Category: Opinion

Photojournalism student cherishes experiences, relationships

by Autumn Bippert

Since the first semester of class, I have been thinking about the day I would write my farewell to South Plains College. I wondered what my story would be, who I would be two years into the future.

The truth is, I wasn’t excited about coming to SPC. But I wasn’t the best high school student, and SPC had the major I wanted. So there really wasn’t another option.

During the past two and a half years, I have given SPC all of myself, and in return, SPC gave me everything it could back. I have learned so much from so many kind and caring professors, such as Charlie Ehrenfeld, Billy Alonzo, Rebecca and Aaron Greene. These professors, not only taught me through their class, but they made SPC feel like home.

My whole life I have lived in the same 30-mile radius in central Texas. Being 350 miles away from what I had known my whole life was hard. And I am so thankful for the many here at SPC who made my transition less hard and made SPC my home away from home.

This brings me to where I have spent the larger majority of my college career, in the Communications Building. I have spent countless hours, late nights, even into early mornings, in the Communications Building. I wanted to be a photojournalism major because of the journalism I learned in high school. I had no idea how much I didn’t even know about journalism and communication. Being at SPC made me fall in love with journalism, photography, and communication all over again.

As I am writing this, I sit in an empty Newsroom. The Newsroom is where everything happened. I cannot even begin to describe all that has occurred in this room. This is where I laid out my first collegiate newspaper page, where I learned how to write headlines, where many friendships were formed, where I struggled to learn how to become a better leader. The Newsroom has been a gathering place of all these wonderful, and not so wonderful, memories. I’ve accomplished so much in this room, grown so much in this room and become the person I am today in this room. The Newsroom is a part of my heart. The Newsroom is the place where I struggled endlessly, but it always helped me fall back in love with journalism.

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During my first semester on the staff, I was determined to work hard and produce the best work I could. In high school, my hard work on the yearbook staff was always overlooked. But it was different once I joined the Plainsman Press. They recognized my hard work and my love for what I was doing. And I was named Editor-in-Chief after my first semester.

So many people through the years have made an impact on me through the staff. Whether good or bad, these people made a difference in my life and helped me grow and learn.

I am so thankful for the people who taught me and guided me my first semester on the staff. Matt Molinar, Riley Golden, Nicole Lopez, Brandi Ortiz, and Tovi Oyervidez all were great mentors who taught me everything I needed to know. They were also part of my support system for the first semester of college. I hope they are all doing wonderful in their endeavors.

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Randi Jines and Tina Gonzales were my fellow editorial assistants in the Newsroom who quickly became my friends that first semester. They both filled my time in the Newsroom and my life with laughter and joy. They are amazing people who will accomplish so much if they put their heart into it.

Adán Rubio was also part of the first staff I was on, although I didn’t get to know him until my second semester. Adán reluctantly joined our fun on Paper Night when we joked around. But eventually he warmed up, and we got to know him better. Adán is an amazing journalist and one of the smartest people I know. It was an absolute pleasure teaching him everything I could. I am incredibly proud of how well he is doing at Texas Tech and on the staff of the Daily Toreador as the News Editor, which I totally take some credit for. I’m so thankful for his random visits on Paper Nights to check on us and talk with me. I am delighted to call him my friend.

During my second semester, I met a girl who was being interviewed for a student feature. I didn’t know that one day she would be one of my best friends. Victoria De Souza will say that I made her join the staff, which is true. I had been friends with Victoria for close to a year when I asked her to join the staff. She reluctantly agreed. Victoria has struggled so much with writing because English is not her first language, but she has come so incredibly far. I am so proud of how far she has come and how she has stuck through it, even when she wanted to quit. She is an amazing person and such an intelligent person. I love her for so many reasons, and I will forever be cheering her on.

Rebekah Harvey (now Lofton) was on the staff last spring. She quickly became someone I could depend on. She is the most capable person I know. She also has an incredible heart. She was always there to listen, to gossip and never to judge. I know she will be incredibly successful in the future. I am so grateful to have her in my life. I enjoyed teaching her and working with her. I hope she and Brandon have an amazing life together.

Without Kendall Rainer, my right hand, kendall and i.pngI would not have been able to accomplish all that I have. Kendall and I dated in high school, and he decided to follow me to college. After his first semester, he was still unsure of what he wanted to do. So I encouraged him to join the newspaper staff. He quickly became an instrumental part of the paper. He helped me so much in and out of the Newsroom. I am so grateful to have such an amazingly hard worker in my life supporting me. I am extremely proud of how much he has learned, has grown as a person, and accomplished.

Charlie Ehrenfeld, Charles, my mentor and professor, words cannot describe all that you are to me.IMG_9258 He has been my parent away from home. He has pushed me to become better and learn more. He has taught me so much about journalism that I didn’t even know I didn’t know. He has been there to let me vent about life. And he helped me grow to be the person I am today. He has become my family, and he guided me to fall in love with communications again. I am so thankful to have him in my life, and I can’t wait to thank him in my acceptance speech one day.

Through the Plainsman Press, I have had so many experiences that I would have never done before. I’ve been on the sidelines of Texas Tech football games doing what I’ve always loved, taking photos. I’ve interviewed so many interesting and amazing people. I was a nominee for Miss Caprock, which I never thought I would do. I have sat in on Board of Regents meetings, improving my journalism range and getting to know the people who run the college. I have loved every second, through all the stress, the tears and doubts. I loved each experience.

I’ve had so many wonderful professors at SPC who made my experience memorable and great, as well as other staff at the college. I am so grateful for each and every person who has helped me through these first few years of my college career.

After two years of wondering about what my farewell would say, I figured that it is my love letter to the Plainsman Press, to every staff before me that set the foundations for the paper, and every staff I have been a part of.

General studies major finds future career through colligate publication

by Kendall Rainer

This is my final story for the Plainsman Press.

I have written so much for this newspaper, done so many amazing things, experienced things that I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced.

I’ll start from the beginning. As the end of my senior year of high school came quickly approaching, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I had no plans for college, no career path in mind.

There was one thing, one person, however, who was going to set me on a path that I hadn’t even pondered.

The woman I am dating had been constantly hounding me about college. I didn’t know where I wanted to go, and I didn’t have good grades in high school, but I decided to follow her to college.

This is where my journey began. During my first semester at South Plains College, I just focused on doing my basics as a General Studies Major. My girlfriend was simultaneously beginning her career on the Plainsman Press.

As my second semester of college was approaching, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. So my girlfriend convinced me to join the newspaper to try to find something.

I have enjoyed photography since high school and had a small portfolio put together. So the position of photo editor on the paper spoke to me. I joined the staff the following semester on the promise that all I had to do was take and edit photos. Part of that ended up being true.

In my first semester on the paper, I was named photo editor, with a bonus of being the sports editor. My title changed the next semester, but my job remained the same, take and edit photos, write sports. In my third semester, I had the privilege of being named Associate Editor, and still hold that title in this, my final semester on the paper and at SPC.

I have had some amazing opportunities, including but not limited to: taking photos at numerous SPC sporting events, having the amazing opportunity to take photos at Texas Tech football games, including a game against the University of Texas, which I will forever be grateful for, and experiencing many fascinating things Lubbock has to offer.

There have been many influencers, many friendships I have formed along the way. However, for the sake of space I will only mention a few.

The first and most significant influence has been Autumn Bippert (the girlfriend previously mentioned). If it wasn’t for her, I would have never found something I enjoy so much. She has helped me through some of the toughest moments in my college career thus far, both on and off-campus. I am so proud of her and what she has accomplished. She became the Editor-In-Chief at the start of her second semester on the newspaper and has run every staff amazingly. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next.

The next, and just equally as influential, is Charlie Ehrenfeld. Charlie has not only been my instructor and advisor, but he has been a mentor to me. He has taught me so much about both photography and writing and reporting sports. Not only has he been a mentor, but he has helped to make this place that is very far away from where I grew up my home away from home.

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Adán Rubio is one of the great editors I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know during my first semester. It took him a little bit to warm up to everyone, but he eventually came out of his shell. Being his desk-mate I was able to hear all of the under-the-breath jokes he made, which were seemingly out of character. Adán has gone on to be the News Editor at the Daily Toreador at Texas Tech, an accomplishment that I am very proud of him for.

Tina Gonzales and Randi Jines made Paper Nights an amazing experience during my first semester on the staff. They are part of the family bond we forge in the Newsroom, and I will never forget my time with them.

Victoria De Souza has become a great friend of mine. She joined the paper in my third semester after Autumn had convinced her to come aboard. The sassy Brazilian that I call my friend is and will be a highlight of my time here, and I am very proud of how far she has come.

There were many more editors and staff members along the way that I was not able to mention, but I thank each and every one for the experiences they contributed to and the hard work they put forth to forge this award-winning newspaper.    

The countless hours I have spent in this Newsroom I will remember forever. This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I don’t think there will be many more like it. I have greatly enjoyed my time here, and I will not soon forget it. Farewell.           

International student improves communication skills with Plainsman Press experience

by Victoria de Souza

            I have never been a very good person for dealing with goodbyes, and saying goodbye to the Plainsman Press has not been an exception.

            My story with the Plainsman Press newspaper started way before Autumn’s unstoppable attempts to get me to join as a staff member. In the spring of 2018, Randi Jines, one of the editors for the paper, interviewed me for a student feature, which introduced me to the class and helped me make new friends.IMG_0966

Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. After months of peer pressure, I finally said, “OK, Autumn, I will join the newspaper,” and here I am two semesters later.

I was extremely scared on my first day. I did not have any idea what I would have to do. I never had any interest in Journalism, and I was very concerned about my ability to write. When I came to college, I did not have much knowledge about how to write in English. It was a very difficult time when I became part of the newspaper to overcome the fear of someone else reading my stories.

My first issue at the newspaper was very difficult for me when I wrote about how I always try to hide my accent because of being afraid of people discriminating against me. It was very hard, and I might have called Autumn, editor-in-chief of the Plainsman Press, in the middle of a major emotional breakdown. But after a lot of practice, writing became a little easier for me.

Being part of the staff not only has helped me improve my writing skills, it has given me a new little family away from home. Coming to college in a different city was very overwhelming, since I did not know anyone around this town.

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Besides being the one who made me be on the newspaper staff, Autumn Bippert always helped others and encouraged me to keep writing. She has become my best friend who always sticks by my side, no matter what. This red head always pushing me to do things that challenges myself helped me become a better writer and a better person, even when she made me mad sometimes when we were both tired and stressed. She is capable of achieving anything that she wants and she knows.

Another person who always helped me a lot is Kendall Rainer. He really helped in getting a bunch of questions out of my head in seconds. It is really cool to see how creative he can be. Of course, he always says two or three jokes about my accent and how confusing I sound when I get tired. Even though he is still figuring out what he wants to do, he will be able to do it better than anyone, and he will follow his dream with passion.

A new friend of mine, Desiree Lopez, is always making jokes that help make the night go a little easier when we are laying out pages until 3 a.m. She is a hardworking girl who is capable of a lot, and anyone should not underestimate her.

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To Charles Ehrenfeld, thank you for believing in me. I probably have not been the best writer, but you always told me, through the notes in my corrections, that I was and I am still improving a lot with my journalistic skills. And you might be the reason why I do not use blue pens anymore. But every time that you give me my papers full of corrections, it always shows me that I could do better.

I cannot deny how stressful this experience has been, with lots of tears, nights awake, and amazing experience collected. But it is impossible to say that I would not do it again. During the  past two semesters, being in this Newsroom has improved more than just my writing skills. The Plainsman Press has taught me to manage stressful times and be more confident in myself because I can do anything if I work hard for it.

Making your own clothes has benefits

by Abi Hernandez

Many clothing companies have many different types of machines that produce their clothing. If we made our own clothes, it could be beneficial in so many different ways.

For starters, making your clothes is a whole lot cheaper than going to the store and buying anything made mechanically. When you buy clothes, you usually are only buying the brand of the product and the type of material. Also, the more people get a certain item, the higher the demand will be and the higher prices will get.

It’s also extremely affordable and really fun to be able to see how creative you are. If you make your own clothes, you can make your own unique style. Making your own style is like showing your creativity and also helps people express themselves. Drag Queens are a prime example of expressing themselves with what they wear, because it is all about appearances.

I have a cousin who likes to dress up in drag, and he makes every outfit he wears by hand. He even sews his own wigs. All his outfits are made out of fabric he buys from a cheap fabric shop in Lubbock. When he makes his outfits, they are his own ideas, and they fit him perfectly, since he tailors them to his exact size and comfort.

Making your own clothes can turn into the start of a new career. Why go somewhere and pay extra for something you can do on your own for free? With enough practice and dedication, you possibly could even become a tailor, or a fashion designer for some big-time company with a popular label. For example, the singer Selena Quintanilla designed and made all of her band’s outfits herself. Sewing can also lead to new jobs that are looking for a seamstress.new new

Sometimes, if you go to certain stores, the sizes only range from x-small to medium. The average person is medium or large, and they don’t carry larger sizes. If you make it on your own, you will never have to worry about finding the perfect size again. Many stores carry smaller sizes of clothing in stock, so some of the larger people cannot find clothes as easily as people who wear smaller sizes.

Also, making your own clothes gives you a chance to learn how to sew. Sewing is a skill that a lot of people don’t have that is very useful. It also comes in handy if your clothes get a rip in it. Then you can just mend the hole.

Another advantage of making your own clothes is that you gain self-esteem.  When you make your clothes, it will be something you like and look good in. It also gives you a sense of pride, as you can look at your clothes and be like “yeah, that’s right! I made this!”

Also, when you make your own clothes, you can show off to your friends. You will have clothing that nobody in the whole world has that you made uniquely for yourself.

Backtalk: Differences of opinion generate debate about coffee

Coffee important source of caffeine

by Kendall Rainer

Java, Joe, Jitter Juice.

Whatever you call it, coffee doesn’t just help you wake up and stay awake. It can have some serious health benefits that will reinforce the position of coffee drinkers and could change the minds of those who have a distaste for the brown bean water.

Coffee helps us stay up late and cram for our midterms. Coffee helps us wake up the following morning after getting little to no sleep. Coffee helps us stay awake during boring jobs or that lecture that just puts you to sleep every day. Coffee is a necessity that we all need in our lives.heart-shape-made-from-coffee-beans-wooden_38705-28

Coffee is the wonderfully amazing brown liquid that has dominated American culture. It is to America as tea is to the United Kingdom.

To some, a cup of joe just tastes good and they enjoy drinking it. To others, it’s an essential part of their morning routine.

Coffee doesn’t only give you energy, it has some serious health benefits as well. According to the American Heart Association, coffee can decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Coffee consumption has also been associated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease and nervous system disease. It can be a source of antioxidants as well.

Coffee has been linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease in women. However, these benefits only apply to plain black coffee.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners can negate some of the health benefits coffee provides. So going to Starbucks and ordering yourself a Venti Iced latté isn’t going to do much for you, other than give you a boost of energy. Drinks of this caliber contain mostly milk and flavoring, and they do not actually have a significant amount of coffee.

Federal dietary guidelines say that three to five cups of coffee a day can be a part of a healthy diet, which is good news for habitual coffee drinkers. But again, this only refers to plain black coffee.

Coffee is a significant source of caffeine. In one cup, 8 fluid ounces, there are 95 milligrams of caffeine. Compare that to a 20-fluid-ounce bottle of Coca Cola, which has only 57 milligrams of caffeine, and far more sugar.

In comparison to a 16-fluid-ounce can of Monster Energy, coffee has 190 milligrams of caffeine, four calories, one gram of fat and 5 milligrams of sodium. One 16-ounce can of Monster has 160 milligrams of caffeine, 100 calories per serving (which is 200 calories per can) and 260 milligrams of sodium.

A cup of java has more caffeine and significantly less of the other “bad things” that can lead to disease and overall bad health.

Studies have shown that caffeine can sharpen your mind, improve your mood, and increase your performance during exercise. All of these things can help in daily life, whether it be just getting up in the morning and being able to be a productive member of society, or getting your daily gym crawl in.

So wake up, make a steaming hot cup of your favorite rocket fuel, sip and feel relaxed knowing that coffee is helping to prevent some serious illnesses for you down the road.

Coffee unhealthy beverage choice

by Desiree Lopez

There have been many disputes over the years about whether coffee is good for you.

After the many side effects I have witnessed, I’ve come to the conclusion that coffee is an unhealthy beverage choice.

The many negative side effects of coffee include an increase in heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, bad oral hygiene, and addiction.

All of these effects should trigger concern, especially since they all hold a negative connotation.

One of the many concerns that strikes most people is the caffeine intake. The abundance of caffeine in coffee is mostly the reason why coffee causes so many negative side effects.

Large doses or frequent small amounts of caffeine in coffee have the possibility of increasing your heartbeat. Of course, every person is different, but a rapid heart rate is still something everybody should be aware of.

            There have been many different reasons why coffee causes high blood pressure. Some believe that caffeine blocks a certain hormone that helps keep your arteries widened, while others believe that adrenaline is released more than usual, which then causes your blood pressure to increase. People who already have high blood pressure have a higher risk of a stroke or heart attack if they consume a great amount of coffee daily.no-coffee (1)

Coffee is mostly used to help people stay awake or have energy throughout their day. However, excessive coffee consumption can also cause anxiety. When people drink coffee, the release of adrenaline is more rapid, which increases one’s energy. To most people, this sounds like a great deal. But little do they know that high doses of coffee can lead to anxiety and even nervousness. Moderate doses can even result in some side effects such as rapid breathing and an increase in stress levels.

Coffee can also cause fatigue. Once the coffee has finally left your system, your body begins to rebound, which means that the opposite of what coffee is supposed to do to you occurs. There have been a few studies done to prove the alertness that coffee causes, but participants more often complained that they felt more tired than usual after the study. This symptom can be easily avoided by drinking smaller doses of caffeine.

Along with all of these other side effects, bad oral hygiene is an underestimated one. Coffee can lead to bad teeth and stinky breath. It can cause bacteria to form in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay. Coffee also can stick to your tongue, which then causes bad breath.

The most concerning effect of coffee is addiction. It’s not as intense as a drug addiction, but it does lead to psychological and physical dependency. Some may call it a habit, while others call it an addiction. After drinking coffee regularly, one may feel like they need it at all times, which leads them to being very dependent on the caffeinated drink. This dependency can later cause the aforementioned side effects.

The caffeine in coffee is mostly the reason why coffee is so unhealthy. The amount of sugar someone puts into their drink is another reason why, but the amount of sugar used in the drink is different for everybody.

To stay away from highly caffeinated coffee, some people prefer to drink decaf. Decaf coffee is an alternative for those who prefer a lower caffeine intake. Although decaf removes more than 90 percent of caffeine, it still leaves behind a small amount of caffeine. Therefore, drinking decaf coffee frequently can still cause side effects.

There are a few beverages that can be used to substitute for coffee, such as chicory coffee, which is a caffeine-free coffee, tea, milk, lemon water, and apple cider vinegar.

As the daughter of someone who has a lot of health concerns, I know first hand how coffee can negatively affect someone’s health. Coffee would increase my father’s blood pressure, and it would do the same to his blood sugar. This caused him to take higher doses of his medication, which then lead to an increase in anxiety and other side effects. My father used to enjoy drinking his daily cups of coffee, but, unfortunately, he had to cut coffee out from his life to improve his health and to avoid any further issues.

Everybody reacts to coffee differently. I advise that people control their coffee intake to stay clear of any complications.

Females should not be excluded from playing football

By Abi Hernandez

Football was traditionally a sport for guys since 1869.

  But now more and more girls are interested in playing football. When guys hear this, they start complaining and bragging that the girls will just get hurt and say that it’s “not for girls.” Women should be allowed to play on football teams. 

In high school, I played football and was pretty good. At the beginning of the season, I got a lot of backlash for even thinking about playing football. When I finally did, it was rough at the beginning. Half of my teammates were not happy when they found out the new player was a girl. My fellow teammates treated me badly. But I would just ignore them and worry about what I was doing. Football

Even my coaches would treat me badly at times, as well as my own friends. Many people doubted me during this time, saying I was just going to let the team lose and I made them look weak and pathetic. I just wanted to open a new opportunity for the girls who would like to play as well.

Girls should be allowed to play football too, because this is a new opportunity and women have rights too. Just because I am a girl, that didn’t stop me. I had a couple of friends who supported me and helped me get away from the mean comments.

girl fbFootball is one of those touchy areas where men still dominate and girls are thought to be too weak and unskilled to play. But girls should be able to play football if they really want to. 

I understand that football is a very physical sport and can cause some health problems, especially for women.  If men can play football, women can play football. Not only can they play with other women, but they should be able to compete with men. It’s only fair. 

Other than the injuries, I don’t see why they won’t give girls a chance. The only thing I do see as a problem is women playing in professional football. High school is different because you are not going against 6-foot-4, strong men ready to bulldoze anything and everything in the way. I am all for girls playing football and trying to get equal treatment. But since the guys are physically stronger, it is more likely for women to get concussions or worse.

The big question is, can they play? Of course. Not every position in football requires you to bench 300 pounds or run a 4.3 40. There are several positions that if a woman wanted to play she sure could. A great example is a kicker. When I played, I was a center field, and on occasion, I was a cornerback. 

I got injured during my freshman year and I was almost paralyzed. I broke my knee and dislocated my shoulder because I wasn’t that big and the other guys were husky and shredded. During the summer, I recovered and worked until I was happy with my body size and my muscle mass. So I totally understand the concerns, but women still deserve a chance to play football.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Toxic traits create harmful friendships

By Autumn Bippert

When heading into college, most people have the expectation of meeting life-long friends. 

With having those hopes so high, many people fall into toxic friendships without realizing because of the exceptions of lastings friendships. There are many signs of a toxic friend. Taken individually, they don’t indicate a bad friend. But combined, they make for an unhealthy relationship.

Uses you

Everyone does things for their friends because they care about them. But sometimes maybe a line needs to be drawn when it comes to what you will do for people when you’re getting to know them. 

I’m a very caring friend, so when a new friend of mine was stranded in downtown Lubbock, in the middle of the night, I dropped everything and drove to take her back to her dorm. I love doing things for other people, especially if it’s an emergency. But for me, that set a bad precedent. This friend continued to use me throughout our friendship, from rides, to food, to help with homework. I even gave her a ride to the hospital and stayed with her for two days. To me, doing those things was being a good friend, and I didn’t expect anything back from her. But I was treated badly with other toxic traits and ignored when I needed anything.

Toxic friends will be nicer and more polite to you when they need you or need something from you

Unsupportive

Everyone wants to tell their closest friends and family their good news. But a toxic friend won’t be there to cheer for you. Everyone has ups and downs in their life and can’t always be a cheerleader for your accomplishments.toxic friends get jealous But toxic friends might belittle your accomplishments or even fail to acknowledge them. They may seem supportive when you’re going through a hard time, but when you’re the one in the spotlight, they may act out. They might be moody, dismissive and negative, which could be a normal mood swing. But if it happens often, then it’s a toxic trait. 

Emotionally greedy

Following being an unsupportive friend, that same person will probably also be emotionally greedy. An emotionally greedy friend always wants the focus on them, whether it’s for praise or sympathy. They will often dismiss your stories, or try to top what happened to you, to draw attention back to themselves. Some people make up stories or exaggerate actual stories to maximize the attention on themselves. After awhile, you  find yourself questioning whether what they told you was true or just a way to get sympathy. After my toxic friendship ended, I replayed all the stories she told me that seemed to be for attention and the details that didn’t add up. Sometimes you’re not able to recognize everything that is truly toxic in a friendship until after the fact.

Blame/Deflection

A good trait to have is the ability to express when you are upset to the people in your life. Most of the time, when you go to someone in your life and express a concern you have, you will be able to work together to get past the problem. But in a toxic friendship, the person will take your issue and turn the blame on to you. In this particular friendship, the person would follow up with “Well, I only did that to you because you did these things to me.” Instead of working through our problem, she would put the blame on me, when she had seemingly never had an issue with me until I had addressed something she had done. In order to have a healthy relationship with your friends, you both need to be able to communicate and not push blame on the other person when problems are addressed.

toxic-quotes-1-text-1561488291Inconsistent Personality

Another trait that a toxic friend could have is an inconsistent personality. Some days they will be nice to you and want to hang out with you, and other days they act like they couldn’t care less about you. You should never expect someone to always want to spend time with you, and everyone has their off days. But if it seems like they only care to talk to you when they need something or want something from you, it’s probably a toxic trait. I used to live with my friend in the dorms, and some days she would be happy and talk with me. Other days, just asking her a simple question would annoy her, and she would be rude to me. It’s hard to stay in a friendship when you’re not sure how the other person will treat you day to day.

Talks about you behind your back

The last toxic trait to mention is when your friends talk about you behind your back. Everyone does this to some extent, and it’s not always to be mean. Sometimes it’s to vent and get advice. But when they continually say negative and even untrue things to other people in your life, you probably don’t want to stay in that friendship. In my case, near the end of our friendship, I went to my other friends to vent and figure out how to fix the relationship. But what I found out from my other friends is that since our friendship began, she had been talking about me to our other friends, telling them I was awful and a bad person, making up stories to get sympathy from our other friends. You don’t want someone in your life that only ever talks negatively about you.

Just because a friend displays toxic traits does not make them a bad person. But it might be a friendship that may not be best for you.  

Student finds community, opportunities after beginning college

By Danisha Lewis

When I first came to South Plains College, I did not know what to do.

I was down and out, had no friends and I was basically an adult, as we all are when our parents drop us off. Coming to SPC was definitely not my first choice, but I am glad I made the choice.

SPC is a great choice for anyone starting out in college. It gives insight into adult life while also giving the college experience, such as attending basketball games to participate in events on campus. The events really opened me up and gave me insight. It makes me realize that college was not so bad after all. 

The moment I started going to events, I made friends and others who have helped along the way. I feel that if a young adult is starting college, the best choice would be a community college, especially SPC.

College offers students many opportunities. SPC allowed me to be part of many organizations such BSM (Baptist Student Ministries). I also became an RA (Residence assistant), and I also had the opportunity to start my own club. Being on campus has really opened up a lot of doors for me, from winning Homecoming Queen to being involved in pageants. I have also seen lots of others gain amazing opportunities, academically and athletically.

Our campus encourages diversity and equality among all students. The professors care, and everyone knows each other while giving each other a chance.

SPC has evolved a lot over the course of years. Some might even say this was their best first choice. It sure was for me.

Many students think of community colleges as an easy way out, or so I have heard. But it really makes everything easier for those who it has an affect on. Any community college is a great first choice, due to the growth and development it had on younger students who are just getting started. It is cheaper, faster and a more efficient way to get a degree, while allowing students to have the same experience as people their same age at a University.

SPC is a home for many students. This campus has a wide variety of resources that students are able to utilize, whether it is counseling or needing food from the food pantry and much more. 

This is not only a community college, but also a home for many students on this campus. People come from all over the world to come here. This allows people to interact with people from all over. SPC offers many opportunities for students, and continues to do so through the will of giving and understanding.

Feature editor thankful for journalism experience

by REBEKAH HARVEY

After 101 days writing for the Plainsman Press, I’m done.

That’s really not a long time. One semester of writing and that is it.

I’ve always been a curious person. After my last interview, which I’m currently working on, I have no excuse to interview a new professor or student and get to know their story. I can no longer be brave through the lens of a journalist.

I had no idea what I was getting into at the beginning of the semester. I soon learned that the Newsroom was a small family. We eat together, we laugh together, and we stay up until 3 a.m. together. I learned that I would get out of the Newsroom what I put into it.

From the beginning, I knew I wanted leave with a better understanding of journalism and what true objectivity looks like. On the other side of the semester, I’ve gotten that and so much more.

Being on the newspaper staff has been both fun and stressful. The nights have been long, the proofreading seemingly never ending, and new corrections ostensibly kept coming up.

As the feature editor, I interviewed professors, students, and alumni. I got to know their stories and draw inspiration from each of them. Each interview presented a unique story that I learned something from. I love that I was allowed to write what I wanted but was also pushed to expand my writing.

In the Newsroom, I was reminded of the struggle newspapers are having. The Plainsman Press is fortunate to have support from the college. I’ve delivered newspapers to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and to President Satterwhite’s office. Numerous staff, students and alumni read the paper. I’ve received emails from past faculty who read a feature on a student they had years ago. We have the support of so many people, but especially the college. So many newspapers aren’t so fortunate to have that much support.

Newspapers across the nation are starting to shut down, closing down their printing presses. If journalism dies, so do people’s stories. We need more people to be bold and ask people to sit down, maybe over coffee, maybe in an office, and tell their story. There are so many people who have an amazing story to be told, and there needs to be people there to tell those stories.

As long as the Plainsman Press and the staff are around, journalism will live on. If there are teachers and students to read the amazing work that this staff creates, journalism will have a place at this college.

I never planned on getting into journalism. I took this class to fill my degree requirements. But the paper has turned into so much more than a class to me. This experience has opened my eyes to the opportunities I have going forward. I’m so thankful for the time I’ve had working at the paper and all of the people I’ve grown closer to during the semester.

 

 

Print journalism major gains new experiences, meets lifelong friends

I’ve stared at a blank Microsoft Word doc for days now.

For someone who struggles very little with writing and putting words on a page, this particular article was difficult to start. I just did not know where to start.

I have spent so many hours in the Newsroom in the Communications Building, since fall 2018. Which stories do I tell, or which ones do I not? Not to mention the emotions that will come with writing this farewell piece.

DSC_0142I started my journey with the Plainsman Press in the fall 2018 semester. We only had six staff members, all who wrote and edited the paper. I was a determined, inspired journalist who wanted a handson experience of every part of the newspaper. Yet I had no idea of the work, time, stress, and fun that would go with it.

My first paper week was rough for several reasons. The main reason was I am not a night person, so when 11 p.m. hit, I took a nap on the floor in between the desks and the whiteboard. I got in trouble for that later. However, Kendall was nice (for once) and waited for me to wake up before getting on to me. He explained that even if you are done with your work, you help others with theirs so everyone can get done sooner.

Another reason was I had no idea what in the world I was doing. Between working with the In Design software and trying to figure out how Apple computers work, I struggled with laying out my first page. I cannot even guess the number of times I asked Autumn for help that week. Through controlled breathing and gritted teeth, she kindly helped me every time.

Now do not get me wrong; everyone loves everyone in the Newsroom. But when it’s 3 57289369_2451997331499208_8184277129916055552_na.m. and everyone is tired, hands tend to go to throats.

You will get glared at and yelled at, but I promise you will be doing just as much glaring and yelling as well.

The strangers in the class become staff members, and the staff members become family. You will find yourself coming into the Newsroom in your spare time to eat, talk, joke, play games, and work on homework with them. That is part of the reason why everyone gets on to others as much as we do, because we are family.

You will get to know people way deeper than you expected. They will share their life stories, even if you do not want them to. They will share the good, bad, funny, and sad ones, but none will be more hilariously sad than either half of Kait’s poor fish.

You will be picked on, and every one will poke you until all your buttons are pushed and you storm out of the room. However, you will never have a group of friends more loyal. If you come in talking about how someone really hurt you and messed up your week, they will come up with a plan for how to kill, who will do the killing, where to bury the 58381199_2465730280125913_8928513452423512064_nbody, and who will pay for the deed. The News crew will be more than willing to back you up, no matter what the cost, and by cost I mean prison for life. (No one was killed, or harmed, in the making of any newspaper).

The girls will have your back when you want to go walking down the haunted hallway, and the guys will do their best to scare the girls as they come back.

I wish I could tell you which part is the best and which part is the worst. However, it changes every week, and every single thing about the Plainsman Press will be your favorite/worst part.

One of my favorite parts that never changes, though, is the people. I go get my nails done with the girls in the Newsroom and go out to eat lunch with Reece, Austin, and Victoria at least once a week, if not more. And on Thursdays, Charlie takes the Newsroom to the BSM, and those who do not have class eat together. Typically, the group will walk to the BSM. That is my most favorite time on Thursdays. The walk to and from lunch consists of stories, laughter and jokes. Not to mention everyone is able to get outside for a bit and breathe in fresh air.

While being on the Plainsman Press staff, I was able to interview author Jodi Thomas, Television News Personality John Stossel, and many more awesome people. I got to write opinion columns and typically got to pick which stories I wanted to write.

Charlie, our instructor and advisor, tries his hardest to make this experience the best for the students. He listens to story ideas, and as long as they will not get the college (or him)56247840_2431591733539768_315491963803533312_n sued, you are able to write/cover it.

Charlie does a lot more than just critique your stories, though. He is also a great mentor. Charlie truly cares for each of his students and tries his best to prepare them and give them what they need in order to move forward in their career.

The Newsroom has been like a second home to me. We laugh, cry, and confide in each other. We know when someone needs a hug, and we know when someone just needs food. I cannot tell you the number of times I have gone into the Newsroom and Autumn, Victoria or someone else has looked at me, and noticed that I am in an off mood, asking “Want to go get food?”

Eventually, everyone will be able to tell when you are hiding your true feelings and will sit you down and tell you to talk.

Sometimes the talk is just about a bad day, or about troubles with a relationship. Other times, the talk requires shutting the Newsroom door (because it locks when it is shut and you cannot get in without a key). Those are the real talks. You know something is going down, typically within the Newsroom, when they get up and shut the door.

Being in the Newsroom, whether you want to be a journalist or not, is so much fun and worth the time. It is a place where you can and will belong.

There will be days when you ask yourself why you ever got into it. But when the paper comes out, you realize the worth of your work and nothing else matter. So you excitedly do it all again.

South Plains College has been a wonderful college for me. I was homeschooled my whole 55489158_2421469114552030_6289754600245297152_olife, and although I was active in sports and extra activities, transitioning from homeschooling to public school terrified me.

SPC is a great place for people who are nervous about transitioning into college. There are wonderful professors who are willing to help you when you have trouble with your assignments, and some professors try to get to know you personally as well.

Emily Brunson, who is an English instructor, would bring M&M’s in a bowl and pass it around. We could only grab one M&M, and depending on what color we got, we would have to answer a question, such as “What’s your favorite color?” Then we would be able to get more M&M’s afterword.

Dave Cleavenger, an agriculture professor, enjoyed talking with students after class. He also cared about the students’ health. Once I went into class with sunglasses on and just kept my head down because I had a really bad migraine. Cleavenger noticed me not being myself and asked if I was OK. When I told him about my migraine, he massaged a pressure point in my hands that relieves migraine pressure. Because of that, my migraine continued to get better for the next few hours. By the middle of the day, my head was fine.

SPC has been a great twoyear college for me, and I will forever be grateful for this college, the professors, and friends that I made here.

Veteran develops communication skills at SPC

My time at South Plains College is coming to an end. Like many before me, I will continue on to a traditional four-year university. I came to South Plains on academic probation from Texas Tech University. Mad and fearing that I would never amount to anything, I found comfort in this college.
When I first came to South Plains, I was still determined to be a nursing major. I thought I would take a few classes in mass communications to help balance out my workload. These classes were to help me with my podcast and what I thought was just a hobby. My hobby turned out to be my passion and what I’m now pursuing my degree in, mass communications.
I cannot express the amount of gratitude that I have for the Science Department at SPC showing me that I can use my disabilities with dyslexia to level the playing field. It’s with the help of these educators that I was able to build confidence and eventually recover some of my bad grades in science courses.
  The thing I’ll take away from SPC is the mass communications program and the hands-on experience.  The instructors have worked in the field and show you what you need to do to be successful. It’s not just textbook learning, it’s real-life, real experience, everything from writing for Mrs. Kirby in TV, news and radio scripts, to meeting deadlines for Charlie each week for this newspaper. Mrs. Kirby taught me how to speak professionally. She showed me how much work goes in to a daily show and newscast. I found myself becoming a better speaker and putting out a better pod cast each week because of her classes. She also showed me, and many other students, the many aspects of communication, including the many ways people speak and how ads can be sold in different ways.  All of this is very valuable life experience.

Billy Alonzo is always a friendly face, willing to help you with audio questions or just tell you a bad joke to help brighten your day. Billy has shown me why it is important to test your equipment and do a run-through before recording. Charlie and the newsroom was the class I was most nervous about. News writing was where I think I grew the most. I was challenged to write about new things and was taught many things about writing reviews and sports stories. The Communications Building is one of the friendly and most well received places I’ve ever been. It’s because of these great teachers in this great program that I received my associate’s degree last fall, and I will have success in all my future endeavors ever because of those who helped me achieve that.

Some may look down upon South Plains. I will always be proud to be an alumni of South Plains College.

 

Staff writer finds outlet to share thoughts in Plainsman Press

I am very glad I got to be a part of the newspaper staff this spring semester.

This has been a great experience. I learned so much about South Plains College. The newspaper staff class is like a family, and it’s really fun to be a part of it.

The amount of work and dedication pays off for the bi-weekly paper that our class works to get published. I am amazed by how many different parts go into publishing our college newspaper.

Many times, it’s overwhelming to understand, but when the paper is published and you see your work in the paper, it is a great feeling of accomplishment. I would say that during my time in this class, my writing skills have developed and have become stronger. The type of stories that I have written for the newspaper have been about entertainment, opinion, and a couple of news stories. I really enjoyed writing the entertainment pieces and also the opinion articles because it was a chance to share my thoughts on any given topic.

My professor, Charles Ehrenfeld, runs the Newsroom in a way where students help each other and are able to communicate with each other. I really recommend students take this class. It was really fun, and I had a great semester in this class.

Being in this class will teach you how a newsroom works and what roles and jobs are involved for the newspaper staff. There are many opportunities available for students who are interested in the News Reporting class. There are important roles, such as the editor-in-chief and the rest of the editorial staff, that are very important for the newspaper to be successfully published.

This is my last semester at SPC, and I am proud to announce that I will be obtaining an Associate’s degree from South Plains College. I have had a really fun experience being a student at SPC. The teachers here are really great and I have become accustomed to SPC. I am going to miss going to school here. I am going to miss this institution so much that it makes me sad that I have to leave. But I’m happy at the same time because I am accomplishing my academic goals that I have set for myself.

I really will miss all my Professors and friends that I have met at SPC. This fall, I will transfer to Texas Tech University to earn my bachelor’s degree in Digital Media & Communication. I’m grateful that I have had such wonderful learning experiences while I have been a student at SPC that I will carry with me for the rest of my educational career. I have enjoyed my time at SPC, especially in News Reporting class, and I have learned skills that will help me in my field of study for my degree in Communications.

Nontraditional student steps out of comfort zone through reporting

by DEBRA MONTANDON

 

Saying “Good bye” has never been an easy thing for me to do.

Through the years, when I get close to anyone, letting go is so hard.

Working with everyone at the Plainsman Press has been a happy experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of a class, as you will not only learn but have a good time while doing it.

I have always enjoyed writing. Writing for the newspaper has been a whole new level. Trying to find topics that will not only interest the reader but provoke them into looking at the next issue, and, better yet, talk to others about whatever they have read, is not an easy task.

As I think back on the articles I have written, I have enjoyed the opinion ones probably the most. However, two articles made me step out of my comfort zone. The first one was a report on South Plains College expanding in Lubbock. They started a culinary program at the Lubbock Center. It was interesting. To see the facility, well, it is nothing short of amazing.

The second one was interviewing Ted Cruz. Not only was it exciting, it was an honor to meet someone who works for you and me. He not only knows that; his actions show it.

I don’t want to leave out getting to meet Alan Munde, a world -renowned bluegrass musician and retired SPC professor. He was so kind and easy to talk to. It was like a new friend. I had no idea when I was interviewing him that he is an icon. As I asked him a question, his humility was astounding. He never once acted like he was a “bluegrass star.” That most definitely was a once- in- a- lifetime moment.

I must admit Charlie is one of the best bosses I have ever worked with and for. He is patient yet precise. Serious, yet fun. He is concerned with a gentle kindness. I will miss him when I leave this campus. He feels like family.

Life doesn’t always go like you planned. In my life, I knew I wanted to be a wife and a mother to the best of my ability. I am very blessed that both of my sons are amazing adults. But I failed as a wife. I am not saying I was totally to blame, because I wasn’t. I just couldn’t ever figure out what my husband wanted from me.

So, after much heartache and 29 years, I chose to start life over. That was not an easy decision, but it was necessary. I have learned from my experience. If ever my knowledge is needed, I hope that I can help someone not go down the path I did. I do not regret my choices, because I do have many blessings that happened at the same time. I just learned a lot by the things I went through.

When I decided to come to South Plains College, I did not know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many nice people, not only the students, but the staff on every level.

There are so many gentlemen here on campus. There have not been many doors that I have had to open myself. That shocked me. I thought chivalry was almost dead, if not already gone. But I was wrong. Even the youngest of the men on campus would gladly hold the door, and usually with a smile. That made my heart feel so proud of not only them, but the other ladies on campus getting treated like that.  Thank you to every gentleman on campus. There were a few times that a female held the door out of courtesy. I don’t want them to think their kindness went unnoticed.

I hope to continue on with my education after I am finished here at SPC. I still have two classes that I need to complete an associate’s degree. Then I plan to go to Texas Tech University to get a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I would like to work with troubled kids in school before it is too late.

I say all of this to say, I feel very blessed to be a part of South Plains College. It is a really special place to learn and grow. I hope I can influence others to become part of this big family.    Farewell, because goodbye just doesn’t fit.

Traveling frequently promotes personal growth

Traveling is a great way to learn and gain new experiences throughout life.

I enjoy traveling very much. I have traveled so much growing up, and every time I travel or go somewhere new I learn something new.

I think every student should have a travel bucket list, whether it’s a town only 50 miles away or in a different country. Traveling is an experience everyone should get to have. On of my first trips was to visit family who lived six hours away, and I still haven’t forgotten that time. My first plane ride also is a memory that has stuck with me.

IMG_7856Traveling has taught me many lessons. I have learned how important it is to save up for trips, and how to budget while on my trips. I have met new people, seen new places, and have amazing memories from the places I have visited. I have been to so many places in the United States, and each trip has always been different. Every trip has a unique story with it.

Growing up traveling, I have learned my way around Texas and how to go to where I want to go. I love traveling out of state on road trips, especially west. California is fun to visit. I always make sure to visit the beaches.

I have traveled to many monumental places. I went to Washington, D.C, and the history there is so interesting. There are so many places to go and things to see. The White House, the Arlington National Cemetery and even George Washington’s house are among my favorites. On every trip I go on, I always make sure to get a souvenir and take tons of pictures.

Travel is also a great way to just get away and relax. Resorts are great for having a peaceful getaway. I favor resorts because I had such great experience, and I like how everything you want is there. Great food, pools, and fun activities are available to do with your family. Last summer, I went to Italy, and it was so awesome. I wrote down a list and saved up money. I gave myself enough time to plan everything and get everything paid for.

I really encourage students to travel. It’s so much fun going to places you’ve never been 586F9986-F1EB-490A-AC3C-6B8029E28B52-2before. Visiting the Colosseum in Rome was so crazy. I couldn’t believe I was actually there. Being in places you see on TV or in movies is so breath-taking to me.

I like accomplishing my traveling goals, and I hope you start a travel bucket list for yourself. Learning history and visiting Europe was a great experience, and I highly recommend students travel to wherever you desire.

Making memories and going to new places will even teach you things about yourself. You will learn how you are in new places, and whether you are good with directions or how well you do budgeting with your money.

Green New Deal aiming to reduce carbon emissions entirely

A bill to reduce America’s impact on global climate change is being developed by Democrats, much to the dismay of the many Republicans who claim it isn’t feasible or even that it’s radical.

The Green New Deal (GND) echoes a portion of Obama’s stimulus package from roughly 10 years ago, which primarily focused on improving the economy and avoiding a depression. Tens of billions of dollars, however, created jobs and infrastructure to produce clean energy. While many Republicans don’t afford much attention to climate change, some Democrats have talked about the Green New Deal in a radical way, suggesting changes that are beyond reasonable considering our country’s dependency on fossil fuel.

AOC photoAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, upcoming Democrat and state representative of New York, has repeatedly said on the record that the goal of the Green New Deal policy is to reach 100 percent emissions-free energy production, a noble goal with a caveat. Reaching zero carbon emissions just isn’t achievable overnight. Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) pushes it as a goal, making Republicans nervous that a green energy initiative will prove a costly, radical undertaking in which Democrats bite off more than they can chew.

Details about what the new policies will look like, and if they will affect other energy resources, are slim. But to much Republican delight, AOC is not on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s committee to create the GND.

Despite Democrats praising the green initiative, AOC has been given most of the credit, since she has acted as the catalyst for it and fanned its flames through interviews and social media. AOC has released a preamble to the GND, boasting goals of creating jobs, focusing on renewable energy and charging companies for carbon emissions. Her intense support has led to her having to shelter the majority of the criticism for the concept, though. Her Socialist affiliation also has left a sour taste in the mouths of many Republicans.

Stimulus packages have proven necessary to protect the economy from excessive decline in the past, but the huge sums of money put into a select industry does constitute a redistribution of wealth. The GND is already being defamed as a socialist policy before it has taken any shape that will actually pass a vote. While a stimulus package could once again prove necessary in the future, most stimulus packages aren’t so heavily focused on a single industry, but are more diversified. The opposition of the GND has been quick to cite the half a million dollars Obama’s stimulus funneled into a failed solar energy company, Solyndra.

President Donald Trump has already mocked AOC publically, referring to her indirectlyGND speech as a “bartender,” and vowed to oppose the GND in 2020. The plan may prove to be unreasonable, but writing it off so early also is troubling, considering the evidence stacked in favor of climate change. The GND poses the risk of making the nation’s energy production far less efficient than countries with less moral hang-ups and wasting taxpayer money on dying solutions such as Solyndra. But the concept of green energy shouldn’t be written off.

As a military, economic and political superpower, the United States can influence the world and should pursue green energy while encouraging others to do so. Environmental specialists have already predicted that climate change will become somewhat irreversible in less than two decades. This, paired with other countries contributing mass amounts of carbon emissions to the problem, means a complete, instant switch to green energy might not be enough to prevent this.

The world is already behind the curve on the problem, and politicians will fight about solutions for years to come. But the reality is that it is too late to avoid serious repercussions, and green policies can’t reasonably be enacted all at once, but gradually.

Rushed marriages lead to higher divorce rate

by DEBRA MONTANDON

There are many important decisions one will make in life, and picking the right mate ranks at the top.

It seems that today so many kids are encouraged to start liking the opposite sex so young. You can hear any parents ask, “Is he your boyfriend? Or do you like him/her?” I was blessed that my parents encouraged me to not rush that. Enjoy just being a kid, they said.

When I was raising my sons, I taught them the same words of wisdom.

couples arguing DebbieIt breaks my heart when I see men and women around 30 years of age breaking up families with divorce. Getting a divorce not long after getting married is so hard on the children.

So, what can be done to avoid that heartbreak? There are several things that can be done to decrease the divorce rate.

Don’t start dating so young. This starts the hormones racing worse than normal. You have plenty of time in your adult life to date. Use your childhood to take in this amazing journey called life. Don’t look for a happy life in another person. Work at being wholly happy on your own.

When you start dating, date long enough to see them in tough situations.  When you rush into marriage or a committed relationship, you don’t get to see them at their worst, and that will bug you later.

Life will be so much better when you are not sucking the life out of the other person. If you date the wrong one, there are some red flags to watch out for.

One big red flag is if you fight all the time. You will make yourself sick. If you have kids, 5b9e33ac250000360036c1fbthey will not be healthy either. An ugly divorce will most likely be in your future.

Another red flag is the feeling of being “ignored.”  He/she doesn’t like to be friendly or cordial. This will set the marriage up for infidelity.

If he/she gives attention to the opposite sex in a “too friendly way,” it will cause jealousy and lots of fights.

Sometimes people are too needy. They need reinforcement of the relationship all the time. This will get “old” fast.

Marriage is about a partnership. If one side is always first, there will be resentment.

When you are in public, does he/she hold your hand, or does he keep his distance? This is a big red flag, because he/she could be ashamed to be seen in public with you.

Another big red flag is when you are in public, do their eyes wonder to the opposite sex, or is their attention on you?

Ask yourself these questions: Is he nice? Is he kind? Is she thoughtful? Is she patient? Does he think of himself first all the time? Listen and trust your heart.

Another question that you need to ask yourself often, and be open to the truth, is “Does his actions match his words?”

Don’t pursue the male. He was created to do the pursuing. If he doesn’t pursue you, he is not “into” you. I promise you do not want to be with someone who doesn’t want you. If he lets you do all the work to stay in touch, he is letting you know how little he thinks of you, or how lazy he will be.  It is a lonely life if you get him.

When he catches you, it will be so much better.

Trout underpaid as result of faulty statistic

The ink has yet to dry on Mike Trout’s  $430 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels, and yet people are already saying he is underpaid.

downloadIt was surprising to see the Angels spend big money on Trout, especially after their last two big signings were flops. Albert Pujols never lived up to the numbers he was projected to have. Josh Hamilton was just unable to stay sober to let his talents match his contract. Most recently Shohei Ohtani had surgery on his arm midway through his rookie year.

The Angels have had bad luck with free agency and have not made the playoffs since 2014. They have not won a playoff series since 2009.

Trout, 27, is considered the best player in baseball, hands-down. His resume includes two American League MVPs, seven All-Star appearances and six Silver Slugger awards.

Baseball, like most major sports, has fallen victim to the analytics and what they show. That’s how players are valued now. The latest trend in analytics for Major League Baseball is wins above replacement (WAR). Trout’s WAR percentage is 64.9 , which puts him in some very infamous company that includes Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Rogers Hornsby and Jimmie Foxx. Babe Ruth is 13th on the list, with a WAR percentage of 45.4, according to FanGraphs, a website for statistics for Major League Baseball and Minor League baseball, with statistical analysis, graphs, and projections.

 Those are some of the all-time great players in Major League Baseball history. The gamehas changed and evolved, so let’s compare Trout to some modern players. In his first season in 2013, Trout played more than 150 games. His war was 54.1. In second was Josh Donaldson with 35.7. Trout averages 9.0 WAR a season, meaning he alone is worth nine victories a season.  Two other players have only done this once, Bryce Harper in 2015 and Mookie Betts in 2018. They both were MVP seasons.

trout

WAR is valued at $9 million a game, on average. But that number goes up with division games and playoffs, making WAR value more than $35 million for a division playoff game. These numbers are not universal, because not all teams are valued the same.

So if Trout moved to another team in a big market, his value could easily double or triple. The truth of the matter is that his value cannot be truly measured. Until the Angels make a deep playoff run with this once- in-a-generation talent, that won’t be known.

The money spent on Trout does not leave a lot of room for the franchise to add more big-name players around him. Time will tell if it is worth it to pay all that money for one player, or if teams are better off building from their farm system. 

WAR is not a perfect statistic and can be manipulated by changing the criteria. But it’s clear to say that Trout may be underpaid when he’s $70 million shy of being paid half a billion dollars to play a game.

Mapping capabilities of Roomba raises concern

Roombas are mapping people’s homes while cleaning the floor.

Clean-MapRoombas, the small robotic vacuum cleaners, were made to help people reduce the amount of housework. However, iRobot, the company that makes Roomba, made their two latest models, 960 and 980, able to map out the floor plan of the home. Most people thought this was so the robot could function around the rooms better, so it would bump into fewer objects and accomplish a better vacuuming job.

However, Colin Angel, who is the CEO of iRobot, said that the company has access to all of the maps and plans on selling the maps to other companies, such as Google and Amazon. iRobot later came out saying that their CEO misspoke, and that the company has no intention of “selling” the mapping data. They also said that they are wanting to provide the data, with the consent of customers, to other companies to help improve smart homes and devices.

What may be true is that they are not going to “sell” the data. But how are they going to get the consent of customers? Will it be in the long agreement that everyone has to approve before using? If so, hardly any body reads that, including me, and then the company has “your permission” to give out the mapping data of your house.

iRobot has not said specifically how they are going to ask permission. To me, that seems a little sketchy. Also, why does iRobot need to map out your house, store it in their data base, and “give” it to other companies to help smart technology? To me, that does not make a lot of sense. I do not understand how a map of someone’s home could possibly help companies improve smart technology.

Another issue I have with this is how do we know who the company is giving the information to? Will the company give the data to the government? iRobot saying they are wanting the information to help smart technology could just be a ploy for helping the government spy on us.

Will this mapping data just end up as more ads for us? Everyone already knows that roombaspycookies remember what you search and then puts ads on Facebook and other social media sites that go hand in hand with what was searched. Will furniture companies be able to gain the mapping data, and then contact customers in order to try to upgrade furniture?

Other questions that are valid are what happens if iRobot’s data base gets hacked? Then that hacker has maps of many houses. Will that hacker then use it to rob a house?

On a positive note, could this data help people if their house burns down? Would finance companies give them more money if they could get the mapping layout for that house? What if that house is sold? Will iRobot delete the map of that house if the new owners don’t want to consent?

Because Roomba maps out each room, does the company know what room your children sleep in by the room where it bumps into the most toys?

What iRobot is doing could be a catastrophe and could hurt individuals.  Not to mention that the house map storing feature has “sketchy” written all over it, especially since it sounds like the Roomba models 960 and 980 have already been mapping customer’s houses without notice or the permission of customers.

Is iRobot making a robot that is helping with house chores, or is it a robot to spy on us? Personally, I believe it’s more of a spying tool, a way for the company to make more money for themselves, and they are just telling us that it will help with the smart home technology.

Social media dependency detrimental to other aspects of life

Social networking addiction is a phrase that is used to refer to someone spending too much time using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other forms of social media.

The overuse of social media is getting worse in society, to the point where it interferes with other aspects of daily life.

There’s no official medical understanding of social networking addiction as a disease or disorder. Still, the cluster of behaviors that is associated with the excessive use of social media has become the subject of research.

1_akwFBZEOPQ-j2_bAEqcWnwIt is fair to say that many people spend far too much time on social media and may, at the very least, describe themselves as being “obsessed,” if not addicted.

Addiction usually refers to compulsive behavior that often leads to negative effects. With most addictions, people feel compelled to do certain activities so often that it becomes a harmful habit, which then interferes with other important activities such as work or school.

The use of social networking sites has become the cornerstone of modern communication and connection, as it allows users to create a sense of belonging.

In recent years, the mental health community has become increasingly interested in the impact that modern technology has on our lives – both positive and negative.

On the positive side, social media outlets such as Skype, Instagram, and Facebook allow for staying in contact with family and friends on the other side of the planet.

Unfortunately, people spend hours every day updating their status, uploading pictures, commenting on walls, playing Facebook games, reading updates from others, and searching for new friends to add.

From a mental health perspective, I see concerns that have been raised about the negative impact of the excessive use of social networking sites on the health and wellbeing of users, especially of young people who are enthusiastic users of this technology.

I have read about a few studies that were conducted in 2011 that found that, for a small social-media-marketing1minority of individuals, there was a significant detrimental effect on many aspects of their life, including their real-life relationships and academic achievement among those still in education. It had been argued by researchers that such signs are indicative of addiction.

During the past few years, there has been a rapid increase in studies that assess how excessive social media use can impact health negatively. Social media use for a minority of individuals is associated with a number of psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, loneliness, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and addiction.

Because social media is most frequently accessed via smartphones, their usage is intimately intertwined. Their mobile nature contributes to excessive checking habits, which often derives from what is commonly labelled as one’s “fear of missing out.”

The good news is that very few people are genuinely addicted to social media. However, social media use is habitual for many, and it can start to spill over into other areas of their lives, becoming problematic and dangerous.

Other behaviors may be annoying rather than dangerous, but may be indicative of problematic social media use, such as checking social media while eating out with friends or constantly checking your smartphone while watching a movie in a theater.

Some people may consider excessive use of social networks to be a phenomenon that first began in the 1990s when internet use was starting to spread. Even then, people theorized that heavy use of the Internet might impair someone’s performance at work, in school, and in family relationships.

Nearly 20 years later, there is still no agreement that excessive use of the Internet or social networking services is pathological or should be considered a medical disorder.

Lack if regulation concerning for parents, YouTubers

The lack of regulation by Youtube to protect children who use the video platform is causing concern for parents and Youtubers.

The controversy concerning child exploration on Youtube became a trending topic in less than 24 hours on other social media such as Twitter.

maxresdefaultEven though this situation has been exposed before on the Internet, the hashtag #YoutubeWakeUP received even more attention after February 17 of this year when YouTuber Matt Watson updated the video, “Youtube is facilitating the sexual exploitation of children, and it’s being monetized.”

Watson’s video talks about how the Youtube search algorithm can easily uncover pedophilia rings on the video service, and there is evidence that those videos are being monetized for brands such as McDonald’s, Lysol, Disney, and Reese’s, among others.

The video shows how a Youtube user can, in less than five clicks, or less than 10 minutes, move from a normal, innocent video to very inappropriate content. The algorithm at Youtube will keep providing more videos with this kind of content since that was the last topic searched.

Quickly after a search for “bikini haul,” you can find videos from older women to young girls. Searching brings to the viewer very similar content and eventually becomes a “wormhole,” which happens when you get stuck in one kind of content on Youtube. The content starts to involve children in inappropriate situations, or just a normal video that is sexualized by those individuals. In many of those videos, young girls are wearing a bikini or small clothes.

The comments usually can be found by predators exchanging phone numbers, social media contacts and links to actual child pornography. They also comment with suggestive sexual emojis, and encourage those young girls to make more content such as demonstrating gymnastic or yoga poses, trying clothes on, showing “morning routines” or licking popsicles.

In those videos can be found one of the characteristics of these predators in the 1_tZEP9UYK_N3Ff5Vc5-bSiwcomments, which are the timestamps. The timestamps are a comment of a specific time in the video. In this situation, those timestamps mark a position or actions that the are found to be provocative or the minor exposed a little bit too much by accident.

Also alarming is the fact that many of those videos are not on the original channel, as it is believed that predators record and re-upload after Youtube has taken the right measures to avoid exposing children to those situations.

Youtube is still allowing people to see the videos but removing the ability to write comments. This does not make much sense, since this content is attracting the wrong attention they are allowing people to see. More importantly, why is Youtube allowing people under age to open channels and produce content if one of the rules of enrollment is a person must be older than 13?

It shows that Youtube is aware that the unusual behavior exists. In response to the situation, Youtube changed the policy on video related to kids or focused on children.

Also, around 400 channels were banned from the platform, and the comments were disabled on a huge number of videos. Disabling the comments is basically one of Youtube’s ways to ‘protect’ children from inappropriate comments.

Youtube has updated their policy and started to apply a policy of three strikes before a channel or account is deleted from the platform.