Chronicles Grav

“Hate Cannot Drive Out Hate; Only Love Can Do That.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

by Shezad Khan

As an atheist, one of my main goals is to make sure that my outlook on life revolves around peace and love. For this reason, I feel that it’s a shame that several atheist “scholars” have turned to using animosity to preach against those who they disagree with. It seems counterintuitive for these big names in atheism to be using the same tool that religious fanatics use to preach against their enemies – that tool being hate.

This is also an odd situation for me because my family comes from a Muslim background, from Bangladesh, a South Asian country. That means that every time a fanatical Islamic group – ISIL, Boko Haram, etc. – decides to spread their hatred via killing and destruction (the recent tragedy of Charlie Hebdo, for instance), it shines an incredibly bad light on Muslims in general. It has become more and more visible to me that a lot of people in this country generalize Muslims. Yes, it is racist to say that everyone in or from the Middle East is a terrorist, and yes, it is very prejudiced to say that that every Muslim is a terrorist. I may be an atheist, but I don’t ever want to see my family suffer through that. After the attacks made on September 11th, my mom wouldn’t let me go to the park after school – try explaining why to a nine-year-old kid.

So how am I supposed to feel now, that three young Muslim-American adults were killed in North Carolina and no one really seems to care? Three young Muslim-Americans killed “execution style” and the media has chalked it up to a “parking dispute.” It’s just something that doesn’t sit well with me.

Even though it seems like Muslim people are in a bad spot right now, I’m not without hope that there are people out there who understand the difference between religious people and religious fanatics as I do. Luckily, I find myself surrounded by intellectual and intelligent people – especially the friends I’ve made at Portland State. And to those who do want to use hate as their primary tool, I guess I’ll just have to chalk them up as being incredibly ignorant.

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Slow ride, Take it easy

By: Sharon Nellist

I admire and sympathize at the same time with those who take more than the recommended full-time classes and are involved in every other school organization and club in hopes to save a bit of money and graduate sooner than expected. Because I once was that student – and it is certainly not for everyone.

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Perhaps it is that I am a returning full-time student, in my late twenties, married, making a car payment, working several outside jobs in order to pay rent, and I’m not opposed to starting a family while trying to have the most quintessential young college experience.

What I have realized is that it is possible for everyone to have this experience, even me, but you need to know how to balance these things and maintain your sanity.

  • For me I know I need 12 credit hours, no more or less, for optimal learning
  • That suggests that I have 24 hours total of study time
  • I save money by bringing food instead of eating at delicious food carts – allows for some creativity, or lack thereof
  • My job as a nanny gives me the flexibility around my school schedule, as it is my priority
  • I budget using a spreadsheet, they are not just for old people – I can cut back on my student loans this year!
  • I am part of PSU Crew (campus rowing team), yes at 5:30 a.m. every morning, and I work for the student blog – minimal commitment allows me to focus on my involvement
  • And then, there is a whole day allotted for spending time with my husband or friends – we frequent the Saturday Market on campus

My degree may take an extra term or two to complete, but I most likely will not have a mental breakdown, my personal life will be unharmed, and I will succeed well enough to go on to Grad school and still have my perfect college experience.

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Chelsea 2

On Ditching Cinnamon Toast Crunch for Organic Spinach

By Chelsea Ware

whole foodsMy first quarter at PSU taught me just how much of an impact healthy eating has on overall well-being. Like many students away from home for the first time, I considered frozen pizzas the base of the food pyramid. When I wasn’t at Victor’s in Ondine eating cake and burgers for lunch, I was at Starbucks setting a record for the most iced coffees consumed in 24 hours. While I didn’t gain the notorious “freshman 15,” I did notice other changes. I was constantly catching a cold, my skin looked dull and I was tired during my classes. I decided to make a change and embarked on a journey to find healthy, nutritious food items that are college budget friendly.

My favorite place to shop is Whole Foods Market. With the nickname “whole paycheck” many don’t see them as being economical. However, I disagree. While they do have some pretty expensive items, they also have a wide array of name brand products that are comparable or less expensive than the same items at other grocery stores. For instance, their 365 roasted red pepper pasta sauce for $2 is amazing. In addition, the knowledgeable and friendly staff is great when it comes to finding low priced items. Whenever I go in, the employees at the butcher counter tell me what is on sale and give me recipes on how to use it. As a result, I’ve never had a problem eating right and staying within my financial plan at Whole Foods.

The Safeway near campus has made many recent improvements to offer healthy eating options. They have expanded their organic produce section and added a larger assortment of nutritious staple items such as brown rice, organic granola, and whole grain bread. With a club card, Safeway makes it convenient and affordable for students to make healthier choices.

The Farmers Market is also a great resource for wholesome eating. For those like me who live on campus, the one in the park blocks on Saturday mornings is a fantastic place to purchasing fresh produce. Strolling by the various booths trying samples and socializing is a fun way to spend the morning, and I love knowing that my purchases benefit the local community.

Learning to cook in bulk with quality ingredients has had a huge positive impact on my health. I have a stronger immune system and I feel much more energetic during the day, and I’m sure that if you try it, you will see a difference too. For quick nutritious recipes, I recommend checking out http://greatist.com/health/cheap-healthy-recipe-collection. Feel free to post your tips for overcoming bad eating habits below!

Power of Words

Memoir Writing at PSU

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By Andreea Nica

When I tell people I’m writing a memoir, they usually appear surprised and ask: “Aren’t you too young?”

In 2013, I began writing “Freeligious,” a memoir and narrative nonfiction about my detachment from a charismatic religious sect and community. As a former evangelical, my gradual transition from the Pentecostal community spanned 10 years. The book focuses on identity, power and society with the aim of empowering those who have left — or who want to leave — their religious systems. Since then, I’ve taken a memoir writing course in Seattle, joined a writing group and received attention from media outlets such as Fox News Radio. Around 200 pages later, I realized I still needed help organizing my book.

I decided to take a memoir writing class with instructor and author Paul Collins in PSU’s English Department this winter term. The course has been extremely helpful in not only focusing on creating new content, but organizing my existing work. While the workshops (each student and the instructor reviews the student’s work and provides open feedback) initially can be an uneasy experience, they have certainly been most useful. As a Ph.D. Sociology student, being the only non-MFA student in the course has also helped me learn from others’ writing skills and expertise.

Although some find it unexpected that I’m writing a memoir at a “young age” or while pursuing a doctoral degree in the social sciences, I believe following more than one passion or goal can be most satisfying in life.

If you’re interested in taking a course in PSU’s English Department, visit: http://www.pdx.edu/english/

Is it awkward when all the foodcart people know you?

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By: Zaira Carranza

On the PSU campus there is a food cart for every kind of food you can think of: Thai, Mexican, Mediterranean, Arabic, American and the list goes on. When I am sad I can just go to the nearest food cart and my frown will be turned upside down. When I walk out of the library, I can smell food. The hardest decision is deciding where to eat, because everything is delicious. Needless to say, I have gained 10 pounds my first term of college.

Some of the foodcart owners know my name. Even when they are not working they recognize me on the street. Like many students, I have two jobs and am a full-time student. Basically I’m always hungry and don’t have time to cook. Don’t you think there should be a section in the FAFSA for estimating how much money you will spend on food? It’s where my money goes.

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Resources for Managing Stress at PSU

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By: Chelsea Ware

It’s only the second week into the term, so why are we all so stressed out already? From team projects, jobs, and internship applications, it can be hard to manage everything and remain sane. But no need to pull out your hair while on your way to grab your 5th Starbucks coffee because I have listed some tips and on-campus resources for battling stress.

1. Visit SHAC: In addition to counseling, SHAC has many services that can help during hectic times. Their Mind Spa allows students to relax and rejuvenate at no charge. Services include light therapy, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, or a massage. In addition, SHAC now offers low cost acupuncture. http://www.pdx.edu/shac/mind-spa

2. Break a Sweat: Working out has been a proven way to relieve stress and promote overall well-being. The PSU Rec Center offers an easy way for us to do this by providing weight and cardio machines, a track, a swimming pool and classes. It’s free to get in with your student I.D card. http://www.pdx.edu/recreation/home

For those of you who prefer to work out outside, there are many clubs that offer an outdoor setting. I personally love the PSU Running Club because it’s a great way to meet other students and enjoy some of the trails located near downtown Portland. My favorite is the Springwater Corridor near OMSI, offering 20 miles of lush trees and some pretty scenic views of the Willamette River.

3. Go to Campus Events: During midterms and finals, PSU often posts flyers with anxiety-relieving events such as ice cream socials and therapy dog sessions. While it can be easy to say no, I personally think that spending time with dogs is a great way give one’s mind a break from all of the chaos that comes with school and life. And trust me, the dogs are really cute!

4. Enjoy Your Food: Most Americans eat too fast. Eating slowly and mindfully enhances the pleasure of the dining experience. In addition, a recent Japanese study involving 1,700 young women concluded that eating more slowly resulted in feeling full sooner, and thus eating fewer calories at mealtime. To master the art of slow eating, put on some music or sit somewhere that gives you a view of the park blocks. Your stomach will thank you!

What are your tips for managing stress? Please add them in the comments section below!

Marilynn

Two jobs, 14 credits and no time

By: Marilynn Sandoval

Time, it seems to be one of those things you never have enough of – especially if you’re a full-time, out-of-state student with two jobs, like me.clock

College is definitely not cheap. I am taking 14 credits this term, and for an undergraduate Oregon resident, tuition is on average $2,030. For an out-of-state student, tuition is on average $6,860. That’s more than $4,800 of a difference I have to somehow pay. Thank you, financial aid!

Yes, I realize that I could have chosen a school closer to my hometown to save money. However, I wanted to explore different places, and I fell in love with Portland. It also doesn’t help that living in Portland is somewhat expensive.

So what is my solution to this problem? Work two different jobs before and after classes. That doesn’t really leave me with a whole lot of time to study and to just stop, breathe and relax. However, I am thankful one of my jobs is right on campus and I work with a staff that understands. They emphasize how important school is and want us to succeed.

I know I am not alone in feeling the struggle of working two or more jobs to help pay for school and other expenses. What are your tips for balancing your time between work and school?