In Our April, 2017 Issue:

Spring Break TRIO Service Project: Feed My Starving Children

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On March 9, 2017, TRIO Stu­dent Sup­port Ser­vices took 14 TRIO stu­dents and two staff mem­bers on a vol­un­teer ser­vice trip. The ser­vice trip was to Feed My Starv­ing Chil­dren (FMSC) in Eagan, MN. When we first got there we learned about the non-​profit orga­ni­za­tion and their mis­sion. Feed My Starv­ing Chil­dren is a Chris­t­ian non-​profit orga­ni­za­tion that hand packs meals for chil­dren that are in need. After the meals are prepped and boxed up, FMSC teams up with dif­fer­ent orga­ni­za­tions and dis­trib­utes them through­out world. The meals con­sist of rice, soy, dried veg­eta­bles and a nutri­tion­ally com­plete blend of vit­a­mins and min­er­als. FMSC has three per­ma­nent sites, located in Min­nesota, Illi­nois and Ari­zona, and is open year-​round, 6 days a week.

After a quick pre­sen­ta­tion, all the vol­un­teers were put into teams. Every­one had a role in prepar­ing the meals to achieve the goal. It starts with the scoop­ers that fill the meal bags with the dif­fer­ent types of food. Then it goes to the group that weighs the meals to ensure the bag isn’t too heavy or too light. After that process, it goes to the sealer, who makes sure that there isn’t any excess air and that the meals are sealed tight. After seal­ing the meals, they are sent to pack­ag­ing, where a label is applied to show where the pack­age is com­ing from. The pack­ers also make sure there are 36 meals in a box. The meals are then put onto a pal­let and are ready to be shipped out to the dif­fer­ent countries.

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An open letter to those who fear monger:

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Hey folks, how’s it going?

I’ll be the first one to say this: not every­body who voted for Trump is a racist. That is a broad assump­tion about a pop­u­la­tion that gets very lit­tle hon­est press. When I mean hon­est press, that refers to the aver­age Trump voter — not Neo-Nazi’s, not the wealthy exploit­ing a very ego­tis­ti­cal man and cer­tainly not polit­i­cally inept politicians.

Because that’s what will define this pres­i­dency: polit­i­cal inep­ti­tude. Not just from Trump or his mot­ley crew of cir­cus per­form­ers, but rather those who took advan­tage of the sit­u­a­tion; see­ing a man who has no polit­i­cal skill take one of the most pow­er­ful offices in the world.

I don’t think I’ve kept my feel­ings very hid­den on the sit­u­a­tion. To me, this coun­try is our rights and our free­doms. Adding “moral­is­tic” value any­thing can be a bit of a stick of dyna­mite in the pond — thinly veil­ing a health­care bill that elim­i­nates cov­er­age of 20 mil­lion lower– and middle-​class Amer­i­cans while enrich­ing the already wealthy is about as under­handed as pol­i­tics can get.

I’m reminded of what Jon Stew­art said post-​election on CBS This Morn­ing with Char­lie Rose:

…there are guys in my neigh­bor­hood that I love, that I respect, that I think have incred­i­ble qual­i­ties, who are not afraid of Mex­i­cans, and not afraid of Mus­lims, and not afraid of blacks. They’re afraid of their insur­ance pre­mi­ums. In the lib­eral com­mu­nity, you hate this idea of cre­at­ing peo­ple as a mono­lith. Don’t look at Mus­lims as a mono­lith. They are the indi­vid­u­als and it would be igno­rance. But every­body who voted for Trump is a mono­lith, is a racist. That hypocrisy is also real in our country.”

This is how we become divided. It’s not through divi­sion of high moral rhetoric or “an act of mercy” — as described by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in regards to the pro­posed health­care plan — that will sep­a­rate us, but rather the image we paint of each other.

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What’s so Funny? How to Get into Stand-Up Comedy

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You can feel the sweat begin to form on your brow when you step onto the tiny podium. As you approach the micro­phone, you feel the intense heat of the bright lights that are shin­ning down on you. In the audi­ence, all you can see are dark­ened sil­hou­ettes of peo­ple who are wait­ing for some­one to ease their stress­ful lives. You clear your voice.

What do you say?

This is a sce­nario that faces all pro­fes­sional come­di­ans, no mat­ter the expe­ri­ence level. Audi­ences may range from a hand­ful of peo­ple to thou­sands of indi­vid­u­als, but the over­all process and prin­ci­ples of standup com­edy remain the same. The goal is always to make the audi­ence laugh, but how do come­di­ans accom­plish this?

But first, how can stu­dents at Met­ro­pol­i­tan State get involved in standup comedy?

Ryan Patchin is a stu­dent at Metro State, who plans to grad­u­ate with a major in cre­ative writ­ing. Patchin has done six open mic rou­tines, and he offers his advice for stu­dents who are look­ing to become a stand-​up comic.

You need that expo­sure,” Patchin said. “You need to get out there as much as you can to get as much expo­sure as possible.”

This is not only the most impor­tant step to becom­ing a well-​known come­dian, it is also one of the hard­est. Com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion are required for some­one who is seri­ous about becom­ing a comic pro­fes­sion­ally. Agents are known to come to open mics to see if there is any­one tal­ented per­form­ing. If they see some­one they like, then chances are this come­dian will be able to act as a “mid­dle” (buzz­word for one of the open­ing acts) at a show. As the come­dian builds pop­u­lar­ity, he or she can move up to become a fea­ture and then a headline.

You want to be dis­cov­ered as much as peo­ple want to dis­cover you,” said Patchin.

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Five Things You May Not Know About Your Metro State Library (A Guide to Using Library Resources)

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Tasks are piling up as students approachthe final weeks of the spring semester. The Metro State Librarycan help you with your final projects.

Spring break is over. How was your break this year? Are you refreshed and ready for the sec­ond half of the semes­ter? In the next few weeks, Met­ro­pol­i­tan State stu­dents, like you, will quickly approach dead­lines. Time will tick away as you pre­pare for exams and write your final papers. Speak­ing of papers, how is yours com­ing along? Did you start it? If you need help, the Metro State Library is a great place to begin.

Many stu­dents flock to the library dur­ing final exam sea­son, a quiet place where you can focus and con­cen­trate. At home, dis­trac­tions may hin­der your momen­tum to tackle chal­leng­ing assign­ments. In the library, you will be in the com­pany of stu­dents work­ing hard at their stud­ies. Their ded­i­ca­tion will inspire you to move for­ward and pro­duce excel­lent results.

Besides being an ideal loca­tion for study, your Metro State Library has sev­eral use­ful resources. Have you vis­ited this facil­ity lately? If not, this arti­cle will help you dis­cover what you are miss­ing. Here are five things you may not know your Metro State Library provides:

Infor­ma­tion, Infor­ma­tion and Even More Information

You may know that the Metro State Library has many books and peri­od­i­cals to peruse. Did you know that you also have access to 128 infor­ma­tion data­bases? These indi­vid­ual cat­a­logs con­tain spe­cific infor­ma­tion that cor­re­sponds to a par­tic­u­lar area of study. For instance, the “MED­LINE” data­base has health sci­ence and med­ical news. The “Com­puter Data­base” source has the lat­est infor­ma­tion on com­put­ers and tech­nol­ogy. To retrieve these data­bases your­self, go to the libguides​.met​rostate​.edu/​a​z.php web­page. This site will bring you to Research Guides. I enjoy using The New York Times His­tor­i­cal Data­base. This resource is my “time machine” to view edi­to­ri­als and adver­tise­ments as they appeared years ago.

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Metro State at the Women’s March

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In light of Pres­i­dent Trump’s elec­tion, many Amer­i­cans feel the need to fight for what they believe. Such an event took place in Wash­ing­ton D.C. on Jan­u­ary 21st. The Women’s March was a way for hun­dreds of thou­sands to show their sup­port, speak their minds and to fight for what they believe in. Protest­ing was a way to cre­ate waves regard­ing many polit­i­cal issues, includ­ing the rights of women, LGBTQ, immi­gra­tion and racial equal­ity. Those who were in atten­dance felt strongly about sup­port­ing leg­is­la­tion regard­ing human rights and opposed the offen­sive actions and posi­tions of Pres­i­dent Trump. This protest, one of the largest peace­ful protest demon­stra­tion in U.S. his­tory, involved sup­port­ers from around the world.

If the hordes of peo­ple weren’t enough of a shock, many women in the crowd wore a pink, knit­ted hat that made an enor­mous visual impact. Knit­ted from pink yarn and styled to have cat-​like ears, it became what is now called the Pussy­hat Project. The idea started off as a way to visu­ally turn a deroga­tory word for women into a pos­i­tive and empow­er­ing mes­sage. These hats where made by crafters around the world to take back the word. It was a way for women around the nation to show sup­port and make a stance even if they couldn’t make it to the march. How­ever, the hats became so pop­u­lar that they were a fun­da­men­tal acces­sory for the Women’s March. This small project grew immensely and united the crowd, mak­ing a visu­ally impact­ful statement.

After the March, many speak­ers shared their sto­ries and ideas, includ­ing polit­i­cal lead­ers and celebri­ties. Many felt the impor­tance of demon­strat­ing con­cern and the sig­nif­i­cance of being a part of some­thing you believe in. At the march, strangers from dif­fer­ent back­grounds united and hud­dled together.

Mem­bers of Metro State’s Stu­dent Sen­ate also attended the march. Sen­ate mem­ber Heather Moenck said that being in the crowd “felt amaz­ing,” adding, “There were so many peo­ple sur­round­ing us that we couldn’t move. There was a quiet awe around every­one… even strangers were shar­ing sto­ries and com­ment­ing on signs they liked. I was so happy to be there.”

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Metro State’s Art Purchase Award

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In the March issue of The Met­ro­pol­i­tan, the arti­cle “Metro State’s Mean­ing of Art” high­lighted art­work at Met­ro­pol­i­tan State. Those pieces were com­mis­sioned work acquired for dis­play. This arti­cle will have a more per­sonal focus, fea­tur­ing three past win­ners of the “Art Pur­chase Award” (APA).

Erica Ras­mussen, pro­fes­sor of stu­dio arts and gallery direc­tor at Metro State, cre­ated the APA 14 years ago. Held every spring, the com­pe­ti­tion is open to stu­dents, alumni and arts fac­ulty. Each win­ner is awarded $1,000 and their art­work is dis­played at Metro State. This is a great way to spot­light the school’s ongo­ing pres­ence of skill­ful artistry and creativity.

Bar­bara Cobb
“Birch Triptych”

Earn­ing a B.A. in Indi­vid­u­al­ized Stud­ies with a focus on the Arts, Bar­bara Cobb grad­u­ated from Metro State in 2006. Cobb pur­sues her art when­ever she can, work­ing around her full-​time job as a graphic designer for an engi­neer­ing com­pany. She is presently gear­ing up for the “Edge of the Big Woods Art Wan­der,” held every year in Carver county. Mak­ing it a yearly goal to enter Metro State’s Art Pur­chase Award, Cobb is also work­ing on some pieces for that event.

“Sunday on the North Shore”

Cobb has won the APA two times. The first was a few years after she grad­u­ated and is titled “Birch Trip­tych” (“trip­tych” mean­ing a set of three pan­els side by side). The trees in the piece are made of text clipped from mag­a­zine pages. Cobb also added black paint to mimic the look of a birch tree’s bark. To cre­ate the small squares, Cobb again used mag­a­zines, punch­ing out the multi-​colored dots.

Cobb’s other entry is called “Sun­day on the North Shore,” for which she won the award last year. This mixed-​media piece is made up of hand-​dyed silk and hand-​made felt — both done by Cobb. There are also some hang­ing stones, as well as drift­wood inter­twined with the fab­rics. Cobb had found the drift­wood while on a trip to her father’s cabin in north­ern Wis­con­sin, not far from Duluth.

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Caffeine: The Student Battle for Concentration

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Cof­fee has been around for cen­turies, but it’s a mys­tery of when caf­feine con­sump­tion began. In the 14th cen­tury it was used as med­i­cine through­out the Ara­bic world. Then that yummy bit­ter drink got a boost into the spot­light dur­ing the 15th cen­tury because of new grind­ing and roast­ing tech­niques. So why do we here at The Met­ro­pol­i­tan love it so much? Well, we mostly like the caf­feine, and the news­pa­per staff is much like the rest of the stu­dent body.

As I sit here at the main cam­pus’ library at 8 p.m., I wish there was a cup of some­thing caf­feinated next to me. I just stared a lit­tle too long at a man who was prob­a­bly 50 per­cent hot­ter than Indi­ana Jones. This is because my con­cen­tra­tion is off, and I appar­ently rank men on a Har­ri­son Ford scale. Nonethe­less, I really want some green tea or cof­fee to get me through the evening of writ­ing. In fact, look­ing around at my fel­low stu­dents, about half of them have cof­fee cups next to them.

Most Metro stu­dents work, have fam­i­lies and attend evening classes. It’s enough to drive any well inten­tioned stu­dent to sleep depri­va­tion. Grab­bing a cup or can of caf­feine before 6 p.m. class is com­mon. How­ever, is it healthy?

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Understanding Internet Privacy

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I just so hap­pen to be old enough that I missed out on middle-​school lec­tures about social media safety. While Face­book was quite big when I entered high school, adults had not quite caught up with the tech­nol­ogy. Schools were more focused on stranger dan­ger (scary chat rooms!) than they were on the actual threats of my time, like cyber­bul­ly­ing and reveal­ing too much infor­ma­tion on social media.

This has changed. I expect most col­lege fresh­men and sopho­mores prob­a­bly did get those lec­tures, and in any case older stu­dents have had plenty of time to learn about social media safety. I’m not going to reprise those lessons here, but I would like to take a look at some of the lesser-​known pri­vacy losses peo­ple encounter on the inter­net, and how to avoid them.

(I would also rec­om­mend check­ing out my pre­vi­ous arti­cle on Win­dows 10 pri­vacy.)

Face­book Knows Which Web­sites You Visit

No, really. Face­book knows a lot about which sites you visit. Any web­site that includes an un-​customized Face­book “like” but­ton, or page wid­get or com­ment feed is a web­site that Face­book knows you’ve vis­ited. Some web­sites don’t include any of these, but instead include “Face­book pixel” in order to track the demo­graph­ics of their users — which is done by aggre­gat­ing the Face­book pro­files of peo­ple who visit those web­sites. Those web­sites won’t know exactly who is using them, but Face­book will know every­body who is using those web­sites. (Dis­clo­sure: The Met­ro­pol­i­tan online includes the Face­book “Like” but­ton, enabling track­ing. The main Met­ro­pol­i­tan State web­site includes Face­book pixel.)

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Healthcare and Wellness services are now available at Metro State!

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What is Health­care and Well­ness Services?

Dur­ing spring semes­ter 2017, stu­dents were charged a $2.50 per credit fee for Health­care and Well­ness Ser­vices, that was approved by the Met­ro­pol­i­tan State Uni­ver­sity Stu­dent Sen­ate in 2014. As a result, stu­dents will be able to have access to Zip­no­sis, a telemed­i­cine plat­form avail­able at no cost. In addi­tion, other health and well­ness ini­tia­tives will be avail­able to stu­dents through­out the year.

What is Zipnosis?

Zip­no­sis is an online telemed­i­cine por­tal that will enable stu­dents to access online health­care in min­utes, twenty-​four hours a day, seven days a week, includ­ing hol­i­days. The ser­vice is free for stu­dents to use. Stu­dents will be able to get quick care for a num­ber of con­di­tions, including:

  • Colds, flu, strep throat
  • Hay fever and allergies
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Whoop­ing cough (Per­tus­sis) exposure
  • Pink eye (Conjunctivitis)
  • Uri­nary Tract Infections
  • And more

Jodee Fitzger­ald, the Coor­di­na­tor of Health­care and Well­ness Ser­vices, can answer ques­tions you have in regards to Zip­no­sis, the telemed­i­cine plat­form that is now avail­able. In addi­tion, she can also assist in iden­ti­fy­ing both inter­nal and exter­nal com­mu­nity health and well­ness resources. If you have addi­tional ques­tions, please check out the web­site for more details or con­tact Jodee Fitzgerald.

Reg­is­ter here.Once reg­is­tered please use this link to access Zip­no­sis.

If you need a ZipTicket for a Strep Test, the promo code is MSUTICKET. Please see the Health­care and Well­ness Ser­vices web­page for more details.