Hello! Hey! How’s it going?!
Man it’s so good to be back to SUU. I had an amazing Christmas break at home with the family, but being back to college life with all of my friends is definitely the best.
Just as something fun, I took a picture of campus as I was leaving for home and my first time back on campus.
It so good to be home
Anyway, as it has been mentioned before, SUU has had Welcome Back week for all the students. The activities have been a blast and last nights was just as good. Last night SUU brought to the students a comedian by the name of Adam London. He had the crowed laughing in no time. It was really nice to relax (well relax as much as much as I could because I was laughing harder at my friend who was dying of laughter) and take a night just to laugh away any homework stresses that might have built up. You know what they say, laughing is the best remedy for anything, including a dead brain from doing a bunch of math homework!
I can’t wait for the rest of the week’s activities and the rest of the school year.
College, semester 2? Bring it on. I got this!
My name is Sam.
I am a Thunderbird who has left the nest to attend graduate school at TCU in communication studies. I am specifically interested in social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other cool technologies).
Last year, I was a blogger on tbirdnation.org, and I was asked to do a little cameo appearance this week.
One of SUU’s pitches for recruitment is the preparation it will give you for graduate or professional school. Well, I just finished my first semester of graduate school and I am here to hold SUU to that claim.
Was I prepared for graduate school?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Graduate school is hard, and it could really scare you. It scared me–quite a lot. When your professors hand you a stack of “extra” reading this big, you should be a little frightened about what you got yourself into.
While I wasn’t prepared for the quantity of reading in which I was about to partake, I was prepared for the type of material I was about to start reading on a regular basis. Scholarly journals are different than anything you have probably ever read before. They are not pleasurable. They are full of words you do not know and information you could have lived without. They are incredibly thorough and extra dry. I don’t even think Ray Bradbury or J.K. Rowling could save them from being difficult to read. The professors I had during my undergrad at SUU exposed me to scholarly journals early on in my college experience. Professor Matt Barton had me reading them from my first semester in college in interpersonal communication. This continued as I moved through the SUU communication department; each professor would adopt more and more journal articles into their courses.
As a result, I knew how to read a literature review. I knew whether an article was qualitative or quantitative. I knew about the methodology section that comes about halfway through each of the journal articles. I recognized some of the very weird statistical figures that often appear throughout the reading. In other words, scholarly writing wasn’t a foreign concept to me. I felt comfortable sitting down for hours (literally) and reading through them. Some of my fellow graduate students, as fab as they are, had never read a journal article in their undergrad, so this semester was their first encounter with them. I feel really blessed that teachers like Matt Barton and Kevin Stein had already introduced me to journal articles. It helped me make it through my first semester of grad school.
The other really important part of being a graduate student is writing. Writing for graduate school is different than writing a high school English paper. Frankly, it is a lot different than writing for many upper division college courses because you are producing original academic research. Doing so requires you to write in a way similar to the academic journal articles I described reading. Rather than read them, you get to write the unpleasureable, wordy, information-packed, thorough, and extra dry papers.
It can be a challenge to get into academic writing mode. It requires large amounts of APA citations and big words you don’t actually know how to spell.
Here are two sentences from a paper I turned in last semester:
Ledbetter, Mazer, DeGroot, Meyer, Yupping, and Swafford (2011) confirm both offline and Facebook communication positively predict relational closeness, and those individuals who use online communication to build social connections are more likely to use the Facebook. Everyday talk frequencies on CMC between cross-sex friendships and sex-sex friendships do not differ; thus, online communication might actually buffer against increased romantic intimacy among cross-sex friendships (Ledbetter, Broeckelman-Post, Krawsczyn, 2011).
While not the best piece of writing in the world, it did meet my professor’s standards for graduate level work. No one in graduate school sat me down and said, “Sam, this is how you write for graduate school.” That fact that this did not happen was fine because several of my professors in my undergrad at SUU already had that conversation with me. As painful as it was to write my senior capstone, I was very grateful it is a requirement for the SUU communication department because it prepared to me write at a higher academic level. Once again, there were several other people in my grad program who had never written a paper like this before so there was a very steep learning curve for them. I just had to sit down and get back into the mode academic writing mode I had been taught at SUU. While it was far from easy, I had the confidence I could do it. I was incredibly grateful for that confidence. It made all the difference towards the end of the semester that feels like finals month rather than finals week.
Have I bored you yet?
Just to make things perfectly clear… The Thunderbirds came to Ft. Worth, TX this past semester to play the Horned Frogs (TCU’s mascot) in basketball. People asked me which team I was going to support at the game. Was I going to show up in red or purple?
You can keep up with my graduate school adventures on my blog here.
It seems unreal that I’ve reached the end of my time at SUU. And how do I sum up years of experiences, memories, and lessons learned in a simple blog post? As I prepared to write this final entry, I tried to find photos from the past 3.5 years that documented the finest moments. Thumbing through nearly 10,000 photos on my laptop, it was impossible to end up with fewer than a hundred.
This post allowed me to reflect on my time spent as a Southern Utah University student. What did I find? Well, I’d like to show you.
…that even as a high school senior, I knew SUU was where I belonged.
…that, because of supportive friends, I participated in SUU Idol, open mic nights, and Miss SUU.
…that it’s fun to take different classes (like radio. and horsemanship. rock climbing. and graphic design).
…that I can do hard things like write, edit, and design for a newspaper (sometimes with the help of a fake mustache or 44 oz. Dr. Pepper), take a challenging class, or get an A in my Comm Theory capstone course.
…that I can be a part of an organization (Presidential Ambassadors) & take silly photos in vacuumed-packed trash bags at summer retreats.
…and this in my backyard.
…that coworkers can also become great friends.
…that I could feel like a princess in the Homecoming Parade.
…that having 53 roommates (I lived in big houses!) throughout the years can be serious fun.
…that I can make best friends who I still talk to weekly, even halfway across the country.
And overall, I’ve learned that there are people who will be my friends much longer than the years I’ve been here, that the most important lessons learned didn’t result from theories, equations, or keyboard shortcuts … but from challenging times I endured, hard decisions made, unexpected friendships, and spontaneous adventures.
So, my dear SUU, thank you.
Thank you for the friends. The memories. The education. The laughter. The tears. The experiences.
I also posted on my personal blog with more words in place of pictures. You can read it here.
Hey everyone! When I was on Thanksgiving break I had EVERY intention of writing a post and I totally forgot, so I apologize! Any way, I know some of you may be looking at the title and cringing. I apologize for that as well. Before Thanksgiving, I am the biggest scrooge about Christmas. Let each holiday have its own time! Now days it goes oh Halloween, CHRISTMAS! And one of my most favorite holidays is forgotten. However, after Thanksgiving I absolutely love Christmas! I love the lights that are put up and all the other gorgeous Christmas decorations that go up. I start listening to Christmas music and I am just the jolliest person you will ever meet.
A couple of days ago, I was able to help set up two gigantic trees in the Hunter Conference Center on campus! The tress turned out so pretty! Here are pictures of the two different trees
After I was done decorating those trees I just HAD to decorate so more. So, on my balcony, I put icicle lights and garland. My roommate and I decorated our door into a present from Santa to us
Our door isn’t the only one decorated and it makes me day. Here are some pictures of other doors decorated in my Resident Hall and one from Cedar Hall South
Our balcony is not the only one decorated as well. Here is one from down the hall!
Here is the door from Cedar Hall South
Have a wonderful holiday season!!
Sometimes when you go on a Thanksgiving Break, you forget about things you shouldn’t. For example, blogging. I forgot to blog. Sorry. Sometimes you also forget to start on massive end of the semester projects and can’t really find a time to sit down and do a lengthy blog post. That is me. Now enjoy this turkey video and go bowl some turkeys as a post-Thanksgiving celebration.
And because Batman cannot apparently bowl, here’s a second try.
Hi, it’s Cheri again. Today we have a special guest blogger, my friend Brantz. Brantz, a sophomore SUU student from Castle Dale, UT, kindly agreed to step in and blog for the tbirdnation today. You might see more guest posts in the future, so check back for more!
With the end of the Thanksgiving break and returning to school I remembered a couple things:
- I did not get any homework done over the break
- I have about five essays due in the next two weeks
- Finals are fast approaching
- The world is going to end about a week after finals
- And…I’m a superhero
Now I don’t know about you, but I find that this semester (and my life) has held such great adventures. I have done some many great things this semester and I’d just like to look back and reflect while I still can before the stress of finals and the end of the world. So, I’d like to introduce REFLECTIONS OF A SUPERHERO
|Sometimes I fly with my friends|
|Sometimes I wear luchador masks…jus’ for fun.|
|Sometimes a late night fighting crime calls for a burrito run|
|Sometimes you need to watch soccer|
|Sometimes you treat yourself to pizza after you nail a job interview|
|Sometimes you go to football games and have fun!|
|Sometimes you get 36 bricks of bacon and eat it all before the semester (and the world) ends.|
|Sometimes you go watch Piano Guys with your family|
|Sometimes you’re creative on Halloween|
|Sometimes the people you look up to are shorter than you|
|Sometimes you can’t really grow a beard so you borrow one at Walmart|
|Sometimes your friend invites you to dinner and you make a bunch of new friends|
|Sometimes your little brother is smarter than you and flies airplanes|
|Sometimes you go on dates with cute girls|
|Sometimes you play guitar on your backporch|
|Sometimes you only pay $0.37 for a burrito at Costa Vida|
|Sometimes the sunsets over Cedar are the best in the world.. I’ll miss them when the world ends.|
Thanks for the guest post, Brantz!
May you all have a happy thanksgiving.
I am thankful to be a part of the Tbirdnation here at Southern Utah University.
As we draw closer to Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving break!!! Wahoo!), I have been thinking a lot about what I am thankful for. I have been so very lucky/blessed in my life that I really have no idea where to begin. I usually can’t say just one thing I am thankful for so I end up making lists. They can becoming quite annoying, but at least I know I am covering everything!
A couple days ago, my Resident Assistant put up a big huge piece of yellow paper up in our hall. He then put a pack of markers next to it. At the top of the paper it says something along the lines of, “What are you grateful for?” It has been really cool to see what others have written. Not only has this gone up in my hall way, the dining hall also has the same question drawn up on the window in dry erase markers and you are free to write what you want. Can I just say that I am extremely thankful to be here at SUU where is it obvious that everyone here has thankful hearts, especially at this time of year?
If I had all the space in the world, I would write everything I am thankful for however, I have to keep it short. Most of all, I am thankful to be here at SUU. I am thankful for the life long friends I have made while here. I am thankful for old friends and my amazing family. This picture will also tell you some things I am thankful for:
Don’t forget to enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday and eat lots of food, but also, don’t forget to think of what you are thankful for.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but SUU is the best school ever! Every experience whether academic, athletic, extracurricular, or just flat-out fun, has contributed immensely to my experience as a member of the #tbirdnation. My most recent experience was participating in SUU Opera’s production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera in one act Trial by Jury.
Quick synopsis: Edwin is engaged to marry Angelina. Edwin “falls in love” with another and breaks the engagement. Angelina sues for “damages.” In 19th c. England, an engagement was a binding contract, so litigation for breaking an engagement (or breech of promise) was totally feasible. Edwin is a player. Angelina wants to marry someone. The Judge is wild. The jury is biased. The plaintiff wants to win. And the audience laughs. A lot.
I played Edwin half the time and a juryman the other half. My favorite part of doing this was getting to know some more people. It wasn’t just vocal performance majors who participated (obviously, as I am music education), but also theatre and communication. I was able to interact with people that I never would have known if it wasn’t for the opera.
In many institutions freshmen don’t get cast in main parts, or they are fortunate to make it into the ensemble. But I’m a freshman! In fact, there were many freshmen who participated in the production.
I love SUU’s music department. It’s intimate. We know each other. We have dedicated, qualified, professional faculty and staff who not only see where you are, but they are able to see your potential.
If you’re interested in participating in the performing arts without majoring in them, opportunities abound at SUU to do so.
Ok. So here are some pictures (not of the actual production. Sorry).
The following photos are courtesy of Ariel Tholen.
This was an experience that I will treasure forever.
Sorry I haven’t posted lately I was so busy with midterms, but they have come and gone and now I have time. So fall break was a few weeks ago and I went to Compton, California. It was a long drive (seven hours) to the first stop (where my ride lives) and another three on public transportation. It was totally worth it. Sunday ended up being my the best day because I went to the Happiest place on Earth…Disneyland! with my mom and friends it was an early birthday for my mom since I was going to be in Utah for her birthday so we celebrated early, and we were walking and standing in line for rides for about 16 hours. And not only were we in Disneyland but we had park hopper tickets that let us bounce back in fourth from Disneyland to California Adventure and that was my first time there we visit the Carsland part of California Adventure and got on the Hollywood House of Terror and at the end of the day for California Adventure we saw the show the festival of colors (show is not picture-taking friendly lol). Disneyland during this time had the Halloween theme so when we visited the ride the Haunted Mansion it was based on the Nightmare Before Christmas as well as Space Mountain that has a monster terrorizing you while on the ride. Monday was just a kickback day for me and my mom since we were so tired from Sunday and that my siblings had school that day, schools in California don’t have fall break. And Tuesday was back to traveling to cold Utah on our way back we saw a lot of cars with either SUU stickers or license plates heading back to Cedar City. It was a very fun fall break which made it harder to get back to the working and studying.