Tag Archives: featured

Horrors of Hollywood’s Harvey

The land of Hollywood is known for its gossip and scandals but recent events have brought forth a serious and shocking, and apparently not so secret, secret. Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault by an increasing number of women in the film making industry, with famous names such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelia Jolie being among the women to come forward. Harvey Weinstein has reportedly been harassing (both sexually and not) women for decades, as well as harassing men and almost anyone he has worked with. It was something of an open secret among the people who work for him. Weinstein was a movie mogul and could do great things for his movies and the careers of the people who worked with him. This gave him a lot of power and it was power he blatantly abused.

Among other things, Weinstein was reported to have badgered women to give him a massage while he was naked, to offer to help their careers in exchange for sex, or even force himself on to the women. This was behavior that he was allowed to get away with for two reasons: because he was Harvey Weinstein, a movie mogul with all of the power in these situations, and because many women felt that nothing would get accomplished if they did speak and, in fact, that it would hurt or even destroy their careers. This is a horrendously disgusting mindset and environment that has been cultivated over the years. No one should be in a situation where they have this much power that they can abuse whoever they like, however they like, nor should anyone be made to feel this powerless, especially in the case of sexual assault.

This man should lose everything he has because he gain his reputation, his power, and his wealth through a manipulative system of various kinds of abuse, the most prominent being his sexual abuse of women. It is horrifying that this went on for as long as it did, but, on a brighter note, this man is finally being held responsible for his actions and many organization, including the company he started, are readily denouncing him and striping him of many of his titles and rewards. This is also encouraging many people to come forward with their stories of abuse and letting them know they can speak up with fear of punishment. Terry Crews has even announced on twitter his own experience with sexual harassment, where he was blatantly groped at a party, in front of many people. Hopefully, this will be an experience that will prevent further abuses of women and power and one that encourages everyone to speak up in the instants that it does happen.

 

Photo from Washington Post

The “Impossible” is Now Possible: Video Games in Real Life

Many people have had thoughts before like: “Man, if that weapon on Fallout or Metal Gear Solid was real, imagine the damage it would do.” Well, someone in the U.S. Government had the same thoughts as well.

Various weapons in the video game world like railguns and lasers have been in development for years and are used in some places, while the weapons like plasma are not in use yet. Here are some video game weapons that may  or may not be actually real.

Railgun Specs; photo from science.howstuffworks.com
Railgun Specs; photo from science.howstuffworks.com

Railguns: Actually, railguns have been in development for decades now, with the first patent in the U.S. issued in July 1922 as no. 1,421,435 to a French inventor by the name of Louis Octave Fauchon-Villeplee. However, his development didn’t go too far due to the lack of technology during his time. Nazi Germany in 1944 was looking into the first theoretically possible railgun. The guns were to be mounted with six batteries and would be able to launch twelve rounds per minute. Their plans were thwarted by the Allies in World War II. These plans were found after the war and believed to be “impossible” after studies found that each gun would need enough power to light up half of Chicago. It took until 1962 before an operational railgun was possible, but it was only a scientific study. Then in comes the world of video games, where games like Halo, Metal Gear Solid and Fallout introduced the railgun as a weapon of mass destruction. In recent years, railguns have been created. The U.S. Navy tested a railgun that fired a projectile at the speed of “Mach 7″ in the 2000’s. After the success of that railgun, the U.S. Navy is going to have a railgun in use for intercepting missiles in 2018. Now, that’s something video games couldn’t make up.

LaWS on the USS Ponce; photo from www.stripes.com
LaWS on the USS Ponce; photo from www.stripes.com

Lasers: Some of us have been to places where they have laser tag with the fake guns, but the U.S. Navy (man, why do these guys get all of the new weapons?) has an operational laser weapon in use since 2014 that blinds the enemy. The LaWS, as it is called, will not be in use for long however as the ship it is on, the USS Ponce, will be decommissioned in 2018. The lasers in video games like Mega Man are meant to cut people in half. No words, if the U.S. military is planning to make a weapon like that.

Plasma: In Fallout, a plasma gun means your demise if you’re ever shot with one in online gaming mode. Researchers at the University of Missouri actually were able to create a very weak but impressive plasma gun in 2013. This has opened the possibilities of energy and weapons dealing with plasma, something thought to be impossible.

Death Star from Star Wars: photo from starwars.com
Death Star from Star Wars: photo from starwars.com

Honorable Mention – Death Star: Yeah, this one is impossible, but in 2012, a petition started on the WeThePeople site asking the U.S. Government to build a Death Star from Star Wars. Once the petition reached 25,000 signatures, an official response from the White House was necessary. It turns out it would take 830,000 years to make enough steel and as for the cost: let’s just say, you would need to find a planet made out of diamonds.

 

Featured Image Photo from NextBigFuture.com

Las Vegas

When more than 95 people die and more than 6,000 are injured daily [1], I never see a militarized media response to it. There is no soul-searching, there are no pontifications of what lies in the dark hearts of men that drive them to such mindless violence. Certainly there are no suggestions on increasing the number of regulations regarding the means by which such a tremendous number of lives may be snuffed out.

We just call them “car accidents”.

Gun violence is mostly not an accident, certainly not in the case of the recent shooting in Las Vegas. The worst shooting in modern history is a light day in car death terms. But the fact that it has become such a rallying cry in a way car accidents never have, makes me think that the motivation for such disproportionate focus is largely political in nature. It certainly cannot be empathy for the victims; I find it hard to believe the grieving families have approached every political media machine and begged, “Please use the deaths of my husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, and cousins at your earliest possible convenience to make sure such tragedies never happen again.”

“Gun violence is mostly not an accident, certainly not in the case of the recent shooting in Las Vegas.” – Photo from CNN

No, I find the root cause might be much more basic: we are more ubiquitously in love with our cars than our guns. If you’re a liberal, you may look to Musk’s Tesla, Toyota’s Prius, or the Chevy Volt as a vehicle worth attaining. If you’re poor, you may look to 1980’s-1990’s era vehicles for the ease of maintaining them. If you’re rich, you make look to the stylish new Mustangs, Challengers, and or Porsches. Whatever your tastes, even with declining Millennial interest in getting a license [2], you probably can appreciate the freedom owning a car provides, or at least utilize it.

Less so with guns. Guns have always been used to kill people; there is little ambiguity there. They are used for sport, war, relaxation, and self-defense. “God made man; Samuel Colt made them equal” as the saying goes. No political issue in our country’s history more divides our nation than one’s stance on gun control, save women’s suffrage and slavery.

Because they are not viewed as universally beloved a facilitator of freedom the way cars are, firearms receive less care and more scorn. The real issues aren’t mental health, gun control, or even what the founding fathers meant in their 2nd Amendment wording. Perhaps it’s just how willfully blind we are to the negative consequences of the things we love while remaining critical of the things other people enjoy.

 

[1] http://www.nsc.org/NewsDocuments/2017/12-month-estimates.pdf

[2] https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2016/01/19/drivers-licenses-uber-lyft/7899452

 

Cover Photo from CNBC

Live Bait

We had hours yet
before the sun would rise.
I was nine, maybe ten years old,
too young to fully appreciate a silent lake bank
and not having anywhere to be.
I shivered bone-deep in the early air.
My father said he was glad we could make it out–
Before all the tourists took the good spots.

A tiny electric lantern
shined a soft halo of blue light around us.
Dad smoked in stony silence
while I fumbled with my Disney-branded fishing rod.
I told him that I felt bad for the nightcrawlers
that we skewered onto the end of our hooks.
He said that sometimes he did too.

I reeled in a bluegill—
Nothing huge, but still—
My first ever catch with no assistance.
Dad asked if I’d like to keep it.
I told him my fishbowl wasn’t big enough.
He helped me get the hook out
despite the frantic thrashing.
I tossed it back into cold, blue-green water.
For a moment, I appreciated the silence.

We packed up just as the sun began to rise.
I could hear birds chirping in the background.
Dad handed me a Styrofoam cup—
Still half-full of fat grey earthworms.
“You can let them go, if you want.”
I dumped the cup out into a nearby patch of upturned earth
and watched the worms writhe their way out of sight—
Pretending that the birds wouldn’t get them.

 

 

Featured Image from Tennessee State Parks

What is CTE and Why is it a Problem

Most people by now have heard of a neurodegenerative/brain disorder called CTE: chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This disorder is very common with those who have competed in contact sports like football.

Aaron Hernandez, former tight end for the New England Patriots and convicted murderer who committed suicide back in April, was found to have had stage 3 CTE after his brain was studied by Boston University. At the young age of 27, Hernandez is one of the youngest people to have the disorder since CTE’s discovery.

This news doesn’t take away from the fact that Hernandez murdered one person and may had killed two more. Hernandez however, is now one of the 112 former football players to have their brains studied post-mortem. Out of the 112, 111 had some type of CTE. That means that most likely, 99% of former, current, and future NFL players will have some type of CTE.

Don’t forget that football isn’t the only sport to have a issue with CTE.  Soccer, Hockey, MMA and Professional Wrestling like WWE have had former athletes posthumously diagnosed with CTE. Even MLB had a player diagnosed with CTE after his suicide in 2012.

Currently, there are multiple lawsuits dealing with concussion settlements. However, those who had played in high school and college but didn’t make it to the professionals don’t have a lawsuit. It can affect a high school student after a few years of participation in the sport. In 2010, 17-year-old Nathan Stiles died after playing in a football game in which he took several blows to the head. He would be diagnosed with CTE, the youngest reported case to date.

The doctor who discovered CTE, Dr. Bennet Omalu, once said that he wished he had never met Mike Webster, legendary NFL center and first person to be diagnosed with the disorder. Many players after hearing about the effects of CTE have retired, and those include Jake Locker and Patrick Willis. Some even regret playing the sport and even the great Bo Jackson discourages his children from playing the sport that made him famous.

Talk about CTE will never stop, but football and wrestling aren’t just going to stop tomorrow. It is encouraged to know about the effects of CTE before playing a contact sport and know most likely, you will have some type of it. That is the price of chasing riches and fame.

Dealing with Death: A Reflection

After losing someone our minds go into overdrive, analyzing every moment ever spent with them, grieving over the bad times, and cherishing the great memories. It seems hard not to blow things out of proportion. If only you had one more day, one more moment, one more chance to say the things you should have always said—knowing that you could’ve been there more than you were is a feeling that could haunt someone for the rest of their lives.

Nothing feels right after suddenly losing someone—wondering if there was something you could’ve done, going through the motions of a normal day, knowing that someone is gone. Having that unavoidable pit feeling in your stomach… no amount of talking or crying can make this feeling go away.

On October 4, 2015, K.j. Bettner was taken from his friends and family too soon. K.j. was someone who was known for his bigger-than-life smile, making this loss even more tragic. Never in my life did I imagine that I would be sitting here trying to write an article about losing K.j., but two years later, here I am.

“K.j. was someone who was known for his bigger-than-life smile…” – Photo from Annie Schroeder

I can remember the day of his service like it was yesterday, with friends and family gathered in front of the church in the middle of our hometown. It was a hot and sunny Sunday in October. Our close friends were piled into hard wooden church pews and sat in silence for a long time, thinking of the right thing to say to one another. It was during this service that reality hit: we were not invincible. I remember how hot the sun felt coming in through the glass stained windows on our tear-soaked cheeks, and the looks that the adults were giving us, thinking that we were all too young to be experiencing something like this.

Two years later, my friends and I have all learned a lot about ourselves. I think many people deal with death by wanting to be alone, but every year when October 4th rolls around I can’t help but to want to be back in my hometown, surrounded by the world that K.j. knew and loved.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Every year around the anniversary of his death, we all try to come together and talk about memories spent with our dear friend. This might be the only time of the year we get to see some of our friends, with our crazy college schedules. Sometimes it gets pretty emotional, and sometimes it’s just relieving to be surrounded by people who know exactly what you’re going through. The only silver lining to this story is the bond that has been created in grieving the death of our lost friend.

Make sure that you reach out to friends you haven’t spoken to in a while. Pay attention to people when they speak. Always take the chance to see an old friend when you can. Tie up loose ends and resolve any conflicts. Take the time to reflect on who you are.

When a friend passes, take a piece of how they lived and turn it into your own. Keep a support system that couldn’t be beat, and truly enjoy each day on this earth as if it is your last.

 

In loving memory of Kevin John Bettner. October 19, 1995 – October 4, 2015

The Biological Imperative

What does equality mean? Is it merely everyone having the same things, or is it everyone getting what they need? What about when the needs are so far out there that the government cannot legislate them into people’s possession? In an article published last year [6], there appears to be a certain measure of equality; men and women are stepping out of their marriages at roughly equal rates. Maybe it’s time we reevaluate the role marriage ought to play in our lives.

Perhaps it’s merely a timing concern [2]. The median age for the first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men. It is interesting to note the article had to specify “first marriage.” In a sort of Hobbit-esque twist where the Tolkien characters have a meal more or less every hour they are awake, people seem to cycle through marriages not quite as quickly, but just about. 40% of people getting married today are not doing so for the first time [3], and 20% of marriages are both partners’ second (or more) marriage.

What does that tell us? Are people even meant to be bound together? Do we only need to get together to have sex and occasionally crank out another red-blooded tax-paying American, but for all intents and purposes live separate lives? White America, Black America, Male America, Female America, till death do we part, as long as we both shall live, so help us generic Deity/random quantum fluctuations? Much like an afterlife, it’d be real nice to think there’s something more to marriage than just a business arrangement and contractual obligations. Making a plan that does not account for reality has been, historically, a piss-poor recipe for success.

Is everyone getting what they want here? [4] Millennial women, as voiced by the author Jessica Jacobs, would seem to say they are not. Millennial men, as voiced by statistics [5] and anecdotal accounts [6] would also suggest a growing dissatisfaction with the way things are. All of us here in academia are free to debate the causes, but it’s clear that the vast majority are going to move on and find their own solutions whether we agree about why it’s happening or not. We’ll be unable to instill vital information in the latest crop of college entrants about the world the education system is self-tasked with preparing them for.

That’s a problem.

 

 

 

[1] http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/women-now-committing-adultery-same-rate-men

[2] http://www.bentley.edu/impact/articles/nowuknow-why-millennials-refuse-get-married

[3] http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/02/how-many-people-in-america-get-remarried.html

[4] https://acculturated.com/millennial-women/

[5] http://www.businessinsider.com/statistics-unemployed-men-drop-out-workforce-video-games-2017-3

[Featured Image] Huffington Post: The Five Best and Worst States for Getting a Divorce

Things to Remember when looking for A New Smartphone

We are in the very beginning stages of the holiday season and that means one thing: shopping.

Apple, with their announcement of the new iPhone 8 and X on September 12th, marked the unofficial start of the season.  Along with the news came price cuts to the iPhone 6 and 7. You might be on the lookout for a new phone, and here’s what to remember when buying a phone or getting a contract for a phone.

The Apple Company Logo
The Apple Company Logo

Memory Size:  Phones can get very costly, fast.  For example, getting the iPhone 8 with 256GB will cost you $850 and don’t even get started on the 8 Plus and X costs.  So getting the 64GB iPhone would be the smart move here and it would also save you hundreds of dollars. Besides, do you even use over 36GB? That’s more than enough for me.

This year’s model or last year’s: Now, if you want to save a buck or two, going to an iPhone 7 or 7Plus would be the best option.  The price for a 7 with 32GB has gone from $649 to $549. A whole Ben Franklin saved just by getting a older model, and by the way, it’s the same thing as the iPhone 8 which comes out next week.

Camera Quality: This one is really obvious. I mean really…do I have to write it?  Ok, I will. These are the most outrageous prices that most will ever see for a phone, a damn phone. However, the iPhone X has all the gadgets, bells, and whistles ever needed for any photographer. A 3D camera with a sapphire cover with a six element lens. This thing has so many gadgets that this article would be small compared to all of the iPhone X’s specs.  However, pre-orders don’t start until October 27th and the phone itself won’t be available until November 3rd. Don’t even get started on pricing; prices start at $999 before taxes and storage choices.  So, whichever phone you choose, remember, nothing is cheap.

The Results of an Unjust Justice System

On Saturday, September 16th, there was a peaceful protest over a judge’s acquittal of white police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with the first-degree murder of Anthony Lamar Smith, a young black man. In 2001, on December 20th, Officer Stockley shot Smith five times and killed him, claiming that Smith was chasing him. His partner attempted to arrest him for a drug deal and Stockley said he feared for his life because Smith had a silver revolver on him. However, the prosecutor believed the gun to be planted since it had Stockley’s DNA on it but no trace of Smith’s DNA. Officer Stockley was also recorded via body cam saying that he was going to kill Smith.

After the peaceful protest had officially ended, saying they would reconvene on Sunday, several protestors stayed behind and continued to protest. Police officers arrived and told the remaining protesters to go home, saying that their protest was unlawful. Things quickly turned violent and several windows of surrounding businesses were smashed and several arrests were made.

This is yet another result of the justice system failing and people are, quite clearly, sick of it. There was strong evidence that Officer Stockley was guilty but he got away with murder. So we have people protesting in the street, decrying this injustice, and even people who believe simple protests are not enough and feel the need to resort to violence. And if protests and words will not work, and more African Americans continued to get killed while their murderers go free, who can blame them for escalation? If the people we put our faith in to uphold the law and treat everyone equally fail to do so, then the people will inevitably and eventually take matters into their own hands. This is not to say people will start mobs and attack whoever they believe is guilty, but that the public can and will find a way to make sure people pay attention to injustice and do something about it. An entire group of people cannot be discriminated against and killed without that same group fighting back.

 

Featured Photo from Yahoo! News

Hurricane Irma: Can it be as dangerous as Harvey or Katrina?

Twelve years ago, Hurricane Wilma made landfall in the United States, hitting Florida, causing 62 deaths and estimated damage totals in the billions. Last month, Hurricane Harvey became the first major storm to hit the United States in 12 years and it destroyed the majority of Houston, leaving thousands homeless and costing billions of dollars in damage. While the cleanup began in Texas, another storm was building up in the Atlantic Ocean, and this storm would become one of the strongest hurricanes on record. The storm named Irma now aims for Florida with evil intentions on its mind.

Hurricane Irma sweeps over the Caribbean.
Photo from BusinessInsider.com

Currently, Irma is a category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph. That might not sound as intimidating as a category 5 hurricane with winds of 185 mph as Irma was just 3 days ago. Each storm is different; they have their own DNA and are formed in various ways. The main factor in each storm is where they hit, You can have the most dangerous storm on record and it stays away from land. Which is why most likely you’ve never heard of Marie and Patricia, storms off in the Pacific Ocean.

The main factor of a hurricane becoming famous is where it goes. Hurricanes want to travel north but with the pull of the wind, they usually end up hitting land before being absorbed by another system, or start spinning around in a circle in the ocean like a hopeless football fan waiting for the NFL season to start.  The Saffir-Simpson scale was updated in 2010 to measure the factor of hurricanes’ effect on major cities.  A category 2 can have more effect on a major city than a category 5 in a rural area, and when a category 3, 4, or 5 hits a major city, it equals catastrophic conditions that made Harvey and Katrina the perfect storms. Irma is on the path to join them, killing 60+ in the Caribbean already. We hope that everyone is well prepared for Irma and we hope for the damage to be minimal.

Another Abuse of Power by the Police

Salt Lake City in Utah is one of the newest homes to an abuse of power by the police. Alex Wubbels is a nurse at the University of Utah hospital who had a frightening and shocking experience with Salt Lake City police detective, Jeff Payne. After a head-on collision on a Utah highway, William Gray was rushed to the hospital’s burn unit. The police came to collect a blood sample from him, which is standard procedure. Nurse Wubbels informed Detective Payne that he would need a warrant for the blood sample, but he still insisted, despite being told by his colleagues and superior that they could get the blood sample another way. When Wubbels held her ground, Payne decided to arrest her and drag her screaming to his police car. The police detective was clearly agitated and took out his frustrations on the nurse.

Alex Wubbels, the nurse arrested in the Salt Lake City hospital, shares the story of her arrest.
Photo and featured photo from nbcnews.com

Once again, a police officer has taken advantage of their power and breached the civil rights of another person. This nurse was assaulted and wrongly arrested for simply following the law and doing her job. A person’s blood is legally considered their property and it cannot just be taken without consent or a warrant. The police officer had no right to touch her or arrest her and he knew that; she was later released and was not charged with anything.

This is just another example of the deteriorating standards that police are held to and it shows that something needs to be done. Fortunately, this incident did not devolve into something much worse and end up with someone being injured or killed, as has happened before, usually with African Americans. For now, the officer is on paid leave and the situation is being investigated, but this officer should be reprimanded and punished for this abuse of power. Far too often police officers are allowed to get away with gross abuses of power and that needs to stop. A message needs to be sent that says the police force is not above the law and that they will be held accountable for their actions and misdeeds.

Sources

  1. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/officer-arrested-utah-nurse-after-he-was-told-let-her-n800021
  2. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/officer-arrested-utah-nurse-after-he-was-told-not-to/ar-AArynJM?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=ientp

Humans of Radford University

“My senior year of high school, things really changed a lot for me. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go to college and I was thinking of taking a gap year. Throughout high school, I sometimes had trouble feeling I belonged, but my senior year I started to connect with people, and I found a group of friends, and I found my best friend. That was a stressful year. But it was still great to meet those people. I had problems with confidence and insecurity, and a really big moment in my life that year was when I flew on a plane by myself to visit a college I was looking into. At that moment, I was already planning on going to Radford, but I kind of wanted to step out of my comfort zone and at least visit this school because I was thinking of transferring. I was pretty nervous about flying on a plane by myself, and I’d never really been away from home that long. It was only 4 days, but I was still pretty nervous about it. But I’m really grateful for that experience because I feel like it showed me that I was stronger than I realized. Like everything went well and I was able to figure out how to get on the plane. Like I didn’t get lost or anything, so I feel like that’s a pretty big accomplishment in my life. After that, I did feel like I could do anything. And I’m glad I came to Radford because it was the right thing and I’ve met a lot of good people and great professors, so I’m happy I didn’t take a gap year. I’m happy with the decisions, so I’ll see where my life takes me now.”

 

Bipolar is the Game

The waiting room in the psychiatrist’s office

Is not the place to giggle.

I think about the juice head that is surely here for rage problems,

How he cut me off in the parking lot

And almost spilled his jamba juice in the process,

His face purple from screaming.

I look over at the woman

Who is seemingly always here,

Her caretaker and that permanent frown.

The woman who is in a club dress

With ugg boots in the middle of July.

And they think I’m crazy.

But the thing is,

I am.

I’m sitting in a waiting room,

Thinking about pick-up lines

Should the opportunity ever arise.

“Hey, I really like the dark circles under your eyes. It really brings out the crazy.”

They always make you fill out these progress notes,

I never take them seriously.

What is going well for you today?

I made it here in one piece.

What is not going well for you today?

Traffic.

The whole act of going to a pdoc is strange.

You sit in front of a stranger

Who is a politician with a medical degree.

Everything about you condensed into 10 pages

Of charts and medical history.

Your brain,

And how much you deeply mourn your last dog,

In a neat little packet.

The stereotype of lying down is so wrong.

That person must have stumbled into a massage parlor instead.

All I get are two chairs that are brown,

Are warm from other people’s asses,

Reek of the ghosts of long passed gas,

And sound like farts when you sit down.

psychiatrist office
“They always make you fill out these progress notes, I never take them seriously.” Photo from: https://st.hzcdn.com/fimgs/9f21d7040a942e70_6660-w496-h316-b0-p0–home-design.jpg

Doc lets out a heavy sigh.

I’m pretty sure that he hates me.

His eyes remind me of Leon Russell,

Could be stoned,

Could be indifferent.

I hold my breath

So I don’t giggle.

I have a nervous giggle,

An excited giggle,

And an avoidance of eye contact.

His scornful looks bore into me.

Yes, I’ve been taking the Lamictal.

Seroquel?

There goes my train of thought.

The image of me slumped over a desk,

Drooling over Scriabin’s greatest hits,

Reminds me why I hid those.

Honesty is his policy,

But I’m the best actress.

Putting on my Julie Andrews smile

Doesn’t rid his disappointed look from my mind.

And my brain is the only one I have,

Chemical imbalance and all.

I’m constantly pogo-sticking through a minefield.

He has to be an artist,

Chipping away at the veiny parts

Until there is nothing but smooth marble left.

Are Summer Jobs Realistic Anymore?

With the school year winding down and summer break almost upon us, a lot of students are starting to make plans for their summers. Some have vacations, some will simply be going home for the summer, and many will be looking for a summer job. College and life, in general, are expensive and we could all use a little extra cash in our pocket. People have been doing this for years, so it is no big deal, right? Not exactly.

starbucks worker
“Most businesses are not looking for part-time summer help anymore; most places want someone who is willing to work part-time year-round.” Photo from: http://cdn.thesimpledollar.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/starbucks-barista.jpg

The world is changing and progressing rapidly and things aren’t the same as they were 20, 10, or even five years ago. Most businesses are not looking for part-time summer help anymore; most places want someone who is willing to work part-time year-round, at the very least. And working year-round is not a very plausible option for most college students. First of all, most college students go home for the summer which is usually not very close to college. It can be two hours away, four hours away, or six or eight hours away. So even if a college student wanted to, the idea of having a year round job is not a possibility. And with that option gone, the job opportunities dwindle. Most places of business do not want to hire someone only to replace them after three months; that is just bad business.

If a college student lives near their college campus and does stay in the same area year-round, they will still run into similar problems. While it is not impossible to keep a job and go to college at the same time (plenty of college students do exactly that), it is difficult and not something that everyone can do. Any college student can tell you that college is hard and that it takes a lot of time and effort; many have to spend the vast majority of their time working on school work. It is not uncommon for them to have very little spare time left and it’s hard to work at a job when you only have a few spare hours. College is intensive, and the whole point of summer break is to give you an actual break, not spend it begging for a job that you’ll likely have to quit in a few months.

Students’ Say On: Are You Beautiful?

We’ve all heard it before: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But what does that really mean? Obviously, the straightforward meaning is that beauty cannot be determined by a general standard or popular opinion, but is instead judged by whoever is looking.  Hence the reason why your mom can tell you that you are the most beautiful person in the world, but someone else (usually someone you want to impress) thinks you’re just okay-looking. But I believe that beauty is not so much in the eye of the beholder, but is instead in the eye and the mind of the person themselves, regardless of the beholder. Whether you are beautiful is something that others can have an opinion on, but ultimately, it is a decision you make for yourself.

looking in mirror
“I believe that beauty is not so much in the eye of the beholder, but is instead in the eye and the mind of the person themselves.” Photo from: https://beyondthepulpitmabc.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/woman-looking-in-mirror.jpg

This week, we asked people on campus whether they believed they were beautiful or not. We got a wide range of answers. A popular response was “sometimes” or “on some days” and “maybe, but not right now.” Their reasoning was they felt they did not look the greatest at the moment because of stress or because they were not putting forth a lot of effort towards their appearance on that day. Some students viewed themselves as “in the middle” of the beauty spectrum and said they felt okay about themselves and were happy with themselves.

Some expressed little care about whether they were beautiful or not. “It’s not something I think about at all,” said one student, while another stated, “I don’t think of myself in that way.”

Others felt more strongly about the question.  “If we’re talking about statistically attractive, I think that’s bullshit. Beauty is inner,” remarked one student. Another student declared, “Yes!” when asked the question and continued with, “I’ve accepted myself, and a lot of other people say it all the time.”

Male students who we talked to were generally more sure about themselves and their looks than females. When asked whether he thought he was beautiful, one student responded with, “Yes,” and for his reason, he answered, “Because I look in the mirror every day.” Another guy’s reply was “Of course,” and when asked why, the answer was, “Look at me.”

Beautiful Brilliance

A beautiful thought of wisdom born,
A crack in the Great King’s head,
A beauty born with brilliance and strategy.
Even with great powers, jealousy still appears.

Athena
“An owl as her symbol, books as her comfort, A sword at her hip.” Photo from: http://orig05.deviantart.net/1086/f/2014/159/4/7/5_athena_by_sheppardarts-d7lm21r.jpg

The creator of the deadly spider, an animal made out of spite,
An owl as her symbol, books as her comfort,
A sword at her hip for war is always possible.
Intellect over rage, for with blind rage
No one truly learns.

Netflix’s Asian Erasure and Racism

We all know about Netflix. In fact, it often seems synonymous with college nowadays. Everyone has it, and everyone uses it. There are hundreds of shows to watch online, some recent and some old. Some of them are even Netflix originals. Many are based off previous characters and/or are revamps of old shows. There are several Marvel superhero TV shows, for example. But one of Netflix’s newest TV shows is based off an anime that many may have heard of. Netflix is doing a live action remake of Deathnote, and they completely messed up.

anime
“Worse, they’ve completely erased the Japanese people from the show. Asian people get so little representation in the media as it is.” Photo from: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af03a0ff80f68be7963f4bf0ac3907b8a21eb6f3d742b5c1b645de387a6c6cff.jpg

This is a TV show about a Japanese person in Japan dealing with, among many other things, the Japanese legal system. Yet, they place the show in America and make the main character (and presumably the rest of the cast) white. The show isn’t even out yet, and they’ve already ruined a large part of the entire premise of the show. Worse, they’ve completely erased the Japanese people from the show. Asian people get so little representation in the media as it is. Taking a show like this and completely erasing them is both salt in the wound and a blatant insult to Asian people, and more specifically, Japanese people.

This type of action shows blatant discrimination towards Japanese people. Here was a perfect opportunity to hire Japanese actors, portray some aspects of Japanese culture, and give Japanese people heroes and villains that they could identify with and relate to, so they wouldn’t have to feel like they are on the outside looking in. This is white washing to such an extreme that it seems like a very deliberate insult directed at Japanese people. Everything about this show came from a uniquely Japanese perspective. Now it is just about a white boy becoming a serial killer, and if we wanted to watch that we could just turn on the news.

Humans of Radford University

Student pictured: Alan Ward

“I had been preparing for some kind of executive role since I was a freshman, but I didn’t really know if I would have the capability, support, or connections needed to be successful. Plus, I had been pushing against headwinds that started when I was a sophomore here at Radford, something that may have set me back.

When it got around to spring semester of junior year and I finally had to make a decision, I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to run for, and hopefully win, the presidency. But as I waited and observed the things going on around me, I could tell that there may be a different calling. While we had strong presidential leadership over the past two years and multiple people who could do the job for the next year, the post of head of student finances had been in shambles for years. There was no clear direction, no change, and certainly no transparency to the student body as to how their money was being handled.

I had always been told, ‘he who holds the gold, holds the power,’ and that power needs to be in the hands of a responsible leader who is willing to set a new vision and create change. It also didn’t hurt that my education background was in economics, so I knew that I could bring the knowledge I gained from inside the classroom to the table.

Even though many of my colleagues wanted me to choose otherwise, I did what was right – not only what was right for me, but what was right for the university.

Being student body Chief Financial Officer is no easy job. You are rarely thanked for your hard work and commonly questioned because of the tremendous responsibility you hold, but I hope I’ve served this campus well in my tenure and have laid the foundation for prosperity in the years ahead.”