The REAL American Language Barrier

Before I begin with this post, I’d like everyone to know and recognize that I am not racist or prejudiced in any shape or form. I would greatly appreciate that no one will even say that I am. That would be lying ladies and gentlemen. Now with that said, we can move on.

There is one problem here in the good old US of A that deeply bothers me – the language barrier that is commonly found between many of our citizens. Why is this? Well, it’s very simple. This is because some masses of people coming to the US speaking languages other than English decided not to learn it. I’m not nagging anyone that is just visiting our country. If a group of foreigners are just visiting the US for a week and use a translator, that’s fine, but when foreigners come to live here, not knowing or even bothering to learn English, well, that is a problem. I was under the impression that the US was founded by ENGLISH speaking people, not Spanish, Italian, Polish, German, or any other foreign language. English was the language this country was founded on and there should be absolutely no debates about what our primary language should be.

It’s gotten so bad here that our schools are requiring students to take a foreign language class. Notice the key word there is ‘requiring’ because I am not against people learning a second or third language, in fact, I think it’s a great idea for people to be bilingual.  I just do not think that it should be a requirement so that we can communicate with people who speak only foreign languages in our own country. The point I’m trying to make here is that, other than our primary language being English, is that we Americans should be concerned with learning one specific language that should be the requirement…

American Sign Language!

The problem with society is that there is a great mass of people that do not realize how important it is to learn Sign Language. Maybe it’s because they don’t have experience with the deaf. I mean, I didn’t even realize it greatly until I started college 4 years ago, where in at least one of my classes each semester, there was an interpreter needed for the one deaf student in the class. According to some statistics I found, there are over 20 million people in America alone that are deaf/hard of hearing, and over half of them use Sign Language to communicate.

Okay, so those who are deaf can communicate with each other, but how would they know what non-deaf people are saying? The same way we know what a Spanish or Italian person is saying – we either learn the language or use a translator (who, I might point out, had to actually learn sign language), but keep in mind that a fully deaf person cannot really learn English because they cannot hear to learn the language.

So here’s my main point, the citizens of the United States should be more focused on learning to communicate with deaf people rather than foreigners speaking a different language who have the ability to learn to speak English. I’m not saying that learning other languages is not important, but learning Sign Language is just a little more important because deaf people are incapable of hearing these other languages, so there is no point in them learning to speak them. Also, I think there should be some kind of respect between everyone in the world to learn the country’s primary language if they are going to live there and that the people of the country should be focused on learning the language used to communicate with those who can’t hear (this includes all the countries of the world).

One last thing, you might have noticed I feel very strongly about this and this is true.  I am slightly more biased about people learning ASL because there are people in my family who are deaf and hard of hearing.  Now, I am not in any way fluent in ASL, but I am learning little by little so that I will be able to communicate with these family members.

Again, I just feel that we should make the requirements more focused on learning a language to communicate with those who can’t learn these various foreign languages.

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7 Things I’ve Learned From College

As a fifth year college student, or super senior, I’ve learned plenty of things, and guess what? They’re not really anything I’ve learned in my classes. Most of what I’ve learned during my time in college has to do with tips that I can use to help my younger friends and cousins (and readers) as they start heading into college. Though some of those I can apply to my life after college as well.

Now, I’m not the average college student who went straight to a four-year school and lived there, or even a two-year school then transferred and lived at a four-year school. Nope, I went from going to school at a community college for a year-and-a-half to a year at online university where I received my Associate’s Degree, then after a ten-month hiatus I transferred into a four-year school that I commute to everyday for classes.

Since I have never lived on a college campus, there is no actual way for me to give you tips about the dorm life, but I feel that if you are a resident student or are going to be one you can at learn from what I do have to say about my college experience.

 

1. Studying at Home is Impossible

This one is a biggie! This is also something I’ve learned the hard way, but in reality I should’ve known from the start that trying to study at home was a terrible idea. Why? I’ll tell you why. Home is home; home is where we relax after a stressful day of classes or work (or both). We have TV, food, video games, our beds, more food… need I go on?

With all these distractions it is entirely impossible to study. Plus there is the fact that I could also find just about anything to do rather than study including dishes, laundry, cleaning out the litter box, etc. So how did I ever get any work done? Simple. I went to the library.

Classic, right?

Seriously though, a nice quiet place without all those distractions is exactly what I need to get my studying done. As of now I use my school’s library to get away and do my work and when I was an online student I went to my town’s public library; it wasn’t as quiet, but I still got a lot of work done.

2. Listen to Classical Music When Studying

If you want to, then do it. I only recently started doing this, but I found that it is actually quite relaxing. We’ve all heard that there have been studies about students listening to classical music while studying and how it supposedly enhances learning and memory. I don’t know how reliable these studies are, as I haven’t actually looked much into it, but I like it and some of my friends do as well. However, some people cannot listen to anything while they are studying because it can be distracting, which I completely understand since everyone is different and therefore have different studying habits.

So for listening to classical music a lot of people use Pandora, which I used to use, but the ads can be distracting. I currently use iHeartRadio since there are no ads to break the music flow.

3. Reading Assignments Are Not Always Necessary

I know this sounds really bad to not do reading assignments, but the truth is, it’s not always needed. For the most part, professors will give students all they need to know for exams in the lecture notes and/or PowerPoint presentations. In fact, one of my current professors stated in the syllabus that all exams are based on the PowerPoint’s and lectures only (which really bites since I did buy the book). From experience though, most professors will say that students “need” to do the reading, but again, I say it depends. If the professor is one of those professors that uses information from the side notes that no one ever reads for exams, then yes, I’ll read the book. Otherwise, I just get through the first few weeks and see if the reading really is necessary or not. If you don’t believe me, in the last year I have taken two classes where my professors said the reading was required and without reading past the first chapter of each text, I pulled off A’s in both classes based on the notes I took in class (Not that I’m bragging. Really, I’m not.)

4. Always Back Up Files. Always.

I cannot stress how important this is. Of course, I did know this going into college, but backing up files is even more important in college. Trust me, it is terrible to lose everything on your computer because you didn’t back up your files. Between 2009 and 2013 my white MacBook crashed twice and everything got wiped out. Luckily, only a few files were gone forever and thankfully they weren’t anything important.

So for backing up my files, I tend to just use flash drives. I have a ton of flash drives that are full of video projects, my best papers and my best stories. I literally just downloaded DropBox the other day to back up my files as well (and also to have my files accessible if I forget my flash drives).

5. Make Connections With Professors

It took me until after I had begun working my Bachelor’s Degree to learn this, but if I’ve learned anything at all from college, it’s to make networking connections with professors in your major. I have one major connection with my advisor, who I have also had for a few COMM courses, and it has gotten me the job I have right now working in my school’s media center.

The production supervisor was looking for Communication students for two open spots in the media center and my professor gave him my name and he contacted me via email, we set up an interview and I was hired right away. I could not be happier with this job and the people I work with and the experience I’m getting working in a production studio environment and getting to edit shows throughout the semester. I have my advisor to thank since she referred me for the job. Networking is important!

6. Take Good Notes

This pretty much connects to the whole reading part. If the notes aren’t good, then there’s nothing to study for the test.

What do I mean by ‘good notes?’ Well, two things. One, they have to make sense, so when you go back to them you know what the notes mean, and two, handwriting. I never had too much trouble making sense of my notes so it’s mostly been the handwriting I’ve had trouble with. I swear, I am one of the only girls on this planet with handwriting worse than a doctor’s. Thankfully, the solution is simple: take notes on my laptop (if the professor allows it). If not, then I just do the best I can to make my writing legible.

i.e. my handwritten psychology notes vs. typed

i.e. my handwritten psychology notes vs. typed

7. Don’t Sweat the Small Things

This has always been an area I’ve had trouble with. In the past I’d freak out over the smallest things and sometimes I still do if I’m having a not-so-great day. Last semester, for example, I was convinced I was going to fail my film production class because I was having trouble and getting frustrated with trying to come up with a film idea, so I was certain I was going to fail. I remember talking to my advisor and worrying that I’d have to drop the class so my GPA wouldn’t be affected and set back my graduation date. Needless to say, that worrying was for nothing because by the grace of God I got an A- in that class so my freaking out was for nothing. I’ve learned from plenty of experiences similar to this one that it’s not worth it to get upset over one bad project, paper or test.

So those are seven of the most important things that I’ve learned in college outside of the classroom. Some of those probably will not help me too much in the future, but not worrying about small things and networking are definitely ones I can bring into my near-future as I set my sights on graduating and starting a career in a field I love.

There are probably a lot more I could’ve mentioned, but I felt like these were the most important ones to talk about. So I hope by sharing what I’ve learned in my college experience can help anyone who is in college or going into college and comes across my blog. Even if you’re not in college maybe some of these can apply to you in your professional life, which would be awesome if it does.

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Welcome to the Brand New Blog!

Yes, after much thought and planning I have revamped the orangeowldiaries for its 2nd birthday!

You may have noticed a few changes on here.  First of all, I’m happy to announce that the blog’s domain is now orangeowldiaries.com rather than with the .wordpress.com extension.  Let’s face it, that part is always a pain.  Secondly, if you have been a follower of my blog you may have noticed that all my past posts are gone.  This is for the simple reason that I want to put more focus on actual topics on this blog now instead of just me writing,

“Yeah, so my day is going good.  I got an A on the test I thought I was going to fail.  In other news, people who text and walk annoy me because they get in my way.”

Yeah, that’s not going to be happening anymore.  If you want posts like that, just follow me on Twitter (@tabbyisnotacat) because let’s face it, those were more for Twitter, not my blog.

Now you might be wondering, “Why did you delete all your posts?  Some of those were really freaking good!”  Okay, you might not say it exactly like that, but I was getting to that my friends.  If you take a look at my navigation bar, you’ll see a page named ‘Archived Posts’ and that is where I dumped a few of my better posts from the past two years.  There weren’t too many that I picked out to go there.  I was very picky for that part of the process.

Also, there’s a new layout.  If you didn’t notice that part, then you’re blind… or new here.  I thought that process would take me a terribly long time since I’m actually very picky with my themes; I have been ever since I started blogging back in 2010.  I didn’t think this time would be very different, but I was wrong.  I think it was maybe the second theme I looked at and I was just like, “Ooh, I like that,” and I made it my theme and customized it just a little.

With that said, I should tell you what I’ll be writing about since I mentioned my posts would be about ‘real’ topics.  So assuming you haven’t read the ‘About the Orange Owl’ or the ‘About the Diaries’ pages, I’m going to tell you just that.  Basically, what I’m planning to write on this blog are a plethora of topics ranging from my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned from them, opinions on popular and controversial topics, reviews of books/movies/etc. and I’ll probably share some of my photography and video projects on here.

So that’s pretty much what the ‘new’ orangeowldiaries is all about.  I hope you will enjoy this blog as I know I will enjoy writing as much as I always have.

Once again, happy 2nd birthday orangeowldiaries!

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Meeting a Celebrity, or Two

It’s Throwback Thursday on Instagram, so why not have a Throwback Thursday blog post as well?

So earlier this summer I got to go to the first ever Hartford Comic Con. Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with Comic Cons, they are pop-culture and comic book conventions where you can buy artwork, merchandise, meet celebrities and take part in cosplay and costume contests. This was something I never thought I’d see myself at, but the day before it started my coworker texted me and asked if I’d be interested in going because they had an extra press pass.

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Brando and I at HCC ’14

So I went and because the three of us had press passes we got in for free. We also got special access to interview some interesting people there and film for one of the shows we produce. One of the celebrities we got to interview was Kyla Kennedy from The Walking Dead, so my coworkers were very excited to get to talk to her. I will admit I had no idea who she was because I have never watched the show. However, there was one celebrity there who I did know and had seen in numerous TV shows – Brando Eaton (Zoey 101, Dexter).

My autographed picture from Brando!

My autographed picture from Brando!

I had looked up the Hartford Comic Con information the day before and saw that he was going to be there and that’s when I got really excited to go. I waited until nearly the end of the first day to finally get to meet him and get his autograph and a picture with him. We also got to interview him for our show on the second day of the convention.

You know how people are always saying that celebrities are just regular people? Well, they are. Brando is such a nice guy and was even giving out hugs to people just because he wanted to. When we covered his panel on the second day of the event he was goofing off before it got started and cracking jokes with the people in the audience. On that note, Kyla Kennedy was a very sweet, well-spoken girl for her age. It was refreshing to see an eleven year old who actually had manners!

So even though I really only got to talk to Brando and Kyla for a few minutes, it was something I’ll never forget.

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