Handel’s Messiah and Guild Happenings 12/09/2016 appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

Rice County court logs for Dec. 8

Northfield News - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 9:16am
Here are the court dispositions for Dec. 8.
Categories: Local News

‘Morning Show’ with Jeff Johnson | Karen Knapik and Richard Gifford on grants for flood victims

KYMN Radio - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 8:03am

Jeff Johnson speaks with SBA Karen Knapik and FEMA’s Richard Gifford on grants available to local businesses, homeowners and renters who were affected by the flooding in September. Click below to listen to the full interview: FEMA 12-9-16

The post ‘Morning Show’ with Jeff Johnson | Karen Knapik and Richard Gifford on grants for flood victims appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

GALLERY: Northfield Winter Walk 2016

Northfield News - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 6:55pm
A gentle snow and a light breeze made for a picturesque 2016 Northfield Winter Walk Thursday night.
Categories: Local News

All-Wheel Drive/December 8

KYMN Radio - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 6:35pm

Jessica Paxton hosts the 4-6pm hours filling them with eclectic music, news and local info. Playlist: Such a treat to celebrate Northfield’s Winter Walk extravaganza with an in-studio appearance by Mother Banjo (aka Ellen Stanley) and Ben Cook-Feltz! Two very talented Minnesota musicians who also happen to be married — to each other! — and […]

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