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.
Hey Radford! So this year the good folks at Whim want to start publishing YOUR short stories in the Arts & Entertainment section. Not only is being published in an online magazine a great way to get your work out there, but writing for Whim is a terrific thing to put on future resumes. Do you want to write a short story, but you’re not sure how to get started? Here are some tips to get your minds on a roll:
1) Pick a subject that isn’t extensive
Short stories are mostly hard to write because people pick novel ideas and try to condense them into a short story. Trust me, I’m very guilty of having done this. To combat this common problem, simply pick one moment, one scene, or one idea to write about. Make sure your idea has plenty of action right off the bat, since you don’t have the time as you would in a novel to build up to climaxes.
2) Use your own memories
Of course, you could always write a personal essay based on one pivotal moment in your life, or you could lend that memory to a character. This is a great way to get writing because you’ve lived through the experience so you can already describe the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings. Turning reality into fiction opens the door for you to doctor that memory to be anything you want it to be and then apply it to your fictional character’s life. Once you have that one great idea, the rest will come naturally.
3) Work in a quiet space.
If you live in the dorms, I’d suggest going to Young Hall in the evening. Young Hall gets really quiet as the day wears on and it has everything you could possibly need- cozy nooks and chairs, numerous charging outlets, a computer lab with a printer, and vending machines. Young Hall is the whole package for those who want to get work done. Young Hall works well, but if you need a change of scenery the river is also a great place to go to be alone with your thoughts and characters. If you live in Greenhill especially, you should take advantage of the river.
4) Use a pen and paper.
If you’re drawing a blank while watching the cursor blink on Microsoft Word, shut down your computer and whip out your trusty notebook and pen. Sometimes just jotting down your thoughts instead of typing them makes all the difference in the world.
5) Write in the first person.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people like writing in the third person. While there’s nothing wrong with that, sometimes it’s easier to get into your character by writing in the first person. If you’re really set on having your story take place in the third person, but you’re not able to get anything down on paper, write scenes in first person from each character’s perspective. This simple exercise will really get you into your characters’ shoes and will definitely make writing your story easier.
If you’re interested in submitting a story, shoot me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’m also more than willing to read your work and offer suggestions before you formally submit your work, if you’re unsure of anything.
Here at Whim, we decided to list our favorite things to help those who are still fighting through finals week.
“The bendy straws at Papa John’s in Dalton make my day.
Watching Netflix on my phone between classes really relaxes me.
The mural of an old guy in Porterfield by the side entrance never fails to inspire me.”
“It’s a beautiful place to live and study. I feel like I’m walking through a postcard every time I go to class.
You can do whatever you want to do academically, because there are resources to support you work and professors who care about your success.
People who want to be here love it here, and their passion shows in their work. It’s infectious, and it’s inspiring.”
“The professors are incredibly knowledgeable and only want the best for you.
The diversity of students here is amazing (and it’s not too hard to get accepted), so there are all types of people here.
I love how close everything is in Radford. Being from NOVA, it’s nice to be able to walk everywhere!”
“Smaller class sizes with one-on-one time with your professor.
Every type of student.
All the opportunities are available to you if you look.
“Moffett quad, Highlander rolls, and all the opportunities outside of class.”
“My three favorite things about Radford….the small class sizes, the number of resources available to students on campus and Starbucks.”
“The professors, the community and the campus itself!”
“I love the community. We’re always looking for an excuse to get united under a common flag and they’ve always been there for eachother when times are tough. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else.
I love student media because you’ll never meet a more cohesive group of people that will put aside their differences to make an amazing product and I love the experience of growing from a helpless lost Freshman to feeling like you have an important role to play in the community as a senior.”
The year 2015 already promises to be one for the ages – speaking of ages, who hasn’t grown up laboriously asking themselves the “age-old” question, “when will someone invent a device that not only keeps me on schedule every day, but also keeps me in touch with everyone I know 24/7, and keeps my life going in the right direction at all times?” I know I have, but in just five short months, it appears that this will no longer be the reality we all live in. Apple has promised to release the remedy for our deepest desires come 2015. They call it: The Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch will possess the same appearance of a traditional watch, but it also promises to be “so much more.” With more than a million different faces to choose from, Apple Watch takes customizing to an unprecedented level. It will look how you want it, when you want it, and even how you feel you want it. Distance, inconvenience, and wasted time will no longer be relevant with Apple Watch. Its abilities include: subtlety perception, physical touch simulation, emotion detection, automatic time-zone updates, and, most importantly, the ability to never let its users waste another second of their time.
Whether you’re eating, running, or sleeping you’ll have a companion with Apple Watch. If you find yourself stumbling over your words in a conversation, or simply do not have time to type or say them, Apple Watch enables you to artistically express yourself with a few swipes of a finger. It will even learn what you’re thinking. If you’ve been trying to get into that healthy exercise routine, but can’t seem to sustain motivation, Apple’s got your back! It knows your capabilities, and desires. It knows your fears and your frustrations. When your encouragement level is running low, Apple is there by your side.
So if you’ve been longing for something to perform the mundane tasks of your everyday routine, to fulfill your desires for a hassel-free life, and to keep you going in the right direction all day every day, the wait is coming to a close! In 2015 comes the Apple Watch.
The Regal Cinema in Christiansburg, Va. was packed March 20 for the premiere of the highly-anticipated movie “Divergent.” Fans were filling up seats over two hours in advance to the 8 p.m. showing. By the time the film started, nearly every seat in the house was filled by an anxious fan waiting to see his or her favorite book become realized on the big screen. Continue reading “Divergent” brings a popular dystopian series to the big screen→
Radford University provides $5 in printing every year. Unfortunately, many students don’t find out how little this is until they’re in the middle of their first semester and halfway through their budget.
It’s not just that college students are irresponsible. If printing cost is five cents a page, the average student would only be able to print off ten papers a year. That’s one paper per class per semester (assuming the student in question has a course-load of 15 credits).
As you can imagine, this isn’t feasible for anyone.
This is particularly troubling for transfer students, many of whom are used to unlimited printing policies set by community colleges and the like. (Central Virginia Community College has an unlimited printing policy, for instance.) Here are some tips to help offset printing costs when you come to RU. Continue reading Radford printing: Some things you should know→
The definition of a goal is a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. We at Whim believe goals are important to achieve any aspirations one might have in life.
Take all of us RU students for example. Why are we in college? A lot of us probably share the same goals of graduating, getting a degree and then becoming a contributing citizen of society. Whether we realize it or not, we are all on a journey to achieving our long-term goals. Continue reading From our perspective: The importance of goals→
Here at Whim, I have a very simple job. Every week, I have to filter through a mountain of opinion articles, and choose the best five to be published for the week. I get to give five lucky Radford University-affiliated individuals the opportunity to broadcast their opinions to our readers. I get paid for this, but there’s a catch. It’s incredibly uncommon for five separate writers to submit articles in one week. When that happens, I have to write the rest of those articles. Continue reading You should write for me→
This year the Whim family is welcoming a new edition to the crew! We are pleased to inform Radford University students that there is a place you can turn to with all of your unanswered questions. Whether they are embarrassing, scary or just something funny, there is someone out there that has the answers to it all. Continue reading Introducing: Highlanders Anonymous→
In the typical college classroom, students are judged on whether they know the material by using a scantron bubble sheet and a number two pencil to choose the best answer. The staff at Whim believes this method of measurement is not the best answer to help our failing schools.
Standardized tests only allow for one type of learner to succeed and do not engage students. Standardized tests force teachers to cram only the pieces of information that are going to be on the test into a semester. This causes the teacher to be unable to experiment with different ways to teach the class because they are too busy worrying about fitting in all the material they need to cover in order for the students to pass the final exam. This unfortunately results in the majority of students becoming bored over the endless PowerPoints and the monotonous drone of the teacher’s voice reciting mindless facts about the subject area.
Standardized tests provide only one way to measure a student’s ability to learn. Standardized tests do not take into consideration the student that does not do well on multiple choice, fill-in-the blank tests.
Standardized tests only measure the student’s ability to commit to memory the specified information that will be covered on the test for a short period of time, just long enough for the student to pass the test. This leads to lowering the standards and the expectations of students. If standardized tests continue to be used as a valid measurement of learning, students will only receive an education in memorization and not in learning content needed to be successful.
Fast forward to college, where students are expected to already have knowledge for the professors to build on. When they have spent their entire time learning to the test in grade school, it causes problems.
Professors expect us to know how to read, write and at least do basic algebra and geometry. Since so many of us got through standardized tests by memorizing things, or using the old “plug and chug” method, we are dismayed when we have to actually know things.
The problem isn’t that students are getting less intelligent, it’s that the standardization of our education didn’t allow for growth. Sure, there are advanced classes in high school, but those are only for students who show an aptitude for the specific subject.
Because most of us weren’t challenged in public school, we have a difficult time understanding what our professors want from us. This is where it all falls apart. Professors are forced to go back to the basics that we should already know, rather than covering new, more advanced material.
The staff at Whim urges Radford University’s students to understand that their professors aren’t being rude when they expect more from their students than they’re getting. We also hope that in the future standardized tests will be a thing of the past, so that public schools can send off students that are prepared for college.
This article isn’t meant to offend, but rather to educate. Anyone who still thinks Christmas has anything to do with Jesus of Nazareth is a moronic, ignorant boob and that’s putting it lightly. Let me elaborate.
Christmas celebrates the Solstice, the longest night of the year. It started out as a Pagan holiday, and Christians stole it because at the time they wanted to eradicate Paganism and engulfing the Pagan’s holiday made everyone forget that Dec. 25 is an astronomical turning point; the days get longer, the nights shorter.
In America, however, the connotation of Christmas is one of commercialism and back-ass-wardness. Like Jim Gaffigan puts it:
“Honey, why is there a pine tree in our living room?”
“I LIKE IT! We’re gonna decorate it for Jesus …”
“Kinda sounds like the behavior of a drunk person, really.”
My thought is that Christmas is a masquerade. People go to midnight mass and think they’re part of an organization that spreads good spirit, but in reality ‘Christmas joy’ is a euphemism for teaching little kids to expect presents from a godlike figure for not acting like animals.
The Santa Claus thing makes kids believe in false justice; that if you do good and have integrity, then some magical being will reward you with cheap plastic bullshit that you’ll stop enjoying within a month. Why not teach kids that integrity is its own reward? Why not reward children with something worthwhile? Because it’s not what they WANT?
And Christmas has sunk its claws into my religion as well. Hanukkah isn’t important. It’s not an important holiday at all in the Jewish calendar. Jews in the US opted to give presents during winter to fit in with Christians.
Despite all the bullshit that surrounds these gift-giving holidays, there’s a lot about Christmas and Hanukkah that’s redeeming and meaningful. Spending time with your family, eating DELICIOUS food, putting thought into a present that you can’t wait to give to someone you love and helping the less fortunate are all things that should be done more often.
No doubt I hate all the commercialism, shitty music, false justice, false happiness, false a LOT of things that surround December, but giving your time and love to other people is godlike.
And “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown” is totally awesome and heartwarming.