HvZ Next Week!

Humans vs Zombies

    Sign up this Thursday! It’s almost time again for the Humans vs. Zombies annual game. For those of you who don’t know, this game is a campus wide game of tag where a set few of people are labeled zombies and cannot use anything but their two hands to tag someone labeled a human in order to turn them into a zombie. Humans are allowed to throw socks and use NERF guns to stun zombies from being able to tag them for 15 minutes. I participated in this event last year, and I recommend everyone to at least join in the fun during one of their years here in SUNY Oswego. The game only comes around once a year after midterms in the fall semester.

I probably will be writing up daily blogs for each day I survive as a labeled human in the game. I may resort to writing a huge blog that is more like a list of journal entries of what occurred every day from what I remembered that is most memorable of course. I have done this last year where on the last day of the event, I wrote a blog describing everything I could in detail and it was just too much fun writing it all down and remembering the friends I made and hilarious moments.

There are clear rules within the event which keeps everyone safe as long as people respect them. Such rules are that you can’t be in play when you step in the parking lot or 5 feet from a building. When a NERF bullet hits a zombie in the head, it won’t count as them being stunned. Also, non-players cannot participate in the game, where players working in collusion with non-players will be kicked out. You can find the list of rules and regulations within the Humans vs. Zombies Facebook page.

The game is thrilling, exciting, and friendly if you make it so. There won’t be anything weird about it since it’s a game where we all can go around and be “childish” as some people believe it to be. It’s worth the fun, and it’s acceptable. What’s better is you’re playing with potential long term friends and well as building great friendships as you go around finding other humans to team up with as you walk to class. The same goes to zombies where you can wait in front of campus center and wait for humans to walk nearby (Oops…watch out humans).

The game may feel like it’s built towards zombies to win, but it’s really all about giving it a try and experience the thrill of being in situations of survival. I want everyone to have fun and don’t even worry about not having a NERF gun. I was pretty much a weaponless human who would throw useless socks sometimes and even borrowed a NERF gun whenever a friend wasn’t going outside for the rest of the day. Enjoy the event guys, it’s only one week with an interesting storyline brought to you by the moderators of the Story Teller’s Guild.

Long Distance Communication

Long Distance

            Long distance may be one of the most difficult things to cope with in life. Whether it’s long distance relationships or being far from home, dealing with it is all you can do. However, there are different ways to deal with it. You can go through with video calling them through any video calling software ranging from Skype, Oovoo, Tango, FaceTime, etc… There are some advantages and disadvantages to using video calling, but it’s really helpful when you miss your significant other dearly or a family member. Long distance relationships, however, can have its pros and cons, but you may feel the cons a lot more. There are great things like: unlimited alone time, not having to fight for space, being able to go out with your friends all the time without anyone getting upset. The main con is the fact that you both can be thousands of miles apart. Distance has a definite impact on the dynamics of a relationship. A serious long distance relationship surely isn’t the same as having a long distance crush. When you have a long distance crush, everything’s new and exciting. You’re getting to know someone over the only modes of communication you have and it’s the biggest emotional tease, really, because the possibility of anything is wide open. Maybe you’ll meet them, maybe you won’t; you never know. But when you’re trying to make something that already exists, a legitimately working long distance relationship, it’s difficult.

In general when you’re away from home, you have the best and worst of both worlds. The freedom of being single and none of the fun or all the comfort of being in a relationship and none of the contact. It’s like having a large part of your life figured out, but it’s mysteriously nowhere to be found; that’s probably one of the weirdest feelings you’ll ever get. We can only be happy we have software online that helps with this struggle many of us encounter. Video conferencing for example, you have quick communications with others and  it’s where people from all over the world can meet each other halfway. You also have convenience since most places have internet connection these days, so it’s easy to talk to whoever you want, from wherever you are.

There are many options within video conferencing. Facetime allows you to connect with different people or family members. You can utilize Facetime off of apple products with one other person at a time. This is good for long distance video conferences, it is affordable for people that live far away, and it has a larger base compared to Skype. Facetime gives you a very clear picture. Oovoo allows you to connect with up to six people at a time. This is good for family members that live far away. If one of your contacts isn’t online, you may send them a video message that they will receive when they log in. Skype allows you to connect with one other person at a time. This is free to download and it offers a voice mail service in case someone missed your call. Tango is a video chat app that can be downloaded on an iPhone, iPod, iPad, or an android. This can connect you to one other person at a time. This is, however, a very unpopular app. Although some options can be pricey, others can be very economically feasible, along with being compatible with other equipment. Most of these types of software are very easy to use and understand. It can only take a few clicks to start talking with who you have to.

Video conferencing has some troublesome aspects to it, but the advantages balance out. Time zones may be different in other parts of the world. The investment and maintenance of the equipment is expensive. Also, there will always be times where you need to be able to meet face to face. It’s still worth the time and effort you want to put in order to talk with who you want.

Keeping Yourself Busy

Lately I’ve been drenched with boredom throughout this past weekend. Although I’ve been sick and had more time to think to myself how boring it is to feel like there’s nothing you can do especially when sick. One would want to avoid getting other people sick, which is something I tried to avoid even though someone unfortunately received some of same symptoms I had. Despite someone else getting sick and spreading the “Oswego Plague” indirectly, as some people call it, I’ve had trouble having fun in any way. Usually I enjoy having work to do, however I had caught up with the work I had been assigned.

I actually was glad I had my afternoon class this past Monday for Accounting, seeing as it is my major and that class seems to always have me doing work. The feeling of something keeping me busy makes me feel a lot better especially since I was already focused on controlling the mucus running marathons down my nose; it was not a pretty feeling. Thankfully though, Monday was the last day of me being sick at all. Today, Tuesday, I woke up completely recovered and relaxed as I woke up and went to my 8 a.m. class.

As I write this blog today, I think to myself that I probably should have taken the time to write a blog during the time I was bored. I felt miserable with the cold I had, but now I’ll be trying to keep myself busy again by getting back into the gym. Speaking of gym, if you haven’t purchased a gym membership, I highly recommend you go find a friend who has the Insanity Workout DVD and attempt it. It will be worth your time because watching a video on what specific work out you have to do is better than figuring out first hand in the gym (even though you can get a personal trainer or look up online). I only recommend Insanity at all if you want to find a different place to work out than the gym itself. Hopefully you guys wont feel too bored during your years in college. Make sure to sleep it off if you have to, especially when you’re sick. Spend time with your friends.

Windows 10

Microsoft has revealed their upcoming operating system with a number of questions in mind. They are calling it Windows 10, the fusion of Windows 7 and 8. When they say “fusion” I would imagine they probably thought of calling it Windows 13 or maybe Windows 18; as a message to us users that it would be double what Windows 9 would have been. They didn’t want to go up incrementally, in fact they thought of going down to Windows One. Quite honestly, if they called it Windows One, wouldn’t that feel like a downgrade in some people’s eyes? It’s like starting over to something unfamiliar or simply downgrading their security. There are those who think this way when companies reveal newer products for buyers to spend so much money and time on.

Thankfully we won’t get “lost” in Windows 10; looking back to the Windows 8 interface and how many users still can’t figure out what’s open on their screen or how to get back to an app. The new OS will have a feature that lets you zoom out and see everything that’s open on a PC. The pricing is still unknown, however it’s probably evident that it will turn out to be more expensive than previous versions. We can only hope that the new operating system will be really next gen. With the planned release to be next year, there’s limited time for Microsoft to make their marketing idea of “Windows 10” the better and improved lifestyle choice for our convenience.

In my opinion, I can’t wait for this new operating system to be released if it does come out to be what it’s expected to be. The main thing I would like about Windows 10 would have to be the Start menu. Combined with the windows 8 interface where apps are displayed on the left and windows 8-style apps are located on the right. This Start menu can be seen as very convenient and easy to use. If there was a feature I would hate to be missed it would be the unlocking of the taskbar; the taskbar’s ability to move to the right side of the screen. If that feature is missed, I would already be very disappointed with the OS.

Sources:

Niccolai, James. “Windows 10: 12 Things You Need to Know.” PCWorld. N.p., 01 Oct. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

 

The iPhone 6

Clearly Apple has won when it comes to having everyone talk about the iPhone 6 and how it’s either good or bad for different reasons. After looking up the iPhone 6 news on Google, I find a good number of questions as well as striking news revolving around the new iPhone. “China’s iPhone 6 craving leads to fistfight in Connecticut”, “iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been sold at the quantity of 10 million over this past weekend”, and “How likely is it that a new Apple iPhone 6 or 6 Plus will break when dropped or dunked in water?” Quite honestly I would never buy an apple product solely because they look like they can break almost instantaneously. If they worked on implementing a case as the actual phone without any extra charge, it would be reasonable since you’re already paying $650. It does look slippery as most critics mention and you’re better off buying a carrying case for it. Thinking about it is so expensive for the average college student so for those who do get it, good for you! Just take care of it, one slip or trip and that’s $650 down the drain.

I’ve noticed more about the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus when I called for customer service on UPS and they asked if I was wondering about an “iPhone 6 shipment” and that’s where I know that Apple hit it big. With a great battery life, spectacular camera, operating system, and variety of features, I can understand how much of an upgrade it’d be from my Samsung Galaxy S3. Only problem with some of those who would upgrade is the pricing and how it seems to be able to break easily. I say this due to all of the previous iPods and iPhones Apple has previously made as well as all the friends I have had dropped their own products resulting in breakage.

Honestly I didn’t know about the iPhone 6 until it literally started to get shipped to people on the 19th of September. News spread quickly and I immediately thought to myself: “Oh not this again” assuming its just about iPhone 4 or something. I will completely admit Apple is a great company for selling so many of almost the same products to many people. Products that seem like slight upgrades to the generation before. This is how I feel Samsung did as well when they upgraded from the S4 to the S5, so I only hope there’s a major and noticeable change that I can clearly see when the Galaxy S6 comes out. I’m not going to call myself the most clear-to-see a product for what it is kind of guy whenever a next-gen product comes out; I could be completely blind about it, however stating it how I see it.

To those willing to pay for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, congrats! There’s definitely some cool upgrades that will improve upon other phones. One thing that remains a constant, though, is the iPhone’s awesome library of apps. For all those looking to see how apps will look on the new, larger display, allow me to recommended a new app I found: The Rukkus Phone app (on Android too). It’s full of bright colors and photos that will shine on the retina display. Plus there’s no better option for buying cheap concert sports and theatre tickets.

 

Midterms

Why am I hearing people talk about midterm exams? Is it almost time? Oh no!

It’s almost time guys. Midterms will be coming soon and some professors just love to give them out early. I assume it’s to help you decide on whether you want to actually withdraw from a class or not. I had my fair share of wondering which class to withdraw from when I had to. Make sure to study guys! I understand that Rosh Hashannah is coming up and you all should enjoy yourselves. To those going out for the weekend visiting family or staying on campus to hang around with your friends, have a blessed weekend.

There will be a couple of students who will try to remember stuff from their classes throughout the vacation; or try to catch up on their courses, and I applaud those of you who try. I’m very optimistic and I hope those who work on their coursework deserve the highest possibility of getting that break from stress you need. Quite frankly, everyone should be working hard, but I know there are people who just won’t care to put the work in; who just go out and ignore their deadlines. I mention this due to what happened last year where a good portion of my friends couldn’t keep up with the work after partying too much and they end up de-registered from SUNY Oswego. Try hard guys.

A little advice for those in a relationship while dealing with the large volume of coursework your partner could possibly be overwhelmed with. Make sure you give him or her the space they need and don’t feel like you are ignored when they seem to be really unable to reply to messages. I say this due to what I’ve been noticing around my friends lately so I’m sharing this advice.

Overall I want everyone to have a great time and make wonderful memories with your friends. There will be moments where you feel bad or fake to your friends solely because you can’t hang around them. They should understand that you are most likely doing your work, if you tell them so. Don’t fall for peer pressure, make friends, don’t be sad, be positive (B+) and make that grade or higher.

Trip around Latin America

During this program with the Latino Student Union, we were engaged in guessing which country the presenters were discussing after giving some notable facts about a certain country we try to guess. For every country we guessed, they mentioned the current events and fun facts about those countries afterwards. Some countries that we’ve successfully guessed were: Chile, Columbia, Nicaragua, Argentina, El Salvador, Venezuela, Cuba, Panama, Bolivia, Honduras and Brazil. Some facts ranged from their national sports to their spoken languages. Current events that were mentioned are that Nicaragua is trying to build a canal although they have a concern over environmental effects, El Salvador sends children to the United States to keep them from the gangs and warfare in their nation, and much more.

This program relates to many national events going on throughout Latin America. A current event from Panama would be that they have the best telecommunication system in Latin America. Argentina has their congress recently passing a measure to prevent itself from going into their second default after 13 years. Venezuela being one of the best oil exporting countries in the world. Also Chile has a separation between two groups of people who were a former dictator’s supporters and detractors which creates tensions between them.  These current events inform us more about important things we may find interesting about a nation. With this information, we can understand more about how a different country operates.

I gained a lot of new information from this program pertaining to the fun facts and current events mentioned about other countries I don’t quite think about. I was able to learn more about countries other than the ones I’m from: Ecuador and Dominican Republic which they haven’t mentioned. I learned about Honduras being more of a gang controlled country where it’s more of a murder capital with murders at a ratio of 90 to 100,000. I learned that Brazil had imagined their economy getting better after hosting the World Cup, however the GDP only increased by 0.2% indicating that, still, the inflation rate is expected to rise. I learned that Cuba made Christmas an official holiday on 1997, and they nickname their country a crocodile since their island is shaped like a crocodile’s head.

“All About My Mother” Movie Review

The movie: “All About My Mother” was about a woman whose son named Esteban died and she dealt with the pain of telling important individuals about his death. She goes on to care for a pregnant nun who became her best friend, and plans to call her upcoming son: Esteban. The nun had an affair with the woman’s ex-boyfriend during the time she raised the already dead Esteban. Unfortunately the nun caught AIDS from him and it is important to note he was a transvestite named Lola who happened to go around being a prostitute. The Esteban who died never got to know his father since his mother ran away with him as a child in order to hide the truth from him. In the end, the nun died shortly after the pregnancy due to the virus, and Lola came into the scene and met the child, assuming it was his first child and the mother of the deceased Esteban showed him the picture of his truly first born son.

This program relates to a global issue of the lives of people with AIDS/HIV and also to those who become a bad influence as a parent. It’s possible for a parent with a husband/wife who considered a life of being a prostitute to run away with his/her child. This could be done because the parent wouldn’t want the child to know the truth and possibly follow their footsteps. The child would be upset with their parent for hiding the facts and feeling like they’re missing a half to their life. Even in the movie, the woman took the nun’s child away to another country just to hide the truth again.

I gained new information from the movie, which was the fact that such a problem Esteban’s mother had could exist. To have a future transvestite as a partner and leaving them due to bad influences to later find out a friend you recently made had intercourse with the man, resulting in catching AIDS. Luckily Esteban’s mother didn’t have AIDS since Lola had been a prostitute over the 17 years up to Esteban’s death. Looking at this case, I see more into the fact that there are many routes to life, and this particular one isn’t rare at all. Globally there are more and more individuals becoming a bad influence, resulting in the alteration of their child/children’s lives. A child already feels worse when they feel like they’re missing that one half of their life, this being their second parent.

Stay awake!

Any of you been feeling very exhausted lately? Not enough sleep? Well don’t feel like you’re the only one! Lately, well today, I really noticed myself becoming extremely exhausted with classes and the work to do all in one day in order to save free time later on. To me, however, it’s due to having an 8 a.m. class and going to sleep at 1 a.m. so I didn’t actually have enough sleep. Even writing this blog down, I am very tired, but I want to share how a normal college student feels throughout the semester. I especially feel this way when I know I have so much time in the day to get through so much work solely due to the fact that I wake up for an 8 a.m., so I try not to nap since it feels like wasting perfect time for later.

I know that this is how I have to expect to do my work and handle my schedule since this is how I built it. I wouldn’t argue about it, although some college students complain to the extreme and wonder why. We all are learning how to build our time management. I have had friends who flunked because they did not handle their time wisely, especially in the end of their semester last year. Now this makes me feel good and bad to be quite honest. It means I am working hard on my time management but also realizing that messing up would feel like a tragedy for me. I would dislike being behind and missing due dates as much as anyone else. Being a business major, I know I can’t be missing any due dates in the real world. The struggle is real.

I encourage everyone to really go take your classes seriously and find out what is going on in your classes. Due dates mean do now and don’t wait. You won’t regret it if you try and make time for yourself and have time for others later with no work to worry about. There’s nothing like the feeling of having no homework and papers due for longer than a day, until your professor decides otherwise.

“I Don’t Speak Spanish” Discussion by Latino Student Union

During the “I Don’t Speak Spanish” discussion with the Latino Student Union, we sat down and were asked discussion questions as we were informed about why there are individuals who don’t speak Spanish. The first question was something I can relate to since I am Hispanic myself: What goes through your mind when you meet a Hispanic that does not speak Spanish? Although to me, I would answer quite differently because I do know Spanish, but I don’t like to speak it due to my accent. I was raised in America with English everywhere, and even though I learned Spanish at the youngest age, English overlapped my way of speech. Thus giving me more of a stutter and accent in the Spanish language. Some people are made fun of, and some don’t pick Spanish up very well, as discussed in the lecture.

Another question addressed was: what are some reasons why the number of Hispanics speaking Spanish decreasing? It was due to the dominating language here being English. We figured this is the case since our school systems use English, the menus at restaurants use English, and when we go to take a subway train in New York City: the speaker uses English vocabulary to announce the upcoming stop. There is also a bad stigma going around where they would say “just practice”, and all I, and probably any person struggling to speak Spanish can say is, “it’s not that easy.”

Some factors for some Hispanics not speaking Spanish are the Shame/fear out of it, Desire to assimilate, and that they are bad at languages. Some people, even me, are afraid of being discriminated against, especially when I go to a place where Spanish is hardly spoken, like Idaho State. If there are no Hispanics in a particular location, “who am I going to speak Spanish to?” There are Hispanics who don’t necessarily speak Spanish, rather slang, like we do in English. Another discussion question was: “Why is it important to be able to speak Spanish?” Some points were made that Spanish is almost becoming the most spoken language in the world behind Mandarin. Some jobs now actually have the job requirement to speak Spanish. For example: Customer Service Representatives, when you call and they say “dial 2 for Spanish…” that position gives a higher wage of about 50 cents to a dollar higher than an English speaking CSR.

I enjoyed my time discussing more about my own Spanish background with my peers and having them add more to it with stories of their own. Many of us listeners were involved and it was intriguing. There was also a recommendation at the end of the discussion to try out an app on the phone that helps you learn other languages over time, not to mention it’s interactive. I definitely gained some knowledge and the actual “want” of learning more languages now that I know of such an app. We talked about how interracial marriages can affect how to raise your own children by having yourself question whether the Spanish language should be taught to them or the language of the significant other.