To My Aunt

One of the greatest gifts you ever gave me:
A rain-soaked afternoon
Digging through a shoebox of broken crayons
Spinning the stories in my head to their first willing ear.
(But not their last. I swear to you.)
Gentle eyes and complete conviction
as you tell me,
“I bet you’ll be a writer one day.”

rain
“My life’s greatest mystery: How to thank someone for being catalyst to some of the best parts of you.” Photo from: http://answerangels.com.au/images/doyoulikebeinginsideandwatchingtherainoutside2.jpg

A dozen more stories like that
Branded on the parts of my mind
That drag me to my early morning classes
When my comfortable bed warns against it.
There is no thank you card for that.
Prepackaged, Hallmark-branded sentimentality could never hold a candle to it.

My life’s greatest mystery:
How to thank someone
For being a catalyst to some of the best parts of you.
But I think I’ve finally figured out the answer.

Maybe I’ll tell you about it one day,
On the acknowledgments page.

College As Told By Khloe Kardashian

There is no one in the world that can express how college students feel about college, but Khloe Kardashian is by far, the person that most closely feels the way you feel about life. So here is KoKo on college.

  1. You don’t take bullshit from anyone.

Khloe is the type to take what you throw at her and dish it right back at you. College can bring out some emotions in students and teachers, and she wouldn’t be afraid to throw shade back.

  1. You have your lazy days, lazy months or lazy semesters.

There is just something about college that makes you not want to finish it. Well, Khloe has the perfect solution for you. Just don’t deal.

  1. Prerequisites.

The most annoying thing about college is prerequisites. These unnecessary classes don’t have anything to do with your major and are just a waste of time. They are just a way for colleges to get more money from you.

  1. You aren’t afraid to protect your friends.

The friends that you make in college are the ones you keep forever because you go through everything together. If there is someone messing with your friend, then there is a slight chance you’ll have to make a quick trip to CVS for a tub of Vaseline.

  1. You get a little too comfortable with your college friends.

There are many things you experience in college and those things are rarely ever spoken of again. You see your friends at their worst and they see you at yours.

  1. The “freshman 15″ means nothing to you.

    Khloe
    “College isn’t something that comes around every year. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that everyone needs.” Photo from: https://images.contentful.com/g8qtv9gzg47d/image_post_63973/fc1408744cfcfc01054e49b4a34203cf/Slider_1_-_Khlo__Kardashian

Even if you do care about the “freshman 15,” there is no name for the upperclassman weight gain, so therefore, it does not exist. Besides, the only healthy thing on campus is expensive.

  1. When your professor assigns homework over break.

The fact that one even attempts to assign anything over break is hilarious to me. If the work is done, I guarantee that it is done last minute and students don’t put any effort into it. Personally, I think that professors do this just to stress us out. In all honestly, it’s not us that have to read all of those papers. You’re welcome.

  1. Your judgment is real at parties.

When college students party, they might be drunk, but their creepy meter is on overdrive.

  1. When your parents ask you where you were last night.

When you are home for the holidays, you find that your parents are always wondering where you are. You have been so used to going where you want when you want. You see yourself as an adult, but when you want money to go to Chipotle Mexican Grill, you are suddenly a child again.

  1. When your roommate touches your stuff.

There are always boundaries that don’t need to be crossed when it comes to roommates. The number one rule to follow when you have a roommate is, “You don’t touch my stuff. I don’t touch your stuff.”

  1. Experience it before it passes you by.

College isn’t something that comes around every year. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that everyone needs. You have your whole life to be an adult, so maybe living it before you become one isn’t a bad idea.

Anonymous Online

There are countless websites and apps that will let people say whatever they want without revealing themselves. They do this through the use of usernames (which can be almost anything) or by allowing the option for people to remain anonymous. It is a popular feature that many companies and/or websites use to encourage conversation and use of their product. After all, there are no real consequences of typing out a message; people are more open to talking and saying things they wouldn’t normally say if they know they can walk away without anyone ever realizing it’s them. But, that is part of the problem, isn’t it?

Conceptually, being anonymous online is a good idea; it makes for a much more relaxed and stress free environment. People can discuss things that might be unpopular, and having that feeling of freedom can make things easier. But when this idea is put into practice, and real life people get involved, it gets much messier and the worst in people tends to come out. Without the fear of punishment, what’s to stop a person from saying terrible things to anyone and everyone?

cyberbullying
“Without the fear of punishment, what’s to stop a person from saying terrible things to anyone and everyone?” Photo from: http://highstermobile.co/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cyberbullying.jpg

Let’s face it, the reality of the situation is that online, people can say things that are racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and xenophobic, which are just a few examples in a long list. It’s because people with those kinds of views have a mask and a wall to hide behind. They can go about their lives without anyone knowing that they have been spouting hate. If someone started shouting racist slurs in public, then there is a legitimate fear of retaliation, be it physical or legal. Many of these kinds of people are aware that what they are saying is offensive and derogatory. They say it with the intent to hurt and infuriate but they also know that doing so could get them into trouble. Which is why becoming an anonymous figure online is their tool of choice.

Anonymous online posting can be a good thing, but it is a dangerous two edged sword. It often seems to be hurting just as much as it is helping. At the end of the day, it poses an interesting question: how much online freedom is too much? On one hand, it’s rarely a good idea to give up freedom for the sake of security/policing, as that leads to tyranny. But give people too much freedom, and that leads to anarchy. Not to mention, you have to make sure all of these rules are enforced equally. It wouldn’t be right or fair to consistently accuse one group of doing the wrong thing while ignoring another group that is actually committing the action.

How To Stay Motivated

There are only a few weeks left of the semester and, if you are anything like me, you are worn out and exhausted from everything going on right now. It is tempting to just lay in bed all day, watch Netflix (before they take all your favorites off), and eat chicken nuggets from Chik-Fil-A. However, you must keep focused and push through to the end of the semester! Here are a few ways to do so.

student with books
“Make sure you take time to yourself to breathe and relax in order to stay sane.” Photo from: http://footage.framepool.com/shotimg/562054221-worry-ambition-pile-library.jpg

Remember why you are getting an education. Maybe you have a dream job that you are working towards. Maybe you want to meet new people. Maybe you want to be able to support a family one day. No matter who you are, we are all here because of a specific reason. We have to push through to reach those goals!

Remember that there are only a few weeks left and you are going home! In a few weeks, you will be able to lie on the beach with the sun beaming down on you. I don’t know about you, but keeping this thought in mind is helping me get through the end of the school year!

Take time to yourself. End of semester= busyness. Make sure you take time to yourself to breathe and relax in order to stay sane. Read a book, sleep, write in a journal. Do whatever you need to just relax.

Stay ahead of your assignments and studying. Since it is the end of the year, professors want to make sure they get in all the work they can before finals. Start your assignments and studying early so you aren’t feeling crammed and rushed when the due dates start rolling in. This will make for a low-stress end of the semester.

Cat-Calling: Don’t be Sexist

One of the issues and daily harassments that women have to deal with is cat-calling. This is when men yell what are usually superficial, sexist and derogatory remarks at random women passing by. Some of the worst ones involve blatant and disgusting sexual acts or innuendos, while others objectify women and focus on one specific aspect of their body. You would think it would be common knowledge not to harass someone, especially a random stranger. Yet, it happens far too often.

cat calling
“Yelling at a woman to tell her she has a nice backside is, again, objectifying her and making her an object for your pleasure.” Photo from: http://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2015/07/05/635717311775156065-116091019_attractive-woman-men-staring.imgopt1000x70.jpg

The thought process behind cat-calling is the cat-caller tends to have a skewed perspective on what a compliment is. Telling a woman that you’d like to have intercourse with her (usually said in more crude terms) is not a compliment. It’s objectifying her and reducing her from a real person to a thing for sex. Yelling at a woman to tell her she has a nice backside is, again, objectifying her and making her an object for your pleasure. Contrary to popular belief (or so it would seem), women are real people, actual human beings, and they are not there for the purpose of pleasing men. Hearing that they would be a good sexual partner does not make them feel good. It makes them feel uncomfortable and possibly worry they may be sexually assaulted.

Women like to be complimented; in fact, everyone does  it’s a normal part of being human. We like to hear nice things about ourselves. But being reduced to a single, sexualized body part or sexual act is not a compliment. It’s demeaning and dehumanizing. Women are more than just their bodies and they are not there to make men want them. A good general rule of thumb is that if you would say it to your mother, then it’s probably okay to say to another woman. If you wouldn’t say it to your mother then you probably shouldn’t say it to a random woman walking down the street.

Radford’s Application Boom

Radford University has experienced a significant increase in the number of applications submitted for admittance to the institution. As of February, a record breaking total of 13,291 applications were received, towering over the previous record of 8,192 from the incoming class in Fall of 2012. With such a large increase, there have been growing questions regarding how many students will choose to enroll at Radford, especially since the college has started enforcing its two-year on-campus housing rule in the past year.

radford students
“As of February, a record breaking total of 13,291 applications were received, towering over the previous record of 8,192 from the incoming class in Fall of 2012.” Photo from: http://68.media.tumblr.com/deece1607c8544f9577cd013d9eff6dc/tumblr_inline_nwornm2haF1sq03e6_500.jpg

It is exciting to see student interest in Radford growing so quickly, especially since overall enrollment has been down the past several years. While the Fall 2016 census indicated that current enrollment is 9,401, the incoming class of 2021 has the potential to push Radford to levels seen in Fall of 2013, when there were just over 9,900 students enrolled. There is even the possibility of the enrollment reaching beyond those numbers.

One of the biggest questions facing the university is on-campus housing. Radford has already started taking steps to ensure all students have appropriate student housing accommodations that fit within the two-year on-campus policy. While it may not be feasible to quickly build another residence hall, there certainly is the possibility of renting out apartment units around campus that feature residence life staff and programming.

Seeing such a large increase in applications is a tremendous step for Radford University. As the college age population in Virginia has declined in recent years, being able to attract such a large amount of applicants is a true testament to the success of Radford’s new branding strategies and marketing techniques, as well as the influx of new ideas from Radford’s President and Vice President for Enrollment Management. Coupled with a talented admissions staff, Radford has prepared itself very well to be a top choice for higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and around the country.

*Application and enrollment numbers are a courtesy of Radford University’s application record announcement and the institution’s electronic fact book.

 

 

Little White Snowflake

snowflakes
“Little white snowflakes falling on the pale white skin.” Photo from: https://writinginnorthnorfolk.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/snowflake-tears.jpg

Little white snowflake falling from the sky,
Little white sparkles falling on the curls.
White flakes hanging from the lashes,
Light blue eyes watching the gray clouds go by.
Watching the little white snowflakes falling all around,
One, Two, Three, time to fall down.
All the little white snowflakes acting as a bed,
Nice, soft, and very cold.
Little white snowflakes falling on the pale white skin.

A Right to Online Privacy

With the recent House bill that would allow Internet Service Providers (ISP) to sell anyone’s private browsing history, it is a good time to discuss people’s right to online privacy, as well as the serious breach of net neutrality. Originally, ISP had to obtain your permission to sell your online history to anyone, but soon they will be able to sell it to whoever they want to, whenever they want to. Which, frankly, is a massive invasion of privacy.

cyber criminals
“ISP will be able to track your every move online as soon as you make it. They can, essentially, stalk you online.” Photo from: https://www.fbi.gov/image-repository/cyber-crime.jpg/@@images/image/high

What you do online is private information, unless you choose to make it public. But until you make that choice, it is a private matter. However that boundary is about to be crossed and soon it’ll be open season for every internet user. The least of it is that individual targeted ad campaigns will become the norm. Companies will analyze the data and try their best to get you to buy their product, likely at a higher rate. While that is annoying, it is not the most serious issue. ISP will be able to track your every move online as soon as you make it. They can, essentially, stalk you online. With this kind of information and power at their fingertips, the internet will no longer be a neutral entity and instead become just another method of exploitation.

There is also the fact that ISP will be taking advantage of you and making money off you, and you won’t see a dime of it. Think about it – the product they will be selling is your internet browsing history, something they wouldn’t have if you did not go online. You make the product, and they sell it off to the highest bidder. All you get are more ads to inconvenience you. Even if we ignore the invasion of privacy that is occurring here, this still isn’t a fair deal. This bill allows ISP to sell your private information and make money off something you create. All the while, you get harassed by a large amount of ads, and they profit off of you.

Real or Virtual Classrooms?

The world is constantly evolving and growing as the level of technology increases and new technology becomes readily available. It seems like every day there is a new technological development that helps us in our daily lives. One of these developments is the rise of online classrooms.

It is becoming more popular to make college or high school courses available online, removing the need for students to be present inside of a classroom. The main reasons for these (relatively) new online classes are their accessibility and convenience. Some students are stay at home parents, some cannot afford both the tuition and campus housing, and some have jobs that prevent them from having a normal class schedule. There are many reasons for people to make use of online courses; they are helpful and they allow many people who could not otherwise manage to get a college degree to do so. But people can also miss out on the experience and knowledge that comes with having an actual class that isn’t just an assignment on a screen.

computer
“There are many reasons for people to make use of online courses; they are helpful and they allow many people who could not otherwise manage to get a college degree to do so.” Photo from: http://oregonstate.edu/cla/sites/default/files/images/students-looking-at-computer.jpg

In traditional classrooms, there is a greater opportunity for discussion among the students. People can ask questions and ask for further explanation if they do not understand the material. With most online classes, you get an assigned reading, a worksheet and/or assignment, and maybe a video explaining what you need to do. The issue is that this method does not provide many, if any, actual teaching moments. If learning was as simple as opening up a textbook and reading it, then we wouldn’t need teachers, or even actual classes. Learning isn’t as simple as reading the material and then taking a test on it.

None of this is to say that online classes are bad or that we should do away with them, but they certainly shouldn’t become the primary method of teaching. We should stick primarily with traditional classrooms and supplement education with online classes. Keep online classrooms, improve them, encourage them, but don’t let them become the main method of teaching.

Society’s Robot – Chapter 5

“No, follow my lead, Cassandra.”

I nodded my head and looked down at my feet. Zach was teaching me how to dance since I had forgotten how to in the last nine years. In the last hour I had stepped on his foot eight times, tripped over my own feet ten times, and caused Zach to trip three times. I knew I used to always be a klutz, especially while growing up, but I never thought it would come back to haunt me. I was counting in my head as Zach and I danced around the room, making sure not to trip or step on him. Phillip and Rogue had decided watching us was more fun than spending time outside on their day off.

“Good, Cassie.”

I looked at him, finally getting the simplest of all dance steps down.

“Okay, I’m going to spin you out, then pull you back in, okay?”

I nodded my head just as he spun me out then pulled me back in so my back was to his chest. His arms were lying over mine, and our hands were at my waist. I could hear him hum as he swayed us from side to side, turning in circles. He twirled me till I was facing him again, setting us in the beginning position.

Zach looked into my eyes while he slowly leaned in. I closed my eyes and waited for whatever he would do. I felt him move away, causing me to open my eyes to see him looking conflicted.

“Um, that’s good for today Cassie. Why don’t you go enjoy the rest of your day off?”

I nodded my head and walked out, leaving him there confused by what had just happened.
~
I sat outside on the garden swing that sat among dozens of flowers. The place made me feel like I was in another world. I kept thinking about how Zach seemed to have almost kissed me. I had been kissed before but it was because another servant was going to be requested for a night’s activity and needed help learning to kiss. I messed with my heart locket while thinking of why in the world he would want to kiss me.

I sighed and simply swung while watching the clouds. I closed my eyes as a breeze picked up, blowing my hair away from my face. I heard the click of a camera going off and looked over to see Zach holding a camera.

“Sorry, you just reminded me of…” He shook his head, throwing the thought away. “Never mind.”

I nodded my head and looked back down at my feet. I had decided to change into shorts and a loose tank top after practicing with Zach for Wednesday’s event.

I noticed Zach had also changed into something more comfortable to be outside in. “So, how did you learn so much about photography, Miss Richards?” Zach asked as he sat down next to me, looking over the photos he had taken.

“Um, at my last house, I didn’t finish school even though I was so bright, so as a gift they sent me to finish off my senior year of high school. Then they paid for me to do some classes at the community college a few miles from the house they lived in.”

He nodded his head and set his camera down on the ground carefully. “I went all the way to Virginia for my classes. My father sent me away saying it was for my own good.”

I could see the emotion flash across his face; he hadn’t wanted to leave New York to take classes that he could easily take here. From the stories John and Philip had told me, I’d learned that Mr. Addison wasn’t a kind man, even to his wife and children. Philip had told me the Addisons had five children including Zach. I took Zach’s hand to show him he should keep going on.

He looked at my hand then back at me. “He really sent me away because I was attached to my youngest sister and he was worried I would care more about her than taking over the family business. See, she was sick. She had a heart defect, and the doctors couldn’t even figure out what was wrong. For the first three years of her life, I was the one that sat with her at night to make sure everything was alright. I was the big brother.” He sighed and shook his head. “My father sent me away and the first month I was gone and no one was watching her closely enough. Her heart failed.”

I looked down, almost worried about showing the pain and sadness I felt for him. I couldn’t do that, so all I said was, “I’m sorry.”

I looked up and noticed he just shrugged. “It was five years ago and you have no reason to say sorry. You didn’t even know her.”

mansion
“I sat outside on the garden swing that sat among dozens of flowers. The place made me feel like I was in another world.”

I decided it was time I left and headed back in for the day. I got up and turned to him. “I think I’ll go back…” I could see the pain in his eyes, like no one had listened to how losing his baby sister had made him feel, as if he was forced to not feel, just like me. So I sat back down.

“Why don’t you tell me what she was like?” I smiled lightly, hoping it showed I really did want to know. In return, he smiled back and started telling me about how energetic she was, even with her condition.
*
I was curled up in Zach’s lap, by his request, while he read me Greek Myths, something I usually read to myself. But after talking with Zach about his little sister – who I found out was named Lizzie – I realized how much he missed reading to someone. It was our time in his study anyway, so I didn’t mind. In a way, it actually felt good to have him read to me.

“… So as the seasons changed, the Greeks knew Persephone was home safe away from Hades and his evil of the underworld, and so spring was given and the harvest could continue once again…”

I curled up to Zach more. Of all the myths, the ‘Rape of Persephone,’ as it was called, made me feel even more lost because I didn’t have a mother to help me out of trouble. Mine had left me on the front steps of an orphanage to fight for my life. I felt his free arm wrap around me more and hold me against his chest. I looked up at him and met his green eyes. The fire next to us lit his dark eyes only slightly but it was enough to make them seem almost as magical as the garden outside.

“Cassie…” He slowly leaned in more. I watched him before feeling his lips cover mine. I closed my eyes and slowly leaned into him more, pressing my lips against his.

I could hear the book fall as he tangled his fingers into my hair, holding me close against him. The feeling that came over me was one I’d never felt before, and it felt incredible. Till I realized something and pulled away. I looked at him as my heart began to speed up and his hands laid lightly over my cheeks. I quickly got up and went up to my room, ignoring the feeling in the pit of my stomach that what I just did was wrong. And I don’t mean the kiss, but running away from him after.

R-SPACE’s Casino Night

On Friday, March 24th, R-Space’s Late Night director Richard Delehanty worked with an organization to provide the student body with a night of casino games. By showing your I.D. at the door, you received $1,000 playing money and one raffle ticket per hour. An estimated 140 students participated and had nothing but positive feedback to give about the event.

Casino
“By showing your I.D. at the door, you received $1,000 playing money and one raffle ticket per hour.”

Many students had no experience with Casino games, but employees working the tables were happy to give instructions. The games included Blackjack, Hold ‘Em Poker, Deluxe Roulette, Craps, Casino War, and a Money Wheel.

R-space provided free food and even a photo booth with props. Every hour, students were given one raffle ticket to win designated prizes located on the Bonnie stage. Prizes included a Home stereo system, Bluetooth speaker and charging dock, Blue-Ray/DVD player, several portable phone chargers, a skateboard, and a bike. The event was a success to all students who attended.

 

Rohypnol – Part 2

July 21st 12:40 am – I took Rocky for a walk late tonight to clear my head. He was whining at the door, so I had to take him out before it made me angry. Yesterday, all I could write about was how lonely and misanthropic I felt. What a dichotomy, huh? Hating people but feeling lonely…It’s a catch-22 if I’ve ever seen one. My luck may be turning around. I saw a girl tonight out with her friends. I couldn’t help but notice her. The way her dress sparkled, hips swaying with confidence as she walked…her poise and grace outshone every member of her group. She saw Rocky and asked to pet him. Of course I said yes. How could I deny a woman like her? I asked for her number, but I think she was playing hard to get. I followed her home, keeping my distance to make sure she got there safely. She only lives 10 minutes away from me. Maybe I’ll go check on her tomorrow night, and make sure she hasn’t changed her mind about us.

July 21st 3:00 p.m. — My psychologist told me this bullshit would help. What kind of grown man keeps a record of his every move? Whatever. Maybe if she reads what I write she can kill this monster inside my brain. I can’t stop thinking about that girl yesterday. She was so perfect. Small but not sickly, long straight blonde hair – my perfect type. I just can’t stop thinking about her. I think I’ll go visit her tonight.

July 22nd 1:00 a.m. – I tried to go to her house and knock on her door, but no one was home. I guess I’ll try tomorrow. Maybe I’ll see her around town since she is so close. I guess then it’ll be fate. I just can’t stop thinking about her. I think we’re in love.

Rohypnol tablets. Strong sedative & widely known as a 'date rape' drug.
“She started running, like she was afraid of something. I didn’t want her to get hurt so I just grabbed her and put her in my car. The rest is a blur.”

July 23rd Midnight – I saw her again tonight while I was at my favorite bar. What is she doing out on a Sunday night drinking? I’m sitting in my car outside Admiral’s Arms on Spencer Street, the usual. I’ve never seen her here before. She must have come here to see me…. I’ll follow her home to make sure she gets there safe. You never know what could happen at night in a place like this.

July 23rd 10:00 a.m. – I don’t remember a lot from last night. I remember following the pretty woman home from the bar. I was only trying to make sure she got home safe since her friends ditched her. She started running, like she was afraid of something. I didn’t want her to get hurt so I just grabbed her and put her in my car. The rest is a blur. Fuck, why can’t I remember? What if she gave me her number? What if she agreed to go on a date with me? I keep fucking up. I have a psychologist appointment at 4 today; maybe she can help me make sense of this.

July 23rd 12 p.m. – She’s downstairs. I don’t know what happened tonight, but I CAN’T go back to the hospital again. They’ll take my dog away from me.
Pros: I have my dream girl. I have my dog. I have a sound proof basement. I have friends willing to help me when I need them. I am starting to have more feelings than a few months ago.
Cons: The girl I am in love with is in my basement. I have a lot of blood to clean up.
My psychologist told me, whenever I feel myself panicking, take my medication and make a list of pros and cons. If the pros outweigh the cons, I have nothing to worry about. I’ll wash up before my appointment and explain everything. Hopefully they’ll understand.

Students’ Say On: Smoke-Free Campus

We’ve all walked through a cloud of smoke on our way to class at one time or another. As most students already know, Radford University is not a smoke-free campus. Students are allowed to smoke outside on campus as long as they are 25 feet away from buildings. However, some students still smoke relatively close to buildings.

cigarettes
“The majority of students we talked to expressed annoyance at being forced to walk through others’ smoke clouds.” Photo from: http://media.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem_impact/photo/pack-of-cigarettes-b0e864c515496a00.jpg

This week, we asked students whether they knew what a smoke-free campus was (a campus where the use of all tobacco products is prohibited) and whether they thought Radford should be a smoke-free campus. The majority of students we talked to expressed annoyance at being forced to walk through others’ smoke clouds while on campus. However, they also viewed the issue as something that doesn’t have much of an effect on them otherwise and said they were fine with Radford not banning smoking on campus completely. But other students believed that Radford should be a smoke-free campus or there should be designated areas where smoking is allowed. When asked how the university would enforce this smoke-free policy, some students were unsure. But others had ideas: some said the rules or restrictions could be implemented at Quest so students would know from the start what the policies were. Some said the university should treat cigarettes the same way as alcohol—that is, taking tobacco products from students if they are seen using them or charging them a fine.

If Radford does ever become a smoke-free campus, it will be interesting to see how they try and keep it that way. Perhaps they would use some of the tactics that the students we talked to thought of; it would be interesting to see if the ideas work. But one student had a point: “People are going to do what they want to do no matter what, so it doesn’t really matter [what the policies are].”

Inter-Department Classes

Everyone ends up majoring in one specific field of study during their college career, but what if we could start taking classes from other majors and incorporating them into our class schedules? An English major focuses almost exclusively on literature analysis and technical writing skills, but what do they know of the sciences or of business skills? A geology major knows about Earth, its composition, and how it functions, but how many have professional writing skills? New types of courses should be implemented in all of the majors so that people can gain interchangeable skills and knowledge to help them further their lives and careers.

job listings 2
“New classes that mix different fields of study together could be very helpful to a great many people.” Photo from: http://www.onpointexecutivecenter.com/wp-content/uploads/here-are-four-tips-for-drafting-the-most-impressive-job-listings-_16001268_40007186_0_14070211_500.jpg

Each major focuses on teaching one specific set of skills but everything else is placed on the back burner. Let us say a student has extensive knowledge in human anatomy and they go on to discover something significant in the field. While they could probably explain it to other people in their specific field, other people outside of it would have little to no knowledge of the terminology that would be used nor have the background knowledge to understand why such a discovery would be significant. This is where writing and communication skills that are offered only in English classes come in handy because then a person would be better able to explain what has happened.

New classes that mix different fields of study together could be very helpful to a great many people. A writing in biochemistry class, design in business class, or music in physical therapy class are just a few options that could be made available to students. Any number of classes could be created and offered to both expand a student’s knowledge and help them specialize for possible work opportunities. In a world where so many people are obtaining the same or similar degrees as each other, the need for more specialized skills becomes greater.

Rohypnol

I woke up sweating profusely, believing I was in my own bathroom because of the recognizable smell of mold. I’m sure you know the smell: semi-sweet with undertones of the burning dust that molests your nose as you light your heater during the first frost of the winter. My first racing thought–‘Why am I naked in my bathroom?’ Second–‘How did I get home last night?’ Both thoughts happened simultaneously, more quickly than one can blink.

Realizing the unfamiliarity of the cold, rough concrete floor, I stumbled over objects lying in complete disarray on the floor, trying to gain a sense of my new environment.

“Where in the fuck am I?” I murmured, trying to gain some spatial awareness in the pitch blackness of a windowless room.

Suffocated by the lack of moonlight, sunlight, and streetlights, I frantically looked for the surrounding walls like a frightened rat lost in a maze. If I could just find a wall, I could feel along the corners to a door.

“FUCK,” I bellowed as the warm throbbing pain traveled from the heel of my foot to my brain.

My adrenaline propelled me forward. I forgot the nail in my foot, as anyone would when fighting for their life. Finally, my hand slammed against a lackluster, irregular panel of wood that felt like it’d been purchased from a discount furniture store sale, deemed unusable by any reasonable standard. I followed along the grooves and crevices, staying aware of my hand placement and doing my best to dodge the unknown objects on the floor.

Consumed by the nothingness around me, I felt dissociative. My only resolution was to get out. I found the corner of the adjacent wall and carefully turned to find a cold metal panel. I felt that I could finally breathe because I had found a door, my holy grail.

No handle.

Rohypnol tablets. Strong sedative & widely known as a 'date rape' drug.
“Consumed by the nothingness around me, I felt dissociative. My only resolution was to get out.” Photo from: http://uaefreeclassifieds.com/wp-content/themes/classifiedstheme/thumbs/62019-38724-2016-06-02354834.jpg

Nothing. No holes, no lock, only metal and small rivets to connect each panel. I started to spin uncontrollably, losing all sense of balance and clarity. I slammed my petite, bony knees too hard against the floor, but I didn’t care. I had nothing else to do but breathe. Just as I was about to collapse, I immediately heard noises in front of me—maybe, hopefully, human. The nails clicking against the floor suggested a dog overdue for a grooming, but I could not reason with myself as to where I was.

After a moment of excruciating silence, I was relieved by the jingle of an overcrowded keyring. ‘Thank God,’ my heart whispered to itself as I sighed, wiping the sweat from my neck. My hands pressed hard against the jagged floor, hoisting myself up onto the balls of my feet. As I heard the lock on the other side shake, I stumbled backward over a stool, slamming to the ground. I lay there, helpless, as a fluorescent tube light flickered, attempting to light the room. Between the strobing, I saw a six-foot-something figure appear. The figure developed into the distinct form of a man with a scraggly mountain-man beard. He shuffled the now visible sharp metal instruments with each step of his old, tattered New Balance sneakers. My eyes glanced about my prison.

I was surrounded by various-sized pliers, scalpels—some rusty and some pristine—scattered nails, three gas cans, the tipped over stool, a stained, torn mattress, Bic lighters, and other random tools unfamiliar to any average 20-year-old woman. Rattled by the horror scene unfolding before me, I crab-walked backward, unaware and uncaring of the things behind me. The man now hovered above me, and he stared down my soul, into my core. Darkness surrounded both of us as I heard the metal door slam shut, reverberating through me as if I were a ghost.

Dorm Life vs. Apartment Life

The vast majority of people in college either live in a dorm or in an apartment. Few people actually come from the town or city that their university or college resides in, so we need alternate lodgings while we’re away. Most college students tend to live in the dorms because most universities require that you live in a dorm for at least one year of your college career. But plenty of people also live in apartments near the college campus, and many people often wonder which is better.

apartment listings
“Many who do live in an apartment have to work within a budget, and utility bills can add up very quickly.” Photo from: http://suffolkjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/listings.jpg

One of the upsides to living in a dorm is there are no bills to pay. Once you’ve paid your tuition, you’re set; you can use as much heat, water, and electricity as you want without worry. The same cannot be said for those who live in an apartment. Many who do live in an apartment have to work within a budget, and utility bills can add up very quickly. This leads into the issue of roommates as well. Practically everyone in a dorm has at least one roommate, and some even have three or four. The same can be said of most people who live in an apartment. While there is the option to live by yourself, most people cannot afford to do so and have to get at least one other person to live with them. However, the main difference between having a roommate in a dorm and a roommate in an apartment is that in an apartment, utility bills can be very high/expensive with multiple people. A single person can increase the bill significantly for the other roommate(s).

The flip side, however, is that in an apartment there is almost always more space and everyone has their own room. One of the worst parts about living in a dorm is the lack of space and the fact that you have to share a small room with another person. While you still have to share space inside of an apartment, you have your own room at least. This extra space can help ease a lot of the tension that one usually finds inside of a dorm room. There is also the benefit of having your own personal kitchen and not being subjected to a limited meal plan. With your own kitchen, you can make whatever meals you want whenever you want them and store whatever food you want without any real hassle or fear of it going bad. At the end of the day, it comes down to your own personal preference as to where you want to live and what you want to sacrifice.

Train of Thought for the Empty Head

Clean white crescent moons dance across the starry sky of my keyboard

Coffee stains the papers on my desk

The color of your skin

Like rolling dunes,

And howling winds blowing through my empty head—

Rolling through the tomb.

A distant echo recites the song of the modern major general

Except I don’t know the kings of England

And I can’t quote the fights historical

Despite 14 years of internment,

Textbooks chained to my wrists,

Handfuls of Adderall and Vyvanse—

Medical snowballs with “frickin’ laser beams attached to their frickin’ foreheads.”

I’d rather be watching Austin Powers

Than beating my head against the grindstone,

Capsizing the dinghy keeping me afloat.

My cup runneth over—

brain
“My train of thought has never been on schedule.” Photo from: http://gigmagfl.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/brainthink.gif

Austin Morgan

I keep tossing the contents into the bushes

To make room for the next batch of refried information and freeze-dried quotations.

My train of thought has never been on schedule,

Coming to stuttering stops and taking detours into the exotic wilds of my subconscious

I once dreamt I had magic powers,

But I had to do long division in my head to cast simple spells—

Even in my sparse moments of escape

I am trapped

In the forsaken tomb of my hollow head

Echoing thoughts ricocheting off the walls of my skull

Bouncing back and forth until the empty air vibrates with the sound of nothing.