Blog

  • This is how we RAK

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    Written by: Coby Fewings

    With a couple months left in the school year at one of our Student Life staff training meetings, we were given the 24 day challenge. For this challenge we had 24 hours and $10 to make as much of a positive impact as we could. Below are some examples of what our Student life team did for this challenge.

    One group took the ten dollars and split it into change, then they took the change and taped it around the school in different spots along with friendly messages. As a quick example they posted a loonie on a vending machine with a message saying “you look better with a smile on”, this message had quick returns because as the group walked away a student found it and said that it made his day.

    Another group looked around campus for different groups around the school they could help, they decided on Rosalind Daycare, right beside Lowenberger. They set out to buy toys for the children at the center. They purchased bought two balls, two puzzles, an air hockey board, a top and a slinky.  There were guidelines given by the daycare – highly recommended that soft toys are not donated.

    “Overall, I would say it was a great experience because we finally had an excuse to visit the center and play briefly with a little girl that was waiting for her mom. The staff at the daycare center was grateful for the gifts.”–Group member

    The third group used the ten dollars to make a donation to the 5 days for the homeless campaign that was running during the timeline of our challenge. Then they also put together some e-cards for fellow staff with encouraging and friendly rhymes. “The best part about the e-cards was when the staff actually found out that it was something out group did, they look like the cards made them happy”–Group member

    This challenge was a great way for groups to come together and do something good for the school/community, it also showed us as a staff how far $10 could go. It is important to remember that even though there is a specific day to RAK there is never a bad time to randomly show kindness to others!

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Post
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Goodbye

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    Written by: Ambika Sangaran

    In the past 4 years loneliness had crept into me. I had the chance to live however I wanted, but only because I had no one waiting for me at home. There had been times I wondered, would anyone even realize if I’m to go missing?

    There were days I achieved what-I-thought were great things, but, actually, when there was no one to share my joy, excitement, sadness, fears or tears, they didn’t feel that special at all. All of my emotions sometimes basically dying down into loneliness.

    But, was that all? Of course not!

    Ordering a cup of coffee is easy, isn’t it?

    It took me two years to find the magic word: “Double Double”!

    Life was pretty good. There were times I biked, walked or hiked with no pre-determined direction. I traveled. I achieved quite a few things. They were good times that I can go on and on about, if you would share a meal or drink with me–most of the stories have yet to be told.

    My experiences here have taught me to appreciate what I always took for granted, both the good and the bad.

    From loneliness I found community, in fact many communities which welcomed me. Here’s to OPIRG, ECO, ISA, BUSU, BUSAC, SLCE and TREN all of which will be missed dearly after graduation!

    Learning the importance of friendship, through my two besties: M and L. You are the reason I survived Brock! I am bidding farewell to you, not knowing whether I will ever meet you again. But, that’s life, isn’t it? The memories will stay!

    And to all those people that came into my life, a heartfelt thanks to you, the impact of your support will last a lifetime.

    With the end of the year comes a time of reflection. Living on your own, starting somewhere fresh isn’t easy and there will be hard times. Finding the good in the midst of the bad is what Brock and the people I’ve met have taught me.

    A learning experience no doubt–thank you Brock, and goodbye!

     

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Post, Uncategorized
  • BrockTV.ca — Recipe for Success

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    Written by: Alex Pennington-Little

    Our beloved Brock University is the centre of student life for nearly 20,000 students. It is also one of Ontario’s most diversified universities, offering programs and majors across a massive spectrum of disciplines. With such a widespread student body, one might expect a segregated, interest-specific pool of student activity. Somehow, we have managed to find ourselves in a united student body. Media, especially local media, is key in unifying any community. Through radio, news, and television segregated members of a larger community can be connected under one umbrella source for pertinent goings-on. Media is essential to our united student body! If you’ve ever grabbed your between-class coffee from General Brock, chances are you’ve seen some Badgers-only information on the big screen.

    BrockTV.ca is the largest post-secondary media outlet in all of Canada. The network is student-funded and entirely student-run to give Brock’s community the best possible coverage of what is going on in our community. So many passionate students get involved in as many groups, clubs and societies as BUSU can shake a stick at – so how could we possibly know what’s going on? BrockTV.ca covers the activity of all student groups. The broadcasts are available online, completely mobile and totally accessible to Brock students. Broadcasts cover all things Badger, from sports and clubs to internal and external affairs, as well as the original programming, hosted and produced entirely by Brock students. It is the most effective, most successful outlet for student body communication – and it connects us all as Badgers. As Badgers, we are all worn out. After yet another full year of essays, midterms, exams, projects, presentations and interviews most of us need to blow off what little steam we’ve got left (and sadly) with what little funds we’ve got left. BrockTV.ca is throwing a bash, to celebrate us, its own subject matter. Without us, there wouldn’t be much programming – and without them, there wouldn’t be much school spirit.

    Isaac’s Bar and the Skybar Lounge are playing host to Brock’s entire student body on Wednesday from 12-4. After a long year of blood, sweat and tears it’s time to let loose all together. The party is offering all Brock students free entry and giveaways. There’s no need to stress about grabbing lunch either – Isaac’s chefs will be preparing featured recipes from the BrockTV.ca Original program Broke & Hungry, just for us students, and totally free! Besides the free food, there will be featured drink specials from Skybar, as well as live music and an open mic for Brock’s most virtuose students to show their chops. Expect to see the Brock hockey teams on the patio, where you and your friends can test your skills (and test each other) in a shootout with Badger goalies. The BTV Bash is the ultimate student get-together. It is the send-off party for all of us who bust our chops all year long as Badgers. Did I mention – it’s a free party!?

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post
  • Rankin Run Team

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    Written By: Brian DiCarlo

    Rankin Run 2014 is quickly approaching.  If you’re from the Niagara region, I’m sure you’ve already heard of it.  For those foreign to the region, or who have never heard of it, I am glad to explain.

    The philosophy of the run is a basic one.  Funds are raised, and then entirely donated back into the Niagara region, with most recipients being hospitals and oncology departments.

    This is more than just your average run.  In 2013, the event attracted over 11,500 people, raising $675,000.  Since its beginning 8 years ago, almost $4,000,000 has been raised, making this a huge event for the Niagara Community.
    The day begins at 8am registration, and the main run takes place at 10.  By 11:45, the run is completed and a free barbecue will be provided.

    This year at Brock, we want to start pulling together our team early.  The run is on May 24th, but we’re starting to recruit now.

    Brock Student Life, in partnership with the Brock Running Club, has already started building the team.  If you want to represent Brock University on the Rankin Run team, register at the link below!

    https://secure.rankincancerrun.com/register-participant/find-team

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post, Uncategorized
  • A Badger Abroad: How I’ve Changed

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    Written by: Alex Pennington-Little

    In the nearly three months since my return from Scotland, I’ve found readjusting to be harder than adjusting in the first place. I miss everything, achingly so. That’s not to say I miss the days of homesickness, or the days I would do nothing but watch Netflix, or the days of loneliness or alienation. But in my hindsight view of my exchange, none of the mediocre or sad times even exist anymore. I have erased them, because I don’t need them. The things I miss are having a tight knit group to do everything with. I miss having a family that experienced the same things for the first time, all together. I miss adventure, and not caring about a crappy day because it all adds to the story in the end.

    I keep in touch with my friends by Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp. It’s crossed my mind that maybe this is why I struggle moving back to my old world – I keep trying to stay in Glasgow, from over 5000 km away. I would never give up being able to send a silly Snap to the best friends I may never see again.

    Recently I went to the pre-departure workshop for next years’ exchange students. Students who are anxious, wide-eyed and eager to start their own adventure. I remembered my workshop being loud and overwhelming and giving me a great deal of stress over whether I was making the right decision to uproot myself. Besides advice on where to buy cheap shampoo, whether the housing packages from GCU are worth it or not, and how to get from the airport to the school, there are a list of things I learned from my exchange that I though was important to relay. Most of these lessons are brand-new, and I still struggle to remember them now that I’m not living an adventure anymore. I learned a lot about myself, and about what I’m capable of that I wouldn’t have learned at home.

    I’m not afraid to be alone. As a people person, I’ve always needed other people around me. I’ve been dependent on other people around me to give me courage and comfort. In the first weeks of my living in Glasgow, I would have passed up an opportunity just because I didn’t have anyone to go with (because friends don’t materialize on their own). I missed days of adventure because I didn’t think I could have an adventure by myself. In the final two weeks of my stay, I had yet to see London. I would be devastated if I returned from the UK without ever seeing the big city. Two days from the first time the thought crossed my mind, I had booked a flight and arranged to stay with family friends outside London. I travelled solo by bus, plane, and train to stay with a family I had never met for three nights. I learned the city bus, train, and tube alone simply by doing it. I went to exhibits and museums and a theatre show completely autonomously, and I enjoyed all of it. Before my semester abroad, I never would have thought myself capable of travelling alone.

    I can find pleasure in a bad situation. I learned this when my flatmate Holly and I planned our day trip to Loch Lomond. The morning of it was drizzling, cloudy and cold. We got as far as the Glasgow train station (to take us to Balloch) when I confessed that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go today, not in this weather. Holly taught me the lesson to let others push your boundaries. She insisted, and I conceded, and we had a marvelous adventure on the banks and hills in the national park. Not only did we push on through the wet fog, we were laughing about it together, at the time and continue to do so as we enjoy the memory.

    The authority to handle a problem.
     GCU is a mess of administrational hiccups. I first encountered the Scottish attitude of “it’ll work itself out” weeks before I left Canada, when I was waiting frantically for confirmation of residence placement. Once I had settled residency and arrived, I was faced with registration problems. After two weeks of battling to clear up my registration (alone in a foreign country), I was misplaced and overlooked in my classes. The fire alarm in my residence went haywire, whining for three consecutive days and nights. I chased down administrators and professors, sat in meetings and wrote a million emails. I teamed up with Holly to get the attention of someone, anyone who would listen to our fire alarm torture without laughing and walking away. I learned to be an independent problem-solver because I had to, or the whole thing was a bust.

    The confidence to step out of my comfort zone. Being far away from home with no one tying you to presuppositions of who you are lets you explore who you could be. It is a fearful thing, to be cast into solitude amidst a massive city bustling with life. The best way I found to make use of the daunting situation was to throw myself into it. I used to be a relatively conservative partier – drinks on the weekends, usually leaving the bar before the taxi wars broke out. I learned to negotiate the self I thought I was with the self I was now allowed to be. I went to dinner with people I didn’t know, and we became best friends. I invited myself to a flat party on Facebook, and the people in that flat became my family. I tagged along to a sidestreet club and discovered a nightlife way better than the promotional student clubs whose flyers littered our residence. I learned that I liked being someone I didn’t think I was. I’m currently in the process of introducing that person to this life.

    Don’t let small excuses change your big ideas.
    If you want to hike in Scotland, hike in the rain or don’t hike at all. It would be folly to visit Scotland with no intention to spend a day roaming the beauty. It would be  disappointing to let the person you believe yourself to be, suppress the person who can emerge in a time of change. It would be tragic to let anxiety stop you from going after a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and irresponsible to let a botched communication destroy the validity of your exchange experience. When it comes down to it, all excuses are too small against something magnificent that you really want.

    If any student at Brock has the means and the opportunity to step away from Canada, I don’t think there is a good enough reason not to go abroad. Even if you think it’s not for you or you won’t love it – you will.

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Post
  • A Badger Abroad: Check-up

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    Written by Alex Pennington-Little

    I never appreciated how wonderful Brock is until I had the chance to step away from home. At the opportunity to fly across the ocean and settle into a new city, school, and world for four full months, I barely hesitated to jump through the necessary hoops. It’s been about six or seven weeks since my arrival in Glasgow, and adjusting has been slower going than I had imagined.

    I thought of writing this post this morning, when a professor of mine asked me how I’m finding Scotland, etc, and he asked me what the biggest difference between here and home is to me. I didn’t have a proper answer for him, and so I think I came off a bit unobservant or non-participatory in some way, as if I haven’t noticed any difference at all. But truthfully, I had to take a moment to think of a real answer to the question.
    There are many differences, and many similarities. But to answer my prof’s question, I think optimism is the biggest cultural difference. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about – but the Scots seems  a perpetually positive people. Aside from shop clerks and baristas, who are consistently upbeat, the people on the street and in the university offices have the same positive attitude. Nothing seems to be worth stressing over – to some frustration on my end, when half the printers on campus are out of order and nobody seems bothered about rushing to fix them.
    I was delightfully surprised when, by another spectacular failure on GCU’s part I was overlooked when placing  students into workshop groups and am now four weeks behind on coursework. I went to meet with my program advisor, who went over the module expectations with me and said to just show up to the next class. Now, I am a chronic worrier and automatically spin into panic mode when everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows, so I asked him outright: is this going to be a problem that I should be worried about?
    He laughed. No, he chuckled with glee or something wonderful like that, and said “Nah man, it’s cool!”

    So I suppose to answer the question, the biggest difference to me has been attitude. People seem happier when everything isn’t dependent on perfection all the time and place faith that the problems will get resolved in their own time. My frustration with GCU’s administration, while justified by my organized, anti-chaos Canadian culture is actually standard procedure when you take the approach that everything will work itself out. I’ll try to get used to it. But it is difficult when half the facilities on campus are broken and not fixed for weeks on end, or when the fire alarm in my building is broken and it’s a long weekend, so the squealing goes on for three days before someone is reminded to fix it.

    I have been getting annoyed with a lot of the workings of GCU, and most of the time try to chalk it up to the cultural difference instead of getting upset. I will pose a question and for whatever reason, it rarely gets understood correctly and the respondent will spend an unnecessary length of time explaining something to me that is irrelevant. For example, when I asked my seminar leader about how exactly to begin my essay, he proceeded to explain the importance of title pages, paragraphs, citations, etc. as if I have never written a university paper ever before. When I emailed another lecturer about the same topic, asking the same question, he rudely responded that it was inappropriate to ask for help over email and to discuss my problem in seminar. Maybe it’s just me that found his response impolite and brash, but I am still quite put out about it. No matter how many times I’ve sought out help on my own, nobody seems to be able to give me the guidance I’m looking for. It makes my anxiety about succeeding in classes worsen, and a lot of the time I feel like I’m just on my own to figure it out. The program leaders are adamant about being available for anyone with questions, but at the moment their help seems useless to me.

    Another note about my exchange: the classes offered at GCU are unlike any classes I’ve ever seen at Brock. I’m taking Creative Advertising in which we are given a brief each week and must pitch ideas to our professor, which is so stimulating and creative in a way unlike anything I’ve done at Brock. I’m also taking Radio Production in which we write and produce a full-length radio episode.These opportunities aren’t available for credit at Brock in my experience. The opportunity to explore and exercise these tasks and skills is worth the cultural frustrations… so far!

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Post
  • What is Cope Care Connect?

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    I’m sure you’ve seen posters on the walls, people in bright green shirts, and the display tables on campus…but you may be wondering, what does Cope Care Connect mean? How does it benefit me? Where can I find Cope Care Connect?

    Cope Care Connect is a students-for-students campaign, run in conjunction with Student Health Services; this means Brock University students (just like yourself) developed this campaign in order to benefit you, and Student Health Services is in support of the campaign. So, why is the campaign titled Cope Care Connect? The aims of this campaign include providing students with positive coping strategies, helping them to acknowledge the harmful effects of negative coping strategies, knowing that Brock faculty has a genuine invested interest in you, and providing the necessary means to connect with Brock University staff and the student population. Cope Care Connect was selected because the campaign aims to help students cope, acknowledge that others care about them, and inform them of the importance of connecting with others at Brock University.

    The Cope Care Connect campaign aims to benefit all students at Brock University. Developing positive coping strategies and straying away from negative coping strategies, acknowledging resources on campus, and creating friendly networks are relevant to every student during their academic career. With that being said, it is definitely beneficial to have a campaign catered to helping students to cope, care, and connect within the Brock community.

    This campaign focuses on improving your empowerment and resiliency through enabling you to develop positive coping strategies, acknowledging norms that all students experience stress and loneliness, encouraging connections between Brock students and faculty members (in addition to realizing that staff do care about your success in university), and finally through providing ways for students to feel as though they are making a positive difference in their peers lives.

    The Cope Care Connect campaign is located everywhere around the Brock University campus; there are posters on various bulletin boards, postcards on tables, students promoting the campaign (keep an eye out for green shirts), and display tables located in Guernsey Market and Mackenzie Chown. However, there are some other places you can find the campaign! The campaign has been featured on the 2Day FM app, Snap’d, Brock University radio (103.7 CFBU), Brock Press, and Brock TV. Additionally, you can access information pertaining to the campaign (including contests) on the Cope Care Connect website and Facebook page (www.copecareconnect.ca and www.facebook.com/copecareconnect).

    Cope Care Connect aims to reach all students at Brock University through multiple social media outlets, and advertisements around campus. As a students-for-students campaign, Cope Care Connect was developed in order to assist students with the stresses of university. Since this campaign is in its last week, we would like to invite all Brock University students to check out the website, Facebook page, Brock TV and YouTube videos, Brock Press article and advertisements…or even keep an eye out around campus for posters and postcards!

     

    Post Categorie(s): Being a Better Badger
  • Alternative Reading Week Adventure

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    Written by: Rebecca Spary

    Hey there!

    I’m here to tell you about my latest adventure: spending my time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity as a member of the Brock Cares Alternative Reading Week program. I travelled down to Sumter, South Carolina with 26 like-minded Brock students and two staff leaders to build a home for a family in need.

    Before the trip began I will confess that I definitely had my anxieties. I was worried that I wouldn’t have the right work skills, that I would be more of hindrance than help, that I wouldn’t make any friends etc. I considered backing out of the trip up a couple of times but fortunately I didn’t!

    While we were in Sumter we spent our days on the worksite in the Habitat community putting together the wood framing for the house. We built corners and t’s, windowsills and headers, we toenailed, regular nailed, and put up walls. We actually got to work alongside the family that will be moving into the house once its complete, and seeing how strong and happy they are to have this opportunity brought tears to my eyes.Their positive energy and attitude was truly inspiring and infectious! An abundance of love and care was put into the building of the house. Every little bit helped: hammering one nail, cutting a single piece of wood, smiling and laughing with the family and making new friends. It all made a difference!

    We spent our evenings reflecting on our lives and experiences in Sumter, taking the time to learn about each other and ourselves. Playing many a game of Nine Square, cooking and organizing meals for each other, and having a blast! It was essentially the best summer camp with the most magnificent group of individuals I could ever have dream off! I cannot wait until my friends from home get sick of me rambling about how much I loved my experience!

    At the end of the week we had to come up with one word to summarize our experience and my word was ‘change’. This is because my mind, body, and soul had all been changed for the better because of my involvement in Habitat. Making a positive difference in someone else’s life is inexplicably beautiful. One of my main reflections from my trip was aided by our Habitat for Humanity leader, a brilliant and caring man named Bob, who described the experience as a beautiful scar. Meaning that, although we return to our ‘normal’ lives, getting absorbed into the daily grind, the experience and the memories of our time volunteering will stay with us forever, a beautiful reminder of the lives we’ve touched.

    The adventure of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity alongside my fellow Brock Badgers changed my mind, body, and soul for the better. I cannot recommend the experience of participating in any one of the Brock Cares Alternative Reading Week programs enough! Trust me, you won’t regret it!

    Now, lets wrap up this post the same way we ended all of our group meetings throughout the week, with our signature chant.

    Who are you? Brock U. Who are you? Brock U. Who are you? Brock U. Who are we? BROCK UNIVERSITY!

     

    Post Categorie(s): Uncategorized
  • A Badger Abroad – Getting My Footing

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    Written by Alex Pennington-Little

    Almost three weeks in Scotland and I’m finally feeling like I’m getting my feet under me. I’ve got a pretty good group of friends, all of us international students experiencing Glasgow together. Last night we all got together for dinner to celebrate Taylor’s birthday away from home. I’ve figured out where to buy the cheapest groceries, best times to have my meals, and have even got two trips planned. Our flat is almost full, we’ve still got one empty room and not one single Scottish roommate. We are a completely international flat: Canada, USA, Spain, Brazil, and Colombia! As you can imagine there’s a lot of Spanish flying around as well as English.

    Our building’s fire detection system went haywire three days ago and provided us with a relentless high-pitched peep that went on and on for 48 hours (much to the amusement of the Caley Court security office apparently), until Holly and I went to the Accomodations Office and played them a recording of the sound! Right away the amazing and beautiful Robert Stevenson saved us by calling someone to come and at least shut the system off until it can get fixed. So, no more incessant whine, but we are without a fire alarm system in the whole building. I shut my heater off, because it smells like the wrong end of a very very old hair dryer.

    Laundry is quite an ordeal in Caley Court. It’s £1.60 per forty-minute wash load, and 20p for every 12 minutes in the dryer. The dryer I unfortunately chose today wasn’t emitting any heat, so after I waited my 36 minutes and found my clothes cold and damp, it was another 24 in a different machine before I could go home and eat dinner! Experiencing rez life all over again at least makes me appreciate my cozy 2 bedroom apartment back home.

    As fascinating as I’m sure hearing about my laundry room escapades must be, I’m actually very excited to finally be finding my center here. Mostly I can’t wait to get started travelling, with only three classes to contend with at GCU. Next Friday I’m off to Paris with Holly, Shayna and Taylor for two days – lots to see and fit in before our flight home on the Sunday! I also bought a UK Railcard yesterday to save 1/3 of any train ticket to travel the UK. In November we’re going to take a train to London to see the Harry Potter set at Leavesden Studios (I lose myself at movie studios… Paramount in LA was a dream come true) and probably spend the weekend seeing the sights. I hope to get up to Stirling and Falkirk in not too long, and can’t wait to start planning our trip to Ireland! Things are starting to feel more like the way I thought this exchange would be like.
    Stay tuned for more  A Badger Abroad or find the full blog at  http://www.brockbadgerabroad.blogspot.ca/

     

    Post Categorie(s): Up and Away
  • D&D at Brock

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    Written by Cara Eaton

    You may have heard the rumors, or known a friend of a friend who’s in the course, but yes there is currently a Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) class running at Brock University.

    Now you may jump to conclusions – why is there a course on D&D? What could be learned from a semester long D&D campaign? As a Communications student I am quick to defend the class, not only as a study in fandom and audiences, but also one of fantasy and creative narratives.

    Although valuable and applicable to my degree I feel I’ve also gained something unexpected from the course. I feel like I’ve begun to challenge my assumptions about fantasy and reality. Which as a graduating student is something I probably should have a handle on by now—allow me to explain further.

    Think of the many roles we play every day – whether it’s as a student, TA, community member or any other category you place yourself in – how many are real and how many are fantasy? Some would say we just role-play in the various aspects of our lives.

    For example: I am Canadian, and I study at Brock University. However how much are nationalities and student stereotypes real, and how much are they fantasy roles we’ve been taught to play? What would have happened if my parents raised me to be a vengeful orc blacksmith, who was yet to be convinced that orcs could NOT exist?

    For 17 years I’ve been playing the role of student and now reflecting on my up and coming alumni status I wonder what role I’ll play next? So many graduates feel like they must get a job, gain experience in their work field, or apply for another degree. This D&D class has reminded me that in  my game, I can play any role I want.

    Take the idea of graduating and go on an adventure—whether its in another country, city, or in a basement with your Blue Box D&D set. I challenge students to look at this summer as an opportunity to try new roles and to consider that the differences between fantasy and reality are not so far apart.

    Perhaps you too may find you’ve got a lot more fantasy in your life and that you’re ready for more in the times to come. Adventure awaits!

    -Fighter, Niablufin

    Post Categorie(s): Uncategorized