Thank You, Earth, For Letting Me Keep My Stuff Here!

sustainability-picI’m personally passionate about sustainability. It’s something I work to embody in my daily routine and my overriding philosophy in life. I strive to do more with less, eliminate needless clutter & noise, as well as work to have the most positive impact on the world around me that I can. On a personal level, this takes shape in donating old clothes, recycling whenever I can, using reusable bags and bottles, and generally purchasing goods that are all-natural and sustainably made. On a more macro level, it takes shape for me as being a point of contention and a principle I hold onto in whatever context I’m in. A lot of my classmates and colleagues think of me if they’re about to print out a bunch of paper now, which I appreciate since they’re now at least aware of their habits due to my efforts.

So I encourage you to go outside, enjoy the beauty of nature, and do something nice for this place we all call home. If we all work together on this issue, we can make a big impact for the future.

Happy Earth Day! And thank you Earth, for letting me keep my stuff here for a while!

Geek Hard: Reflecting Back On a Year of Blogging

eblogblogI started this blog back in April of last year, not really knowing where it would go but I was inspired by a role model of mine, Chris Hardwick, to put myself out there as my unique self that is a mashup of higher education/ college student affairs and a proud, passionate geek. I feel like it is a brand I can be proud of so I dove right in with it.

Being someone is very reflective and pensive, I felt it was only proper to share my thoughts on how it has been going over the past year. I can say now, after a rocky first few months of blogging, I’m starting to find my rhythm now and a workflow that works for me. I struggled to write at first but it is starting to come more naturally now. I have also gotten some positive feedback from friends and colleagues on my efforts, which has definitely helped my motivation to keep with it. Within the past few months in 2014, I’ve started finding a consistency with my weekly geek outs and movie reviews, which have been awesome to do and steadily maintain for a couple of months now.

I feel as though with my putting more content out there, I’ve been reaching more people and getting more of an audience. I am doing this all for myself but also to get the word out to people who may feel like I do about geek pride on a micro level, and just on a macro level for a community in my profession that isn’t afraid to be themselves. I feel like a black sheep a lot of the time in student affairs and I want to challenge the notions of who you have to or should be in our line of work. We all are always encouraged to “be yourself” but I feel like at times that this platitude isn’t the case. If you are yourself, others blow back on that and make you feel guilty for it. I don’t like that and think that’s a pretty horrible thing to do. I hope to keep putting my authentic self out into the world and have people just get it.

So, a year is in the books, which is crazy to think about but I’m looking forward to many more to come. As I wrap up here, I just want to genuinely thank you for your support in getting me this far already. Even if this is your first time at my blog for this post or if you’ve read every single one, thank you for taking time out to check out my work. It means a lot to have every single one of you stop by.

Stay plugged in for more awesome stuff.

Have an amazing day!

Movie Review Monday: Terminator 2 – Judgement Day

terminator-2-posterI’ve been trying to diligently get through certain science fiction classics over the past few years, and my most recent cinematic adventure was Terminator 2: Judgement Day. I had seen the original a while ago and this sequel became available on Netflix not too long ago. I knew it was regarded as the best of the franchise from what I have heard anecdotally so I was excited to engage with this gem from 1991 (which came out when I was only two years old for context).

The movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as “The Terminator”, a robot sent back from the future to prevent John Connor (Edward Furlow) from being the savior in a future war against the machines that rise up against humanity. Linda Hamilton reprises her role as Sarah Connor, John’s mother. The movie is full of action and some funny scenes to give us a chance to catch our breath. The only problem I had is where the film plays fast and loose with its interpretation of time travel. They never really deal with only plot holes when it comes to paradoxes or if there are alternate timelines, which I appreciate when sci-fi films do just so we have some context. So an example of this is that the characters try to prevent the future war against the machines by acting in the present, but if they prevent the war, the T-1000 that is trying to kill John has no reason to come back since the war never started, so time (future events) would theoretically be rewritten if they succeed. My mind always melts with time travel since I try to apply scientific logic to it but it may not be logical so I could be wasting my breath. Suffice it to say that is my only major hang up about this movie. It’s a fun popcorn movie if you want some solid, mindless action with a light sci-fi twist.

If you want to chat time travel, leave a comment or a tweet (@HigherEd_Geek) and check back next week for another installment.

Have an awesome day!

What I’m Geeking Out About This Week – 04/18/14

Hey gang,

Here’s what I’m geeking out on this week:

I have watched all the nine seasons of this show and when I heard the negative buzz around the finale, I was worried. Having invested so much time and emotional energy on all the characters, I wanted to get above the hype before I sat down and watched the final episode. Unfortunately, I was let down. HIMYM had a simple premise (tell us how Ted meets his children’s mother) and it seemed like it just wasted it in the end. The show that seemed to be all about fan service just seemed to serve the interest of the showrunners instead. I just wanted to get my feelings on this show off my chest and in the end, I’m sad to say that the ending to the show cheapens the whole experience now that I know how it ends.

So I recently searched for one of these cute toys for my partner’s birthday that was the other day. I bought her a Wonder Woman one and I have gotten several myself either on my own or as gifts. I just love these and I like how they have characters representing all sorts of geekdom. They’re awesome desk toys (not to mention cheap) so I recommend them as gifts for yourself or others!

  • Nostalgia

I’m on the precipice of finishing my graduate program (just about a mere month away from graduation to be exact), and this major life moment has me feeling nostalgic for years past. With my future still uncertain, I’ve been looking fondly to the past to cherish all the memories Rutgers has given me since I’ve been here. All the friends, the special moments, and the knowledge and experience to start my career. At certain moments it would be nice if things could just stay the same forever but I can confidently say that I am ready and excited to start the next chapter of my life. Stay tuned for big life updates that should be (hopefully) coming very soon!

Thanks for stopping by! Have an amazing weekend, my friends!

Networking at a National Conference: An Introvert’s Tale

I wanted to share some of my brief thoughts, reflecting back on my experience at the recent 2014 ACPA National Convention in Indianapolis. To preface this all, I think I am horrible at networking in the traditional sense. I am very bad at going up to someone cold and striking up a conversation. I need more context to go on to keep the chat going somewhere beyond basic small talk (which I most often loathe). However, when I was at ACPA, I was able to utilize social media, namely Twitter, to serve as the groundwork for meeting a bunch of awesome people.

Twitter was able to allow me to have some reference point to go up to people, introduce myself and say what I fan I was of their work, the content they share or even create themselves. My understanding is people love to talk about themselves or at the very least enjoy the praise so sharing my enjoyment of what they do online and asking questions about it served me well with anyone I ran into. It was great for both of us too to just be able to meet someone in person that you have engaged with for a while online. I even had lunch with someone at ACPA that I had known from Twitter chats. It was so cool!

I know for sure I would not have been able to have as many successful meetings at ACPA without Twitter. I owe it a lot and certainly advocate for it as a strong tool to foster in person connections and then maintain them afterwards. It’s an extension and evolution of the business card I feel like. Definitely jump on to Twitter if you haven’t already or be sure to engage with it more if you have joined. There is so much potential for community building within it and to learn from a network of people around the country and world (for more details on this point, check out Josie Ahlquist’s recent blog post that I shared entitled “The Power of Networks”).

Why Geek Pride is Important

If you know me, you know that this topic is a major one for me. I just had a thought to formally write on my feelings after having finished Rutgers Geek Week at the end of March, connected with fellow student affairs nerds & geeks at ACPA in Indianapolis, and speaking on my learning for my final project in my graduate program. The latter event made me feel very strongly that this discussion is important.

When I was presenting, during the final question and answer period, I was challenged a lot on the branding I’ve chosen and using the moniker of “geek” as a badge of honor. Some were confused, others were wary due to negative stereotypes of geeks and nerds such as being “know-it-alls” or nonconformist or antisocial. It was hard to deflect and absorb everything in such a setting, since I didn’t want to blow back on it too much since I needed to pass this presentation to graduate. I felt emotionally gut punched about it afterwards since I didn’t expect such an antagonizing stance towards that out of everything I talked about and felt as though it hit to the core of who I am, making it all seem like it was foolish.

The work I and others try to do in this space is important. Geek pride is important because it fights bullying just because someone is a little different. Geek pride is important because it means creating a world where anyone can be proud of what they’re into and pursue a life of passion. Geek pride is important because anti-intellectualism is dangerous for the future of our country. What I want to do is uplift all the awesome parts of what being a geek or nerd means; the passion, the community, the lessons and morals we hold dear that make us good people. I want to get away from the negative stereotypes and create spaces where people geek out about anything and everything they want, whenever they want, whether it is cars, comics, clothes, or consoles (tried really hard on that alliteration).

So here’s to geeks, nerds, dorks, and dweebs. Make sure to bond with your closest friends for Geek Pride Day, which is on May 25.

Thanks for listening and keep spreading the good word.

The Power of Networks

Dustin R.:

I certainly second this sentiment!

Originally posted on Josie Ahlquist:

15600625_sErik Qualman’s newest book, ‘What Happens in Vegas, Stays on YouTube’ wrote “Those who succeed develop deep relationships before they need those relationships.  They network before they need the network both offline and online.”

Over the last couple months I have had the opportunity to attend a number of functions within the field of student affairs.  Over the last year I have been intentionally building my networks through online means, such as twitter, blogging and taking informal conversations through google hangouts.

It is blowing my mind the power of networks, both online and in-person.  Let me give you a recent example and challenge you to start thinking of your own, when the power of your network can turn into a life long (and changing) connection.

I met Greg Heiberger as fellow college students at South Dakota State University.  A few years after graduation he came out with a…

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