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Avoid judging people based solely on the stereotypes associated with their hometown

In a recent interview with Howard Stern, Bay City-born celebrity Madonna expressed her dislike of my hometown, Rochester, where she was raised.

Madonna said she felt like Rochester residents “were members of country clubs and…[she] felt like a country bumpkin.” When Stern asked why she didn’t return home after facing burglaries and rape in New York, Madonna replied, “Have you ever been to Rochester, Michigan?” and said she “can’t be around basic, provincial-thinking people.”

In another recent interview with Us Weekly, Madonna said she missed “absolutely nothing” about her early years in Michigan.

Several of my friends have expressed that they agree with Madonna’s sentiments and have felt similarly out of place in the metro Detroit suburb, but others are … Read More…

March 23, 2015 | Permalink

Having true strength means striving to overcome obstacles, despite difficulty

What is strength? Plenty of people have an answer to this, but what is it, really?

There is physical strength, sure. There is the kind of strength we congratulate people on having through difficult times in their lives. I have been called a strong-minded individual because I am very gung-ho for my opinions. But a lot of us fall into false perceptions of what true strength really is.

Strength is shown when we are put in a situation that requires it. Strength is not something that is consistently in use. We are not physically strong when we are napping in the middle of the day – we show strength when we go to the gym and lift weights. Our mental … Read More…

March 23, 2015 | Permalink

Look for more than just attractiveness when exploring online dating websites

Have you ever thought about who you’re swiping right to before actually doing it?

With the ever-increasing popularity of dating websites/apps like Tinder, OK Cupid and PlentyOfFish, young adults all over the world are surrendering to the idea of meeting someone new through electronic means.

Whether you’re looking for something long-term or short-term, there’s little denying that apps such as Tinder have already made an indelible impact on the dating landscape.

What I find so personally interesting about Tinder, however, is hearing about people’s different rationales for what makes them swipe left or right.

Some I’ve talked to swipe solely based on whom they find attractive, while others have a process that is more drawn out and complex.

So, for … Read More…

March 23, 2015 | Permalink

Pay attention, stay professional in class to avoid midsemester slump

The snow is melting, the sun is shining and spring break is past us. I think it is safe to say that the long-awaited spring is finally here.

Now that the sun is back, I have been starting to feel those winter blues going away. I have felt more awake and lively. However, even with this lovely weather, I somehow slept through my first class coming back from spring break. It was a complete accident, but I still happened to sleep through two alarms.

Due to that accident, I kept trying to figure out why I was so tired once I got to my classes. I would feel wide awake, but once I got to class or started to work … Read More…

March 16, 2015 | Permalink

Don’t let planning every second lead to feelings of failure, inadequacy

At this point in our lives, we all have the same questions running through our heads: Where do I see myself in five years? Where am I headed? What’s my future going to be like? In short, what is my plan?

We seem to feel the incessant need to catalogue our existence. Whether we’re aiming for small (“I want to lose five pounds before summer gets here”) or large goals (“I want to start a family five/eight/ten years from now”), it seems easier to set up our life on a timeline. Our mental plan gives us a point to aim towards; we feel like if we don’t have a plan, we won’t get any of our goals accomplished.

But realistically? … Read More…

March 16, 2015 | Permalink

Asian food restaurant offers predictable cuisine; try grill option for unique experience

As a self-identified foodie, I have been impatiently waiting for the grand opening of Cardinal View Plaza’s newest attraction: New Kitchen.

This past weekend, the day finally arrived and I headed over to have lunch with some friends with a grumbling belly and fingers crossed.

Asian food is a particular favorite of mine and the fact that we didn’t have easy access to anything like that had been a sore spot for some time.

The restaurant was sparsely decorated but clean and well laid out.

There were several booths scattered around the dining area and at the back, a salad bar type of display of dishes were laid out in waiting next to an open face grill. Despite being only … Read More…

March 16, 2015 | Permalink

In online debates, be gentle but firm when discussing social injustices

I was recently involved in an online discussion on the Facebook group SVSU I’M WHAT EVER. This discussion was concerning the cat-call like qualities of the sticky notes randomly found around campus thanks to the Optimistic Club and Colleges Against Cancer.

While I was on the side that really didn’t see the harm in these sticky notes, the concern was there and brought up. The conversation got a little…out of hand, you could say, and eventually the post was taken down.

Another such discussion began when a user posted on a new Facebook group called the SVSU Student Run Forum about racially offensive memes posted on a “Meme Monday” post started within the group.  While I do not condone the … Read More…

February 23, 2015 | Permalink

Oklahoma AP History debacle places legislators in charge of historical facts

Typically, I don’t spend my days telling engineers how to do their jobs, or how to learn their trade, or really anything dealing with engineering or mathematics, mostly because I don’t know anything about the topic.

That being said, it appears that certain lawmakers in the great state of Oklahoma have taken it upon themselves to dictate what should constitute as suitable curriculum for high school students when it comes to history.  Dan Fisher, Republican member of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives, has been the champion of a piece of legislation that would redefine and rewrite AP History courses to take a more “pro-American” view on the history of the United States.

I understand that legislators have a job … Read More…

February 23, 2015 | Permalink

Politicians should put aside party biases to focus on improving education for all

Oklahoma recently made headlines when an Oklahoma House Education Committee voted in favor of cutting funding to the College Board’s Advanced Placement U.S. History class, which is taught in high schools all across America.  A vote will now go to the Oklahoma House of Representatives, where a final decision will be made.

Interestingly, Oklahoma officials who voted in favor of this measure claim that the chief reason for their vote was that the class material is unpatriotic and only emphasizes the negative aspects of American history.

Further, the committee vote was completely partisan, with all 11 Republicans voting to defund the class, and all four Democrats voting against the measure.

After a little reflection on this situation, I became quite … Read More…

February 23, 2015 | Permalink

Don’t get distracted by cell phones when observing traditions with loved ones

As my dad and I attended our nineteenth consecutive Daddy Daughter Dance a few weekends ago, I thought about how important tradition is to me.

I’ve liked knowing that every year my dad and I will get our picture taken by the same photographer, eat cookies and dance to cheesy songs.

Through the past 19 years, each Daddy Daughter Dance in my hometown has been predictable down to the decorations, but this year, we noticed changes were made.

Since the dance is in February, there has always been a Valentine’s theme. However, this year the theme was changed to the movie “Frozen.”

The decorations were different, the punch was blue instead of red and a few young girls were dressed … Read More…

February 16, 2015 | Permalink