Tag Archives: November

The First Week of November

The phony cobwebs are swept away,

But the carved pumpkins have yet to rot

And still sit on the steps in front of many houses.

The leftover candy, marked down after Halloween,

Has been cleared from the stores,

Their festive designs gone for another year,

But the children who spent their night walking

From door to door now have their own hoards

And like dragons they stand guard over their goodies

Waiting for their parents to turn their backs,

So that they can grab another piece of chocolate,

And keep their sugar high going strong.

 

Meanwhile, families make plans for Thanksgiving,

Searching for recipes to flaunt in front of friends and families,

Or thinking up excuses to avoid visiting in-laws.

There are still pumpkin spice variations of every product that could manage it,

Including those that should never have tried such a crossover.

The trees are still mostly covered in red and gold,

Though more leaves fall with every breeze,

And the ground is in desperate need of a rake.

Football season is in full swing,

And every sports bar is playing at least three games on any given night.

Charlie Brown will be making his way onto the small screen once again,

Forever famous for falling while trying to kick a ball.

 

Fall is heavy in the air.

Halloween has barely faded,

And Thanksgiving looms on the horizon.

And yet as I listen to the radio I can already hear them,

Christmas carols, playing through the first week of November.

No, I won’t stop ranting on Facebook

As the upcoming election gets more heated, and as more states caucus results come back, the debate on social media has only gotten hotter. It’s impossible to scroll through Facebook without seeing someone’s political opinions being broadcast for the world to see. On Twitter, comedians make light of what seems like a hopeless election by tweeting jokes, most of which are about Donald Trump.

As our timelines are flooded with political posts, some are joining in and sharing their thoughts, while others see the posts as a nuisance. I can recall several posts I’ve seen by complainers who would much rather see cute animals pictures and Buzzfeed articles on their timeline.

The Facebook comment section serves as an easy platform for debates. Graphic from Market Pilgrim
The Facebook comment section serves as an easy platform for debates. Graphic from Marketing Pilgrim

Politics are extremely important. Yes, discussing politics can cause some divides in our communities, but these are things we need to discuss. When it’s March Madness, there are plenty of folks complaining on social media about the team they hate, but no one really complains about that. Not that sports aren’t important, but politics are our future.

I’m the kind of person who loves to use social media as a platform to talk about politics. I’m always sharing political articles, which I’m sure has caused some people to remove me as their friend or “unfollow” me. I don’t really mind, however, because if people are so small-minded that discussing a subject as heavy as politics makes them uncomfortable, I don’t really want to be their friend.

Social media wasn’t necessarily made for politics, but it has definitely had a huge impact in some major political revolutions. In 2011, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya went through quite a bit of political unrest, a time often called the “Arab Spring.” During this time, social media was essentially used to overthrow an oppressive government. Social media was a vital tool in transcending borders and allowing protesters to organize and discuss.

Social media can be annoying at times, of course. However, we shouldn’t brush off its importance. While social media is typically seen as a distraction and unnecessary, in political scenarios and elections, we need to embrace it as a platform to allow our voices to be heard. One of the great things about Twitter is that you have a direct line to politicians, celebrities and other high-profile people. Even if you don’t get a reply, there is a possibility the person you’re trying to contact may see what you have to say. Even if they don’t see it, others may join in discussing the topic, whatever it may be.

We have more technology and the easiest platform to voice our opinions on that has ever existed. We have been granted a great opportunity to use these tools to make a difference. Your opinions matter, and social media is the fastest way to share your thoughts with the most people.

This election, social media has been used by millennials to promote their favorite candidates. Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash, a Facebook group in which members share political memes in support of the presidential candidate, has been an amazing tool in unifying Sanders supporters. At the recent Trump rally on our campus, remnants of the group were scattered throughout the crowd of protesters. There was a very heavy internet and social media influence on many of the signs and overall attitude of protesters.

If politics isn’t your thing (although it should be), simply stay off social media until the election is over. Better yet, join in the political revolution and share your thoughts loudly and proudly.

Why you should be participating in NaNoWriMo (if you’re not already)

November 1 marks the start of “National Novel Writing Month” a.k.a. “NaNoWriMo”. While the idea of writing an entire novel in a month seems daunting, the NaNoWriMo process is extremely fun, social, and easy.

So how does it work?

First go www.nanowrimo.org and make an account. Next create your profile and register your novel. As you write all month, log onto the website each day to log your word count. The minimum number of words you need to have a “complete novel” is 50,000. If, at the end of November you have achieved this goal, you log your final word count, paste your story onto the website so that your win can be verified and then you are eligible to receive all sorts of cool prizes including a free printed copy of your book and free e-book publishing.

Look, NaNoWriMo's logo has a viking's helmet. How could you NOT want to get involved with that coolness? Graphic from NaNoWriMo
Look, NaNoWriMo’s logo has a viking’s helmet. How could you NOT want to get involved with that coolness? Graphic from NaNoWriMo

When you create your NaNoWriMo account, you specify your exact location so that fellow participants in your area can connect with you. Each region has a leader who schedules meet and greets and writing sessions which usually take place at coffee houses or bookstores. Some of these sessions even turn into overnight lock ins, encouraging writers to collaborate and share ideas.

If you’re not into the idea of writing in public, the website also has numerous message boards so you can talk to writers from all over the world.

Even if you don’t “win” a.k.a. meet the 50,000 word minimum, the whole experience of meeting new people to bounce ideas off of is terrific. Plus, it’s a great way to get into a writing routine so that you never get too busy to write.

While NaNoWriMo is an awesome thing for all writers to take part in, it’s especially important if you’re suffering from writer’s block or feel like you’re too busy to write. The encouragement that you receive members is unparalleled. The website even e-mails inspirational quotes and messages to your WriMo inbox daily.

In addition to nurturing the novel process, NaNoWriMo also hooks you up with people who can help you find out what you want to do with your novel once it’s been completed.

So if you have an idea, but need that push, start writing today! It’s never too late to get to work.

November means Christmastime

We’re in the beginning weeks of November; the aftermath of Halloween still hangs around in carved pumpkins and bowls filled with candy corn. After the spooky Halloween feelings fade into warm Thanksgiving feelings about halfway through the month, everyone starts to think about Christmas more. Especially as the weather shifts from crisp cool air to freezing gusts of wind nipping at noses and the leaves turn from red and droopy to brown and crunchy as they fall from the tree limbs, people start to get that holiday feeling inside them.

As soon as October ends, Christmas takes over. Graphic by Katie Gibson
As soon as October ends, Christmas takes over. Graphic by Katie Gibson

Thoughts of Christmas are among us and that means lights, decorations, and trees. November brings this cheery time of year back to the front of people’s minds and leaves the smell of pine needles fresh in their memories. It’s time to pick out a Christmas tree, whether that means picking out a real one or putting up a fake one.

Putting up a tree is one of the best feelings; seeing your reflection in the tiny glimmering christmas ornament, reminiscing when you see your old home made ornaments, and stringing tinsel across the branches and needles is a priceless activity.

November is technically the month of Thanksgiving, where people spend time with their loved ones and eat delicious food together. It’s a time where you can be thankful for everything and everyone in your life and it prepares you for the good times that are to come in December while anxiously awaiting Christmas.

November lets everyone have a literal taste of Christmas with all of the stuffing and pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving and lets them wait in excitement for December and Christmas day.

Christmas can never be celebrated too much and the best time to start is in November. This will allow you enough time so you can watch all the movies you love, eat all of the cookies you crave, and spend all of the time you look forward to with your family and friends.

To me, November means Christmastime with my loved ones, you can never get too much of a head start on Christmas!

The Creative Writers Guild and English Club kickoff NaNoWriMo

The English Club and the Creative Writer’s Guild will be holding a NaNoWriMo kickoff party on Oct. 28th in preparation for National Writing Month; all students are welcome to join.

NaNoWriMo, a phrase that haunts writers every November, refers to National Writing Month, an annual writing competition celebrating the art of writing and the social aspects of participating against and with other writers.

Continue reading The Creative Writers Guild and English Club kickoff NaNoWriMo

Black Friday Tech Survival Tips

Black Friday is the best time of the year for one to get gadgets and devices at discount prices. There are some key things that are required if one hopes to get what they want. With prices on some key items already dropping, compounded with the normal Black Friday sales, competition will be intense.

Crowds waiting to check out on Black Friday. Image from: http://www.insidesocal.com/

The first key thing is to find the sales. Not all stores will be having sales on items that a consumer may want. It is important for you to find where the sales are and what the best deals are. This can be achieved through a number of different ways. The easiest is by going the classic route of ads in the newspaper. The other and sometimes more rewarding option is to check Web sites of various retail stores. Sometimes on their Web sites they have specials that are not always advertised in the newspaper ads.

Prioritize what is most desirable. One has to be willing to accept that it will be hard to get everything. Instead just focus on what is wanted the most and allow the rest to be a nice bonus. Having a primary and secondary sale item that you focus on allows you to avoid getting distracted by other lesser items which will be on sale as well. With thousands of people crammed into a store fighting for the same few sale items it is not a bad idea to plan out ahead of time the fastest path to the desired product. It may be ideal to shop in groups, that way buyers can be certain to at least get a few items on their list.

Get there ahead of time. Not just a few hours ahead of time a day or so ahead of time, would be ideal. It is certain that buyers will be at the front of the line when the store opens for its sales. That way it is key during this period to stay in place no matter what unless, there with a group. Leaving a spot forfeits that spot unless someone is willing to save it. This is why groups are ideal, allowing a great deal of mobility to make bathroom and food runs.

Keep yourself entertained. This one is key. People can only stave off boredom for so long. Handheld gaming systems can help one hold out during the long haul. Hours can be passed in what seems to be minutes when playing some of the more difficult games offered on many handhelds. These don’t have to be recent handheld systems; one can go retro. In fact, that may be preferred. No need to recharge batteries, just pop in some more double AA’s and away you go. Battery powered portable DVD players can also help kill the time. Laptops are good not only for wasting time, but also for keeping an eye on opening times as well as any last minute online.

Follow the tips above and buyers can be certain to get the sale items they want. There are probably plenty more tips and tricks to surviving Black Friday. The ones above are just basic ones. Feel free to share any of your own survival tips in the comment section.

Panick at a store opening on Black Friday