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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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The joys of creation

Whitney Veazey

In elementary school, my dad took me and my best friend at the time to most of our high school’s football games. We’d sit by the fence behind one of the goalposts, munching on popcorn and talking about nonsense, while my dad stood behind us and watched the game. 

My favorite part of the game, every time, was listening to the band play. Our conversation would lull into silence as I stared in amazement toward the band stands to see the students create such wonderful sounds. At halftime, I would press my face to the fence in an attempt to track each person’s movements across the field. Afterward, I would turn back to my dad and say, “I’m going to do that one day.” 

At the beginning of sixth grade, I enrolled in the band, and after receiving my beginner clarinet, I was hooked. Because I had taken piano lessons since first grade, I was familiar with how to read music and rhythms, and I was a fast learner because I enjoyed it so much. This continued throughout my school years until I graduated high school, and I loved every second. 

For a shy person like myself, being in the band forced me to get out of my shell and become a part of something that required the efforts of a collective, not just me. We were a team, and I had to count on those around me to do their part in synthesizing the desired end product, whether this was at a concert or on the football field. The friendships I made along the way were a big part of what got me through my school days. However, my favorite part of it all was taking part in creating something I had always loved. 

There’s something so special about being one of countless players and hearing the sounds of your instrument mingle with those of others, swirling in the air together before finally settling over you and creating one song, complete but composed of so many individual parts. There’s something magical about being just one part of the act of creation. 

In high school, I became interested in making jewelry, so after buying the supplies, I set to work, making everyone I knew something that perfectly represented them. My limited free time was consumed with making earrings for my grandmother, bracelets for my friends, rings for my mother, and everything in between. To this day, my jewelry box is still full of my projects, though I have since stopped adorning myself with as many pieces as could possibly fit on my body. 

Around the time I started making jewelry, I also tried out knitting for the first time, and I fell in love with it. That same year, I decided to knit red and green bunnies for all of my friends for Christmas, a large task considering the size of my friend group at the time. I’ve made scarves, plenty of stuffed animals, and an (attempted) blanket, among other small projects, and most of what I’ve finished has been given as gifts to loved ones. 

Over the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I randomly decided I wanted homemade chocolate chip cookies one day, and on a whim, I looked up a recipe and tried it out. I found out that I absolutely love baking because I can play my music and completely zone out for thirty minutes or so, and at the end of the process, I have a sweet treat that I made completely by myself. The added bonus is hearing how much people love eating what I made, and the requests for different baked goods kept coming in. There was a point when my mom had to limit me to one baking day a week because we couldn’t keep sugar, flour, butter or eggs in the house consistently due to my almost-daily baking sprees.

Now, three years into college, I don’t have much time for these hobbies because of my studies, but being involved with the newspaper fills these gaps. I have had some of the best opportunities since I started writing articles, and I have met the most amazing people through interviews and connections I’ve made. I love getting to tell stories that might otherwise go untold. My favorite stories to write are the happy ones, the ones where people are so excited to be doing what they’re doing, because that happiness is contagious, and it makes my job all the more fun. I love getting to do one of my favorite things – putting words on a page – and hearing the positivity that comes from my enjoyment of telling other people’s stories.

Through learning these different forms of creation, I learned that my enjoyment comes not from the act itself, and not from the tangibility of the action’s results, but from my newfound ability to give something that I made myself to those around me. There’s so much pride in making something and then later hearing feedback on how much it was enjoyed, no matter what the product is. I love being able to make people happy, while also feeling fulfilled in the process, all from creating something with my own two hands.

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About the Contributors
Kelley Peters
Kelley Peters, Managing Editor
Kelley is a junior from Tupelo, Miss. who is majoring in English literature with a minor in applied linguistics. She is currently Managing Editor for The Flor-Ala. She has loved reading for as long as she can remember, which developed her love of storytelling and the English language. Her career goal is to become an English professor at a university. She was previously a volunteer writer in the Fall of 2021, became a Staff Writer in January of 2022 and moved to being News Editor in January of 2023.
Whitney Veazey
Whitney Veazey, Chief Photographer
Whitney is a sophomore from Greenville, Ala. She is working towards a BFA with a concentration in photography. Whitney started at The Flor-Ala in Fall 2022 as a staff writer/photographer and is currently serving as chief photographer.

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