Category Archives: Homework

Hello, stranger!

When I was given an assignment to go out and meet someone to interview, I was immediately turned off. Not because I’m not interested in meeting people or hearing their stories, but mainly because I’ve been in a bit of a funk trying not to bite people’s head off mid-conversation–in general lately. I knew what kind of story I wanted to hear, one that compares to mine in the same respect, and I fell onto the grand idea of where I could meet someone with a similar tale: a Narcotics Anonymous meeting!

There were tons of stories I could tell sitting in that room, and it honestly would not have been hard to just sit in a circle and snap a picture of some poor unknowingly soul; however, as a fellow member I know that would defy half of the purpose as purposed in the title – Anonymous. I found a guy who had that story, he did not want me to use his real name so we will call him Tom. He was covered in tattoos, said ‘like’ every other word when he spoke and wore west coast gear. He agreed to be a part of this interview, without even asking what it was for. West coast attitude.

He began his story by telling me how he recently lost his mother back in early September to four consecutive and unexpected heart attacks. He was living in Southern California at the time and flew to Phoenix, Arizona as soon as he found out. She survived a couple of days, only to be lost on Friday September 6, 2014. That in itself would have been enough of a good story to write about, but I could tell he did not want to go further so he quickly changed the subject and began to retrace his steps though his life.

He brought up how his father had an extremely successful car dealership chain, and his mom was a nurse. He grew up wealthy to the point of having a BMW by the age of 16 and had a full-fledged drug addiction already firmly in place. He began distributing mass quantities of cocaine by the age of 17, and he quickly was caught up in a life of crime. His favorite thing to do though was to trip on psychedelics mainly acid, mushrooms ecstasy and ketamine. He said he went between all straight for “at least a year.” In 2009, he was arrested after an altercation and was charged with attempted aggravated assault and attempted assault with a deadly weapon and he spent collectively 8 months in county jail and two years on probation.

The most fascinating tale he told was one from November 2012. Tom was severely injured when his brother Ben was going 100 miles an hour in a residential designated for vehicles going 30 miles per hour zone and barreled and flipped upside down into a house. Ben broke his neck, luckily without severing his spinal cord, but Tom got the worst of it. He recalls trying to get up once the police arrived, but quickly realized that he his foot was “attached to my knee.” He made a point of adding “my pants slipped down and it was, like, the one of the only times I wasn’t wearing underwear.”  We laughed at the memory together, and he nonchalantly switched and added how the worst pain he ever felt was when the paramedics set the bones back in place. He kicked a paramedic in the face.

Once at the hospital, he was told he had punctured he broke his back and punctured his lung. Surprisingly, he only spent a week in the hospital after the accident and ordered to bed rest and crutches until he could get a proper surgery on his leg.

“Long story short, I got a metal rod instead of a shin, and an ankle plate from my ankle to my foot.” Originally it took over two months for him to place pressure on his injured leg and 5 to walk from his bed to the bathroom without a walking aid. It took nearly two years after the first surgery, until he developed sever infection caused by the foreign objects and was faced with the real possibility of having to amputate his entire leg. In his last surgery, doctors went in and removed a screw and ever since he has able to walk long distances without any assistance.


When I meet new people and hear their stories, I am concerned that they won’t be honest with me. I tried calling bullshit at several points and he whipped out his computer and showed me a news video where the newscaster actually said his full [real] name. We got a long so great we actually exchanged numbers and are friends on Facebook. It’s nice to meet someone else that has also had a near death experience because neither of us have met one before. So I really am glad I actually went out of my way to meet someone new. I picked good.

Gas prices in America

When things don’t go the way people like them to, we always look for someone to blame. When it comes to gas prices, everyone is is quick to blame the current President especially if he isn’t a member of your political party. Fact of the matter is: President Obama has nothing to do with the price of our gas.

Most of the gas we consume here in America is shipped from over seas.  Just like any other commodity, we are slaves to the ones that control the product. Since we aren’t producing enough of our own oil, we are at the mercy of these other countries.

Just like anything, it’s about supply and demand. If we use more gasoline that what is available, it will cost more. A lot of our oil and natural gas is dependent on the Middle East, which as we have known for decades has been very preoccupied with war.


Read more if you still believe Obama, Bush or Clinton had any effect on the gas prices good or bad: HERE, HERE or HERE.

IMSSO project: Japanese students

For this project, we interviewed to look into several Japanese students who are part of the international and multicultural program (IMSSO) here at Arkansas Tech University. Over the course of our interview, we asked questions to understand the student’s reasoning behind how they decided to choose Arkansas Tech as their school of choice among the sea of other colleges and universities in America. We were pleased to discover several interesting reasons why they did chose Tech. We narrowed our interviewed to four Japanese students. We got Azumi Koyama, Yosuke Kitakaze, Ai Ozeki, and Kana Miyamoto all to agree to our interview. Our interviewees had their own different personalities and perspectives of Arkansas Tech University and living in America.

Our inspiration for this project was our very own Azumi Koyama. We were so interested in her decision to come here, of all places! This freshman is from the state of Kanagawa, and her favorite American food here is French fries. Yosuke Kitakaze is an international student who is from the state of Osaka. Also a freshman at Tech, his interests are inspirational and unlike most American college students, he enjoys the quiet Arkansas environment for his studying and loves learning the new things America has to teach. Ai Ozeki is a transfer student who is a sophomore this year at Arkansas Tech University. Her interests included timeless trips to Walmart Supercenter, which interestingly Japan doesn’t have-go figure! Kana is the nature loving freshman who came here as part of her Japanese school exchange program, very similar to Azumi’s story.

Screenshot 2015-02-18 12.03.44

First we wanted to talk about the reasons that they chose Arkansas Tech University. Yosuke had another reason on choosing Tech. His main concern was tuition, which ATU has a low tuition compared to other American schools and in combination with his second most desire, a quiet place to make the most of this excellent opportunity for Yosiuke. A common theme among all our IMSSO students was their desire to study, Kana also wanted to have her focus on her schoolwork, and living in the quiet country helps her achieve that. Arkansas Tech University is unique in offering an international scholarship, and the students also love that there is a Japanese advisor, Yasushi Onodera which helps the students be able to relate to someone in authority here at Tech. Like many stereotypical judgments set upon America, Ai was lead to believe that the United States were a lot more dangerous than what she came to realize Arkansas actually was. She was pleasantly surprised that Russellville was quite different than media had led her to believe.

The friendships that Arkansas Tech offers is another thing that all Tech students enjoy about Tech and our interviewees are no different. Each student agreed mentioned that they enjoy the friendships they have made so far with the Americans as they describe us as “friendly”.  They enjoy what we American’s value the most: Freedom of Speech. They like that we can be outgoing by asking questions and are able to engage in class  discussions and we can help a complete stranger without being criticized.  We have enjoyed their company and learning about their culture as well. Life in Japan was so much different than their life here in America.

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Azumi adores how whenever she has any problems, she knows she can always go to her friends for any advice or help. The other students all agreed to that and said that there is a good vibe at Arkansas Tech, and they are glad they chose to come here.

Regardless of what we ask, the students all want to say that the environment that Arkansas Tech University offers is perfect for studying! It is not hectic enough for them to not get things done, but at the same time that it is not so uneventful that it is not fun. That’s what we like to hear about ATU! It has got to be just the right amount of everything, not too little and not too much. After all, school and the experience was why they wanted to attend school in another country, which is very admirable to leave everything behind to venture into the unknown.

Screenshot 2015-02-18 12.03.30

At Arkansas Tech University today, there are 457 international students enrolled. These students all range from thirty-two different countries. The majority of students come from either Saudi Arabia (210) or China (120). The rest being from Nepal (10), India (33), or Japan (16). As you can see, there are not many Japanese students compared to other countries part of IMSSO program. They not only have learned a lot from the American culture, but we have learned quite a bit from them as well. We can’t wait to welcome future exchange and transfer students to Arkansas Tech University!

Arkansas Tech University 2014-15 Golden Suns’ Women’s Basketball Season

Arkansas Tech’s 2014-2015 Women’s Basketball team is sure looking to make a good run this year in the conference, and in the statistics! Our girls have an overall combined 11 NCAA championships, four elite 8’s, 16 All-Americans, 29 conference championships and was a NCAA national runner-up. Currently the Sun’s stand tall with a 16-3 record, the team is looking to put themselves on the map. Unfortunately, the women have not been on able to keep up their impressive streak, but that does not discredit their admirable 10 home game winnings in a row!

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The Golden Suns’ basketball team has shown that they have what it takes and why they deserve to be one of the top teams in the conference especially when you look at the overall comradery and statistics. So far this season, the team has outscored their opponents by 300 points. They have outscored their opponents by 15.4 points per game (PPG). They also have left an impressionable mark in the in the season stats with the Golden Suns having crushed their opponents in overall rebounds and steals.

Golden Suns' star player statistics
Golden Suns’ star player statistics

One of the player that stands out with their individual team-leading statistics. Fatima Adams, from Bryan, Texas is a Junior Forward has showcased her potential every game. Last season she played for Blinn College and played a total of 32 games for the Buccaneers. She led the team in PPG with 23.0, and as well as field-goals made with 53.3%. This season alone, she has been leading the Golden Suns in points per game, field goals per game, rebounds, and free throws. She is proving to have what it takes to play college basketball, and Tech is very lucky to have her playing as a Golden Sun.

Adams has a strong presence on the court, but that is not to outshine the rest of the Golden Suns’ and their other star players, Katrina Hayden and Anissa Pounds. Hayden leads the Golden Suns steals and assists per game. She displays a pivotal strength in both offense and defense every time she enters the court. Anissa Pounds has demonstrated she is also a strong force to reckoned with her undeniable basketball skills that qualifies her to have a covenant spot in the Golden Suns’ lineup. She leads the team in 3 points per game and in overall minutes of possession per game.

The Suns’ not only have each other to thank for their ‘golden season’, but a lot of their success can be attributed to current head coach, Dave Wilbers. Before Tech, Coach Wilbers started off as an assistant coach before graduating to head coach and in multiple Oklahoma high school girls’ volleyball, softball and basketball teams.

Dave Wilbers
Dave Wilbers

He moved up in his rank by the mid-90s as an assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator for his home states of Kansas’ Lady Tigers. This is where he began to gain notoriety in order to obtain a position at Oral Roberts University, which was a NCAA Division I school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There, Wilbers was responsible for recruiting three straight classes that helped the Golden Eagles win two Mid-Con Tournament championships, two Mid-Con regular season titles and earn two berths in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

With his resume reading so promising, the Tech family snatched him up for their 2007-2008 season. Coach Wilber has had an admirable record with the Suns’ standing tall with 184-50 statistical standing with Tech and has guided the Suns’ to several championship tournaments including NCAA II Division Championships and a also procured a spot in Gulf South Conference and just in his very first season at Tech. He has helped three Arkansas Tech Golden Suns alumnus gain covenant titles in the All-Americans honors: Amanda Grappe (‘07-‘08, ’08-’09), Jenny Viking (‘09-‘10) and Natalia Santos (‘10-‘11). He also has been ranked two times under the title of USA Today/ESPN Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll.


Arkansas Tech’s Golden Suns have been showing a lot of promise with their combined skills for the rest of their 2014-2015 season. Their faithful fans are sure to witness many more great plays and even more impressive skills at the coming games. It is exciting to see the capacity for greatness coming from the Suns, and to see each women play as an integral part of the Sun’s future. Hopefully the team can add another Conference Championship title this year and put the Golden Suns officially on the map as one of the top division 2 women’s basketball teams in the nation.

Be sure to check out the Golden Sun’s take on the Southwestern Oklahoma Bulldogs on Febuary 5th in Weatherford, Oklahoma at 5:30 PM. Fight on!

7 Canons of Journalism

An honorable journalist follows the 7 canons of journalism. The list demands: responsibility, freedom of press, independence, sincerity and truthfulness and accuracy, impartiality, and fair play and finally decency. Canons of Journalism and Statement of Principles were issued by the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1923 to help restore journalism’s tainted reputation after the yellow era. This was when yellow journalism was on the forefront in the journalism community and public.

Journalist “have a responsibility to these kids!” I feel like it is a quote from a film because I can actually hear it in my head, but I have no idea at this point. Either way, journalist have a lot of responsibility to the public’s welfare. You want your followers to be informed of the current issues occurring in our world, and you are supposed to make a positive impact on people. You achieve this by only reporting stories that everyone can benefit from.

Freedom of the press is an impressive canon, it is actually protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment which, of course, is freedom of speech. The Bill of Rights reads, “Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech or of press.” This allows journalists to collect, print, and distribute information without the fear of any type of censorship. This should be taken with responsibility and should be in the best interest of the people to insure the truth is being brought to light.

Independence. This canon is exactly like it sounds. Journalists must to separate themselves from other responsibilities associated with anything other than their responsibility to provide information that informs and protects the public. This means you will not be influenced by politicians and advertisers as well as your sources. You must not let any of these convince or bribe you in attempt to sway you away from reporting the truth. It is a true test of character; if you can do the right thing in the face of money or fame, for lack of a better term.

Sincerity, truthfulness and accuracy, is the fourth canon, which I feel is the most important. With accurate information it is easier to write the truth. There is nothing worse than reporting a false story that tarnishes the integrity of yourself and the story you are attempting to tell. If you are found to have embellished or even falsified a story from either not doing enough research or not checking if your sources are accurate, it could really bite your career in the ass. Sincerity, I have assurance in, is just really believing in what you are reporting. Having a passion for something also makes it easier to be truthful, when you really believe in a particular story and want action, you are driven by that passion to give an accurate and trusting story.

Impartiality, the fifth is probably one I struggle with. This cannon means you are reporting on stories without bias or your own personal opinions. I am really opinionated, and even though I know I can be wrong, and it is always in my best interest to hear the other side, I end up being stuck in my own beliefs. My parents always told me I would make a good lawyer, because when I feel strongly about something, I will not stop until you do too. This canon can be disregarded though if your articles or a specific article is based on your opinion. You must be extra careful not to translate your views into your articles.

When a journalist is writing or reporting on a story, (s)he needs to take into account the opposing view and be sure to include these points as well. This helps to eliminate bias and swaying masses to a certain view point. This is referred to as fair play. If a person is accused of a particular crime and a journalist essentially does not include his or her lack of trial and conviction, should not say they committed it. If you turn it into a game, you have to allow your opposite view a chance to play, otherwise it would not be fair. The public should be informed accurately of both sides of an issue to form their own opinion.

The final canon of journalism is decency. This refers to not reporting the unsavory, disturbing or crude details of particular crime in order to spare your readers or viewers from being terribly troubled. Journalist can report the general story, but going into details of a particular crime really could leave a salty taste in reader’s mouth which would turn off the reader or viewer from still being a follower of the program or newspaper.

If you noticed a lot of the canons really do tie together, they are all connected. You must remember all the 7 canons of journalism if you want to become a fine, respected journalist, and must NEVER forget how important and vital every canon is individually and also as a whole.


I hadn’t looked at the musical shows that are going to be in Little Rock recently, mainly because I’ve had bad luck finding artists I genuinely enjoy coming to Arkansas. But!! I finally found two!!

I was so excited I NEARLY cried. Two hip hop shows within nine days of each other. I am so excited. Atmosphere, or the emcee Slug,  is not only one of my ALL TIME favorite hip  hop artists, but I’ve met him about three times in my life. He’s really intelligent and compassionate, and he grew to recognize me. It was depressing when I saw him last; I was using a walker, and the look he gave me really cut deep. I hope I can see him again, and he not only be surprised how far I have came in recovery, but be surprised to see me in Arkansas.

Me, Slug, Sara


I’ve seen Yelawolf with Hopsin once in New Mexico last year when I visited for my birthday. I didn’t meet him, but I reckon he’s going to have a pretty filled concert considering he’s from the South. Anyway, each show is 20 dollars, while Yela is October 28 and Atmosphere is November 6. So you can bet you will see me at Juanita’s in Little Rock those days.

Yay, Namaste!!


Burn sex cells

The only thing I love more than music is my family (obviously includes my cat) . I don’t think I could get through life’s difficult times without either. I actually made a mix tape that I dubbed, “The Soundtrack of My Life.” It has everything from MGK, Jedi Mind Tricks, Sublime, Angel Haze, Metallica, The Beatles, Tech N9ne and many, many more. Just a good songs that marks an event in my life that had a profound impact. Not just the flavor of the week, that I will get bored within a week of.

I try to remain objective and not judge ANYTHING by what other say, mostly because they  probably have no idea what they are talking about. I heard a lot of media attention surrounding Nicki Minaj with her latest single, Anaconda, and its provocativeness. I actually used to be a huge Nicki Minaj fan after my best friend exposed me to her mix tape, back when she was a rapper. She had some good bars, and I didn’t project such a “fake” image as I feel she does now.

I finally watched her video, and I am still literally flabbergasted BET has picked her to represent them as the has best female rapper the past what? 5 years?

I don’t what I need to defend more. Rap? First of all she is NOT rap. She is talking pop. Synthesized vocals over mediocre beats with no substance in the words.  Hardly should be considered the good let alone the BEST. Or maybe I need defend women.  I find it despicable that they would show her eating a banana and getting whip cream all over her mouth and titties.  Exploited women isn’t anything new unfortunately. So we will just leave that for another time.

I’m actually really pissed she could display such a lack of class and people still want to see her ass. Agh;aiuh gaih;yizoujyhio

Breath. 1…2…3…

Until next time.

fake nails, bleh

After high school, I acquired my first real job, and I made more than expected for a 17 year old; I decided I really wanted acrylic nails.  My nails were above average, but I was envious of the other girls nails, long and always perfect. I was blessed with beautiful nails. I say this because I am lucky. My nails grow long, healthy and most importantly thick, even without the use of special nail treatments or hardeners.  I got the acrylics anyway.

After a day or two, my cuticles started to swell, itch and began to omit a clear liquid. My obvious conclusion was I was suffering from an allergic reaction. I wanted it so desperately for it not to be true; I tried solar nails, gel nails and although it was not acrylic; I had similar reactions. I started to ask for different glues, I tried convincing myself that it was something they were doing. They weren’t doing it right, their shops weren’t clean enough. Then I finally accepted my fate to live with beautiful, natural nails. Oh, I was cursed!!

That was 7-8 years ago, and AGAIN I’ve moved to a drastically different weather norm and thought, “No!! It was because New Mexico dried out my cuticles!!” So I got them done last month. Perfectly fine. No adverse affects, then I got them filled in,and I don’t know if it is age or what, but it was/is extremely more painful this go around. I thought my acrylics were giving my fingers warts. They are so painful.

My best friend, Google, came to the rescue, and low and behold, it’s a form of eczema. Pompholyx or Dyshidrosis eczema to be exact.  I refuse to get them removed, because I suffered a whole weekend and to give up now and let that be for nothing is not what I’m about. Self diagnosed dyshidrosis, of course. I just hate when I’m told not to do something. I guess that’s why I can’t wear acrylic gauges either.  Life is so cruel. 😉

Listen to your bodies guys, namaste.

Happy Birthday, Christine! I love you!

This morning I awoke, started my usual routine, because as always routine is important. I threw on some music, made my coffee and cleaned the kitchen. Then, the strangest thing happened, I started to cry.

“It’s hard to stay mad when there is so much beauty in the world. Sometimes, I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and my heart feels up like a balloon that’s about to burst.”

-Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham in American Beauty

That’s one of my favorite quotes. It defines me perfectly. I don’t remember the last time I cried about a feeling that reflected my inner turmoil. I learned a long time ago, if you don’t like it, change it. No use crying over spilled milk.

My tears are saved for others, and those pitiful Sarah Mclachlan commercials, of course.  Ellen DeGeneres’ name should be Ellen Generous because she does so many great things for people. I can’t make it through any of her shows without crying. Random factoid. I welcome feel good tears though because it gives me hope that goodness still exists in our decaying world.

Anyway, it is out of character for me to burst into tears, and I know it’s because I miss home, but most importantly, I miss my friends. Yes, I’ve lived here over a year, and I still call Albuquerque home. This is probably due to the fact that I have yet to make a single friend in Arkansas. Home is where heart is, is how the saying goes.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I have to spend it alone, no friends or family. No one should be alone on their birthday. I cried…Over myself. How shallow. Yet, repeating it makes me want to cry. Curse you, human response.

Last week, I had originally planned to decorate my apartment, buy myself a birthday cake, take myself out to dinner and toast myself and my year’s accomplishments with a glass of Chardonnay and you know what? I still will, because I know I deserve it! Whether there is someone there to share it with or not, because I love myself and respect myself that much. ❤ Take note fellow reader.

Happy birthday to me. Keep it positive. No one gets out alive.