Am I REALLY that OLD?!

I am not proud to say I am a product of the 80’s. Or am I? I haven’t decided yet. LIST TIME!

COOL

  • 80’s music! Cheesy, full of neon colors and BIG HAIR! (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Queen, early rap and hip hop)
  • Cartoons! Old school Optimus Prime, Papa Smurf, Jem, She-Ra
  • Toys. Carebears, My Little Pony & Cabbage Patch Kids. ‘Nuff Said!
  • Early technology. Go IMB! Commodore, Apple!
  • Records were transitioning into cassette tapes. Goodbye, 8-Track!
  • Early video game systems like Atari and Nintendo. Come on, we didn’t know any better!!!
  • Politics: Berlin Wall came down, end of the Cold War
  • “Just Say No”
  • Movies: ET, Star Wars, Indiana Jones,Back to the Future, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Die Hard
  • TV:  MTV, MacGyver, Miami Vice, Charlies Angels, Night Rider,Dallas, Dynasty. Growing Pains, Full House, Cosby Show, Who’s the Boss, Growing Pains, Cheers, Golden Girls
Not Cool
  • 80’s music! Cheesy,synthesized, full of neon colors, shoulder pads, ballad rock, spandex and BIG HAIR!
  • Politics. The Cuban Missile Crisis, Regan/ Bush, Russia, all the damn wars ( Iran-Iraq,Falklands war,Tiananmen Square)
  • Space Shuttle Challenger exploding
  • The Chernobyl disaster
  • The Exxon Valdez spill
  • The deaths of John Lennon and Marvin Gaye
  • The beginning of the AIDS epidemic
If  you are unfamiliar with any of these things, then you  were probably born in the 90’s, and need to do a little “Googling” to really get the true picture of how the 80’s were.
Now that I have set the tone, if you were a product of the late 70’s, early 80’s,this story will be funny:

I needed to go to the Library to begin collecting materials for a project I am working on. Thanks to the Library’s COAST system, I found several books, articles and materials that I was looking for. One of the items was an audio recording of a conference I was interested in. So, I requested the cassette tape to be retrieved and reserved for me at the Circulation Desk.
I approached the Circulation desk, and a very nice, young girl greeted me. No doubt an Undergrad, she appeared to be 18-20 years old.  I told her that I had reserved a cassette tape, and it should be waiting for me. She left, and returned shortly with the tape in her hand.
She then attempted in every way to open the cassette case, and I watched her, highly amused. She then looked at me and asks ” Do you know how to open this? I don’t know how these things work.” It was all I could not to burst out laughing.  I felt so OLD right then. I took the case, easily popped it open, handed it back to her,  and she checked out the rest of my materials.
I walked away with the cassette tape in my hand, and laughed to myself all the way to the A/V room. I couldn’t help think “Have I really just hit that stage where kids now days honestly don’t know what a cassette tape is?  If so, what else do they not know?
For those of us who grew up in the 80’s,isn’t it funny how we  peers can quote Caddyshack and Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

We know what the first video played on MTV was. We KNOW how progressive AHA’s “Take on Me” Video was. We really do know the meaning of “Macguyverd”. We know who KIT was, and who Chunk was. We won’t admit it, but we owned a Rubik’s Cube, and rolled a Slinky down a flight of stairs. We played Oregon Trail at school and thought it was the coolest thing ever ( at least I did).

It was so strange having this feeling of “old” wash over me. It sucks, actually. I feel sad that kids nowdays have very little understanding or grasp of the decade that helped spawn the 90’s. It laid the foundation, and set the tone, and yet I feel that they have no idea about it. That makes me sad.
So I took my tape to the A/V room, where I had a date with an another relic of the 80’s, the stereo. Think about it. How many people have stereos in their homes anymore. I mean real, dual cassette playing, perhaps even a record player on the top, and equalizer in the front console, stereo? Have we not all transitioned into iHomes, idocks and the such?

Playing the tape in the stereo and listening to that familiar high pitch whine of re-winding it  brought me back to those days where we all made mix tapes for our friends, recorded the Top 10 songs from the radio, and played our tapes on our bright yellow Walkmans. You know! You remember! Oh, the good times……
Those may not have always been the good ol’ days, but after careful consideration, I think the 80’s were just bitchin!

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: 8 Week Recap

Wow. Talk about time flying. One of the things that I love about Grad school is that when you meet only once a week, the weeks just fly by. We are now 8 weeks into a 15 semester, and I am still loving every second of it. Here is my 8 week recap:

The Good

  • Reduced commute times. Both of my professors have had to cancel some classes, thus resulting in a day where I don’t have to drive up to school.  My commute is about 80 minutes each way, so that means less gas, more $$ in pocket AND  more time with my family. THAT is awesome.
  • The Library. Great WiFi.
  • The Nugget Grill: Their Salmon burger and sweet potato fries are so yummy!
  • Getting to know my professors better. They are stating to be more human, and less intimidating, and they are getting to us better, thus interacting with us more.
  • Leadership Academy. I am loving it, if not for the silly team building drills,and the opportunity for me to see what I know and what areas I need to work on.
  • The Horn Center. Its beautiful, loaded with comfy seats, quiet, and located next to my department. Yeah!
  • The Japanese Gardens. So pretty. Read my post about it.
  • I am pulling straight A’s in both my classes. Woot!
  • The disgusting pervert whos’ Tumblr and Twitter sites were taken down.
  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Go Boobies!

The Bad

  • Loud cell phone talkers. You guys are everywhere! In the library, in the bathrooms, in the hallways outside of class ( we can still hear you!) Keep it down, will ya!
  • Smokers! Try not to smoke RIGHT outside the classroom doors, ok?
  • Spitters! Gross, I think I just stepped in a spit-wad!
  • My figure. I switched working out for blogging and studying. That’s gonna change soon.
  • The couple that was caught having sex in the third floor of a parking structure and cited. Bummer!
  • The theft that goes on around campus. Stop stealing, people!
  • The crazy drivers in the parking structures. I know you guys want and need parking, but that is no excuse to fly through the structures!! You are going to hit a student or another car.
  • The fact that one of my professors consistently cuts class very short. I drive 80 minutes for a 45 minute class? The class is supposed to be 3 hours long. Forgive me, but the money that I am spending on tuition, divided by the time you teach= I am getting ripped off of both my money and a quality graduate school educational experience. I know most people would love this, but again, I am spending a lot of money and time for this class, and I just wish the professor would respect that a little more.

The Ugly:

  • The body odor emanating from the European exchange student in one of my LA workshops. WOW, dude. DEODORANT!
  • The fact that a few of my classmates FAILED our first exam. OUCH!
  • The a$%hole who walked into a Seal Beach hair salon, and shot and killed 8 people. All because he and his ex-wife were in a bitter custody battle over their son. Now the mom is dead and he is going to jail. You ruined so many innocent lives, but the worst was your sons. F U!
  • The DREAM Act. I put it here because for some, they LOVE it, for others, they HATE it, but either way, I think this issue is going to be an ugly debate.
  • The petition to remove Chancellor Reed. Another potentially ugly issue.
  • The couple in the library. She was sitting on his lap, and they were passionately making out. Gross, people. Go get a room.
  • The girl in the library, sitting on the sofa, with her curling iron plugged in, and doing her hair. Really? You can’t do that in the bathroom. I don’t need your hairspray all over my laptop screen!
Well, that is all for now! I hope you are enjoying the cooler weather and have some fun Halloween plans.

Small Joys, Big Impacts

Do you ever walk around your school, workplace, neighborhood and see things you just never noticed before? It’s the smallest of details, right?  And you “see” them every day, but never really notice them.

Yesterday, I finished up with my Leadership Academy workshop on Communication  and I needed a break from sitting. Yes, sitting. I sat in the car up to school ( that’s 90 minutes), then I sat some more in the LA workshop ( another 90 minutes), so by the end, I needed to move. I choose to head down south and check it out.

The “Southies,” as I call them, are the buildings and students that are separated by the Commencement Lawn,and the Student Union. For Southie students, it would be safe to say that they stay close to the South end of the campus. Down south is the Liberal Arts buildings, the Theater Arts building, the Liberal Studies and Education buildings.

Excited to travel on my walkabout, I headed south past the Commencement Lawn and noticed something small, yet for me, significant. “Peterson Science Building”. At San Diego State , we had the Peterson Gym, and I lived there. The Disablities Clinic was a second home for me, and I miss taking care of my clients. I thought,  “this Peterson guy sure does get around!”  It brought back a flood of great memories,and I must have looked silly walking with a huge smile on my face.

My strolling brought me to the Fine Arts building.  I will be honest and say Art is a huge mystery to me. But I think that is the point? I cannot draw a stick figure, and have never been good with “connect the dots” or even “color by number”. At least I was exposed to the arts, and I was blessed to travel and see some museums from time to time. ( Louvre, the Smithsonian, Getty).

So as I stood in front of the Student Art Galleries, I was frustrated and wanting to like them. I really did. Instead, I felt horrible that I thought: “Wow, if you gave my 3 years olds some scraps, paint, pieces of plastic and glue, could they do something similar?” I felt guilty, like I should be ooohing and ahhing over the beauty of it. But, alas, I kept saying that is the wonderful thing about Art.  It’s all about evoking an emotion within the viewer.
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Struggling to find the beauty in the art, I walked out of the student art galleries and found beauty in something that many people walk by every day and probably never stopped to notice.  It’s really simple. The combination of square and round. Living and concrete. Its geometry is what caught my eye. Also, I happened to LOVE stag-hor ferns. Again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and for me, while it was a small thing, it really made a statement.  I thought it was really cool that someone took the time to hang them there.
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I kept walking south and walked into the Theater Arts building. I did a few acting gigs in high school, so I have at least a few words in my theater vocab,but again, I am definitely not in Kansas anymore. The thing about Theater, and acting that attracts me the most is not what is visible, but the magic that goes on behind the scenes. The set designers, lighting technicians, costume designers. They create the worlds that actors then play in, and bring to life.  Intrigued with this world,  I started walking around the building to see how magic is made.

The first thing I walked by were magicians at work. Working like a team of ants to create the perfect stage for the actors, students were getting a set up, and student in the rafters were practically hanging upside down to handle the lighting. It’s so cool to me that they are like Gods, in the sense that they have to the power to create worlds and destroy them, sometimes all in one night!

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My walkabout led me down hallways, classrooms and 2 more theaters, and what made the walk so pleasant was their version of the “yellow brick road”. I loved it. So cheerful, so pretty, and it made such as simply,boring linoleum floor just come to life, much like the students do with their stage.

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Following the yellow brick road to the front of the building, I walked past this sculpture.

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Of course, the body of water surrounding it was attractive to me, but it was starkly juxtaposed by this incredibly intimidating, sharp, violent sculpture. Remember what I said earlier about art. This one I just couldn’t get. I moved past the fountain and through a grove of trees that I just thought was so beautiful and peaceful. Isn’t it cool when something very small brings peace or happiness to your life? Don’t you wish we could all savor those moments more?

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I ended my walkabout by rounding the corner at the end of the trees, and found myself at the Library. If you’ve read my earlier post, you’ll know how I feel about them. I experienced another small, yet joyous moment when this is the first thing I saw when I walked into the library. Now, I don’t know who thought it would be a good idea to put a Starbucks in the Library, but with the undeniable smell, and Trademark sign, this is one of those things that I’m sure students don’t miss when they walk by it!

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Change Starts with You

I love the power of social media. The fun facts, news, random posts and just plain weird stuff that people disclose.  But with all that good stuff comes the bad, and boy, is there a lot of it!  Have you ever given a second thought about it? Look away,hit delete, block it. As long as it doesn’t directly affect you, why bother caring about it, right?

Have you ever asked yourself  “Who does it affect?”  Ever took action?

This week produced a series of events that led up to me answering that question.  Last week I was reading CSULB’s Daily 49er online, and the author had reported about a blogger at CSULB who takes photos of young woman in tight clothes,and then adds the most inappropriate comments to it. Naturally curious, I followed the digital breadcrumbs from his blog to his Twitter feed and was blown away by the disgusting and completely offensive material in front of me. I was so enraged that this guy had followers, lapping up his disgusting comments about woman, their body parts, and what he’d like to do to them. I honestly felt like his behavior was showing signs, that if not corrected, would lead down the path of a sexual predator. The fact that other people followed him sickened me even more. Why wasn’t anyone telling this guy off?

I blasted his Twitter feed with my thoughts of his disgusting comments, and flagged the feed and blog as inappropriate, in hopes that site administrators would take it down. After that, I honestly forgot all about it.

Fast forward to yesterday. I was in one of my Leadership Academy workshops, and the topic was Ethics. We looked at Ethics from all angles, but primarily from a business perspective. What are ethic business practices, what are the gray areas, etc. The topic then turned to cheating, and the question was posed;  “When it doesn’t affect you, then why bother interfering”. I thought about that sick bastard online.

I told the group that while it may have been easy for me to simply not return to his website anymore, or hit delete, I felt a stronger obligation towards the other woman he’d photographed. Would you take action if you saw a picture of your roommate, girlfriend, classmate? Furthermore, if nobody says or does anything, then doesn’t our inaction give him, and others like him, permission to continue the behavior? When the behavior is continued, my belief is that is that guys like him may progress further into predatory behaviors. So while his stupid little blog really has no affect on my life, I felt a strong ethical drive to be the voice for those girls that had no voice,and to take a stand against a little shithead who thought he could get away with material like that.

So later than evening,I checked both the blog and Twitter accounts, and was elated to find that his accounts had been deactivated. I’m positive that it was the combined actions of people who refused to just ‘look away” that created such a positive change, albeit small.

So next time you come across something unethical, think not about its affect in your life, but think about what actions you can do to change it.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

Playing Koi

So today was just one of those days where I needed a break from the usual scene of the Kinesiology halls, the Horn Center and the Student Union. Looking for a little peace and quiet, I found the Japanese Gardens on campus. A perfect place to take your kids, get married, study or simply feed the fish. The Koi are beautiful, and completely trained to rush over at the mere glimpse of a person standing at the edge of the water. (does the name Pavlov ring a bell?)
I hope you found your slice of serenity today.image

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My Money(ball) is on Brad Pitt

I may not care for baseball, but if Brad Pitt would come back to CSULB to promote his new movie Moneyball, I may become a fan for life.  I feel it’s only natural that if you use our campus to shoot scenes for it, you owe it to students to come back and offer a free viewing of yourself, erg, I mean, your movie!

I wonder what other hunky hollywood stars will come to CSULB to shoot their next movie?

Casting call for George Clooney, Justin Timberlake, LL Cool J, George Eads, and entire male cast of CSI Miami, save for David Caruso. 

😉