Archive for April, 2011

With the semester closing in, you find yourself putting hours in and out of group projects but there are some group projects that feel more like you’re putting in blood, sweat and tears. Such was my experience in my Visual Communication arts class where my group had to put together Reveal Magazine to present at the end of the semester. In reflection, I have never been in a more time-consuming, screen-staring project. We even almost failed this project due to a lot of inconsistency in our magazine and lack of communication. It was a time nobody wanted to assume responsibility. When we reached that crisis, our director, Pamela Parker stepped up and finally took over what direction Reveal should head in.

We all had our chunky pieces of assignment to take up. Courtney Wiest and I took over as editors where we had to assign articles, come up with sections and copy-edit articles. Sarah Nguyen and Maura Callahan worked hard hours as photographers and scrapped a lot of unique photos for our publication. Callahan also worked constantly to put Reveal on the social media realm from Twitter, Facebook, Blurb, Blogger- in fact, thanks to her whole active PR, we are like everywhere. Tabitha Cassidy and Josh Brandenstein took over as our diligent staff writers who contributed a substantial amount of content to the magazine. Lauren Upchurch and Pamela Parker worked as our art directors who oversaw everything from the layout to the style of our magazine and we are thankful for that because of their in-depth experience with Adobe InDesign. I was also impressed with Parker’s work-rate who designed a very cool layout and template for Reveal and worked an indefinite amount of hours into finalizing our project, which automatically makes her our MVP.

When we were just staring at the face of failure and receiving a terrible grade, I’m amazed at how strong characters such as ourselves, just rolled up our sleeves and turned everything around. We finally came up with a bright and colorful product of college fun and wisdom, which is Reveal. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of talented individuals to work with on this daunting project. Thank God, it’s over with.

After losing its way and respect in the fighting genre, Mortal Kombat has returned to next-gen gaming with a lot of promise. Mortal Kombat released April 19, is the latest installment in the 16-year franchise. This brutal beat ’em up is all about taking the series back to its roots of 2D plane fighting and simple juggle combos from its past predecessors MK1, 2 & 3.

But on top of the bruality and controversial nature  MK is known for, this fighting game will be the most sadistic and gruesome to date. In fact, Watching Sub-Zero freeze his opponent’s lower rib cage and obliterate it with bone crushing force in an X-ray close up is appropriately bad-ass and merciless. Players will be decapicitated,  impaled, lacerated, disemboweled, fractured, electrocuted, eaten, melted, and ripped apart all in a glorious display of bloodshed and carnage. If you don’t believe me, take a look at all the fatalities from most of the characters in the game. They are unforgiving.

The cursor flashes on and off the screen. I stare at an 8.5 X 11 void of emptiness. My mind is just as blank. I fumble painfully with the first sentence. I desperately want to fill the pages with as much words as possible. This feels worse than writer’s block because I can’t think of anything to write in the first place. I have read countless writing textbooks that give good tips on how to come up with topics and ideas such as observation and gathering information but not putting any of these skills into practice can have a traumatic effect on your writing career.

 The main reasons why aspiring writers such as myself have trouble coming up with ideas is due the fact that we don’t observe more or feed ourselves useful information. It is hard to come up with anything meaningful if your mind is nothing but a messy mush of Facebook, Call of Duty and Facebook. I don’t even know what current events that have surfaced this year. If you ask me about the government shutdown, the earthquake that has devastated Japan and Libya’s struggle against President and oppressor Muammar Gaddafi, I have nothing useful to contribute to such topics and that is really bad for an aspiring journalist.

Coming up with article ideas to write about is not easy but it should be a natural process and skill for the person who loves to write. I came across a few tips and reminders I picked up from my textbook and online sources that will always keep your mind fresh and make writer’s block feel non-existent.

 Web consultant and active blogger Dan Harrison from suggests that you need to read, read, and read. Reading the news or picking up a novel or non-fiction book can inspire some ideas and keep you informed. The author of my textbook Word’s Worth Terri brooks urges that writers need to observe everything that surrounds them.

Keep track of things that happen to you or around you. Take a walk outside the park and you might spot someone unique or something that catches your eye. Talk to your friends or family, they probably have something interesting to say that can you ask questions about. It is all about being curious and treasuring your experiences. This may be general knowledge for writers in general but for all of who struggle with writer’s block following and practicing these tips can unclog the mind and free up some ideas.

No boss is out to get you or put you in the hot seat but that doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare yourself in case of some tough questions.

A lot of topics have covered this but here is a reiteriation of what college students  should absolutely not forget when going in for an interview:

Once you acquire that really important internship or job that you spent all semester preparing for, the biggest thing that comes next is the interview with the recruiter or head supervisor.  Usually we see this as some make or break situation but remember the fact that the boss has granted you the interview in the first place is a sign of progress.

However, going to any interview requires that you be very proactive. It’s no bowl of sugar-coated frosted flakes. If you go to any interview without any preparation, you are going to run into a gauntlet of tough questions and you will be overwhelmed.

The key to a good interview is to be prepared, make a good impression and show that you are asset to the company or organization. Here are six tips that can help achieve that.

Research, Research, and Research: Find out things about the organization that can give you an edge before heading into the interview. Does the interviewer want you to complete an assignment before the interview? Who is the CEO, manager or supervisor? What has he or she done for the company? How do you pronounce his or her name? What is the current state of the organization? The more you know the better.

 Show face:  Show up early!  Allow 10-15 minutes before if necessary. When you meet with the boss, make eye contact, smile, give a firm grip handshake and shake that hand like crazy. It gives the impression that you are friendly and confident.

Have extra copies of your resume: Have about 10-25 copies of your resume with references at the back. Your interviewer may want a copy to share with other colleagues and this is ideal for networking. Also make sure your resume is up to date and presentable. Avoid spelling mistakes and use correct grammar! Anything wrong with your resume reflects poorly of you.

Answer the questions in context: Try to answer whatever questions the interviewer may have to the best of your ability in relation to the subject. If it is about multi-tasking, explain how you could do several tasks at once in the office not about how you can listen to music, text and do homework in your dorm. Those examples are good but it’s better to focus in terms of the job.

Listen! Listen! Listen: Pick out key words the interviewer may ask you and formulate a decent response. Personal favorites from interviewers are “strength” and “weaknesses.” Focus on that and base your answers off those words.

Do you have any questions: This is the last question the interviewer will probably ask you and the answer to that is definitely yes.  Saying no is not recommended. In fact saying no is stupid. Saying no is practically telling the interviewer, “No, I don’t care what you have to say about your company because I am not interested. I just want to watch you babble like an idiot.” Listen to what the interviewer is saying and ask reasonable questions about the company policy or something that you may need to know about how things work here. Always have questions!

 If you stick to the tips mentioned above, the interview will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done in life and you will most likely survive the battle ahead.