Surviving Sleep Deprivation

It’s late, like 4 in the morning late, but you absolutely have to finish this project despite having a 9 a.m. class the next day. I’ve learned that running on minimal hours of sleep is sometimes a part of college. Here are some tips I use when I don’t get an adequate amount of sleep.

1. Coffee or Tea:

Seriously, coffee can be a lifesaver when you’re feeling sleepy. Sometimes, it can be the greatest thing ever. One cup can mean the difference between feeling drowsy and losing focus in class, to paying attention and being fully engaged. If you’re not into the coffee, then go with with some tea. Tea with caffeine can keep you from the sleepy feeling just as much as coffee can. Stay away from energy drinks, the short boost of energy isn’t worth the crash.

2. Eat:

If you have a long day of class or work ahead of you, make sure to eat a healthy snack during the day. A healthy lunch or snack will give your body energy to survive the rest of the day. Here are some suggestions for high energy snacks.

3. Power nap:

If you find yourself having to tackle a pile of homework, take a short 20-30-minute power nap to give yourself a boost of energy. Make sure to set an alarm, you don’t want a power nap to turn into a 3-hour nap.

4. Music:

Listen to upbeat music throughout the day to keep your mind in an upbeat and rhythmic state. I find that when I’m walking to class with music playing through my headphones, I’m more focused and feel less like a walking zombie.

These are just some ways I’ve dealt with drowsiness. I hope these tips help you the next time you find yourself yawning throughout the day. For more tips, check out this list.

Adopting a Second Language for Success

What does it mean to be a native Spanish-speaking student with an English writing major? Well, for starters, at least for me, it means that I like to take on a challenge. There are really not a lot of students out there whose native language is Spanish (or other) and venture in a field predominated by the English language. It is hard.

But being bilingual only means that I am smart and have less chances of having dementia when I’m old, as described in this New York Times article.

However, it wasn’t easy. When I started, I felt that most of the time I was trying to catch up with my peers on assignments. As I progressed, it became easier. And today, I am totally rocking it!
Now, my peers are catching up to me. That is probably not true, but we are definitely at the same level.

Now that I am approaching the end of my era here at Chico State, I have started to reminisce about everything that I have learned, and I sometimes question if I have indeed, learned anything. But then when I write, it is then that I understand I have indeed learned a lot. I feel privileged to have received the best education from the best professors. Yup, Chico State has amazing, incredibly genius and dedicated professors that want and expect nothing less than perfection from students. For example, the professors of the Journalism and Public Relations Department.

English as my second language has only made me unique. And then that accent of mine, it just adds a plus to my uniqueness.

I would not change anything I have done even if it were possible because if I did, I wouldn’t be at this moment writing my blog. Because no matter how difficult college was, it has made me into the person that I am today, and I like who I am.

It is also about the experience of what it is like to succeed and make it through college. I knew as alluring as I might be (just kidding) it wasn’t going to be enough, so I worked very hard to be better, to be unique. And I think I am.

Social Media Painted Red for Same-sex Marriage Equality

The current focus on same-sex marriage and social media’s solidarity campaign challenges people to stand up for their beliefs and show their support. This heightened focus on the issue expands the discussion. It helps same-sex couples feel supported, which enables them to voice their views, exposing the public to the reality of same-sex marriage. This increased awareness can only lead to increased acceptance, and eventually to full inclusion.

Marriage equality has been a popular topic in recent years. There has been much debate aimed at swaying minds of those on the fence and raising awareness among those that are mildly informed. While still an extremely controversial topic, same-sex marriage has sparked public interest and has created an ongoing conversation, especially through social media sites.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or have completely avoided every aspect of social media, you have probably noticed at least one of your Facebook or Twitter followers has changed their standard profile picture to one of a red and pink equality symbol in support of same-sex marriage.

Last week, nine Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments in two cases regarding same-sex marriage.  The first was Hollingsworth v. Perry, which questions the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which eliminated recognition of same-sex marriage. The second was United States v. Windsor and challenges the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and unfair treatment of same-sex couples.

Meanwhile, Monday, March 25 marked the beginning of social media sites being painted in shades of red. The Human Rights Campaign posted a photo asking followers to change their photos to show their support for marriage equality.

Over the next 24 hours, The Facebook Data Science Team notes that Facebook saw a 2.7 million user or 120 percent increase in profile photo updates compared to the previous Tuesday, showcasing one aspect of the campaigns impact. While the campaign spread nationally, it spread demographically as well, with Facebook users in their 30s participating the most in the campaign.

Throughout the week, many people had fun with their icons by creating various versions of the image to reflect their own personalities.

While social media can sometimes be a source for the world’s nonsense and misinformation, it has proved to be a powerful tool to focus attention on worthwhile causes and engage people in conversation about topics that may have an effect on political decision makers and legislation.

The reason I believe this campaign is so important is because it clearly points to a shift in public opinion. As social media users were exposed to the campaign, it seemed that one of two things happened with each user:

1. People who were already in support of same-sex marriage saw the equality symbol and shared the image or post a status in support, showing acceptance and influencing others to do the same.

2. Someone who is opposed to same-sex marriage is exposed to the campaign, wirnesses friends, family members, colleagues, etc. in support, and as a result, may reevaluate their stance, especially if the people they love are supporting the cause.

Everythings Coming Up 90s

Take a look around, doesn’t it seem like something’s familiar? One thing I’ve noticed about 2013 is that it feels like America was thrown in a time warp back into the 1990s. Despite extremely low gas prices and entertaining Saturday morning cartoons, the nation has taken on a 90s feel.

First off, if you’re looking to see a movie, you can go watch Jurassic Park 3D. The film that originally came out in theaters in 1993 is back in 3D. It’s great for those who were too young to see it in theaters when it first came out.

Another nostalgic trend I’ve noticed is the return of grunge fashion and throwback sports clothing. Nirvana T-shirts and classic band shirts are scattered throughout stores like Forever 21. Acid wash jeans, combat style boots and studded accessories are popular again for young women. For men, snapback styled hats with reissued classic designs are popular and sold in many stores.

Other nostalgic trends I’ve noticed today are the boy-band revival and the return of classic television shows. If you haven’t heard already, a Boy Meets World spin-off called Girl Meets World is currently being filmed and even features the original Cory and Topanga.

There also are so many boy-bands in the pop music world again, that it reminds me of the days when just about every pre-teen girl was crazy about N’sync.

Last but not least, seems like the world also has a new Vanilla Ice.

Check out this page to see more nostalgia themed articles.

“That is Like So Hella Rad, Brah”

I’ll take words you will never hear together for eight hundred, please.

If that title didn’t confuse you, nothing will. If you ask any native Californian, there is an impending debate about which is better: Northern California or Southern California.  Northern California has San Francisco, the academic geniuses of Silicon Valley and the state capital. Southern California is home to Hollywood, Disneyland and miles upon miles of sandy, almost always sunny beaches. The question remains: Nor Cal or So Cal?

Originally from sunny San Diego, I think it’s pretty clear what my answer would be; however, while still at school here in the northern end of this glorious state, I think I will keep my humble opinion to myself.

Southern California Kellie                                                        Northern California Kellie

What I am most interested in concerning this constant debate is the differences in speech. For example, I had never even heard the word “hella” before coming to Chico for college. Now, it’s rare if, for one day, I don’t hear someone say “That’s hella cool!” or “I’m hella hungry.”

In Southern California, we say things like “rad” and “stoked.” Those aren’t just cheesy words used by surfers and reality show jocks to further instill the So Cal stereotype into the minds of others, it’s really how many of us speak.

Another point of notable difference is the use of the article “the” in conjunction with freeway names. For example, in Southern California, interstate five is “the five.” While, in Northern California, it’s just “I-5.” I found these to be interesting factors of separation for the mid-state divide.

If you couldn’t already tell which end of the state someone is from, listen to them talk. The moment the first “hella” or “gnarly” is spoken the mystery will be solved.

So… is there a clear winner and loser? The world may never know.
Until then, stay classy, California.

That’s Like So Obvi Totes Adorbs!

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Can’t understand my title? Let me break it down for you.
Obvi= obviously
Totes= totally
Adorbs= adorable

You may want to watch this video before preceding!

Grammar was first hijacked by texting abbreviations, such as: LOL, OMG and BTW. People are now taking advantage of shortening syllables and having simply shaved off words to make them cuter.
Most people will assume only girls do this, but I have heard boys utter the word “fab.” I guess you could say it is that annoying habit others possess, yet you find yourself saying these words when you are home alone.

This trend has been encouraged by socialites, reality tv stars and anyone out there who is trying to personally customize their vocabulary.  
In order to fully grasp this form of word modification, it would be beneficial to grab some popcorn and turn on an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

As a soon-to-be college graduate, I worry about the reputation Generation Y holds. We are known for being technologically advanced and capable of doing everything from our laptops, according to a Forbes article.

With all the other concerns older generations have about Generation Y, I hope that the use of word shortcuts, doesn’t lead them to think we are proned to do so for everything in life.

Aside from searching for jobs and perfecting my resumé I need to fine-tune my vocabulary and throw out the cute, so-called girly slang.

Note: Please don’t think I am writing this to bash word abbreviators, because I am 100 percent guilty when it comes to this guilty pleasure.

Please Turn Your Attention to the Flight Attendant Nearest You For Our Safety Demonstration… Or Just Tune Out!

By Lauren Fusco, Account Executive
During the month of November I traveled a lot.
A total of six plane rides, equaling to 13 hours in-flight. If you were to add up the famous “safety talk” that the flight attendants gave, it would be equal to 30 minutes.
I understand that it is important to know where the closest emergency exit is, how to properly put on your oxygen mask and how to inflate your life vest, but who is really listening to this information?
Because I consider myself “flying pro” for the month, I will go out on a limb by saying this. No one wants to listen to what you have to say if you are monotone and boring. Even if the information is detrimental to your survival.
One’s tone and delivery can determine how effective your message is. 
My prime example is my plane ride from San Francisco to Sacramento, which took place at 7:15 a.m.
The 20-seater plane was ancient. When the pilot started the engine, I wasn’t sure if it stalled or if it was working properly. 
As the flight attendant began her spiel I was exhausted, yet ready to hear her out and give her a chance. I was surprised to hear an awkward, mumbled tone come out of her mouth. Instead of being completely turned off, I was baffled and continued to listen.
At this point I wasn’t tuning into the safety tips, I was comparing the feeling of being on a rollercoaster to the sound of her voice.
Long story short, her spiel failed.
One week later I found myself on a plane to Los Angeles. Ready to tune out and let the air-pressured cabins put me to sleep.
I heard, “If you don’t like our service you can exit at any time from any exit nearest you.” This wasn’t your typical flight attendant talk. This was humorous and enjoyable.
The chipper-toned flight attendant added in a couple of wisecracks and gained the attention of her audience.
I will gladly admit that for the first time I listened to the entire flight attendant lecture and it was wonderful.
From this experience I learned that no matter what your occupation is, your delivery and tone plays a big role in the effectiveness of your message!
Note: Not all flight attendants deliver boring safety spiels. Visit 7 Secret Flight Attendant Tricks for some real-life entertaining stories that take place above the clouds! 

Have You Been to Feather Falls?

By Patrick Sheehan, Graphic Designer
For all of you Chico State students who are interested in the great outdoors, Feather Falls is a must see.  In just under an hour and a half, you can be far from civilization and deep into the wonders of the Plumas National Forest.  Simply hop on Highway 99 South, drive through Oroville, and that puts you on the 162 winding around Lake Oroville.  
Then just keep your eyes peeled for Lumpkin Road, which is the gateway to the base of Feather Falls trail.  
The view of the towering waterfall is well deserved after a 4.5-mile hike from the 
base.  In fact, the total round trip from top to bottom is over 8 miles, so be sure to stretch your legs and stay hydrated throughout your journey.  The location of the waterfall lies on the middle fork of the Feather River known as the Fall River.  The river’s origin begins in the Sierra Nevada and runs 100 miles before flowing into one of the crooked fingers of Lake Oroville.  
On the descending voyage through the Plumas National Forest in route of the lake, the 
falls reach a 410-foot vertical granite slab where it projects its energy through a narrow passageway.  During the late winter months, the water levels reaches its peak 
and allows Feather Falls to come alive.  The top of the falls is easily accessible and provides the viewer with a breathtaking scene of the deep valley that lies beneath.  For those who are not fans of heights, an additional viewpoint was constructed that allows viewers to observe from a comfortable distance.  

Capitalizing On Our Need For Capitalism

By Christopher Tavolazzi, Editorial Assisstant
I recently got in a high volume debate with my roommates over the new Windows
8. If you haven’t seen it yet, the new operating system throws out the standard
folders and drop-down menus in favor of colored tiles as its main form of navigation.
It’s weird, and the entire OS is designed for touch screens.
I told my roommates that I think Microsoft is using Windows 8 as a ploy to get
people to buy more Microsoft stuff. I believe they will drop support for older
operating systems like Vista and 7 very soon, and force people to either move to the
new or get left behind. My roommates disagreed, asserting instead that Microsoft is
spearheading innovation in an industry that needs it.
While we won’t know who’s right for a few more years, one thing is true–tech
companies have been capitalizing on our societal drive for capitalism for years. Look
at Apple, for example. Apple fans will line up a week before the next new iThing
release, only to have their iStuff outdated way too soon.
Or take Activision, which has released a new Call of Duty game literally every year
since its inception. The next one, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, released Nov. 13, is the most preordered game in Amazon’s history, and there is another title planned for next year.
It makes sense. Last year, Apple’s gross income was $45 billion, and Activision’s was
$3.4 billion. That’s no small feat.
Still, I get a pretty sour feeling when shelling out another couple hundred bucks to
buy the latest tech thing. I can’t help but feel manipulated and wonder why they
couldn’t have put all these features in the last version. But still I buy it, because I
don’t want to miss out.
Why we keep buying in, I have no idea. I have a feeling that it’s only going to get
worse as our society grows ever more dependent on technology.