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August 3, 2007

National Watermelon Day

    Shara Z., a soon-to-be junior at Northwestern University and one of Teen Ink's interns wrote this week's "Extra Ink."

   A week before my birthday, May 4th, I learned that it was also this year's National No Pants Day. Although I didn't celebrate it, (sorry to disappoint) this bizarre holiday got me interested in what other crazy rituals and events lurked behind seemingly ordinary days of the year. I looked up today, August 3rd, and realized that its historical significance can actually teach us a few things. Well, it's a stretch, but still . . .

National Watermelon Day   

Although not as exciting as No Pants Day, I look at this celebration as a lesson to appreciate the small things in life. We all love the sweet taste of watermelon at summer picnics, but have you ever really given the fruit much thought? Life would be so much duller without this warm-weather staple; no spitting seeds at your younger, more vulnerable siblings, less exciting barbecues, not nearly as much pink and green, plus no watermelon flavored candies or gums that we've grown to depend on. So even if you don't eat watermelon today, let this juicy marvel remind you to be grateful for all of those little things that make life much more delectable.

Portugal royalty declares Sunday a day of rest (1907)    

AKA: relax! Even though today is Friday, the Portuguese had the right idea. Whether it's the school year or the summertime, we tend to be pretty busy, cramming in swim meets and shopping and plans and homework and voice lessons all in one day. Although I would be pretty hypocritical if I criticized over-involvement, I am definitely not one to say no to a nap. So take a break every once in a while, and arrange your weekend plans to be . . . no plans at all.

Columbus embarked on his voyage to America (1492)    

I take this to mean have an open mind. Columbus didn't know that he was about to "discover" (we'll leave this debate for a different day) a new land when he started his journey, proving that there are always surprises around the bend. So if you're feeling down, remember: a half hour from now, you could stumble across someone who could broaden your perspective, find a great new hobby, or, I guess, hop in a sailboat and bump into an unknown continent . . . you never know what's around the corner!

    So obviously a lot more August 3's have passed, as well as the important events and crazy titles that go with them, but I think that you've been preached at enough for one sitting. Now you'll just have to wait to see what tomorrow brings . . .

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