Located at Morningside College

Month: October 2020

Article 3 Draft

At times being a commuter can feel like you are stuck in a rut. Wake up, go to classes, go to work, then go back home and repeat. The pandemic has only amplified that feeling of being caught in a never-ending routine. I live with three other college-age adults, one who recently graduated from Briar Cliff. I wanted to find out what similarities or differences between the two colleges.

            As a commuter student at Morningside, there are times where I feel that I’m not a part of the campus culture here. Besides what I do at the radio station, I’m not really involved with much else on campus. Partially I feel because I don’t live on campus in the dorms. Dorm culture is a huge thing, particularly at Morningside. I feel that Morningside could improve by finding ways to better engage non-traditional students who enroll at the college. 

Jonah Egli, a Morningside student who lives in Roadman Hall, had this to say when asked how he feels living on campus. “I think I would have a much harder time getting out of bed and making it to class on time if I didn’t live on campus.” He said with a grin on his face. “Being a wrestler, we have killer early workouts during the season. It’s nice being able to stumble out of bed half awake and not have to worry about driving or anything.” I then asked if he enjoyed living on campus and if he ever considered becoming a commuter student. “Since my parents don’t live in town, it wouldn’t be practical to live with them. I enjoy living in the dorms, but conflicts have definitely come up. All I’ll say is I’m much happier about my roommate’s situation this year.”

 While I was attending Western Iowa Tech, I did live in the dorms on campus. They always hosted a variety of events on campus. Everything from your typical comedian, to a local music showcase put on by WIT students. Since I lived on campus, it was always just a short walk to the main campus building to attend these events. Because of that it always felt like there was something happening somewhere on campus. 

One of my current roommates Austin Cooper also lived with me in the dorms at WIT. The room and board options at WIT are different than what is offered at Morningside. The housing complex that we lived in was called The Bur-Oak Suites. I would say it shares a similar room layout to something you would see in Lags Hall. They are both four-bedroom apartment-style dorms with a living room area. While Austin graduated with a criminal justice degree and is no longer attending school, I wanted to see if he shared some of the same opinions that I had since we spent both years at WIT sharing a dorm with two other people. 

 Austin explained “I think we got along pretty well right out of the gate; we had a lot of the same interests. We only shared that stupid Intro to College class that everyone had to take. I was worried at first because those first few weeks were a difficult time for me. My family only lives down in Lincoln, but that was the first time I was living on my own.”    When asked if he thought if living on campus impacted his college experience he replied. “Most defiantly, I don’t think I would have interreacted with nearly as many other students otherwise. Living in the dorms is like living in a small community. You form relationships with the people who live on your floor, it was a blast.”

Briar Cliff University alum Lucas Koster has a unique perspective on the aspect of commuting to college as he was on the golf team. “I defiantly felt like I was missing out on some of the same experiences that my teammates had. I’m glad I only committed to Golf my senior year. Those basketball workouts start way earlier than the golf ones that’s for sure. I don’t think I could roll out of bed at 6 in the morning, drive to campus, and get changed all before the 6:30 start time. There’s no way in hell am I going to run hustle drills for being late.” I was interested in finding out what the dorms were like as he lived on campus up until his senior year. “I remember my Freshman year not really participating in many on-campus events. I would hang out with a few guys from the team but not much else. It wasn’t until I reached out and developed more friendships that I started going to parties and hanging out with people. None of these parties were on the campus of course because of the notorious campus security.”

I have been very lucky with my current roommates all being able to get along. Personally, I’m pretty passive and go with the flow. I don’t know if I could say the same for my other roommates as they all have strong personalities. We have developed somewhat of our own culture around the house. As an example, prior to the pandemic, we would often host large parties at our place. We always had ground rules to ensure that they never got too wild or out of hand. If someone had a disagreement, we always felt like we were free to bring it up. If things got too serious, we would settle it like men, by playing a game of Super Smash Brothers or Mario Kart on GameCube.  

            Being off-campus certainly allows us more freedom than we wouldn’t have otherwise. No quiet study hours, no room inspections, and most importantly we are free to have as many keggers as we want! 

Article 3 Sketch

For this article I want to cover commuter culture. As someone who doesn’t live on campus I feel like there are certain events that I miss out on. At times it feels like you get stuck in a routine just going to and from classes. I know besides the HPER I don’t utilize anything else on campus. I am interested to see if other students who live off campus feel the same way.

I will interview several commuters to see how they feel not living on campus or being apart of a dorm culture. One of my roommates attends Briar Cliff, so it will be interesting to get a different perspective on another University. Besides differences I want to find what similarities commuter students share.

Non-Fiction Text Review 1

Can I Keep My Jersey chronicles the life of Paul Shirley, a self-proclaimed Basketball vagabond. Shirley’s career started out playing for the Iowa State Cyclones where he evolved from starting as a walk-on, to later when he joined the starting lineup. After playing at the college level for four years, he declared for the 2001 NBA draft. Unfortunately for him at the end of the draft, he wasn’t selected by a team and went undrafted. 

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t some interest around Shirley. Shortly after the draft, the Los Angeles Lakers were one of the few teams that reached out to him. He went to the tryouts with the goal to give it his all as he knew his options were dwindling. Shirley failed to impress the coaching staff and decided to go a different direction that didn’t involve the Iowa State alum. 

He then spends the next seven years bouncing around from team to team. While he does play for three NBA teams Atlanta, Chicago, and Phoenix. He has little impact on the team and never stayed on one for more than a year. He does see more success overseas on teams like the Greek professional basketball club, and later in Beijing.

Paul Shirley has always had a passion for Basketball playing in the town of Meriden, Kansas. He describes how he had to work hard and improve both in the classroom and on the court. He is certainly qualified to write this book because I would consider it a very personal memoir. While I feel some events like the interaction with Kobe Bryant to be hard to believe, they still seem to be mostly true. You wouldn’t know it from the way this book is written but it seems like Shirly has two different personalities. While in the memoir he is certainly sarcastic, but always seemed like the outsider on the team. 

The way the memoir is set up is like looking into the personal diary of Shirley’s. Recalling dates and times of specific events. One of my favorite examples of this is January 21st on page 64. This captures the uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen during contract negotiations. Shirley’s ten-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks hung in the balance depending on the severity of another player’s injury. When the coaching staff found out it was mild knee inflammation, they declined to offer Shirley a contact. 

I feel that Paul Shirley has a legitimate reason for writing a memoir. Very few NBA players have had the journey that he has had. In fact, I can’t think of any athlete who would have a similar situation to Shirley. The fact that he kept a record of all the crazy events that happened is impressive. I found it motivational at times throughout the book. One day he is a part of an NBA franchise the next he’s working in the mall food court. Regardless of his situation he perseveres and doesn’t give up. I don’t know if I would do the same if I was in his position. It can’t feel good to be rejected by so many teams. I would have a hard time with it because it would be so demoralizing.  

I’m certain he thought it wouldn’t hurt either to capitalize on these experiences either. Can I Keep My Jersey? Released when he was employed as a writer for ESPN. Much like he uses offensive terminally in the book, he also was controversial with ESPN. After saying Haiti didn’t deserve any help after the 2010 earthquakes. That is certainly not the only controversial thing that he has said. But that was the straw that broke the camel’s back as he was fired from ESPN following the Haiti comments. 

The beginning of the book starts with an introduction by Shirley. Right off the bat, he establishes the sarcastic and comedic tone. He dreads going to the doctor because of filling out the employer information box. The memoir is then split into three years. Throughout the book, Shirley has cleaver observations at times pointing out the little details. Shirley is incredibly witty when he describes his teammates. Particularly towards the end of the book when he is playing with the Russian league. 

I enjoyed how the book was broken up. Instead of it being large chapters, it feels like every date is significant for one reason or another. Another touch that I like is the headings like on page 278. I don’t remember any of the game lines being particularly good, But Shirly including this one when he was against the Los Angeles Clippers almost seems like he is making fun of himself. 

Of course, another method is participation. He has experience playing in these games and living through the experience of a professional athlete. I think the exchanges with Shaq while he was just trying out are great. The reader knows that Shirley is terrified of meeting him at first, but it turns out to be a good experience. Shaq welcomed him to the team when he very well could have ignored him. He is certainly emotionally involved as the memoir covers very personal details. He lays it all out for the reader to interpret.

As a fan of Basketball particularly the NBA, I was excited to read this book. Prior to reading the book, I knew Paul Shirley played basketball at Iowa State but had no idea he entered the draft or played for a few teams. 

            I really had a hard time putting this book down. It drew me in right from the introduction. I would keep telling myself to read one more day and that that would be the last one. While I am not a prolific reader, I enjoyed Can I Keep My Jersey immensely. I do have to question what Shirley exaggerated as I do have a hard time taking everything at face value.   

Article 2 Final Updated

I remember saying goodbye to my parents as they departed the Kirkwood Village West parking lot in Cedar Rapids. The only thought that I had at the time was questioning if I was ready to live by myself for the first time. Being alone on the other side of the state only amplified my nerves. One activity that helped shaped my interests going forward was college radio.  I’ll get back to radio, but first, you need some background on what led me there.

            During my senior year of High School, I was under constant stress about my post-secondary education. I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do. Being able to complete several college classes through Western Iowa Tech during my senior year was a great advantage. I took everything from arc welding to a web coding class. Even then, no specific career path was piquing my interest. Community college provides a great opportunity for young students to discover their interests. Financially speaking, I was able to graduate from Western Iowa Tech without taking out any loans. According to Forbes, there are now over forty-five million borrowers with loans totaling $1.56 trillion. I’ll be honest that if I didn’t have the employee rebate for Morningside’s tuition I wouldn’t be here. 

            Looking back, I’m still not sure why I chose to enroll at Kirkwood. At the time, I was just working on completing my general education classes and would go from there. I think I was like any eighteen-year-old college student; I was eager to live on my own for the first time. Throughout particularly the first semester I didn’t enjoy the classes that I was enrolled in. It just felt like I was submitting assignments to check it off the list and to get to the end of the semester.

            Being alone for the first time was both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Invigorating because it was my first taste of independence, but terrifying for that same reason. This would be the first time that I would be alone. Well not entirely since I had a family member who lived a stone’s throw from Cedar Rapids in Marion. But other than that, the nearest family I had was over four and a half hours away. For the most part, I was on my own. It was the first time that I had utilities in my name, had a lease in my name, and had to work two jobs on top of a full-time class load. At the time, it was overwhelming.  Looking back on it, it was a valuable experience. 

            While I was at Kirkwood, I was just completing my general education requirements. Things you would expect like algebra, public speaking, and of course an introduction to college class. It wasn’t until my second semester when an area sparked my interest. While I was walking to my algebra class, I noticed a radio station. At the time, I thought that it was unusual to have a radio station in a college. When I peered into the large window into the station there were CD’s scattered everywhere in a disorganized mess. It looked like a bomb went off in the studio.

            I reached out to my academic advisor to inquire about the radio station. She put me in contact with the station manager. After meeting with him he offered me a work-study position with KCCK. My responsibilities were pretty basic. I was essentially a production assistant who organized the studio, monitored the social media activity, and other housekeeping tasks. Eventually, I was able to become more involved as the semester progressed. I formed relationships and experiences that I still cherish to this day. 

            Their radio station is used only as an extra circular activity, not as an option for a major discipline. Because KCCK 88.3 FM is a public station that is licensed to the college, similar to KWIT on the Western Iowa Tech campus. What was intended to be “just a hobby” for students sparked an interest in me. When I returned to Sioux City and enrolled at WITCC, Audio Engineering became my major, my passion, and my career choice. 

            I had the pleasure of working with some talented students and faculty while at WITCC. The hands-on practical experience was both educational and enjoyable. Being able to be a part of Comet radio was a great stepping stone to what I would eventually do at Siouxland Public Radio and even at Morningside’s own KMSC.

CD New Release Review

Ohms is the ninth studio album by the Sacramento California band Deftones. This album comes off the heels of their previous effort 2016’s Gore. Deftones continue to venture into new territory with this latest release. With the band yet again suppressing fans with something different from their previous works.  I just wish these ideas were more fleshed out because Ohms is a difficult album to listen to. 

The album features ten songs on its tracklist running a modest forty-six minutes in length. Ohms kicks off with “Genesis,” which features these odd booming synthesizers that overstay their welcome throughout the project. Vocalist Chino Moreno has always had a unique voice that has changed from album to album. While comparing Moreno’s wide vocal range on albums such as “Around the Fur” and “Koi No Yokan,” Moreno’s performance on the opener is just nonsensical screaming.

Further down the tracklist, “Error” is exactly that. With repetitive instrumentals that sound like something off the band’s debut album “Adrenaline,” the band yet again fails to expand on their core sound. Instead of favoring meaningless lyrics that hold no weight. The second half of the song turns into a synth-heavy mess that sounds like a bad Bjork song. 

One of the few bright spots on this album is “The Spell of Mathematics” while vocally this track seems directionless, there are some things going for the instrumentals. With layered guitars and synths that are much easier to approach. It’s one of the more tolerable songs on the tracklist.

With “Radiant City” Deftones draw inspiration from their previous work. In fact, sonically it sounds like it doesn’t belong on this album at all. It sounds more like a “Diamond Eyes” B-side with fast droning guitars and the clear vocal range that you would expect on a Deftones project.

It seems like Chino Moreno and company are determined to continue experimenting with the sound that made the band successful early on. The first half of this album in particular is a slog to get through with little to no engaging elements. While the band starts getting their act together in the second half, it’s too little too late. Even If you have listened and enjoyed some of the band’s previous work. There are just too few redeeming qualities to be able to recommend it even to die-hard fans of the genera. Ohms is available on streaming services including a physical CD release.