A Queer Complaint Against Valentine’s Day

ec08db75f9ef95c1180ca428f5ecf0e1 By Naomi Kolb

It’s been hard to miss the fact that Valentine’s Day is this week with the bake sales, posters, and sex-themed events that have been seemingly taking over our campus lately. I’ve been actively trying not to be bitter about Valentine’s Day because this is the first year in awhile that Cupid forgot to fire the magical arrow that would land me a cutie to spend it with. Rather than being bitter about “not having anyone” to spend this holiday with though, I’m making genuine efforts to appreciate the love that I already have in my life. Just because I don’t have a romantic partner this year doesn’t mean that I don’t have anyone at all.

One of the legitimate complaints that I’d like to lodge against Valentine’s Day is the fact that it totally overemphasizes romantic and sexual love as the be-all-end-all, and specifically straight romantic and sexual love. None of that represents what my or my friend’s lives look like in college. For the most part, we’re a bunch of queers stumbling through loving each other in the best ways that we know how. The love that I have in my life right now might not consist of Netflix and Chill or romantic dinner dates, and I’m OK with that. The love that I’ve got in my life right now is singing at the top of my lungs while making dinner, calling my friend two time zones away to read her a passage from a book that I love, listening to previously unspoken poetry over Saturday morning brunch, and is certainly more than enough to fill my heart with even if I don’t have a romantic partner this Valentine’s Day.

I’m not ready to write off Valentine’s Day altogether – I’m not saying screw romantic love, screw relationships, or screw straight people. However, I am definitely saying screw the idea that you need a romantic partner to be happy and fulfilled. I’ve never been happier than I am right now, and I’m doing it without a traditional romantic partner by my side. This Valentine’s Day, I’m going to be busy loving myself and loving my friends more than ever before. Maybe Cupid didn’t miss me this year after all – maybe he just aimed his arrows towards unexpected places that still landed exactly where I needed them to be.

Pushing past my fears, I got my degree!

Blogger Profile Pic

 

 By: Sara Kirkpatrick

When I first applied to Portland State University, I remember the feeling of excitement I felt standing in line at the registrar.  Looking back, it was this excitement that masked the hard academic realities that awaited me.

I quickly learned that academia is definitely not for the weak-minded or faint-hearted. I found myself continuously challenged in all aspects of my coursework, each new obstacle seemingly more impossible than the last. I pushed past my fears of failure and let my passion for my major fuel the success needed to apply to the PSU School of Business.

My determination, passion, and unstoppable desire for an education has transformed me into someone I never thought I would become. I have learned that being a student is a privilege, and it may mean giving up things you love for things you love more. PSU has shown me the importance of finding your inner strength to chase your dreams and the courage needed to hold onto hope when all seems lost.

IMG_5541

Graduation Cap Decor ’17

 

After 2 1/2 years studying in the School of Business program, I am graduating with a bachelor’s degree in two fields that I am extremely passionate about: marketing and advertising.

My education from PSU has become an essential part of who I am and reinforced my belief that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I cannot wait to embrace the journey of job hunting, as I seek a position within digital marketing in hopes to leverage my degree and passions to inspire change in the world.

PSUGraduation2017

Winter Term Graduate ’17

I have very much enjoyed my time as a blogger, and from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you all for allowing me to share my academic journey with you. I am truly honored to become a PSU alumna, and I wish all my colleagues the utmost success in their future careers!

Getting Used to MyPSU and the New PSU App

me-1 By Kimberly Nakayama

Sometimes, I feel that my experience in college is just me using my laptop in a variety of different settings. However I always wish that doing “important” PSU stuff online, like paying bills or updating my major, would be much simpler so that I could spend more time focusing on other things. So, when someone told me about the myPSU update, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that PSU had actually been working to fix this exact problem.

As a senior, I usually just go between the web pages that I am already familiar with like D2L and Banweb. I’ve found that in between classes, work, and everything else I’m supposed to be doing, it hasn’t really been a priority for me to improve my usage of university technology. I think that, like most students at PSU, I am definitely not using PSU technology for “fun.” So I was a little skeptical at how “different” another PSU web page would actually be and how much it could actually improve my experience as a student.

After using MyPSU, however, I saw that this negative perception was out-of-date. It took a little adjusting, to be sure, but I quickly found that it was much more efficient in accessing all kinds of information about PSU. One problem that I’ve faced as a PSU student is that there are so many departments and events and staff that it can be hard to hear about specific news. MyPSU, however, has compiled a live news source that shows social media announcements from a number of different departments which makes this process so much simpler. They also offer an interactive list of active resources on campus, so if you are looking for support or to get involved on campus it is so much simpler to connect with these organizations.

In general, I think that MyPSU is a much simpler way to access information that all students need. I’ve found that I now spend much less time scrambling around online for specific web pages. The organized homepage has labelled certain sections that contain a ton of information about specific topics like registration, financial aid, and classes. This means that I can see the entirety of PSU web pages regarding a particular topic, rather than to wonder if I had managed to find every bit of information out there myself.

The best part, a MyPSU app is also available, which allows you to access different web pages from a smartphone rather than always having to use a computer. So definitely be sure to check out the new MyPSU update! I hope that it can help other students so that they can spend more time on the things that really matter.

PSU Vanguard Bridges Campus Gaps

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 3.31.14 PM By Andrew Jankowski

Portland State University is a unique college in that it is a commuter college in the heart of downtown Portland with a vibrant on-campus community. Off-campus students are within walking distance of PSU buildings, or they drive from out of town or even out of state. Whether we are immigrants, refugees, natives or nationals, we together make PSU a diverse community.

Sometimes, though, on campus we develop insular communities that don’t interact with each other. It’s normal. Think about it: engineering students, how often have you attended an art reception at one of PSU’s six art galleries? Art students, how often have you attended a history lecture? History students, how often do you attend literary events? English majors, how often do we attend science lectures? And how often do we engage with cultural resource centers that don’t center on our identities? And truly, for that matter, who is attending sports events or voting for ASPSU?

Portland State Vanguard, PSU’s de-facto journalism program, is a learning lab that connects students of all majors and ideological viewpoints in the common goal of informing PSU students, as well as our non-student community partners like city hall and local professional journalists, about events that impact their lives. We’ve done it for over 70 years, and now that we’re in control of our own distribution, we’re now on racks and tables in almost every PSU building, and a few off-campus spots like McMenamins, Pizzacato and University Pointe. Based on our print circulation, social media interactions and story comments on our site, more of you are picking up papers or clicking on our content to find out what’s affecting campus. Even more encouraging, when I’ve heard that print is dying for almost two decades, we’ve seen a surge in contributors for writing, photography and videography.

The best part is, we’re still seeking new people to come aboard. We’re now hiring for most of our editorial staff (hiring as in money!), and we’re always seeking contributors for #VikingVoices, our op-ed section open to whatever you’re passionate about in 600 words or less. We recently featured one of our ASPSU senator’s letters as a dialogue for how to engage students on campus and have talks about ideologies we may disagree with personally.

Perks of working at PSU Vanguard include:

  • An impressive addition to your resume.
  • A fast way to develop a comprehensive writing, photography, video, design and/or art portfolio.
  • Connection to numerous professional, academic and social circles, including ASPSU, campus clubs & student groups, resource centers, city hall, CPSO, and more.
  • Opportunities to interview celebrities, elected officials and public figures.
  • Meeting people who can become important professional contacts or really close personal friends.

Breaking the Habit of Not Creating

THUMBNIALS -5 By Emma Josephson

During my freshman year at Portland State, I struggled with adapting to the insane balancing act of school, work, social life, and just being able to take a break. It’s the middle of fall term of my sophomore year and things are a lot better. The entirety of last year, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough and committing to too much all at the same time. One of the only things that kept me motivated was knowing that other new students were trying to figure it all out as well.

As a film major and a creative person in general, there was an added level of imbalance in my life. I stopped creating just for the sake of creating, and I found myself feeling like my passion was being transformed into just a grade. I love being able to use my talent and love of film to work on these less creative projects, but my mistake was not prioritizing my own personal creative growth. Anytime I can spend focusing on a video that I have complete creative control over is so important and valuable to me. For months I felt stuck in a cycle of not having time and I didn’t want to feel that way for any longer. So I just started creating.

This video is 100% me. It’s the memories I’ve made with friends and family and some of the places I’ve been in the past months. I’m still trying to transition out of this “funk.” Hopefully, people can relate to this short film/compilation of my life this past year, even if their struggle is not the exact same as mine. I know it’s just difficult to balance your other passions in life with being a student and managing all the others things that come up.

The VideoBreaking the Habit of Not Creating

 

Women & Apologies

Blogger Profile Pic

By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

Did you know women have more connectability between the left and right brain? This biological skill has naturally armed women with the ultimate advantage of engaging both sides of the brain: the analytical left and the creative right brain — amazing!

However, as this skill offers many social advantages, it also increases sensitivity to emotions and in turn creates an increased need to apologize, sometimes in situations where an apology is not necessary. This has been notably detrimental for women professionals in today’s workforce.

After viewing a YouTube video on this phenomenon in my summer Business Ethics (BA385) course, I found myself constantly falling victim to the phrase, “I’m sorry.” However, most of my alleged “infractions” for which I apologized were not infractions at all, they were merely apologies for simply going about my business in ways that were absolutely necessary. Whether it is taking a seat in class a few seconds before someone else was hoping to sit down, asking a necessary question of a colleague or peer who had the answer or carrying out other similar tasks and functions that allow me to successfully get through the day, I had subconsciously equipped myself with a canned apology waiting breathlessly to be delivered.

As women and young professionals who will soon be entering, or who are already in the workplace, we need to acknowledge this issue and eliminate our impulsive need to apologize. If we do not eliminate this subconscious affliction, it may impact our future employment opportunities. We could place ourselves at risk by not being taken seriously, or even worse, we could become overlooked by employers for an opening in a company or for a promotion to a managerial role.

Rather than falling victim to this rising issue, let’s embrace it! I encourage all of my PSU female peers to insert the #SorryNotSorry trend into their daily thoughts, interactions, and lifestyle. Let’s use it as a way to empower and solidify our future roles within the workplace of today!

Long Distance Friends

When I chose to go out of state for college, I realized I would be pretty far from home – specifically 1,355.6 miles away. I was excited for the adventure of a new city, for finding my niche, and most of all for it not being in 115 degrees Fahrenheit on any given summer day. However, one aspect that I did not fully think through was just how far I would be from my best friend.13327342_10204472701376747_137003542457597024_n Vivian and I went to the same high school in Gilbert, Arizona, and our similar interests and love for Mac Demarco and Ezra Koenig brought us together. The rest is essentially history. Vivian stayed in Arizona after graduating while I moved to the great Pacific Northwest.

My first year away consisted of a lot of facetime calls complaining about my rain-soaked sneakers, texts about current happenings in our lives, and lengthy phone calls discussing details, no matter how small, of our everyday lives. The facetimes, texts, and phone calls made possible by modern technology definitely helped our friendship stay close despite the distance that keeps us apart.

Our friendship is still going strong, but being long-distance BFFs is definitely challenging at times. Those 1,355.6 miles don’t seem to exist while texting, but the IMG_1162birthdays and special occasions that are missed suck, but it does make the ones where we are able to be there for each other that much more special.

It’s now my second, almost third, year in Portland and being so far away from family and friends has not gotten any easier, but it has made my time away from school that much more exciting. (Also who doesn’t need a reason for vacation?)