Tag Archives: College

Spring Break

So I’m hoping everyone out there had a great spring break because I know I sure did. I may not have had the most extravagant of a spring break, I didn’t get to travel anywhere cool like some of my friends here at the college did: Hawaii, Florida, California; but even though it wasn’t the coolest break it may have been the most rewarding.

I went home for spring break, back to the beautiful Sioux City, Iowa, where I settled into the house and called up some friends who were also in town. Before I did that though I knew that I was going to need some work to keep me occupied, though I had friends that lived in Sioux City they worked during the day which meant that I would be stuck at home which would not only be boring but also unhealthy (because I tend to eat when I’m bored at home). So not wanting to go through the hassle of going back to any of my current employments: Fareway, Carousel, etc that would require me to set up a schedule etc and would have been too much hassle just for one week of work; I rather decided to post an ad on Craigslist offering to do some general labor: moving, lifting, etc as well as offering to do video and photography work as well. I was a little skeptical at first; we all know the stories about the “bad people” on Craigslist. Anyways, I quickly got a response from a nice woman who needed help with yard work and various moving. I went to her house and everything was legit, possibly some of the hardest most physically strenuous work I’ve done in my life for sure but for $10/hr I figured it was worth it. She asked me back the next day and the day after that totaling me in the end at $120, a nice stash of cash to bring back to the college with me (though to be totally honest I spent most of it while I was still at home). So bottom-line this entire story goes out to all those college students and college students in the future that your spring break/breaks in general don’t have to be boring and unfruitful.

Aside from working and making much needed money I had a lot of opportunities to hang out with some of my Sioux City friends which I greatly appreciated. My friend Jordan, who is soon to be married, let me stay overnight at his place just like we did all the time in the good-ole-days giving us time to reminisce. I got to go with him and his fiance and her friend (who I will be eternally grateful to) who took me out to see Insurgent with them.

Quinn, the one I mention in the My Life A Fan Fiction stories is always one of my go-to guys while I’m in town and we had a good time chilling together. We found ourselves at Perkins a lot (since it’s open 24/7 and we stay up pretty late) just talking and having a slice of pie. At one point we went down to South Sioux City where a friend from high school worked and messed with her until she got off. From this experience I got my first lottery ticket (I do not condone the buying of such items but I won a bet and it was pretty much bought for me) which got me some winnings of about $2.

Interesting story that goes along with what I was just talking about. After the whole lottery ordeal we went with this girl to Perkins where we sat down and snacked on pie while we all talked when in walked this guy, younger handsome looking possibly a college student, who sat a couple tables ahead of us all by himself and ordered some food. He noticed us conversing (which wasn’t hard we were kind of loud) and decided to watch us (very obviously) and listen in. We all noticed it except for Kayla (the girl with us) who was sitting with her back turned to the guy. Anyways he continued to stare which was freaking Quinn and I out and I even once looked over at him and smiled and nodded, very passively but nevertheless, and it did nothing the man did not look away. At one point I made a reference to Avatar: The Last Airbender (freaking love that series) which this guy picked up on and said, “dude you like last airbender? Nice!” and reached over to give me a high-five which I returned cause I’m just a nice guy like that. Anyways he got his food which he would eat a little of and then go back to watching us and once finished with his food left and paid without a goodbye. If you’re the guy and you’re reading this I’m not mad or anything but definitely hit me up in the comments and let me know what’s up.

The whole break had it’s ups and downs such as finding that someone had taken a dump in the Hamilton blvd McDonald’s urinal which was disgusting and if you did it and you’re reading this, dude that’s not funny it’s disgusting seriously. But thankfully the break had more ups than downs and that’s what’s important.

Breaking Win-ter Part 2

If you haven’t checked it out yet here’s a link to Breaking Win-ter Part 1 where you can get some background on my winter break activities. This is in fact the second half (as the title suggests) of my winter break adventures.

 

Minnesota

So aside from working all winter break I also got the chance to do some travelling such as what I described in Breaking Win-ter Part 1, where I traveled to Branson, Missouri. I was also given a second opportunity to travel with my girlfriend and her family to the ever-popular Minneapolis, Minnesota to visit the Mall of America.

Shopping

We started the trip off with stopping at another mall where I mostly sat around waiting for the love of my life and her sister to finish their clothes shopping. We had a tasty lunch at a Chinese place in their food court and I managed to check out a cool gaming store with games from various systems, even some that you can’t buy anymore aside from used ones online: N64, Xbox, PS2, Gameboy (both advanced and color), etc. They also carried some other merchandise like figures as well as plush popular game and even anime characters.

Later, of course, we got around to the famous Mall of America which is just endless amounts of who knows what you’re going to find. At one point a group of the young adults on the trip (including myself, my girlfriend, and one of her cousins) as we headed towards the food court we came across a booth selling anime merchandise. Michelle(my girlfriend)’s cousin, like myself, is a huge anime fan and the second we saw it we were already rushing towards it with happiness streaming down our eyes in the form of tears. We were practically bawling our eyes out as we began looking through the chest of treasure we had discovered. The rest of the group rolled their eyes and sat on a nearby bench for 10 minutes while the two of us searched and re-searched this beauty before us. Finally they got sick of waiting and, grabbing our collars, pulled us away promising that we would come back to the booth. We did about an hour later, and myself and my girlfriend’s cousin continued our scouring the little shop for anything from our favorite anime. Of course they had the bigger names: Attack on Titan, Black Butler, Ouran High-School Host Club, Pokemon, etc. I proudly bought a pack of High School of the Dead Cards and a Charizard Key-Chain.

Dining

We continued on about our day and then the beginning of the next day until it was time for lunch. One of my girlfrend’s family members knew the area and the restaurants there better than the rest and suggested for lunch that we go to a place on the top floor, no not Hooters, a place known as Dick’s. Now I’ll say this the same way I said it to a professor when they asked how my break went and if I’d been “enlightened” to anything in the duration of it, I replied as such: I’ve been enlightened to the fact that there are people our there willing to pay good money to go to a restaurant whose theme is to treat their customers like crap by yelling at them, annoying them, or just being an ass**** (I learned recently that on television you can say ass but you can’t add the ‘hole’ part) to them. She looked puzzled and I told her how the waiters and waitresses essentially come around asking you “what the hell you want?” Shoot air into your face with a leaf blower, and occasionally shout obscenities. She laughed, and to be totally honest it was kind of fun (don’t take your kids though). The food was pretty good and my favorite part was at the end they make these hats out of tall pieces of paper (think the dunce hat but rather than a point it’s a cylinder) on which they would write funny and jokingly-offensive descriptions of the person they give it to. In fact I give kudos to the employees there for two reasons: 1. For being able to come up with the hats for people they’ve only known for about 20 minutes, and 2. It’s probably really tough getting tips from people your being paid to treat like crap. I wondered to myself during the meal if anyone has ever come in there not knowing the theme and left feeling incredibly offended, or worse made a huge deal out of it how embarrassing would that be.

Dicks

A picture of my girlfriend and I wearing our hats.

In case it’s difficult to read mine says, “Puberty is my enemy.”

All in all it was an awesome trip and I had a ton of fun! I love Minnesota and who know, maybe I’ll live there someday! What are some benefits to living in Minnesota? Let me know in the comments!

Remembering Your To Do’s

As a college student there are a lot of things that I have to do in a day, and it’s tough to remember all the things to do in a day. Most students get a calendar or a planner to help them through their week but I have this annoying tendency to get one and never write and/or check on it regularly enough to keep up with things. So here’s my solution, consider this a college life hack if you will.

     Tabs

(Apologies for the crappy quality)

     One of the things that really really bugs me (and maybe I’m just ADD) is having an untitled document tab at the bottom of my screen. It annoys me, and I’m switching through tabs constantly so I look down there a lot. So what I do to remember my daily schedule is to annoy myself into remembering. I make a new Word document and leave it as an open tab on the bottom of my screen.

What I need to do

     I title the document so if I accidentally click on it I can quickly differentiate between it and my other homework etc. Then using a numbered list I list things out that I need to do in order of when I need to do them. If applicable I will add what class (or in the case of work, since I have multiple jobs, will say which job or even what I need to do at the job) and also; I might add when the work, homework, assignment, etc is due.

Apologies

Hey everyone I just want to apologize for not posting anything these last few days. I’ve been on fall break so I got to go home and catch up with family and a couple friends so I was pretty busy and wasn’t able to post, but I want to say that I will be right back on my daily posts so thank you all for your patience.

     To say thank you for all your patience here’s a hilarious video a friend of mine showed me while I was on break so feel free to check it out! Hope you all enjoy.

Deck-Maintenance-Banned-Commercial

Banned Deck Commercial

HVZ: Weapons To Avoid

First off I’d suggest avoiding all the NERF guns that are labelled up as “Zombie” guns as well as the ones that fire the disks or any of them based of bows and arrows these are all either excessively expensive or useless.

Anything Under $10

Pistol

     Unless you manage to get a Maverick or Strongarm for under $10 (unless you get the Firestrike for emergencies because that one is semi-decent) is a bad idea. The only reason you should ever get one of these is for emergencies when you can pull another gun out faster than you can reload the one that should already be in you hand. If the previously mentioned is the case you should be able to use a backup Strongarm or Maverick.

Multi-dart & Shotgun Based

2X4

NERF N-STRIKE ELITE ROUGH CUT 2X4 BLASTER

     Guns that fire more than one bullet at the same time, such as the Rough Cut 2X4, are just a bad idea as far as HVZ goes. With the Rough Cut the gun simply fires two darts at once, they don’t branch out or anything fancy: pointless. As for guns with a shotgun-like effect that seems like it would be a good idea, are not! They simply fire all over the place and make a mess that you as a human don’t have time to pick up.

Anything Bow-Like

Crossfire Bow

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE CROSSFIRE BOW TOY

     These are so cool, but sadly in HVZ there’s just no point. They are annoying to have to reload and cock and are kind of expensive in the end.

Rifles & Snipe Rifles

Retaliator

NERF N-STRIKE ELITE RETALIATOR

     Though it makes for a great sniper rifle if you are playing NERF battles with your friends the gun isn’t very useful in a fast-paced game like HVZ. The gun might have good range but you have to cock it form the top which is totally counter-strategic.

Final Thoughts:

     Bottom-line use your head, if it seems like a bad idea it probably is. Think strategically, for instance, automatic weapons have situations where it’s a good idea, but there are times when they can be a bad idea plus they tend to use a lot of bullets. Revolvers and socks are probably you’re best bet for any situation, but prepare for each mission rather than just going with the same stuff every time.

Liberty Hall Collective

LHC

Liberty Hall Collective

     So I have mentioned several times that I am in fact a college student which is great, aside from the cost of course. One of the things I love about college is the ability to connect with people from different areas of study, in my case my roommate is part of an awesome band called: Liberty Hall Collective. They’ve recorded an album so far and are working on a second one. The band is an indie pop rock band, but they are pretty diverse in their music so there’s a little bit of something for everyone. I definitely recommend checking them out on Bandcamp at: LibertyHallCollective.Bandcamp.com/

What is HVZ

HVZ

Humans VS Zombies

How It Works:

     For those of you who don’t know HVZ is a campus-wide game of tag, usually played (but not limited to) colleges. There are two teams: zombies and humans. It is the zombies team to successfully tag as many humans as they can, and it is the humans goal to survive without being tagged for as long as possible as well as complete as many missions as possible before the end of the game. The zombies simply have to tag a human and that human becomes a zombie, the humans on the other hand are allowed Nerf guns or other foam blasters (and depending on the rules you have even foam handheld weapons) as well as rolled up socks to defend themselves from the oncoming hoards.

In The Beginning:

     At the start of the game there is an OZ or “original zombie” who is disguised as a human and can carry guns etc to fulfill the disguise, their goal is to tag as many humans (thus turning them into zombies) as possible within the time limit they have been given. These will be the first zombies.

Missions:

     Missions are given by the moderators to both humans and zombies. Many of the missions are usually given to the humans and the zombies are simply told to keep the humans from accomplishing the objective, but you really never know. I’ve had several missions given to me, during games when I was a zombie, that were specifically made for zombies only.

The Moderators:

     The Moderators are the people in charge of the game, they create the game, the rules, the missions; and make sure it runs smoothly. They are capable of determining who lives and dies….and comes back, as well as whether or not missions have been completed; think of them as the HVZ gods and be nice to them they’ve worked hard to make sure you have fun.

Weapons:

     Typically HVZ is played with NERF guns (and other foam blasters) as well as rolled up socks. Sometimes though humans (and even zombies) can wield NERF weaponry which can even include hand-to-hand weapons. It all depends on what you’re moderators decide on.

Check Out The Official Site:

     I’ve only lightly tapped the amazing awesomeness that can be HVZ so for more details check out the official site: HumansvsZombies.org and to see if there are games going on in your area go to HVZSource.com

Checking the Status of Social Media

Originally I wrote this as a homework assignment, but I really got into it. It intrigues me when i hear the negative things people have said about Social Media and how it’s been affecting us as a society and humankind in general, so this is my response to the social media haters out there as well as just something social media lovers can read and keep in the back of their heads in case you ever have a run in with a social media hater who poses an argument. Bottom line I just hope it helps clear things up in some way or another.

It has been argued from the earliest of developments whether or not social media is good or bad. Many have taken a stance against it saying that it is harming the youth of today pushing them into a state of anti-sociality and others argue it’s a good thing that allows us to connect with those who we might normally have difficulty connecting with. My personal stance that I will be fighting for is that: yes, social media is a good thing.

I want to start this post off addressing the negatives of social media, or at least the negatives that people claim based off of social media. First of all is the social media side-effect of cyber-bullying a new way for people to prey on others through the internet. Many have pointed out the cases of people being bullied online leading to depression and even suicide by the victims, one thing that’s important to remember though is that bullying happens in real life as well as online. It is practically impossible to refrain people from picking on others whether it be through social media or in reality. In any case though bullying is going to happen, it’s sad to say I know, but the truth is still there. Whether online or offline social media cannot be blamed for the side-effect of cyber-bullying which is just that: a side-effect. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yik Yak, etc are not to blame for the arguments, wars, accusations, fights, and general drama that goes on they did not create it they simply created a place where it can happen. The concept to remember, though, was that cyber-bullying was obviously not the purpose of the creation of social media. Anything can be perverted from its original purpose and the same is the case with social media.

Another issue many have with social media is their privacy. Many think that social media is constantly taking the information that we share online and shares it with companies and organizations. This is true social media does in fact pass this information around, but one also has to remember that they were the ones who posted that information in the first place. Any random person on Twitter can see a post you made so how is that any different than a company happening to stumble upon it as well? You as the consumer of the social media site are putting yourself out there, and all those companies that get your information pay good money to do so which pays for sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up online and so you can keep playing Candy Crush and posting selfies. Social media sites have terms and conditions that one agrees to in order to create an account and on top of that they can only use the information that one gives them.

So far we have seen that all the complaints made about social media and what it supposedly does to us all revolve around the individuals. We see that individuals are responsible for bullying others online, we see that it is the individual who is responsible for what they post publicly online, and now we will discuss how it’s the individual’s responsibility to be responsible when they partake in the fruit that is social media. In many of today’s workplaces whether it be schools or businesses we see an increased use of technology: tablets, computers, laptops, and even phones all capable of accessing social media. With this in mind there is the argument that social media is distracting us from our jobs and the work we should be doing. It is known that many employees have been found slacking off during work because they are chatting with someone on Facebook, or young adults and kids caught sneaking a look at their Twitter feed during class time, and it has thus been claimed that it is social medias fault. Why, though, is social media blamed like it is a person waving its hands about in front of us diverting our attention from our work when in all reality social media is an inanimate object unable to grab us and drag us away from what we should be doing? Again, I venture to say that it is we who are allowing ourselves to become distracted by social media, we can make choices we are free-minded beings not robots whose minds are being controlled by the creators of our online societies. Also, we could be just as easily distracted by a book or television as we could with Facebook or Twitter.

Studies show that Social Media is a close second place just behind newspapers for how people receive their news, with 28.8% of people receiving their information from newspapers and 27.8% from social media. Social media is so instantaneous that it outdoes any other news source in existence. People who were at the scene of an event have the ability to immediately share what they’ve seen on social media as it’s happening, this may sometimes detract from the accuracy of the news due to people having the tendency to lie and exaggerate, as well as the fact that you’re seeing it from one person’s view as opposed to the story as a whole but bottom-line these issues result in any medium of getting our news anyways.

We discussed a little about social media and school earlier, but there’s another aspect we haven’t even delved into about how social media can positively affect school and students and that is the fact that a lot of schools use social media as a way to get information around as well as turning in assignments. During my own senior year at high school we began using Google docs as a way of turning in assignments, and schools all over the US and even the world are doing this. Here at Buena Vista University we use Angel and Canvas to get notes, times, dates, homework, etc for classes. We can use Facebook to connect with other students while doing a group project. Social media allows us to keep from using as much paper which in turn helps the environment (never thought that was possible through the internet).

Social media has allowed us to connect. I can talk to someone all the way around the world in seconds from my phone. Many, though, have argued that it makes us antisocial but I beg to differ. I again will return to the argument I made before in that one’s choice to lack in interactions due to their over usage of social media. Yes social media can be addicting, but that only means it’s up to the user to decide when too much is too much.

One aspect I think is great for social media that has been under a lot of debate is: an employer using it to look into their employees or potential employees profiles. I’ve heard it said that this is unethical but I beg to ask the question: why? Why is it so wrong for an employer to see what an employee is publicly posting online? Other people are seeing it, so why is it so bad for me, a boss of a company or branch, who wants a hard-working employee who is going to be a positive piece of my workforce, who I will be paying with my companies money, and looking into what their like. If that person is a partying, racist who demoralizes women over Facebook posts, he’s not going to tell me that in his interview. As I’m going to say later on, social media is a tool and if it’s available to me as an employer I have the right to use it.

As far as economic growth goes social media has helped create jobs as well as helps businesses both big and small. Even aside from free advertisement it allows businesses to easily post information as well as deals for their customers. It helps small businesses to grow and become recognized, and allows customers to easily gain access to their products. As discussed in the book Spreadable Media social media is “spreadable (it’s in the title). This is what allows us to see something we like and share it around with others. This aspect works wonders for companies, businesses, and the like because it publicizes their product or service, what people do and don’t like, and shows them where they can improve.

In conclusion I would like to reiterate that I stand for social media. We as human beings have choices we are capable of making and those choices have outcomes both positive and negative. What we do with social media is our choice, remember: social media is a tool and we decide how we use it. In the words of Estaban Contreras the author of Social State: Thoughts, Stats and Stories about the State of Social Media in 2013:

“We create and collaborate on virtual collages with Pinterest, we upload real-time videos on Socialcam, we learn together on Udemy, we shop for our friends on Amazon, we turn links into memes on Reddit, we share presentations on SlideShare, and we stream out friends’ favorite songs on Spotify. The web, or at least most of it, has become social, and this is because it is a reflection of what we care most deeply about.”

 

Citations:

 

N/A. “Social Networking ProCon.org.” ProConorg Headlines. ProCon.org, 23 Sept. 2014. Web. 05

Oct. 2014.

Mullaney, Tim. “Social Media Is Reinventing How Business Is Done.”USATODAY.COM. USA Today,

16 May 2012. Web. 04 Oct. 2014.

Jenkins, Henry, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a

Networked Culture. New York: New York UP, 2013. Print.

Contreras, Esteban. Social State: Thoughts, Stats and Stories about the State of Social Media in

  1. 2013. N.p.: n.p., n.d.com. 01 Jan. 2013. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.

Group Assignments

I have mixed feelings about group assignments, sometimes I hate the idea and sometimes I think it’s useful it all depends on the circumstance.

The reason why I DON’T like group projects is that the majority of the time you don’t know the people in your group. Now maybe it’s the social state of our society in this day and age and the supposed anti-social attitude we young adults have in real life situations, but it’s just pointless when you put someone in a group of people they don’t know and they spend the majority of class time awkwardly sitting there waiting on someone to start the conversation or introduce themselves and even once that’s done it gets silent as soon as everyone knows everyone else’s names.

Once you’ve gotten past all the awkwardness you’re all going to have to work together, which becomes a mess. Similarly to the way they decided on how many people should make up Congress: if a group is too big then nothing will get done, yet if a group is too small then there won’t be enough people to get things done. With classroom groups the teacher typically doesn’t think about this factor and simply splits the class in half or has everyone number off. Either way the group is going to suffer because the professor put no thought into how the groups were being split up. This leads to people in the group getting left out especially if there are people in the group that know each other. The people who know each other are going to hit things off right away or their going to get distracted and be somewhat secluded from the group. The people outside of their group are left with a decision: they can either take lead of the project or they can be secluded themselves. This leads to bad grades for someone because they supposedly didn’t help or were pushed away by the rest of the group.

The times when I think group projects DO work would be in classes that are exclusive to a specific major. Take me for instance, I;m a Digital Media major with a focus on film, in my advanced video class we have 5 people and thus group projects work because we all have a similar interest and there’s not a whole lot of us. In my Basic Video Class we had about 20 people and the groups were split into 3 (about 7 a group) and we were charged to do a production, this worked as well because we were all interested in film and (and this is kind of the bonus of going to a smaller college) we all kind of knew each other from past video or Digital Media based classes and projects as well as clubs and organizations.

The times it won’t work is during General Education based classes. I’m in a government class doing a project with a group of people I’ve never met before and I have plenty of great information to share, but I’ve been pushed out so here I am writing my blog while the rest discuss the homework. I swear I’m not complaining or bitter I’m just using this example. Anyways, it made for a good chuckle when the professor came over to see how we were doing and told the group they were missing an important piece of information that I just so happened to have and would have been happy to share had they not all started discussing with their friends and those they know. The professor then went on to explain the piece we were missing. Maybe I’m in the wrong here, but I’m pretty sure I’m right in saying there’s a flaw in the group project concept.