Student Organizations for Everyone

Robert Parker

Robert Parker,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 3 February 2016
Student Organizations for Everyone –

One thing that is clear here at Ohio University is that there is a student organization for everyone. I am involved in several organizations, most of them centered around engineering. The organization that keeps me the busiest and I’m most excited for is the American Society of Civil Engineers. I have recently taken on the role of president of the organization.

With the organization we are preparing for many activities this semester. The officers have a student conference in Pittsburgh, our chapter is hosting the regional conference in April and our largest event, the Ohio Valley Student Conference is coming up in March. The OVSC competition is by far what every member looks forward to all year.

This competition consists of about 350 civil engineering students from 14 schools from Ohio, Kentucky and Pittsburgh. There are several different competitions that each school can participate in: concrete canoe, steel bridge, surveying, concrete bat, environmental, geotechnical, and basal wood bridge competitions. Students have been preparing all year for these competitions and the projects are in their final stages of construction. It’s a great time and a good learning experience. Who would have thought that a bunch of engineers could be so fun?!

2015 Concrete Canoe

This is last year’s concrete canoe team. Unfortunately, even though I was involved in the construction of the canoe, I am not in the picture. I also compete in the surveying competition and that occurs at the same time as concrete canoe.

Crafting to Unwind

Leigh Ann Tumblin

Leigh Ann Tumblin,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering

Athens, OH 24 January 2016

One of my favorite hobbies is crafting, and it is a creative way for me to relax and unwind when I am feeling stressed out. It is also the perfect winter time activity when you are stuck indoors. I love interior design, so most of my crafts are decorations for my apartment.

My most recent crafting adventure was making coasters.

Coasters

I started with cheap tiles from Lowes. My mom and I repurposed her calendar from last year and cut out 4”x4” pictures of flowers. I mod-podged them onto the tiles, sprayed spar urethane on top to make them waterproof, and added felt to the bottom so they wouldn’t damage table tops. It was super fun and inexpensive, and I have received lots of compliments from guests!

Another craft I have completed recently was a snowman burlap wreath.

Snowman Burlap Wreath

This was a really fun craft to do for winter! I started with two wire wreath frames and white burlap. I twisted the burlap around both frames and then attached them together. The hat was constructed of cardboard and felt and was hot glued to the wreath. Finally, I tied flannel ribbon around the neck to make his scarf!

As the semester gets busier, it is important to take breaks to keep yourself sane. Crafting is a great way for me to get my mind out of the books to relax and unwind.

Winter’s Back

Drago Cvijetinovic

Drago Cvijetinovic,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 24 January 2016

Spring semester officially started on the 11th of this month and, let me tell you something, it does not feel like spring. We’ve had temperatures at negative 14 degrees and phones have been buzzing with winter-weather-advisory warnings. Just a few months ago I was sitting in the sunshine sipping on frozen, fruit drink and enjoying the salty ocean waters with the soft sand in between my toes; there is nothing more that I want than to just go back and enjoy that for a few more days.

Sun

However, I know that once winter passes away for the year, I’m going to miss the magical, romantic feel of watching snow fall from the sky and the chance of spending that time with all my friends for one last semester. In fact, as I write this right now in my apartment that overlooks the University, the Summit, I’m watching fellow classmates sledding down the very hill that I live on.

Snow

With the start of the Spring semester, classes are taking off at full throttle, picking up everything academically from the previous semester. And since this is my senior year, I have conditioned myself to give 110% at the start of the semester. Now for some students, this may be difficult if this is their first time experiencing this–but with my experience–I have the perfect remedy for such a thing.

First things first, you have to work hard such that any free time earned is that much more enjoyable. The next step is to encourage your peers to do the same, because your friends also tend to be your best motivators. Likewise, once everyone is done with their work, you can all partake in the freedom of not having any work and have some real fun.

For example, as a freshmen, a leader board was set up in my dorm to tally wins against other students in different video games that everyone could see and participate. As a result, this competitive competition not only implemented the constructive nature of diligence through rank, but also begot and nourished what would be the foundations of stronger friendships and relationships. In fact, we played one of these video games so much, we burned out the disc and it became completely unusable. Despite this unfortunate event, it wasn’t long after that the sun finally broke through the winter clouds and dawned the initiation of outdoor activities.

Finding Time for Netflix

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 January 2016

With the start of my final semester here at OU, I’m finally finding some extra free time in my schedule. Since I’ve always taken a few more credits than required, my course load is a little lighter this time. Also, since many of my classes are project-based, and since I’m taking an online course as well, I’m spending a lot less time in an actual classroom. So, like many other college students, I like to keep warm and unwind by watching Netflix in my spare time.

Below is a list of my top three series on Netflix right now, so I would highly recommend any of these shows if you’re looking for a new obsession.

  • Dexter -– I finished this series a few months ago, but it is still probably one of my favorite shows on Netflix. I never caught wind of it when it was regularly shown on cable but started it on Netflix after a friend suggested it. The series is about a serial killer who works as a blood spatter analyst for the police department. His goal is to take out criminals who have eluded the justice system. Dexter is definitely different from any show I’d seen before. I really liked it because it was full of action and also extremely unpredictable. There’s a surprise in almost every episode. I wouldn’t recommend starting this series, though, if you have a weak stomach, as it contains fairly gory and graphic scenes.
  • Gilmore Girls -– This is a show I already owned on DVD, but it was added to Netflix not too long ago, making it that much easier to binge watch on a snowy day. This one centers around a witty mother-daughter duo in a charming town called Stars Hollow. It has a much lighter tone, so it’s the perfect show to have playing in the background while studying. I’m currently watching this entire season from start to finish for the third time, so it’s clearly a personal favorite.
  • Prison Break — My husband and I started this not too long ago and have made it to the final season. We watch a few episodes just about every weekend. This series is about an engineer who gets arrested on purpose in order to break his brother, who is on death row, out of prison. The two face an endless list of complications along the way. Prison Break is one of my top picks because it’s thought provoking, exciting, and action-packed. Cliffhangers at the end of every episode motivate you that much more to finish your homework so you can find out what happens next.
  • I’m not advocating for spending hours in front of a television screen, but sometimes, especially during winter months, it’s nice to unwind with a captivating TV series, and Netflix has tons to choose from. It’s been really nice this semester to have a little additional free time to watch the shows I enjoy and even read a novel or two in between my senior project work.

    Learning How to Crochet

    Melinda Nelson

    Melinda Nelson,
    Senior, Industrial and ,p>Systems Engineering

    Athens, OH 22 January 2016

    I have found that early in the semester is when homework hasn’t hit full swing, there can be some real time to relax after class. This year I have managed to enjoy several relaxing activities in the afternoons and evenings when classes are finished. I have done some reading (that wasn’t in a textbook), listened to podcasts and taken time to work out. I have also expanded my hobbies, and have been able to unwind with my new favorite past time: crocheting!

    Right before winter break, my roommate, Brittany, taught me how to crochet. I had watched her crocheting a lot since she had been making scarves and hats for others as Christmas presents. This is Brittany and some of her more recent projects.

    Crocheting

    She let me have a small ball of her extra yarn and, once I got the hang of the double crochet (that is a crocheting stitch) I went to town! I crocheted until the yarn was gone and had a nice scarf–my first project complete!

    Brittany gave me “crochet starter kit” including several crochet hooks, yarn needles and a pair of scissors for my birthday. Shortly after that, I crocheted a hat that I gave to a cousin, and began looking for my next project. I went to Jo-Ann Fabric with Brittany over break to look for ideas and yarn. Here is the result of that trip:

    Crocheting

    Don’t worry, Brittany thought I looked pretty ridiculous as well! I went in with the idea of making a blanket because I have enough hats and scarves. Making a blanket takes a lot of yarn!

    I began my blanket the week before coming back to classes here in Athens. I have been able to work on it here and there after class, which has been great. It is nice to be able to chill a little before homework starts coming in regularly. The following pictures show my progress on the blanket so far:

    Crocheting
    Crocheting
    Crocheting

    The cool thing about crocheting is that it is easy to find patterns and demo videos on the internet so you can learn new stitches and designs very easily. Crocheting wasn’t very hard to learn and it’s one of those things you can easily work on for a little while and come back to later. It has been a great way to relax and I am so glad that I picked it up as a hobby. These first few weeks of school have allowed me time to relax and unwind…many balls of yarn!

    Starting a Start-up

    Chris Delwiche

    Chris Delwiche,
    Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

    Athens, OH 20 January 2016

    Spring semester marks that time of year again where you wonder what happened to fall semester and start to worry about things that are 15 weeks away. Recently I have been working to prepare for the launch of a new company that I’m a part of named sublit.

    Sublit was founded by my good friend Marcus Yeagle, who is a computer science major here in the Russ College. Sublit is working to make students’ lives a little easier by providing a secure subleasing platform to list, and search for homes, or apartments. Sublit allows you to pay or receive rent payments remotely.

    sublit

    If you aren’t familiar, subleasing is something that students often do when they get an internship or co-op. If you end up getting an internship in another city you wouldn’t want to sign a yearlong lease to live there during the three month duration of your internship. A student leaving that city for an internship elsewhere would post their existing lease up on sublit for rent. Then you would only be responsible for paying rent for the couple of months you live in their home or apartment.

    This also works for posting your own personal apartment up for sublease while you’re gone. This process can save you from having to make two rent payments over the course of the summer or semester. Its inevitable you will be hunting for an internship or co-op at some point in your college career, worrying about a place to stay should be the least of your worries!

    Semester Productivity, Hacked

    Mira Cooper

    Mira Cooper,
    Junior, Civil Engineering

    Athens, OH 14 January 2016

    Anyone who knows me knows that there is nothing I love more than a well-organized planner. I mean, I have at least four different planners that I use on a daily basis. And while I won’t go into each of those, I do want to talk about a major game-changing organization strategy. It’s called bullet journaling. Here’s a link to the official website!

    I’m very into productivity research (I really should’ve gone into ISE, but oh well…) and bullet journaling is great because it’s like a combination of rapid-logging ideas, ever-evolving to-do lists, and a calendar all in one. And one of the best parts about it is that you can do it in any kind of notebook you can find.

    My Journal

    My Journal! Found it at Target, the most glorious place to buy school supplies.

    The idea is to start each day on a page, like a to-do list. Every morning, I sit down with my cup of coffee and I write down everything I can think of that pertains to the day, be it tasks, ideas, appointments, things to remember, meals I want to eat…Anything. I have a special key for each type of entry, but every bullet journal user develops their own method for logging. Throughout the day, as tasks get completed, I fill in their bubble just like any other to-do list.

    But, at the end of the day, whatever I don’t get done, I have to “migrate” to the next day. This contributes to my “roll rate”, which is sort of like a productivity tracker. I take the amount of tasks I had to migrate and I divide it by the total number of tasks that day (and multiply by 100) to get the percentage of things that have to “roll” to tomorrow. I find that this helps me to stay productive and get everything done that I need to.

    January 13

    January 13, not as productive as I’d hoped it would be.

    “But Mira,” you say, “What do I do about tasks or events that need to happen later, not just today?” Well, my curious grasshopper, I will direct you to the “Monthly Calendar and To-Do” pages.

    Monthly Calendar and To-Do

    A very lazy month.

    As you can see here, I didn’t do much in September. That was back when I was just starting this method and hadn’t developed my own personality about it. But, the general idea is to write all events for the month (appointments, theme weekends, exams…) on the “Calendar” side, just like you would in a normal planner. Then, all things that need to get done later on in the month (for instance, “Buy train tickets for Spring Break trip to Washington D.C.”) go on the next page, the “To-Do” page, with the due date next to them.

    I also use my bullet journal for my (unhealthy) obsession with taking notes on things I see throughout the day, such as this list of “12 Banned Books Every Woman Should Read” from HuffingtonPost.

    12 Banned Books

    The Awakening sure wasn’t my favorite book, but by gum I finished it.

    That’s really what makes this different from a normal planner, that it becomes a sort of diary for your observations throughout the day. I’m really excited to be able to look back on this time in my life ten years from now and know that I found the “Portsmouth Sinfonia Instrument Swap” video funny enough to write down. It’s a nice way to have a paper record of everything you need to do and have done so that someday when the internet crashes (who knows, I’m super paranoid about it) you still have a historical presence that someone can find and know exactly who you were and what you thought about.