Tag Archives: life

The Life of A College Dog

Iris, an Austrailian Shepherd/Catahoula Cur mix, just turned into a one-year-old pupper on January 25th, 2017. I adopted her at four weeks old. Since then, she has grown into a stunning, albeit sometimes vexing, addition to my family. Alongside her three kitten siblings, Iris is ready for anything. This is the journey of a college dog, week by week.

Iris lets me know she's ready to go.
Good morning!

Iris wakes me before the alarm, shoving her leash in my face, demanding to start the day. The screech of a whiny dog isn’t the most comforting thing to be woken up by, but it’s better than poop on the floor. Always stay positive!

Iris poses perfectly for a candid shot in front of Young Hall.
Iris poses perfectly for a shot in front of Young Hall.

Following her wait for mom, Iris goes for a walk around campus. The sun is shining, the breeze is careful, and Iris is feeling fresh. She runs around Moffett quad and then rests in front of Young Hall, which makes for a great candid shot.

Iris showing her love for pork at Due South BBQ
Iris showing her love for pork at Due South BBQ

If you don’t like barbecue, leave now. Iris doesn’t need that negativity in her life.

Iris's best friend accompanies us on our journey for quality BBQ.
Iris’s best friend accompanied us on our journey for quality BBQ.

After begging for a taste of our food, Iris and her BFF pose for a photo with a giant pig BBQ pit.

Love story between a waterfall and a pupper.
Love story between a waterfall and a pupper.

Fast forward past the disaster of having to tear her away from the smell of cooking food. We find ourselves at Falls Ridge nature preserve. I cannot stress to you the difficulties I faced while taking this photo. Picture yourself splashed by mud, almost trampled, and herded into the water to play. After running around for 20 minutes (no joke), she finally sat for a beautiful nature shot.

Falls Ridge features an 80-foot waterfall, varieties of plant and marine life, and great hammocking spots. So, you should visit. But wait, there’s more!

Iris enjoying her second hike at Ellett Valley Nature Trail in Christiansburg, VA.
Iris enjoying her second hike at Ellett Valley Nature Trail in Christiansburg, VA.

For the small price of one more minute of your day, you can see more cute pictures of my pupper!
Iris’s parents, being dumb college kids, forgot water and had to go to the gas station. We noticed Ellett Valley Nature Trail, secluded and small. Why the hell not, eh? Iris seemed to love the smells and environment.

BFF in hand, she's ready for dinner and a long nap.
BFF in hand, she’s ready for dinner and a long nap.

Perfect end to a perfect day. Let sleeping dogs lie!

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
—Josh Billings

Why Scientific Literacy is Important

Imagine starting your average day. You wake up and look at what the weather forecast has to say about the outside world. You prepare yourself for the day to come, by taking a nice warm shower and using a scented bar of soap. You make yourself a large breakfast with eggs, bacon, pancakes, and a large cup of coffee. You may not have thought about it, but every action you took to begin the day involved science – whether it be the meteorologist telling you the weather by basing their predictions on patterns shown in the atmosphere, the thermodynamics used to heat up water to the perfect temperature for a shower, or the chemistry needed to make sure the pancakes came out as light and fluffy as possible.

To understand how these everyday tasks work, we need scientific literacy. What exactly is scientific literacy? Scientific literacy is described by the National Science Education Standards (1996)1 as “the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision-making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.” Now the next question is: why is this important? Why do we need to know how the world works? What is most important about scientific literacy is it gives one the ability to make informed decisions.

chemistry cookings
“You may not have thought about it, but every action you took to begin the day involved science – the chemistry needed to make sure the pancakes came out as light and fluffy as possible.” Photo from: www.martinezgazette.com

For example, having scientific literacy can range from making basic observations to becoming involved with local and global policies. These opportunities can change your life, as well as the lives of everyone around the globe. If you get involved with any sort of environmental committee, you can help decide the purity of water for your community. Scientific literacy can also hone your fact-checking ability. If a person tells you that men have more teeth than women, a way you can check that is by observing a group of men and a group of women and counting their teeth. This is what scientific literacy is about.

Not only will being more scientifically literate help us with knowing why things happen the way they do, it can also increase a person’s skill set. According to Let’s Talk Science (2017)2, “Doing science develops our ability to ask questions, collect information, organize and test our ideas, problem-solve and apply what we learn. Even more, science offers a powerful platform for building confidence, developing communication skills and making sense of the world around us – a world that is increasingly shaped by science and technology.” These skills, especially communication skills, shape our society and personal relations. Also taking into consideration that our world is changing because of the new technologies made every day, in order to take advantage of these technological advances, we must understand why we need them and how to use them. Though the significance of science in average routines may not be clearly visible, knowing about scientific processes will provide the skills needed to be an informed decision maker.

 

 

 

Citations

 

1 National Science Education Standards. (1996). Scientific Literacy. Retrieved February 04, 2017, from http://www.literacynet.org/science/scientificliteracy.html

 

2 Turnbull, M. (n.d.). Why is Science Literacy so Important? Retrieved February 04, 2017, from http://letstalkscience.ca/about-us/why-science.html

R-Space Event Friday

Sponsored Content for R-Space

R-Space’s own Richard Delehanty has an exciting event planned for the Radford student body. Beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, February 2, escape rooms will be located upstairs in the Bonnie. With eight people allowed per room, bring your friends and go through the challenge as a team. The three options range from deadly viruses to two bomb-themed rooms. Both picks are well-designed and exhilarating. They give you the opportunity to impress your friends by solving clues, working together, and escaping the areas. Complete the obstacles in the fastest time and everyone in your team will receive a sweet prize. Following your escape, join Comedy Magician Brian Miller downstairs from 9-10:30, eat free food, and visit the Radford event tables. Stay behind for bingo and try your hand at winning prizes. Some—but not all—are a long board and a Keurig.

Stop by the Whim table to learn more about us and how to get yourself published!

A Day in the Life of a College Student

Coming into college, you expect to suddenly feel like an adult. You are away from home for the first time, and suddenly you do not have anyone telling you what to do. Your classes are spread out throughout the day, and you don’t have to wake up at 6 a.m. every day to make sure you make it to homeroom before the bell. You are now responsible for this thing called time management. If you are a college student, your day may look a little like this . . .

 

- Photo from Amazon.com
“Your alarm goes off for the first time, and it will not be the last – Photo from Amazon.com

 

8:00 AM- Your alarm is going off for the first time, and it will not be the last.

8:15 AM- So, your goal was to get up earlier today and dress nicely for once. Just one day without sweatpants and the t-shirt you wore to bed last night.  It is now that you decide that that idea was dumb, and sleep is a lot more precious right now.

8:30 AM- Okay, okay. You are up now, but Facebook is not going to check itself. You end up getting distracted and watching cute cat videos for the next 15 minutes instead of getting up and getting dressed.

8:45 AM- Fifteen minutes before class starts and you still have to get out of bed, brush your teeth, and get to class. You can do this.

8:50 AM- You can do this. You can do this. Wait, what’s that smell? Chick-Fil-A breakfast sounds really good right now. Late to class with a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, or on time without one?

9:01 AM- It’s okay. Just a few minutes late and you still have breakfast. The professor isn’t even here yet, so really, you’re early.

9:02-11:50 AM- Made it through the first half of the day and now you don’t have class until 3:00. Is it worth it going all the way home just to come back in a few hours? No, so to the Bonnie.

12:00 PM- Of course, the Bonnie is an absolute madhouse. The Chick-Fil-A line is backed up to ABP, but it is so convenient. Chick-Fil-A twice in one day? Oh, who cares?

12:30 PM- Thirty minutes in line? It’s been worse. Now time to work on homework. Of course everyone and their mother decide to drop by and see you. Suddenly, homework is not as important.

4:00 PM- Finally out of class for the day. Now time to go home and be productive. Clean room, paper to write, socialize with friends. You can do this

4:15 PM- So. Much. To. Do. However, Grey’s Anatomy is calling your name. A nap sounds really good right now too….

7:00 PM- Okay, you did not mean to sleep that long, but that’s okay.

9:00 PM- Time to go to sleep and do it all again tomorrow.

 

What It’s Like Being a Non-College-Age College Student

A long time ago, I enrolled in community college immediately after I graduated from high school. One day, my hand-me-down Ford Escort broke. So, I decided to go to work full-time in order to finance my purchase of a new vehicle. In doing so, I did not return to school. This was a horrendous mistake. There are many obstacles that I have experienced being an older student.

Let me preface this by saying that I am old. Not a “gently used” 25 or a “getting out of my first divorce” 29 old. I am talking about geriatric old age. Dr. Poland old. When I was in high school, Dave Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana, Slash and Axl rose were still friends, and Beyoncé was still a part of Destiny’s Child.

Many years after high school, I decided to try this whole “higher education” gig one more time. Holy crap. It is awful. Don’t get me wrong—I am more employable, will have better job opportunities, and I have an air of credibility about me now when I tell people that 50 Shades of Grey is really terrible literature. For that matter, so is anything by Nicholas Sparks.

So here are just a few things that are different for a non-college-age college students

Fraternities. Wow. People have their opinions about them, and I was always intrigued by the possibility of becoming a Greek. Yeah no. There is no way my old ass is going to become part of a frat now. Can you see some dude who can pass for someone’s dad being a little? Me neither.

Sports. I had always been athletically inclined throughout my younger life. Not so much anymore. My best bet now is to see who I can bribe into letting me be the scorekeeper for the volleyball games.

Dating. While people would consider me to be handsome, women usually are not—in my experience, at least –into guys who are old enough to be their father. There is the whole joke about girls with “daddy issues”, but that is a power dynamic I would rather not explore on a full time basis. My experience and world view, I feel, would make a relationship unfair for a woman who was significantly younger than I am, as I could potentially take advantage of her inexperience. Needless to say, I am lonely most of the time.

What I am really getting at is that you should finish college now. I understand that life happens at times. Unexpected medical bills, life events, or even a failing class can put a hitch in your giddy up. It’s really easy to quit. But don’t. Just don’t. Tough it out. You’ve got this. Finish your degree. It will get easier.

I understand that I have my whole life ahead of me now, but I would have much rather had it sooner rather than later.

How To Use Lessons From Sports In Everyday Life

Growing up as an athlete, I learned a lot of things  differently than other kids. I played soccer with a team and my teammates were like my family. I thought of them all as my sisters and was very close with each of them. We traveled away every weekend together to go play 3 or 4 games in a weekend and be exhausted by Sunday but it was worth all the effort.

We had the same group of coaches throughout our years playing together as well. They instilled certain values in us in different ways than most kids learn these values. For example, leadership was the biggest value I took away from my soccer experience. I was captain for 6 years straight and with that came a lot of responsibility and decision making. I had to tell my teammates what we were going to wear every night for practice, traveling outfits for driving to games and jersey colors for games.

Incorporate sport lessons in other aspects of your life. Graphic from Scroll Online
Incorporate sport lessons in other aspects of your life. Graphic from Scroll Online

I also was very vocal on the field with my teammates letting them know when they were doing a good job and what we needed to improve on as a team. One year, when my team wasn’t doing as well as we had all hoped, I started to become very negative and I didn’t realize it until my coaches told me to lighten up and stay positive and optimistic. That was another lesson I learned–to stay positive, even when things aren’t going your way.

Staying positive has gotten me through so many things in my life that I didn’t think I would be able to get over or to see something turning out for the better for myself. Whenever I’m having a terrible day or struggling with schoolwork or something else in my life, I just think back to all of those times I was on the soccer field with my teammates, my family, and my coaches on the sidelines watching me and expecting me to be positive like they had shown me and taught me.

I’m so thankful I learned not just these two but many valuable lessons from playing soccer and other sports as well. I think it helped me grow up quicker and become a better and more positive person and equipped me to deal with hard times in my life.

How to grow from temporary people and situations

Being a college-aged human can be really difficult. College is a time when people, places and things are very temporary. Whether you find yourself having temporary friends or in a temporary romantic relationship, it can be very discouraging when someone who you’d like as a permanent fixture in your life turns out to just be a tumbleweed passing through life.

Losing friends or a romantic interest is never easy. When you invest your time and emotions in someone or something it can be very discouraging.

However, college students especially need to accept these people and things as part of the experience. As a graduating senior, I can tell you that there are going to be countless people who come in and out of your life in your college years. As much as it sucks to have so many things come and go so quickly, there is a very spiritual lesson to be learned.

When I was a freshman, I couldn’t imagine my life without my best friend, who was also my suite mate. We were incredibly close and I had never connected with someone on such a deep level so quickly. However, by the end of the school year we were out of each others lives.

Even though it hurt to lose someone I had become so close to, there were so many things I got to experience that I would never have even attempted had it not been for my friendship with her.

pedestal
“Don’t be afraid to get attached to people.”

Dating in college is a drag in itself. Some couples tough it out and wind up lasting forever, but for the most part, college relationships wind up being short flings. Oftentimes, I’ve been blindsided by someone I had genuine interest in when they expressed that they weren’t as invested as I was. It can be infuriating but looking at the positives is essential to healing and growing.

For example, one of my college boyfriends dumped me last year. We had been together for a while and when we broke up I was devastated. I felt like I had this vision of what we could’ve been and I saw us being together for a while. However, he had different feelings.

Looking back almost a year after we broke up, I smile seeing how that relationship shaped me. I’m proud of the person I’ve become because of the experiences I shared with him. Because of him, I got to travel around the east coast and experiences places I’ve never even dreamed of. I also got to experience Colorado, a cornerstone moment in my life which helped me decide where I want to be when I graduate.

The great Buddha once said, “the root of suffering is attachment.” While this is true, don’t be afraid to get attached to people. Experience life in its fullest form, including all of its many disappointments. Just because someone is temporary doesn’t mean they can’t bring permanent fixtures such as new tastes in music, culture or even new foods that you never would’ve tried before. Take each disappointing person and situation and use it to fertilize your growth.

Don’t get in your own way

When traveling to new places, it’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be unsure, nervous, and even doubtful that you’re going to have a good time. All of those feelings are perfectly normal.

What you can’t do is let it get in the way of experiencing new places, new people, new things. When it becomes an obstacle that blocks your view of your future, that’s when you need to see the bigger picture, see what’s really important, and see all the advantages you can gain from letting go and letting yourself experience life.

times square
“You can’t make decisions based on fear or self-doubt.”

Going to New York City for a student media conference has changed my view on the world completely. Before traveling to NYC, I was pretty scared of new environments and general changes to my daily routine.

I was afraid of the different people, people grew up struggling, who are homeless or are trying to sell me things. I was nervous to go out on my own and to experience things that I wasn’t sure I was ready for. However, when I arrived in NYC, I wasn’t scared. I was excited and ready for what the city had in store for me. I realized that my fears were unjustified and unnecessary, just thoughts I put into my head to sike myself out, to tell myself that I won’t enjoy myself so that I don’t get my hopes up only to be let down.

I discovered that my own thoughts and ideas were getting in my way of enjoying new experiences, of appreciating what it meant to expand my horizons and see what it’s like to live on my own, somewhat.

If I had been afraid of coming to NYC, so much so that I decided to stay home, I would have deeply regretted by choice. You can’t make decisions based on fear or self-doubt, that’s no way to live your life. When making decisions in life, the only factors that should be involved are “will this experience benefit me in any way at all,” “will I learn great lessons from this experience,” and “will I regret not going through this experience.”

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you have to do it. Fear might be a feeling that you have before making decision but that feeling doesn’t always mean it’s a bad choice. Follow your gut and never let fear guide you.

I’m so f****** stressed out

If you can’t tell by the title, I’m so F****** stressed out. I don’t even know what to do anymore. I feel every single emotion at once. Anger, frustration, sadness, adrenaline, excitement, fear, and the list goes on and on. Leaving high school, I never thought college would be this stressful. Everybody always says “Oh, college is so much better. Just wait.” Well, it looks like I’m still waiting for college to not suck as much as it does now.

There are way too many things to juggle in college. School work, home work, work work, social life, family life, trying to figure what I want to do with my life, and so on. I’m stressed out all the time and I don’t know how to turn my brain off. Attempting to do all of the stuff on my to-do list is frustrating and annoying and I wish I had someone to help me. But I realize that most of the things I need to do are things I need to do myself, things that I need to accomplish on my own. That doesn’t change the fact that I hate it and I wish it would all just stop for a little bit.

Do you feel like stress is grabbing at you? Photo from pinterest
Do you feel like stress is grabbing at you?
Photo from pinterest

Being an adult is terrifying. Who knew that having all of this responsibility for my own work and for myself would be paralyzingly stressful. High school and other experiences try and prepare for what college has to offer, but no experience can truly depict what it feels like to be in college. It feels like you’re constantly running a marathon but you don’t know what you’re running towards, what the end looks like. You just keep running and running because everybody else is. But what is the point of it all?

I’m still trying to figure out my purpose in life, why I was put on this earth. I still don’t understand why we are put through the experiences that we are and what lesson we’re supposed to learn from it. I don’t understand life or what it all means, and I probably will never find out. But what I do know is that everything does have a purpose and a meaning. College is supposed to teach us something valuable and everything happens for a reason.

The life lessons inside “Friends”

Friends was an influence to many. Graphic from Huffington Post
“Friends” was an influence to many. Graphic from Huffington Post

“Friends” is a timeless television show that many people have enjoyed for years now. If you’ve never seen “Friends”, it is about six people that are a group of friends, and the episodes focus on things that happen to everyday people but make them hilariously funny.

There’s Joey, who’s the one that lacks a little common sense but is a sweetheart. There’s Phoebe, who’s a little quirky and tells it like it is no matter what. There’s Monica, who loves to cook, is a clean freak, and likes to be the mom of the friend group. There’s Chandler, who’s awkward and clumsy but tells the best jokes through the entire series. There’s Ross, who’s Monica’s brother and is a dorky paleontologist who’s a good guy to everyone. And last, but not least, Rachel, who’s the one who was cut off from her parents and worked her way up to a dream job that she’s very dedicated to.

One thing that all the friends have in common is that they’re all great friends to one another. They have their moments of insanity and breakdowns, but all in all they’re good people and all they really care at the end of the day is each other’s happiness.

The show goes through events that happen to everyday people like you and me, but the show makes it funny so that it’s relatable for anyone. I’ve learned a lot from simply watching “Friends”, such as if something awkward happens it’s better to just laugh it off.

If you and your friend get in an argument, it isn’t the end of the world and you two will make up and move on from it stronger than before. When you’re going through a tough time in your life, you will always have your good friends to pick you up and carry you along the way until you can stand on your own again.

 

Main Street Night Life–One Student’s Opinion

At bigger schools and universities, the students normally go out on the weekends. They have a main street that’s lively with people, bars, restaurants, and small music venues. However, when people come to visit Radford they ask what bars we go to or where they are, if it’s a long walk to them, et cetera.

What they don’t know is, we only have two or three “bars”, if you can even define them as such, that people will venture to and actually have fun at.

 

The bar scene in Radford is definitely not like the bigger university. Graphic from Brightest Young Things
The bar scene in Radford is definitely not like the bigger universities. Graphic from Brightest Young Things

BT’s is the closest and is within manageable walking distance. There’s Sharkey’s, which is further, but you can still walk there without much trouble. The last bar is Macado’s, which you would probably want to drive to since it’s sort of out of the way of everything else happening on the weekends.

So, I would definitely say that Radford does not have a bar scene or a street specifically for students on the weekend.

Although we do have a main street that has a decent amount of shops, no one bothers to remember the names of them, let alone visits them. What would be beneficial to our students, our community, and our school would be to renovate our main street and start to build a nightlife scene.

Students would be excited about the new bars, they would make a lot of money off of the students especially on the weekends, and it would give Radford something that it doesn’t have yet. Radford is already growing significantly, and has big plans for the next several years on expanding.

This would bring in a lot of wanted and needed revenue and give students another option for the weekends. It could also make it safer for students if there were police down there to help deal with traffic and helping students walk across the streets. Radford would thrive off of a main street nightlife and I see it happening sometime in our school’s future!

 

What it’s like being the competitive one

When I was younger, my family would play board games. Seems pretty normal, a family that plays board games together and has a fun time joking and messing around. Normal was not a common description when it came to games in my house growing up. We wouldn’t play games just for fun, we would play them to win.

It sounds a little intense, but that’s because it was. My family is a strong willed, independent, and win hungry bunch. I love that about my family. They

Even during board games, being competitive can be frustrating. Graphic from Wikipedia
Playing board games can bring out your competitive side. Graphic from Wikipedia

have taught me to never settle and to always strive to be the best I can be. Granted, it spills over into my social life and certain things that are supposed to be “just for fun”, but that’s okay. It’s okay with me that I can get a little too competitive sometimes because I would rather be a go-getter than anything else.

At family events I am always joked about for being so competitive and into certain games and activities, but I don’t mind anymore. At first, when I was younger, I used to get frustrated by it and I didn’t understand why no one else would care as much as I did about a beach volleyball game or marco polo in the pool. Now, I understand that some people just don’t care about winning, especially when it comes to summer backyard games with your 60-year-old grandma.

None the less I’ll still continue to be the overachieving, constantly moving forward, and win craving person that I have always been. I am thankful to have a family that believes in me so much and pushed me to be the person I am today. It only takes a small toll now of my friends having to deal with my intense strategies when playing monopoly on a Wednesday night.

If you’re the competitive one in your friend group or family, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. Be proud of your ability to seek triumph and glory! Go out there and win whatever it is you desire!

 

Am I an adult yet?

If anything this past month back in school has taught me, it’s that I am far from ready for this thing called adulthood that has been thrust upon me at age 18.

I’m not ready for the majority of adulthood. I’m not ready for the responsibility of being truly independent, and I applaud everyone who is. I’m not yet ready to give up naps in order to do work, or wake up early for an eight o’clock class (or maybe one earlier) just to be up again all night working or trying to squeeze in precious and necessary social interaction, worry about bills, cook the majority of my food, or make sure to eat balanced for that matter, or reach the day when my clothes must always match.

Young driver
“I’m not ready for the majority of adulthood.”

With all that I’m not ready to do, there are plenty of things I’ve realized that I’m looking forward to as I get further into adulthood. Though scary, I do look forward to the new responsibilities that come with it. It’s exciting to be able to participate in government, to have a voice and right, which if chosen to used, can bring amazing change. I am taking steps towards a career I am so excited about, in a field that I love and enjoy. I get excited thinking about one day sharing my own stories and embarrassing my kids in the way my parents embarrassed me. I am always learning in every aspect in life, from the good and the bad, slowly becoming wiser in my own way.

Even with the excitement, there’s also a fear of “growing up too fast”. We’ve probably heard it from our parents, grandparents, and many other adults in our lives. There is an ever growing list of things that I don’t ever want to lose while growing up and becoming an adult. I don’t want to give up juice boxes, because they are the best way to drink apple juice, taking Gerald the Giraffe everywhere I go, how excited I get over Disney movies, or the humor I get from them, the fun of the first snow, the importance of family dinners, the passion I have and get from the little things in life, and just being able to be silly at times.

I want to live a life growing up slowly, not losing the child that I once was, which is so hard to do in this world that is always moving too fast. It’s conflicting, because I also want to be taken seriously and be seen as responsible. I guess we just have to find that balance.

So, am I an adult yet? Maybe technically speaking, but I’m only a fraction of the way there. One day I will be though.