On Monday, I was able to see a presentation by a Adam Carroll. During his presentation, Adam gave lots of tips and advice on how to manage your money, especially while you’re in your twenties. His main conclusion, and the point he continually came back to, was this: if you like like nobody else does in your twenties, you’ll be able to live like no one else can in your thirties, forties, and beyond.

When Adam graduated from college, he had a seemingly typical story for most modern college graduates: he was loaded with debt. He had almost 30 thousand in student loans, as well as 8 thousand in credit card debt. Instead of paying it off traditionally, however, Adam and his wife decided to make ends meet on one income, and used the other to pay off debt. He advocated for paying off debt sequentially, in order of the smallest debt to the largest debt. This, he said, gave him the motivation to keep going because he could actually see the results of what he was doing. Instead of splitting up payments between debts, Adam focused on one debt at a time until it was paid off.

As a college student, I found Adam’s speech to be inspiring. I was lucky enough to get a full tuition scholarship, so all I have to pay for is room, board, books, and other fees, but even that can be expensive. My current student loan debt is around five thousand dollars, and while that may not sound like much (especially compared to Adam’s debt), it is only my first year of college. I likely have several more student loans to take out.

I have already started making plans on how I should pay off this debt as a result of Adam’s speech. I have also become a little more aware of the money I spend. Because I have a debit card, I tend to overspend because the money isn’t physically in front of me. To combat that problem, I have decided to start giving myself a more strict budget and using an ATM when I can so that I can physically be more cognizant of the money that I spend. Although I’m not sure that I’ll choose to financially plan my twenties the way that Adam did, I found his talk to be very beneficial and worthwhile. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, I would definitely recommend it!

On the day of the Palmer Research Symposium, I chose to attend a presentation by Maggie Johnson entitled “Stereotype Activation and Application”. As the title suggests, the majority of her speech was about stereotypes, and specifically about how they can be used both negatively and positively in our lives.

Maggie started out her speech by giving a variety of examples of stereotypes, and then explained what a stereotype was. I felt that this was an effective strategy, especially since her speech was one focused primarily in the science of psychology. By establishing exactly what a stereotype was and also providing several helpful examples from the start, she laid a strong foundation for the rest of her presentation. Maggie then went on to explain her 3 main points, which I believe were that we can control the amount of activation of stereotypes that occurs in our lives, we can try to eliminate or at least end popular use of negative stereotypes, and that stereotypes can sometimes be helpful. I really appreciate the fact that Maggie provided examples, anecdotes, and of course research for each of her main points. It helped me better understand what she was talking about, especially since I am far from being a psychology major. I also liked the way that she set up her speech, seemingly starting at the most important claim and developing towards less but still important claims. Although this is not a conventional strategy, I liked that she used it because it showed me that it could still be effective in presentations. It also showed me that using this strategy can help guide listeners to the main points of the speech, since they are essentially given the most important point at the beginning.

Upon first glance, I didn’t really think that the presentation’s topic would have much connection to popular culture. After listening to her speech, however, I realized that stereotypes play a large role in our popular culture, even though we don’t always notice it. One example of this is the meme commonly referred to as “Asian Dad”. This meme essentially pokes fun at the idea that Asian children are smarter and also pushed harder academically by their parents than other ethnicities. This meme is spread throughout the internet, and likely has been so popular because of the fact that it is based on a stereotype that many people have heard of/recognize. Maggie’s speech taught me that although stereotypes are usually thought of negatively, they can sometimes have positive effects as well. More importantly, her presentation taught me that stereotypes are all around us, and especially present in pop culture through things like movies, music, and advertisements.