Phoning it in

I don’t know about you guys, but things are pretty busy for us this time of year studying for finals and whatnot. Aaron ended up getting called into work (he’s helping revive Poor Richards!), so I’m filling in the best I can. And in this case, the best I can just means randomly throwing up some of my favorite internet-isms late.

BY THE WAY, April was our best month ever for views on this blog, so thank you guys so much for all your support! We’d all be writing anyway, so it’s nice to have someone who reads it.

He sure did

He sure did

I'm pretty sure these are the kind of parties my parents go to.

I’m pretty sure these are the kind of parties my parents go to.

Two of my favorite things in one meme.

Two of my favorite things in one meme.

The only one of these I've ever approved of

The only one of these I’ve ever approved of

Ron Swanson is my hero

Ron Swanson is my hero

This hamster makes me laugh more than anything else. Just look at it... look at it.

This hamster makes me laugh more than anything else. Just look at it… look at it.

Now laughing my way to class,

Executive Editor

Dead week survival skills

Dead week is death week and one of the only reasons we trudge through it is so we can have our summer and then do everything all over again until we get our degrees and work until we die. At least, that’s the way it feels right now.

So to all you fellow procrastinators who did not want to start that final project at the beginning of the semester when it was assigned, here are some recommendations that might be useful for surviving dead week.

  1. Go to the Humane Society — Unless you are soulless or are allergic to animals (in which case, God have mercy on your soul because that sucks, and the only thing worse than that would be to be allergic to both chocolate and animals), playing with animals can be pretty therapeutic. Plus you would be benefitting animals that really need attention and care. Overall, it’s a win-win situation.
  2. Exercise — Exercising is also a good stress reliever. It’s good for your brain, as well as for your body. I’ve found that running can help me to clear my mind when I’m stuck on homework. It’s also good just to get out and do something different. Studying is good, but you have to mix it up a little. Unless you’re one of those people who can sit down and finish a project in a single sitting (in which case I hate you), it helps to take a break every now and then and do something that’s not Facebook or TV.
  3. Go Outside — The weather has been wonderful lately. Well, minus the days when it was raining…. Okay, so it hasn’t been completely wonderful, but hey, on the days when it is nice and you don’t run the risk of drowning by being outside for more than five minutes, then you should go outside. You don’t necessarily have to do anything, just soak up some vitamin D. I think it’s healthy, or something.
  4. Sleep — Yes. It does still exist during this time; you’re just not entitled to it. Even if you don’t get an optimal amount of sleep at night, try napping during the day to make up for a little of what you lost at night. I usually crash when I get back from classes because my baby flying squirrel escapes from her cage at night and I have to spend parts of my nights catching her. That and I have other more important things to do than sleep (not really, but they seem important until I have to wake up in the morning). But really, naps are wonderful. Naptime should have been postponed until college. No one needed it in kindergarten. It’s just a sadistic way of reminding us that we did, at one point, have the opportunity to get more than six hours of sleep.
  5. Cook — It’s better than eating fast food (well, depending on how good of a cook you are) and it’s usually cheaper. I’m not much of a cook, but I love baking (mainly because I like bread dough and cookie dough and brownie batter. I give the cooked stuff away, because it’s not nearly as good as the raw stuff), which is an acceptable substitute (I think). It’s also a good way to keep your mind occupied and hopefully off of schoolwork. Plus you can eat the results. You probably can’t (or hopefully won’t) say the same of your homework.
  6. Fly a Kite — LET’S GO FLY A KITE! UP TO THE HIGHEST HEIGHT! LET’S GO FLY A KITE AND SENNNDDD IT SOAAAARINGGGGGG!!! There is no explanation for this one… just… kites. I like them.
  7. Hang Out With Friends — Or really anyone, for that matter (friends, enemies, second cousins three times removed, random people on the street….). You need to have some social interaction to keep you sane and to remind you that there are things outside of school. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.
  8. Get Rid of Unnecessary Assignments — If you don’t need them anymore, get rid of them. Creatively, of course. Or aggressively. That chemistry homework that you spent hours on? Tear it up into little pieces and vacuum it up (I’ve actually done this before). Bury it. Burn it (***in a safe place using proper safety precautions so I don’t get in trouble for saying this***). Eat it. I don’t particularly care. If you can think of a really good way, let me know. There are a few assignments that I no longer want to exist (and never wanted to exist, for that matter). This tip is particularly therapeutic for some reason. Really, it’s nice.
  9. Bathe — Yes, it is still necessary. For the sake of the rest of us who are already suffering, please bathe.
  10. Actually Finish Your Assignments — Hoping that your finals will finish themselves doesn’t actually work. At some point, you will actually have to sit down and do them (please let me know if you find another way to do this. I’ve tried several different things… the results are pending). Not finishing finals doesn’t count as surviving dead week (it’s like being zombiefied. You didn’t actually survive the zombie apocalypse, you… this analogy is going nowhere. Hopefully you get the point).

Good luck! You will need it.

Scene Editor

Flex your whimsy muscle

I am not a spontaneous person. (That sound you heard is my wife laughing at the gross understatement you just read).

If I could, I’d probably have my next two weeks meals planned out to the letter. I’d know where every dollar was going, and exactly how things were going to play out. But things never happen like that.

Thank God.

The left brain, which I am partial to, is always well-meaning, but it sometimes forgets to account for the flashier side of life. It gets consumed in tasks. It gets consumed in completion and plans and to-do lists. It analyzes with incredible precision. It is always in control.

Not to mention BORING AS ALL GET OUT.

Sometimes you have to let lefty take a break. He’s annoying, really, if you think about it. He’s your mean third-grade teacher that never let you stay out for extra recess time. And we let him dominate our lives all in the name of “productivity”.

All the while, the sweet, right brain sits in the corner looking like this.

And yes, the left brain looks like Squidward.

And yes, the left brain looks like Squidward.

If the Squidward image doesn’t work for you, we can just call left brain “Lenny” from now on. He’s pale and mean and has a curly mustache. Anyway Lenny is useful a lot of the time. A world without Lenny is chaotic and absurd. However, let’s put him in the corner for the time being.

I would post some sort of funny video or picture or something here, but there’s not really a “whimsy cover-all”. But studies have shown if we let our left brain dominate too long and try and use self-control to “make” us do things, our self-control begins to wane, and we are actually less productive than we would be otherwise. In my experience, it also makes it more difficult to actually have fun having fun.

This is incredibly important to those of us cramming for finals. Not only are we exhausted from trying to absorb information from different subjects all at once, but if we do have fun, we only feel guilty about it. (“I really should be _____”)

Reading this post comes with one guilt-free trip to your happy place. So get up for a minute and sing, dance, draw, laugh, listen to dubstep, create a tower of power from the items on your desk. (Actually, if you are in class tomorrow, I would not recommend this last one.) Whatever you do. Break the monotony. Do something unnecessary.

I’ve found that if I make myself do something out of the ordinary, sometimes I accidentally end up enjoying myself.

Currently craving cupcakes,

Executive Editor.

P.S.– If you’re interested in the sort of things left brain is useful for, I would refer you here.

To boldly go where no one has been in a while

(Today we will feature a guest post from East Tennessean staff writer Nate Bradley. Nate is a writer for the viewpoint section. He covers a myriad of topics, but I chose to pick his most recent article, which I believe also happens to be the most appropriate for the Interwebs:

Star Trek

Hope you enjoy


If I die tomorrow, let it never be said that I did not appreciate “StarTrek.” I grew up watching episodes of “The Next Generation” and Netflix allowed me to watch the every episode in order.

I did not stop with “TNG.” I moved on to watch the other “Star Trek” series, as well. I’ve even watched a few of the movie adaptations of the TV series, which — as some will tell you — fail to live up to the standards of the TV series.

However, I am very excited about J. J. Abrams’ movie adaptations. The first movie reboot was an exciting action movie with just enough nostalgia to overlook the fact that was, well, an action movie. The second movie is shaping up to be the same sort of thing, which is fine, but it isn’t quite “Star Trek.”


You may be wondering why I am excited about these movies that I consider to be “not quite” befitting of something bearing the “Star Trek” name. The answer is quite simple: These movies have made “Star Trek” relevant again. And if “Star Trek” continues to be cool and relevant we may just get another TV series, which is where it belongs.
Simply put, “Star Trek” tells compelling stories about very complex issues. The TV show was able to accomplish this because, like any long running TV show, it doesn’t need to introduce the characters every episode.


One of my favorite episodes is called “The Measure of Man.” Widely considered to be “The Next Generation’s” first great episode, it explores the question of what is required for personhood.

In this episode, the future of a cybernetic life form by the name of Data hangs in the balance. Some believed that Data, despite seeming to have consciousness, was not truly “alive” and thus did not have any rights. Others argued that just because Data was a “synthetic” life form, this difference was not enough to declare him property.

This debate goes on today, and I’m not talking about rabid fans debating about characters on a screen. This issue is alive and well in the form of cloning and artificial intelligence. The many episodes of “Star Trek” constantly dealt with complex ethical, cultural and philosophical issues.

The show wasn’t about giant space ships; it was about how cultures interact and how we come to deal with complex issues and the art form of diplomacy. The fact that it is a science-fiction show is merely a driving force for some of the most in-depth story arcs that modern entertainment has ever seen.


“Captain, there’s a giant being… it’s staring right at us!”


Staff Writer

Museum Opening

The Reece Museum at ETSU has now reopened! I’m so excited.. I went there today AND yesterday with friends. The Reece Museum is an Appalachian studies museum with exhibits on local culture in Appalachia. This Saturday they will be having a special celebration from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The free public event will feature Katie Doman singing ballads at 11 a.m. and storytelling by Leon Overbay at 1 p.m. -4 p.m. There are plenty of galleries with art and artifacts too! 

(Further information:


Dual-Photo Editor

Train comes to town

Train is going to be on campus this Friday at 7 p.m. For those of you who may not know who Train is, you’ve probably heard at least a few of their songs, like “Hey, Soul Sister,” “Meet Virginia,” “Drops of Jupiter,” “Drive By,” etc.

To be honest, I don’t know much about bands (I know the music, but not the people behind it) and I was surprised to find that Pat Monahan is the lead singer of Train. Monahan is probably best known for his solo album singles “Her Eyes” and “Two Ways to Say Goodbye.”

I never connected the two, and even thinking about it right now, I’m having trouble comprehending that Train’s front man and Pat Monahan are the same person. It’s sort of like finding out that Brittany Spears and Ke$ha are the same person. Well, maybe it’s not quite that epic, but you get the idea….

Whether you knew this, care about this, know about Train, or even go to ETSU, you should go to this concert. For students, admission will be free with a student I.D. For the public, tickets will be $15.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert will be held in the Mini Dome.

So hey, soul sister, this is not a drive by. It’s time to meet… Yeah, I give up. Just come to the concert. If you don’t, you’ll miss a pretty amazing show.



Scene Editor