Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring has Sprung....

     As I scroll through the seemingly endless Facebook news feed, I'm bombarded with a plethora of statuses ranging from baby daddy drama to NCAA championship posts. Most of these I overlook but today and yesterday I've noticed the enormous amount of posts related to the weather. "Yay Spring is finally here!" "What a beautiful Spring day!" "I'm going to ENO because it's Spring and that's the only time it's ideal to ENO." Woot. I'd love to say that I'm as enthusiastic as everyone else about the dramatic weather change in the last two weeks, but I'm just not. Sure, I enjoy not having to wear pants and not having to wear gloves, but for me, Spring brings about some serious negatives.
     First off, I should begin by saying that I have chronic Sinusitis (yes, that's a thing). It means that I constantly have a sinus infection, or swelling, of  the sinuses. Also, I'm severely allergic to all trees and grasses. You're starting to see how Spring is especially miserable  for me, aren't you? Yes, it's a pain in the rear that even my four allergy medications can't alleviate. Today, for instance, is a bad day. I'm sniffling as I type this actually.
     Next, with warmer weather brings sweat. And I don't usually sweat that much (at least I used to not) but since coming to college I look like a hot mess walking to every class, especially when I have to trek all the way across campus in ten minutes. It's not that sweat in itself is that uncomfortable, but I get it in really strange places. My head, especially where my hair is, is dripping. My back, where my backpack rests, is moist. Not comfortable; and it makes me look like poop when walking into my classes. I've gotta look good.
     Last, but certainly not least, bugs. I hate em. They always seem to find me. ALWAYS. They itch me, irritate me, get in my way, threaten to sting me. Leave me alone you six-legged monsters! This factor especially, combined with the previously mentioned, is the reason why I never wanted to go outside as a child. I'm basically allergic to nature. So yeah.
     By this point in the blog you're probably thinking that I hate Spring. That's not entirely true. I love the amazing beauty of watching things grow and bloom. It's magnificent. I just wish I could watch from inside. Can't I just live in a bubble?
God Bless,
   Nick Mullins!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lackadaisical Attitudes for Spring Semester

     It's been a long while since I've blogged. I'd like to have an excuse for why that is. I could say I didn't have time, that I was too busy with school work. But that would be a lie. Since coming back to Tech after Christmas break my study and homework habits have made my grades take an unwanted nosedive into mediocrity. This is coming from the person who never really studied and high school and still had a 4.0 GPA. High school teachers always warn our generation that our first college exam would be a wake-up call. My first college exam was a math exam, I didn't study, and I still made a 100. My second college exam was a Latin test, I didn't study, and made a 95. You see the pattern here. Last semester I figured that I could continue to rely on my natural intellectual abilities to breeze me through college. And last semester, that totally worked, until I made a C (and a low C at that) on an exam in a class where only three exams were taken all semester. Sure, I still got a B in the class, but that really made me realize that I was going to have to buckle down and actually study. We got back from Christmas break to start the Spring semester, and I that B was fresh on my mind. I had to take that class again (the second part of a two semester course) and you better believe I worked hard studying for the first two exams. I made A's on both of them (and you have to make a 95 to make an A, so it's not easy). You're probably thinking, "Wow Nick, you really turned over a new leaf!"

     I wish. I'd like to say that I focused on my schoolwork and became a study fiend, but that's just not true. I'm the type of person that I'm not going to change anything about myself unless something drastic happens that makes me want to do it. Sometimes it's a good trait, because it means I'm passionate about the things I commit my time to. It's also a bad thing, because that also means that I'll keep plummeting lower and lower until I have a dramatic epiphany. Sure, I got my act together in that one class, but there are other classes that I am not so committed to. The point of this rant is- I made a D on my first history exam, then dramatically failed a quiz. Of course, dramatically failing a quiz sent me into a frenzy. I just couldn't believe that it had happened, so I figured out that in order for me to get a B in the class (there is no way that I can make an A now), I had to make at least a 90 on the last two exams. We had the first of these last two on Monday, and I studied for at least 5 hours and felt really good about it. About an hour ago I got my grade back, and I made an 88. 
     As happy as I would've been with this grade at any other time in the semester in any other class, I had a lot riding on that grade, and to me, being two points away from my goal is WAY worse than even twenty points away. To be so close makes me want to punch a wall. Knowing that ONE MORE QUESTION being correct would've been the difference between my happiness and complete frustration makes me want to scream! Seeing as I'm in Sociology class at this very moment (I guess I should be paying attention, but believe you me, this class would make Mickey Mouse question suicide), I figured blogging was the closest I could get to screaming without verbally expressing my feelings of frustration. 

     On certain Tuesdays and Thursdays during "dead hour", music majors have meetings to perform for each other, critique each other, or listen to guest speakers talk about different aspects of music. Today, some trombone professor from the University of Boston came to speak to us about goals. It was just the kind of push I needed today. He began speaking about how we should have goals in our life and that having smaller goals in between these long term goals will keep us on track. This is nothing I haven't heard before, but today in particular I needed to hear it. I've also been struggling a bit here recently about my decisions in life. 

College is stressful, ya'll! Especially being a music major. Not that other majors aren't hard, but with music there are some courses that you either are good at or aren't. There's no amount of studying that a tone deaf person can do to pass Aural Techniques (an ear training and sight-singing class), and if you don't pass your piano proficiency before entering your junior year, BOOM, you're here for whole extra year. 

That's an enormous amount of pressure. Somedays it feels like I'm going to throw up when thinking about my future. But as bad as these days are, they always pass. As the speaker today said it, "Sometimes you have to forget about the technique and just have fun!" Sometimes, you do. I know that whatever happens with my life, it's not really my choice. No matter what I feel like sometimes, God's plan has to take over. 

Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

And so, after a four month hiatus, I leave you with this song: Keep Holding On




Thursday, December 20, 2012

Finding New Beginnings in the End of the World

      So tomorrow is supposed to be the "end of the world" according to the Mayans, although if you live anywhere on Earth you already know this. Well, I think it's all a bunch of bologna. I'm pretty sure the Mayans just got tired of extending the calender. They knew they wouldn't last that long so what'd it matter to them? Anyway, another reason I don't believe the hype is because God says that no one will know the day or time. It even says that He will come like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Even knowing that it won't really happen, I started thinking a few days ago- if the world really were to end on December 21, would I be satisfied with what I'd done in life? 
     I have many goals in life that I haven't even begun to fulfill yet. I plan on graduating college, getting married, having kids, owning a home, writing a book, recording an album, changing lives. I mean, my main goal in life is to inspire so many people that I have a Hallmark movie made about my life. That's all I really want. Mr. Mullins' Opus. I like it. But if the world were to end tomorrow, I wouldn't get to do any of those things. My life would've been nothing more than eighteen years of wasted time. That's actually a very depressing thought once you think about it. I've been going to school for fourteen of my eighteen years of living, and I sure didn't accomplish much in the first four years. 
     Okay, rewind. I guess it isn't fair to say that I haven't accomplished ANYTHING in my life. I have at least managed to develop relationships with some awesome people. I Graduated high school with a 4.0. I went to All State choir both years that I auditioned. I was saved by Christ's love and baptized. I hopefully have made some people smile and brightened some days. These things are great but upon self examination, there is SO much more that I could have done. All the people I could have helped. All of the times I could have been reading my bible or spreading the word of Christ. All the times I could have spent loving instead of hating, laughing instead of crying, working instead of loafing, giving instead of taking. It's so easy to point out one's own flaws. Fixing them is a different story all-together. 
     We can't all dwell on the past and think of all the things we could have done. What we can do is look in to the future and identify what we want to happen. We can always have a plan for our futures but I'm a firm believer that God has a plan for each and every one of us, and he will lead us where we are meant to go. And with that, readers, I leave you with this song (a mash up by one of my favorite a cappella groups, Pentatonix). This mash ironically (most likely intentionally) and conveniently correlates with the apocalyptic predictions tomorrow. It's pretty awesome none the less. :P 
SONG OF THE BLOG: Pentatonix: Save the World/ Don't You Worry Child

God Bless and to all a Merry CHRISTmas! 
Nick Mullins!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Never Ending Blessings

     Today is November 22. Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. It has a certain feel to it. I wake up every Thanksgiving and I just know that it's the day. It's just nice. Plus, I try to always be thankful for what I have but sometimes it's not the easiest thing to do. Everyone on Facebook has been posting what they are thankful for, and while reading them it was so hard for me to not post what I was thankful for (I knew this blog was coming so I had to wait :P). So here they are. Twenty two things that I am thankful for. 

1.) Family. My family may be far from perfect, but I've learned over the years that because of their imperfections I've become the person I was meant to be. My family has such an affect on me (whether learning from their mistakes or implementing their good teachings), and I know they will always love me no matter what. My mother definitely love me. Sometimes too much. Lol. I know she has good intentions, and I can't really complain about someone who washes my clothes, cooks my food, and cleans my house and doesn't ask for anything in return but a little love. She's always been my biggest fan and supporter. 

2.) My friends. Growing up I didn't really have many good friends. Every year my "friends" would change depending on who was in my class. It wasn't until the end of eighth grade/beginning of ninth that I truly had friends. And not just friends. BEST ones. There are many who fall into this "best" category, but I'm pretty sure most of you reading this will know who are the two that will always be especially close to my heart: Erin and Tina. They were really the first best friends I ever had, and they even stuck with me all of these years! We've been through so much together. I can remember times where we held each other through tough times or sent a text just to share a funny tale. We know so much about each other and offered advice in difficult situations. I don't know what I would've done without them. I'll tell you one thing though, because I knew them, I have been made a better person. They've kept me strong in my faith, that's one thing I love about them. I love that we always kept faith a huge part of our relationships with each other. They're off in Florida (although I get to see them in a day!!) for college, and it just hurts me to not see them everyday. Luckily, I can call and text, and I know they'll still be there for me. I love them so much, and it fills me with joy to see them happy and successful at FC. 

3.) Music. As most of you know I am a vocal music education major at Tennessee Tech. I chose to do this with my life because I honestly and truly believe that God put me on this Earth to share music (and His word through music) with the world. There is definitely a link between music and human emotions, and I can't wait to share the full scale of emotions with generations of students. I'm so thankful for the talents God has given me that give me the ability to mission through teaching music.

4.) A home. I have always been blessed to live in a good house. Not the best, fanciest, or biggest house, but a house nonetheless. My family has always made sure that I had a good home with heat and air conditioner and lots of love. 

5.) Food. Anyone can take one look at me and tell that I've never struggled for food. I may not always like being fat, but I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to even eat enough to be overweight. 

6.) My nannie and papa. As a child, I used to love going to their house to play because there was always something fun to do with Nannie. As I grew up, Nannie became less of a play mate and more of an authority figure and friend. She loves me so much, and I know that she would do absolutely anything for me. I look up to her in so many aspects. Similarly, my views of my papa have changed over the years. When I was young, I was genuinely intimidated by him. He was just my big ole mean papa. Then as I got older I realized that he is the coolest Papa ever! He's so funny and almost always in a good mood. He is the smartest man I know, and I've learned so much about being a man from him. Another reason that I am grateful for my grandparents is their giving hearts. My father doesn't make a whole lot of money- just enough to provide a minimum living situation. My mother has always been a homebody because she cannot work. My grandparents are fortunate enough to have enough money to allow me to have things that I wouldn't normally get the opportunity to have. There are so many experiences I've gotten to have because of them. I truly am blessed to have them. 

7.) My sister. Most teenage boys do not consider their little sisters their best friends. I do. She will always be my best friend above anyone. If it were not for Markie, my life would be SO different. Who would I hang out with on vacations? Who would I talk to about things I can't tell Mom and Dad about? Who would I act stupid with, sing with, laugh with, or cry with? Because we share so much, our bond is much closer than other siblings our age. We are almost the same person (although I choose to be more outgoing with it- she claims to be "quiet". Pshh! She's really just like me, don't let her tell you otherwise.) She is beautiful, talented, smart, and has a wonderful heart. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for her. 

8.) Clothes. It sounds cliche, but I'm blessed to have the ability to get new clothes every  few months or so, knowing that there are children getting on a bus in the freezing cold without a winter coat. 

9.) Intelligence. I've always taken for granted my ability to learn without difficulties. School has always been easy for me, so I never gave much thought to it until recently. Not everyone can get through high school with a 4.0 GPA and never have really studied outside of class. There are people out there who genuinely want to learn- CRAVE knowledge- but aren't given the natural ability to learn. It's so sad when people abuse the gift of knowledge. 

10.) My car. When I turned sixteen, like they did for all previous grandchildren, my nannie and papa bought me a car. A '99 Toyota Solara. I love it. It's been a good car most of the time. Sure, it's given me trouble (like the time my transmission and breaks went out going down a huge TN hill...) but it always gets me where I need to go, all the while looking cool. :P 

11.) Indoor plumbing. Admit it, you're thankful for it too. 

12.) The internet. Yes, the internet has potential for many terrible things, but it was made for our benefit. It makes it so easy to find information, to keep in contact with people, and avoid boredom. 

13.) Electricity. I love being able to see at night. Candles are so 19th century.

14.) America. Everyone wants to complain about where we live and threaten to move to Canada, but really, we have so much to be thankful for here. We are free to say what we want (you know, to an extent), worship who we want (although Jesus is Lord, just saying..), and rise from our misfortunes for better lives. Sure, our leaders are far from perfect, but we really do take for granted all of the wonderful things that America offers us. Get over yourself and appreciate the great US of A. 

15.) Tennessee. I love this state. So much. The hills, the crazy weather, a new church every .5 miles down any given road. Tennessee is gorgeous. 

16.) Tennessee Technological University. I am so thankful that I get the opportunity to not only go to college, but go to Tech. There are so many amazing things at Tech, and I cannot wait for the next four years of my life. 

17.) The Tennessee Tech Chorale. I get to sing in a choir with 45 other people who share the same interests as I do (at least) three times a week. And did I mention they're wonderful? Well they are. I can't wait to travel abroad with these incredible people in May. I absolutely love Chorale! 

18.) The TTU Baptist Collegiate Ministry. I waited about a month and a half after starting school to go to the BCM. I didn't go prior to this because honestly, I was scared to go by myself. I became friends with two awesome girls who went regularly and invited me to go, and I thought "Finally! Friends to go with!" I am so glad that I went with them, and my only regret is that I didn't start earlier. It's so uplifting to be surrounded by a community of fellow Christians that I can worship and hang out with. I've made so many friends while going there. (Shout outs to Danni and Savannah) 

19.) Taco Bell. Where else can you get two burritos, chips, and a drink (all delicious) for $3.60? If there's an answer to that, I don't wanna know. I'm not sure I could handle it.

20.) Teachers. I have had the joy of studying under some fantastic teachers that have molded me into the man I am today. Just to name A FEW: Mrs.  Connie Williams, Mrs. Jan White, Mrs. Alexis Mauldin, Mrs. Rebecca Koger , Ms. Joyce McCullough, Mrs. Rhonda Winton, Mrs. Jessica Bond, Mrs. Whitney Shelton, Mrs. Megan Benton, and Mrs. Stacey Chandler. Every single one of these ladies has had such an effect on me. Whether it was being a friend and confidant, a spiritual guide, or an academic adviser, I will always love these wonderful women.

21.) Health. I may not be an Olympian or have a great physique, but at least I'm healthy. I can live my life normally without any major health obstacles. There are so many things that could be wrong with me, but so far , so good! 

22.) Jesus. Last and most importantly, I'm forever grateful for my lord and savior Jesus Christ. There are so many things that he gives to me, and I deserve not a single one. He gives me life. He gives me strength. He gives me hope. He gives me joy. He gives me salvation. He takes my sin and washes it away. He is my everything, and without Him, I am nothing. We can never be thankful enough for His incredible sacrifice. 

So there it is. All 22 of 'em. And now, I leave you with two things: 
1.) I never imagined this would be this long.
2.) This entry's song: I Just Want to Thank You Lord
Thank you for reading this entire monster of a blog entry. Have a wonderful week! 
God Bless, 
     Nick Mullins!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gray Skies are Gonna Clear Up

     You ever have those moments in your life where everything seems to be going perfectly even though it's not? Today was one of those days for me. I woke up at my usual time and got ready to leave the dorm, fully aware of the torrential downpour happening outside. Instead of this "raining on my parade" I was actually in a really good mood! As I walked down the sidewalk through the puddles with my new HUGE, windproof umbrella (which I was excited to finally use) I noticed how beautiful the day was. Through the dark clouds, 20 mph wind gusts, and typhoon it was a gorgeous day. I couldn't help but to feel blessed while I watched many a person's umbrella buckle under the pressure of the wind; my windproof umbrella was holding true to its claim. The more people I saw look all sad or mopey I figured I'd be a paragon of positivity on this dreary day. Plus, being mopey? Ain't Nobody Got Time For That.
     Today was also the day in which I was designated to register for next semester's classes. I had my schedule worked out exactly the way it had to be-no exceptions, it was perfect. As I went to sign up it turned out that two of the classes that I absolutely have to take were scheduled at the same time and neither were offered any other time. . . . which stressed me out greatly- if any of you know me you know that I do not like it when my plans stray from their original route without notice. Not only that- when I went to confirm my 18 credit hours a red sign popped up on the screen telling me that I could only sign up for 11 hours due to immunization records not being found. .. . . .didn't I deal with all of this during the summer? (the answer is yes, which is directly related to my frustration.) Oh well, I just signed up for the classes I could and went on about my business. I guess I'll get that fixed later. . . . 
     Chorale went well (for those of you who don't know, Chorale is the premier choral ensemble at Tennessee Tech, of which I am a member); we're really starting to take off! (insert pun only Chorale people will get.) Went I left the music building for the first time all day the sun was shining, and although the temperature had descended dramatically, the sun gleaming on the wet pavement had me breathless (or maybe it was the frigid air paralyzing my lungs. ....). I'm such a sap for things like that. Sometimes I just look at something and think, "Wow. Our world is full of such wonderful creations made by such a wonderful creator." That's when I began to realize, I need to stop worrying so much about little things in my life that won't mean a thing in the long run. I've got to trust in God that he will lead me on the path I'm meant to be on. Without Him I wouldn't be at Tech at all. And then, a thought hit me. Whether or not I get into all of the classes I originally intended on taking- my mom and Jesus will still love me. 
God Bless, 
      Nick Mullins! 

There is already one link above for a song but this one's a little more relevant. It's from the first big musical I was ever in :D Put on a Happy Face Plus this performance is so much fun! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover, You'll Miss Out on the Good Ones

On the first day of speech class this semester I immediately assumed I would hate the class. I signed up last minute and there was only one teacher available: Dr. Yun Ding. I automatically made the assumption that an Asian teacher would have difficulties (which is probably why there were available slots- nobody else wanted to take him). The first day he walked in and greeted us with a thick accent that only supported my earlier theories. As the class progressed I became accustomed to his accent, and his incredible teaching skills were revealed. I've learned so much about writing and delivering speeches from him. This just goes to show that judging a book by it's cover (or accent) is old fashioned. This is college, baby. You can't judge anyone.  (I couldn't find a song that really truly fit the theme, so here's me singing Taylor Swift's Mean

This is the second speech I gave in the class (which I made a 100 on). It's  about not judging people based on first impressions, using my own testimonies of being judged. 



Coming Out of the Straight Closet 
Faggot. Flamer. Fairy.
     What defines sexuality? I’m Nick Mullins. I live musical theater, I enjoy singing like a woman, most my friends are girls, I freaking LOVE Glee, Pinterest, and Dance Moms, I HATE sports, and no, I am not gay. 
     What defines sexuality? Ever since elementary school, while other boys were throwing a football around, getting into trouble, or climbing trees, I was singing to the teachers,  gossiping with the girls, reading a book under a tree. I enjoyed my life and I wasn’t going to let anyone rain on my parade. It wasn’t until middle school, where the desire to fit in yanks any sense of courtesy and tosses it out the window for popularity’s sake, when I started to realize that I was different. At lunch one day, a girl in my class asked me if I was gay. Gay? I had never in my life even considered being gay. Why would she think that I was gay? That night I sat back in my bed and thought of all the reasons anyone would think I was gay. It hit me like tidal wave. As far as stereotypes went, the only thing that would make me any gayer would be wearing makeup, referring to everyone I come in contact with as “Honey” and knowing the entire script of “Mean Girls.” Was this going to stop me from being who I was going to be? 
     Of course not. That would be too easy. 
     What defines sexuality? Men around the United States (especially in the south) have warped ideas in their heads that associate certain hobbies and personality traits with sexuality. That guy is a singer/actor, singer/actors like musicals, musicals are performed on Broadway, Broadway musicals are full of gay men, therefore he’s gay. On the other hand, straight men watch the History Channel and ESPN, and work out every day, and treat woman terribly, and curse every other word, and play first player shooter video games, and hunt for their own food where they then clean the meat with their bare teeth.....this sounds ridiculous, but because of these preset rules of manhood, I can guarantee there are men out there who are missing out on awesome experiences in life because they’re afraid of being condemned by their fellow men. I tell you, men, don’t be afraid to go see a musical. Don’t be afraid to watch Lifetime. Don’t be afraid of smiling, of showing a little sensitivity every now and then. I’ll tell you one thing; life’s a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about being “manly” all the time. That’s exhausting. 
What defines sexuality? The textbook definition of sexuality is “a person’s sexual preference”. To me, that sounds like hobbies and traits have nothing to do with one’s sexuality. Sexuality has to do with who you have feelings for. I love women. I always have and I always will. Sure they’re the most difficult beings in the universe sometimes, but they’re just so darn cute. Plus without women, life would be impossible. God made woman so that man would have a perfect companion that he could reproduce with. How can we as men not take advantage of our God-given life partners? The book of Genesis speaks of this perfect companionship in verse 24 of the second chapter: “Therefore a man shall…hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”. 
     So here I am telling you that as a straight male, I love Jesus, musical theater, shopping, Ellen DeGeneres, gossiping, and women. You heard it here, folks, Nick Mullins loves women! I guess that makes me the gayest straight man around. What defines sexuality? You can define sexuality, but can sexuality define you? 
                            Nick Mullins! 
(PS: I'm single :P) 



Monday, October 29, 2012

Homework and Taylor Swift

     Homework. The inevitable. The hated. The omnipresent. The bane of my existence. For years now I've been slaving over a desk for hours at a time bringing you one step closer to your demise. But like Jesus on that third day you just keep coming back to me, only instead of bringing along eternal joy and life in heaven, you bring eternal annoyance and life in the library. I wish you would take a permanent leave of absence. Now that I'm in college my nights have become longer and less intimate with you, however. Even though you're still just as present, there are countless distractions that I always end up placing higher on the ole priorities list. So yes, you still get some attention, just later at night, for shorter periods of time, and less intricately performed. Like this blog for instance, there are a million things I should be doing right now. Do I want to do them? Nope. Not really. So instead, I'll write about a person who's been on my mind alot lately. 
    As many of  you may or may not know, Taylor Swift just recently released her fourth album, Red. I've always been a T-Swift fan, and I will take up for her in any situations in which her musicianship is questioned. Sure, she may not have the vocal prowess of Celine Dion. Sure, she may not possess J-Lo's sex appeal. But one thing she's doing pretty well at is knowing what America wants. Her new album is nothing like anything I've ever heard before. There's a little bit of pop, hip hop, dubstep  and of course her oh so charming country ballads. It's new, it's fresh, it's different- it's RED. 
     When Taylor made her debut as a teenage country singer, her songwriting abilities took precedence over any of her other talents. Then she sang live. I'll be the first one to admit it. She stunk. From then on she faced ridicule for lacking the talent of her fellow superstars. Throughout her career, it's obvious that she has been working on her vocal chops. Last week when she performed on Ellen, I was like "Get it, girl!!" She was actually good. Just goes to show that there is always hope for people willing to stand up for their talents and prove America wrong. You go, Tay. 
     And now, after wasting another hour of my time writing this, it's time for homework. For real :/ 
But before the massacre begins, here is my new jam, direct from (you guessed it) Taylor Swift's new album!
Taylor Swift, I Knew You Were Trouble