Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fees without use

Want to walk down the sidewalk from your dorm to the Union? There's a fee for that. Want to go to a single football game? There's a fee for that. Fees, fees, fees. Everywhere a college student turns, there are more fees. They seem endless. Most of them seem pointless. Where is all of this fee money going? Probably not to the wisest places.

Students at ASU are charged an athletic fee. When we go to the games we don't have to pay which is nice, but for those of us who go to maybe a baseball game, and four or five football games the fee is much higher than what we actually use.

Living in an on campus apartment or dorm? I don't think there is a specific fee for laundry, but it is built into room and board. We have a certain amount of money on our student ID to do laundry each semester.  It does not roll over from year to year which is unnecessary anyway. There is way too much money to use. I could probably do my laundry and a friends laundry and still have money left over. But I don't get a refund.

Then there is recreation fees and student union fees and the list continues. But one of the fees that I try to make use of is the library fee. It is about 100 dollars each semester. It covers printing for "single, academic copies." Of course some classes require multiple copies, but they are understanding and just tell you to print one copy, then go print a second on another trip. That is fine. But the problem this year seems that the printer is never working.

I make special trips to the library sometimes to print. I have my own printer in my room but I am paying a large fee for printing in the library. I don't want to run my own printer out of ink and paper if I can use the supplies I already paid for in the library. Not to mention I spend more time in the library than my room anyway.

It seems that every time I go to print something the printer is out of order. They finally bought a new printer and they got rid of the other two printers they have had since my freshman year. I wonder what the deal is-- are there more students printing this year? Who knows. I just hope it doesn't continue.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The popularity contest is here; well, one of them is here anyway. Every year we have homecoming. For some reason people hand out fliers, stick them on cars, windows, and doors, stick signs all over campus and other annoying things to try and get voted as homecoming king or queen. It is a popularity contest. But all this campaigning only makes many of us loathe the whole thing.

This is only one small piece of the mess on campus. Other yards are littered with these signs as well. To make things worse some people but 5 of the exact same signs all together. All this does is make our campus look bad. But it happens year after year.

It might be understandable to have a couple of signs around campus, but to have them all in one spot is ridiculous. Not to mention there are so many signs that they cancel each other out. And I am sure more and more will keep going up.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

MWF vs. TR

I've often wished that I had the gap between my Friday class and my Monday class that I have between by Thursday class and Tuesday class. It just doesn't seem fair to go to the same classes back to back with the weekend in between.

The diagrams in this blog are represented by colored blocks. The red signifies having no class. The Yellow is what we typically call a MWF class. The blue is what is typically a TR class. The red column on the left is Sunday, the red column on the right is Saturday.

The first diagram I have is of how the current system works:

So I was thinking, what could be done to change this. The first idea I had would look something like this:
 But, I know this is not feasible. The checker-board design would be nice with a few exceptions. Most of us students would forget which class to go to on which days. It would change each week. Then there also comes the time difference. Classes that meet twice per week meet for 75 minutes per class. Classes that meet three times per week meet 50 minutes per class. This year I have 4 classes on MWF. When they are converted into TR classes, that would be 300 minutes of class, compared to the current 150 minutes that it is currently. That would be insane!

So I came up with a more feasible idea, that again has the problem of how the hours are divided. Just give us Fridays off and make all classes meet 2x per week!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another fire for Wilson

Before Arkansas State was a university, it was Arkansas State College. In its early history the old Administration building burned to the ground and very little was saved from the fire.

About 1:40 on Wednesday afternoon faculty, staff and students evacuated the building because of smoke. The smell began at least fifteen minutes earlier but the smell of smoke increased throughout the hour. No fire alarms sounded, though smoke could be smelled all the way up to the fourth floor.

The Jonesboro Fire Department did respond to the call. According to one firefighter there was a fire in a trash can in the building.

They opened windows in the building and everyone was allowed back in the building by 2p.m.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Scholarships: Those things that help keep many of us from going into debt (or lower it). The things that allow us to go to school. Why do they have some of the regulations they do?

Time Limits: Most scholarships expire after four years. Why not agree to pay for a certain amount of credits (maybe the maximum a student could take in four years)? If it were not four the four-year time limit on my scholarships I would take fewer hours. But even that is not possible under the full-time student requirement.

Full-time Student Requirement: A full-time student is usually someone who takes 12 hours in a semester. That is the case here. But in terms of full time for many scholarships it is 15 hours. Why 15 hours? Probably so that we graduate in four years. Although, my major requires so many hours that (even though one is for tuition and fees) my scholarship won't even cover all of them. I have to take more than 15 hours in some semesters. Why all of these technicalities? Maybe their intention is for students to drop below the GPA standard and lose the scholarships? I don't know.

GPA Requirement: Most scholarships require a minimum of a 2.5 or a 3.0 GPA. Some require higher GPA's. This requirement would be much easier to meet if I did not have to take 12, 15, 18 hours of class in order to graduate in four years. That is a minimum of five classes each semester. Sometimes it means taking six, as in this one. One class specifically is probably being taught like a graduate class. We are expected to read one chapter and answer the questions, read a newspaper article, along with other assignments. This generally takes me at least three hours and that's being generous. There have been several times already I have spent 8+ hours working for this class. Then I have five other classes.

I have two literature classes. I have a conversation class. I have a business class. All of them require reading and homework as well. Then there is the online Public Relations. I tend to neglect it because of having so much other homework.

I am thankful to have a scholarship; so far I have not taken any loans. But--couldn't the state find some better way to give the aid?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Graduation Preparation

I’ve been having a rough time this semester. Emotionally I have been pretty low lately and there are several reasons why, I think. One is I am having to spend so much time in the library studying for all of my Spanish that I very rarely see my friends. The other is that I am supposed to graduate in May.

I don’t regret double majoring in Spanish. I think it is a good decision and will open doors down the road. The thing is, I am a slow reader in English. When I have to switch over and read in Spanish it takes me hours to get through a page or two. Most of the time I have to study alone to get anything done. Other times I study with a friend and classmate who pushes me to work harder, but it is still too much time in the library.

 I don’t mind spending time with my friends in the library, but I miss when I was able to hang out with more than one person there. And I really miss being able to hang out outside of the library. I fear I may lose some friends this semester because I am never around. I miss going to the park. I miss hanging out every night on the weekend. I miss those late night McDonald’s runs. I miss the occasional eating out. I miss movie nights. I miss sitting around the dinner table for an hour and a half.

Then there is the graduation thing. Most people look forward to graduation. They look forward to being done with school and getting started in the “real world.” But I see it a little differently. Don’t get me wrong, I am ready to be done with my studying, but I also see the positive side. I am off on the weekends. I get holidays. I make a lot of friends. And when I graduate I see what I am going to lose. I won’t be able to take classes with my friends anymore. I won’t see my friends very much because we will live in different places, eat in different places and generally be doing other things. Or worse, I will have to move off to find a job. There may not be any opportunities in Jonesboro.

Even if I do stay in Jonesboro to start out, a lot of my friends who are also graduating will move away. The friends who are still in school will eventually graduate and most of them will also move. Many of my friends I fear I will never see again because once they graduate they will probably be on the other side of the world in Africa, Asia, and Europe. I will miss them. I try to tell myself that thanks to technology we will stay in contact, but it doesn’t help. I know from experience that when we go separate ways we begin to lose contact, even with our closest friends. Thinking about not seeing my friends again hurts.

What hurts more is thinking about how many do not know Christ and who I won’t even get to see in heaven. I know the most important thing in the friendship is to share the gospel with them so that they might believe; and pray for them. I want to see them know Jesus.

We are all sinners. There is no one reading this that can say they are not a sinner. Just taking the ten commandments and what Jesus said, I don’t think I’ve kept a single one of them. I have borrowed and not returned (stolen); I have looked at a girl with lust (adultery); I have lied; I have hated (murder), and the list goes on. All it takes to be separated from God is one sin. He is the great, fair, judge. A just judge wouldn’t let someone off the hook when they used the excuse, “I only did it once.” They do the crime, they do the crime.

But God loves us. He wants us to be with him. None of us have done anything that is too bad for him to forgive, through Jesus. He sent him, he lived a perfect life. He was tempted just like any other human, and then sentenced to die on the cross. He died for OUR sins. After they took him of the cross he was in the grave for three days before he was raised from the dead. He conquered death. He died and he rose again! Through faith in Jesus, we too will be raised. We will have eternal life with God, which is good. Being separated from God would be torture enough, the other stuff of Hell I don’t even want to think about. But Jesus paid the price so we didn’t have to. The world needs to know this.

This morning, God showed me another reason why I felt the way I do. He is preparing me. I keep saying that I don’t know what I will do when I graduate. I say I would like to stay in Jonesboro to work for a while so that I can stay where I actually know people. I don’t want to leave and go somewhere I don’t know anyone. But I also have an opportunity to apply to go to Spain for a few years and help teach English, which is only available right after I graduate. I want to do this. Then there is graduate school, seminary and/or working somewhere outside of Jonesboro and maybe Arkansas. I don’t know what to do.

Well, this morning at church God spoke to my heart. Several missionaries from our church that had returned from the field shared their testimony about what God was doing. The first told us about spending two years in the Journeyman program. (I need to look into that a little more.) She was in France for those two years; sometimes there were teams, other times they tried to build relations with those in the area.

That is when God starting bringing some other scriptures to my mind. He reminded me of those who wanted to go back to bury their family member first to which Jesus responded, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God,” (Luke 9:60 NIV).  He also reminded me of the man who wanted to say by to his family. “Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” When I gave him my life, I was giving him my entire life. My life is no longer my own. That means if he calls me to go to a far-off country where I don’t know anyone; I don’t know the culture; I don’t know the language—I am supposed to go. He will go with me. The question is not an if he sends me; it is a where will he send me.

I began studying Spanish so I could use it in missions. It opens up Spain, Central and South America as places I can communicate. But I am willing to go wherever. Through my time at ASU God has placed a lot of East-Asians in my life. We have become friends and I have had the opportunity to get the gospel in many of their hands. There are other opportunities I have missed. But God has really put them on my heart. I wonder if he is not only preparing me to leave all of the familiarity but maybe even calling me to China or Japan.

I will be honest: the thought of going to be a long-term missionary in China, a communist country, scares me. Japan scares me simply because of being a different culture and language. But should I start trying to learn those languages from friends right here at ASU? Which one? God definitely showed me that he is preparing me to leave my friends and my family this morning. I don’t know how. I don’t know where. But I want to do it, filled with joy. Life is a journey. Life is an adventure. It is a good thing that I am not supposed to be the pilot.

Please pray for me that God would ease the stress some and that I could enjoy the friendships while we are right here together. Pray that he would give me the opportunities (and that I would take the opportunities) to share the gospel with them. Please pray that God would tear down the walls in their hearts and that he would grow the seeds. Please pray for me, that God would show me exactly where he wants me to go, when, how and all of that good stuff.

God bless.