Wednesday, June 8, 2016

This is it.

Welp guys, this is it.

I kinda wish that font went even bigger than that, but I gotta work with what I have I suppose.

As I just stated, THIS IS IT. This is my last blog post. But not only is it my last blog post, it is also my last homework assignment of my undergraduate studies. WHAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT??
So, of course, I left it to be finished the day of that it is due because procrastination is the definition of college. I only saw it fitting. 

I can't believe it though. It feels like just yesterday I moved into the awful, unairconditioned dorm room of Geiger 2. Now here I am, watching everyone else packing their stuff in cars to be moved out by today, while I do not have to be moved out until Saturday because that is when I GRADUATE. And I will never have to move out from NCC ever again.

Where did life go?!
North Central College treated me well. I met amazing people, got to play a sport I love at a collegiate level (volleyball), survived some of the hardest classes I have ever had to take, made my mark in intramural sports, and learned all about new media and the internet. What else could I have asked for?
Well maybe better food, but at least I got food. 

Going to college at NCC was the best decision I could have made. I am extremely proud to be graduating as a Cardinal and moving on into the world to represent NCC in whatever jobs I choose to work for. I want to thank all my teachers that helped me learn things I never even thought about learning throughout college. There was some information that I really do not think I will ever use in my life, but a lot of information that I know will be very helpful in my future careers. You all pushed me in ways I did not know I could be pushed and pulled me in ways that were at times very uncomfortable, but here I am and I am now better because of it. 

I do not want to turn this into a class president speech or anything, so I will leave it at this: Thank you all for being a part of my North Central College experience. Teacher or peer, you have made some sort of impact on my life with just your mere presence, and I wish the best for you all.

And with that, I leave you with the song "Graduation" by Vitamin C.
My last homework assignment is complete. 
Peace & Blessings yall. 

The Joys and Pains of Music Videos

I love watching music videos. 

I used to be the type of person who would watch MTV (when it actually pertained to music) and watch music videos allllll dayyyy longggg. 
Now, instead, I am that person who sits at her computer and YouTubes music videos. Once I watch one, the train is rolling and it is hard to stop. 

There is something about music videos that makes or breaks the music. I can be listening to a song and think "ehh this is alright.." and then later go on YouTube and see the same song as a "suggestion", click it, watch it, and my world is changed forever. It may even become my new favorite song. I find myself defending the song when my friends have the same first impression as me and tell them they have not seen the music video yet so they have no reason to judge. 
Another thing that music videos can do at times is relay a hidden message or really show the emotion of songs. There's nothing like watching an artist feel their music in every part of their body while making music videos. I love it.
Music videos really do make a difference sometimes.
A music video that I think is a great example of an artist showing their vulnerability, passion, and pain is Demi Lovato's Skyscraper. When I first heard the audio version of this song, I was not a fan. I thought her voice sounded rough and painful. When they released the video, I learned that's exactly how she felt. It was a very powerful moment for her creating this video and she let it all go. Now I absolutely love this song.

On the flip side, music videos can definitely destroy a good song. There's nothing more buzzkilling than looking forward to watching a music video from one of my favorite songs and then having it be the stupidest, strangest, pointless video ever. Sure, I know there are songs with weird videos that have a lot of symbolism in them or what not, but sometimes I think they go over board. An example of a music video that ruined a song for me is Miley Cyrus's Wrecking Ball. It's a great song, I love it. Full of emotion, pain, and vulnerability as well. But the music video is a bit over the top. Maybe I just do not understand it, but I purposely search for the lyrical videos whenever I want to listen to that song.

All in all, I definitely believe that music videos can have a huge impact on songs. I can give many examples of videos that I love, and several examples of videos that make me wonder about humans. I do love and will forever enjoy watching music videos, and I hope that is one thing that will never die. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Brain vs. Technology

This term I have had an internship at an independent and assisted living home and have worked with the health and wellness supervisor. A lot of exercises that we lead the residents in focus on a couple areas: balance, functional movements, and cognition or brain exercises. While I was doing research on different topics and such, I stumbled upon an article that talked about brain deterioration.

It brought to surface interesting concepts dealing with how our brains work and how we need to keep them working. One thing the article mentioned is the fact that our brain is designed to be stimulated, challenged, and to observe, resolve, and interpret the environment around us. It talks about how in order to survive, paying attention to and remembering detail was crucial.

The thing with today's society is, we do not do those things anymore. We use electronics to keep track of appointments, assignments, grocery lists, etc. and to remind us what we need to do and when we need to do it. Something I had never thought about being different in today's world is the fact that we have lit up streets and street signs. This allows us to find locations with ease, where before there was light to show a path, it was important to pay attention to navigation details throughout the journey. Basically, our brains are not being challenged as much anymore and this lack of use begins to deteriorate the brain.

It is easy for people to do things such as drive from home to work everyday and not even be consciously engaged in the action. Life begins to become a "going through the motions" routine. We lose interest in the details and reduce the stimulation our brains need. This sort of lifestyle leads to brain deterioration.

To help improve brain function, it is important that we engage in tasks with seriousness and purpose. Tasks we do must have importance to us and be meaningful, interesting, and hold our attention. Unimportant tasks do not stimulate the brain enough to stimulate growth and keep it active.

So how can someone take small steps to improving the brain stimulation? Start with not using technology for notes or reminders and begin to challenge the mind to remember things on it's own. Also, be more observant. Search for the details in life, do not avoid them. Open the eyes and open the mind, it will do wonders in ways we do not even realize.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The struggle is real.

It's interesting...

Lately I have been struggling super hard to find time to blog. 

Life is insanely busy, I am wrapping up my senior year of college-- I just do not have time.

Yet, when I scroll through my twitter feed, look at my instagram, glance at my facebook timeline, I question myself on whether or not I am actually too busy to blog or if I just decide to do other things instead.

Last night I was thinking about this. Why do I have time to go on social media but tell myself I do not have time to blog? As I was pondering this question, a few things came to mind. 1) I am not use to blogging. I have never blogged before and so it is not exactly instinct for me to go online and start blogging about everything. 2) Blogging requires sitting down and typing for a decent amount of time. When I tweet, I am usually walking somewhere or filling in a short period of time with a quick though that I have. It only lasts about 2 minutes max. Blogging just is not as quick and easily accessible for me. 3) I sit down at a computer and type ALL THE TIME. I am just sorta sick of it, ya know? This demotivates me to sit down and type up a blog because then I begin to think about the fact that I have a paper due shortly, a couple projects, and articles to read, and with these thoughts circling through my mind, it is hard to make moves to type and look at a computer for even more time. It is just exhausting for my eyes and hands and neck and body and mind to participate in blogging. I don't know, maybe I am being too dramatic...

Although these thoughts are all very true, when I do eventually sit down and begin to blog, I find myself enjoying it and see that maybe one day I will actually begin to blog on a daily or weekly basis. Maybe one day it will become a habit and I will find myself blogging instead of tweeting. Who knows. All I know is I cannot wait to be homework free and not have to worry about writing papers. Maybe when this time comes, those minutes spent typing up papers will be switched with moments spent blogging instead. 

...only time will tell. 

But until that point, I will continue to focus and find time to blog. Although my blog posts may not come every day or even every week, I will get them out there and they will get done!

Now my neck is hurting so I end my blog post here,

Until next time. 

Say Something.

Carrie Rentschler wrote an article titled "Online abuse: We need Good Samaritans on the web" talking about the issue of "online violence". Personally, I believe using "violence" in this sense is a misuse of the word. I think better words to describe the internet issues discussed in this article would be harassment and bullying. There are other words as well that can be used, but the word violence is just not working for me.

Now, after getting that out of the way, the article does bring up good points within it. Maybe people are well aware of the harassment and bullying that goes on throughout online activities, but maybe people are not aware of it. The important thing is to realize that it is a problem and that people do deal with it. Just like bullying in school. Except not like bullying in school because cyberbullying and harassment online can be shared with hundreds and millions of people within an instant, and it does not disappear. Ever. Victims of this sort of harassment and cyberbullying have to live and deal with these actions their entire lives. That is a long time.

So what? If we are not the ones getting bullied or harassed, why does it matter to us? It's funny to see embarrassing photos, crazy posts, follow arguments and see who has the better insults online, right? Sure. But there comes a point where enough is enough and some people realize before others when that point has been crossed. When that happens, SPEAK UP. Carrie speaks about the important role that a bystander can play in the lives of victims or even the perpetrator. A bystander is very important, and can even save a victim by standing up and speaking out about the issue at hand. Also, bystanders can be there as support and help support people through emotional hurt that has occurred and is still occurring due to online harassment and bullying.

The concern of cyberbullying and online harassment will never disappear. Some people will always feel some sort of sick contentness through hurting, embarrassing, and ruining people's live because that is how the world is. But that does not mean that we will always have to just sit and watch it happen. No, Carrie challenges us to hold these perpetrators accountable for what they do and to stand up against them. She quotes Jacque Wernimont who said, “There is no technological fix to online violence. The problems are social and so are the solutions.” and expands by saying how building a community that makes people accountable and holds them up to these ideals is necessary and everyone needs to participate. Jacque is right, both the problem and the solutions are social, that means it is solely up to us to make a change if we want to see it.

So next time something is taken overboard, if people are harassing someone online, or unnecessary comments are being made, SAY SOMETHING. Call them out. And call out the other bystanders and ask for support. One person may not make a difference in stopping online bullying, but it is one step closer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

It's Social Media... What do you expect?

I do not understand.

There are several things I do not understand in this world. A massive list that is unending, really. But today I am going to specifically speak about one subject that I do not understand, and it is this:
Lori Andrews argues in her book I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy (wow what a long title..) that there needs to be a Social Network Constitution that protects our rights online and basically eliminate the ability for employers or schools etc. to look at people's information on their social network. 

......a Social Network Constitution? Really

Here, let me suggest a way that will 100% of the time help people not get in trouble because of their social media sites: 

It's a free and easy solution to a possible detrimental problem. If you have any questions on how to go about doing that, please, let me know. I can show you how to click the delete button and give you a lesson on wise decisions

Come on people... it's the internet. Anybody can access anything from anywhere at anytime. Do not be shocked if employers are able to look you up and stalk your life. Everyone can do that. Be aware of the things that are posted online and think how it may affect life in the future. A Social Network Constitution I believe is going way over board. If you post it on the internet, you clearly must be fine with the entire world being able to access your life. That's the point in posting it right? Just be smart.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The World is Out There

Ahhhhhhh it is a beautiful Friday afternoon and I have nothing left on my agenda for the day. It is one of the first 70 degree sunshiny days in who knows how long and I just want to be outside with my friends and go on adventures. Unfortunately, most of my friends have packed Friday afternoons that include practices, work, homework, class, etc. So where does that leave me? Sitting on the internet, scrolling through Pinterest and looking up potential workout ideas and crafts for me to do. As I gaze out the window and think how beautiful and perfect it is outside, I look down at my screen and continue scrolling. Why? Why, when my friends are busy and I have nothing to do, do I consistently find myself on my computer or on my phone to kill time? The internet for me is a huge filler and a bad habit that I have developed. IT IS 70 DEGREES OUTSIDE WITH SUNSHINE EVERYWHERE WHY AM I WASTING THIS DAY INSIDE ON MY COMPUTER. One thing that I want to do is start weening myself off of the internet and stop using it as a filler. And I want to strongly encourage everyone to take a step back and look at the reasons why we are using the internet, how we are using it, and when we are using it and to ask ourselves "Do I really need to be on the internet right now?"
One joke that a couple of my friends and I say to each other when one has been excessively on the cell phone while we hangout out is "The world's out here pal!" and it helps us to realize how we are setting our priorities. All in all, I just want to remind everyone, 
the world is out there
enjoy it.