Anna Grace Askelson

“Native:” Christianity and Native American spirituality

Kaitlin B. Curtice’s book “Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God.” Mockup by Anna Grace Askelson via “Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God” by Kaitlin B. Curtice, released this May, is an approachable piece of religious non-fiction that covers race, connection to nature, feminism, Christianity and Native American spirituality.   Curtice is a Potawatomi woman who was raised in the Christian church. She has a background that includes the language and theological structure of evangelical Christianity with the cultural beliefs and traditions of the Potawatomi nation.  Because of this background, though written as a Christian book, “Native” is accessible to...

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Questions to Ask Before Volunteering

Graphic by Anna Grace Askelson Throughout the country, activism is ramping up. Faced with a global pandemic, widespread protests and pride month all at the same time, many Americans are wondering how they can help.   Resource lists for organizations that need donations are flooding social media, and protests are popping up in cities everywhere. But if you cannot donate money or risk health by being in a large crowd to protest, you can still make a difference by volunteering.  Community needs for food banks and other non-profit services still exist, and now is a great time to help. As the global pandemic...

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How to Party Hard in Quarantine

On April 4, I turned 19! I had been looking forward to my birthday party for a while, and I was making elaborate plans as early as February. I wanted to try something new, like going roller skating or hosting a murder mystery party or just default to old faithful – a board game night with pizza.   When April came around, it was clear that none of these plans could happen under quarantine. But I, a diehard extrovert, wasn’t ready to give up that easily.   So I turned to a virtual party! This came with its highs and lows in the various stages of party planning, but for the most part it turned out well.   I organized my friends through a group text on my Android phone. I would recommend using a different app if you have Android, because through the texting app I couldn’t add or remove people after initially creating the group or insert something like a poll, which would have been really helpful.  Décor was easy for me, as I had saved my party decorations from last year. All I had to do was string them up in the background of where I was sitting for the call, and voila, instant festivity. If you don’t want to put the effort in, or you don’t have décor on hand, you can consider using a birthday-themed background on Zoom. One of my friends...

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Positives of Quarantine

The history-making present that we’re all living through is mainly characterized as terrifying and lonely. While we are living with a sense of fear for our immunocompromised and elderly loved ones, and lacking our normal routines and socialization, life can feel like it has frozen.   In addition to this, many Montevallo students feel a deep sense of loss for long anticipated projects and events that have dissolved with very little notice. In the midst of so much mourning and adjustment, it can be really difficult to find positivity.  It took me about a week to learn to cope with my new situation,...

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You don’t have to be hot

Blogger Erin McKean has a quote about beauty that I have been absorbing and realizing since I first heard it in middle school.  “You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street… you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female.’” As a member of Gen Z, I have often heard the phrases, “everyone is beautiful,” and “inner beauty is more important than outer beauty.” When I was an angsty...

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