Assignment: An Honors Class Ice Breaker

With the first week of classes comes the ‘dreaded’ getting-to-know-you games over and over again. The new faces that fill the room start to have names, a hometown, and majors. But all of the new information does not usually stick – too much new information in such a short amount of time. In this honors class, I thought that maybe, just maybe, we would not spend so much time on it. Even though we spent the whole class on the ice breaker, it was not as monotonous. Somehow, I feel like I already know my classmates in Writing and Rhetoric II: Honors pretty well.

The first question that took me by surprise was the geographical question ‘where do your people come from?’ The instructions were to stand at a place in the class room geographically related to where we thought that ‘our people’ came from, and the term ‘our people’ was left up to us to decided what we thought it meant. I wanted to move to the southern part of the United States at first, where the majority of my drum corps friends live, the people that understand me a lot better than most people. I wanted to stand in the Chicago cluster, too, since I have found so many people here that I feel pretty close to. I also considered staying in my Minnesota space, since that is where I grew up, and I still have a lot of friends and family there, so that is the place I still identify with. I ended up in the “Scandinavia in general” area because I felt like that was the easiest to explain to the class. What everyone had to say was interesting and helped me understand how they view themselves in the world.

What I liked about the time line questions, was that everyone ended up opening up a lot more than I expected them to. Being someone who has not been thought of as “honor student material”, it was nice to be in a room full of those that are a little more faster-thinking and who actually consider their answer, and not just taking it from the surface value. I think my favorites were the storytelling question and the activism question. They sure made things ‘escalate quickly.’

I found myself thinking more and more about the storytelling question. I stand by my position I said in class on story telling – kind of in the middle of neutral and ‘good’. I think of This American Life. Ira Glass is the type of radio personality I would like to be, if I decide to go that route. He is calm, collected, and it seems like he knows what his guests are going to say before they say it. Maybe they do it through some sly post-production, but Ira does have a way of speaking that just makes you believe him. Which is why I hope to be a part of that type of radio broadcast some day.

What exactly defines activism? I feel as though it is something you do to make the world a better place, but the dictionary definition is “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.” I thought about it from a more personal aspect, because I feel as though our world has lost some of that. Who sends a thank-you card any more? It seems that even in the new age of constant connectivity, we have lost that “personal touch” that makes us different from other living beings. One of the best parts of the human experience (to me) is creating inter-personal relationships with other people; making connections that last a lifetime. When you find your group of people, and you can make things happen with them that both bring you joy and make the world a better place, it seems like a win-win all around.

I liked this ice breaker a lot more than other classes that have a get-to-know-you ordeal. It was much more stimulating and helped me get to know my fellow class mates better. The people and subject matter in this class excites me, and I look forward to the rest of the semester.

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Rambling: Sore Assumptions

Today, someone said something to me that kind of made me a little angry. We were getting up to file into the classroom, and I mention something around the lines of “Oh, zumba last night made me a little sore!” I said this happily, because I don’t really get sore all that easily, and one of my class mates replied sassily “Don’t say anything about being sore.” She’s a dance major so, of course, they dance. And they dance a lot. They’re going to be sore a lot of the time. 

This made me mad because I actually do understand a lot the physical pain she’s probably in. Because, believe it or not, when you’re doing drum corps (color guard, specifically) for sixteen-plus hours a day for four weeks straight, you get to know sore pretty darn well. 

On top of that, I am currently training for a half marathon. So on top of doing zumba last night, today I went for a 6.5 mile run. The first “long run” of the year. It kind of ticks me off that she thinks that I, “just a lowly radio student,” doesn’t understand what sore is. 

I knew this wouldn’t be a lengthy post, because I have a lot of homework I need to be doing tonight (also… I really want to watch Parks and Recreation…) So I need to get cracking. 

Just please, don’t assume things. Ever. The person next to you may understand better than you think they do.

Ramblings: On Being A Student Worker

Being a student worker isn’t all that bad. Especially at Columbia. Specifically in the radio department. 

I’ve only been working here for a few months, and it’s been primarily in the office, (I was hired for another part of the department, but hours don’t line up so it’s all good,) but I still love it. All through high school, I worked as the “Office Assistant” for a local, small-town computer store owned by my mom. The only reason I stuck with it for so long was because I didn’t have to pay taxes, I could choose my hours, and I could work as little or as much as I wanted to. It usually was as little as I possibly could, which, looking back, I wish I worked a little more in high school. The other nice thing was a specific amount was set aside for college, I guess I didn’t appreciate it much at the time, but now, it’s been a blessing having my first year paid for completely out-of-pocket. Hooray growing up.

Anyway, working in the office/studio time for the radio department is great, because I’ve gotten to know pretty much all the faculty members and a lot of the students just because I’m in the department so much. I even have the opportunity to do homework while I’m working, but I usually end up surfing the web/tumblr/twitter/blogging. Over the break, we actually would just sit in studio time and blatantly watch movies. Those were the ‘good-ol-days’. Except not really.

The only thing I don’t like about doing that is it makes me feel unfulfilled at the end of the day. For example, during break a few days, I would work studio time from 10am-7pm (or something like that,) and I would spend the entire day watching movies/doing things on the internet. When I’d get back to my dorm, I’d think ‘well, what now?’ Because I had spent the whole day doing things I would normally do after working the whole day. At least now that school has started back up, more people are in the department. Students are making appointments for studio time and to meet with faculty. Things need to be done around the office. And true, there’s still an abundant amount of time to do homework/blog/surf the internet/install protools/whatever you need to do, but there’s always going to be at least one thing that you accomplish in your x-number-of-hours shift.

Of course, I work so many other jobs that I have fulfillment else where, but the radio department is where I would consider my ‘main job’ to be, since I have more consistent hours there, and it really  is a part of my schedule. 

Wait, ‘so many other jobs? Explain. 
You’re going to be sorry you asked.

Probably my coolest job is my position with the Great Northern Radio Show, who I am the Associate Producer for. This is one of the most part-time jobs I have, since the shows only happen seasonally (four times a year,) but it’s definitely one of my favorites and one I’ve learned the most from. Back “at home,” I’m officially the go-to for the Grand Rapids State Bank when they host live shows – I’m their stage manager! All that is, pretty much, is I direct the traffic going on and off stage, and attempt to put the acts in an order that makes sense – from a vibe/physical/sound standpoint. That’s pretty part-part time too. Another very part-time job is my freelance color guard work. I’ve worked with my high school band and I have a clinic coming up with Robert Morris University. I guess that’s more part-time than GNRS, but this is hardly work, since color guard is one of my biggest hobbies (besides radio.) The second most official-type job I have is my cashier position at Chicago Kernel – actually, it was the first job I had in Chicago. (There’s some other jobs I have in the works, but I’m not going to say anything since nothing’s set in stone yet. They do have to do with radio though, and they make me very excited.)

Being a full-time student working full-time hours isn’t the easiest thing ever. But it’s so incredibly rewarding. Getting two paychecks every two weeks, and the random other paychecks after a weekend of hard work is great, and it helps fuel my ever-growing love for vinyl records and food. 

Yeah… going to school in Chicago really isn’t that bad. 🙂

Rambling: Four Tabs for Running

I step outside of my building in Chicago’s south loop, on my way to my second class of the day, and I’m struck by a thought: It’s warm enough to be outside, short of a hat and a pair of mittens, and I’m completely comfortable right now. Of course, I’ll walk around without that and feel okay, but this is one of the first days I’ve actively noticed how nice out it feels.

Naturally, the first thing I think of that would make today the perfect day is a run. I’ve spent about fifty bucks on concert tickets, I’ll be buying protools before I go to work, today is a pretty good day. It’s perfect now that it’s nice out… except… I don’t have any time to get out on the trail by the lake to run for 45 minutes. Which is all I want to do right now.

Cabin fever has officially bit me. I’m tired of working out in the gym, I’m so done with eating inside and doing inside activities – I’m ready to be able to stroll around Grant Park or eat outside at some random café or coffee place and do homework or attempt to write more to my documentary. Heavy emphasis on the running outside though. I miss it so, so, much.

Currently, I’m in Meteorology class with nine tabs open on my browser, four of which have to do with running in Chicago. Half Marathons. I’ve already planned to run Grandma’s Half Marathon in Duluth, MN on Saturday, June 21st… And I’m going stir crazy. I cannot wait any more to start training, mostly because I know how much work it’s going to be, and I want to just get started already.

Alright. Break’s over. I guess I need to get my mind off of running and get it back on weather. If it ever really was on weather.

PS – I don’t really know what I expect to do with this blog. When I have more than 140 characters worth of something to say, I definitely think I’ll be using this. Along with posting the assignments I do for my many writing classes that I think are kind of good. So stay tuned. I’ll be attempting to get better at everything I do – and posting about it here.