By Jesse Turner
As the end of the term nears, stress levels rise. Time spent studying, writing, and reading goes up while time for ourselves and our health tends to diminish. This is why I was so happy when one of my professors took time out of her lecture to remind us that self-care is just as important as schoolwork. She asked us to share different ways that we destress and I thought I would share my classmates’ ideas with you. In response to, “What do you guys do when you’re stressed?”
-Eat junk food. (These first two, however well they work, should be done in moderation)
-Cry while doing something fun/weird. You get to vent your frustration without getting sucked into a hole of despair. Her example was, “I cry while eating pudding.”
-Watch “trash TV” (ex. Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Dance Moms, Toddlers & Tiaras)
-Try to laugh without smiling/keeping a straight face. It looks and feels ridiculous and you’ll end up making yourself laugh.
-Read or watch something from your childhood. Recently I’ve been rereading “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and watching “Hey Arnold!”
-Connect with your friends and community. One classmate said she does Israeli dance twice a week, not just for the exercise but to also feel like a part of the community.
This is just a short list of things my classmates and I do to take our minds off of our stress. Please share any tips you have to lower your stress levels as finals week approaches!
This past week I’ve attended a number of free campus workshops, all of which promoted face-to-face networking as a prime source to land jobs and internships. As students, it is important to understand how to use digital media to accomplish these goals, it is equally important not to lose our basic face-to-face communication skills.
Practice your face-to-face communication:
- Treat your cellphone like an addiction- When spending time with peer(s), treat your cellphone like a cigarette; it’s a shameful addiction that we all have, and it is not socially accepted everywhere.
- Check your phone at the door- When hosting a dinner party, ask your guests to check their cellphones at the door, by placing them into a basket upon entry.
- No tech devices allowed- Host a “Y2K” event where no technology devices are permitted. Ask everyone to leave their cellphones and other mobile devices at home or in their car, prior to attending.
- First phone gets the check- When out to dinner, make a rule that whoever pulls out their phone first pays the check for everyone at the table.
As upcoming graduates in a competitive job market, we cannot afford to lack the knowledge on how to communicate without the use of technological devices. Attend a campus workshop, and practice your face-to-face communication skills!
Upcoming free campus workshops: PSU Campus Events
By Kellie Doherty
This week is Thanksgiving. A time for laughter and cheer, for friends and family, for great food and even better company. A lovely little holiday leading up to The Big One.
But honestly? It’s some pretty terrible timing. Next week is Dead Week here on campus and finals are literally just around the corner. (T-minus 14 days, in fact.) And I know I’m not the only one freaking out about the projects due. It’s stressful. Just thinking about it makes my shoulders tighten, and my stomach curl into a knot.
So, is this the best time to stop working on (or thinking about) those hugely important final projects? Probably not. My suggestion, though? Make the most of the holiday as you possibly can anyway.
Try to parcel the homework assignments out so you can spend time with the family (or friends or whomever you’re spending the holiday with). Take Thanksgiving dinnertime off, or better yet, take all of Thanksgiving Day off. If you’re traveling—like me!—try to do some assignments on the journey. (I know I’ll be writing a paper on my plane ride to the East Coast.)
Make some time for your loved ones. Heck, make some time for yourself.
You deserve the time off before the final push to finals week. Treat yourself, and your friends and family, to some quality time together this Thanksgiving. Trust me, your spirit will thank you later.
By James Wilson
An awesome thing about the Rec Center is that it’s more than just that place to work out. The Rec Center staff organizes a lot of events, including things that give back to the community. One of those is the Campus Rec for a Cause initiative.
One thing they recently did, and do every month, was a community cleanup walk. On Nov. 5 they specifically focused on cleaning up our campus of all the cigarette butts everywhere. This was in partnership with SHAC to spread awareness of our new Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy. Feel free to join us once a month to give back and enjoy a cleaner campus!
By Olivia Clarke
The first I heard about the Paris attacks was Friday evening, on Facebook. At that time, the death count was much lower than it is now, and I didn’t absorb the gravity of the situation. The next morning, however, I woke up to a number of messages from friends and family members – they knew I was in France, and they wanted to make sure I was okay. I started to realize at that point that this was a big deal, and I assured everyone that I was safe, seven hours from Paris.
On Monday, my classmates and I joined the rest of the university in observing the national moment of silence at noon. The professor led an emotional class discussion about the tragedy and showed us photos of buildings around the world that were lit up in blue, white, and red as a gesture of solidarity. We watched video clips of New Yorkers and Londoners singing the “Marseillaise” in the street.
I was moved by the sentiment expressed in these photos and videos, but I was also troubled. I thought to myself, “Where’s the Syrian flag, or the Lebanese flag? Who’s singing the Iraqi national anthem?” People in other parts of the world experience these horrific events every day – terror, bombings, executions, war. It’s a constant reality, not an isolated incident. Yet we don’t show this kind of solidarity with them – likely because they aren’t white or rich like France. To us Westerners, tragedies like the one in Paris seem unbelievable; but in fact, they just give us a tiny glimpse into the horrors that so much of the world experiences so frequently. Maybe it’s time to start seeing past our own privilege, and to start being horrified by the atrocities committed against human beings who live outside of our comfortable Western sphere.
By Steph Holton
Did you get to see the amazing Vikings homecoming victory over the Grizzlies this year? No? Neither did I – not in person at least.
On the day of Homecoming, my friends and I were soaked from the downpour by the time we reached the stadium. But our school spirit endured. This is Portland after all; what’s a little rain going to hurt? The student section, we then discovered, is the only section in the entire stadium not protected from the rain. Most of the students there greeted this as a minor inconvenience in the beginning. However, the number of student fans dwindled with each timeout despite the fact that an entire section of the covered stadium was left empty. At about halftime, the wind came up and made persevering even more difficult. By the end of the game (which my friends and I saw only thanks to livestreaming) the student section was a sad shell of stadium seats, while the rest of the fans – perhaps a little chilly, but dry at any rate – sat and watched the Vikings rake in another great victory.
Now, I’m thrilled that we won – especially because it was homecoming, and especially because it was against the Montana Grizzlies. But my question is this: aren’t the students an invaluable part of the football team’s fan base? It’s been a fight to get students out to the games in recent years and now, when they’re finally excited to go, they’re allowed to be rained out. Could more effort be put in to better encourage a full student section at PSU sporting events?
By Jesse Turner
For what seemed like the hundredth time in the last year, I got into an argument with someone over the use of the R word. And for the hundredth time I got the excuse, “Well, I would never call a retarded person retarded.” This person was also using gay as an insult, again remarking, “I would never call a gay person a faggot.” I then told the person that I am not straight, and things got very awkward very quickly. I asked them, “Would you ever use bisexual as an insult?”
“Of course not,” he replied. Of course not. You would never use those words in the presence of the people they are meant to describe. Because that way, you don’t have to face the consequences of your hurtful words. I work with a young woman with a developmental disability who is brought to tears almost every day from bullying. She has heard the R word too many times.
But I’m sick of it. I’m sick of having to tell my life story to try to persuade people to stop using hurtful language. It should not matter the company you’re in and the ties they have to vulnerable and underrepresented populations. You should not use those words as insults because people are people and you’re not awful. Your desire to use certain words should not trump people’s feelings. Your vocabulary should be abundant enough that you do not need to reduce an entire population of people down to an insult. And if you need help, here are some alternatives:
Instead of retard/retarded, use:
Get even more terms from Terri Mauro’s “225 Substitutes for the R-Word”
Instead of gay, use:
As an up-and-coming professional, I’m constantly worried about my past getting in the way of my dream job. As students these fears are commonly expressed, but then quickly ignored; which is ironic because our past can be our strongest qualification. Our past, both good and bad, can lead to determining factors which help land us our dream job.
Last Friday, I was inspired by a Fearless Friday workshop, hosted by Business Associate Dean Erica Wagner: “How to turn your past into an asset.” The title for this workshop didn’t do it justice. I had no idea our own associate dean held such a genuine passion for our educational aspirations. She acknowledged students’ fears about the past with a sympathetic ear, and offered insightful, yet practical feedback.
After attending this session, I learned that our past shouldn’t be feared, but rather embraced. Wagner posed the question, “What’s your secret sauce?” What are traits that draw people to you? How has your past helped shape these traits? By answering these questions, students can overcome the fears that are keeping them from their dream jobs.
Takeaway Tips for Confronting your Past:
- Don’t turn your weakness into a positive; be frank about them
- Describe any personal growth you’ve experienced
- Remember, everyone has a weakness – this makes you more relatable
I high recommend anyone who hasn’t attended a Fearless Friday to be fearless and attend an upcoming workshop. It was not only inspiring, but motivating and gave me insight to a different side of PSU.
See you at the next Fearless Friday: http://www.pdx.edu/events/calendar
By Kellie Doherty
We all know that tabling is an awkward college life experience. People standing behind a highly decorated table, silently willing students over by expression alone. Passersby quickening their pace or looking the opposite direction just so they don’t have to deal with it. Let’s face it, it’s awkward for everyone involved. And, having recently finished a tabling session myself, I’d like to change that.
Here are some tips to deal with tabling.
For The Ones Doing the Tabling
- Have candy (seriously, everyone loves candy)
- Make interesting signs
- Have easy-to-pick-up trinkets (buttons, stickers, bookmarks, pens)
- Have a conversation instead of just a script
- Be Warned: People will use your table as an actual table, be cool with it.
For The Ones Passing By
- Smile if you make eye contact with a tabling person (it’s just nice)
- If the subject matter looks interesting, stop by and chat
- Take a bookmark, pen, or whatever trinket they have (it’ll make their day)
- Take only one piece of candy, two at most
- Be Warned: If you stop by a table you’re not actually interested in, it’ll probably be boring. (There I said it!) If it’s not interesting to you or to someone you know who you could pass the information along to, move along.
Following these simple tabling tricks will make it less awkward for everybody. And, seriously, everyone loves candy. Remember that, and it’ll be a success for us all.
by Shezad Khan
I started driving to school about a year ago because of how much faster it was than taking the bus. Well, that and the fact that it meant I could sleep in. I never realized how hard it would be to find parking near campus. It’s near impossible after 10 AM.
This makes me question why PSU has recently been reserving parking spots, and why they’ve mostly been reserving spots for the athletics department. Those of us who drive to school are paying tuition and paying to park, so it can seem a bit unfair when we need spots to park in so that we can attend class. This also brings up the question of whether or not the university deems athletics as more important than other departments, or even more important than students who aren’t athletes.
Sometimes we drive in circles around campus for a half an hour to find parking, sometimes we get lucky and find a spot right away, and sometimes we get to a lot just to see that there are “reserved” signs on spots that we could have used. It makes me curious as to whether or not the administration at PSU knows that parking is such a big problem.
Are there any solutions to this problem? Is there anything we, as students, can do to alleviate the pressures of Portland’s growing population when it comes to parking?
By Olivia Clarke
It’s Fall Break for universities in France, and we American students have dispersed to every corner of Europe. I’m spending the week in Frankfurt, and friends of mine are traveling in England, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, and Spain. We’re all trying to soak up as much of Europe as possible during the vacation. Our weekends have been filling up, too – we’re taking trips to places like Bordeaux, Toulouse, and northern Spain whenever we get the chance. We’re in Europe, after all, and we don’t know when we’ll make it back here; therefore, it’s important to take advantage of our time on the continent by traveling as much as possible.
I’ve been enjoying these European adventures, but all of this suitcase-packing and hostel-booking has also brought a question to mind: why do we only have this attitude when we’re abroad? At home in Portland, I tend to trudge through each week with my eyes to the ground, focusing on schoolwork and spending my free time on the internet. I rarely leave the city to go on hikes or explore other parts of Oregon, let alone travel out of state. In Europe, on the other hand, I’m becoming a regular jet-setter. But it’s not as if my home country is a boring one; being away from the U.S. is making me appreciate how vast and interesting the country really is. Even in the Northwest, where travel would be easy and relatively inexpensive, there are plenty of places I haven’t explored. I could easily take a day trip to the mountains or the coast with a few friends, and after I return from Europe, I think I’ll make more time for these small adventures. My time abroad is teaching me that travel is very possible and very rewarding; by embracing Europe, I’m also learning the value of what my own region has to offer.
By: Xylia Lydgate
Halloween is right around the corner, and I am ecstatic.
Since I can remember, I have always celebrated the night in some fashion. As a kid, my mother would dress me up every year. She was one to believe that all Halloween costumes should be scary and would find a way to transform me into some sort of blood-thirsty vampire or haggard-looking witch; princess costumes didn’t make the cut. We would go door-to-door collecting a bag full of assorted candies and sometimes visit the neighbor’s “spooky” backyard haunt.
Fast forward 10 years later and Halloween is just as exciting! There are plenty of things to do for Halloween both on- and off-campus. Campus Rec gets into the frightful spirit with its popular Halloween themed event, Zombie Dodgeball. In an unearthly twist to the classic game of dodgeball, participants dress up in their wildest zombie interpretation and play several “ghoulish” matches until there is a single team champion. My co-workers and I will be forming a team ourselves and have already decided on a mix of Zombie bride, pirate, soccer player, ’80s inspired, neon themed Zombie costumes. Like most Rec Center events, this tournament is free for both PSU students and members—first come, first served.
Several days ago, PSU Housing hosted their annual Fright Night Haunted House. As a Haunted House junkie myself, I must say, this one is a lot scarier than you would expect from a University run event. However, if you’re looking for a more intense scare, Sauvie Island’s Haunted Corn Maze and Portland’s FarmHouse GhostTown Haunt attraction will not let you down. FarmHouse is Portland’s only full contact haunted house where you will be “touched, restrained, and blindfolded”— talk about intense!
Whether you plan on taking a casual stroll through downtown Portland to see an array of bizarre costumes or choose to navigate through a bone-chilling Haunted House, I wish you all a Happy Halloween!
What do you like to do for Halloween?
Written by: Jasmin Landa
Although K-12 prepares students for college academically, I don’t feel that it entirely prepares us for the transition from high school to college. I was deeply overwhelmed my first year of college. I had packed my bags and left home to enter a life that would require me to be more responsible, independent and self-supportive. But then I went through many sleepless nights, stressful days and frustrating moments before I could truly embrace this new life and continue forward.
Now that I am a sophomore, I have found a system that works for me that alleviates stress, organizes my days, and guides me through the winding road to completing my degree.
For one, I live by Google Calendar. I input all that I will be doing throughout the week, and throughout the term. It keeps me organized, so when I wake up every morning, I pull out my calendar and I see what the day holds for me.
Second, I involve myself in extracurricular activities because it allows me to network with my peers who are going through similar stressors. By being connected, we can go through it together. Also, giving some of my time to things that are outside of classroom settings allows me to relax and de-stress myself.
College is a time to appreciate, learn, and explore. How are you keeping the stresses of college organized?
by Shezad Khan
Now that I’ve officially begun my career as a graduate student, I’ve been delving into some pretty interesting conversations with my cohort. A topic that was the focus of a lively discussion that took place recently was that of the “banking concept” in education. This concept essentially places teachers and professors as holders of knowledge who deposit said knowledge into students. It’s a controversial method of teaching to say the least, but sometimes education adopts iffy frameworks.
I bring this up because we should all be well aware that the education system in this country, to put it gently, isn’t the best. I’m sure that the amount of reasons for the failure of our education system is vast, but that does not mean we shouldn’t try to figure it out. Some of the problems that come from the banking concept include elitist educators, lack of student/teacher interaction, and even the fact that students are meant to be docile in terms of doing and thinking what they’re told to.
I’m interested in discussions like this because I want to become a college professor. As we go through school, day by day and week by week, it’s easy to get stuck in this cycle of doing what’s on our syllabi and getting assignments in on time. Seldom do we stop and think about what it is we’re actually doing. But I think it’s very important for us to rebel a little. By that, I don’t mean you should flip your desks and tables in a frenzy during your class. I just mean that, sometimes, it’s healthy to criticize institutions.
By: Sam Bakkila
Campus Rec has been asking all of its visitors why they play.
I’ve been thinking about this question a lot myself. I play for many different reasons, but I think my deepest answer is that playing allows me to be a total beginner. Rarely as an adult do you have an invitation to fail spectacularly at something that you’ve never tried before. Giving yourself time to play and cultivating a spirit of playfulness helps remind you to take risks, to not fear failure, and to be ready to pick yourself back up when you do inevitably fall.
The next new way to play that I want to try out is Intramural Battleship, which will be offered for the first time ever at Campus Rec in early December. In this fun enactment of the classic board game, teams paddle around in canoes and use buckets to splash other teams until their boats take on water and sink.
Playing a new game or sport breaks a lot of bad habits that hold people back and create unnecessary stress. You can’t be shy, you must learn to work as a team, and you absolutely have to be able to laugh at yourself!
This is our featured member Jonathan, his story, and his reason to play:
Want to share the reason why you play with Campus Rec? We’ll be making more videos and sharing member stories all year. Submit your story here!
By: Sara Kirkpatrick
As I scroll through my social profiles, I see a Portland State University student, a dog lover, a movie buff, the love of pink, and so much more; I am bombarded with images of my favorite memes, and timelines of life events. As I look upon these profiles, I am reminded of my exterior presence – an image expressed through my daily interactions with the digital world around me – it is my voice when no sounds or words are spoken.
In this day and age of social media, the saying “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” has never held more truth. Our exterior image is spread virally through the universe of social platforms. Each day there are 1.3 billion active Facebook users, 500 million tweets, 60 million Instagram photos uploaded and 4 billion videos viewed on YouTube – which translates to 46,296 per second, according to Mary Catherine Wellons of CNBC.
Gone are the days of highly anticipated interviews to make an outstanding first impression. Leaving graduates today are faced with employers who are able to summarize their entire lifespans before they even meet.
As students we are the upcoming professionals, and it is our right and responsibility to project and control our representations within these social platforms.
Google yourself and see what the rest of the world sees.
By Jesse Turner
I have gone through five majors in my previous two years of college; international relations, environmental studies, religious studies, theater, and now finally, child and family studies. I have changed and changed my course of study depending on what I thought would make me the most money, what I thought was the most interesting, what I thought would help the world, and what my true passion was. I think I have now found in social work a good balance between marketability, necessity, and enjoyment. But now that I’ve made my choice, my problem is affording it.
I have always worked while in school, and I currently work two jobs. In fact, I know very few people at PSU who do not work year-round. And not just for some extra spending money, but to afford their education and housing. Portland State of Mind is coming in just a couple of weeks and on Tuesday October 27th from 7 – 8pm PSU will be a hosting a town hall style meeting (free and open to the public) about raising Oregon’s minimum wage from its current $9.25/hour to a possible $15/hour. This event falls in the wake of New York, San Francisco, and Seattle all passing legislation to raise their minimum wage. Similar legislation will likely appear before Oregon voters sometime next year. If I didn’t have to work that evening I would attend this meeting, and I highly recommend you all try to attend.
As someone who currently makes a wage less than the proposed minimum wage, as I’m sure many of you do as well, this legislation and this discussion affects me. At many times in my college career, I have felt that spending so much of my own and my parents’ money is a waste. What’s the point of bankrupting my family if I can’t get a job anyway? I have hope that this cycle of struggling to afford college then struggling to pay off debt after graduation will end. And I hope you all do as well. Whether you have hope, whether you have no hope, whether you feel lost in the struggle of it all, let’s do something about it. Make your voice heard at this town hall meeting and let our community know that everyone deserves a living wage.
by Shezad Khan
If you haven’t heard yet, Portland State is hosting PAMLA this year. If you don’t know what PAMLA is, it’s the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. The association puts on conferences on languages and literatures, and luckily for us, the conferences are going to be taking place in our home of Portland! The PAMLA conference is going to be held at the Hilton and Marriott downtown between November 6th and November 8th.
At the moment, there is a tentative schedule set which lists what topics are going to be discussed. This way, you can check to see if there’s something that interests you and you can drop in and out as you please. I should mention, however, that there are fees for attending unless you are a student at Portland State University.
Attending the PAMLA conference is a really good opportunity to learn more about the discourses of subjects you enjoy. I have never been to a conference like this, but I’m excited for the opportunity. There are even members of PSU faculty who will be presenting. And as info for the future, PAMLA also offers grants to grad students who present at the conference. I really encourage you all to attend if you can make it. It’s not often that conferences like these are free, take advantage of the opportunity!
Note: There is also an opportunity to volunteer at the event. You can volunteer for one 3-hour shift. If this interests you, contact Hildy Miller at email@example.com. This may even be helpful for your CV.
By Olivia Clarke
At a little over a month into my study abroad program in France, I’ve learned a number of things. For instance: French pastries are, in fact, delicious; discussing sensitive political issues is a favorite local pastime; and picking up after one’s dog is definitely not a priority here. But by far the most jarring discovery I’ve made is that learning a new language is really, really hard. Really.
I came to France after studying the language for four years. When I arrived at the University of Pau, I tested into one of the highest levels in the language program. However, this does not mean I’m anywhere near fluent. Between prepositions, conjugations, listening comprehension, and just plain vocabulary, the ever-present language barrier can make my interactions with French people exhausting. And then, of course, there are the inevitable embarrassing mistakes, like the time when I used the wrong auxiliary verb and accidentally informed my host mother that I was dead. It seems like every time I open my mouth, I get corrected, and every day I learn that I’ve been misusing a word or expression this whole time. Sometimes the frustration of being wrong so often just makes me want to hide in my room.
It all comes down to two basic truths: language is really complicated, and expressing oneself is really important. When we’re stripped of our ability to communicate ideas, it can be pretty traumatic; yet a new language can’t be learned overnight. So the budding bilingual finds herself in an uncomfortable no man’s land between blissful ignorance and fluency, where communication is a constant struggle. That’s tough, but I have to keep two things in mind: I chose this experience for myself, and you can bet I wouldn’t learn any of this from a textbook.
By: Chelsea Ware
Cooler weather, crisp leaves, and pumpkin spice lattes are a few of the reasons that fall is great. But in my humble opinion, Halloween is what makes fall the finest season of the year. I mean really… who can say no to dressing up in an awesome costume and gorging oneself on candy? In honor of the greatest holiday ever and all things horror related, I have compiled a list of the best and scariest things to do in Portland this month.
- Visit a Haunted House
Portland boasts several haunted houses that are worth seeing. Set inside the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Fright Town offers 3 haunted attractions based off of witches, the novelist H.P Lovecraft, and a demonic cult. http://www.frighttown.com/
13th Door is one of Portland’s oldest haunted houses and presents dark dank hallways for you and your friends to escape in addition to decomposing zombies and other vile creatures. http://13thdoor.com/index.php
2. See a Free Scary Movie
Through the month of October the PSU student run movie theater, 5th Avenue Cinema, plays vintage scary movies on Saturdays and Sundays. And it’s free with your student ID! Some of my best college memories are at this theater. It’s a great atmosphere where the whole crowd cracks jokes together during the movie and revels in the campiness and gore of 80’s and 90’s horror cinema. For show times visit http://www.5thavecinema.com/.
3. Take a Stroll Through Haloweentown
Each October, the town of St. Helens, which was the filming site of the movie Halloweentown, hosts “The Spirit of Halloweentown.” It is a, family-friendly event in which the old town district is decorated with a plethora of jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows and other spooky decorations. Additionally, events such as tarot reading and pumpkin carving are held. http://www.thechronicleonline.com/out_about/spirit-of-halloweentown—schedule-of-events/article_4e14e578-51b6-11e5-9a62-a39167c7bbce.html