My Keurig Story

My project for the last week was to a make a branded story commercial for a company that I picked (Keurig).  This involved story concepting, script writing, ect.

I (of course) employed my wonderful roommate, Kris Perry, to be my actor!

When I initially realized what I had to do, I groaned a little bit.  I did not want to spend time making more videos, but then I realized that, hello Wyatt, this is my major.  Advertising.  This is exactly what you signed up for.

When I had finished, I was ecstatic!  I really enjoy how what I had visualized in my head came into reality!  I wish I had more time in my day to learn how to use better professional equipment, but all in all, I was happy with my work.

I was really surprised initially that I wasn’t excited about this video but by the end, my roommate and I could hardly keep our excitement contained!!  I guess my inexperience made me hesitant to dive in.  It is always super satisfying to see something you dreamed up come to fruition.

And without further ado, here is my video!

Australia – First Thoughts

I’ve been “down under” for just over three days now, and I’ve spent what seems like every minute of that time racing from one thing to the next – shopping, orientation, campus resident events, trips with other exchange students – the list goes on. But what keeps striking me on my second journey abroad is the same thing that bothered me during my previous foreign venture: the very idea of being abroad, in another country, on another continent, in entirely new territory, seems completely surreal.
In Italy we stayed in ancient city centers, where the buildings were often more than ten times older than America, and yet the idea that I’d flown over a thousand miles across an ocean and landed in a foreign land seemed far too huge a concept to really process. I find myself facing the same thoughts here. I’m not just on a new continent, I’m on the complete opposite side of the world, in the southern and eastern hemispheres, where everything from the land and waters to the stars is entirely new to me. It’s not like you fly slowly in from the outer atmosphere so that you can see yourself slowly approaching the “Australia shape” you see on Google maps, zooming in slowly until you can see the dot that will be your new home city, and then further in to see your campus and apartment. Instead, you fly in the dark over the ocean for hours and hours, until you finally pass out from exhaustion. And when you wake up, maybe you’re still over water, but more than likely you’re over land. Then, you continue over landscape you can’t quite see in the dark until the plane lands. You eventually walk out of the airport into this new land, but the differences are relatively subtle.
The gas stations are different, but not too different. Odd companies like United and Woolworths appear, but so do BPs, so you could just be in another part of the United States. An increased concentration of Asian restaurants and shops can also be accounted for by assuming a densely populated coastal area of the US. The cars drive on the left side of the road here, and to compensate for this the driver’s side of the car is on the right, but unless you’re paying attention it’s easy to overlook this difference. Buildings are a bit different too. It takes a bit longer to figure out the difference, but advertising is apparently done differently in Australia. External walls often sport more ads, web addresses, sale posters, and other additions than they do on average in the US, but again not so much that it couldn’t just be an unfamiliar American city.
To me, more than the things I’ve listed so far, the flora and fauna remind me that I’m not in the US. The birds here are much larger on average, and more boldly colored. Lorikeets, which I’ve only ever seen in the big netted enclosure at the OKC zoo, fly around campus freely. Big, round, black birds with long, skinny necks pick through the grass on the commons. Massive ravens caw loudly from the trees along the sidewalks. And a variety of birds – magpies, water birds that look like thin, long necked ducks, and others – have bold, black and white coloring that stands out strongly to me compared to the browns of most US birds. And the plants and trees, while more subtle, still indicate that things are not what I grew up with.
Deeper exploration of the area shows a few more differences – odd brands in stores, and staples of American cuisine, such as “normal” bacon and Kraft Mac n Cheese are nowhere to be found, and in their place are things like Tim Tams and Vegemite. But still, it’s hard for processed beer leftovers to really translate the magnitude of my presence in this place. It’s slowly beginning to make sense to me, as I make trips into Melbourne, interact with locals, and talk to the friends I’ve made here in the last few days. The more differences I find, the harder it is for my brain to try to brush them off as minor differences. My time in Italy was enough to accept where I was, but not enough to really appreciate it. Hopefully my semester here will be enough to fully realize exactly where I am, and how far I’ve come. But if nothing else, my few travels abroad have highlighted to me just how huge and diverse the US is, that I can travel thousands of miles to foreign lands and still find ways to half think I’m still in the US.

But What About My Visa?

But What About My Visa?

When I was looking into the different German-speaking countries that offered semester study abroad programs through OU, one of the aspects about Austria that appealed to me was that it was a more unusual choice. Even compared to other European countries, Austria is pretty small at 32,000 square miles and a population 8.7 million people; Germany is about 138,000 square miles with 82.6 million people. For further comparison, my home state of Colorado is 104,000 square miles and has a population of 5.5 million people!

Size Comparison(The map shows Europe, with Colorado overlaid for a scale comparison.)

In my experience, most people don’t think of Austria very quickly when they talk about Europe. It’s fairly small and doesn’t have the international fame of the larger countries like Germany, France, Spain, and the UK (which I find ironic, given that it had one of the largest empires in Europe only a century ago). This made it feel more unique and off-the-beaten-path as a study abroad destination, while still allowing me to study in German for a semester.

However, something I never considered was that visiting such a small country might have some drawbacks on the administration side of study abroad. In order to live in Austria for five months, I needed to apply for a visa–no problem, right? Fill out some forms, hand over some cash, and I’d be good to go.

Except that for a visa to Austria, those forms include a fingerprint scan, and therefore the application must be conducted in person at an Austrian embassy or consulate. And since Austria is so small, there are only three such locations in the United States: in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. A visit to one of these cities on such short notice would have been way too expensive and impossible to fit into my school schedule, and a bit of research showed me that I couldn’t apply for a visa once I was in Vienna or Graz, so I started to panic.

Luckily, my Education Abroad counselor informed me of one other option: students from the US and Canada can enter Austria without a visa, and then within their first 90 days in the country, visit an Austrian embassy in either Slovenia or Germany to apply in person for a visa. So in order to stay for a full semester in Graz, I had to take a weekend trip outside of the country to Ljubljana, the capitol of Slovenia!

This ended up being a really fun adventure, since Graz’s branch of the Erasmus Student Network (an organization that arranges fun activities and local student “buddies” for study abroad students all over Europe) put together a trip for everyone who needed to go through this rather convoluted application process. We piled into a tour bus to drive to Ljubljana, where we handed in our paperwork and did the fingerprint scan, and then continued on to Trieste, a coastal town in Italy. Altogether, it only took us three hours of driving, yet by lunchtime we had already spent time in three separate countries!

Although there were some unexpected complications in choosing Austria for my semester abroad, I am so glad that I found a program to suit my unique sense of adventure! Obstacles like applying for a visa actually turned into wonderful opportunities with plenty of support both from the OU Education Abroad counselors and local groups like ESN. Don’t let administrative details dissuade you from finding a study abroad program that fits your interests!

The Macbook Air is being phased out

I wanted to share a little story about my experience recently with my Macbook Air (RIP). I also wanted to let you guys know if you’re planning on buying a new Mac laptop soon to not get the Air. I’ll explain why in a bit. Or you could just read the title, but I”ll go into more detail here soon.

So I got my 13″ Macbook Air during my senior year of high school. I’m coming up on 5 years of having it. It has been great! But in the past year I’ve known that the end is near.

computer with grey bars

Last September it started losing it. Grey bars would cover the screen and it would look my colors had inverted. I brought it to the Apple store and thankfully it was still under the extended warranty I bought. I could send it off and get it fixed for no charge. The program is great, I would really recommend paying for the extended care if you’re buying a product new from Apple. I have it for my phone too and overall it has helped me save a lot of money.

I got it back after they replaced some parts but it still did the same thing. So I had to trek back to the Apple store and they sent it off again. This is right during midterms so I was borrowing a laptop from work. I don’t know what I would have done if I wasn’t able to borrow that computer.

I got back basically a brand new laptop. Essentially everything had been replaced. I was thrilled! It was fixed for free and even though the parts on it weren’t new, they were certified refurbished. I figured it added at least three years to the life of my computer. Oh, how wrong I was.

The death of my computer

The fan in the computer started whirring constantly and my laptop was overheating. I brought it to the Apple store and they checked the CPU usage. It said Chrome was using an unusually large amount. So we deleted and reinstalled and that seemed to fix the problem. I happily brought my computer home. I was glad it wasn’t anything more serious like I was starting to worry about.

But then I was working and my computer shut all the way down. I turned it back on and within five minutes it shut down again. It was taking more and more tries of pushing the power button to get it to turn back on. If I had it plugged in it wouldn’t shut down, but that kind of defeats the purpose of a laptop. So I called Apple.

We tried a bunch of things but ultimately I needed to bring it in for someone to actually look at.

I schedule an appointment and bring it in. By this time it’s at the point where if it turns off I worry that I may not get it to turn on. At the Apple store we tried multiple things to figure out the problem.

Then the guy said my GPU was done for. I could send it off to get fixed for $475 because at this point it’s no longer under warranty. I start asking some questions because I’d been researching my options in case I was told it was done for.

My computer right now could be sold back to Apple for about $300. In a couple of months though my computer will be considered “vintage” and they won’t have the parts to fix it anymore. The fix would only be under warranty for 90 days if I chose to go that route.

Computer for the Future

So I asked, “I noticed when Apple released it’s new computers for Macbook and Macbook Pro that the Air didn’t get any updates. Are they doing away with it?”

The employee nodded and said they’re starting to phase it out.

The Macbook is super light but it just doesn’t have the power I need for running the whole Adobe Suite, having massive word documents and coding. Let’s just say I put my computer through it’s paces.

daniel and I working on homework

Lot’s of good memories

The iPad Pro is being advertised as all you need for basic use, but I just need more from a computer. Although if you don’t use all the software and are trying to figure out what to do if your Air dies, I think the iPad Pro option may be the best. I dream about the pencil and the designs I could create with it, but at this point a computer with the capability to handle everything I do is a necessity. This leaves the Macbook Pro.

At this point the Pro is not that much heavier than my Air right now and it’s gorgeous. I looked at Best Buy to compare some Windows but I hate the OS on a Windows computer and really need a Mac for my field and what I like to do.

So now it’s time to save! My 21st birthday is Sunday and with graduation in December I should be able to do it. I would like to have a working computer before I go back to school but I may have to use the labs on campus and just keep my computer plugged in.

Until then you can find me desperately running from outlet to outlet if I’m trying to move so that it’s not unplugged long enough to shut down. I’ve been trying to connect my keyboard to my iPad mini and work that way but there are some things only a laptop can do.

What are your thoughts on Apple phasing out the Air? And what computer do you think I should get?

Best,

 

The post The Macbook Air is being phased out appeared first on Paper & Coffee.

Dear Freshman Year Me

Dear freshman year me,

This is the best year of your life. Don’t think about if you’ve made the right decision, because I know for a fact you have. Norman is going to be your home away from home, and when you’re not there, you’re going to miss the hard slap of wind and the fat squirrels that steal your fries when you’re taking a study break outside. You’re going to miss every second of it no matter how hard you try. You’re definitely going to be that girl who still wears her ratty game day t-shirts from college to the gym, living out those glory days.

I know you thought the pool of boys was going to be prime, but it’s actually significantly more suspect. It’s so suspect. Don’t be ashamed that you’ve never had a real boyfriend and do not rush yourself. Also, I know you think that seeing the same boy at the same time in the same place every single day is fate, but it’s literally just because of your class schedules. Also this campus is small. But come on it literally had to be fate please be with me on this, literally everyone agrees. You guys will never speak once, so keep it moving. Don’t let this be your main focus. You have bigger fish to fry, you know, like school?

Be socially aware. You’re a young black woman at a predominately white institution. Don’t be afraid to call people out for their insensitivity. You have every right to a safe space like they do. Don’t let racist protests get to you. There are more level headed people and allies than you think on your campus. You’re doing the best you can, even if you feel surrounded by people different than you. Love your blackness and use it to your advantage. And it’s okay to take mental health days, especially after election day.

Your room is your safe place, so make it feel that way. No, you do not need to drop $300 on string lights and neon signs from Urban Outfitters, but you’ll go on the website and add them to your cart anyway even though your account balance is $6.02. Hang up your favorite poster and light a candle even if it’s against dorm room policy. Make it feel like home, because this is your home. You’re going to grow into this tiny prison cell and you’re going to grow to love it.

Take your L’s and move on. I promise you that this is the year for trial and error, my friend. You’re going to make some very poor decisions and not think them through at all. Luckily, this is your time to do it. This is your year to be alone to be in tough situations. You won’t always be able to call your parents to get you out of them, so teach yourself now. Have these talks with yourself, whether you’re talking to yourself in the mirror or writing it down on paper. Remember when I said mental health days. Say it with me: M-E-N-T-A-L H-E-A-L-T-H D-A-Y-S. These are so important for you when you feel like nothing is going right for you. It’s normal and your bed needs you too at times. Figure these things out for yourself. You’re going to be so proud of yourself in the end. Don’t forget mental health days.

 

 

 

Imagery of an Era

Chem Industry Color.jpg

I personally think this image is super weird.  I think it conveys an effective point, however.  This Unit in my History of Technologies class has been characterized by this theme of man’s ability to manipulate the world around him and develop an artificial reality.  I am not even going to begin to claim I totally understand what is going on in this picture.  I assume the guy that is holding up the chemical industry (the plate of factories), is pure science in this scenario.  I think the Woman is a personification of “Man’s necessities?”  It may even be the personification of man’s desires.

The Beautiful thing about art is that the interpretation is up to the viewer!

I like the idea that the woman in this image is the personification of man’s desires.  His desire for a beautiful world of his own choosing with the things that he likes without nature impeeding.  I think you see a contrast between the beauty of his desire and the dark gloom of the outcome shown as the industry that science is holding up.  Maybe man’s desires are not creating a better world but creating a new, different, yet still broken and evil world.  I think personifying it as a lady is also a sign of the cultural perspective at the time.

I think it is fascinating how science is characterized as a slave man.  It creates this image in our minds that science is little more than something to be leveraged to gain something we want.   It leaves little room for the idea that science can be used to expose and understand the absolutely beautiful and complex world that we live in.  I think you really see that this is true, especially in post war times as plastic made the transition from being a durable and immortal material to something that can be made weaker for a better ability to sculpt it into everyday things that continue to make our lives better.

Expanding on this, many of the great civilizations came about on the backs of slaves, even the United states was largely prosperous due to the plantations that were run by massive amounts of slave labor.  In this same idea, science was being utilized as just another tool to create a better world around us.  What makes science special is the fact that it doesn’t just change the natural world around us, it totally overrules it and allows us to create these pockets of artificial worlds.

As science gave us roads and cars, we no longer were bound by distance.  As science gave us lights and electricity, we were no longer bound by night or day.  This begins to beg the question, was it accurate to portray science as a slave that we force to work for us, or maybe something worthy of worship.  Nowadays, the worship of science is a reality as people devote their lives to studying its traditions and methods.  That is just a thought.

What I find the most fascinating about this image is what the man is holding above his head.  Chemical Industry.  remember, this was a time of nuclear discovery.  Could this be alluding the chemical prowess brought about by the militarization of atomic structure of reality?  Maybe the industry being held above the man’s head is a symbol of reign, power or authority.  Maybe people viewed Science as purely a way of supporting the real desirable end, chemical advancement in our society.

Why then is it dark?  I look at the image of factories practically spilling over the edges of the platform and get nothing but a sense of foreboding and eerie gloom.  Is the chemical industry really this “good thing” or is it leading to something much darker.

The last prominent feature of this art is the rainbow that encircles the city.  Do you think that people see past the rainbow and see how dark the city really is and see what the chemical industry is really doing to our nation, or can they even see past the rainbow?  In the same way that an apple may look appealing, but upon a bite, you discover what was behind the promising red skin is a worm that is committing the apple to destruction.

College Football Playoff Picks

Yes its that time of year, time for premature and super meaningless predictions of the College Football Playoff. Here are my four that I see making the cut.

Alabama

Shocker, I know. Joking aside the Tide are going to be tough to beat again thanks to Nick Saban and a fairly week SEC that has been absolutely dominated by the Crimson Tide. And is it just me or does it seem like every year all the college football analysts say that “This is Nick Saban’s best recruiting class.” or “This might be the best defense we’ve ever seen.” I don’t forsee that trend ending this season. I predict Alabama will cruise through SEC play and will end up beating Florida State in the season opener, we might see a slip up somewhere along the way maybe Tennessee or Texas A&M finally find a way to pull out a  win. However, I see the Tide winning the SEC West and the Conference Championship and making their way to play in the Final Four…. Again.

Ohio State

The Buckeyes would really like another shot at the playoff and a chance to get last years embarrassment to Clemson off their minds. The Buckeyes were young last year and still managed to have an incredible season, that means this year they should only be moving up and improving with their experience. This Team will definitely have its fair share of challenges though facing Oklahoma, Penn State, and of course rival Michigan. If the Buckeyes play like they are capable I believe that they will end up winning the Big 10 Championship and move on to Playoff.

USC

The Trojans seem to have finally gotten back on track. USC will be a tough team to beat and a lot of that has to do with Heisman Candidate Sam Darnold, in last years Rose Bowl Darnold was responsible for 5 touchdowns and threw for 453 yards on a stout Penn State defense. Similar to Ohio State the Trojans will have a couple games to help boost their schedule playing both Texas and Notre Dame. I like the Trojans to win the Pac 12 and play in their first College Football Playoff.

Oklahoma 

Since Bob Stoops stepped down there has been a lot of questions about this upcoming football season. I see no reason for Oklahoma fans to expect any less than what they would see from a Bob Stoops team. On the offensive side of the ball you will be hard pressed to find a better unit in the country. Baker Mayfield should be able to do some damage behind one of the most improved and best overall Offensive Lines in the country led by Orlando Brown. As for the defense the secondary is always a question, but Oklahoma has a great linebacking corps lead by Obo Okornkwo and Caleb Kelly. I believe that Oklahoma will go 11-1 in the regular season and play in the Big 12 title game and win their third consecutive title and putting themselves in the Playoff for the second time in three years.

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Brand Storytelling – One Level Deeper

Overall, the Brand Storytelling project was a journey filled with watching brand storytelling examples, background research, brainstorming, script writing, filming and editing. I’m not going to lie, whenever I first looked at all of the required assignments for this project, I was a little terrified. Watching the brand storytelling examples, such as Guinness and Dove, was intimidating, yet inspiring, because their stories were well crafted and powerful. My initial reaction was, “I can’t even think of a brand, not even a story, that will be considered good enough.” But, once I got the right side of my brain moving, the ideas began to overflow. It just took some time to get it there.

I decided to choose a brand that I already had personally experienced. I first thought about all the possible clothing and food related brands, but I couldn’t come up with a story that I could video myself. One I decided on my brand, PowerScore, my reaction was excited and inspired, but still reserved because I knew I didn’t have the equipment to create a professional video like the examples. After completing the brainstorming, script writing, and filming assignments I was shocked at how much I accomplished. This course has allowed my creative side to expand greater than other courses I’ve taken.

I think I initially reacted to this project the way I did because I was intimidated and critical of myself. I thought I wasn’t creative enough, I didn’t have enough time, and I didn’t have the right equipment. But, once I shut all of those negative thoughts out of my head, I let myself plan and implement a story I never thought I could. I decided to focus on my strengths instead of dwelling on my weaknesses, which allowed me to create a great brand storytelling project that I can be proud of.

Israel, Part II: Digging

My team and I found some cool things on this dig. For three weeks, I was assigned to an area near the headquarters of Legio, the home of the Roman VI Ferrata Legion (the “Iron Legion”).

Even though the pieces of pottery (called “sherds,” not “shards”)must remain in the lab or on site, I did find some intangible things that I am allowed to take home with me. Perhaps the most important finding: it’s all about context. There’s no use in finding objects without knowing where they came from. So, here’s a bit of context for what I did for three weeks in Israel.

See the teeny white dot near the trees in the distance? That’s our dig site!

Each day I was woken by a 4 a.m. alarm. In a semi-conscious state I’d get dressed, lace up my boots, apply the first coat of sunscreen, stumble downstairs to the kitchen, flip the switch on the electric kettle, and make a mug of tea with two teabags for extra caffeine. Then outside in the darkness I’d grab a few buckets from pottery washing the previous day to bring back to the dig site and wait with everyone else for the 5 a.m. arrival of the bus. We’d all board the bus and depart for the site, eating granola bars, listening to music, and silently savoring our last few moments of rest before the day began.

When the bus dropped us off in the field south of Megiddo that became so familiar, we’d immediately station ourselves tent posts and work together to raise the tarps that would shield us from the sun later in the day. After waiting a few minutes for adequate light and grabbing pickaxes, hoes, patiches (mini pickaxes), trowels, and a variety of brushes, we’d start to work.

The difficulty of the work varied depending on the contents of our square each day. If we were lucky enough to have some architectural stones in our squares, we’d use light tools to articulate their surfaces to make them nice and clean for the photographs. But most of the work was breaking ground and clearing away as much topsoil, sediment, and rocks as would fit in the buckets and hauling those buckets down to our pile of dirt, either to sift them in search of material culture or to dump them unceremoniously in a growing dirt-mountain.

Breaks came as a relief after hours of work in often-humid air or deceptive breezes that felt refreshing but actually dehydrated us. The first break of the day was breakfast, when we’d sit on grass mats and eat vegetables, eggs, hummus, bread, hazelnut spread, and peanut butter with dirty hands. The next break came closer to the end of the work day at 1 p.m., and often our supervisors would be kind enough to supply us with watermelon and popsicles.

The work, as I have said before, is not easy. I have never experienced such muscle pain before waking up on morning two after learning how to properly pickaxe on day one. Injuries are common. Though I luckily escaped with only one bruised fingernail, two scraped knees from two graceful falls while carrying buckets, and one head wound, I have heard stories about past volunteers losing fingers. And the combination of the heat, humidity, sun, and inhaled dust drained everyone and made early bedtimes a necessity.

Downside to head injury: blood. Upside: free bandana!

I gave up my sole for archaeology.

But despite the challenges, there were things that made the long work days fun. Herds of cows routinely visited before breakfast to keep us company. The more curious of them even hopped the fence to join us. The stunning sunrises, which came slightly after 5 a.m., more than justified our 4 a.m. alarms. And in my area (nicknamed “Lollipop Valley” by the second area, who often complained about how hard their supervisors worked them) we were seldom without good music supplied by one of the students or Dr. Cline.

The cows got too close to our squares, so we had to tell them to moove back.

Sunrises like these were usually accompanied by The Circle of Life from someone’s phone.

We found pottery. Lots of pottery that we’d have to wash back at the kibbutz later in the day. Many of us have experienced haunting dreams about washing pottery sherds. We also found lots of tiles that would have covered the roofs of the buildings in the camp, and bits of glass and shell.

Smiling through the pain

The long days of work made me appreciate things I often take for granted, like air conditioned buses, food, naps, a pool to take a dip into, clean laundry.

I did find some cool material culture on this dig, and I learned about archaeological techniques and skills like taking elevation points, keeping a field notebook, and keeping track of finds.

I would definitely return to Israel for another season to gain more knowledge and archaeological skills, but I’d especially want to come back for the camaraderie. Yes, digging brings people together.  It’s hard to spend a week with someone in a 1.5 meter deep hole brushing dirt off rocks without emerging friends.