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Posts from the ‘Professors’ Category

Read Your @#$%&*! E-Mails

By: Emily Skeen

For a little over two years now, I’ve been working as a student leader on campus. I also ran a SALP group for two years. In that time I learned many things including leadership techniques, networking skills, communication and so on. But the one that sticks out the most is this basic principle about students: They don’t check their emails. Which leads to conversations like this:

Student: “Hey Emily, I didn’t hear about that awesome event Campus Rec just did, why didn’t you tell anyone? That’s your job and you’re not doing it”.

Me: “Well, student, as a matter of fact, I sent three e-mails about that event in the last month, do you check your e-mail?”

Student: “Yeah”

Me: “Do you read your e-mails?

Student: “Uhhh…”

Me: “That’s what I thought”

Student shuffles off without accepting fault.

If I had a quarter, or even a nickel, for every conversation of this type that I have had over the last two years, I wouldn’t be $40,000 in debt. Moral of the story: Read your $#%@&** e-mails. You might just find that all your questions have already been answered.

Portland State Football Interview

I got a chance to catch up with two of my very good friends on the Portland State football team after one of their practices before they defeated University of North Dakota. These two gentlemen, junior Vincent Johnson (left) and senior Bryant Long (right), took time out to answer some questions from me. In this interview we go over everything from their respective recruiting trips to their brotherhood in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. See these guys on the field for our last home game of the season against Sacramento State University at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Jeld-Wen Field. Are there any other athletes or student leaders you would like to see in a future interview? GO VIKS!


That elusive job!


Did you enjoy the “All Major Career & Internship Fair” at the Smith Memorial Student Union last Tuesday? With representatives from more than 60 organizations, including those from private industry, government and non-profits, it was a perfect opportunity to start the search for that elusive job and get to know the various opportunities out there. Some of the popular companies who made their presence felt at the fair were Boeing, Blount International, Cambia Health Solutions, and Hershey Company.

An elevator pitch is an important element of the career fair for which the students need to train in advance. If you are wondering what an elevator pitch is – it is a one sentence, succinct description of what you bring to the table, and how you are a good fit for the company. This may essentially compel a company to immediately take note of and get interested in you. It was good to see students practicing their elevator pitches outside the ballroom while getting ready to impress employers.

Apart from the employers, there were representatives from Portland State University (School of Education, Business graduate programs office) to help students chose companies based on their skill sets. This was definitely the first chance to take a shot at an internship for next summer or for full-time careers for graduating students. Hope you all made good use of the event. And in case you missed it, there are a couple more career fairs to look out for – The Nonprofit 2013 career fair on the 7th of November and Northwest Career fair on the 18th of November. For more details see

-Guru (

“Man, I Wish I Knew This When I Started!”








    Here are some academic tricks I’ve learned at Portland State. I hope these hints help you become a stellar Viking scholar:   

Calendar Your Studies. Enter ALL assignment and exam deadlines into your calendar or organizer. Planning ahead saves cramming later!

Don’t be a perfectionist.  I don’t advocate skipping readings, but when an exam is upon you, there may be more benefit in reviewing your notes, lecture slides, and other class materials than in every precious word in the readings.

Be succinct on essay tests and class presentations.  Being long-winded won’t help your grade, but your grade will drop with unfinished essay exams.  An instructor will cut you off in class if you go over time on presentations.

Demand rigor in your education:  Ask everyone who the best professors are. Can’t hear student comments in class?  Ask the professor to repeat them. If your professor is doing something wrong or inaccurate with grading, points, or on the syllabus, approach them about the matter.  You will usually get satisfaction.

You have a right not to be distracted in class by your classmates’ smart phone and Facebook fetishes.  Complain to your prof after class or during office hours; they will respond.  And don’t BE that in-class surfing addict. It’s distracting and rude to fellow students. Go in the hallway.

For now, avoid online PSU classes like STDs.  Nonverbal communication is 66 percent of all communication, and online classes remove almost all live teacher-student contact and student-to-student contact. Plus, PSU charges you an extra $160 in “online learning fees” for the privilege. Learn more in my Vanguard story “Clicking for Classes” here.

Need a quiet study spot?  The Quiet Study Lounge on the 4th floor of Smith features the soft, rustling leaves of Park Blocks trees, cushy furniture, and seriously quiet students.  Another seriously quiet spot is the 7th floor mini-library in the Urban Center Building.

Concerned about negotiating this university?  Consider taking the well-run College Success courses (UNST 199 and UNST 399).

Local hangout hint:  25-cent coffee all the time at Big Town Hero, 1923 SW 6th Ave., between College and Hall.

         Also, check out my Vanguard article on the “Top 20 Big Words You Need In College” for more help!

Rain, rain, go away and come back another day

outdoor_raining-1280x800I was dreaming that I was sailing a small ship through a tremendous storm. The rain was heavy and dense, battering the ship and causing metallic thumps that scathed my ears. Then I awoke from my sleep and the sounds had not ceased. I cleared my eyes and sat up in my seat and saw a heavy downpour battering my car, where I was sleeping.

The rain had always made me feel blue. It’s common among people deprived of sunshine to feel blue and even develop a condition known as SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. It comes to no surprise to any of us that it rains for most of the year in Portland. Still, why do so many people feel blue because of the rain?

Indigenous people tend to see the rain as sacred and as a sign of life. For some reason, it seems that modern society and individuals do not see it in the same light. Perhaps our need for comfort through materialistic and superficial things have deprived us of the opportunity to reflect on ourselves in solitude.

Punching “Hipsterness” in the Face

It’s the end of the week, right after my last class of the day, and all I want to do is eat some grub and grab a pint before I pass out. So I order a 6-inch sub and a beer at Eastside Deli.

Two guys sit down at the table next to me. One is fully clad in denim, with greasy spiked hair. This crazy hair guy is jabbering the other guy’s ear off. His story starts with the line “so I was at a bar last night,” and ends with this mysterious man of denim taking two girls home for the night. “But I didn’t sleep with them,” he tells his friend. He goes on to explain that these two girls, though “super hot,” were way too “hipster” for his taste. “I just hate these Portland hipsters, trying to be so freakin’ different all the time,” he tells his friend. “Me, I’m not like that. I’m all about punching hipsterness in the face!”

Here’s this guy, with so much gel in his hair that his head is shining, wearing a denim onesie like it’s no big deal, claiming that he’s not at all like “these hipsters, trying to be so freakin’ different all the time.”

I could barely stop myself from laughing.

And the worst part is, I hear this sort of thing all the time—“I’m not like these Portland hipsters, I’m just different in my own way, but I’m not a hipster.” I’ll admit it, I’ve even heard myself say something like this. Now I’m starting to wonder: WHAT THE HECK IS A HIPSTER AFTER ALL? Are we all hipsters in our own way?

I don’t think I’m a hipster… but if hipster is the norm in Portland, am I being a hipster for not being a hipster?

Library as your home

Does anyone view the Millar library as their home? Or should I be asking: Does anyone not? As a place rich in knowledge, it is the Millar’s atmosphere that makes it inviting. You can read, learn and make new friends, and the staff is helpful and engaging. I am already calling it my second home and a place that is perfect to enhance my learning experience. Grab a hot cappuccino and be seated on the east side of the 2nd floor and the morning sun will provide you with the needed Vitamin D! And even if the sun is not willing to warm you up, the drizzling rain provides the perfect setting for refreshing your mind. In the evening, bunk up on the cozy 4th floor on the west side and study while watching a game on Stott Field. What more can you ask for? Hit the Millar to experience the energy.

Do you agree?


Is summer break too long?

boring summer

One thing that has always bothered me is the length of summer break. Starting school on September 30 seems like the school year has been prolonged on purpose. Maybe I do not have enough things to do, but summer days get very old after a while. There are only so many barbecues, festivals, parties, and late nights to keep me entertained.

In addition, very few college students need an entire three months to vacate to their favorite destinations. Even after taking summer classes, students still get well over a month to kick back and take in some rays.

I enjoy summer as much as the next guy, but getting a three-month summer and one skimpy week for spring break is really salt in an open wound. Who’s bright idea was it to give us about a month for winter, three months for summer and only five weekdays for spring break? Something does not add up here. Someone out there must feel my pain. We should definitely fight for our right to party for at least a two-week spring break, and get back to school a tad bit sooner in the fall. I do not know about you my fellow Vikings, but this guy right here is ready to get back to business.

Lastly, do not get me wrong, we all work hard and deserve some time away from the classroom, but as with all things in life, too much of something is never good for you. Oh well, enjoy the rest of your summer, my friends. Are you ready to go back to school?

- DeLon R. Lewis

Learning from my mistakes


I attended Portland State 2010-2011. I became a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, president of the Black Cultural Affairs Board, student leader in the LSAMP program and was very involved with Multicultural Affairs. All these activities on top of studying computer science and paying out-of-state tuition overwhelmed me. I said “yes” to far too many commitments. I was on a $30,000 search for what I wanted to do with my life.

Sequentially, before I let the weight of my challenges become a burden, I felt that a return to my home town of Kent, WA would allow me time to soul search and gain confidence to find my way in this world  and save some money as well. One thing I did not give up on was remaining a student. Over the 2011 winter break, I enrolled at Highline Community College in Des Moines, WA. Little did I know my life would change forever.
Read more

Lord Almighty, Summer Is Here At Last!

The heat wave is finally HERE!
It seems Portland has decided that the rainy days are over, and summer has found its way to us at last—past time, if you ask me.
Just a few days ago, I was feeling pretty down—I’m taking summer classes, and when it’s raining or overcast and you’re bussing to class during the summer (when you should rightfully be playing frisbee and sippin’ brews with friends), it’s kind of a bummer.
But now summer is undoubtedly here (hell, it’s 86 degrees!) and my frown has turned upside down. It doesn’t hurt that my roommates and I just bought a grill too. Class is always easier to attend when you know you’re coming home to sizzling patties, toasty buns, and some good ol’ iced lemonade. It’s true, I would rather be playing soccer or picking up a six pack at the store than going to class when it’s this nice out, but going to class when it’s sunny sure beats trekking to class through crappy June weather.
What have you been up to now that summer’s decided to show its face?


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