Graduation Around the Corner


I haven’t been here for a while, and god knows if I’ll be back here on this site after this year. I’m graduating, and I’m sure you can find me somewhere else.

I just wanted to say, thanks, Morningside. It’s been a ride but good-bye.

College Culture – Revision

According to Jane Camarillo, director of the Office of Residential Education at Stanford, roommates fall into three categories.

“If you had to break down roommate pairings, they might fall into three categories: the best friends, the peaceful coexisters, and the soon-to-be-divorced.”

Something you need to know about roommates and the college experience. The roommate you live with will affect the course of your social life, it will improve your people skills, and it will help you make friends. College is a time that students find themselves suddenly living with someone not of their choosing or knowing.

It surely ranks among life’s most vulnerable moments.

According to Sheri Hineman, Assistant Director of Residence Life of Morningside College, no one says students should live on campus for a “college experience” but rather living on campus is a way to transition from living with parents to living on your own.

“Morningside College is a residential college. As such we value the importance of students having the experience of living with others who are in a similar situation and have similar goals. The residence halls are a great way to transition from living in a home with family to being on your own and supporting yourself.”

Living on campus is not the college experience, but having roommates is. It starts as a terrifying experience, but in the end, that person could become your best friend. Alternatively, they just end up being the person you share a room with.

“Roommates are a significant part of the college experience. Learning to live with someone who is not a relative and who has differing views than you is a growing experience. Also, you have the chance to meet someone who will be a friend for life.” Sheri informs.

Experience the roommate life is no exception for current Morningside College seniors Brayton Hagge and Kaylin Petersen. The two, once complete strangers, met their freshman year at Morningside because of the random roommate assignment.

At Stanford University, they do not accept roommate requests. They also do not tell students who their roommate will be until they arrive on campus.

“Your freshman roommate is (a) not someone you choose; (b) quite possibly your polar opposite; and (c) hard to get rid of. And yet, sometimes it works out perfectly.”

Sheri believes that this tactic gives all incoming students a chance not to judge their roommate until they meet.

“In my opinion, this equalizes all students and forces their first meeting to be face-to-face, so the student will not be judged on social media or preconceived notions about ethnic, social, political, occupational, athletic, or other group membership that can be found out before someone actually meets someone.”

Although not knowing whom your roommate is before you meet them, does stop preconceived notions, there is no statistic saying it is better than choosing roommates. Here at Morningside students are given an option on your roommates, you can sign up with one, you can sign up for a random one, or you can pay extra for a single room.

Brayton Hagge from Crofton, Nebraska was the only student from her graduating class going to Morningside. Without knowing anyone else going to her future school, she had no choice but to fill out the housing survey to have a random roommate.

“From her pictures, I knew she was a cheerleader, but that is it.” Brayton shrugs.

Kaylin Petersen from Lake Park, Iowa did know other students at Morningside. At the time, she was a cheerleader on campus and had an old friend from her high school here.

As much as she loved her cheer team and her friend, she chose to have a random roommate because it would make her socialize more and expand her friend group.

“The freshman experience is about getting the chance to know more people and it gave me an opportunity to expand my friend base.” Kaylin laughs. “Awkward then, and still awkward now, but with more confidence about it.”

Random roommate assignment is what Brayton and Kaylin got. They came to Morningside knowing that they were going to be roommates but had no idea what the other person was going to be like besides the photos and information their on their Facebook page.

Initially, Brayton added Kaylin and Kaylin accepted and then they Facebook investigated each other. The only conversation the two had was who is bringing what for the room. They did not talk to get to know each other until they met freshman move-in day.

Although Morningside calls them “random roommates” the roommate selection process is far from random. Students at Morningside get to have a say in what they want in a roommate and where they want to be placed.

“Although we frequently refer to the roommate selection process as random it is defiantly not random at Morningside. Random would be pulling 2 names out of a hat and then a room number out of a hat and putting them together.   Students make a number of requests when being paired with a roommate. Athletes often request another athlete, either from the same sport or any sport not their own. Students in the arts often request another student in the arts. A nursing major may request another science major.” Sheri says.

Although Morningside lets you know who your roommate is ahead of time. Morningside and Stanford University works to ensure some roommate compatibility. Even without the majors and co-curricular activities students are paired up based on a series of student responses about their habits, such as, when and how they listen to music, study, sleep and choose to socialize. As with any imprecise science, the results are unpredictable.

Eventually, freshman moving day came, and Kaylin was there before Brayton. “When she first entered the room, she greeted me and immediately I thought, she’s friendly and is going to be more outgoing than me,” Kaylin chuckles with a shake of her head. “And then the first thing we talked about is how messy we are.”

According to Sheri, the ideal roommate situation is where you can live in the same room together, but outside of the room, each roommate has their separate friend group.

“I think the most ideal roommate situation is one where you can coexist and talk to your roommate and have good friends outside of the room. This allows a student to express frustration with a roommate to their friends or express frustration with a friend to their roommate.”

Brayton and Kaylin had an ideal living situation.

Kaylin, without knowing the ideal situation, says what made it work best for them was that they were not spending every minute of the day together. The two had their friend groups that they hung out with during the day, but in the evening, in the room they shared, they became friends.

It did not mean that Brayton and Kaylin avoided each other outside of the residence hall. It was just nice for the two of them to get away from each other by having other friends, but still having a friend at home. There isn’t a rhyme or a rhythm; the students have to figure it for themselves.

Flash forward to three years later. Brayton and Kaylin now live off campus, in a duplex, and are still roommates.

According to Camarillo, more upperclass students complain about their roommates then freshman.

“She reports that far more upperclass students than freshmen complain of irreconcilable roommate differences. That sounds counterintuitive, given that most upperclassmen get to choose their roommates whereas freshmen do not. But friendship does not always equal roommate compatibility, and some best-friend pairs may go into their new living arrangement with emotionally charged expectations.”

Kari* who started as a sophomore when she came to Morningside had a roommate picked out. She went to high school with her first roommate, and they were not best friends, but they knew each other and got along. Before the end of their first year living together, they were fighting consistently every night, and by the end of the year, they did not even talk.

The bright side to bad roommate experiences is that it gives the student a chance to go out, meet new people, and find close friends that way.

“Your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend,” Camarillo from Stanford insists.

The next year, Kari moved in with a friend she made in college and they fought. It worked well enough for them to move into the same room for Kari’s final year at Morningside. Where her last year, she and the roommate had a blow out of yelling and slamming doors at each other. They still keep in minor touch today.

There is no way to say yes or no to being friends with your roommate or staying roommates strictly because there are a lot of factors that go into the decision.

“Every situation is so unique; it is hard to say a yes or no,” Sheri says. “What is the problem with your roommate? Is the problem really you (you’re unhappy, so that shows in your relationships)? How good of friends are you? What do you expect from the roommate situation?” Sheri adds.

Whether it was the different personalities or maybe Kari can’t have roommates. Things just don’t always go according to plan. It is like learning how to live with your roommates like Brayton and Kaylin. You just have to keep testing out the waters to see if you can live with someone else.

Bad roommates can’t really be avoided because no one really knows if they are going to work together or not until they give it a shot.

“I would argue that there are not bad roommates but bad matches. Similar to the philosophy that “there is someone for everyone,” I believe that there is a roommate for everyone.” Sheri informs.

Kari is now in graduate school and living off campus in a house by herself, and she says although it gets lonely, it is nice having a place you call her own.

If you should learn anything about having roommates in college it’s that it’s a learning experience and maybe your first roommate doesn’t work out and you don’t feel like you’re getting a college experience because of it, you are.

“The three things that come to mind as most important about living on campus college experience are making friends, improving people skills, and the convenience of living on campus.” Sheri shares.

Roommates are a part of college culture and whether you get along with your roommate or not. You end up learning some things about yourself such as how to live with other people, if you can live with other people, or if you are better off alone. Even then, don’t give up unless you know living with people is not for you.

*In my previous post, you know this story is about Kari. Meaning even if I changed her name, you’d still know it is about her. She just wishes for her last name not to be mentioned.



Sheri Hineman, Assistant Director of Residence Life of Morningside College

Brayton Hagge

Kaylin Petersen


Profile Final – President Brinkerhoff. Katelyn Brinkerhoff.

Profile Final – President Brinkerhoff. Katelyn Brinkerhoff.


Katelyn Brinkerhoff is BV President today and US President tomorrow.

Katelyn Brinkerhoff, a senior at Buena Vista University (BVU), is a full-time student majoring in environmental science. Her goal after college is to become a Naturalist at a county conservation. There she would like to run a summer camp that involves educational programming and work with animals.

Her personality, as she describes, is helpful, funny, good listening, understanding, and blunt. She would also like to call herself a good friend but is not confident in what others will say.

“I’d like to define myself as a good friend, but we’ll see other’s might think differently.” Katelyn shrugs.

Some would say she does not care what others think of her, but everyone has their own personal turmoil. Chase Harrison, her friend of two years, believes that she fits in well with his friend group and does not think of her as a selfish person.

“I was struck by how frank she was about everything, and I liked that- BV FRIENDSit fit in with my other friends really well, and it has continued to be that way,” Chase says.

He also adds the word “relentless” to the list of describing Katelyn’s personality.

“She never gives up on what she wants, and nothing or nobody can stand in the way of that. That’s what defines Katelyn’s more than anything else.” Chase says.

Katelyn’s approach to life, with being so involved on campus, is to think positive and to set goals. Being positive and setting goals helps her see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“That [keeping positive and setting goals] drives me to keep going and knowing that I’ll have a nice life. I turn the negativity into a challenge and use that as a prove them wrong, kind of thing.”

She may think positively, but the negativity of others motivates her. That inspires her goals and pushes her to do her best. She calls them the “Let me show you moments.” These moments are where someone puts you down because they think you are incapable of doing something.

“This is what has driven me to do the things I’m doing at school right now. And to be the person that I am.” She adds.

Chase Harrison agrees that she uses negativity to her advantage and by doing that he believes she lives fully. She never beats around the bush and is very clear on how she feels.

“She lives her life very fully- feeling everything and doing everything to its’ very fullest. It’s always very obvious how she feels because she makes that clear in her words and actions.” Chase shares.

BV KATE PRESIDENTKatelyn is President of the Buena Vista University Student Senate (BVUSS). The position, as she describes as working side by side with faculty senate, being a part of the board of trustees of the university and working with the committees in there, chair as President of the entire Student Senate, also to be the voice and face of the BVU student body, present at events.

Currently, because of her position of Student Senate President, she is chairing a search and screen committee for a new President of the University.

Outside of Student Senate, she is a member of the Adventure Leadership Program Scholar (ALPS). It is an organization on BV’s campus that plans trips to go off campus that are adventure based in nature, such as caving, camping, rock climbing, etc. ALPS is not a part of major, but the activities tie in well.

Between being President of Student Senate and a member of ALPS, she is even more involved with other things on campus such as outdoor clubs BV has to offer, hosting events for the Student Activities Board (SAB), volunteering at the campus greenhouse, and everything band and choir related.

Every weekend, Katelyn comes back to Sioux City, to be a Team Leader at Chick-Fil-A.

BV KATE COWShe is there mainly for a source of income. Katelyn has learned several leadership skills and has applied them to her life. While working at Chick-Fil-A, she has learned how to build relationships on a professional scale, how to handle conflicts, how to talk to people that might have problems with you, and how to work with a team of people of different personalities. These lessons have helped in her professional development and personal growth.

Emily Druyor, Team Leader and co-worker of Katelyn, has nothing bad to say about her either. They have worked together for three years, and Emily says her first impression of Katelyn is “She seems like a nice girl.” Also, if Emily had the chance to be friends with Katelyn sooner, she would.

She calls Katelyn as a person with a face to trust and that no matter the situation, Katelyn is always positive.

“She has the prime qualities [of a Chick-Fil-A Leader],” Emily says. “She’s a hard worker, trustworthy, motivated, and overall very positive.”

Katelyn has done much growing over her college years. Although she is positive, she has her worries. She knows what she wants for the future, but she is afraid of the future and what’s to come.

“It’s cool not knowing what we are going to do, but at the same time it’s terrifying.” Katelyn shares.

She’s afraid of not being able to achieve her goals in life such as being a Naturalist at a county conservation. Also just typical “grown-up” things like finding a job, settling down, and overall happiness.

Life, in general, is what keeps Katelyn up at night. She has a care for others and always puts them before herself. She wonders how she could help them and make the world a better place.

“Life in general. How is everything going to get figured out? What can I do to help change the world like those really big ideas? With things BV KATE AND BEVERgoing on in everyone’s life, how can I make their lives better and not have them go through things that I had to go through, how can I help them get out of those situations. Just things like that. How can I just be a better person? Those are some things that keep me up.”

Katelyn a senior at BV has no care in the world for herself but for everyone else. She strives for excellence in everything she does, and it comes off on those around her. She takes all the negativity in her life and makes it her motivation. She’s always positive and is someone you can always trust. She never lets anything get her down.

If there is anything you need to know about Katelyn it’s, as Chase says, she’s going to be President someday.

Is there something you think people should know about Katelyn?

“She’s gonna be president someday. If I know anyone who will be POTUS, it’s Katelyn Brinkerhoff. Brinkerhoff-Cena 2032.”


Photo Credit: Facebook

Katelyn Profile Sketch/Outline = Trash



Who Katelyn is:


Occupation and Activities


à Chick-Fil-A interview


Activities involved in



Worries her


Approach to life


Motivates her


Matter to her




I find myself always at a crossroads of telling the profile like a story and being artful with it or with what I have here, the skeleton of how straight and simple my profiles mainly are.

This is the person and this is what they do.

That doesn’t really get into the person, but just some generic things about them they would tell anyone.

What to do and where to go?

We have to keep some things secret~

NonFiction Review – Modern Manners by P.J. O’Rourke

From Amazon, Google books, and Good Reads Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People by P.J. O’Rourke gets a solid 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Modern Manners was originally published in 1983. A revised version was of the book was republished in 1989 because the original was too risqué.

In the revised version it cleaned up some of O’Rourke’s comments to make them more reader-friendly and less offensive to some.

“The prose in the revised edition was also cleaned up a bit – partly to correct my solecisms and partly to reflect the decade’s growing prudery. (AIDS had rendered certain jokes not quite as funny as they’d seemed six years before.)” O’Rourke says.

Taken from the back of the original edition of the book:

“A complete guide to contemporary social behavior detailing all the most up-to-date forms of vulgarity, churlishness, and presumption.”

This book is a rule book mocking etiquette, and everything society has learned from it. This book is a guide on anti-etiquette for people living in a world without rules. This advice, written for the ‘90s (and beyond) goes on a range of topics from sex, entertainment, and death.

From what I gather, P.J. O’Rourke is a funny, cynical man that doesn’t like the change in the world and has a lot to say.

Here is what a mix of Google Books and his website has to say about him:

“Satirist and novelist Patrick James “P. J.” O’Rourke was born in 1947 in Toledo, Ohio. He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and attended Johns Hopkins University where he received his M.A. in English.” – Google Books

“He began writing funny things in the 1960s “underground” newspapers, became editor-in-chief of National Lampoon, then spent 20 years reporting for Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly as the world’s only trouble spot humorist, going to wars, riots, rebellions, and other “Holidays in Hell” in more than 40 countries. He’s written 16 books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics.” – P.J. O’Rourke’s Website’s “Author Bio”

P.J. has written for a lot of magazines, even to screenplays and books. That’s no exception for his website. There, he has another section dedicated to what he wants to say in his biography.

He talks about his family, then his schooling, and then gives us a timeline of who he has written for and concluded with who he writes for the most and that he likes to be in isolation.

“I write mostly for The Weekly Standard and for World Affairs (not a magazine about Bill Clinton’s trips overseas). And Garden and Gun (which is the best title for a publication ever) has promised that it really will let me write “Chainsaw Gardening.”

I live with my wife and three children in rural New Hampshire because—because no one else wants to. The other day I was mentioning to my wife that Perth, Australia, is the place where people live that is farthest away from any other place that people live. “And the reason we don’t live there,” said my wife, “is the weather’s too nice.” – P.J. O’Rourke’s Website’s “P.J.’s Own Bio”

Here is a timeline of what he has done, in his words, from his website.

“In the early 1970s, I worked for various “underground” newspapers and, for a while, edited one in Baltimore called Harry. It was an embarrassing name, but it was an embarrassing era.

In 1973 I went to work for the National Lampoon, becoming managing editor in 1976 and editor in chief in 1978.

In 1981 I worked on Rodney Dangerfield’s first movie, Easy Money. I swear that when my co-writers and I handed in the script it had an ending. Michael Kinsley, then editor of Harper’s, sent me on a trip to the Soviet Union in 1982. I decided to become a foreign correspondent. Foreigners are funny and do my work for me.

From 1985 to 2000 I was Rolling Stone’s foreign affairs desk chief (and all of the indians). I reported from something like fifty countries and covered a dozen or more wars, rebellions, uprisings, and armed assings around.

There was also a lot of freelance work, for Car & Driver, Automobile, The American Spectator, Forbes FYI, Playboy, even House and Garden. (I had a crush on the articles editor, and she promised that someday she’d let me write an article on chainsaw gardening.)

In 2000 Mike Kelly, editor of The Atlantic, called and said, “I can pay you less.” Mike, who was one of the best, was killed in the assault on the Baghdad airport in 2003.” – P.J. O’Rourke’s Website’s “P.J.’s Own Bio”

I could not tell you what qualifies him to write a book on etiquette besides he’s written some before. He’s gone to several different foreign countries and probably saw cultural differences there. That may have sparked an interest in him to watch American society and then write a book on how we behave with one another.

I believe that his purpose to write this book is to show how dumb manners are. This book isn’t all satire but a lot of it is. There are a lot of things not to agree with and things that you obviously shouldn’t do, but there are parts that make you think and even highly consider.

What I’ve come to ask myself is what even are manners? So, what if you’re rude. Does any of that really matter in the end?

I think what P.J. O’Rouke was trying to accomplish here was to shine a new light on the modern ways of etiquette. Instead of blindly following old tradition we don’t understand or following the trend of something we barely understand. I think he wants us to think for ourselves and be more aware of our actions.

I honestly believe that because just reading his writing, his biography, and even what he has to say about some of his books. He’s a person who doesn’t care what others should do, but you should be aware of what you are doing.

He is not emotionally involved in his book. I do know that he doesn’t like technology and that the world would be better off without it and because of that, I think he wrote Modern Manners by being objective, to observe people and write the facts from what he saw and from what he knows.

My immediate reaction after I read the introduction was I love this man because of how he writes. It was just funny and true. Some parts made me stop and think, but as I kept reading, I kept laughing. There was at least something on each page that I had read and needed to share with other people.

I rate this 5 out of 5 stars and would read again. I would also 110% recommend to anyone to read for any reason and because of this novel I would happily read P.J. O’Rouke other books.

Last Person I Talked to Before Class


“We’re almost there, Diane.”

That’s what she told me.

She’s happy and excited that the school year is almost over.

I’m telling her about all of my current stressors and we’re talking about how neither of us did any homework over Thanksgiving. We took a break, but I also worked.

She reassues me that after finals week, all we will have to do is work. It’ll be better than trying to please our professors because once we’re at work all we will do is work and leave it at work.

She’s in a dress ready to go straight to Goosman Law Firm after her classes. We both really love our jobs outside of the college. Every morning, she has to put on make-up otherwise she feels like she didn’t get ready for the day. Opposite of me, I brush my teeth, wash my face, and then brush my hair calling it a day.

Brayton. Her name is Brayton and she’s the sunshine in my life. She’s always happy and optimistic. I don’t know what else to say.

Profile Sketch

Katelyn Marie Brinkerhoff is a senior at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA. She works at Chick-Fil-A in Sioux City as a general manager. At BVU she is Student Council President and helps on the Students Activities Board.



Chase – her roommate

Head Manager at Chick-Fil-A

Advisor os Student Council

Maybe –> Sister


Jaden’s word is tolerant. His definition of the word is putting up with something that you should not have to put up with. When asked for an instance of him being tolerant towards something, he had an immediate story come to mind.

One summer, Jaden was working at a bar in Okoboji. He had a manager there who constantly disrespected him, swore at him, and when he was not around, she would talk bad about him. She was his boss, so he was mindful of her, but whenever he had to speak with her, he could tell that she just didn’t like him.

He thinks that she did not like him because he was young, quiet, didn’t have much experience in the field, and that job was not his priority. It was the summer, and he was busy with other things. So, he could not work as often as she is like him to work. Even while he was busy with other activities, he worked over 40 hours a week.

Now, that time in Jaden’s life is over, but because of that, he has grown as a person. Before he would just stay quiet and to himself about things that bothered him. Now, he chooses to stand up for himself and to speak his mind. Rather than sit through things that make him unhappy.

Red Box Review

Big Trouble in Little China, released in 1986, is an action-adventure movie directed by John Carpenter starring Kurt Russell. The film is rated PG-13 with no warning on the packaging why it is rated PG-13, but besides some scenes in a brothel, this movie is full of action.

Honestly, I would watch the film again, but it is a movie you put in the background while you do something else. I’d only rewatch the film for the hilarious quotes. I would recommend this movie to anyone. It is one of those movies you have to see at least once, just to say you have.

The film takes place in Chinatown in San Francisco and follows truck driver Jack Burton, Kurt Russell, on a crazy Asian-themed adventure to help his friend, Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) get his green-eyed girl back. In the movie, having green eyes is a very rare thing and makes you a hot commodity. This movie is filled with Asian tropes such as karate, swords, samurais, an emperor, and other crazy Asian legends.

As for the details of the movies, the acting was okay. I believed the characters and that they were there. It is just old, you have to keep in mind for the technology they had back then, this was pretty decent, but it is an eyesore looking at it now. The plot was easy to follow because it is a ‘get the girl’ kind of plot, but if you are not paying attention the entire time you find yourself one place and then another without reason. It is only because the fight scenes are long and cheesy that it was difficult to keep focused on the movie, which is why it is a film good for the background noise. Don’t worry, if you miss a fight scene in another 10-15 minutes, another fight scene will come back on.

Something that surprised me about this movie is that they did not overplay or stereotype the Asian music. This film did not play Asian clichés, and I found that nice because even though this movie had a ton of Asian tropes, the music was far from anything stereotypical. I would say give this movie a watch for the dialogue. You follow a truck driver and a restaurant owner on a quest to save the girl. They are the unlikely team that gets put together and even though this is an action adventure there are a lot of laughs along the way.

My first thought when I saw the cover of this movie is that this movie is going to be all dumb humor. Surprisingly enough, though, not a lot of stupid humor, but there are some gold pieces of dialogue and conversation throughout the movie. I say if you like action adventure films or anything to do with Asian culture, this movie is a good one to pick up. It has a lot of Asian aspects about it, but it is not so much folklore that it is boring to the watcher. You learn some new things while seeing a gun-fight the next scene.

I would give this movie 3 out of 5 stars. I did not completely hate it, but I did not completely like it either. The dialog stands out, and the plot was easy to follow, but the fight scenes were long and repetitive, and one moment you are somewhere and the next you have no clue where you are. Overall this movie was fun, and you have to experience it for yourself. This movie will not leave you disappointed; it will leave you wanting to watch it again, but maybe for another day.

End of the Semester

The end of the semester is here. Meaning I’m in the middle of a final project for one class and a final paper for another class.

Last weekend, life happened and I got sick. The sickness didn’t last long, but because I was sick, I couldn’t focus on doing my homework. Putting me behind two days from where I wanted to be. I was pushing myself to stay up late the previous night to complete tomorrow’s assignment because I couldn’t do it over the weekend.

Except last night, I was on the fence between keeping myself well and doing homework for class the next day. I feel like I shouldn’t have been on the fence about wanting to put myself first and taking care of myself over homework. What does that say about our society that we make students choose between their well-being and academics?

That being said, I’ve never turned in homework late before. I’ve always been punctual and I participate in class. I decided to ask my professor for an extension with hopes that I get it.

I just hate being that kid asking the professor to give me an extension, when everyone else has their own life to worry about but still managed to get their work done on time. I’m only trying.