Monday, November 21, 2011

So You're a Townie, eh?: Journalism Multimedia project

I'm from Columbus, Ohio. Despite being the home of The Ohio State University, we've got a million other things, so of course I would not consider myself a "Townie" to Ohio State. Athens, however, is a little different. It's a college town. The city's economy is centered around the University. To be a townie is to be someone from a college town.

Setting a few british terminologies aside, a townie on was loosely defined as someone from a college town who didn't attend the university, and many might consider this the case in Athens. OU Students sometimes come here and never meet anyone from the area. They see Southeast Ohioans in the newspaper, they interact with some at Wal-Mart, but that's where the interaction stops.

Ohio University provides the children of all faculty and staff with waivers to obtain free tuition at the school. This has provided many families of the area with opportunities to go to school free of this financial burden. Because of this, thousands of Athens natives have been able to attend college who wouldn't otherwise.

I have had quite an opportunity to explore the world of townie-dom. Athens County Young Life has allowed me to actually befriend some of these mythical-to-some beings. Believe it or not, they're kind of normal.

I got a chance to interview some of the towniest townies in the whole townieverse:

I suppose leading YoungLife at Nelsonville-York High School has got me to "get in touch with my inner townie", but more importantly, I've been able to get involved in the community, and my heart for Athens has extended beyond Ohio University. There are many opportunities to get involved in the community, and I would recommend students take advantage of these whenever they get the chance.

Some ways to get involved in the community are located on this map, as well as some of the places Athens natives recommended, places that weren't always so busy with students, but rather hidden gems around the county--food, parks, etc.,: (Click the icons to get thoughts and videos about each location)

View Townie favorites in a larger map

Other ways to get involved,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

21 things i've learned in the last year.

Last year for my birthday I created a blogpost titled "twenty things I've learned in twenty years" and I've found that in only one year, I've learned a ton. This has literally been a crazy year. I've made a lot of mistakes, but I've realized a lot of things about myself, my faith, and about others. Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you TwentyONE things:

1. Grapefruit and Sweet Potatoes sucked when I was little. Now they're two of my favorite things ever. Perhaps this  is some sort of greater analogy for life itself. Perhaps it's not.
2. Complaining is a waste of energy. 
3. It's okay to not know.
4. Take responsibility. Pointing fingers is a waste of time and energy. I realize that if I look at a situation, chances are, somehow something is my fault. And even if it isn't, whatever happened, it already happened. So there's only moving forward and making it better.
5. Punctuality is fricken important. I find lateness to be a huge indicator of a million other things. One in particular is arriving on time to somewhere shows those relying on you that you care about them and whatever work is to be accomplished. I take someone's lateness personally.
6. I need to burn that list of pet peaves It's irrelevant and stupid-long.
7.  There is no reason to sit around and point out things people do wrong. I may have burned that pet peave list, but that's because this is the only thing on it. It's annoying, and I lose respect for you. You have no right to point out other peoples flaws. What good comes from that? What progress can be made? You can sit there and make fun of someones horrible use of a barbell, or you can teach them how to do a beautiful squat. That's a metaphor.
8. "I'm not good with names" is synonymous with "I don't give a shit" I am a strong believer in the importance of remembering names. I am very good with names, but it's not because I was born that way. It takes a TON of work, but it's worth it. I remember names because I take the time to remember names. I think people deserve the common courtesy of you remembering their name.
9. Anger is a waste of energy. Think about it. The fact that we sit there stirring about something someone did, or complaining about them to others.. that does more harm to us. The person we're mad at usually has no idea. Just forgive and let live. It's more for your sake than anything.
10. Don't settle. My boyfriend since Junior year of high school and I mutually ended last December for completely practical and meaningful reasons: we lived 1200 miles away; we were 20 years old. Despite being mutual, it was hard. It then took me a year to realize that guys who don't care about their grades or their health or others or their faith are not guys of interest. Especially because these mediocre men will never understand why someone would spend so much of their time devoted to their schoolwork or their volunteer time. Not settling also applies to far greater than just relationships. Seriously.
11. College is about thinking in new ways. My humor writing professor made a great point the other day about how students often complain "why do I need to take this course?" and "I am never going to use this course in my life" but that it's not about remembering the stuff you know, but rather learning how to make your mind more flexible and think in new ways.
12. Do something everyday that makes you uncomfortable. Do something that scares you.
13. Family gets more important the older I get. Every year, I start to appreciate Christmas and Thanksgiving more for reasons unrelated to presents and mashed potatoes (though still both quite enjoyable) It's a chance to hang out with my awesome family. When I was a teenager, I used to roll my eyes at the things that my family would do, and if I was given the choice between going out with my friends or staying in with my parents, friends would trump every time. Now, it's completely reversed. Most of the time that I go home, I neglect telling anyone because frankly I'd rather just hang out with my family and dogs.
14. Monotony sucks. Unless it's cheesecake, then by all means monotony rocks.
15. Old friends = nostalgia. There were things that happened that seemed to matter so much in high school and middle school. They seemed so betraying, so awful, and they ended some really good friendships. Now that we're over that absurdity, I've been able to reconnect with some of these friends, and it's such a blessing.
16. My parents are still incredible. My parents are so cool. Honest to blog.
17. The only place you can find what you're looking for is in yourself. 
18. Worse things have happened. Sometimes I stress about some of the most trivial things. Then I put it into perspective and it's like good god I'm a sissy.
19. Go outside. I love fresh air and hiking and camping and being outside. I would pick a backpacking trip through Tennessee over a resort on an island every single time. and It's soo good for you.
20. It always gets better. Even when everything feels like shit, I've found that I come out loving life more when I get through.
21. I am by no means wise; I am by every mean still learning. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

look what i did.

messing around with tagclouds. not sure where to put it yet..working on some links.. but iiiiiit's preeeeeetty.

Get Adobe Flash player

Sunday, November 13, 2011

i love stop motion!

Stop motion video is one of my favorite things (besides for dogs).. here's a couple that I REALLY love.

My friend Zoe Davis created this as one of her final projects before graduating in 2010. It's the story of her life. The song is Mumford & Sons, Roll Away Your Stone.

Change from Zoe Davis on Vimeo.

This is a great song I found on reddit.. they used stop motion for their music video..

Hudson - Against The Grain from Dropbear on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Bobcat Recap

For my final project in Humor Writing I created a fake newsletter called The Bobcat Recap. It included fake articles based on stories I found in the ThePost, University Compass, events I witness this quarter, and I enjoyed just mocking college life in general. I've included the images, but to see the bigger layout, click here and zoom. They're kind of hard to read in this format.

people observation #23: my dog ate my jump drive

It's always easy to tell the difference between a good and a bad excuse.

Keep in mind, by good excuse I mean one of those rare, but real ones. "Sorry I didn't make it to work, but my car broke down and I had no means to get there" is a good excuse; life has given you lemons and you're trying your best to make lemonade.

By bad excuse, I mean the excuses that people come up with so they can take the blame off of themselves. (The psychological world calls this a defense mechanism.. and wikipedia calls it a psychological projection).

There's the projecting of blame to inanimate objects: "My alarm didn't go off"

Then there's something that's a blatant lie:"Sorry I don't have the assignment..insert something about your dog eating your homework here"..along those lines, there's also the dead relative bit. This one is frustrating because nobody with half of a heart is going to want to question the legitimacy of such an event. That being said, one's grandmother can only die so many times.

Chances are it's probably your fault. Most of the time you're late because you didn't allocate yourself enough time to get there. Your work is half-assed or incomplete because you're lazy, and the office plant's critical condition isn't because the room temperature is set to Antarctica, it's because you forgot to water it.

One day, I woke up way too late for work. Somewhere in the jumble of brushing my teeth, packing things into my purse, and sniffing the armpits of my Lifetime Fitness uniform then deciding the stench will do, I left the lock off of my pepper spray, and got it all over my hands. During my fifteen minute commute, I  went to unknowingly wipe my (still sleepy) eyes and the burn began. I pulled into a neighborhood nearby and proceeded to pour what was left in my Nalgene all over my face.

Looking at the scenario, one would probably take this as a horrible chain of events. I, however, found myself slightly optimistic at the time. I now had an excuse for my lateness to work. I called my boss in my state of panic screaming "Suzanne!I'llbeacoupleminuteslateI'vejustpeppersprayedmyself!" I felt bad. I told my boss that I had gotten mace in my eye, when really, I'd have been late either way.

I'm not saying that there aren't greater forces sometimes at work. Sometimes stuff happens that we can't control. Mace in the eyes happens. Shit happens, and I smell what you're stepping in. I'd suggest just watch for the times when our excuses are cheap.

I would invite you to take a look at the excuses you've been making lately and really dive in to which ones are legitimately beyond your control and which ones are phony.

In the words of Chamillionaire: "Stop making excuses... If women take his money, he gonna tell ya he slipped off his sleeve, whatever your weakness, stop making excuses please. You should not be in couch or in house, you should be in route." Poetic.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

you are what you eat, and you aren't what you don't

Being healthy physically involves that balance between sleeping enough, exercising enough, and eating enough of what you should be eating.

I never realized how little people cared about their physical health until I came to college.

People come up with excuses like they don't have enough time, or taking care of themselves is too expensive, when the irony is that getting sick and not being healthy takes a toll on your time and your wallet far greater than keeping up with yourself.

Why is taking care of ourselves not a priority?
     Example, dumb example, but example nonetheless: I also did not realize until I came to college that some people didn't wear seat belts. Like, here is this free piece of fabric that could save your life in the incident of a car accident, but if that car accident doesn't happen it doesn't bother you.
     And yet, people still don't click it. (unless I'm driving..then you better be buckled up before the car even starts) Two options: Wear the seatbelt or don't wear the seatbelt.
      Pros of not wearing your seatbelt: none/ Cons: YOU COULD DIE.
      Pros of wearing your seatbelt: You could live, you feel safer, if you don't get in a wreck, it's hardly        noticeable that it's even there/ Cons: There are no cons.
     See what I'm saying? I don't CARE that the law doesn't require people in the back seat not to wear a seatbelt. The law doesn't require me to wash my hands when I'm done dropping a duece but you hope to God that I do. For the sake of your health right?

Taking care of yourself should be a priority. If you were told that your food was poisoned every time that you were about to take a bite out of it, you'd stop yourself right? But that's the thing, by putting a bunch of crap into your body, you are poisoning yourself. With every bite. Our bodies have to work that much harder to fight the disease we're already fighting, as well as the crap it's trying to digest.

I made scrambled eggs for lunch today with peppers and spinach and salsa. A friend of mine walks in and tells me that my meal "grossed him out." (This is the same person who refers to my organic cuisine as "dirty hippy food.") The thing is that he literally eats nothing but absolutely unhealthy things. Who knows the last time he had a VEGETABLE! That's what grosses me out! I am absolutely disgusted every time he brings some 5.99 combo meal into my living room and procedes to wash it down with a Diet Coke (oh, how healthy of you). The fact that his body is FIGHTING to get rid of the toxins he's putting into it every time he's thirsty or hungry, that's what grosses me out.

And sure, I can take a hit every now and then. He doesn't understand the importance of being healthy. I get it. But why not? Why is that not a priority in everyone's life?

And what grosses me out more is that America is SICK with this disease. Instead of thinking of McDonald's as a treat, as something we can enjoy every now and then, it is a daily option for every meal. (FoodMatters: watch)

I have yet to come up with a conclusion to this problem. How do I get people to care about themselves? How do I get people to realize that there is a direct correlation between the fact that they are dehydrated, malnourished, sleep-deprived, and out of shape and the fact that they feel like shit. Treat yourself like crap, and that's exactly how you're going to feel.