Hullabaloo

I follow 8 people. Nevermind the fact that I suck at tumblr, I mentioned that only to say that 3 of those people are the only ones who clog my tumble feed. Perhaps I should start finding other people who I don’t know to follow? How does one even go about that?

I clearly have a lot to learn about the tumbling business if I plan to keep this up for a Health 101 assignment. >.<

Haha, yeah. A Health 101 assignment. The goal was to give folks an incentive to keep doing something so long that it becomes a habit (understand why this was my goal now?)  We had to sit down and make a SMART (don’t ask me what the letters stand for, I don’t pay that good of attention) goal, and it had to be as precise as we could make it so we could reach the goal by the time the deadline hits. My deadline is 60 days, and  my goal was to blog at least two or three times a week with around 800 words in each post. That can totally happen, can’t it? 

Even if I’m just talking nonsense? That happens in blogs, right? I’m pretty good at nonsense. I feel like my life is nothing but.

I guess I should incorporate reblogs, photo posts and the like with my goal. I guess I wasn’t thinking very thoroughly when I was trying to make my SMART goal. I just didn’t want to write the typical “I want to engage in strenuous physical activity so many days a week for so long,” because I knew I wouldn’t even think twice about doing that. I wanted something that I would actually do. Something that would be easy for me to convince myself to do.

I really just didn’t feel like having to BS a homework assignment if I didn’t have to.

SO, Polar Bear happened this weekend. ‘Twas my first visit to Pinch for the celebration, and I guess it’s safe to say that I CAN’T WAIT TO GO BACK. Corona in a can, vodka shots from a polar bear, having company in town, being with you best friends and running into basically everyone you meet.. It was all wonderful. I’ve never been day drunk before, and now that I have been I can’t really figure out why. It’s so much better than being drunk at night. I prefer the night hangover to the day one, especially because I can just go RIGHT BACK TO SLEEP and wake up the next day feeling great. 

It’s really the best of both worlds. I’ve been missing out.

In other news, school sucks. I guess that’s not news, but I really thought I would like my classes at least a little bit more than I do by now. It makes it pretty hard to want to do well in school when you can hardly want to go to class. I don’t think I will ever graduate. I’m terrible at this stuff. I don’t know why I keep putting myself through it. 

Can I just get certified in ASL and call that my career already? Can I just be done with school? I’d make more money doing that than being a journalist anyway.

…Probably.

Well, I think I have vented enough for the moment. Perhaps I’ll spend my next visit following randos and rebloging cool shit like Beth and Amy do. 

Until next time, lovers <3

Catchup

Haven’t tumbled in a looong time. Haven’t been keeping up with posting my articles on here either. Haven’t thought about coming on here to vent anything in a while either. My apologies for that, but at least the one thing you can always call me is consistent. 

So, what’s been going on? Oh, you know, a whole lot of nothing. Reading, writing, hating, appreciating and aggravating. All the emotions are jumbled on the inside, and I’m at the point where I can’t distinguish between one or the other. It sucks, but I guess I’ll come out fine. 

Friends are coming in this weekend, and that’s got me real excited for next Monday when they’re gone. I liked the idea of a crowded weekend with friends and 1.25 Coronas at first, but the more I think about it the more I just wanna be by myself without any bother or drunken foolery. 

I’ve had enough of that for a while, which reminds me. I wonder if I’ll ever see Nick again. I wonder if he would even recognize me if we ran into each other some other time. Doubt it, and that’s probably for the absolute best. 

I’m at a point in my life where I hate everything about what I’m doing with it. My job, my major, my achievements, my goals, my abilities, all of it. I can’t stand it. I want something new. Something different. I had lunch with a family friend and his friend today, and talking with that guy didn’t help my feelings at all. He’s so intelligent and straight forward that I couldn’t help but feel like he blurted out what I was afraid of this whole time.

Maybe this is just leftover high school flow, and maybe I don’t really know what I want.

I think this sums my life up perfectly.

I think this sums my life up perfectly.

Let it be so.

The following is an editorial I was given the option to write for my Critical and Persuasive Writing class about the possibility of a strike throughout campus.


I remember when the number on their boards was 379.

But that was 70 days ago, and the Faculty Association, Non-Tenure Track Faculty Association, Graduate Assistants United and the Association of Civil Service Employees have now gone 449 days without a negotiable contract to work for this university. That’s 449 days of several bargaining sessions, numerous contract proposals and just as many stubborn rejections from both sides. How did it come to this? Why couldn’t the unions and administration come to a viable agreement on a contract that would pacify everyone’s frustrations and concerns? What will it take for that to happen?

A strike, you say? Then let it be so.

Three of the four aforementioned unions will vote within the next four weeks on whether they want to strike. This comes only after their April 28 filing of the intent to do so and before their individual governing bodies declare it. And once the strike is called into action, the date is set. That means this university is a mere three steps away from seeing picket lines set up outside its academic and recreational buildings for the sake of reaching a decent contract agreement.

That means students will see substitute teachers in, probably, a quarter or more of their classes. They won’t get the education and experience they expectantly paid for — the very same education and experience these unions desire a contract to provide. Though that may be the elephant issue in the room, that is not the only thing that will suffer from a strike. Those who live on campus will have to start wondering where else they will get their food, as it is Civil Service employees who cook it in the dining halls. So not only will every student have to decide whether or not they have the (guts) to cross picket lines for thousands of dollars’ sake, but others will face the extra burden of deciding whether its worth it to cross them for a mediocre and barely tolerable meal.

But if it’s a strike that is necessary to get some genuine teaching and respectable meals around here, then let it be so.

Faculty Association member Dave Johnson said in a Daily Egyptian article, “the administration escalated things by imposing its own terms and breaking negotiation,” but I beg to offer my two cents. Things got escalated when, despite there not being a working contract between the unions and the administration, representatives went unavailable for weeks during the summer and both sides decided to use it as a reason to hold it against one another and drag things out another semester. Chancellor Rita Cheng recently said she was disappointed in the unions’ unavailability to meet and continue bargaining. However, the SIUC Unions United and Deo velente blogs, two blogs which keep people updated on the goings on and bargaining between the unions and administration, list several dates they have met to try to work things out and stop all the professional bickering. They have met over the summer, and they have met four times this semester so far.

But if it’s a strike that is necessary to get someone to accept some offer made somewhere, then let it be so.

I think I can speak for everyone­ — students, faculty and staff alike — when I say we just want this to be over. There are probably just as many people who would decline to strike as those who would be the first to make signs, but the bottom line is that this has gone on too long — 449 days too long, to be precise. With this many failed attempts at a suitable bargain between the unions and the administration, more profound action should be taken.

If a strike is necessary to finally get something done and let our teachers finally erase that number in the top right corner of their chalk boards, then let it be so.

And if my particular instructors end up standing out on those picket lines, then I absolutely would support their decision to do so and stay away from them. It’s a matter of respect, and I can’t demand my teacher to be in a classroom and give me what I want if it means they still don’t have what they want. At the same time, if my instructor decided against the active route and stayed to teach, then I would support that decision as well and attend to learn from their teaching.

Maybe a union strike would last days. Maybe it would last weeks. Maybe it would last so long that students would have to make some, or all, of the days up during the summer months and in turn settle for a delayed graduation. But if a strike is necessary to bring peace and cooperation back to this university, then let it be so. 

Isn’t it weird, isn’t it strange?
Even though we’re just two strangers on this runaway train..
We’re both trying to find a place in the sun.
We’ve lived in the shadows, but doesn’t everyone?
Isn’t it strange how we all feel a little bit weird sometimes.
"Weird" -Hanson
misrepresented, wishing to be understood.

The following is an editorial I wrote for the ‘letter to the editor’ assignment for my Critical and Persuasive Writing class:

Dear editor-

This letter is in response to the article “No-shows stir up USG; new Senate selected” in the Aug. 31 issue of the Daily Egyptian. I wasn’t too surprised to read that USG implemented a strict attendance policy, but there was one thing I was definitely taken aback by. The USG Senate has 42 available seats, and a whole 31 remain open?! What’s the point of having a student government, then, if no one cares enough to speak up and represent us?

More importantly, how dare anyone complain about mal-distributed funds to their registered student organizations? If they care so much to voice their opinion, then they should be the ones filling in those empty seats so they can express their concerns somewhere that it will actually matter and get things done. Maybe the funds could actually get distributed in a way they would think to be appropriate. until those students step out and step up, though, I hope I don’t hear another complaint about USG.

"If three-fourths or more of the Senate is not in attendance, the Senate is not allowed to vote," the article read. Nine senators of a possible 42 equates to only 21.4 percent of our senate representing an entire student body. That means 78.6 percent of our "student senate" is not only absent but simple unaccounted for. I understand that the aforementioned quote refers to ‘attendance of elected senators per meeting.’ But if you think about this on a broader level while applying the same guideline, 78.6 is definitely more than three-fourths of a whole. So a mere nine people, a measly 21.4 percent, should by no means be voting on anything that would impact an entire student body. How could anyone rest at night and htink the students of SIUC were properly represented by the votes of only nine people? 

Keyarra Blissett said, “it seems like some senators vote in their own interest and (the interest of their) groups. More students would pay attention if their senator actually got to know the students in their college.” I agree totally, but the only way for anyone to fix that issue is to actually be that person who cares enough to join the senate and vote in the interests of everyone they’d be speaking for. It’s important for college senators to know their fellow students so they know what issues to bring up and help fix at the new attendance-mandatory meetings. Otherwise we might as well kep these nine people speaking deafly and voting blindly for a student body that obviously has no problem complaining without taking the necessary steps to make and see a change, because then there’d be no difference.

Editorials in one hour or less

The following is an editorial I wrote for my ‘critical and persuasive writing’ class. It was due this morning at 11 and I typed it up at 9:45.

            It all started when my instructor told me I could write about anything. Anything? There are few unspoken rules in life, but one of them is to never tell a writer to write something about anything. That opens just too many doors, and the many possibilities you could take on can be overwhelming. What was I going to write about? How was I going to go about writing it? And more importantly, when was I going to start writing it?

            Call me the kid who waits until the last minute to do something, but if that’s when the right idea comes to me and not a moment sooner, then that’s when I’ll act on it. Sometimes I can hit assignments dead on the nail, and other times I have to mull them over and sit on them for a couple days before I buckle down and tackle the beast that is the assignment where I can write about anything.

            So that’s exactly what I did, and it wasn’t until a late night trip to Walmart that I began developing ideas for a column. It was a friend and I, and we had minor grocery shopping to do with the typical shampoo and conditioner at the end of our list. We finished the shopping portion of our trip and there was nothing left but to observe the people of Walmart and make passive judgments about those who stuck out like sore thumbs. Don’t judge me for typing that; everyone is guilty of it. In fact, I have friends who would love to do nothing more than that on a Sunday night.

            We were on our way to the cash registers when a little girl pink fuzzy crown and feathery boa cut off my friend and me for the sake of getting back to her mom. She was in those fake high-heeled shoes that every little girl wears to feel fancy and cute. My pair was sparkly and striped pink and white.

            The toy isle was the only thing separating us from the main isle to the registers. Once my friend and I started back on our way, we caught eye of the exact shoe, crown and boa set the little girl flew past us with just a little into the isle. When we got a closer look, the box read (in big pink letters), “makes you feel like a REAL princess!” And that’s when it hit me. The world is taken over by advertising.

            So that was the next time-passing subject of conversation until we got to the registers. Does advertising actually work? Does it truly fool people into buying a product? Does it really make people feel like REAL princesses?

            Then all I hear is “The best lollipop in the world?! Oh! Wanna get one?”

            And then we saw the suckers. They were two for a dollar in this huge orange container in the middle of the isle before you reach the check out area. I couldn’t even tell you how many flavors there were, but I know ‘peaches and cream,’ ‘root beer float,’ ‘cherry cheesecake,’ ‘orange dreamsicle’ and ‘strawberry bannana’ we definitely on the list. Each ‘tray’ of lollipops was separated by the words that made my friend stop in the first place — “the best lollipop in the world.”

            “This is us falling for advertising right now, Binx,” I said to him with disgust in not only myself but also the 300 million Americans who have probably fallen in this same trap. He told me he knew, and that was why he brought it up. That helped my resistance to purchase them, but not by much because I still walked out of the store with three of the world’s best lollipops in one of my bags.

            When I got home, I was overcome by the idea of advertising and what kind of impact it had on consumers. So I pulled out my smartphone (by the way, did you know that an article dating back to March of this year predicted that one in every two people will own a smartphone by Christmas? That blew my mind, especially because I just got mine three days ago.) and did some research.

            Apparently there’s some advertising guru out in the world who said some famous quote that advertisers live by when they think about what, how, and when to advertise. The saying goes, “I know for a fact that half of my advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half,” and it was said by a man named John Wanamaker. That means out of all the advertising in the world, we only need half of it. Can you imagine what the world would be like with only half of the advertising we see every single day? Would you feel a little more free?

            I also concluded in the time I spent researching advertising that Mr. Wanamaker’s quote is also the foundation for a set of guidelines that advertisers go by. The most important one in the list is that an advertising method heard three times in a single medium (like seeing the same commercial three times on one tv channel) is way less effective than seeing it one time in three different mediums (like seeing the commercial, hearing the radio ad and seeing it again in print form).

            That made a lot of sense to me. Think of how many people in America use the acne wash Proactive because they’re bombarded by success stories on the radio and television, not to mention the clear faces that show up in every printed advertisement in magazines. The No. 1 trusted brand of condom in the U.S is who? Trojan. Why? Because think of how many times you laughed at a radio commercial for the “newest and best yet condom that will leave you wanting more every time”, or how many times you subconsciously sing along to the “Trojan man” jingle at the end of every television commercial.

            What if we got rid of all the advertising in the world? What if we purchased goods based on our own opinions and not because someone said it was the best anything? What would fill our newspapers and magazines if not advertisements? Would people be able to get a word in edgewise? What if everyone just stopped listening to everyone else?

            I ate a lollipop as soon as I got into the car to leave Walmart. It wasn’t the best lollipop in the world, but it was still pretty damn good. 

Typical love story gets told in atypical way

The following is a review I wrote for the movie “One Day.”

Hollywood has finally found a way to release a romance movie that doesn’t follow the same cookie-cutter boy-meets-girl-and-falls-in-love-forever storyline.

“One Day,” based on the 2009 British novel by David Nicholls, introduces main characters Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess of “Across the Universe”) at their July 15, 1988 college graduation night in Edinburgh, Scotland. The two share an awkward introduction and an even more disastrous attempt at a one-night stand, and they make the agreement to remain good friends by the time it’s all over the next morning.

July 15 comes around once a year, though, and the film allows its viewers to catch up with the two on that exact date for the next 20 years whether they’re together or apart from each other.

Dexter and Emma lead two remarkably different lives. She wants to take London by storm and transform the world with her writing. He wants to be the most famous reality show personality on TV. She struggles to find her place balancing working-class professional and romantic life. He is a rich hottie for whom everything has come easily — including women. Sometimes she can’t stand him, and other times he hardly sees a reason to keep up with her.

But just like any movie where romance is involved, viewers get to watch as the on-again, off-again love affair blossoms between ‘friends’ as they try to keep things as platonic as possible. Slowly the two come to accept the inevitability of being much more than that.

Director Lone Scherfig has a definite knack for capturing the frustrating emotion that comes with two lovers in denial of their true feelings.

It’s not hard for the female viewer to identify with Hathaway as she shoves her affection for Sturgess aside for the sake of simply being close to him. And it’s no mystery to the male viewer as to why Sturgess is stumbling around his mediocre show-biz life trying to find that one woman who can put Hathaway as far back in his mind as possible.

The chemistry between Sturgess and Hathaway seems natural. Sturgess brings out the little quirks of Hathaway that help viewers realize just how genuine their feelings for each other are. It’s Sturgess’ way with words, matched up her undying love for him, that sways Hathaway to tumble along the beach in near-miss cartwheels and flail her arms and legs in the air right before splashing in the water that they skinny dip in.

The two actors pair flawlessly, but a couple elements of the film are not so sure-fire.

While Hathaway’s British accent is mostly convincing, it sounds forced in some parts and seems a bit abnormal for an actress who viewers are used to seeing play American roles. And the jumps through time, though fitting for the story line, sometimes feel like huge leaps that leave the viewer wishing he or she could have seen what happened that led to what is selectively showcased on the screen.

Overall, “One Day” is a realistic film that presents a seemingly natural journey through two star-crossed lovers’ lives. Only the most hard-hearted cynic could walk away from the movie without finding at least one thing to appreciate.