Hit the Beach, not the BOREDwalk

Now that Spring break is in full swing for most students and summer is quickly approaching, I think it is time to address one of the most severe first world problems known to man: BOREDOM.

This ailment is hardly ever expected within the first couple days of freedom, but if you are anything like me, after a while you start to feel like the days have been wasted. f you are really at your wit’s end, here are some tips that will help you escape the insanity:

1. Exercise. I’ve always said that I don’t have enough time for it, but now I have all the time in the world. It has been proven that when you exercise, you release the same type of hormones that you emit when you are in love. After you work out, you should feel accomplished and pleased with yourself. I often feel very motivated afterwards, especially if I exercised outside. Don’t limit exercise to running or lifting though. There are all sorts of fun, cheap activities you can do. Kick a soccer ball around, shoot some hoops, climb a tree, invite some friends over for a hilarious Richard Simmons dance workout, parkour around town, practice awesome karate kicks and jumps, hop on a trampoline, climb on your house, rollerblade, learn yoga from youtube, have a dance party (or dance by yourself – less embarrassment and you can learn new moves), ride your bike, play ultimate frisbee or capture the flag, play volleyball, have a water fight (or a snowball fight if the weather is adverse), walk your dog, or even try some zumba.

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2. Go outside. Nature really does have a positive effect on your emotions and your health. Just sitting outside for a while, resting in the sun with your eyes closed and feeling the breeze brush your face will put you at ease. I would suggest hammocking, it is really relaxing.

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3. Learn a new craft. Now that you have all this time, you have the opportunity to learn the things that you have always thought about. This includes friendship bracelet making, painting, any sort of sport or trick, designing products or buildings, woodworking or metalworking, fixing up cars, mixing music, blogging, learning a new language, surviving in the wilderness, learning CPR, driving a stick shift, reading, gardening, writing poetry, photography, scrap-booking, sewing, cooking, sculpting, juggling, break dancing, magic tricks, knife-throwing, learning an instrument, parkour, back-flipping,  lock-picking, chess, filming, martial arts, ” nun-chuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills…”

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4. Hang out with friends. Invite them over for a movie or for a game of ultimate. I really enjoy thrift-store shopping with my friends – we never fail to find ridiculous things that usually lead to inside jokes. Another cheap activity I like to do is going hiking. If you live remotely near the mountains or some form of trail or woodland, I highly suggest going with a friend and making some good memories. I also like to have slumber parties (with dancing of course), invite my friends over to play “body body” near nighttime (directions here), attend concerts, and host “bring your favorite dish” dinner parties that typically accompany a basketball or football game. I would also suggest traveling with friends (ahem, road trip!)

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5. Volunteer. Contrary to sitting around all day, volunteering feels really gratifying at the end of the day. Grab a friend or go by yourself and go help out your neighbor or a local organization. I would suggest Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, dog kennels, visiting retirement homes, or any other community organization. Click Here to connect with an organization that suits you.

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6. Have fun! Remember all the things you found entertaining when you were procrastinating? Whatever you enjoy most, do that instead of sitting around. Go do the things you love while you are still able! Have some fun, make some memories, and live your life to the fullest. I can’t believe I am saying this, but YOLO.

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Have an eventful and joyous day!

-Jordan

The Blessings of Listening

I haven’t had a voice since yesterday morning, and let me tell you, even though it has only been a short time, it has truly been a learning experience. Image

If you’ve ever had laryngitis, you would have noticed that it is a very odd feeling to be without the ability to speak on the fly. You really have to pick and choose if what you’re going to say is important enough to attempt. Yesterday I spent some time in the chapel, and I meditated upon what it really means to listen to what God is telling me and to what is going on around me. This is what I wrote:

“Thank you God for letting me live such a joyful life in a world of such discontent. You take my BREATH away. You leave me SPEECHLESS. There are no words to describe your nature.

People, imagine being mute in God’s presence. Mute in thoughts, mute in actions, mute in speech, mute in vision. What if all we did was listen? What if all we thought, heard, did, said, and envisioned was a direct magnification of your desires? Imagine.

I cannot speak, for the only things I have to say are not of you. Everything I see when I look around is either a reflection of the beauty that you are or a part of the corruption that you have warned me about. Everything I think has to do with you. Everything I tell other people is a auditory response to what you have told me. All that I say is spoken with wisdom and in love. Every action, even breathing, I recognize as a great blessing and thank you for it. I rejoice and praise you for every morning I get to wake up and see the light peering in through the windows. Every moment I live I am thankful for.

What if we really lived like this? What if we really could tune out all of our desires and focus entirely on what your desires are? We could then say;

Lord, you take my LIFE away and you replace it with love worth living for.”

I challenge you to try to be more mindful this Easter season and this year. Make a mental effort to think about God more often than Sunday mornings. Drawing closer to God and scheduling time in your day to be alone with god will certainly make it easier. Don’t have enough time, you say? Approximately how many minutes a day do you waste time on Facebook or watching television? Replace some (or all) of that time you spend with American culture with time spent on God. Which outlet provides gratification and positive effects on your life? Which outlet do you identify yourself with?

Hope you got something out of this. Blessings,

-Jordan

How AppState is like the Shire

by JORDAN MILLER

Warning: This may offend ASU Hipsters.

  1. There are many hobbits with hairy exposed feet – none of which are of African lineage.
  2. Everyone knows of second breakfast.
  3. The all-seeing eye of Sauron (your parents) cannot monitor you if you live far away and never touch the ring(er).
  4. Sam (Lakey) lives next door.
  5. Celtic dances and unexpected fireworks are not uncommon.
  6. There is one finger you dare not lose (hitchin’ it) else you be forever a member of the nub club.
  7. The famed wizard among hobbits (Peacock) appears rarely, but when he does visit, everyone looks up to him and children gape at his pure awesomeness.
  8. Some people really need chapstick.
  9. Everyone’s hair is curly and untamed.
  10. They also wear baggy handmade clothes in a hidden attempt to mask their physical unkempt-ness.
  11. The fastest way to Mordor (Walker Hall) is not by stumbling, but by bicycle.
  12. The hobbits that obsess over evil things soon find themselves living anywhere but the shire (AppState). They live in the sketchy parts of the mountains, near WCU.
  13. Students write A Hobbit’s Tale – There and Back Again every night for English class.
  14. At the end of the adventure, hobbits usually get married to someone from the shire.
  15. There are WAY too many Pippins and Marys.

Traditional School Vs. Online School

It is fair to say that both schooling systems have their pros and cons, but as far as student capacity and the economy goes, I say that traditional schooling is the way to go. First of all, students who have actual teachers are much more likely to be held accountable for finishing their work and doing a good job of it. Though online schooling may be easier because of this, that does not always mean the student may be learning to their fullest capacity. Rather than having multiple choice tests and generated scores, real instructors know the student’s personality and goals for themselves. With this knowledge of knowing the student’s personality comes the leniency in subjects that may not be the student’s best subject. Every students brain is different and may be geared towards different subjects. For example, while some may be great with math and horrible with English, others may be terrible with math and wonderful with English. With computer generated scores, everything is graded the same without any consideration for the student’s actual effort. With online classes, one cannot speak with the teacher about the grades received and ask for extra credit to improve it, there is simply a final grade that one has to deal with no matter the reason. Yes, one can take the class again, but ultimately that is a waste of time. In reference to testing, many online students will memorize the information that they need to know for the tests and forget the information after the exam. This is done in traditional schooling as well, but the difference is how the information is taught in the first place. The expression, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime” is definitely true in this situation. Teachers want students to retain information because it will serve them better in the long run. The best way for students to learn is not just having the information given to them, but for the students to have hands-on experiences that teach the skill or  idea that they are supposed to remember. Many teachers use this practice through labs, activities, games, songs, and other approaches. Hands-on activities can be simulated through online classes, but realistically they seldom are. Another advantage that traditional schooling has over online schooling is the human interaction. Throughout the school year, students will meet and befriend other students in their classes, which builds both self-confidence and social skills. Also, students being able to collaborate with one another may help the information stick and studying to become easier and more common. Though online students may know other online students who are taking the same class, it would be very rare for these students to interact with each other on a daily basis. It may be argued that online classes prevent bullying, but this is not so. Bullying among young students is going to happen no matter what, it will just happen in a different place. Also, students who are bullied and choose online classes to escape this may have lower self-esteem because they are hiding from their fear rather than confronting it, and by being isolated, may be without the support system of other students who have also been bullied. My last argument against online schooling is concerning the economy. Many teachers are already struggling to find jobs, and those that have them are getting paid very little. If online schooling became a prominent system, millions of men and women would be without jobs, which would put the United States economy in ruins. Some may argue that schools are overpopulated with students and teachers are overwhelmed, but I think that the solution to this problem is build more schools. Yes, it is expensive, but as far as long-term effects go, building more schools and hiring more teachers is a very good investment. For example, in the 1930s, F.D. Roosevelt authorized the idea to build the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic highway through the Appalachian Mountains. Though this may have seemed like a waste of money at the time, but overall its construction employed hundreds of men and now brings in a large revenue from tourism. Building more traditional schools to replace the need of inline schools will ultimately help the economy  and better educate the youth of America.

Any Comments?

-Jordan Miller