Three evenings a week, I work as a “Lehigh Liner” as a part time job. Basically a liner is a telemarketer but instead of trying to sell stuff over the phone, we ask for donations to Lehigh and various organizations existing at Lehigh. We focus our efforts on alumni and parents of students. Most nights, I am lucky to have three or four worthwhile conversations, the rest are no answers, not available, or hang up before we have time to talk.
As a student, I enjoy calling alumni because I like to hear what kind of success people have gotten after attending Lehigh and any stories/ advice they have about Lehigh. Unfortunately, oftentimes people are incredibly rude over the phone and really make us feel bad for calling them. I understand that some people have no desire to donate to Lehigh (which is fine), but I still appreciate a good conversation or politeness when declining to speak with me.
Because I now make calls to strangers, I have a newfound respect for others that do it as well. Rather than being rude to them, I will now politely decline their offer or at least listen to what they have to say. I think it is important we all try to do this. It’s important to understand people make these calls because it is their job. They aren’t doing it because they want to annoy you and waste time. Making phone calls is a job for a lot of people and we should try and respect that they are working hard and working legally to make money. So instead of being rude to them, just let them say their spiel and be respectful.
Whenever I speak with my dad on the phone, he likes to remind how proud he is of my sister and I for going to college and taking it seriously. He loves to make it known how important our education is to him so it will be important to us as well. He cites himself as an example because, like many others, he messed around in college and dropped out due to a variety of reasons. Thankfully, he has been successful nonetheless and developed a great career without a college degree.
The point I try to make to him and everyone else out there is its never too late to pursue your goals. He constantly regrets not finishing school but there is still ample opportunity for him to get a degree. Taking one or two classes at a community college or online classes around his schedule could slowly but surely push him towards a college degree. Of course when I tell him this, he brushes it off because life, work, kids and thousands of other priorities make it hard to find time for school.
With that being said, there are always a million reasons not to do something. It is easier to come up with reasons to stop yourself than it is to motivate yourself. If going back to school is something he really wants to do, it can happen if he makes it a priority.
People often state that life is full of regrets. In some cases that may be true but often times, we can go back and right our wrongs and fix bad decisions. Living a life we are proud of can be a daunting thought but once you are in a place where your happy, it makes all worth it. If your not currently proud of your situation or choices, I hope you have the courage to do whatever it takes to get to a point where you can feel accomplished.
Today my post has nothing to do with my education but it is one of the craziest experiences I have had in recent memory. Here goes…
It’s about 3:00 in the afternoon. I am walking from my job at the financial services lab up to another useless meeting with the counseling center because… well i have no good reason but the meeting are required for all first semester students. As i am walking up the hill, I am doing my usual routine; listening to music and keeping to myself. As I make my way up the sidewalk, I look up from my phone and notice a bird walking around in the path infant of me. ***WARNING the next part of the story may be sensitive to some people.***
So I get the bright idea to wind up and pretend like I’m going to punt the bird into oblivion. I fully expect the bird will fly away well before my foot gets even close to it so really I am expecting to just kick the air. Anyways, I line myself up as if I am in a game of kickball and about to kick a home run with the bases loaded. I start towards the bird and as I approach it I wind my foot back. All of the sudden…
“THWACK!” I kick this bird right in its side and launch it into the sky. I must have kicked that bird better than I have kicked anything in my life. Had it not been able to fly, It still may have gone the same height. That’s how powerful this kick was. I Kicked a bird as if it was a playground ball at recess.
After the incident, I stood in complete shock. I couldn’t comprehend what had just occurred. I looked around and another guy, maybe a year or two older, had seen it as well. We made eye contact just to confirm what had happened was a real thing not some sort of delusion. Of course by the look in his eyes, and the look on mine, I could tell we were both in the same “bird-kicking” reality.
After I had a chance to calm myself down and reflect, I am still in shock. I feel awful for the poor bird and have no good reason why this occurred. Is it my fault for trying to kick a bird I assumed would fly away? Or is it the birds fault for being too blind to know I was getting ready to kick him? I don’t know the answer, I’m not sure I ever will. I can say this experience changed me, but I am not sure how just yet. I did learn one thing though, I will never try to kick a bird again because there is a small chance that bird wont get out of the way and I don’t want to be known as the “guy” who kicks birds.
This post is my apology to the bird, I am sorry I kicked you.
Too often I see people write negative reviews of companies on yelp and social networking sights. I think its fine to express a negative experience you had at a business and make it known you were unhappy. With that being said, it is just as important to write positive reviews that applaud companies for doing things right.
It is so easy to have a nice experience and not write about it because it has no emotional connection. It experience that angers you will drive you to express those negative feelings. We should try to express our positive experiences just as often. Many small businesses struggle to make a profit and can’t make themselves known to a large population. By writing nice reviews, we can help these businesses gain footing and advance.
I challenge you to right a nice review any time you have a pleasant experience with a company. It will make you feel good as well as give the business a positive advertising. By writing nice reviews, we can encourage businesses to focus on customer service and customer experience rather than just on profit. If a company knows that you will praise them for a good experience, they will do whatever they can to ensure you have that positive interaction.
Society often gets caught up in the bad parts of life, we need to shift or attention to the good moments. By rewarding these good experiences we can make more of them happen.
As an 18 year old at a party school like Lehigh University, i would be in the majority in I went to frat parties 4 times a week and came home drunk at 2 am on the weekends. Vomiting in toilets and waking up with a hangover is the norm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Most students at Lehigh participate in these activities and are proud of Lehigh’s reputation as a party school.
I am not sure why but i guess I skipped the age where i desire to get “fucked up” and wake up sick with a lack of memory of anything that happened in the last 10 hours. I feel and act way more mature than my age, I love routine and look forward to the simple enjoyments in my life. I don’t know if it is good or bad that I skipped this age of experimenting with drugs. I have no desire to do any of this but I feel my reasoning is pretty valid.
First and foremost; the cost. Alcohol and weed are expensive items that can really put a dent in your bank account. I don’t think i need to be under the influence to have fun or enjoy myself. Why would I spend money on thee items when all they do is cause bad decisions/ lack of productivity. I would rather pay for things that benefit me rather than harm me.
Next, my health is important priority in my life. I enjoy working out and eating healthy. The effects of drugs and alcohol are not good for the body. I don’t feel the need/ desire to put things in my body that are detrimental to my health. I give a lot of hard work and effort to stay in good shape and would hate to negate the benefits of good health with drugs.
Going off of that point, my family has a long history of alcohol/ drug abuse. As recently as my grandparents and all the way back to generations before that. my relatives have ruined their lives by getting too reliant on these substances. I have also seen two of my best friends have their families crumble due to a parent that abuses drugs. I have witnessed drugs destroy families and know that my family has a history of addiction. These two things really reinforce my decision not to use substances.
I listed out a number of reasons why I don’t use these items and can’t think of a single good reason why I should. Honestly I don’t think it really effects my relationships all that much. The most i have been pressured to drink is by my father who says. “It is good to go out every once in a while and have a beer with your buddies.” I really don’t think any one else cares about my choice to stay sober or cares if I don’t have a beer when we go out.
Really I have no desire to use either right now. Who knows, maybe I will change my mind in the future. Only time will tell. As f now, I’m happy with my choices and don’t see anything wrong with them .
Is listening the same thing as hearing? When we engage in conversation with someone else, we can either hear the words they are say or we can listen to what they have to say. At the surface, hearing and listening seem like interchangeable terms. One cannot go with out the other yet somehow, listening is so much more useful than hearing.
When you hear someone, you are simply sensing that they are saying something. Hearing is possible without really knowing what a person is saying. When this occurs, you really don’t gain anything from the experience. Hearing is something we are born with the ability to do.
Listening, is a much deeper experience. When listening to someone, our minds are engaged in the interaction. We hear them but listening takes it a step further. We hear with an intent to understand and engage is meaningful dialogue. Listening is a valuable skill that is often overlooked. Many people lack the ability to listen because they think what they have to say is more important.
Real listening results in all parties being left better off. They exchange information, and learn from each other. In many conversations, I often observe that one or both parties are not listening to each other. Every one just wants to state his or her own point without scaring about the others. People are so involved in their own conversation, they forget other people may have things to say that are just as important.
It really makes a difference when we choose to listen rather than hear. In my college lectures its important i listen to my professors so I understand the material rather than just hear what they are saying. In life this skill is just as (if not more) just a valuable as it is for college. We cannot expect to learn and grow as a community if we aren’t willing to listen to each other and have meaningful conversations.
So todays post is also about technology and semi-related to yesterdays blog. The technology posts have been inspired by a pbs documentary about the digital age.
Growing up I was never allowed to play rated M video games or games involving guns. My parents believed that playing with fake weapons would lead me to view the dangers of real weapons will less significance. Playing with toy guns would supposedly lead me to playing with real guns and not understand their dangers.
I understand why they thought this. That generation has created the idea that kids cannot distinguish between one world (reality) and another (digital world). Through technology, we will blend what is seen on screen with reality and not understand the differences. Because adults grew up without technological immersion, they believe that growing up with it can result in negative consequences.
I have to say, I reject this idea and think it is completely misguided. I think because my generation grew up both in the real world and the digital one, we are able to easily transition between the two. We can play a game like “Call of Duty” or “Halo” and then turn it off and enter back into reality. I don’t think playing those games made me any more likely to play with real guns in the same way I would in a video game.
Adults have trouble understanding that children can jump from digital to real-life with out a problem. They grew up not having the access to two worlds so it is hard to understand what that is like for a child.
It is easy to blame all these shootings and hate crimes on video games and movies. I think placing the blame on them is the easy answer. Some people in our society have serious mental issues. So yes, maybe those people have trouble separating what is real and what is fake but children with healthy minds can easily distinguish these two worlds. Previous generation grew up with out video games yet these same shootings happened. How can we know for sure is there is a direct link between violent video games and real-world violence when we are the first generation to have both?
I don’t blame adults for being skeptical of these games, but i think it is a premature to say these games are the root-of-all-evil that exist is society.