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Posts from the ‘Blogs’ Category

You Don’t Know What You Got . . .

By: Theo Burke

As I graduate, besides memories and friends, I am leaving behind the awesome Portland State student health insurance. I’ve written about this before, now I’m experiencing the difference.

Since I don’t know what job is coming down the pike or what kind of health insurance it might carry, I’ve applied for individual insurance through Cover Oregon, the state exchange that sells private health plans (with federal subsidies to help pay the premiums) under the Affordable Care Act, or “ObamaCare.” The state exchange will alternatively sign you up automatically for the state’s Medicaid program (the Oregon Health Plan) if you qualify.

In the real world, I will have to think more about the deductible. A deductible is an amount you pay each year (usually $250 – $1000 or higher) before any benefits are paid by your health insurer.

At PSU, the deductible was $0.00.

My present doctors might not be covered by a new insurance company. At PSU, the Aetna provider network was vast.

I will have to worry more about whether alternative care is covered. At PSU, naturopathic doctors are treated the same as primary care doctors, and chiropractors are covered up to twelve visits per year.

Weirdly enough, when I heard from Cover Oregon recently, they put me in the Oregon Health Plan, even though I reported enough income to disqualify me from that program. Now I will have to figure out the Medicaid ”world,” which works much differently than the private insurers’ system, or else contest my placement in that program with Cover Oregon.

Students, the PSU plan won’t throw you such curve balls. You have an awesome, generous health plan, and you should take advantage of it before you graduate. As I’ve said before, you don’t know what you’ve got, until you lose it.

| Spring |

| Spring |

by Sierra Pruitt

Spring time always make people giddy and it’s one of the best things I get to witness during this season. Being in Portland, I absolutely love the days of sunshine because people are outside enjoying what we don’t get enough of.

But I have also came to the conclusion that we need to love the season we are in and not dwell because “summer isn’t here yet” or “school hasn’t ended.”

We all need to make the most of each day and become content with the present.

Here’s to spring, the blossoming flowers, and living in the present!

Countdown to graduation

by  Jenna Rae Tucker

…or as I have been lovingly referring to it, countdown to nothing. Here I am, a 27-year-old grad student getting ready to finish a thesis and get thrown back out into the real world. I will have more credentials and experience under my belt, but that doesn’t really make me feel any more prepared. I am getting flashbacks of being in the same position at 18 and 22. After high school I had this grand illusion that college would somehow know what I was interested in and guide me to the perfect career immediately after releasing me. This was sort of the case, but I had to work the front desk part time at a radio station, then work in promotions, before finally making it on the air, which I assumed is what I wanted to do since that is what I spent all my time doing in school.

Then I got bored and figured my grad school would help me decide what I wanted to do. And here I am, three months to go and still no dice. Maybe I will stay in media. Maybe in radio. Maybe I can get that farm with 100 dogs that I have always dreamed about. I have had five internships, been active in radio for seven years, and will shortly be acquiring a master’s degree.

Yet I am still clueless.

The countdown to nothing continues.

Are you graduating soon? Under grad, grad school, I don’t care. Give me advice!

Who would want to take summer classes?

sunset_wakeboarding-columbia-river-087_mg_9556

By: Mario Quintana

The majority of people wait all year for summer to arrive and perhaps even more so students.After months of class, hours of studying, and weeks of cloudy days, summer is ever so calming.For those who work and go to school, it is a relief to have less stress and responsibilities to deal with. So it may come as a surprise to many students to see other students taking summer classes. Yet, there are lots of reasons for taking summer classes.

I’m considering taking summer classes this year to graduate sooner rather than later. Fortunately I have the finances to take the classes if things work out. In doing so, I can save time and money by graduating earlier. Yet, there are uncertainties that come about by rushing things. What are my options after graduating? Am I considering grad school or will I join the workforce? Do I have a plan for both options?

In the end, I suppose I’m ready to finish my undergraduate degree and to move on. This is my  fifth year at PSU and taking another year is not appealing to me. It almost seems that my path to adulthood has been stagnated for numerous and personal reasons. While summer is a great time for the majority of people, it does not exempt them from their work and responsibilities. So would you take summer classes if you could?

Opera singer by day, karaoke star by night

By: Emily Skeen

As a vocal performance major, karaoke is something I experience quite a lot. You might think that after a full day of studying opera and proper singing technique the last thing my friends and I want to do is go sing some more, but we do. It might be the attention, or the alcohol, or how fun it is to sing whatever we want without being told that we’re closing to the diphthong on the french word “les”, I’m really not sure. But whatever it is that draws us to karaoke over and over again, we find our purposes are best served by Suki’s and KJ Chris Green.

KJ Chris doing his thing at Suki's

KJ Chris doing his thing at Suki’s

KJ Chris comes from a theater background, has a sweet beard, his own entertainment company, a winning attitude, and always happily agrees to sing Phantom of the Opera duets with me. And while Scandals has an equally adequate musical theater song selection, and Boiler Room is better for dancing, no other locale has quite the same crowd, a lack of cover charge, the perfect dive quality, wonderfully low prices, the aforementioned KJ, and appropriately strong drinks like Suki’s does. It may not be a contest in real life, but in my mind Suki’s is the clear winner.

| A Technology Relationship |

| A Technology Relationship |

by Sierra Pruitt

We are people of love and relationship.

We are not made for technology. We are made for building relationships with one another. Technology is just a tool.

Too many of us look down at our phones to ignore human interaction when we should be engaged with one another and nature. I have recently seen commercials about new technology that makes us look at the world in a different way — a world with less engagement and more of a relationship with the material things that surround us. Devices like Google Glass move us further away from interacting with one another and more to the screens we look at everyday. We then create a sense of what the world is through our technologic advances instead of looking around and seeing the beauty that is already here.

Let’s remember that technology is not in control of our lives. Let’s not use the technology we own to isolate ourselves, but to create ways to meet people around us. Our most memorable moments do not come from our technology, but from people. We are designed to love, care, and create relationships with one another.

Finals are coming. Have you pet a dog yet?

by Jenna Rae Tucker

 

I consider my dog, Tim, to be my best friend, I would almost always rather snuggle up with him and stare into his adorable little face than go out and party. Sometimes he is annoying, especially when it is time for a walk (or what I like to call a “pull”) but he is always stoked to see me when I come home and he is such a goober it always makes me laugh. Maybe it is because I have never had a dog of my own, or because I am Tim’s lifeline, but I just love the little sucker so much. He makes me feel less stressed, less sad, and less lonely.

Timbers

Timbers

But it is not just me! Hanging out with a pup can do this for you too! According to a report from CNN “canine interaction increases a human’s level of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces anxiety and blood pressure.” Studies also show that lots of stress/anxiety impairs memory, which you need for those tests. Some workplaces and universities actually have therapy dogs on site during stressful periods to calm people down.

DOGTHERAPY

So, find a dog and get to pettin’ (but make sure you ask its owner for permission first, apparently people frown upon random petting sometimes). Tim is available, but he will charge you one baby carrot per petting session.

Internship Glory

By: Kadie Kobielusz

Yay! I finally landed an internship! I feel on top of the world (like my picture).

It took a lot of hard work and searching, but it obviously paid off. I found my internship through Internships.com, which is a great site where you can upload your resume, and just apply, apply, apply. Plus, I feel like the legitimacy of the jobs and workplaces there are far higher than people posting to Craigslist (though I suppose it depends on your career field).

My tips for you are:

  1. Even if you want to do an internship later on in the summer or fall, apply now! If they accept you, you can negotiate the start date. Or, you can be like me and find a way for it to work now, because it’s an INTERNSHIP!
  2. Make a list of all the places you’ve applied to, so down the line you can follow up, reapply and show your dedication if you haven’t scored a place yet.
  3. Talk to people. Mention to your friends and professors that you’re looking for one. There could be that friend of a friend who needs an intern.
  4. Don’t give up. If you’re not finding your dream internship, look at the whole spectrum of internships in your field and related fields. For example, being a graphic design student, I was also looking for internships in photography since that’s a highly useful skill in design.

Do you all have any more tips? Best of luck!

You know you’re an irresponsible hot mess when…

By: Emily Skeen

You know you’re an irresponsible hot mess when…your student loans total $40,000 and you just spent $5 of the money you’re supposed to use to pay your rent, trying to beat level 30 of Candy Crush. Yes, this is a true story of my very sad, very first world addiction to a game where the sole objective is to match up brightly colored candies.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), defines addiction based on the following criteria:

1. Inability to consistently abstain
I have not gone a full 24 hours without playing Candy Crush since my mom introduced me to it 2 months ago. Darn you mom!

2. Impairment in behavioral control
Remember the $5 I spent even though I have all that debt?

3. Craving or increased “hunger” for drugs or rewarding experiences
I want to play. All. The. Time. I will crush the candy, I will bring that last damn cherry to the bottom, I will clear all the jelly!

4. Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships
My girlfriend: Babe, can you put that game down for a second I need to tell you something important
Me: What? Sorry, I accidently switched the stripey candy the wrong direction and now the last acorn is not where it needs to be.

5. A dysfunctional emotional response

cc-one-jelly-left
Seriously

Now, while I do acknowledge that there are more severe addictions, this does not mean that I don’t have a problem. And judging by the plethora of memes available to describe my plight, I would hazard a guess that I’m not the only one earning irresponsible-hot-mess status because of my Candy Crush addiction.

Call Campus Security? Maybe not.

HPIM2422

Another “phalanx response”, on Sunday, March 2, in Smith.

Over Christmas, as I returned to my car at 2 a.m., I was approached by four muscular campus security officers, in three patrol cars. It was a little scary.

Someone had called in a complaint about a man “trying to break into the library, wearing a hoody.”  I had returned some books to the Millar Library dropbox, and then carried the library’s delivered New York Times closer to the revolving doors as a courtesy, pausing to read some headlines first. I’m geeky like that.

After a check with dispatch that I was a bona fide student, the four officers let me on my way. I’ve since noticed this “phalanx of four” routine is common with Campus Public Safety Office (CPSO) responses:

  • HPIM2423Last week, I saw a solo CPSO officer patrolling the Broadway. Around the corner, I spotted three more campus security responding to an incident.
  • Later in the week, a young man was panhandling all of us in line for coffee in Smith. Someone apparently reported him, as later I spied one officer stationed by the coffee joint, two more interviewing him by the Information Desk, and a fourth officer by the front door on Broadway.

Clearly, CPSO is prepared for any escape in any direction! Their “I-formation” is as impressive as any our football Vikings might run.

I refrained from calling CPSO on the panhandler, as I also did last week when I saw an unstable young man kicking all of the gravel out of the tree beds in front of the Broadway. I imagined an overreaction from CPSO similar to my experience.

Is all this manpower necessary to keep us safe? A greater risk is created, I suggest, if some students avoid calling security in the first place, concerned about overkill. Money would also be saved if CPSO responded with two-man teams.

What do you think?  In April, the university will have a security discussion that will include the question of arming these officers with guns. Tell the university what you think here, or add a comment to this blogpost. You can bone up on the recent task force report on campus safety here.

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