Sunday, December 27, 2009


Computers. Are they the best thing ever invented or the worst? You decide.

For a college student though here are some of the things that come along with them.

Computers and the internet mean more homework. Teachers know that information is readily available on the internet...even if it does take hours and hours of searching to find something that is the least bit helpful. Having that information there at the fingertips means "faster" research and more sources. Translation: More research, more papers.

Computers mean procrastination. We have all done it. FACEBOOK. One minute it is homework, the next minute...I wonder what is happening in so and so's life. That one even applies to work for many people I am sure.

Then there is the inevitable loss of work. All of the out of class assignments are almost always required to be typed. For some of us we save work on a flash drive. Others save it on the computer itself. But what about leaving the flash drive somewhere. Or what about that virus or whatever the cause that crashes the computer. The work is gone.

I just backed everything up on my laptop computer and formatted it today. A lot of stuff on it worked when it wanted to which MIGHT be 25% of the time. I reinstalled Windows Vista (worthless garbage) and now I cannot access the internet on my laptop. I have spent at least five hours trying to figure that one out to no avail.

Without the internet there is really not a whole lot I am able to do with it. I can't access the software I need to install: security, Microsoft Office 2007, Windows 7 updates... even some of the things I have on CD's requires me to go online. To top things off, the only solution my computer seems to give me to my internet problem is "would you like to search for a solution online?" OF COURSE I WOULD!

I think Microsoft and HP must be geniuses to figure that one out. Now they should figure out how to give out free CD copies of Windows 7 to all of us who have suffered through their terrible tragedy: Vista.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone. For many places in Arkansas it is a white one, or at least saw snow.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Think of a story about pirates that you heard as a child. One thing you might connect with those stories is a map with an X that marks the spot of a buried treasure.

Geocaching offers a small glimpse into the world of buried treasure, even if it is not going to take you to riches or it is not really buried. It can take you to a wide variety of places, environments, and terrains.

I received a hand-held GPS unit for my birthday in November. I'd been wanting to try geocaching for a long time at that point. I finally got the opportunity to really begin this month. It has been a blast!

Some advice:

1) Get to know your equipment. That was the mistake I made. I learned how to use my GPS unit on that first trip. I ended up hiking halfway around Mt. Nebo in attempt to find a cache hidden there.

2) Take a friend. It is a whole lot more fun when you take a friend along, especially when driving around an area going after more than one in a day. It also is safer.

3) Carry a pen with you. Some caches are micros and contain a log only. Others are larger and may have writing utensils, but they may or may not work. Many caches are damp inside.

4) Learn to be sneaky. Some caches you will simply have to wait for people to leave. Others you may have to leave and come back to later. Don't let anyone see you at one of them or it could disappear.

5) HAVE FUN. It is entertaining. It does take you many places you might not otherwise go.

Some of the caches have really cool items in them. Others may just be small trinkets such as an army man toy, or toy car. I saw one where someone put a rock in! But, even if it is just a log book, or silly little things, when you come to the item you have been searching, there is a feeling of accomplishment.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Short Drive in Time

Christmas break has officially begun. I got back to Conway, along with my friend Yan, around 8 pm Tuesday night. Wednesday I had a dentist appointment and then we went into Sherwood for my grandmother's appointment. Finally, on Thursday, we got around to doing a little bit of exploring around Conway.

To spice it up a little bit I decided to get some coordinates so we could find some caches in the different areas we went.

First we went to Toad Suck Ferry Park in far West Conway. I always knew this park was here but never knew about the history, and had never visited it. The bridge has only been there for 40 years, replacing the ferry in 1970.

We later went to Cadron Settlement Park. I've been there many times but only walked around the main part which offers a lot of historical information. It talks about the trail of tears along with other historic information. But after that we went hiking to look for the cache (which we would not find). Along the trail we found an old grave site that I never knew was there.

Later we went to eat at Stoby's and then to Laurel Park.

I am sure there are a lot of interesting things in everyone's home towns, you just have to do a little digging. I would encourage you to find something interesting over the break.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Final Final

Finals are almost over. My last one was in Spanish this morning at 8 AM. Bright (or cloudy) and early. It seems like almost every final is at 8 AM. Some how my friends and I just pick the right classes so that if we have a final it lands at 8 AM. That takes some talent.

For me, I only had to wake up two days to do finals. Most of my classes either did not have finals, or had final projects which caused me to lose a lot of sleep over the past few weeks. I have heard my friends say this has been the easiest semester of finals they have ever had.

As finals end, things are starting to wind down. Now that I no longer need my computer for school work it seems to be running alright. I received a boot error every time I booted it up, and if it logged out the account did not exist to log back in. I finally booted in safe mode, rather than recovery mode. When I did that it finished updating and seems to be OK now.

The end of the semester also means a lot of students will be heading home. Home could be Jonesboro, the surrounding area, Arkansas, a surrounding state, even states on the other side of the country. Then there are the international students who have a few choices: stay with a friend, go home to their family (lots of money...), or live of campus all together.

I will be taking a friend from China home with me over the break. This should be an enjoyable break. I will let you know if it is too long or short. I know I will be pressed for time, but I will try to update a couple of times over break. We will be going to Central Arkansas. For that time frame it will mostly be things to do around that area.

Safe Travel!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Party party party

I think I have been to more parties last week and more to come this week, than I have been in my entire college career.

The Christmas festivities all started last Thursday. It was the annual carols and candles at TNT. Then Friday we practiced for caroling. Saturday was the Christmas party at Eric and Leanne's. Following it was Josh's Birthday party.

Sunday we went caroling at St. Bernard's Retirement Home. That went fairly well, though we had to do some re planning in the middle. We had printer errors and so some of us stayed behind to get songs printed out. Others went on to the home and stalled for time by visiting with the residents.

Monday we had a Christmas party in news editing, and also in newspaper staff meeting. Today we are going caroling at South Wind Heights Retirement home. It is at 7 PM. Wednesday is Christmas on Campus. Thursday I plan on baking cookies for Christmas. Sometime Thursday or Friday I will begin making a gingerbread house. Saturday night we will ring the bells for the Salvation Army.

Christmas brings so many things to do. There is so much to do and so little time. But it is great. There is no time to get bored. Of course it means finals are just around the corner so in between all the fun stuff it is important to make time to study.

To the students: good luck on finals and have a safe trip wherever you go over Christmas Break.

To everyone: Have a very merry Christmas and happy new year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Last week of classes 2009

Last week of classes: That time of year students have a million things to do and only a week to do it. That is pretty much it.

I really don't have time to write this blog so I am going to keep it short. As my fellow college students will know, there are only two more days of classes left. YAY! Right? Wrong?

What that really means: It is time for everyone to turn in projects that you have had two or three weeks to work on. The problem? That is usually at least two or three projects if not more. And that is on top of all the other class work and extra curricular activities.

The good news: Only two more days until a whole month of stress free time. Who cares about finals, the final projects are more stressing than those little things.

Good luck to everyone on their finals next week.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fall Break

It is official: fall break has begun. The sad thing is, as a college student the only break is at Christmas break and summer break.

Though I am out in the woods again, I had to bring homework with me. I am actually hunting from the front steps of the cabin right now. The gun is laying beside me, and leaves fall all around me. I have to charge the electronics in the vehicle because there is no running water or electricity. I am connected to the internet through my Dad's cell phone.

Occasionally I will look up for the unlikely chance a deer will walk out down the road from me. In the meantime, I sit here typing away at this blog and looking up information for my final projects.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. There is tons to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Standing Out; Standing Up

Last night was the first time I have been on the third floor of the student union for a couple of weeks. Well, at least a week anyway. As I was walking down the hallway towards where we have a bible study, I could see reflections in the windows. Lights, colored balls, green trees and boxes sitting on the floor, all reflected through the windows.

Others commented on the trees that night. One person asked which one is our favorite. Some trees were highly decorated, some had no decoration. But many of us answered the white one. I don't know why a lot of people chose the white one, but I know why I did: It stood out from all the rest. It was the only white tree in the group of seven or eight trees.

What a perfect picture. As a Christian I should be set apart. I should look different from "the world." What I say, what I do, what I watch, what I listen to... It should all reflect who Christ is. I should stand out from everything, and everyone else around me. I should be like the white tree.

But, I know this is not primarily a religion blog so I will tie it in a little more.

I asked one of the janitors what was going on and if there was some event up there. He said he did not think so, that it was a fundraiser. The boxes at the base of the trees were wrapped, but the top is open. Different Greek organizations on campus had a box with their name by it.

To be honest, my first thought was "It's too early." Why are people already putting Christmas lights up? Why is the bell tower already playing some Christmas music? Why are stores playing Christmas music before Halloween?

Everyone spends the holiday differently. For some it is a religious holiday, for some it is just a time to spend with family. For some, Christmas is not even the holiday they are celebrating.

Now, I am not saying not to say Merry Christmas in stores or anything like that. My point is that it is just too early. Thanksgiving is still a week away. Have we completely forgotten about thanksgiving?

The decorations may not be as pretty or numerous, but there are still decorations. The meaning may not be quite as deep but there is still meaning. For the celebrators who do not celebrate for religious beliefs it shouldn't matter a whole lot. For those celebrating Christmas (Dec. 25) because it is Jesus' "birthday," Thanksgiving is a great time to just give thanks to God.

Be thankful for what we have. Be thankful for housing. Be thankful for food. Be thankful for water. Be thankful for family. Be thankful for life. Be thankful for Christ's sacrifice. Be thankful for our freedoms. Be thankful for countless other things there are to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rare Experiences

Leaves flutter to the ground all around me, making a clicking noise as they hit the branches. Squirrels jump from limb to limb in the treetops. Then I see what I was looking for. Inside the treeline stood a deer.

It was the second buck I have seen while hunting alone. I still have not shot one. Unfortunately for me, it was an illegal deer. It's horns were not big enough.

But anyway, today was the opening of modern gun season for deer hunting. I drove to Conway Friday afternoon and then jumped in the truck with my Dad and was on the road for another three hours. We got to South Arkansas around 9 PM.

Then dark and early Saturday morning (today) it was time to crawl out of the warm sleeping bag. The alarm did not go up so we ended up getting out of bed an hour late at 6 AM. We rushed getting ready and headed out to the stands.

We spent the day hunting. I think I was around the cabin, not hunting for maybe 2 hours out of a 11 hour time frame. It is one of the experiences that is rare during college. Guns are not allowed on campus so I have no place to store my gun but at home. And on top of that there is no place to go.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ultimate and Soccer

It was a perfect night. The weather was cool, but when a person is running around, there is no need for a jacket. The field, known as the Heritage Lawn, outside the union is lit up by lamps that run the length of the field. It is a perfect night to play sports with friends.

That is just what we did yesterday evening. The planning was spur of the moment, but it still turned out great. We started planning it only on Tuesday. We didn't give people much notice, but that is how most of our events work in college. They happen when there is the random occurrence called free time.

Our bible study group is working on more way to just reach out to others during that free time. We want to build relationships and get to know people. Sports is a great way to do that, especially when playing outside the student union. A core group begins to play, and then random or not so random people walk by and either ask to join or we ask them if they would like to join.

Last night I met two new international students. We also strengthened relations among those we already knew. And we had more people than expected. We ended up having more than 14 people, while only five actually confirmed attending on Facebook! Maybe next time it should be at soccer field behind the HPESS building.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


The sun was out, and a light breeze blew, but no for long. Soon the group of ten students and one adviser were on the road. The drive was long. The smace was limited. But aproximately eleven hours later we all arived safely in Austin, Texas for the National College Journalism Convention.

Thursday and Friday we were required to attend five session. Saturday we only had to attend three. But the nights were ours for the taking. What kind of trouble could we get into?

Thursday a few of us went out and took pictures for an hour or two during the day. Later we had dinner. Some students went to the local clubs. Phrases like "Keep Austin Weird," and "Live Music Capitol" are all over the place. Other's of us came back to the hotel and enjoyed a quiet (or not so quiet) evening of homework.

The rooms do not have free internet. That makes so much sense! Anyone can walk in off the street and get free internet in the lobby. But if you are a paying guest at the hotel who wants to use the internet from the comfort of your own room, where it is not loud, you have to pay. But it is all good.

Friday we went to the state capitol building. It is about eight or ten blocks from the Hilton where we stayed. We went inside and looked around. We took pictures in and out. Some of the more interesting things were after leaving the capitol.

We were able to take pictures of people. Outside the building three people held signs for passing motorists to read. They dealt with global warming to the war. We passed at least four people who were wearing costumes. Did I miss that memo?

The sessions have been informative. Probably my most informative, but not boring session was on interviewing. I know that it is an area where I need to improve. I want to become a better interviewer.

All in all this has been a very educational and fun experience. I am glad I came. Most departments offer some kind of field trip at some time. If you are given the opportunity to go on one, take it. You learn so much more with the 'hands on' experiences than you do in the classroom.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Crowley's Ridge Regional Library

There is just so much happening that it is hard to decide what to write about. I guess I will write a little about today though.

Right now I am at the Crowley's Ridge Regional Library. You may wonder why I would be here when there is a large library right on campus. Well, it is just one of those days that I haven't been doing what always makes the most sense.

Actually, I went to the bank in downtown Jonesboro to deposit a check. I was on my way back to campus, heading towards the library and realized I had a small umbrella, a bag with my laptop, and would have a long walk from the parking spot to the library. Not a good combination.

Then I thought of places in Jonesboro I could go to study, and not have to risk frying my laptop. Then this place hit me. My freshman year I tried to get a library card. I had a copy of the form I filled out with teh Post Office for my box, my license and all, but it wasn't enough. I could not get a card. This time I had a piece of mail with me because I had gone to the bank.

I came in and was able to get a library card and then sit down and study. I have not done a lot of exploring or anything but what I have found so far is nice. They have tables scattered through the library, and even some chairs that look comfortable. It isn't the quietest environment, but thats OK. It isn't what I was looking for anyway. They obviously have wireless. Thinks in Jonseboro have been growing on me and I am beginning to feel more and more at home in Jonesboro. I really do like it here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Scattered like College

This post is going to be a little scattered. I want to cover multiple things that are unrelated. But I guess that is a lot like life too. You never know what is going to happen or how.

The sun is out again so that is great! ASU does not have a bus system that serves just the campus or that runs regularly. There are busses that stop every hour, but they also go all over the city.

I am working hard on getting my portfolio ready. That is a lot of work, especially since I do not have much time to prepare it. I have until tomorrow. I need to put it on disk, and I also want to host it on my "Mysite" page. Tomorrow is the job fair and I want to drop off my resume and a disk. But then there is a ton of other homework too. I have to fight the library hours in order to try and get everything done- I don't have a scanner in my dorm room.

On Tuesday nights I go to a bible study. I started going the second semester of my freshman year. It was formed by a group of friends and they went out witnessing to students on campus. One day one came up to me in the cafeteria and talked to me. They invited me to the group and I regularly attend now. We have not had any outreach projects yet this semester but we hope to soon. But for the past week we have been doing a 10% challenge. What that means is we are trying to give 10% of our week, or day to God for his time. We want that to be our best time, not just our leftover time. It has been going great.

The common theme over the past week for me has pretty much been how large God is. "God is bigger than
The air I breathe," one song's lyrics go. It is so true. He is so big my mind cannot even comprehend how big he is. He is bigger than me, this state, this country...this universe. So often I try to compartmentalize my life and only bring him out when it is convenient. But God is bigger than that, he can't be stuffed in a little box. Why am I trying? He should overcome in all parts of my life: school, work, free-time... Everything.

Also it stood out just how young the apostles were and the boldness. In Acts it describes Peter and another in front of the Sanhedrin. It describes them as being uneducated. They learned as they went with Christ, and look at what they did. Then Stephen gave a long spill, knowing there would be consequences, to the Sanhedrin. It resulted in his stoning, as he knew it likely would, yet he still spoke boldly and proclaimed the truth.

This weekend I was given the awesome opportunity to help my friends who are youth ministers at a local Methodist Church, along with other volunteers, do 30 hour famine with the youth. It was an amazing experience. I can't speak for what others were feeling, but from what I observed it was a great experience for everyone. We kicked it off by eating breakfast early Saturday morning. Then no more food. We participated in three main events on Saturday: Can collection for the Salvation Army in Jonesboro, a car smash to raise money for WorldVision, and "Bigger and Better" where we traded a quarter for an item then went to another home and tried to trade whatever we got for something bigger and better. That item would then be sold and the money would go to WorldVision as well. Saturday night during Worship some of the kids were in a bad mood, but a few hours later things looked better.

Sunday morning some of the kids had forgotten about being hungry until the leader asked if they were or not. The youth led worship and shared about the experience. At 11 everyone held signs to help raise awareness, and later came back to the church for another worship service and to break the fast with communion.

For me, I can honestly say that it was ALL God. After 13 hours without food I usually feel like throwing up. I never got that feeling this weekend. I did not really get hungry until Sunday morning, but even that subsided. God gave me strength to do the activities and everything without hunger ever being an issue.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hello Sun!

Today is a nice day, especialy comparing it to other days in the recent past. There has been a break in the rain, and the temperature is perfect, even on the warm side. I am out of class for another half-hour, then I have one more class for the day.

Mondays are a very awkward day this semester. Of course, with this semester's schedule, most of the week is awkward. But on Mondays it is just annoying. From 8-9 I have a class, then frmo 11-12 I have a class, then another at 2-3. At 5 I have a staff meeting for The Herald. Then dinner around 6:30. I usually leave my room around 7:30 and don't return until around 8:30 that night.

Today won't be any different. But at least it is sunny. I actually dragged myself out of the cafeteria today to work on some homework. I came to a nice area on the south side of campus, between the engineering/lab sciences building, the library, the communications/education building and the art annex. There are some stairs surrounded by small walls where students can sleep. The real creative student might lay on one of the diaganol walls and take a nap.

The squirrels run up and down the nearby trees, and dart down sidewalks as students travel to and from classes and academic buildings. The noise from leaf-blowers echos across the campus, and random chatter can be heard from students walking by. The occasional ASU truck will drive by, and friends stop by to say hello. It may not be the most quiet place to study, but it is just nice to sit outside on such a day as this.

There is an occasional cool breeze that blows, but its not too windy. Plus, most of my work is on the laptop, though it is obvious I am procrastinating right now by posting this blog entry. I should probably start packing up and head inside the communication building now to prepare for my feature writing class.

Enjoy the nice weather!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The History of ASU

I just finished making some edits to a feature story I had to write for one of my classes. It is a historical feature on the Library. It took quite a bit of work in order to write the feature. I spent several hours in Archives, though at least an hour of that time was unnecessary, researching history.

One of the books that I came across was Voices from State: An Oral History of Arkansas State University written by Larry D. Ball and William M. Clements, both who work(ed) at ASU. I found myself engrossed in the book. All I needed to know was the history of the library. That is what I looked for while I was in the archives.

When I left, they informed me the book was available in the general collection. So from the Archives I proceeded to the fourth floor to find the book. Sure enough, I found it along with another book I had previously checked out. I grabbed it and headed to the circulation desk, and then to the cafeteria to have breakfast with my friends.

It turns out I was more interested in the book than them. I sat down with about five of my friends and ate my food. We normally sit in the cafeteria and talk for at least an hour during our meals. This time when I finished my meal, I pulled out the book. I spent the next 45 minutes reading instead of talking. I ignored them the entire meal.

I was captivated by the history. The majority of the book was written in quote format. The authors said a little bit about a topic and then would tell the rest with quotes from students, faculty, and staff.

Most students hear about the fire that destroyed the administration building. But did you know several buildings were severely damaged or destroyed in a tornado during the '60s? Did you know that there used to be an airplane hangar on campus? There was a ton of information in the book.

I admit, I was unable to read everything in it. Sometime when I have some free time--I can't believe I am saying this about an educational book-- I want to check the book out again and read it. I want to know more about the school I attend.

If you have not read about the history of Arkansas State University, I would definitely recommend those who attend or plan to attend investigate that history. It is entertaining and educational.

The history of Wilson is a good place to start.

Mobile Blogging Test

This is a test of mobile blogging. I may make short updates as things happen.

This is a computer update on the post which I may frequently do.

New Focus

I have decided to try and start blogging about Life at Arkansas State University. I will try to update the blog at least once a week with something interesting or entertaining that I have heard about or experienced. This will not be the first post for this week if I can help it. Maybe later I will write about this past weekend or something. Check back and see!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sophomore Year

Sophomore year I got to do some traveling. My mom had moved to New Jersey with my Stepdad. So after freshman year I went there to visit. I was able to see New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston, Trenton, and many other places.

For sophomore year I moved to North Park Quads. It was much nicer than Kays, but building five was a long way to walk to classes. It is also the year I really started enjoying my time at ASU. I volunteered at the BCM with "The Bridge" the ministry for International students. By the time I graduated, more than half of my friends were probably international students.

During the winter we got snow as usual. The power went out and NPQ did not have a generator. So we played chess when we woke up. Classes were canceled; I found that out even though I had to call my Dad in Little Rock to find out.

On Christmas Break I went back to New Jersey. I got to see New York City around Christmastime.

Oddly, I don't remember a whole lot from my sophomore year.