Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 13-11-2011

The scandal at Penn State is appalling. With the exception of Mike McQueary, the people concealing the crime were only concerned about covering their own butts.

Do the students supporting Paterno realize what he has been a part of? Maybe they don’t want to believe it. What if this had happened to their younger sibling or another young family member? I don’t think they would be as supportive.

I hope that the innocent children who were harmed are able to receive justice from this horrible scandal. They might need years of therapy and counseling. Hopefully, they will be able to have relatively normal lives.

I have never been able to understand why some people involved in sports activities, especially at schools, feel that they should get special treatment. If a football coach commits a crime, he should be treated just the same as anyone else. For people in high positions of authority at Penn State to brush the sexual abuse under the rug is disgusting.

Here is another article that I think provides clarification to this complicated case.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 30-10-2011

The man sitting at the computer has claw-like fingers (they remind me of Roald Dahl’s “The Witches”) filled with dirt and grime. His skin looks like it has been greased with Pam cooking spray ten times over. His eyes are not friendly; they are angry and stalker-ish.

Not someone I would want looking at my Facebook profile.

I am a private person, for the most part. I share more with people “in person” rather than online. It is easier to be aware of a person’s actions when they are physically in your presence than if they are hiding behind a computer screen. I don’t go to Facebook as often as I used to. It became boring after a while, and I was sick of people sending me Farmville and Cityville requests. I was also getting upset about Facebook constantly changing. It seemed like once I had just gotten used to the changes, they would make something else “better”. I’m glad to say that I have not let Facebook become my life.

The idea that “privacy is dead” scares me. I don’t want creepy people knowing my address, phone number, etc. So that’s why you will not find it on my Facebook page. I have no drunk Facebook pictures either, because I am a nerd and I don’t party. I know a lot of people who have put stupid pictures of themselves on Facebook when they are drunk or high. I even found someone who took a picture of a huge bag of pot. In the eyes of employers, such behavior is foolish and irresponsible. I know people who have put their cell phone numbers and addresses on Facebook. Why?

I think this story is timely, because Halloween is this Monday, and this story reminds us to think before we post.

For more information about internet safety visit

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 15-10-2011;_ylt=ApkwaKP0YQCrcg3lB5w1iyJpbqU5

When I was a little girl, I had Barbies. I didn’t play with them very much, except to change their clothes once in a while. Then I left the Barbie’s hairbrush and shoes on the floor and my mom kept accidentally stepping on them. But I never took Barbie too seriously, and I knew she was not a “real” person.

The only time I was “fat” was when I was a baby. I had a little bit of fuzz on my head, like a baby duckling. My cheeks and arms were chubby. Other than that, I have always been thin as a rail. A female classmate in middle school wrote in my 8th grade yearbook, “You need to eat more.” and then signed her name. When I was in high school, some girls in the P.E. locker room believed that I had had an eating disorder. Eventually, I lied and said that I had, just so they would leave me alone. Sometimes in the hallway, I would walk past cliques of girls and they walked up to me and said, “You’re so skinny! OMG, you need to eat more!”  In my head I said, “Really? I didn’t notice! I couldn’t tell!” (sarcasm). Instead, I just stared at them in disbelief. Why did they say that? Were they concerned about me? Did it ever occur to them that maybe I have a metabolism through the roof and I never gain weight, and I have had body image issues because my dad always bugged me about eating enough vegetables and not eating a lot of sweets? Did they ever think that I might have feelings and that they were being insensitive bitches?

I had surgery when I was sixteen. It was for my left eye. After going to an eye appointment, the doctor told me I had a detatched retina. He said I needed surgery immediately, or I could go blind. The doctor was going to put a special buckle in my eye. I went into surgery five days later. I was in a freezing cold hospital room at 7 a.m. wearing a revealing, backless hospital gown and not much else.  The nurse put 5 or 6 different kinds of drops in my eyes. Then came the IV. I HATE needles. After waking up from surgery, I was given codeine and a peanut butter sandwich. I barfed up the sandwich soon after eating it. The doctor told me that I would have a gas bubble in my eye for the next 3 weeks. It would diminish gradually as the days went by. I remember leaving the hospital and the sunlight was overwhelming. I felt like someone jammed a 500 watt flashlight in my eyes. For the next few weeks, I had a white square of fabric covering my eye and I could see the gas bubble. It was so weird-like the bubble was in another world under my eye. I slept a lot, and didn’t eat very much.

The point to this story is that I HAD to have the surgery. I’m glad I had it, but I would have never gone through it for the sake of beauty. I really have to question the sanity of someone who would voluntarily put herself through 52 surgeries! Maybe she enjoys barfing and needles and embarrassing hospital gowns. I don’t know. What kind of messages did she receive about body image as a teenager? She is clearly a huge fan of Barbie. I wonder if she has any daughters. I hope not, because if she does, she is sending them a very unnatural attitude about self esteem and body image. How sad that this woman is so unhappy with who she is. How sad that our society has contributed to girls saying, “I’m not thin/pretty/sexy/ enough.”

Katie Halchishick, who modeled her proportions against Barbie’s, is on the right track. Mentoring teenage girls about body image will help them have healthy attitudes about themselves. But when fashion magazines quit selling “thin=sexy” on their covers and ads, and models on tv come in all shapes and sizes, then we will have achieved real beauty. I have seen the irony when magazines like Teen Vogue or Glamour have articles talking about changing societal attitudes about what beauty is. Then I turn the page and the model in the ad looks anorexic.

I think real beauty is inside.  Real beauty is not superficial; it goes beyond obsessing about fat bulges, crow’s feet, zits and gray hair. It comes out through positive attitudes, kindness toward others, confidence, strength and perseverance. These are truly beautiful attributes that young women should aspire to have.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 01-10-2011

Just the headline of this story makes me cringe.

I think it is horrific that the drug wars are so widespread that not even innocent children are safe. No children should be exposed to such violence and gore. I hope the children are able to confide in a trustworthy adult so they do not have to be consumed by fear. A school should be a place where students feel safe, free to be themselves, and free to learn. How are children supposed to learn if their schools are not safe?

I believe that greed is at the heart of the drug wars. People want money so badly will trade drugs to get it, regardless of who is hurt or even killed in the process. The question “What can be done to stop this violence?” does not have an easy answer. Is it stricter border control? U.S. government intervention?

On a much lighter note, this short article raises the recent issue of Yahoo news articles being too short. I have read comments from readers saying that they feel Yahoo is leaving out important details, not showing pictures that would provide clarity. Maybe Yahoo needs a refresher: the 5 W’s and an H. Who, what, where, when, why and how. Yahoo, remember that while your readers appreciate short articles, they also want to be informed.


Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 01-10-2011

I walked down the hallway in the music department hall in Eppley.  A student with a South Park shirt with Cartman saying, “Screw you guys! I’m going home!” walks past me. I ask him if he has a piece of gum that is not pink. He looks at me like I’m nuts-his eyes kind of bug out-laughs and says, “No.”

Another student who is sitting down in the hallway smiles at me. I tell her about my weird professor giving me this awkward assignment. She tells me that she does not chew gum.

My assignment is to find someone who has gum that is not pink. I am supposed to describe the gum, the person chewing it, and have a quote from the person.

I get a drink of water and I walk down the stairs. I see John Bowitz and I ask him if I can talk to students in his class. He corrects my grammar and says that I “may” talk to his class. I smile and walk in. The class is working with clay and other ceramic materials. I walk up to a friendly-looking guy and ask him if I can ask him a weird question. He says, “Sure.” I ask him and the class in general if anyone is chewing any non-pink gum. One of the students sticks out her tongue and asks if her gum is pink. I tell her that it is. Another student tells me that he does not chew gum.

I thank them and walk down the hallway, past the individual music practice rooms. I walk past Terri McGaffin’s office. A fan is running in the doorway. I look in and she is sitting at her desk. Then I remember that I have to talk to someone I don’t know. Since I went with Terri to New York for a May term trip, she does not count.

I keep walking and I turn the corner. A design classroom door is open and I decide to walk in. There are students painting, washing out brushes, and mixing colors. I don’t see a professor at first, so I am a little nervous. I don’t want to disrupt anyone. Then I look in the back of the room and I see someone who I assume is the professor. I say, “hi,” and I tell her about my descriptive assignment. She is very nice and she tells me that I may ask the class if they have any non-pink gum. A girl raises her hand and I walk over to her. I set my notebook and pen down and I tell her about my assignment. Her reaction is one of curiosity.

We talk. Her name is Alexis Stabile. She is a sophomore transfer student from Colorado State University. The gum she is chewing is white and spearmint flavored. I ask her how long she has been chewing it, and she says, “I’ve been chewing it since the beginning of class, for two hours, and it has lost all its flavor.”

Alexis shows me the gum package. It reads, “Trident Original Flavor”. Since she wants to keep her gum, I ask if I may take the package instead. She tells me that it is empty, and that I may have it. I thank her and the professor, then I head back to the classroom.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 24-09-2011

Yesterday (Friday, September 23rd, 2011) was All My Children’s last day on the air after 41 years. It began on January 5, 1970 and veteran soap actress Susan Lucci portrayed soap diva Erica Kane right from the beginning.

I have been watching soap operas for almost 10 years. I am a soap junky! General Hospital (GH) got me hooked. I became addicted to the tumultuous relationship between Carly and Sonny Corinthos. I rooted for Jason and Courtney to stay together, even though I knew they probably wouldn’t. After getting bored with GH, I started watching Passions, a show on NBC that always seemed to have hot, hunky, shirtless guys every time I turned on the tv. Passions acknowledged that its viewers had and appreciated a sense of humor. Tabitha, played by Juliet Mills, was a witch who casted spells on some of the other characters. I loved the relationship triangle between Ethan, Theresa, and Gwen, and I had to tune in to see who Ethan would pick.  After Passions was moved to a station on DirectTV (I was devastated!), I stopped watching soaps for a while.

 Then I discovered the Young and the Restless, which is on CBS, a station famous for its soaps winning boatloads of Emmys. I started watching and I didn’t like the evil characters. I thought they were too evil, and that the good characters were not getting any justice. I also thought the storylines were becoming contrived and silly. Having the same actress play two opposing characters is not always the best idea. It made me mad that the character Nick was still very attracted to his ex-wife Sharon, even though Nick’s wife Phyllis was kind, beautiful, funny and loyal.

Since I started watching the soaps, five have been canceled: All My Children, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, Passions and Port Charles.  Soap operas are losing viewers, mostly because the target audience, women, are more likely today to have employment outside the home than they were 20 or 30 years ago. The rise of watching tv on the internet also had a negative impact on traditionally formated soaps. Apparently, ABC is going to have an online version of All My Children on their website. It is unknown if Susan Lucci will continue with her role as Erica. Hopefully, viewers will enjoy watching their favorite soap online.

To those of you who don’t give a mouse’s behind about soaps, you are probably wondering, “Why is she writing about something so superficial and unimportant?”

Well, I think soaps are important, and they have had a significant impact on the culture and constant change in the world of Mass Comm. For American housewives in the 1950s, soaps united women who were at home doing laundry, cooking, and taking care of children. The soaps were a way for women to escape the real world and get swept up in someone else’s problems. The advertisements at the time were for soap, detergent, food, and products that were useful in the home. In the 1970s, the soaps started to change just as the real world was changing. Women in the world wanted to be liberated, and the soaps reflected that societal change. Female characters wanted jobs, to be treated as equals to their husbands, and were tired of being solely responsible for the home and the children. Today, soap operas have gay characters, characters who have been affected by 9/11, and characters who use cell phones and computers.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 16-09-2011

As someone on the autism spectrum, I like to read about autism if it is in the news. I am curious how autism is portrayed in the article, and hoping that it is not misinforming the public.

What is autism? Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that people who are on the spectrum all have different, varying diagnoses. Some children, like Joshua, have more severe autism, and they may be non-verbal and/or have to go to special schools or be home-schooled. Others who have Asperger’s Syndrome, like me, are able to go to school, talk to people, drive, and live independently from their parents. These are the two extremes of the spectrum; a lot of kids are in the middle.  Autism affects socialization, communication and speech. It is becoming common in middle schools and high schools for students with Asperger’s to be in Social Skills classes. They learn about how to act in situations where they may not know how to respond appropriately, do role-playing, etc. It is beneficial for students on the spectrum to be around peers who behave appropriately. If the “typical” student models proper behavior, the person with autism will learn how to behavior well.

I am glad that the child, Joshua, is safe. Unfortunately, he was taken from his parents because a well-meaning but clueless real estate agent saw him tethered to the parents’ house while they were getting ready to move. The agent informed Child Protective Services and they took the child from his home.

For those of you not as familiar with the autism community, sometimes children with autism are Runners. They will take off at any minute, without warning.  They can run really fast, and sometimes they do not understand that their behavior is inappropriate, so they might laugh and think you are playing a game with them. I volunteered at an elementary school one semester in a special education room, and there were a few Runners. We had to watch them constantly, and sometimes they would just take off and we had to run after and find them. It was frightening at times.

 Some parents buy special bracelets that are equipped with technology so if their child runs off or is missing, they will be able to locate them. These parents just lost their home, so they probably could not afford to buy a pricey bracelet. Their only option was to teather him. This may sound like it is abuse, but it is not. If Joshua is non-verbal, he does not respond to “Quit running!” or “Don’t go anywhere.”

What I am inferring from the article (though I’m not exactly sure) is that the child took off under CPS’s care. Was he trying to go back home? He really belongs with his parents. Unless the parents are abusing them, the best place for a child with autism is with their parents. The parents understand their child and their autism better than anyone else. They are able to give the child the kind of special love and attention that he needs. If CPS had come to MY house when I was younger and tried to take me away, I would have fought like hell not to go. My parents understood and still do understand me better than anyone else.

How prepared is CPS for working with children on the autism spectrum? Do they go through special training? I will do some research about this because I am curious. I am a curious journalist.

I wish the author of this article had included a few sentences about autism, just to inform the readers. Maybe the comment section of the article would have had fewer ignorant, cruel comments like, “This kid is a retard,” “He should have been aborted,” and telling a mother of a child with autism that she “should not blame other people for her genetic shortcomings.” Some very unkind people crawled out from under their rocks and said stupid, ignorant things.

I always welcome questions or curiousity about autism from anyone, especially my fellow college students. It is not offensive to me at all. Saying ignorant, judgemental, uninformed, rude comments is quite another matter. See above paragraph.

For more information about autism, go to

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 14-09-2011

Noisy Food on Fourth Street

Emily L. Domayer

September 13, 2011

            I gaze at the purple lights. They are violet blue half circles. No matter how many times I come here, I enjoy looking at them. Light faintly filters through the three high windows that nearly reach the ceiling. The large window at the front of the restaurant provides light for the large plants. I love that there are no harsh lights to be found, no pasty, white glaring lights. I am at Rebo’s, a “New” Mexican Caribbean restaurant.

            The ambiance is lively, and the taste in décor is eclectic. A moose head, art from local artists, and vibrantly colored sea creatures decorate the walls. There is a mounted sail fish and photographs of small children. The children remind me of Precious Moments figurines come alive. For the sports fans sitting at the bar, a large flat screen TV is showing ESPN.

            A waitress comes up to my table and asks what I would like to drink. I order a Sprite. I am people-watching from my table by the bar. A woman walks in wearing a bright orange dress and black espadrilles. Her shoes look painful to wear and I am briefly reminded of how comfortable my three year old, worn-in Roxy shoes are. She sits at the bar. A well dressed man in a black shirt and gray pants walks in and sits down next to the woman in the orange dress.

            The waitress comes back to my table with the Sprite. She asks if I am ready to order food and I tell her that I am. I order my favorite sandwich, the California Chicken Club. The waitress leaves. I take the first sip of Sprite and the bubbly citrus taste refreshes me. A song is playing, and it sounds like Eric Clapton, although I’m not sure. Most of the music at Rebo’s would appeal more to people of older generations, like my parents.

            From the table next to me, other customers’ food is wafting toward my nose. I smell bacon, chicken and spicy tomatoes. There are a lot of great entrees to order at Rebo’s. The flat bread pizzas have a crunchy, crispy crust and a delectable array of toppings. There are traditional Mexican dishes such as chimichangas and enchiladas. Bacon wrapped shrimp is available, too.

            Suddenly, I smell guacamole and aioli sauce. I turn around and I see the waitress coming to my table with my sandwich. She smiles at me as she sets the plate down on the table. I thank her and she leaves. I overhear her tell the people at the next table about the dessert specials. The restaurant has become more crowded and now there people waiting for tables. I am glad that I came early.

            When I first bite into my sandwich, I taste one of my favorite combinations: chicken and cheese. The tomatoes and guacamole provide temperature contrast from the chicken. Sprouts add a fun crunch and the aioli complements the guacamole well. All these ingredients are in between two lightly toasted, lightly buttered bread buns.

            I have only eaten half of my sandwich and most of my salad when the waitress comes back to my table and asks if I am ready for dessert. She tells me what the choices are. I decide to get the Bananas Foster. Ice cream, chunks of banana, pecans, and a praline sauce with a hint of rum are the ingredients in this delicious concoction.

            Rebo’s is located in the Krummann building, in the Historic 4th Street District in Sioux City. Built in 1889 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the building was a grocery store into the 1930s. It was restored in 1998. Shortly after that, it was a music store and restaurant called Uncle John’s. Later, it was a bakery named the Bread Basket. In 2004, the current owners opened the Rebo’s restaurant.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 12-09-2011

Hi. I would like to introduce you to my classmate, Brittany Leigh Conolly. She is a 21 year old Mass comm. major who recently transferred from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her hobbies include online shopping (she LOVES ebay), watching movies, and hanging out with her golden retriever, Haley. She enjoys watching comedy dramas and her favorite restaurant here in Sioux City is La Juanita’s. Brittany likes to read whatever no one else is reading, and her favorite author is Sarah Dessen.

She is an only child, and she has countless cousins. Brittany has been to Canada, Mexico and Hawaii. In the future, she hopes to have a career in radio or broadcasting, and she wants to move to Colorado. She loves the idea of waking up to beautiful mountains every morning.

I have known Brittany since we were in daycare together, and it is fun sitting next to her in journalism class.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 08-09-2011

One of the news values I remembered was “bizarre”, and I would say that this story is definitely in that category!

Some people like to knit. Others like fishing. The woman in this story has a hobby of paranoia: She called her ex-boyfriend 65,000 times in the last year.

Anyone who calls another person that much, regardless of whether they are female or Dutch, is a nut.

I know what it is like to miss someone that used to be part of your life. You brood for a couple weeks, then you start to see that things are getting back to normal. You might be tempted to call them a lot a first, but then you realize why you broke up in the first place, so you stop. It just gets awkward and you run out of things to talk about.

 I had a boyfriend who texted me a gazillion times a day when we were dating. After a while, I left my phone off for a long time, because his obsessiveness was SO annoying.

I am curious what this woman’s phone bill is each month. I calculated how many times a day she called him (65,000/365) and it came to 178 calls a day. Holy cow! She could be single-handedly keeping the phone company in business. 

How does this woman have enough time to make that many calls? Does she have a job? Who is this guy and why does she keep calling him? Did he break up with her without telling her why? There are so many unanswered questions, I can almost feel my inner Carrie Bradshaw coming out.

I’m not that surprised that the guy denied being in a relationship with her.

Maybe she has an obsessive disorder, like OCD. Whatever mental or emotional state she is in, she needs professional help. She needs to quit calling her ex-boyfriend and call a shrink instead.