Tag Archives: Opinion

The Other Side of Last Minute Food Orders

It is late and you just finished that last minute homework assignment or that essay that’s due tomorrow. You check the time and realize there is just enough time to either order from your favorite pizza place or Chinese place or run up to the nearest fast food restaurant and grab a late night meal. You pick up the phone and place your order or you fast walk to your car and hurry to that fast food place, thinking how lucky you are to get your order in just before the restaurant closes for the night. Meanwhile, the employees there are wondering what they did to deserve this. That is because those last minute orders can ruin a lot of hard work and force the employees to stay much longer than they want to.

Photo from The Sun

All places that serve food have to clean up and prepare their place of business for the next day each and every night. This takes a lot of time and effort and usually has to be done in between food orders and/or deliveries that the employees have to make. Because the big, not so secret, secret of working in the food industry is that the employees there do not get any time set aside for them to clean the store up. They are expected to have the store clean or mostly clean by the time the store closes. If they have any time allotted afterward, it is usually only about thirty minutes. Anyone who has worked in food service can tell you that is not nearly enough time.

The way to get around that is to clean during operating hours. And while they know not to completely shut everything down until the store is closed, those last minute orders can create a big mess and cause the employees to reuse already cleaned equipment that they were not expecting or planning on using again that evening. No one wants to have to stay an extra hour because you decided to come in at the last minute or order food two minutes before close. This is not to say you cannot order from them or order late. Just do not do it five or ten minutes before the store closes down and undo a lot of work of the employees.

What Whim has taught me

Whim always has the right of way. Graphic from rubycantu.com
Whim always has the right of way. Graphic from rubycantu.com

When I started working for Whim, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I thought it would be easy, non-stressful, and somewhat boring, to be honest. I thought that I would have no trouble finding people to write for me, that they would write all five articles and turn them in on time, and that I would have barely any work to do. But, boy, was I wrong. I couldn’t find anyone to write for me. In fact, Molly, another employee for Whim, writes all my science, technology, and health articles, and I write all over her opinion articles. We have a good system going, but of course, it would have been easier if we had writers. Although working for Whim was more stressful and difficult than I thought it would be, I would never trade it for anything.

Whim taught me how to work under pressure and strict deadlines, which I know will come in handy for my next job. I learned how to write better than I did before. Whim taught me how to write more than all four years of high school english did. I understood what it meant to truly rely on other people to get work done. I realized that I really do love working with a team and two heads are better than one, as they say. I learned that friends don’t have to be the same as you. I met some amazing people this year, including our editor-in-chief, Becca, our managing editor, Janie, and the rest of the Whim writers. I probably would have never had the pleasure of meeting these people if it wasn’t for Whim, if it wasn’t for walking past the Whim booth at club day, one that I was forced to go to by my University 100 class. Whim taught me more valuable life lessons than I ever initially thought possible.

When I first entered college, I never wanted to join any outside clubs or work anywhere on campus. To be honest, I was kind of bitter about starting college because my high school experience was less than amazing. But Whim really made my first year at Radford much more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined. I looked forward to our budget meetings, as weird as that sounds, because I couldn’t wait to talk to my new found friends. Whim made my college experience something much more than just school and for that, I will always be thankful.

Food vs. Exercise: Who will win?

Food and exercise go hand and hand. Graphic from twitter.com
Food and exercise go hand and hand. Graphic from twitter.com

Food can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Sometimes, food is there for you when you need it. It’s a shoulder to cry on and to pick you up when you’re feeling down. Other times, food is a real bitch, talking about you behind your back and smelling up your kitchen when it leaves itself  out on the counter. When it comes to exercise, food can either play nice and be civil, or start an all-out war like rowdy relatives on Thanksgiving. There’s no happy medium when it comes to food and exercise…or is there?

Food and exercise can get along as long as you choose the right foods and exercises for you and your body. If you’re a morning person, God bless you. Breakfast, as they say, is the most important meal of the day. Depending on the workout you do and when you decide to do it, breakfast can either hurt you or help you. If you eat McDonald’s and then go for a run, then I hope you run into a bathroom, because you’re surely going to need it. When working out in the morning, it’s best to eat very lightly such as oatmeal, a breakfast bar, or some fruit. That way, you won’t feel dragged down by a big meal and have the energy to complete your workout.

If you prefer to exercise in the afternoon, I would try and eat a bigger breakfast, but not too big. Two eggs and some toast would suffice as well as some cereal or even an omelette if you want to get fancy. A bigger meal in the morning is better if you exercise in the afternoon because by the time you get the gym, you won’t feel bloated or starved. You’ll have the energy without the feeling of being weighted down by too much food. With a bigger breakfast, a light lunch is ideal. Don’t over do it. With food or exercise for that matter.

If you exercise at night, these previous steps can still be followed. It really all depends on what time of day, exactly, that you exercise. If you plan your meals and exercise so that they complement each other, you shouldn’t have a problem with the two getting along.

With all this in mind, don’t forget that you’re a human being who loves food. Everyone is allowed a cheat day. Mine just happen to be everyday, but I’m working on it. These types of habits don’t happen overnight, so don’t get discouraged. Practice makes perfect.

Stress overload

When the going gets tough, the tough curl up in a ball and cry. Graphic form ethanandkayli.blogspot.com

As the final weeks of the semester are winding down, we all look to our lord and savior Jesus Christ for some guidance. When that doesn’t work, we drown our sorrows in alcohol and too much Netflix. We always hope that our responsibilities will disappear at the end of binge watching “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” but unfortunately, the second you turn off the TV and realize it’s 6 in the morning and you have a test in 2 hours, you begin to panic and hope by taking a nap on your textbook the information will be forced into your strung out brain. The stress of being a college student while also being a general person is way too much to handle, most of the time.

I don’t understand why all college classes insist on throwing 14 papers, 23 tests, and 8 project at us within the last three weeks of class. Do they expect us to finish all of these assignments on time as well as actually turn in “A” worthy work? I’m not sure if they remember what it’s like to be in college, but they have to know that it feels impossible. On top of all of that, we have to find jobs for the summer, schedule our classes for next semester as well as possible summer classes, deal with a brother who’s trans ( maybe that one’s just for me, but still.)

We always get lectures from our parents about when they were our age they were working 7 jobs, walking 3 miles in the snow to get to school, and still managing to be student body president. First, we all know that’s a load of crap. Second, the cost to get an education is much higher now, not to mention how much the availability of jobs has gone down. The generation above us just don’t get how high the expectations are for us, how we have to continue to reach for the American dream, but what is the American dream anymore?

The stress can become way too much to handle. Sometimes it’s not about the amount of work we have to do, but it’s about what is expected of us. We have to achieve all A’s while maintaining a job that pays for rent and food as well as being a part of multiple extracurriculars and volunteer at an animal shelter in our free time. I just wish the older generation could calm down and try to understand the struggle we go through instead of lecturing us about how they had it so much worse. Stress can be dangerous and the high expectations need to stop if they want us to truly succeed in life.

When hazing is taken too far

Hazing is outdated and dangerous. Why do it? Graphic from theodysseyonline.com

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that a Radford University fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, has been suspended under allegations of a member of the fraternity entering the hospital after a hazing incident. Although a specific name hasn’t been released, the university as well as the Radford police have been taking this incident very seriously and intend on discovering exactly what happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

Hazing has been a rite of passage into Greek life for many years now, although it has been made illegal. I’m not sure where the idea has originated from or why it was created in the first place, but I honestly don’t see the point. Why would abusing and pranking upcoming members of Greek life be a good idea? What’s the point? Is it suppose to prove that they’re worthy of joining the house? Or is it just for fun? Whatever the reason is, it’s not good enough to justify putting people in danger, so much that their life is at risk.

Some people justify hazing by saying that it’s tradition, that it’s been around for years and it’s simply part of greek culture. However, if that’s the logic you like to use than why don’t we bring back slavery or segregation? It’s a part of American history and was tradition for many years, but that, obviously, doesn’t make it morally correct. Hazing is outdated. People understand that hazing is dangerous and messed up. It takes advantage of people who want to desperately to fit in, to belong. It’s an experience that can truly scare someone for the rest of their life and they’re made to think that it’s normal, that it just a part of becoming a part of greek life. It can damage a person forever, and I don’t think people take it as seriously as they need to.

Some people might say that this event was a one time thing, that the boys just got carried away and it was an accident. However, this specific frat house has had a long record of hazing that has ended badly. In 1996 the chapter was suspended because of a death caused by a party gone too far. In 2010, they were once again suspended for reasons unknown. Pi Kappa Phi has a long history of irresponsible members and maybe even advisors. Something needs to be changed in order to ensure that all of Radford University students are safe and taken care of.

Money jar

You can make your jar fun and pretty too! Photo from blog.quizzle.com

Over the past year or so, I’ve realized how important money is. I don’t mean that in the superficial “money buys happiness and being rich is all that matters” kind of way. I mean that having money is truly the only way to survive. Money buys food, shelter, clothes, and education. Without those four necessary things, we as humans can’t survive. However, despite the basic needs for survival, money also buys things that differentiate surviving from living. Anyone can survive, but not everyone truly lives.

Money can’t buy happiness, that I agree with. However, money can help. I consider living to be defined as experiencing new things, enjoying what life has to offer, and doing these things with people you love. Money can purchase concert tickets, amusement park tickets, gas for road trips, plane tickets that allow you to explore the world. Without money, you’re left with what your hometown has to offer, the same movie theaters and outlet malls that you’ve been accustomed to your entire life. I wouldn’t consider continuing to go to those places as experiencing or learning new things. Although money can encourage living, you have to work hard and save up to be able to experience what the world has to offer.

Money jars are pretty self explanatory. I’m sure you’ve seen them on tumblr, pinterest, and maybe even instagram. Money jars are jars that contain money that you’ve saved up. When you receive your paycheck or whatever type of money you receive from working, you can take a fraction of your earnings and place it into the jar. I’m choosing to put 20 dollars every month into the jar. By doing this, eventually, you’ll have enough money saved up to be able to travel, to buy tickets to wherever or whomever you want to see. This method allows you to continue to pay rent, buy food, or other responsibilities you might have to survive, while also saving up so you can live. Because what is surviving without living?

By having a physical object to look at, containing money that you have worked hard for, it allows you to see the bigger picture, to see why you work those long hours, working yourself to the bone. It gives you a reminder of why you work and do the things you do. Money jars are a physical reminder of the fun experiences the life has in store for you. It reminds you to never give up because living is more important than simply surviving.

What is gender?

Gender is more than what’s in you pants.
Graphic from learn.uvm.edu

Gender, by definition, is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between and from masculinity and femininity. Nowhere in that definition does it say anything about the type of genitalia you have. Gender is a social construct forced on to people by society attempting to make everyone fit into one of two categories, masculine or feminine. Unfortunately, American society has decided that to be masculine means to be a boy and to be feminine means to be a girl. However, that’s not what it means all over the world. It some countries, the women are seen as more masculine, building homes and finding food, the bread winners if you will, while the men take care of the children and stay at home, taking the feminine traits for themselves.

Gender is the idea of certain characteristics belonging to a specific genitalia. Feminine with vaginas and masculine with penises. Who decided that? I understand that there is biology involved with men being taller, having a higher center of gravity, and having less body fat making it easier to gain muscle mass. However, women can be strong too. Most of the ideas surrounding what it means to be a man and what it means to be a women are created by what society wants and expects from us.

Society has told us that men can’t cry, can’t be scared, can’t be vulnerable because those emotions are deems weak, feminine, meant for women and women only. They say that men can be angry and scary even, but it doesn’t matter because they’re showing how strong and tough they are. They’re allowed to be scary because it’s what is expected of them. Women, however, are expected to be soft-spoken, weak, submissive, kind, and every other word you could think of that could also describe a daffodil. Women aren’t allowed to be angry, to be tough, to be strong because if we are, we’re called bitches or rude. We’re told we don’t smile enough, that we’re too rough and need to lighten up. Men would never be told to lighten up.

Gender is an idea, a box, that society wants to put us into so all the jobs that are required to keep a society going are dealt with. Women take care of the children, cook, clean, while men work with other men, bringing home the money and continuing the manly man’s world. What would happen if we stopped? Stopped being what is expected and turned society on it’s head? Do you think society would end? Or would it become something worth fighting for?

Is it cheating?

When it comes to relationships, everyone has a different definition of cheating. For some people, cheating strictly means having sex with someone else. For other, kissing or even just thinking about being with someone else is cheating and isn’t tolerated, a zero toleration policy. I know one couple who give each other passes, where they can do whatever they want with other people and face no consequences for it. Here are the main ways to cheat and the different viewpoints surrounding them.

  1. Is it cheating? Graphic from Sex Advice Online
    Is it cheating? Graphic from Sex Advice Online

    Is thinking about another person intimately cheating?

In many relationships, mentally cheating on someone is the same, if not worse, than physically cheating on them. Relationships are based on a mental and emotional connection and if that get severed, than the basis for one’s relationship is broken or, essentially, built on false pretenses the entire time. It would be absolutely heartbreaking to know that your relationship is a lie and the connection you thought you had with someone is not as special as you thought.

  1. Is watching porn cheating?

Some people believe that watching porn is cheating, based on the idea that watching other people have sex is connecting to the cheating mentally idea. If you’re thinking about other people sexually, going as far as masturbating to other people, then essentially you’re having sex with different people in your mind, making it cheating and devastating to your partner.

  1.  When straight girls kiss other girls while being in a relationship, is it cheating?

This is a controversial question. There are many guys who would say no to this question because they think their girlfriends kissing other girls is hot and, somewhat, not real because they aren’t gay. However, this idea is detrimental to the gay community. It’s what doesn’t stop guys from hitting on girls who say they have a girlfriend. They don’t take it seriously because they think all lesbians are kissing girls for their entertainment and that, in the end, they’ll go back to dating men.

Girls kissing other girls should be considered cheating because it is. The gender of the person who is cheating with the person in the relationship really doesn’t matter. They were unfaithful. Simple as that.

Cheating, I think, is a black and white issue. Did you kiss/have sex with someone who isn’t me? Yes? Then you cheated on me. Bye. Although I agree that some cases of cheating are more complicated than others, cheating is cheating and it should never be done, no matter the circumstances. If you’re having problems in the relationship, talk them out. If you break up, that’s okay. It’s way better the break up than to cheat on your partner. Think before your decide to cheat.

Addiction: Tattoo addition

Are tattoos an addiction? Well my friends, in my opinion, yes they are. The second I received my first tattoo, I knew it was downhill from there. I don’t know if it’s something about biology, or mentality, that the pain of getting tattoos is addicting or if it’s the process of getting new things, but, for me, getting a new tattoo is something that I always want, no matter how recent my last tattoo was.

I got my first tattoo when I was 16. My mom signed for it and ended up getting a matching one. It’s on my ribs and says “let it be” with birds flying up my ribcage. I still remember the feeling I had before I got it, while I was being tattooed, and after I was done. It’s truly nothing like I’ve ever experienced. It hurts, of course, but it’s almost like a good hurt, like a feeling that it’s kind of uncomfortable but also enjoyable. It only took about 30 minutes but I remember looking at it, after it was finished, and feeling so happy. My body felt somewhat relieved, while also in a state of shock I think, but I immediately wanted another one.

About three months later, I got my next tattoo. It’s script on my right bicep that says “the mirror often lies.” That one hurt a bit more than the first one, but I loved it so much and I felt a rush of adrenaline afterwards, like I could do anything I wanted to and I would never get hurt. I felt invincible.

getting a tattoo
“Are tattoos an addiction? Well my friends, in my opinion, yes they are.”

My next tattoo was three months after that and it was much bigger than the first two. I remember thinking that this tattoo had to be epic, it had to be large and beautiful enough to last me for a longer period of time without dying to get another tattoo. I got a colored rose on my left shoulder. It took about three hours to do, and I almost passed out from the pain. It was pretty horrendous. Even still, I remember, when it was all said and done, that I was immediately thinking about my next tattoo, what it would be and where I would get it. After every tattoo, my mom would say “no more okay? At least not for a while,” and every time I would say “yeah mom, I agree. I should probably wait.” I genuinely meant it at the time, but the tattoo hook is so far in me that I can’t stop wanting more.

My next tattoo was even bigger than the rest. It’s on my left arm and it’s a sugar skull girl. She’s almost the length of my upper arm and covers the entire front of my arm. That tattoo took about nine hours, including the prep time. The weird thing is, this tattoo didn’t hurt as badly as I thought it would and think it was because I had waiting so long between tattoos, that my body was craving the feeling.

My most recent tattoo is on my left bicep and wraps all the way around. It completed my half sleeve and I feel very badass. At the moment, however, I’m dying to get another one. It’s been about two months since my last one and I can’t wait any longer. I need it and I will make it happen, for my body’s sake and for the mental health of everyone around me.

Energy vampires

Energy vampires are people who suck the positive energy from your being, whether they do so consciously or not. They can be friends, family, or even people you have just met. Energy vampires tend to focus on people who are easily suggestible, have low self-esteem, and wish to drain their victim of all positive energy. Most energy vampires are unhappy themselves, and in some cases, their subconscious is at fault.  The energy vampire, themselves, can’t control the energy they create or take away.

Victims of energy vampires see improvements the second they have detached from the vampire, when they have left the room or cut them off them off completely. Energy vampires usually use fear as the gateway into stealing your positive energy, but if you protect yourself from these types of people with spiritual techniques, they can’t take advantage of you.

Do you know any vampires that drain you of energy? Graphic from
Do you know any vampires that drain you of energy? Graphic from The Tarot Lady

My girlfriend had an event at her church called the “Soup and Sandwich Luncheon,” which by the title, you can guess what it entailed. On our way there, we both had a bad feeling about what was to occur, seeing as she left her church two years ago after attending for 16 years, having been done with dealing with a fire and brimstone type of environment. However, her parents wanted to see her and we felt obligated to go.

The second we walked into the building, people my girlfriend use to call friends all turned and stared at us, going as far as rolling their eyes at our presence. I immediately felt this heavy weight on my chest and my stomach began to hurt. My girlfriend started to cry because of the way they treated her, judging and whispering as if we couldn’t hear them.

After the initial feelings we experienced, we got our food and sat down next to her parents, unfortunately, leaving me to sit at the energy vampire’s table. They didn’t speak to me and I didn’t speak to them, but I could feel their eyes on me, trying to intimidate me and make me feel embarrassed or unwelcomed. I tried my best to ignore them and listen to a different conversation.

Later on, after the energy vampires had left, I felt very tired, as if I had just worked an eight hour shift, or took a six hour road trip. I couldn’t explain the way I was feeling without connecting the dots to the energy vampires. I had never believed in a concept so much until I encountered those people. I felt so sick and tired, and those feeling came out of nowhere. It had to be the energy vampires, and I truly hope I never have to go back to that church.

After leaving the church and driving around in an attempt to calm myself down, I began to feel a bit better. I didn’t feel as tired and my stomach stopped hurting. I knew it was because I had put enough time and distance between myself and the energy vampires. I know now that if I ever have to go back there, I need to protect myself and learn to fight off their soul-sucking energy. Energy vampires don’t have to steal your happiness away. All you have to do is learn how to protect yourself, or simply, refuse to allow those people into your life. It’s your choice.

Donald Trump on abortion

Donald J. Trump, republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election, seems to be confused on his own beliefs and values. When it comes to abortion, pro-life or pro-choice, Trump has, on multiple occasions, changed his mind on where he stands. According to The Washington Post, over the last 17 years, Trump has flip-flopped on the topic of abortion. Knowing that he use to be a democrat, it’s understandable that his views have changed since becoming a republican; however, over a three day time period, March 30 through April 1, Trump altered his statements about abortion five times. It seems as though he mixed up his own beliefs with the ones he was told to believe by the people running his campaign.

Trump talks about abortion. Graphic from Snopes
Trump talks about abortion. Graphic from Snopes

On March 30, at 2:30 pm, Trump sits down for an interview with MSNBC, stating that he believes women who receive abortions should be criminally punished, adding the men involved should not be criminally punished. This statement, seemingly strongly believed and confirming in its delivery, was altered an hour later, before the interview could be aired, by a spokesperson for Trump on twitter saying “statement on abortion: says it should be put back to the states and he’s pro life, like Reagan.” This new statement is essentially a 180 from what he had previously said, an hour before. About an hour after that, a new and more extensive statement is released on his website which is, again, completely different from his initial statement to the interviewer at MSNBC.

On April 1, CBS releases a small piece of their interview with Trump which seems to contain another statement about abortion, one that is, once again, different from statements previously made. He said “the laws are set now on abortion and that’s the way they’re going to remain until they’re changed. I would’ve preferred states’ rights. I think it would’ve been better if it were up to the states. But right now, the laws are set…. At this moment, the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way.” This statement is completely contradictory to everything he has said, as of recently, about his stance on abortion. The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization, replied to Trump’s statement saying he should be “disqualified himself as the GOP nominee.”

Once again, before his CBS interview airs, Trump’s campaign releases a statement changing his stance on abortion. It states “Mr. Trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must stay that way now — until he is president. Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. There is nothing new or different here.” So what can we take away from this debacle? Trump doesn’t know what he believes in. It seems as though his spokespeople are the ones who are actually running for president and he is just the frontman with all the money. If Trump can’t decide which side he’s on regarding this pretty straightforward issue, how can the American people expect him to make decision on issues that are more complicated and could put the entire country at risk? The voters need to open their eyes to who Trump is and discover what he really believes in, that is, if he even really knows.

Finding a job for the summer: The real struggle

Finding a job for the summer can be really difficult. I’ve almost had zero luck finding a job that’s hiring. I’ve look online, check individual websites, and even walked around Christiansburg, going into each store to ask if they were hiring, which was a difficult time for me because talking to strangers isn’t really my thing. I’m not sure if it’s me, or something about this time of the year, but jobs are nowhere to be found.

The only job experience I’ve had, other than the job I have working for Whim, is a cashier at Foodlion. It was not a good experience, to say the least. I had to stand on my feet for hours at a time, the customers were usually rude and ungrateful, and I was hit on by another employee more than I wish to talk about. I realized that working in grocery or working in an environment where I had to stand or check people’s items out just wasn’t for me.  I left that job after a year and a half because I was going to college and thought that I wouldn’t be able to drive back and forth from Blacksburg and Radford in time for classes as well as work. However, now that I’m a commuter, I realize that I will probably have to do that, seeing as there are no jobs in Radford and money is more and more of a necessity everyday.

desk
“The problem with the job hunt is there are some jobs, just jobs that I don’t want to do.”

The problem with the job hunt is there are some jobs, just jobs that I don’t want to do. Home Depot is hiring, but who wants to be a woman cashier at an establishment full of country men who like to refer to women as baby or honey? Also, I don’t want to be the stereotype of the gay girl who works at Home Depot. Places like Papa John’s are hiring but I feel like the money I spend on gas won’t be replaced with profit.

Maybe my problem is that I’m too picky. Maybe I need to get over my requirements I seem to have for a job and just be thankful for the opportunities that are available. However, if I’m going to work somewhere, I at least don’t want to completely hate my life or dread going to work. I want to enjoy my experiences in life and meet people who like my company and vice versa. Life is about more than money and working, although money would be ideal at the moment.

I think, by writing this article, I figured out what I need to do. Suck it up and work where I can. I should try and find the good in things instead of focusing on the bad. I should be thankful for the opportunities that are given to me, but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it all the time. I need money and money is at Home Depot and Papa John’s. If only I could make money by sitting at home, eating, and watching Bob’s Burgers. If only.

Countdown to the end of the semester

If you’re like me, you’ve been counting down the days until the end of the semester. 25 days, 3 hours, 4 minutes, and 52 seconds. You could say I’m dying for this semester to be over, but you said it, not me. I’m not sure what it was about this semester that has made it feel unbelievably long, but that’s exactly how it’s felt. Everyday, I wake up 6:30, sometimes 7:00 because I can’t get out of bed, and I drive to Radford, park my car in 2 hour or 4 hour parking, walk to class, sit in class and desperately wait for it to end, and the I do that again and again until the school day is over, walk back to my car, and drive home. It’s truly the most agonizing, tiring, and frustrating cycle you can be in. I just want to it be over.

calendar
“If you’re like me, you’ve been counting down the days until the end of the semester.”

This semester, because financial aid here at Radford is kind of useless, I was unable to register for class until a week and half after registration had opened, leaving me with zero class in my major still open. It really sucks when you’re super excited to take classes in your major, classes that you are interested in, but you can’t get into any because other people lost a form you supposedly “didn’t sign.”

I was forced to take four general education class, political science, geology, music, and sociology. I have to say that sociology isn’t that bad, in fact, I like it and I’m good at it, but my political science and geology classes are slowly killing me, taking out my soul and eating it for dinner. It’s not that they are particularly hard, it’s simply the fact that they are so boring my eyes feel like they’re catching on fire when I’m in class. It’s amazing how hard it can be to go to class when all you do in said class is cry about how terrible it is. It’s also pretty difficult to do well, or want to do well, in that class because you could care less about what your professor has to say.

This semester has been the worst semester of all time, although, it’s only my second one but who’s counting. If anything happens to my schedule next semester, I will probably drop out and live on the streets of Radford, telling my sad story of how the university did me wrong. But here’s to hoping!

Translocal

Translocal is a documentary that I’m creating about transgender individuals around and in the area of Montgomery county, areas such as Blacksburg, Radford, and Christiansburg. It contains a variety of different people, from trans youth, ages of 16 to 20, and older trans people, ages 21 to 30. The people I’ve interviewed and plan to interview have, or intend to, transition from male to female or female to male. This experience, so far, as truly opened my eyes to trans culture, what it means to be trans, and how gender is fluid, and sometimes can’t be separated into strictly male and female.

The transgender flag with the title of my documentary over top of it. Graphic designed by Molly Mattox

 

As of now, I have interviewed one trans individual, Anat. I knew Ana in high school. I wouldn’t say we were close, but we were friends during sophomore year. She was kind of a loner, didn’t have many friends, and from what I saw, people weren’t very nice to her. I was basically her only friend, but at that time I didn’t know she was transgender. I wasn’t able to help her through that struggle because she never told me. I understand, now, why she didn’t. She grew up in a very religious household, a house where she was told that any changes to her body, no matter how necessary or small, were against what God had intended for her. Growing up, Ana had an overbite, one that was very extreme and she needed surgery for it. Her parents allowed her to have the surgery, but told her that God made her the way she was and that her surgery was against his plan. Hearing words like that over and over again makes it understandable that she couldn’t accept herself, let alone tell other people about her struggle.

While interviewing her, she told me that her parents don’t accept her, in fact, they think that she has a mental illness, that she’s going through a phase, and she needs help. She said that her father went as far as calling the board of medicine, filing a complaint about her physician because they support her and her transition. He attempted to ruin a doctor’s career as well as his daughter’s life because he can’t find it within himself to accept her unconditionally. These are the kinds of issues that need to brought to attention. The safety of transgender individuals is not a joke, and some people wish to harm them simply because of who they are. Transgender people are being beaten and murdered everyday because other people don’t understand people who are different from what society deems “normal.” This documentary will teach people that all trans individuals want is respect and to be treated just like everyone else, because they are.

 

 

5 ways to lose all your money

When it comes to money, I’m the worst at knowing what’s best. I want to spend every cent I have on things that I know I don’t need, or things that I need to survive but could potentially purchase cheaper alternatives. Even though I don’t make a lot of money, the money I do make never stays in my bank account long enough to gain interest or to gain more than 50 dollars at one time. Here are the 5 reasons I never have any money:

Don't waste your money on daily McDonald's trips. Graphic from JP Koning
Don’t waste your money on daily McDonald’s trips. Graphic from JP Koning

1. Food

Food is my worst enemy when it comes to spending all of my money. When I’m hungry, I have to eat as soon as possible, or I might explode with rage. I become the definition of “hangry” and, as you know, there is only one cure. My go-to when I’m dying of hunger is McDonald’s. I began eating McDonald’s when I was probably 4 or 5, and I’ve never looked back. However, McDonald’s can be pretty expensive when you’re not eating from the dollar menu, which of course, I usually don’t, unless I’m scrounging for change in my car. For some reason, I think eating at home is the worst idea ever and refuse to do it, until I’m out of money and crying on my couch eating Ramen. What I should be doing is only eating out once or twice a week, while eating at home the other 5 days, but that will never happen. My addiction to McDonald’s is too far gone. Save yourselves.

2. Gas

Gas is so expensive. I will never get over having to spend 25 to 30 dollars on gas every four days. My car literally eats my money and then poops it out over the course of a few days, then has the audacity to ask for more. Stupid car. Being a commuter and having to drive to and from Radford, from Blacksburg, multiple times a day, obviously doesn’t save any gas. In the long run, I’m sure it’s cheaper than living on campus, but my debit card sure feels sad and lonely at the end of the day.

3. Cigarettes

You don’t need to tell me how to save money with this one. I get it.

4. Significant Other

Relationships can be expensive, especially when expensive to me means more than 15 dollars. But your significant other deserves to have money spent on them, to have new things, but only every now and then. If you’re struggling with money like I am, then things like food, rent, gas, and other essentials tend to have a higher priority on the list. Just don’t forget about them. Nice things every once in awhile are good, but keep it to a minimum.

5. Clothes

Buying clothes can be a tricky situation. When you actually need clothes, it makes sense that you would go to a store, and buy your clothes. However, when you convince yourself that you need clothes, that you genuinely need new jeans or shirts, even though you really don’t, that’s when money and spending choices need to be questioned.

The bottom line here is spend your money wisely. If you can, save as much as possible so you can have it when you really need it. Try not to buy things you don’t need or spend money when you could eat or use things you already have.
Okay, time to get McDonald’s.

Networking is more important than you think

Networking is everything. Meeting new people, as many people as you can, is as important as an impressive resume or extensive experience, sometimes even more important. Knowing people, no matter how unimportant or important you think they are, will almost always come in handy later in life when you’re looking for that dream job. When it comes to that time in your life when the job you’re applying for is being decided between you and someone else, having connections and knowing people in your field will be your saving grace, will get you that job.

Talking everyone and anyone can lead to great experiences. Graphic from logok.org
Talking everyone and anyone can lead to great experiences. Graphic from logok.org

Outside my hotel in New York city, I was smoking a cigarette, wearing my student media conference name tag, when a woman walked up and stood next to me and pulled out a cigarette as well.

She saw my name tag, as well as my girlfriend’s name tag who was also standing next to me, and began to talk to us, asking about the conference and what specifically we were doing here. As we were telling her, she revealed to us that she is a managing editor at NBC. We kept our conversation going by asking her questions about her job and how she got to the position she is at now. She gave us advice, telling us we need to do internships every year, that networking and knowing people will be vital to our careers in media.

She gave us wonderful advice and expressed to us that she loved her job and she feels rewarded everyday, being able to do what she does. As she was leaving, we graciously thanked her for talking to us and she told us again “Internships, internships, internships!” I will forever remember that conversation and how much her advice affected me.

When we walked outside our hotel to smoke, we would have never thought that we’d run into the managing editor of NBC. If we had been at a different place at a different time, we would have never had the amazing opportunity of meeting her. If we weren’t wearing our name tags, she would have had no idea we were attending the student media conference and she wouldn’t have talked to us in the first place.

We didn’t think we would have met someone so influential by going outside and having a cigarette. Networking doesn’t always have to be forced, nor does it have to be awkward or intimidating. Cecilia Bradley was one of the nicest women I’ve ever met and she’ll never know the true impact she had on me. Who knows, maybe sometime in the future, our small conversation on the streets of New York City will help me get my dream job.

Make America violent again?

Wherever Donald Trump goes, trouble seems to follow. He’s the type of man who brings out the worst in people. He succeeds by taking advantage of the uneducated people, the ones who believe it’s okay to oppress a group of people based on fear, the ones who want to build a wall because they think it will improve the American lifestyle, the ones who are okay with a man who continuously says derogatory things to women and minorities. However, the people who disagree with these beliefs aren’t afraid to say so, to protest and riot against Donald Trump’s rallies is the only way they know how to stop him from becoming the next president of the United States.

Is Trump the real deal? Or just a joke? Graphic from Pinterest
Is Trump the real deal? Or just a joke? Graphic from Pinterest

On Friday, March 11, Donald Trump postponed a rally in Chicago because of “fights between supporters and demonstrators, protests in the streets and concerns that the environment at the event was no longer safe.” I wish I could have asked Mr. Trump why he thought that the anger and the riots occurred, because he obviously doesn’t see that behind every single riot or protestings at his rallies, stands Mr. Trump and his bigotry.

Protesters attended the Chicago rally in attempts to shut it down, to “Stump Trump,” and obviously, they succeeded, which caused Trump to cancel it, leaving all supporters and protesters to fend for themselves. He fled, leaving the Chicago PD to clean up the anger, frustration, and unanswered questions. Trump also has a reputation of throwing people out of his rallies, whether or not they are actually protesting or not. At Valdosta State University, a group of black students wearing all black in a silent protest at one of Trump’s rallies, was kicked out for no reason. They were standing silently at their own gym, not causing any issues, but were forced to leave anyway. This is when Trump’s antics have gone too far, where he is taking away people’s right to protest, especially when they are peaceful about it.

There is potential for Trump to prevent violent protests like the one in Chicago, if he were to simply answer people’s questions, have actual conversations with the American people, and listen instead of preach, repeat the same topics over and over again, and say things that he knows will get a reaction from people. He’s made himself to entertainment and a source of mockery, when he could have made a name for himself in the political world, with real issues and real passion behind them. Trump thrives on the violence and anger because it gives him more publicity. He doesn’t want to make America great again. He wants to make American violent again.

Radford University will eliminate tuition fees for the next three years

For the next three years, Radford University has decided to eliminate all tuition fees for all students! They realized the tuition was way too expensive, and students who want to attend here but can’t because of money issues should be able to, no matter what. They received enough complaints from students and parents, making it the easiest decision they’ve ever made. They’re also going make one day a week free food day, where all food on campus will be giving away free food to anyone and everyone!

Ever since Trump came to the campus, and the new president has been chosen, Radford has really tightened up on their beliefs and values, and how they want to affect their student population. The new president has come out, publically, as a Bernie Sanders supporter, and the first thing he wanted to do to prove that was to make college free, and food on campus somewhat free. The president of RU knows what it’s like to be a broke college student, to not be able to afford food everyday or even afford college at all. So that’s why he has made college free for three years, and he intends on continuing free college as long as students continue to apply and keep up their grades.

Ever since RU’s new president announces his support of Bernie Sanders, all of social media has been raging, in happiness of course. One student was so ecstatic, she tweeted Bernie Sanders and he tweeted back! He told her that he would love to come to Radford University and clean up what Donald Trump left behind. This was the best news I’ve heard all year, to hear Bernie Sanders speak to the Radford campus will be an even I never forget. I can’t wait to write an article on the rally and the amount of peace and happiness it will bring.

This last week has been the most exciting week of my life. To hear college will be free, one day a week on campus food will be free, and Bernie Sanders is coming to speak at RU, it’s literally the best news I could ever hear. I don’t know how this year will get any better!
April Fool’s bitches. This article is entirely satire.