Too School for Cool: In conclusion

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May 102013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

The time has come to write my last column of the year. As my graduation approaches, I can’t help feeling overwhelmed by emotions.

 

English: Cadets of the Air Force Academy Class...

English: Cadets of the Air Force Academy Class of 2003 celebrate at graduation ceremonies on May 28, 2003 as the Air Force Thunderbirds fly overhead. The 974 students marked the academy’s 45th graduating class. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lucky for me, when I’m overwhelmed by emotions I tend to shut them out, so they have not interfered with my work and school performance.

Still, I would like to get a little sappy. Graduating college is a big deal, and I’m even more proud to say I’m graduating with a job.

As myself and other senior rams flock into the real world, I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom.

I recently read 10 1/2 Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said. I recommend it to all seniors, as it lays out some points and words of inspiration that will get you through this transition.

Here are my favorites:

  1. Don’t try to fix the world. The author, Charles Wheelan, explains that it too much of a burden to try to change the world. We should simply have a goal to not mess up the world. If I can do that, I think I’ve succeeded, (although fixing the world would be cool).
  2. Always marry someone more intelligent than you. This way, you will never get bored. On the other hand, if I marry someone smarter than me, does that make me the stupid one? Or does it make them stupid for marrying someone less smart than them?

In conclusion, it’s ok to not have any direction. The next few years of life will be the hardest, but we’ll get through it.

I love you all for reading. Go Rams!

 

Re-Framing the Education Conversation

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May 092013
 

Author: Mary Willson

          In the US, the average life expectancy is 83 years, according to the US Social Security Administration.

       A college semester is four months, which is .6 percent of that average. A university bachelors degree is generally obtained in four years, just 4.8 percent of the general American life.

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            Personally, I am finishing up my sophomore year. I have given 2.4 percent of my live to higher education to date.

 This identity of what I have become: class, exams, papers, extracurricular, jobs; internships seem to define me sometimes. All of the scholarly labels seem to be the aspects of me that my parent’s friends ask about. They don’t go around asking what I believe in, what I am passionate about, or what my favorite way to spend a sunny Colorado day is. They ask what I am studying, and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I find myself challenging this, wanting to lash out and rebel.  And then I remember, they are asking this because I am lucky. I am in college.

            As finals week comes into full swing, I notice social media highlights this negative conversation. Instagram snaps the scene of Morgan Library at 3 am, Facebook statuses about the burdens of hard tests, and twitter posts dedicated to hating chemistry or anatomy class. I am definitely guilty of this in one form or another as deadlines; finals and classes take their toll.

 Yet, the high traffic of this negativity we all show and feel toward the end of the semester causes an uneasy feeling every semester, and particularly this semester, as my life view has been rocked recently.

            This semester, I have completely been re-taught what education means to our world. I am from an education-focused family, my dad is a professor here on campus, my sister graduated from CU, and I have always been on the path to graduate from CSU. It is just how my middle class, Fort Collins raised life has been set. And there is nothing wrong with that, until I found myself forgetting I am lucky.

Francis and Isaya pose in December in front of a local school. Francis is finishing up his High School education this year and wants to get a degree in Agriculture and Tourism and become an educated tour guide in order to bring income back into his village.

Francis and Isaya pose in December in front of a local school. Francis is finishing up his High School education this year and wants to get a degree in Agriculture and Tourism and become an educated tour guide in order to bring income back into his village.

Brett Bruyere, Warner College of Natural Resource professor and Samburu Youth Education Fund founder talks with local teacher at a scholarship award ceremony in December.

Brett Bruyere, Warner College of Natural Resource professor and Samburu Youth Education Fund founder talks with local teacher at a scholarship award ceremony in December.

     In December, I traveled to Kenya, Africa through SLiCE’s Alternative Break Program. As cliché as it is to narrate how students will give anything to be in a classroom, to get the opportunity to have education–it is actually true. That played up sentence is not just from the Compassion International commercials. In fact, it is the reality of millions of normal college-aged students around the world.

     It is fun, energetic young adults, just like us—that are in love with education. The CSU group I was with became close with four students. These students have had their education funded by the Samburu Youth Education Fund—a donation based scholarship program set up by CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources professor Brett Bruyere.

A doctor, professor, tour guide, and chef they want to become, and they all travel hours to days to get to school, where they stay for five consecutive months to learn. And they know they are lucky, because they are the only peers from their village to get this education.

            The passion felt for having a future outside of their environment in the rural bush area of Archers Post, Kenya was invigorating after I felt worn out from a rough semester of 18 credits.

            An additional wake up call I felt mid-college experience this spring is visiting my sister, who has dedicated two years to teaching low-income students in Charleston, South Carolina through the non-profit organization Teach for America (TFA). TFA places passionate post-grads or professionals and matches them with failing schools, in order to keep skilled teachers in the system. My sister’s sixth graders are all extremely low-income, extremely below grade reading level and math due to lack of school funding, limited parental support and little educational influence. These students have never felt they even have the option to get a higher education and most don’t know anyone who has other than their teachers. They aren’t on the college track like I was, and most unfortunately will not ever be.

         My sister works hard to remind her students they can go on to be a college student, her room is decked out with Buff swag, her alma mater, and she is constantly highlighting students who have beat the odds like she believes they can. Yet, the culture shock she has felt moving from her college-dedicated life in Colorado to the juxtaposed life in South Carolina has sparked my realization as well: we are all an exception.

My sister, Laura, also coaches a cheerleading team as a TFA teacher.

My sister, Laura, also coaches a cheerleading team as a TFA teacher.

            I am currently in a mentorship program through CSU’s Access Center called the Dream Team, which was started at Washington State University, and has grown nation wide throughout the last years. The program’s objective is to give guidance, support and resources to higher education to first generation high school students in the community. Through this program, we have a weekly class in which we learn about the education system, identity and ourselves.

        Through the astonishing statistics about the nations true education system is daunting after growing up in suburbia Fort Collins, with the excellent Poudre School District.

            Overall, through these experiences, the reality of my college experience seems damn great compared to what the majority of countries, states, demographics and individuals face. I am in college, and I will graduate—just like most of us reading this.

            While the stress of school is real, and the dedication to education is widely apparent on campus, I cant help but think what if we all reframe the conversation. Together, we could change the conversation from negativity, to positivity. Instead of “finals will be the death of me,” what if we all reframe it to be “I am lucky to be working hard to get my education,” because the reality is, we are lucky.

Everyday Explorations: CSU’s Forestry and Natural Resources Buildings

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May 082013
 

Author: Kelsey Contouris

If there’s one thing I learned from this week’s exploration, it’s that bridges make buildings infinitely more awesome. I originally set out to explore Forestry, but when I found the second-floor bridge to Natural Resources, I couldn’t resist. And seeing as this is my last post of the semester, I figured the bigger the exploration the better.

A large variety of leaves and branches are on display near Forestry's main entrance.

A large variety of leaves and branches are on display near Forestry’s main entrance.

With the trees around campus finally sprouting their leaves, it felt like a good time to check out the forestry building. I went in through the main entrance off of West Drive and was greeted by a shockingly new space for a building constructed in 1937. The walls were painted a pleasant, soft green; the hallway floors were done in a shiny, beige wood with stone tile running along the edges; round, modern light fixtures hung from the crown-molded ceiling down the length of the main hallway. This was quite possibly one of the newest old spaces on campus that I’ve had the pleasure of viewing.

This second-floor bridge is a convenient way to travel between Forestry and Natural Resources.

This second-floor bridge is a convenient way to travel between Forestry and Natural Resources.

Immediately to my left and right were hallways lined with tiled squares displaying the preserved leaves of probably a couple hundred plant species. After admiring some of these, I ventured down the main hallway. Old black and white photos hung on the walls in sharp contrast with a large TV screen displaying department information.

As I was busy taking pictures, someone came in through the front doors. Fearing that he would ask me what I was doing or if I was lost, I scurried around the nearest corner and happened upon the basement steps.

Not wanting to turn around and look more lost, I decided I might as well check it out. It was a strange space that seemed more like a basement you would find in a normal house. The ceilings were much lower than in the rest of the building, and they were crowded with an unsettling array of pipes that led into a room with even more unsettling building guts. The rest of the space served as storage.

I crept back up to the first floor and found a stairway leading to the second. These hallways looked a bit older, with the exception of the nice wood and tile floors. I was surprised to find that even the classrooms in Forestry looked newly renovated.

The second floor was unexciting until I remembered that from the outside I had seen a bridge connecting Forestry with the Warner College of Natural Resources. A woman I saw in the hallway pointed me in that direction.

Eagerly, I walked through the two metal doors out onto the bridge. The north side had windows, but the south side was open and provided an excellent view of Sherwood Forest and the sidewalk below. I drank in the fresh air for a moment and continued on into Natural Resources.

The main entrance area of Natural Resources has many earthy qualities.

The main entrance area of Natural Resources has many earthy qualities.

I explored the second floor for a bit, noting that the classrooms looked much older than those in Forestry. The walls were covered with all sorts of maps and posters, and display cases were filled with weathered equipment and geological artifacts.

I went up to the third floor through one of the cavernous concrete stairwells. It was up here that I got the best view of the front entryway. The space is somewhat difficult to describe – industrial, yet earthy. Cold, yet inviting. I think I got this feeling from the concrete coupled with the more natural elements. A small garden and pond sat beneath the gray, twisting staircase; sunlight filled the space from skylights up above; dark wood covered some walls, while others were covered in jagged stone bricks. A collection of tables and chairs sat below, and I realized that this would be a great place to come and relax.

I toured a few more hallways and decided to end my double exploration. Judging Forestry and Natural Resources from the outside, I had never expected to find what I did on the inside. The same has been true for all of the buildings I explored this semester. They’re all on the same campus, yet so wildly different from one another. The best part is that even though I’ve seen so many buildings, there are still so many left to discover.

Celebrity Countdown says goodbye

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May 062013
 

Author: Melanie Rose

[youtube]http://youtu.be/-rsd6yRZrZM[/youtube]

 

On this week’s Celebrity Countdown, Melanie Rose and Ryan Greene say goodbye. For this final episode, they give thanks to all the celebrities that made their show possible. If it wasn’t for Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, or Amanda Bynes, this show would have not been such a success. Although Melanie and Ryan will be graduating from CTV this semester, you can take a look down memory lane and watch all of their episodes on ctv11news.com

Too School for Cool: To share or not to share… dessert

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May 032013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

It happens to everyone. You’re on a date with someone special – maybe you’ve just met or maybe you’ve been together for years – and the common question comes up.

“Would you like to split a dessert?”

This is a seemingly simple question, but it can be more complicated than you think. If you chose not to share, is that thought of as selfish? And if you chose to share, will you be able to fulfill your sweet tooth?

Luckily, through my own experience I have devised dessert relationship stages for you to follow.

Stage One: Skeptical Sharers

English: unrecognized dessert.

Decadent dessert. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When dating someone new, at first you’re unsure of where your future is heading. You’re not committed, so why commit half your dessert to them? It’s perfectly acceptable to not share a dessert when you first start dating someone.

Stage Two: Sharing Sweethearts

As your relationship reaches official status, you become more apt to share. The sun shines every day, the birds chirping at dawn sound like a melody, and you can’t get enough of your lover. You want to share your whole world with them, which means it’s time to share dessert. You should always offer the last bite to your lover to show how much you care.

Stage Three: Stingy Sweeties

When you’ve been dating someone for a year or more, you know each other well and are completely comfortable around each other. At this point, you become a little stingy. Whose turn is it this time to get the last bite of dessert? Who gets to pick which dessert you have this time? At this point in your relationship you are ready to get separate desserts again. This doesn’t mean you care less about each other or that you don’t love each other anymore. It simply means that two desserts are better than one.

CTV News: May 2, 2013

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May 022013
 

Author: Kaitie Huss

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgqBNYjutLA&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

Tonight on CTV, CSU students celebrate their research achievements at the 2013 CURC. Also, the final episode of Celebrity Countdown. All this and more on this semester’s final episode of CTV.

CSU showcases student achievement

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May 022013
 

Author: Kelsey Peterson

[youtube]http://youtu.be/_6SHq773xQs[/youtube]

The Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity showcase crowded the Lory Student Center Theatre at Colorado State University May 30. All CSU undergraduate students are encouraged to submit research or creative works that are then featured at the showcase and judged by three different judges. Students showed off their achievements and winners were awarded from the various events. For more information visit http://curc.colostate.edu/.

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A Look Through the Eyes of A Landscape Architect

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May 022013
 

Author: Tom Mullen

[youtube]http://youtu.be/34jciXcSKwQ[/youtube]

Senior year is the year when many college students start to get anxious for graduation and begin to let their work slide. But for one student the hard work and effort never stops as he continues to put his best foot forward all the way to graduation day.

CTV reporter Tom Mullen gives us a look into the life of senior Mitch Tancik.  Mitch is a Landscape Architecture major. The field focuses on the relationship between design, nature and society. Mitch spends much of his time working on projects in the studios. The field is a blend of hand drafting and computer graphics. Mitch gives us look inside the studios and tells us more about his choice of field

CTV News May 1, 2013: Snow in May!

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May 012013
 

Author: Lena Howland

[youtube]http://youtu.be/mRgqhaDSrmI[/youtube]

A freak snowstorm hits the Fort Collins area in the waning days of the Spring semester and Ashley Wallinger has your forecast for the next week.  A look at the summer fire danger from reporter Lena Howland.  Mackenzie O’Keefe reports on the low summer employment numbers and how you can find a job a little easier.  Reporter Bree Hottinger has some expert tips on how to study, live and relax during finals week.  The final episode of “Study Abroad” with Kaitie Spencer has her saying “ciao” to her studies in Italy with a trip to Greece.  Sports with Ryan Greene.  Entertainment with Christian Zamora.  All this and more, on the final Wednesday episode of the semester, with your CTV anchors Mackenzie O’Keefe and Wayne Stafford.  Good luck on your finals and we’ll see you in the fall!

Students prepare for a stressful finals week

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May 012013
 

Author: Bree Hottinger

[youtube]http://youtu.be/bX9WToPlkfI[/youtube]

Maintaining your health can fall by the wayside when you are studying for finals.

CTV reporter Bree Hottinger shares some tips on how to stay healthy andmaintain your sanity during finals.