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The Pondering 10 - Most Fascinating Things of 2016

So, I've decided to make this an annual "Pondering 10" post. As you can tell, I'm big on reflection and history, and this post allows me to present a different style that I don't get to cover in my biggest - and most favorite - post of the year, the DP Year in Review. Which if you're new to this little blog, is coming soon! Be sure to check it out. Until then, check out the posts from the past. 

With that said, 2016 has been awfully, draining, with some interesting things happening. But yeah, it's been mostly draining. Regardless, here are the ten things I found most fascinating in 2016. Enjoy! 



10. Sia - 2016 was actually a great year for music all around. For some reason, Sia captured my attention with her LP, This is Acting, and hooked me in. It wasn't my favorite album of the year, but it was probably the one that was least expected to be that good, and quite frankly, the one that I gained so much respect for Sia as writer, and now, singer. 



9. Matt Hardy - Easily, the best character in professional this year, and possibly, in the last five years.  No hyperbole. I'm very serious. The evolution of the "Broken" one has been so enjoyable. My usage of the word, "delete" and my appeal for green beans will forever be enhanced. 



8. Roots - I never took to the original series, the one which my mother always attempted to force me to watch as a teenager. I DVR'ed the remake presented this year, and let me just say, "I now understand, mom. I really do." Roots tells a needed history of slavery in this country and includes the vital details that are often left out such as the inhuman acts of murder, rape, and treating humans like property. Roots gives you a raw lesson on how awful the origins of this country really is. 



7. Kristaps Porzingis - I smile ear to ear whenever Porzingis is brought up in any discussion I have with others regarding my beloved New York Knicks. He's like a gift given to us for putting up with the the nonsense we have. It's a continued joy to watch this guy develop every night thus far. Even if the Knicks are awful (which is all the time, right?), his development is worth the watch, and he definitely bridges the gap until baseball season. Something tells me that Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees may be on this list for 2017. We'll see. 



6. Chicago Cubs - Pretty self explanatory, no? Of course the World Series was amazing, the win was epic, and the parade was record setting. However, the journey was fascinating. Especially, considering that the Cubs were easily the best team in baseball all year. That's really some diamond-making type of pressure to overcome. But they did it. Still hard to believe. 



5. Presidential Race - Exhausting. But definitely worth following. Both primaries were engaging and again, exhausting. For me, working on a college campus, I saw first hand the belief and push for Bernie Sanders. And of course, there were the awful, terrible, horrific, debates. And then, of course, November 9th, 2016, which was one of the eeriest days I've experienced in New York City. Such a crazy ride. 



4. Colin Kapernick - Who knew taking a knee and not saying a word can rile up America? But it did. And quite frankly, Kapernick's action brings to light so many issues, and epitomizes much of the divide that is happening, or really, the divide that has been there, in America. 



3. Donald Trump - A given, right? The President-elect is a topic that anyone, anywhere, can discuss for hours. I can't even picture a year without Donald Trump. I guess I better get used to that.



2. Between the World and Me - I read this book back in January and it blew my mind. It was my first introduction to Ta-Nehisi Coates, and I've been a super fan ever since. His article, "My President Was Black" is probably the second best thing I read in 2016. Regardless, this book scares me. I can identify, too closely may I add, with a lot of the feelings described by Coates, especially as black man from Brooklyn, NY. This book is such a good read that sheds light on white privilege, and race relations in America. Honestly, it's a must for everyone. 



1. Social Justice - Killings. Protests. Videos. Injustice. Acquittals. All of it made for anger and frustration. I've always been into and about social justice, but the political-ness and all that was 2016 heightened that inside of me to a place where  even I became concerned for my own mental well-being. Especially when I am constantly having to guide students through these issues in a thoughtful manner. I'm just so tired of being angry and frustrated with a system that not only refuses to change, but wants to endure its ways.

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I'll leave my continued feelings (and rants) for fans who continue to push back against the progression of the game of baseball. For now, I'll just leave it be. I'm sure the rest of this post may drive them nuts too. Oh well. Here are some things that caught my eye this week:

4:44 - Jay-Z Pulls Me Back

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3 Up 
1. Surprised Mother/Bride - I'm not one for sappy stories, but I am a sucker for a good story that reflects the circle of life, and the meaning of everything happening for a reason. Give this story a quick read - a mother who recently lost her son, has the recipient of her son's heart in a transplant show up at her wedding. Good stuff. Just good stuff. 
2. MLB All-Star Break - The MLB hit it out of the park earlier this week with an amazing time that included an awesome Home Run Derby, and some shenanigans that made for a good All-Star Game.
2A. Aaron Judge - Kudos to the big man for not only going along with the budding hype, but adding some legitimacy to it with that Home Run Derby performance. 
3. Roger Federer - Another Wimbledon Championship for the vet as he continues to hold off the young flock on the rise, yet continuing to add to an already super impressive legacy. 
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