Graduation Countdown To-Do List

As of today, there are nine days left until I graduate college with my second degree. I am eager and excited, but I am also extremely stressed (as most college students are at this time in the year).

Throughout my life, planning has always eased my stress. Making lists of what I need to accomplish allows me to organize the madness of life; the feeling of crossing an item off of my list is fulfilling. I have kept a planner since I was in elementary school and as an adult, I now keep two. One planner is for school and work, while the other is for my home. As I transition into post-graduate life, I will continue to have two: one for work and one for my home. Find cute and effective planners here.

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Source: Giphy

Below, I will share my to-do list (in full) of everything that I must accomplish between today and May 13, 2017. Typically, I break down my lists by day, but for the sake of brevity I will break them into categories only and combine all nine days. Some tasks are daily, while others are weekly.

To-Do List: 5/4/17 – 5.13.17


Class Schedule: COM 498 from 12 PM to 1 PM M,W,F. COM 412 from 1 PM to 2 PM M,W,F. Other courses – online.

COM 498: Update portfolio. Portfolio presentation at noon on 5/5/17.

REL 320: 1,500 word paper due on 5/8/17 (final exam)

COM 410: Complete Blog #7, Chapter 13 quiz this week. Take final exam next week (5/8/17 – 5/12/17)

COM 412: Final In-Depth Photo Package: 10 – 15 photos and captions, due 5/9/17

COM 470: No work – course complete!

COM 360 C: No work – course complete!

For the “school” category, I like to group tasks out by class. Adding the due dates and arranging assignments by what is due from next to last gives me a more efficient way of completing my work.


Monday: 10 AM to 12 PM (Housing and Residence Life)

Tuesday: 8 AM to 11 AM, 12 PM to 5 PM (Housing and Residence Life)

Wednesday: 5 PM to 9 PM (USA TODAY College Internship)

Thursday: 9 AM to 11 AM, 3 PM to 5 PM (Housing and Residence Life)

Friday: 8 AM to 12 PM, 3 PM to 5 PM (Housing and Residence Life)

Saturday: 2 PM to 6 PM (USA TODAY College Internship)

Sunday: Off

I make separate lists at the beginning of every shift to map out what I must accomplish each day.



Kitchen: Do dishes (daily), clean counters and cabinets (daily), sweep floor (daily), mop floor

Living room & music room: Vacuum, dust

Spare bedrooms: Vacuum, dust

My bedroom: Tidy up, vacuum, dust

Laundry room: Wash towels, whites, and colors, fold clean laundry

Bathrooms: Clean toilets, sinks, shower, sweep floor, mop floor


Mow lawn, water flowers (daily), hook up sprinklers, water grass (every other day), brush dog (daily)

I also like to include which bills are due on certain dates and their amounts. For the sake of privacy, I have not included these listings in this blog.

Other/Misc. (Graduation Prep)

Meet with Dean of College of Fine Arts, exit interview, order tickets for Honors Convocation on 5/8/17, attend Honors Convocation before graduation on 5/13/17, graduation at 10 AM on 5/13/17, graduation party at 7 PM on 5/13/17

This method of organization helps me achieve my goals and prioritize my time. I hope that seeing an example helps you find peace of mind in stressful times, as well!

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Source: Giphy


#22 Build your to-do list – There are many to-do list apps and services, but try to publish your tasks on your blog. Other people will have the opportunity to learn from you. How you build your tasks, how broad or narrow they are, etc. can all be helpful to your audience.

5 Most Absurd 2017 Met Gala Moments

The Met Gala, an annual fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, is a huge moment for celebrities and designers alike. From outrageous outfits to cut-off dreadlocks on the runway, Monday night’s Met Gala was the most unique to date. Here are some of the most absurd 2017 Met Gala moments — arranged in no particular order.

1. Madonna Drinking Out of a Flask


Source: Giphy

Madonna wore a camouflage floor-length gown, along with several gold chained necklaces. She also wore a hip flask which featured a gold chain to match her jewelry, and she wasn’t shy about taking a swig in front of the cameras.

2. Rihanna’s “Best Dressed” Title

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Rihanna sported florals with red gladiator heels on Monday, earning her the title of “best dressed.” Source: Giphy

Rihanna’s Comme des Garçons getup landed her the “best dressed” title of the Met Ball. The number is fitting for the event, which was created to celebrate and honor clothing as an art form. Whether you hate it or love it, this dress is an eye-catcher.

3. Jaden Smith’s Dreadlocks

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Source: Giphy

Jaden Smith sported more than his outfit, chain necklaces, and gold mouthpiece at the Met Ball. He also sported dreadlocks…that weren’t attached to his head. The actor’s father, Will Smith, cut his dreadlocks off several weeks prior to the Gala.

4. Katy Perry’s Look

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Katy Perry’s Maison Margiela gown by John Galliano sparked controversy, as the designer was fired from Christian Dior for anti-semitic statements. Source: Giphy

Katy Perry, a co-host of the night’s festivities, wore a design by John Galliano. Red tulle and a veil equipped with mirrors made the look even more peculiar. The designer of the gown was fired for making racist statements about Jewish people, which has caused many to criticize Perry for her outfit choice.

5. Kim Kardashian-West’s Toned Down Outfit

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Source: Giphy

After being robbed in Paris last year, Kim Kardashian-West has toned down the amount of information she shares with the public; along with the amount of jewelry and flashy clothing she wears. This low-key Vivienne Westwood gown is a contradiction to the looks that Kardashian-West has worn to the Met Gala in past years.

Live Streamed Violence on Social Media: Where Are The Regulations?

This Easter Sunday, Steve Stephens uploaded a video on Facebook of himself shooting and killing Robert Godwin Sr. The video sat on the social media platform for several hours before it was removed; millions viewed the violence as the graphic scene went viral.

“We have a responsibility to continue to get better at making sure we are not a tool for spreading [footage of violence]” Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg told USA TODAY in an interview the week before the murder. “Those are all against our community standards. They don’t belong there.”


Stephens stated his motive for killing on Facebook. Source: Mirror

The broadcasted murder committed by Stephens would not have been a possibility on live television due to broadcast regulations – and the ability to stream his violent acts could have been a factor that motivated him to kill.

Clearly, we are becoming a “streaming” society. Instant gratification and the ability to speak to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people exists in our hands. Social media sites need to take action to combat this plaguing epidemic of violent streaming videos or images.

Stephens said in a second video, “I’m at the point where I snapped,” blaming the murder on his ex-girlfriend, Joy Lane, and his mother.

A nationwide search for Stephens ensued, and a $50,000 reward was offered by Cleveland officials to anyone disclosing information leading to his arrest. A McDonald’s employee named Henry Sayers spotted Stephens and contacted the authorities.

Police pursued Stephens and performed a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT)  maneuver on his vehicle.


An example of a “PIT” maneuver, which causes a driver to lose control of the vehicle and come to a stop. Source: MakeAGif

Stephens then shot and killed himself. “As the vehicle was spinning out of control from the PIT maneuver, Stephens pulled a pistol and shot himself in the head,” Pennsylvania State Police told CNN on Tuesday.

This murder case is not the first time that violence has been broadcasted on social media for millions to watch.

Features such as Facebook Live allow for moments to be shared with family and friends who may not be able to attend an event. However, with no regulations or monitoring in place, violence, murder, suicide, and other graphic scenes can be viewed by over 1.8 billion monthly Facebook users of all ages on the platform. When a video goes viral, users can’t simply “change the channel,” they must scroll past graphic footage to avoid it.

Television comes with ratings, broadcasting guidelines, and an expectation from viewers that if graphic scenes will be shown, a warning will be given. These ratings protect viewers and their families from a endless stream of inappropriate content. Nevertheless, viewer discretion is not advised on Facebook, or any other social media site. If an obscene video is posted, there is no guarantee that it will be removed quickly – allowing for millions and millions to tune in.

In summer of 2016, Philando Castile‘s death was streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend. He was shot by police during a traffic stop in Minnesota. In January of 2017, a 14-year-old from Florida recorded her suicide on Facebook. Three men in Sweden broadcasted themselves assaulting and raping a woman in a private group on the site. These are just a small number of many vicious and heartbreaking events that have been shared on Facebook.


The description of Stephens seen around the country after he brutally murdered a man, broadcasting his actions online. Source: DailyMail

While users can report content, social media sites currently use artificial intelligence and algorithms. These methods are unreliable to support the billions of users these interfaces support. A Facebook vice president, Justin Osofsky, said in a public post late Monday: “It was a horrific crime — one that has no place on Facebook, and goes against our policies and everything we stand for,” adding that the company was working to filter content in a more quick and efficient manner.

It is vital for society that Osofsky means what he says, and that other social media giants follow the same action.

Blogs I Recommend

As seen on my “Recommended Blogs” tab, there are several blogs which I enjoy reading and keeping up with. These sites contain themes to match the personality of the content and author, which is what I have attempted to reflect in my stylistic and aesthetic choices on this blog. Find a closer look on the blogs that inspire me below.



Tara Michelle Interiors – “Decorating and Organizing on a Budget!

Tara Michelle

Business owner and mother of two children, Tara Michelle, sees design as more than a hobby. Michelle describes design as a lifestyle and “family tradition.” She creates home decor, furniture, and other do-it-yourself projects which save readers money and provide them with unique pieces for their homes that they can easily create. She is a graduate from the Professional Interior Decorating Program at Bow Valley College in Calgary, located in Alberta, Canada.


Blog 2 (1)


The Extra Income Project – “My journey from massive debt to financial freedom.

Lloyd Phillips

Lloyd Phillips provides advice for managing a budget, financial planning, and eliminating/avoiding debt based off of his personal experiences with it. By going against the traditional ideologies of a 9 to 5 job, Phillips began to work from home as a freelance marketer and web developer – finally achieving his dream of getting out of the “rat race.” However, he also found himself in quite a bit of debt when doing so. While Phillips only discloses exactly how much debt he faced at the worst to those on his mailing list, the tips and information provided within his blog are valuable beyond measure.


Blog 3

Ark in the Desert – “hope in His promises

Sarah (Last name not disclosed)

Spiritual writing about life and the Gospel

6 conservatives sparking free speech debates on campuses

This article was originally published by USA TODAY College and has been posted on this personal blog for educational purposes. It has been lightly edited and transformed to meet the assignment criteria for COM 410, Applied Writing for the Media, at Eastern New Mexico University. 


“Safe spaces” on college campuses provide an environment free from criticism, harassment and microaggressions for marginalized groups such as sexual assault victims, women, transgender students and more.

But some argue that these safe spaces contradict the concept of free speech. Even former President Obama said that college students “have to be coddled and protected from different points of view” during a Sept. 2015 town hall meeting.

Pushing back against the whole safe spaces concept, a number of conservative guest speakers are being invited to college campuses — often meeting with backlash and protests from students who find their views offensive.

Are student protests against these speakers evidence of liberal intolerance and free speech? Or is it justifiable resistance against hate speech? Debate is swirling nationwide.



Middlebury College students turn their backs to author Charles Murray during his lecture in Middlebury, Vt., on March 2, 2017. (File photo: Lisa Rathke, AP)

American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray caused violent protests to erupt on the Middlebury College campus the first week of March. Students — many of whom apparently were under the impression that Murray is a white nationalist — chanted phrases such as “racist, sexist, anti-gay, Charles Murray go away!” while turning their backs to him.

Murray is a libertarian political scientist known for his controversial book The Bell Curve, co-written with Richard J. Herrnstein, “linking intelligence to class and race in modern society,” according to Masked protesters injured a campus professor, Allison Stranger, while attempting to confront Murray.

Report from the front: The Middlebury administration was exemplary. The students were seriously scary.


The college says it has initiated an independent investigation into the protest in which the author of a book discussing racial differences in intelligence was shouted down during the guest lecture and a professor was injured.


In early February, riots broke out at the University of California-Berkeley in protest of conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’s scheduled speech, which was cancelled because of the violence.

Protesters set fire to the generators and trees, broke glass, and were faced with tear gas and rubber bullets from police. Yiannopoulos, a former senior editor for Breitbart News, stepped down from his position just weeks after the protest over comments he made about pedophilia. He also lost a book deal with Simon & Schuster.

Protesters set fire to generator at


Conservative author Ben Shapiro, the editor in chief of, was invited to speak at Cal State Los Angeles in Feb. 2016 by the university’s Young American Foundation (YAF). College president William Covino told YAF Shapiro’s appearance was being canceled due to students concerned that Shapiro would promote “racist, classist, misogynist, sexist, homophobic” attitudes. And Cal State LA wasn’t the only campus to protest Shapiro, either.

Fascists on @UWMadison are trying to supress @benshapiro‘s 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech.

@benshapiro talking to security guards in front of @DePaulU . “30 members of security for a 5’9″ jewish guy”.


In July 2016, over 300 students at Elon University protested Kathleen Parker’s campus appearance by signing a petition. The petition said students were “desperately asking our faculty and staff allies to aid us in removing Parker and stopping her from spreading her dangerous rhetoric through the school we love and cherish.”

Parker did have supporters on campus as well.

@KatTimpf lots of Elon students held our ground supporting Kathleen Parker and free speech


Parker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, writes a column for the Washington Post on politics and culture. Elon students took issue with a couple of her columns, including one about alcohol and sexual assault, and her book Save the Males, about how feminism has alienated men.


Conservative actor Gavin McInnes, a co-founder of Vice Media, was met with protesters at NYU while giving a seminar for Republicans on campus in Feburary. He spoke for just three minutes before interruptions forced him to end his talk, according to the independent NYU student publication Washington Square News.

The protest on the street became rowdy and McInnes, who left Vice in 2008, was pepper sprayed, reportedly by protesters, and The NYPD was forced to intervene.

Still had pepper spray on my clothes when I got home. My non-white kid broke out in hives after hugging me. Antifa are going to die.


A huge crowd of protesters showed up when white nationalist Richard Spencer came onto the Texas A&M campus to speak in December. Meanwhile, hundreds gathered at an alternative event nearby to celebrate diversity.


Chelsie Arnold is a student at Eastern New Mexico University and a USA TODAY College digital producer.

What the PewDiePie “Scandal” Can Teach Us About the Importance of Context and Minimizing Harm

If you have been on the internet at any point since Valentines Day of this year, you have likely seen a large amount of controversy surrounding YouTuber “PewDiePie,” who has over 53 million subscribers. But are the claims made about Felix Kjellberg, the Swedish creator of the YouTube channel, only being made by some news organizations to get clicks on their content?

Kjellberg has more viewers of his entertaining and comedic content than any other channel, as well as a large number of brand deals. Two of those deals ended earlier this month after The Wall Street Journal accused him of creating videos with “anti-semitic” messages: a YouTube Red show called Scare PewDiePie and a collaboration with Disney’s Maker Studios.

YouTube and Disney severed ties with YouTuber PewDiePie after the Wall Street Journal accused him of creating “anti-semitic” videos in February 2017. Image source: CRAVEOnline

The Wall Street Journal’s largest supporting evidence of the claim against Kjellberg was a video that he made in January which demonstrated his use of the service Fivver, an online platform where users can pay as little as five dollars to have nearly any type of work completed for them. In the video, he paid two Indian men to hold up a sign which read “death to all Jews.” The video has since been deleted, but has been re-uploaded to YouTube by other users. (Watch below)

Kjellberg has since apologized for the offensive comments and stated that he was only trying to uncover the lengths that some will go for just five dollars. He has acknowledged that his jokes were made in poor taste in his February 16 video, “My Response.” (Below)

In the video, Kjellberg also denounces the actions of the Wall Street Journal for writing the article, claiming that the publication did not reach out to him for comment about his videos. According to his video, The Wall Street Journal spoke to his sponsors and business partners rather than giving him a chance to comment. Kjellberg called the events “an attack by the media to try and discredit me, to try and decrease my influence and my economic worth.”

While it can be seen as unethical of Kjellberg to make offensive jokes, his job is to entertain. The Wall Street Journal’s job is to be unbiased and minimize harm — values that the writers of the article did not adhere to by costing Kjellberg a substantial amount of income in brand deals without reaching out to him for a comment.

Even more scandalous, followers of the PewDiePie channel have found old tweets from Ben Fritz, one of The Wall Street Journal’s three reporters who wrote the article, which are also “anti-semitic” and racist in nature.


The questionable tweets were written by Wall Street Journal Reporter Ben Fritz between 2009 and 2015. Image source: TheSun

Kjellberg posted a video on February 24 in response to seeing Fritz’s tweets, in which he had the two Indian men from the video which caused the initial uproar hold up a sign reading “HypoFritz.”

Maintaining credibility as a journalist is more important now than ever; especially in a time where the press is being deemed “fake news” by our President. It seems to me that The Wall Street Journal may have only written this piece to create a controversial conversation and gain clicks and revenue on their website, since it seems to violate the code of journalistic ethics in more than one way.

Context is important, and sometimes there is more to a story than what meets the eye in a catchy headline.

Holocaust Remembrance & A Mighty Woman With a Torch

First They Came

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”

– Pastor Martin Niemöller

Pastor Martin Niemöller was confined to a Nazi Concentration Camp for seven years. His now famous poem, First They Came, did not receive worldwide recognition until after World War II came to an end.

Friday was a significant and somber anniversary for the world. January 27 is recognized as Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day of awareness and advocacy for the 11 million people killed during the Holocaust.

President Trump’s immigration executive order was set in place on Friday as well, making travel to and from the United States virtually impossible for immigrants. The order is titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”, and halts refugees from seven Muslim nations for the next 90 days. The order also forbids Syrian immigrants from entering the U.S. entirely.

While I understand the need for homeland security and monitored borders to protect citizens from terrorism, I could not help but recognize the irony between these two events on the same date. Across the country, people are protesting this executive order. Green card/visa holders were detained in airports across the nation – with only some being released at the time of this post. As of 3 p.m. on Sunday Jan. 29, Homeland Security told CNN that these green card holders can come back to the U.S. but will face “secondary screening.”

This lead me to reach some interesting thoughts about immigration, refugees, and terrorism. Race and division have become more magnified with every year I age. I become more aware of my white privilege and citizenship with each coming day.

If it weren’t for the open arms of this country toward generations before me, my family would not have made it to America and I would either cease to exist or have an entirely different life elsewhere. If it weren’t for the Statue of Liberty’s open arms, I wouldn’t have the freedoms I have taken for granted from time to time as a born and raised American.

Due to these past and present events such as the Holocaust and Trump’s immigration order, it is my goal to never take these freedoms lightly. It is my greatest hope that other families will continue to have the same opportunity as mine did: a shot at the American Dream.

Thus, I will end this post as I began it — with a poem.

An Excerpt from The New Colossus, or “The Statue of Liberty Poem”

“Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”