Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Join the Spartan Legacy

With the RA application process now opened I get a lot of questions about being an RA so I thought I would share my thoughts and suggestions and offer this as a forum for any questions you may have.

First I want to recommend applying to anyone remotely thinking about it. Being an RA has been an incredible life experience. I've met wonderful people, some lifelong friends, and I have gained valuable experiences that I believe have made me a better person. However, it is not an easy job. There are very stressful moments and it requires you to be authoritative and assertive among your peers. The job also has a tremendous time commitment meaning it requires great time managements skills and even some sacrifices. Whether those sacrifices are social time, extracurricular clubs, or just your free time in general.

So if you're still interested here's what you need to do. There are informational sessions all over campus the next couple of days that I highly recommend you attend. You can find those dates on the LiveOn site here. This is a great opportunity to learn more about what the job requires so you can know how best to sell yourself for the position.

Next you will need to fill out an online application here. This application is due by December 17th. There are essay sections which I recommend taking quality time to review both for content and grammar.

By January 9, 2013 you will receive an e-mail saying if you made it to the second round where there will be group interviews taking place between January 26-27 2013. Finally you will find out if you have been accepted for the position on February 13, 2013.

Again if you have any questions on the job or the process feel free to leave them in the comments. I just want to encourage you one last time that if you are considering it, to definitely apply. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

After almost a year of constant campaign ads, social network bombardment, and exhausting attacks from all sides, today is mercifully election day. It would be an understatement for me to say that I am excited for November 7th but at last the circus will be over. Regardless of the outcome life in America will continue on. However, that should not stop you from voting in an election that will have a direct impact on you, from the proposals in Michigan shaping the Michigan Constitution to deciding who our Commander in Chief will be. I want to spend today encouraging everyone, regardless of their political leanings or activism, to exercise their most essential freedom and Vote!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Happy Thoughts

This is a sad day on campus here in East Lansing. For the first time in my years as a Spartan we lost to the University of Michigan. Worse, we have the worst conference record (1-3) in my time here, and we are all but eliminated from the conference title game. We must win 2 of our last 3 games (no easy task at Wisconsin, then Nebraska and Northwestern) to sneak into a bowl likely with a lowly MAC opponent and sponsored by a fast food joint.

Turning to happy thoughts Basketball is mere weeks away, and even without our fearless leader, Draymond Green, we boast one of the most talented teams in the country. Moreover it has turned to that time of year again, my favorite time to walk around campus. While Autumn does signal that Winter is coming it is still incredibly beautiful time of year, so much so that I stop riding my bike and start walking to class so I can take in the sights. Furthermore the weather is cool and temperate. And finally yes, Midterms are over!

Yes the football season died far too young, but it does no good to dwell on it. We Spartans have a lot to look forward to, and I for one plan to enjoy another great fall in East Lansing.

Monday, October 1, 2012


For those who haven't read this blog regularly or don't know me personally I've recently picked up an interest in volleyball. It began last year when at the end of an MSU basketball game, the announcer told us that there was a women's volleyball game against highly ranked Illinois that was going down to the wire, and attendance is free. My friends and I went across the street and I've been hooked on volleyball ever since. This summer I watched every point of beach and indoor volleyball for both US men and women. My thoughts summed up: volleyball is an incredibly deep, intricate, and action packed spectator sport.

So this fall my friends and I decided we would try to compete in beach volleyball co-rec. The season just ended and playoffs are around the corner. I'm so excited I decided to share how it was going for us. The games are 4 on 4 so the first game we went with what we thought was a standard 2-2 formation. We went up against a team that had obviously been together awhile and their chemistry showed on the court. For our first game ever playing together we did really well, we even had a game point although we lost in straight sets (best of 3). We did learn a lot though in that game, and we ended up stealing their formation. They went with a diamond 1 - 2 - 1 formation that seemed to make for clearer responsibility areas, and allowed for an easier flow; ideally we start with a volley from the back 3, followed by a clean set from the front player, allowing for an offensive strike from one of the two wings. By the way, this might be a good time to apologize for my limited knowledge of volleyball terminology, I've been a fan for less than 8 months.

So unfortunately our next opponent had to forfeit but that did allow us for some much needed practice of our new diamond strategy. Our third game was a tough battle against another very strong opponent much like the  first game. They were cohesive and very sure-handed. We did well but our new formation struggled at times allowing big runs that buried us in holes we couldn't overcome. Again we were swept in straight sets. This past Sunday was our last chance to get momentum before the playoffs. We had strong defensive plays including blocks at the net and tough digs (look i'm getting better!) and we managed to put together solid offensive plays using all 3 hits (well maybe not...). We finally put it altogether winning nearly on straight serves (we lost 3 points)!

Winning was never mandatory, we had a great time competing, but I won't deny its sweet taste. I can't wait for the playoffs to begin! I'll have (good?) news soon!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Taste of Summer

The sun is shining bright on East Lansing. While that means Michigan State's campus is as beautiful as ever it also means that its hot as heck outside. So this week my floor and I decided to walk over to MSU Dairy, the perfect hot afternoon activity. If you have never been to the MSU Dairy Store you are missing out. The ice cream is made right here on campus and rivals any ice cream chain I've ever been to. It's also about half the price of places like Ben & Jerry's or Coldstone. There are so many ridiculous and creative flavors (usually sporting puns which I also support) that every time I've been there I've had a different flavor. This time I had Banana Choc-Eye Chunk and Gopher Smore which proved to be a fantastic complimentary taste and I whole-heartedly recommend it. In fact I recommend everyone make the trip to MSU Dairy while the sun is still shining. As we in Michigan all know, Winter is Coming.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Saved by the Le'veon Bell

This past weekend a Big Ten star asserted his role in what promises to be a very heated Heisman Race. In what came as no surprise to Spartans but somehow shocked the rest of the nation, this star was not media darling Denard Robinson. Instead powerhouse running back Le'veon Bell continued his meteoric ascent that began two years ago when he steamrolled Western Michigan in his back up role.

One of my favorite things about college football, and college sports in general, is the joy of watching our peers succeed while representing our school. I am particularly excited to watch Le'veon succeed, who lived on my floor freshman year. To see him grow from the hard working freshman who graduated from High School early to get a head start into the dominating star he is today.

I remember freshman year, when I was lucky enough to get to know him, how much he liked to play video games. In particular he  beat the crap out of me in the NCAA football video game. He had an incredible ability to find the perfect hole, utilizing spin moves and stiff arms to get every inch he could. Its no mystery why though. His genius for the game shows all over the field on Saturday for all the same reasons. I love watching him play more than any other Spartan as he uses every tool in his toolbox: spin moves, hurdlers, and vicious stiff arms straight out of the video game. He always uses the right move at the right time. Le'veon has such a knowledge for the game, combined with the strength of a bull and elusive speed, that I honestly believe he could play any position on the field and succeed. I can't wait to watch him the rest of the season and I will be following his career with baited breath, waiting for the next play that will make my jaw hit the floor.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Welcome (back) to MSU!!!

Welcome (back) to MSU!!! Its been a bit chaotic lately with everyone moving in so hopefully you feel comfortable in your new surroundings. As an RA again I've spent a lot of time this past week helping freshman feel settled in. In fact, a lot of freshman have moved in with a roommate they never knew before this week on top of finding themselves in all new surroundings, Therefore I figured I would offer a few tips on living with a roommate. I promise I will try to avoid the generic ones.

1. Speak your mind

In my experience, one of the easiest traps people fall into is holding in their thoughts. They get upset that their roommate never takes out the trash or leaves his shoes in the shower but instead of communicating with their roommate they let it bottle up. Then the small stuff adds up, issues escalate, and things get out of hand. Remember they have no way of knowing that you have a problem with their behavior until you speak your mind.

2. Don't force a friendship

A lot of people move in with their roommate and decide that they have to be friends. They dream of the incredible relationships tv roommates build together and hope for the same. They think the only way they will get along is if they do everything together and have common interests everything will work out. the truth is it isn't necessary to be friends to be great roommates. If it happens, great! But don't force it, be yourself.

3. Fill out a roommate contract NOW

Don't wait. A lot of freshman meet their new roommate and think "He's cool, no way we are going to have a problem." Hopefully you are right, but when you are wrong, and you have no established boundaries or rules, it makes conflict resolution just that much harder. It is important to have these conversations early with your roommate so you can be on the same page all year.

4. Start watching Breaking Bad together

Okay so this one isn't really necessary but still comes highly recommended. In reality I don't think there are more than 3 real keys to having a successful relationship with your roommate. As long as you communicate your needs, cooperate, and work together to share the room there really isn't a conflict you can't handle together. If you need a moderator in a discussion that gets a little heated hit up your RA, that's what they are there for. So really, kick back, watch the best show on Television and have an awesome semester!!