A live phone call — someone loves me

By: Theo Burke

"Hey, I didn't know it could TALK!"

“Hey, I didn’t know it could TALK!”

Not long ago, while working on a PSU Vanguard story, I received a return phone call, within 24 hours, from Scott Gallagher of the University Communications office. I nearly fell down from shock.

I had not received a live phone call in months from anyone other than my mother. And it seemed as though an ever-increasing amount of important people in my life had barricaded themselves behind “email walls.”

When I recently asked to meet with an editor at one of the three student media outlets I worked for, she simply refused to do it. Her supervisor had established a policy, she said, that editors could limit communications with writers to email. No meetings, live conversations, or body language required.

A professor supervising me on a huge term paper could only be reached by email and was only on campus two days per week. She had not even set up the voice mail on her office phone. But this makes her no different from most PSU profs —not a single professor in my three years here has used the office phone.

Mr. Gallagher reminded me what humans are capable of. Follow up.  Consideration. Professionalism. Simple human respect and kindness. And he understands that the old standards of professionalism still matter to do your job.

I submit to you all that we will not be able to live without live voice communication and nonverbal body language over the long run. We will not be able to abandon those and hold onto the jobs that we like, as well.

No amount of quiet, feverish tapping on our devices will replace our voices and ourselves.

Getting in the Zzzs

As the quarter moves past midterms and revs up into finals, it is easy to find yourself trying to increase study hours through late nights and cans of energy drinks. During these stressful times, it can be hard to remember that sleep is a priority. 

 Exactly how much sleep do you need? The National Sleep Foundation says between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. However, even if you are getting in those hours, sleep debt (time that is accumulated due to waking up, bad habits, or sickness) can cause you to still remain feeling tired. The good news is that sleep debt can be made up, unlike most of your tests. By getting more sleep through naps or by going to bed an hour earlier, you can slowly catch up on the hours you have missed.

 For myself, I have found that using cell phone apps are a great way of keeping track of my sleeping habits. I have an Android phone and use the Sleep Bot Tracker Log to record how many hours of sleep I get each night, and how much sleep debt I have accumulated over the last 10 days. For iPhone users, there are plenty of sleep apps out there, but not all will track sleep debt. Make sure to try out a few. If you’re not a smart phone user, a simple sleep journal where you write down what time you go to bed and when you wake up can be an effective tool to helping you sleep better. Plus, you can add notes about what was keeping you up! 

For more information visit: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need