W.W.D.D. — What Wabash Men Can Learn From My Uncle Dave

Hey all,

It’s been a while since I posted a blog – so long that I can say that I’m no longer a sophomore blogger! I’ve moved up in the world. With a freshly-graduated group of Wabash men, I have officially become the Class of 2016 Junior Blogger (the capital letters make it seem more important). I hope that, for anyone who is reading this, your summer break is off to an excellent start. I would typically start out a summer blog with an energetic and enthusiastic post about what opportunities this summer holds for me, and there will be plenty of blogs for that. However this is not a blog about foresight, but rather reflection.

While watching friends from the class of 2015 sit on the senior bench after commencement last Sunday, I received a tearful phone call from my mother informing me that, without too many details, my Uncle Dave, age 59, had had an accident, and had been airlifted to a hospital in Louisville. She didn’t know much more. Dylan and I left Wabash immediately for Greenfield, and when we arrived at my home around 4:00, my parents had not heard many updates from the rest of the family. By 5:00, my father had received the text message that my uncle was unresponsive, and had been taken off of his respirator. He was expected to pass away, and did so the next day. As a family, we cried.

After the initial grief and tears had passed, our family remained in shock. This Friday afternoon, in the sun and breeze, we put my uncle’s body to rest. The days in between have allowed for recollection with family, and lots of reflection on who my Uncle Dave was. I can say with true sincerity that I would be doing my Wabash brothers a disservice if I did not share with them what kind of man my Uncle Dave was.

Though my Uncle Dave was not a Wabash man, he was someone that every Wabash man should strive to be. He embodied the four principles of the Wabash mission statement, including his ability to Think Critically, Act Responsibly, and Lead Effectively. But none more so than the way that he Lived Humanely. My Uncle Dave lived a life devoted to his faith. Christians are told to “love thy neighbor,” but many people, Christian or not, unfortunately fall short when it comes to this simple task. Uncle Dave was not one of those people. My Uncle Dave and Aunt Cathy live to love. At his viewing, I could not hug my aunt, and tell her that she and my uncle were the best people I know, without crying – because it is true. In everything he did, my Uncle conveyed the love and respect that he believed was the basic part of his faith. Whether it was the people he interacted with (both at home, or in his mission trips to South America), the natural world around him, which he loved (he would avoid stepping on anthills), or the students he taught, my Uncle Dave lived to serve others. Even after passing away, he, an organ donor, continued to serve, and helped 3 people continue to live their lives. My Uncle Dave did not agree with everyone (an important part of Thinking Critically), but his disagreement or disapproval was presented in a manner that offered nothing but respect. He was steadfast in his convictions, and projected authority, but was gentle in his actions, without offense – something that many students at Wabash, no matter how intelligent, sadly fail to practice. He was quick to hug, and slow to anger, found laughter easy, and seemed to never frown. My grandmother summed it up well, wearing a pin with his picture on it that simply said “Special.”

My parents say that when rubber bracelets with “W.W.J.D.”, or “What Would Jesus Do” on them started to become popular, they would humorously quip “W.W.D.D.” – What Would Dave Do? This comparison did not come from any cynicism regarding the saying on the bracelets. My parents, like everyone else that knew my uncle, just saw my uncle as a wonderful example of humane living.

I believe that my uncle is fine right now – that’s the part of my faith that makes death all right. There was a reason why my uncle was on this earth when he was, and a reason why he left it. We cry because this place was better for having Uncle Dave, and will be a little less bright without. I pray that I will be able to live a life in which I treat every person I meet with the same respect and compassion my uncle would have. I have the upmost admiration for my Aunt Cathy, who has been our rock and support this week, not the other way around. And I am in awe of both of their faith – they live life with a purpose, conviction, and serenity that many hope for, but few achieve. And I do not hesitate to say that if every Wabash man took a second to ask “W.W.D.D.” before they act, this world would be a much better place.

I love you Aunt Cathy and Uncle Dave


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I’m Not Dead!

Hey ya’ll! It’s been over a week since my last blog, and I’m sure you’ve all been worried sick that I’ve died some horrible-yet-hilarious death as a result of my bad luck and clumsiness. I’m here to reassure you that I am NOT dead – but I’m close. Like clockwork, now that finals are right around the corner, a debilitating stroke of strep throat has graced my trachea, and ever time I swallow, it’s like I’m attempting to digest a ping pong ball wrapped in Styrofoam. How’s that for some visual imagery? After getting give-or-take zero hours of sleep last night, I’ve been hitting the throat spray and cough drops like it’s my job, and I scheduled an appointment with the campus physician for tomorrow. It’s worth noting that every time I go in to the health center, I’m reminded that Nurse Carol Lamb is an absolute saint. Sometimes even big college-age Wabash men who are feeling ill just really need someone to tell to call them “honey.” It helps.

But first…let me take a #selfie.

Speaking of not being dead, I have also survived two landmark college moments this weekend! After classes on Friday, my best friend from high school, Taylor, and I packed up and headed down to Bloomington for our first-ever “Little 500” weekend at Indiana University. Coming from campuses like Wabash, and even Purdue makes navigating IU seem like driving through a small nation-state. We reconnected with some high school friends, Wabash friends, and Taylor’s older sister Lauren, who is a senior Kappa Delta at IU. Needless to say it was a blast of a weekend, and I had a great time!

Notice the iconic green legs. “Fashion forward.”

Though Little 5 was awesome, the truly insane moment of the weekend happened yesterday. For you all, my wonderful blog-readers, you’ve been reading about my excursions and adventures as a Sphinx Club Rhynie for the past 3 months. From half-time dances to air raids, it was an experience I will never forget. But that being said, it is an excellent feeling to say that I am no longer a Rhynie! After being initiated, my Rhyne brothers and I will be full-blown, white pot-wearing, stripe-sporting members of the Sphinx Club. It’s been a heck of a semester, with a lot of good memories made, but I’m glad to have the last two weeks of the semester to fully devote to my finals and other responsibilities. Speaking of which, I need to get cranking of some Chinese final preparation I’ve been procrastinating. Have a good Monday, Wallies!



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Physics Comes Knocking…Again

Hey guys, I’m back a week later for a quick update blog.

Although Phi Delt did not win the Pan-Hel Week competition, the whole week was a blast. Highlights included hosting Lilly Scholar finalists (which brings back memories of the first time I saw the famous freshmen bed races), listening to Jim Amidon’s phenomenal Chapel Talk, and dressing up with my fellow Rhyne brothers as sexy security guards for the shopping kart races on Friday. I had a great weekend with some out of state friends from high school at the beach-themed FIJI Island party and got to attend the College Democrats of Indiana Convention downtown on Saturday, which was, I promise, much more interesting than it may sound. On Sunday, I got to help out with Alpha Phi Omega’s annual community Easter Egg Hunt, which enjoyed a very good turnout of children from the staff, faculty, and community families. If my week sounds busy, just try living it all on top of Chinese homework and Rhyne duties. Although campus has been fun, I’m excited to head home for Easter this weekend, after Phi Delta Theta hosts its annual Mothers, Brothers, and Others day on Saturday.

Now I’m not one for excuses, but there is a reason that it’s been a week since my last blog. If you think back to right toward the beginning of the semester, my recently-fixed Mac crashed for the third time this school year, recrashing my hard drive after I wrapped up the last 7 weeks of the semester without a laptop. After this last fix, I thought that my computer problems might finally be behind me. I was unfortunately mistaken. Like clockwork, out of the blue, last Wednesday, my Mac failed to run any programs (which included saving the presentation I was working on), and after an innocent attempt at rebooting it, failed to find the hard drive, and I wound up with the gray “question mark folder” of death for the 4th time this year.

“Genius Bar THIS”

This means that any and all computer work must be done on the other side of campus, on a library Mac. Even on a campus Wabash’s size, folks, this is a major pain in the butt. I’ll try to use my mobile Twitter account from my phone as much as possible until I can get the bad Apple fixed. (@BodeWabashBlog).

But even with the bad news about my Mac, I won’t leave you without a funny story based on my personal injury (par usual). On Friday afternoon, with all my classes finished for the day, I decided to lie down on the comfy couch in my and Joe’s room for a quick nap before my friend Jess arrived on campus. The weather was gorgeous, the window was open, and even with loud “Friday afternoon” music blasting from the room next door, the nap seemed like it would be a roaring success.

And then PHYSICS.

Here is why Physics doesn’t even make sense to me. Sound waves are not solid. You can’t touch sound. But apparently, it can touch other things. I hadn’t been lying down for more then two minutes before I heard a tinkling noise above me. A picture frame had fallen off the shelf above me, rattled off by the intensity of a song playing from the speakers in the room next to me. I had just enough time to think “well at least it was just a picture frame that landed on my lap” before a decorative bottle I had picked up in New Orleans twerked right off of the shelf, and crashed onto the very top of my head. I saw stars. There was no serious damage, but needless to say, I still have a nice lump on my head, and I haven’t slept on that couch since.

Have a good week Wallies!



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你好吗? 认识你很高兴! Or in other words, hey ya’ll! I recently got a program that lets me type in Chinese characters, so I figured I’d bust it out. It’s that time of year again, when everyone busts out their favorite fraternity swag and Wal-Mart tends to misplace a couple of shopping carts – Pan-Helenic Week! For anyone that doesn’t know what the “Hel” Pan-Hel means (#SunsOutPunsOut), it’s Greek Week! The inter-fraternal week of competition kicked off Sunday afternoon with the second annual Fraternity Day banquet, where all Greeks were invited to mingle, share ideas, and honor the fraternity achievements across campus. For the rest of the week, each night there will be competitions between the fraternities such as Tug-of-War, Tricycle Races, and the famous Freshmen Bed Race, so that a house can be crowned Pan-Hel Champ at the end of the week. If you read my blogs last year, you might remember that Phi Delta Theta is actually the defending Pan-Hel Champ, and we’re prepared to put up a fight to earn a back-to-back victory. Last year, we placed well in events all across the board, but really won our way to victory by winning spirit points at almost every event. Phi Delt may be small, but if there’s one thing we know how to do, it’s showing up to things and making noise.

Also, this week kicks off the Master’s golf tournament! If you’re thinking “Wow, Nathan, you don’t seem like the type that gives a crap about golf,” then you’re TOTALLY CORRECT. However, I’m a Rhyne. And that means that if there’s an occasion to dress up for something, we’re not going to miss it. So to celebrate the Master’s, the Rhynies will be marching around campus posing as golf caddies all week, complete with golf bags, Arnold Palmers, and green jackets. When I texted my dad asking if he had a spare bag of clubs I could use for the week, and explained why, Poppa Bode pulled through like a champ, and brought me the official attire of a Master’s caddy. This doesn’t mean a polo and sweater vest. No, no, this means a water-resistant zip-up white onesie. It’s SUPER sexy. So if you see the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man waddling across campus…that’s me.

There is literally no difference between the left and right picture

The only other real news is that I got accepted into the Sons of Wabash this weekend! Time to meet some more alumni. Wish us luck in Pan-Hel!

Have a good week, Wallies!



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Staying Busy

Hey ya’ll, I’m back with a blog. I really am trying to up my blog-to-week ratio (which is at a sexy 1:1 right now) but guys, it’s at the time of the year where people don’t really have time to talk to each other as much as shout nouns and verbs at each other in passing because we all have so much STUFF to do. It’s not even all totally challenging stuff to do, but just the immense amount of tasks that have to be completed on a day-to day basis is enough to make you go crazy.

I’ve discovered that I will totally lose my mind and forget to do ANYTHING unless I write EVERYTHING down, which leads to my awesome hand-drawn calendars. Being able to physically scribble things off of the calendar helps put my mind at ease, and it has saved my butt more than because I’ve forgotten about something until I see it on the ‘dar. For example, this week includes such notes as “Meeting with Hoerl,” “Symphony Field Trip,” and “Rhyneship stuff” (which just encompasses a lifestyle).

I don’t mean to sound like the typical college student, but it really is shocking to believe that this morning, I registered for my junior year classes. I’m very excited for next semester, because I’ll be back into my major classes. A semester of easy, 100-level distribution courses has been nice, but I am itching to use my brain again the way it’s supposed to be used – in political science and Spanish. Next semester includes such gems as the Introduction to Political Theory, and the famous Nietzsche course, both taught by my favorite professor Dr. Hoerl, as well as Chinese 201 and Spanish 313.

The next semester will also see the continuation of the independent research project that I have been working on with political science professor, Dr. Gelbman. We hope to have done enough research by next year to present our findings at some political science conventions around the country (I’m extremely excited). More info to come on this exciting project.

Good to hang out with friends from the Mt. Vernon stomping grounds, with my friend Jess, my twin sister Mandy, and my best friend from high school, Taylor.

Finally, it was a fun weekend to be on campus, since it was packed to the seams with friends from other campuses for this year’s National Act, The White Panda and Sammy Adams. It was a whirlwind, but I’m of the firm belief that the more people on campus, the better. Now there’s one week to recuperate before Pan-Hellenic Week starts next week, when Phi Delta Theta will work to defend its title as Pan-Hel Champs.

P.S. CONGRATULATIONS to Coaches Roger and Cassie Busch on the healthy arrival of their baby girl Emmerson!!

Talk to you later, friends,



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Bao Na Sen, Bouts, and Bikes

AH, nimen hao! I know it’s been way too long since I posted a blog, which isn’t good. But that just means I have plenty to tell you about! And boy, do I. This past week was about non-stop from Thursday to Sunday night, spanning multiple time-zones, with a whirlwind of people to meet. So let’s get to it!

On Thursday, students in Chinese language courses (like myself), and Chinese or Mexican-American History courses packed two busses to head to Chicago for a day of foreign art and culture. We visited a few art museums focusing on Mexican-American and Oriental art, and had the opportunity to shop around in Chicago’s Chinatown. For the Chinese 102 students, this included a short but nervous interview with a tea shop owner, in Chinese. Luckily, my group, which included a Sphinx  Club member and my Rhynie bro Ryan Anzalone, interviewed a very cooperative, and very sweet old lady who made sure not to speak too quickly. I am nowhere near as good at speaking Chinese as I am at speaking Spanish (which I have studied for about nine times as long), but even asking short, kindergarten-level questions in Chinese such as “what do you think is the best tea here?,” I felt a twinge of the excitement that I get from speaking and understanding a foreign language. All in all, it was great to get off of campus for a day, and I felt very refreshed coming back to hit the ground running.

And it just happened to be Jess’s birthday. Happy birthday cutie!

My second Honor Scholars’ Weekend as a Wabash student was just as exciting as the first, and I can’t believe it has already been a year since I was writing about my own fight in the Phi Delt bouts. Like last year, I had some of my best friends from high school visit for the weekend, including my twin sister Mandy, and Phi Delt/Rhynie class sweetheart Jess, who stood in as Round Sign girls during the bouts (and thoroughly convinced all the recruits that cute women are at Wabash, like, ALL THE TIME!). Meeting recruits who may be my fellow Wabash men, or even fraternity brothers next year was exciting, as always, and it’s always great to see how passionate current Wabash students get when trying to find a way to explain to prospective students just how incredible Wabash really is. The weekend even saw me make my “Retired Athlete” debut onto the track during the Greek 4×100 relay, in which Phi Delt took a very close, but proud 2nd place. It’s been a while since these legs have had to run!

To wrap up this blog, I’ll make an announcement that I’ve been excited to make for a while. If you’ve kept up with my blogs, then you know that I’ve been going through the application process for an internship with Nantucket Bike Tours for the second time. I’m very excited to say that I was offered the internship position, and will be heading out to Massachusetts this summer, along with Sphinx Club member Tanner Watson, ’15, to learn more about operating a small entrepreneurial business. I’m still a little in shock, and I couldn’t be more excited. Plus it should give me plenty to blog about! Stay out of the snow, and have a good one Wallies!



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New Orleans 2: Back With A Vengeance

Hey guys! Unlike last year, there were no official blogs to be done during my time in New Orleans, so I’ll just catch you all up on my antics now.

Last Sunday, around 5 in the morning, I headed down South for Spring Break to work with Crawfordsville’s First Christian Church in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans, the area hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I traveled for the same trip last year along with about 12 other Wabash students. This year however, due to a large number of other spring break immersion trips, only two students, myself and Jared Burris, a junior cross country and track runner (and NOLA trip veteran), were able to go. Luckily, after three athletic seasons and a spring break trip together already, me and Burris are good friends. In addition to the two Wabash students, 4 men from First Christian traveled with us, and we met up with a fifth once we were in New Orleans. The project this year was the installment of a new roof for the son of a friendly pastor in the lower ninth ward.

Right off the bat, we spent the first day of roof demolition in 70-degree weather and sun. The weather ended up being all but perfect, with one day of rain on Tuesday. However even this worked in our favor. Because we had such a small group, and Burris and I had been on the trip before, our schedule was very flexible, and we had the opportunity to do some group activities that we couldn’t have done with a bigger group. For example, on the rainy Tuesday, when we had no way to work on the roof, instead of spending the day cooped up inside the mission, our group spent a few hours seeing the National World War II Museum in downtown New Orleans, which ended up being even more fascinating than I expected, and I love WWII stuff. We also got to visit the site of the Battle of New Orleans, won against the British by a young man named Andrew Jackson. An unexpected highlight of the trip however came in the form of some very spontaneous sight-seeing.

I LOVE American Horror Story on FX. I can’t get enough. If you haven’t seen it, and you don’t’ have anything against very dark storylines, you should definitely check it out. As it turns out, the most recent season of American Horror Story: Coven, took place in New Orleans, where a coven of witches takes on a younger generation of women into “Miss Robicheaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies.” I Googled the house people, and it was actually about a 20 minute drive away from our mission…

Between our trip and the rhetoric immersion trip to Washington D.C., I think we know who saw really saw the most important white house.

The trip was excellent, the food was superb, as always, and it was a great experience getting off campus and into some warm weather for a change. Service trips are an excellent example of ways that you can get a lot more out of a week off besides a crippling hangover.

Good luck with the second half of the semester Wallies!



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Rhynies and Root Beer: Craig Brainard

Me and Craig cracking open the very first “Rhynies and Root Beer” after Chapel!

Hey ya’ll, happy Thursday! So for the rest of the semester I’ll be doing a couple installments of my new blog segment, “Rhynies and Root Beer.” Rhynies, like most humans, get thirsty from time to time, so I thought it’d be fun to sit down, crack open a cold one, and have an unplugged chat so you all can get to know my Rhyne brothers a little better! Seeing as all but one of my brothers is underage, we’ll stick to root beer…for now.

Craig, what’s your major and minor?

My major and minor are in Rhetoric and Economics.

You’re a Beta. Compare your house to a fruit, and explain why.

I don’t want to sound terrible. I don’t want to say lemon and sound terrible. But it’s a good analogy! Some people look at the outside and think that it’s going to be sour, but for some people it’s a good fit, and they really like it. I love lemons.

Marry, Kill, or Play Call of Duty with: Ke$ha, Ronald Reagan, and Dean Raters. Go.

That’s a tough one. I guess I’d kill Ronald Reagan, because he’s already dead, the job’s already done. Then I’d marry Dean Raters and play Call of Duty with Ke$ha.

What made you choose Wabash?

The business connections. We obviously don’t have a business program, so I saw the value in the business connections, and heard about the alumni support, and how that’s just a tradition here.

Why did you join Sphinx Club?

I came to Wabash for the business connections, but then started to love all of the traditions that we have here. As a freshman, all of the guys that I looked up to were members in the Sphinx Club, and I didn’t really notice it until I was a Rhyne, but all the guys who you would imagine as leaders across campus are in the club, which really drew me to it.

As someone raised in Crawfordsville, is it true that all townies are born with 12 toes?


Would You Rather: be made of Jello, or constantly have extremely sticky shoes?

So sticky to the point of like…? … [inappropriate simile about stickiness] … Oh. Made of Jello.

Who’s your favorite professor?

*Genuine struggle for about 45 seconds* Can I just tell you my top list? *Final decision* Dr. Herzog and Dr. Hudson have probably been the most influential for me.

What is your favorite mammal?

Red panda.

And that’s it for this week guys! I’ll post a blog or two next weekend from New Orleans, so until then, have a great and safe Spring Break Wallies!



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NBT, HPAs, and NOLA!

Hey ya’ll! I have so many different exciting things all going on at once, that I’m just going to skip the cheesy intro that I’m known for and get straight to the dirty details.

I’m sure we’re all a little “fetta-p” with cheesy intros.

For any of my loyal readers who have been following my Wabash adventures since last year (hi, Mom), you may remember that the “big deal” for me around this time during my freshman year, I was applying for the Nantucket Bike Tours internship. Although I did not make the final cut last year, the experience I gained through the application process was incredibly eye-opening to what a real-world application is like. I’m excited to be pursuing the Small Business Internship with Nantucket Bike Tours again this year, and kicked off the application process Sunday evening with a phone interview with the founder of NBT, Jason Bridges. With another year of career, student, and life experience under my belt, I’m excited and confident about giving the other applicants a run for their money. I’ll keep you all updated as I find out more!

Jack Belford ’16, some guy, Jacob Burnett ’15, Dylan Miller ’16, and Josh Bleisch ’16 at the Oscars

Immediately after my phone interview Sunday night, I ended the weekend on a high note by ordering pizza and watching the Oscars with some friends. Sunday nights are often a bit stressful and gloomy, what with the impending Monday and all, so the tradition this semester has been to get together with friends every Sunday night, and start the new week off on a fun note. This usually means heading to Applebee’s around 10:00 for half-price appetizers (HPA’s). After 5 weeks of seeing the same group of guys each Sunday night, our waitress now knows my drink order. Watching the Oscars was a great substitute for HPA’s, and we even took a selfie in honor of Ellen Degeneres’ A-List selfie that got so many retweets, it literally broke Twitter.

This week is going to be dedicated to preparing for my second Spring Break service trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, which starts around 4AM on Sunday morning. If you read any of the blogs last year, you know that I had an amazing time on the trip, and I’m very excited to head to the gulf again for some 60-degree weather and sun, and hopefully a little building of character while I, along with men from Wabash and Crawfordsville First Christian Church work to repair and restore homes damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

I’ll be starting a new series of blogs called “Rhynies and Root Beers” this week, so keep your eyes peeled for that. It should be pretty fun.

And a little plug of self-promotion, if you, my dear reader, as a prospective student, parent of a future (or current) Little Giant, or some other character that reads Wabash blogs, has a question for me, shoot it at my Twitter (@bodewabashblog) and I’ll make sure to squeeze a response into my blogs!

Have a great Tuesday, everyone.



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I Didn’t Fall Down, SORRY

Hey everyone! Another packed week at the Bash is coming to a close, and I can practically taste the weekend already. It was an eventful week for Little Giants young and old, as we headed down south AGAIN for another basketball game against the Dannies, and welcomed a 95-year-old alum to campus to give us HER wisdom after being involved on campus for so long.

Tuesday night, the familiar scene of a 30-car caravan heading to Depauw University appeared again for the second time within a week. Unfortunately, the Little Giants fell to DePauw, and fell out of the NCAC Conference Championship, but our school definitely won in terms of spirit and general class. Sporting only “pro-Wabash” posters and keeping our cool throughout the game reflected much better upon Wabash than the Dannies, who resorted to obscenities and very personal remarks about our players. The only thing worse than a sore winner is a sore loser. In addition, it has officially been established that the Wabash College Sphinx Club, compared to the DePauw cheerleaders, more than makes up in overall enthusiasm for what it lacks in flippability.

Yesterday put me in a great mood thanks to the Chapel Talk from Jean Williams, Wabash’s oldest living honorary alumnus. I’m not sure if so much character has graced the Chapel since Jean’s last talk. Her wit and seven “pearls of wisdom,” were the perfect start to my Thursday, and really has set the tone for the weekend. My friend Jess is already in town, and my final class of the day was canceled, so the weekend is off to an early start! This blog wasn’t very exciting, and I get that. But sometimes not everything that happens to you all week is worth blogging about so if you didn’t like this blog very much, SORRY I DIDN’T FALL DOWN AND HAVE A FUNNY STORY TO WRITE ABOUT LIKE I NORMALLY DO. In all seriousness though, have a great weekend Wallies!



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