Thoughts on a Washington Post Column

I recently came across a column by Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post titled “Where’s the outrage over 600 homeless children?” In this column, Milloy calls outs the city and its officials about the horrid conditions of one of the few homeless shelters in D.C.

I particularly enjoyed this column, not because of the problems in D.C., but because of how Milloy presented the situation. Using sarcasm Milloy begins the column with a simple, yet attention-getting, “Poor people, what a bummer.” His nonchalance about the issue made it seem very relevant and urgent.

Milloy not only brings up the issue of the homeless shelter being in poor condition, but that families are being turned away causing young children to be on the streets. He questions why this isn’t causing an outrage among citizens of officials, one of whom is the D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who had been the executive director of a non-profit organization to help homeless teens.

Milloy’s sarcastic solution to the problem is that the poor get rich so they can afford housing that isn’t infested with mice. He calls out various officials by name who have done little to help and some who have been trying.

He, addresses the homeless rather than the officials by saying, “When will homeless people get the message? Not in my back yard, front yard, sidewalk, steam grate, alleyway, doorway, Metro tunnel, park bench, storefront or anywhere else within the city limits if at all possible.”

This column caught my attention because of his use of sarcasm and quotes from the officials who are supposed to be looking out for those in the city who don’t have a home.

Oscar Recap

Oh awards season, you always seem to capture my heart. The Oscars mostly. While many say that the Oscars are outdated but to me they celebrate something I’ve loved my whole life: film.

Growing up, my family watched movies all the time. From the films pairing Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire to Star Wars and even more recent films, I’ve always been enchanted by the stories told.

Needless to say, I love watching the Oscars because it allows me to get even more excited about about film and those who are advancing the industry. So here is a short recap about this year’s Oscars.

The host: I’ll be honest, when they announced that Seth MacFarlane was the host this year, I had no idea who he was. Having never watched Family Guy or Ted, and having no desire to, I didn’t know how this was going to go. But I was pleasantly surprised. He was sort of funny. It doesn’t take talent to make raunchy jokes, so even though some of his jokes were borderline, for the most part I wasn’t worried about little kids watching the show. However, I still believe that Hugh Jackman is the best host that I remember.

The awards: In recent years, it’s become more common for films that we’ve actually heard about to be nominated. This year wasn’t much different. I was very excited for Jennifer Lawrence to win Best Actress for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. I remember when she was nominated for the same category a couple years ago for Winter’s Bone so though I can’t this was long-overdue, I can say that it was well deserved.

Another well-deserved Oscar went to Anne Hathaway for Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables. The amount of work and preparation she put in for her role finally payed off.

Though many will probably disagree, I was happy that Argo won for Best Picture. All of the movies in the category deserved to win so it’s hard to say that one deserved more than another. However, Argo gave an interesting take on a very important event in history. Though Lincoln did do the same thing…

The final winner that I will talk about is the animated short film “Paperman.” Everyone in my house was rooting for this short to win. Granted, it was the only one we had seen. The film used a new form of animation that combined digital animation and cartoon drawings.

Things that were odd about the Oscars:

  • Catherine Zeta Jones lip-syncing. The other only explanation is that the audio and video messed up on a lot of peoples’ TVs.
  • Adele winning an Oscar. She already took all the Grammy’s, did she really need an Oscar? She probably deserved it…
  • Ted- was only an excuse to tell Jew jokes and not get in a lot of trouble. Anyone else notice how the “Sound of Music” bit happened right after?
  • The orchestra is in the house other building across town. This was the first year I remember the orchestra not being in the same building as the award show. Good thing nothing went wrong.

While there are millions of other things that could be said about the Oscars, I will stop here. What were your favorite moments of the Oscars? Who did you want to win?

 

 

International students are the same as us (Final Draft)

The University of Nebraska at Kearney has approximately 7,000 students under its wing. Most of us come from Nebraska as well as 49 out of the 50 states. But UNK is also home to students who had to travel a bit further to attend. International students from over 40 different countries have chosen to say good bye to their families for a semester or up to four years in order study in the middle of the U.S.

When they first arrive everything is, well, foreign. For those students who have visited places like New York or San Francisco, they still must adjust to culture shock and frankly seeing a lot of corn everywhere. Most of them don’t even know the people they came over with. Though their English is sometimes pretty rough, they are eager to learn and become friends with the American students.

But unfortunately, many of them aren’t given a good welcome. Some are harassed, many made fun of, and excluded from activities and interactions with UNK students. This is unacceptable. The actions of some American students on campus contradict the stereotype that Nebraskans are nice and welcoming people.

In truth, it can be very awkward when getting to know someone who not only doesn’t speak English as a first language but comes from a country where everything from customs to pop culture are worlds apart. But it gives us a unique opportunity to not only make new friends, but to have our eyes open wider than the Nebraska landscape.

It’s sometimes uncomfortable meeting new people, especially when you have no idea what you might have in common. However, there are ways to get to know international students without feeling awkward. One of these ways is through Conversation Tables. This event lets students meet and talk to the international students we have on campus for an hour in the union.

Another way is through class. Become partners with an international student for a project or activity. You never know what could happen. What is known is that taking the step to get to know the international students on campus will not only help them learn American customs, but give you the opportunity to learn firsthand about places you’ve never been.

UNK also plays host to several festivals honoring the tradition and food of many of the countries represented here. The Korean, Japanese, Chinese and African culture festivals allow us to see a glimpse of the lives of UNK’s international students. The largest festival, the Scott D. Morris International Food and Culture Festival will take place on Sunday, March 10. With food from more than 10 different countries as well as entertainment, there are a multitude of opportunities to get to know the international students on campus.

If you visited another country would you want to be met with open arms or scathing remarks? Whether a student is from the Netherlands, West Africa or South Korea, they deal with many of the same struggles as American students. Money, relationships, classes, homework, the want of acceptance. All of these issues are common ground between students. International and homegrown alike.

International students are the same as us (local editorial rough draft)

The University of Nebraska at Kearney has approximately 7,000 students under its wing. Most of us come from Nebraska as well as 49 out of the 50 states. But UNK is also home to students who had to travel a it further to attend. International students from over 40 different countries have chosen to say good bye to their families for a semester or up to four years in order study in the middle of the U.S.

When they first arrive everything is, well, foreign. For those students who have visited places like New York or San Francisco, they still must adjust to culture shock and frankly seeing a lot of corn everywhere. Most of them don’t even know the people they came over with. Though their English is sometimes pretty rough, they are eager to learn and become friends with the American students.

But unfortunately, many of them aren’t given a good welcome. Some are harassed, many made fun of, and excluded from activities and interactions with UNK students. This is unacceptable. The actions of some American students on campus contradict the stereotype that Nebraskans are nice and welcoming people.

In truth, it can be very awkward when getting to know someone who not only doesn’t speak English as a first language but comes from a country where everything from customs to pop culture are worlds apart. But it gives us a unique opportunity to not only make knew friends, but to have our eyes open wider than the Nebraska landscape.

It’s sometimes uncomfortable meeting new people, especially when you have no idea what you might have in common. However, there are ways to get to know international students without feeling awkward. One of these ways is through Conversation Tables. This event lets students meet and talk to the international students we have on campus for an hour.

Another way is through class. Become partners with an international student for a project or activity. You never know what could happen. What is known is that taking the step to get to know the international students on campus will not only help them learn American customs, but give you the opportunity to learn firsthand about places you’ve never been.

If you visited another country would you want to be met with open arms or scathing remarks? Whether a student is from the Netherlands, West Africa or South Korea, they deal with many of the same struggles as American students. Money, relationships, classes, homework, the want of acceptance. All of these issues are common ground between students. International and homegrown alike.

The end of a fictional era

I love books and reading. Perhaps it’s why I want to be a children’s librarian. But there is a sad moment when you finish a series that you’ve grown up with. Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer, has been a favorite of mine since the preteen age of 11. The eighth and final book in the series, “The Last Guardian,” released the July of 2012 and I finally found enough time to sit down and read the conclusion of the deviant adventures of Artemis Fowl.

Before I move on, here’s a quick description of Artemis Fowl. The books begin with 11-year-old-criminal-mastermind-super-genius Artemis Fowl from Ireland. Hell-bent on hoarding all the gold he can possibly find, Artemis searches the myths of fairies (because fairies have gold) and learns that they aren’t a myth.

However, regardless of how smart and quick-witted Artemis is, he doesn’t quite realize what he’s getting himself into when he captures Captain Holly Short. One of the few female elves in the fairy police for known as the Lower Elements Police Recon, or LEPRecon.

If you have guess, these fairies are highly advanced, which is really more of a fun challenge for Artemis than anything. I won’t tell you the whole story, but the first book sparks an odd and sometimes grudging partnership of Holly and Artemis on multiple adventures throughout the eight books.

To be honest, this is one of those stories that sounds slightly ridiculous when described, but the quick wit and humor of Eoin Colfer as well as the fact that you are never able to guess Artemis’ plans until he decides to divulge them makes the books addictive.

But finishing the series was bittersweet, Artemis ends the series between the ages of 15 and 18 (it gets a little fuzzy around “The Time Paradox”), meaning that it’s a book about Artemis growing up. Plus as Colfer puts it, it’s kind of like “Die Hard with fairies.” But the end of the series means no more in the world of Artemis Fowl.

That’s sad to me, but also good. Good things must come to an end otherwise the story might fizzle out. Thankfully Artemis Fowl did no such thing, and if you’re looking for a science fiction fantasy novel that isn’t at all predictable, Artemis Fowl is definitely a series to choose.

International students should be treated better.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney has approximately 7,000 students under its wing. Most of us come from Nebraska as well as 49 out of the 50 states. But UNK is also home to students who had to travel a it further to attend. International students from over 40 different countries have chosen to say good bye to their families for a semester up to four years in order study in the middle of the U.S.

When they first arrive everything is, well, foreign. For those students who have visited places like New York or San Francisco still must adjust to culture shock and frankly seeing a lot of corn everywhere. Most of them don’t even know the people they came over with. Though their English is sometimes pretty rough, they are eager to learn and become friends with the American students.

But unfortunately, many of them aren’t given a good welcome. Some are harassed, many made fun of and excluded from activities and interactions with UNK students. This is unacceptable. The actions of some American students on campus contradict the stereotype that Nebraskans are nice and welcoming people.

In truth, it can be very awkward when getting to know someone who not only doesn’t speak English as a first language but comes from a country where everything from customs to pop culture are worlds apart. But it gives us a unique opportunity to not only make knew friends, but to have our eyes open wider than the Nebraska landscape.

It’s sometimes uncomfortable meeting new people, especially when you have no idea what you might have in common. However, there are ways to get to know international students without feeling awkward. One of these ways is through Conversation Tables. This event lets students meet and talk to the international students we have on campus for an hour.

Another way is through class. Become partners with an international student for a project or activity. You never know what could happen. What is known is that taking the step to get to know the international students on campus will not only help them learn American customs, but give you the opportunity to learn firsthand about places you’ve never been.

When what you learn plays out in real life

The other day some classmates and I were sitting in the main area of our department. CNN was playing on the TV and the story of the broken down and putrid Carnival cruise ship was being commented on. As we listened to the coverage and remarks from the commentators and from others, we ourselves began commenting on the PR nightmare that Carnival had on its plate.

It’s an odd moment when what you’ve learned theoretically in the confines of a classroom allows you to assess real world situations. It’s very easy to forget that college is still the real world. Though in this case your paying for the “job.” It’s also easy to think that there is a disconnect between what you learned in a public relations class and actually doing public relations.

I found this mostly to be the case in any English classes I took in college. There was no “real world” hands on practice in those classes. It’s a bubble of academic literature that, for me, had no application to real life. But as a Journalism/ Public Relations major, I see practical uses for everything I’ve learned. The classes usually include practical instruction. So if I was taking a news writing class, then I wrote news stories.

Because of the hands on approach of many of my classes, I’ve been able to see situations in the real world and apply the information I’ve learned. I feel better prepared now for the various career situations I’ll be put in, because I was given the tools to use to know what I’m doing… at least a little bit.

As for Carnival, hopefully they can handle this smelly situation well.