Evaluating my College Experience

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There should always be time in your life to evaluate yourself. It is time to evaluate myself, as I get ready to graduate and finish College. For many, College is the period in their lives where they change the most and discover themselves. The people you meet, and the professors you take lead you through a learning experience like no other. For me personally, College has had a profound impact on me, but not to the extreme measures of a life changing experience.
To fully examine my growth through college, it’s only fitting to retrace my steps and look at the reasons why I came to college in the first place. I decided to come to college because it was to me personally, the best way to be ensured I will get a successful job in the future. College is the building block that helps you become prepared for the real world. After high school, we remain under developed, and immature, without the knowledge a young adult has in order to survive on their own. That is what College is for; to make that transition. I was expecting College in Whitewater to be very welcoming, and not too overwhelming, due to the size of the city. I felt choosing a division 3 school like Whitewater was a safer bet than Madison, which would be very overwhelming. I also felt with big lecture halls, it’s hard to make the necessary connections with students and teachers.
After surviving Whitewater, my expectations for the most part lived up to being true. Whitewater is a very welcoming community, making it easy to make close relationships. Even though you don’t know everyone, you feel like you’re a part of a family. One expectation that didn’t live up unfortunately was the eating facilities. I expected the food to be way more up to par than what it turned out to be. I never got excited to eat at the dining halls when I lived in the dorms. The hype surrounding college eating facilities was high for me, considering the quality of high school food. But other than UNO’S, I was underwhelmed by the choices of food on campus. Regarding the lectures, I was satisfied for the most part with my professors. They were all very knowledgeable about their studies. The communication barrier between a few professors was muddled simply due to their foreign accents, but that is a part of the growing up process. You have to adjust to that kind of learning environment where you have to communicate with all walks of life.
My first choice for a major was Electronic media. I was so fascinated by the inner workings of a film set. But after my first year of being in this major, I realized I wasn’t passionate about working with cameras. The process of fulfilling this major was moving at a snail pace for me. So, I decided to take a chance and major in Journalism, which turns out to be a major everyone discredits as being a risky choice, because of job opportunities. But Journalism is on a high rise in terms of use of social media, and being affiliated with the web. The initial reason I switched to Journalism was to improve my writing in order to become a film critic. Out of anything, analyzing film is my ultimate passion, and in order to get my thought out there thoroughly, I needed to improve my writing skills.
After a year or so, I found so much appreciation for the profession of Journalism, finding myself being immersed in this world. I would still like to take my Journalism major and incorporate it with film somehow. But I’ve also enjoyed learning how to write news stories, covering a variety of topics. It also made me aware of the impact of social media and how I can use those outlets to further my career in whatever field I choose.
Overall the biggest change that College has given me is the development of my personality. I have become way more personal with my relationships. Ever since grade school, I recognized I was always a shy individual, and still remain so. But my personal connections with people have grown. I try to take more time to talk with people, and come off as more of an insightful individual interested in their lives. In the past, I’ve also noticed I’m not easily approachable, simply because I rarely ever smile and never carry myself with tons of energy. That can be disarming for people want to get to know you. I learned that the most important character trait you should develop in order to be noticed by people is to always have a positive outlook on life. It may sound cliché, but if you can show your personable side, and force yourself to be engaging with others, you will gain more relationships. I will always be an introvert and enjoy my alone time on occasion, but in order to get your name out there in order to reach your goals, its critical to connect with as my people as possible. The more people you connect with in your field of work, the higher of a percentage you will get a good paying job.
As I say said earlier, College was a great learning experience for me personally, but I’m still insecure about my future. I know something eventually will come around my corner, but right now, I’m nervous to get my feet wet. College didn’t give me a concrete answer of what I want to do with the rest of my life. But it gave me a platform to feel confident enough to start hunting for opportunities. There is a lot of second guessing that I do with myself on a daily basis. The biggest question is whether or not I made the right decision with my major, and chose the right school to attend for College. If I would’ve started all over, I would try even harder to associate myself with the campus. I would start way earlier to explore job opportunities and internships. I would basically do everything with more of a competitive nature. But all in all I am satisfied with my Journey through college. I feel confident that I made the right choices, and am very anxious to get on with my future.

Jefferson County Board Meeting Recap

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Jefferson County held a Council Meeting Tuesday October 27th, where the board overruled a petition, in order to support the request of a rezoning of 3.2 acres of land.
Property owners Phillip and Sandra Bettor requested the zoning of 3.2 acres, which is part of a 40 acre parcel, located on N77103 Stoney Creek Rod in the town of Lake Mills. In addition, the use of three sheds for storage of non – farm equipment was also added in the request.
The County Board voted 3-24 in favor of the zoning plans to be rescheduled and looked over by the Planning and Zoning Committee.
The Planning and Zoning Committee originally opposed the zoning petition. According to Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Committee Steven Nass, there were “13 opposed and zero in favor of the petition.”
Nass made it clear to the board that the people who spoke in public during the council meeting were not participatory in the original decision making.
“We can only make a decision based on the information we have that day and that’s how we made our decision,” said Nass.
The request of a rezoning in this case is in order to provide storage for the Bittorfs’ business Mid – State Traffic Control Center. The supplies that Mid – State Traffic Control currently provide are traffic signals, highway signs, and barricades, and among other road equipment, according to a letter from Mr. Bittorf’s Attorney Tom Wilkinson.
Specific criteria have to be met in order for A-1 Exclusive Agricultural to be rezoned. In response to the questioning of the requirements, County Corporation Counsel J Blair ward ruled out personal motives.
“It’s not that you like somebody or you like business, that’s not a criteria in the state statues or county ordinances,” said Ward.
A number of intrigued Jefferson citizens made an appearance at the council meeting.
Those in favor of the rezoning included Jean Lenz and nine other citizens appearing in front of the board that night. Lenz, as well as others, supported the Bittorfs’ rights to build a business on their private property.
“I’m a neighbor of the Bittorfs’ and I do support them” said Lenz. “I feel that if you own property there and not breaking laws, then you should be able to do with your property what you desire.”
The Jefferson community showed great support of Mr. Bittorf, as those in favor for the petition recognize the zoning as necessary work in order to house existing supplies.
Those opposed the action of rezoning in the town of Lake Mills included John Philips, a neighbor of Mr. Bittorf. Philips addressed his fear for the safety of his three children in result of the rezoning.
Attorney Jay Smith spoke on the behalf of his clients, including seven other property owners.
“My clients have concerns about the noise and commotion, site issues related to storage of mateials and serious traffic concerns,” said Smith.
In response to the vote against the recommendations of the Zoning Committee to deny zoning privileges, the plans will go back to the committee in order to be reexamined.
In other news
• A public hearing took place for the 2016 proposed budget. The proposed tax levy for next year is $26,743,522. Debt service will pay for $1,138,284. The budget will be voted on in November the 10th.

• United Way Director Megan Finely presented the new proposed “Get Connected” website. Finely told the board that the website would help people become more involved with the community. The full website is http://getconnectedjc.weareugn.org/

• A representative for the Jefferson County Alcohol Treatment Court held a presentation for their first graduate of the course, Henry Gibbemeyer. In order to avoid a prison term, Gibbemeyer participated in 139 preliminary breath tests,140 self – help meetings, eight random drug screens, 34 office appointments with staff and 17 court appearances.

Democratic Debate

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The 2015 Democratic debate was held Tuesday, October 13th, and watched by University of Wisconsin – Whitewater’s Democratic Club, as they held a party and reacted with immense energy.
University of Wisconsin – Whitewater has passionate students who take an active interest in the Candidates running this year. Chair of the Democratic Club Tom Hankes assures that the majority of students are supporting Bernie Sanders.
“There is a movement for Bernie Sanders. Caring about people is what being a Democrat stands for,” said Hankes.
Sanders is a 74 year old politician and senator of Vermont, whom is currently the longest serving independent in U.S. history. Sanders’ popularity has grown considerably in the past few months largely due to his free college tuition plan.
Sanders has also been causing attention because he is a socialist, a term that has been criticized for heavily favoritism of government’s involvement with the economy. Sanders believes democratic socialism means “having a government that represents all people, not just rich people.”
During the debate, Sanders also strengthened his stance on his belief in same sex marriage. Whitewater student Kathy Rettman attended the party and likes Sanders’s possessive stance on the issue.
“A lot of other politicians have been changing their minds and saying now they’re for it when before they weren’t, but Bernie has been for it from the beginning,” said Rettman.
What also had the students reacting was the continued rivalry between Sanders and Hilary Clinton. Clinton is a 67 year old politician who is known for serving under Barack Obama as secretary of state.
The issue of gun control was brought up during the debate. Clinton was asked about Sanders’ position on the matter and if he was strict enough with his action. She responded simply saying “No, Not at all”.
However, Hankes feels Sanders stance on gun control will be a popular decision and “will hit home with a lot of Wisconsin citizens”, concerning hunting season.
While she found the debate to be “interesting”, Rettman criticized the questions, for being tailored to Clinton, giving her more air time.
“Many of the questions asked to Hillary were just about her, so no one could respond,” said Rettman.
While Clinton and Sanders were the headlining attractions that got the most responses from students, the other three candidates made a valid showing.
Candidate Jim Webb, former Senator of Virginia, is a respected war hero who fought in the Vietnam War. He was heavily involved in the conversation concerning foreign policy.
He would also agree with Rettman’s response regarding attention toward Clinton, as he constantly remarked on speaking time.
“I’ve been trying to get into this conversation for about 10 minutes”, said Webb.
Candidate Martin O’ Malley is a 52 year old former Governor of Maryland. Along with Webb, he has been fighting to be recognized in the Presidential polling.
During the debate, O’Malley defended heated question from host Anderson Cooper, concerning the blame for the Baltimore Riots. Malley focused on the positive aftermaths of the disturbing incident.
“Together as a city, we saved a lot of lives. It was about leadership. It was about bringing people together, said O’ Malley.”
Lincoln Chafee is a 62 year old former senator of Rode Island. While Webb and Malley are clearly underdogs in the race, Chafee might be the biggest longshot, according to the polls.
Chafee’s performance was disappointing for many, as he was unable to give clear answers to Cooper’s questions. However, he did give the voters something to think about when casting their vote.
“We need someone that has the best in ethical standards as our next president”, said Chafee.
According to the strong reaction from the Whitewater students, Sanders and Clinton proved to be the headlining attractions in the democratic debate.

2016 Whitewater Proposed Budget

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  On October 6th, 2015, City Manager Christopher Clapper led the Whitewater Common Council with the discussion of the proposed 2016 budget plan.
Clapper discussed where the money within the budget comes from. The main contributors are the property taxes levy, and the intergovernmental revenue.
The total for the 2015 cumulative budget was $9,472,401. The proposed budget for 2016 is $9,777,798, which is a 1.5 percent increase from the previous total. Clapper, when asked about comparing this budget to previous years, stressed the importance of funding.
“We need to look at ways to continue to fund things, which is always a big issue considering prices always go up each year”, Clapper said.
Clapper also addressed the council members of the present financial standing in which Whitewater exists.
The estimated amount of government spending per capita for the City of Whitewater is currently $413.31. The amount is below the medium of other municipalities with similar population size.
With the proposed budget, the expenditures go to the general government, public safety, and debt services and sinking funds, while also covering recycling, community development, and education.
Clapper went on by highlighting important points of issues that need to be examined within the following weeks to come.
He discussed the prices for Fire and Ems services will eventually rise.
“It is unlikely that we won’t be able to continue to enjoy this service at such a low price. We need to consider a future referendum in order to address fire department needs without eliminating of other fundamental municipal services”, Clapper said.
Wastewater treatment rates, along with utility rates plan to increase in price as well. Clapper notes the rise in price supports the efforts to remodel and update the plant, in addition to a new fiber-optic extension.
Clapper addressed the proposed plan for the 27th payroll, which is the extra pay period for Whitewater employees within a year. $16,000 was transferred as a fund, in order to spend for the 27th pay period.
Clapper also discussed an increase in cost of solid waste removal and recycling from $391,575, which is a $6,701 increase from the previous budget.
For these changes to be made permanent, the budget must be approved by the common council. The council went on to approve such proposals.
In addition to the proposed 2016 budget, other important issues were brought to the table.
Other items include the city willing to put up $50,000 for improvements to the Whitewater Aquatic Center (WAC). The WAC currently has a 25 meter lap pool with a family pool, locker rooms, and water slide.
A change in ownership of WAC was proposed by Clapper to have the city and the Whitewater Unified District continue to share ownership. However, the Park and Recreations Facility would take over control of policies and directions. No further action was taken by the council to finalize the proposal.
In other news, an agreement with Whitewater Police Chief lisa Otterbacher was renewed to a three year agreement. The agreement covers new changes covering notice of termination, and updates of automobile provision, and residency requirements.
A public meeting at the council held by Downtown Whitewater Board of Directors (DTWW) Kristine Zaballos also took place, in order to discuss the possible changes of the director position. The council came to an agreement to hold a public meeting concerning the change in position of DTWW, which will take place on Thursday Oct. 22, 5 to 7 pm.
In order for changes to be addressed and made, scheduled hearings and or meetings with outside citizens must be made accordingly.

Young Auditorium Slideshow

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Steve Job’s Speech

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In 2005, at Stanford College, Steve Jobs gave a speech that would chronicle his life, regarding failures, triumphs, and breakthroughs, by expressing his determination to live the life he wanted.
Steve Jobs, 50, the co-founder of Apple, gave an inspirational speech to Stanford graduates, telling them to make choices in your life that will follow your dreams.
Jobs headlined his speech with three important stories that underlines his successes.
Jobs began his speech with a story titled “Connecting the Dots”, where he stressed the importance of keeping in touch with your roots.
Before dropping out, Jobs attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon. There, he learned Calligraphy, which at that time had no earning to his life.
“I learned about san – serif typefaces. None of this had even a hope of any application in my life”, Said Jobs.
Little did Jobs know, 10 years later when designing the first Macintosh computer, Typography was introduced into computers.
He addressed the crowd by saying “you can only connect the dots looking forward” and hope everything will eventually add up. Jobs states that he has lived by this motto his whole life, and advised the next generation to follow in his foot – steps.
Jobs mentioned that he preferred not to be limited with the required classes that had no relation with his interests. At age 17, jobs dropped out of College.
Jobs felt he never had a clear plan for his future, but knew he wanted to take his own route.
Jobs called his second story “Love and Loss”, chronicling his up and down relationship with Apple and
After Jobs and co- founder Steve Wozniak started Apple Computer Inc. in Job’s parent’s garage, it grew to a 2 billion company, with over 4,000 available staff workers.
He talked about what it meant to him to be fired from his own company.
Jobs hired a new board of director John Sculley, who recently worked for Pepsi cola. For a year, Jobs and Sculley worked well together, but had a falling out, costing Jobs his place with Apple Computer Inc.
He recalled in his speech how this changed his life for the better.
“It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” Said Jobs
In the following years, Job founded the computer company “Next”, helped kick start the computer animated corporation Pixar, and met his wife Lauren Powell.
While losing almost everything he started, Jobs was able to rebound and rebuild his life, by continuing to do what he loved, and in return, find more love.
Job’s mentions to his audience that it’s important for every working individual to make big choices in life that will ensure you have lived your life according to yourself.
The story within the speech entitled “Death” described the fear Jobs had to die before living a life that never fulfilled his dreams.
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life”, said Jobs.
Jobs also touched on the fact he was diagnosed with Cancer. He was told the Cancer was “a type of cancer that was incurable”, and that he was expected to be dead within 6 months.
With that, Jobs followed with the inspirational message to the audience saying “You are the new” and that you mustn’t waste your time living for someone else.
Jobs concluded his speech with the quote “Stay Hungry stay foolish”, used form “The Whole Earth Catalog.” With this quote Jobs left the crowd with the ideal of living with no boundaries and to take chances.
Jobs made it clear in his speech that he didn’t take the path most would choose. The moral of Job’s speech is to stay focused on your anticipations and don’t be limited by others views or guidelines.
With this acceptance speech, Jobs left the crowd with many questions to answer, and inspiration to live a life that matters.
As Jobs would ask himself, “if today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”

The McCartney Years

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Late Thursday night, “The McCartney Years” blew the roof off of the Young Auditorium, paying tribute to Paul McCartney, by covering all lengths of his long career.
The Young Auditorium welcomed a talented group of musicians this past Thursday, on the ninth of Oct. The McCartney Years are not just a Beatles Tribute band, but a band that pays specific tribute to Paul McCartney’s luxurious career.
While not most bands focus on McCartney’s music talents in the mid 1970’s after the Beatles split, The McCartney Years does just that.
Yuri Pool, the lead singer and bass player of the band feels the songs McCartney wrote with “The Wings” have never gotten the recognition they deserve.
“There were no other bands that paid tribute to the Wings when I was growing up,” Said Pool.
The band also sprinkles in some of the Beatles greats like “Hey Jude”, and “Yesterday”. The crowd was definitely pleased to hear songs they grew up admiring.
“Hey Jude always gets the crowd going,” Laughed Pool.
However, the band’s main focus was to play Paul McCartney’s gems from his solo and post Beatles career with hits that included “live and let Die”, displayed on The Wings album “I lie Around.”
The lively audience Thursday night consisted of the older generation whom witnessed the rise and fall of The Beatles, and the birth of Paul McCartney’s solo career. While not connected to the dance music era of today, the crowd found what they were looking for. The McCartney Years finished with pours of love from the audience.
For usher and student Josh Ognenoff, it was a treat to listen to great music while on duty.
“You don’t find a great group like the McCartney years out there,” Said Ogenhoff.
Mayra Escamilla, also an usher for the Young Auditorium, enjoyed the energy of the show and “how it was interactive” with the crowd.
“They had people singing along and played different types of songs, with some more relaxed and some more upbeat,” Said Escamilla.
Ultimately the goal of the performance was to share with everyone the under – appreciated career Paul McCartney had after the break – up of the Beatles. The passion for Paul McCartney is shown within the talent who brought the music to life.
Pool plays the part of Paul McCartney and has studied the music extensively, in order to present the music in its truest form.
Originally from Holland, Pool moved to Canada in the 2000’s, and there, he was able to assemble the band. Since there were hundreds of Beatles Tribute bands already touring around the globe, Pool decided to take a different route.
The other members that make up the band include, Karen bell on backing vocals and percussion, David Usselman on bass guitar, Braden DeCooman on lead guitar, Darryl Lahteenmaa on backing vocals and keyboard, and Aaron Guevarra on drums.
The McCartney Years have now made a name for them and have become known as the “premier McCartney concert experience”. Thankfully, the Young Auditorium was able to grab them briefly, before they continued on.

Kittatinny’s Proposed Budget for 2015

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Kittatinny Proposed Budget for 2015
The mayor of Kittatinny, PA, released his proposed budget to the public, ensuring that drastic measures will have to be in taken in order to recover from major economic set- backs.
Tough decisions were made by Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz of Kittatinny, PA, when reconstructing a budget plan for 2015. There hasn’t been any final decision made, which means there is room for open discussion.
“I understand people will be upset or angry with what I am proposing. Call me or call your local city council member if you have any questions. ,” Said Mayor Petkiewicz.
The city has drastically fallen behind due to unfortunate miss hap, after a collapse at the Susquehanna Steel Corporation. The Blast Furnace Unit 1 reportedly decommissioned and has forced a number of workers to lose their jobs.
In order to cut back on savings, Mayor Petykiewicz has called for numerous changes for the upcoming years.
One drastic change is the decision to pull Police early shifts from 4 a.m. to noon, meaning the city of Kittatianny will no longer have officers monitoring the streets.
“It might decrease our response on crimes. Numbers will be routed and will dispatch a kittatiny officer. ,” Said mayor Petykiewicz
On the other hand, police officers have been questioning the removal of their security from the streets.
“I understand the mayor’s position and I appreciate his hard work, but there needs to be a discussion regarding police protection.,” said Chief of Police Roma Hruska
The main concern that most police officers have in Kittatinny are the threats of domestic disputes.
“Domestic Disputes happens the most often. People have been killed in situations like this. That’s what I worry about the most. ,” Said Hurska
Other controversial decisions that are proposed in the budget include Garbage pickup being taken off of the tax levy. However, the city is currently in negotiations with Tioga Sanitation Co. to continue providing weekly garbage pickup. The mayor can feel the people’s frustration with this decision.
“We are all in this together and together we will find a solution to the garbage pickup situation.,” Says Mayor Petykiewicz.
While there are some investments the mayor has admitted to being risky, he feels strongly about preserving tourist attractions in his town.
“These are good investments and will improve tourism. “White Deer Lake is a great attraction for tourists. ,” says Mayor Petykiewicz.
In order to preserve the beautiful surreal views of Kittatinny, the mayor has included money for a new riding mower, a weed removal vehicle or the city beach, and for the winter, a combination dump truck/snow plow for city streets Department.
While losing tourism is a concern for the mayor, President of AFSCME local 644, Martha Mittengrabben, is concerned with preserving Kittitany’s population.
“There is not much work here in Kittatinny. People are planning to leave to support their families. ,” says Mittengrabben .
Mayor Petykiewicz hopes to continue to work with the community and city council to get a grasp of what decisions will be the most logical, and to ensure people to stay along- side him.
Up until the deadline of December 1, 2014, the budget plan is up for grabs.

Mitchell Williams Jr. Interview

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Mitchell Williams Jr has had a humbling upbringing, and is fortunate to be where he is today.

Mitchell Williams, One of my four roommates this year, is a 20 year old junior, who’s originally from Rockford, Illinois. Williams has always been an aspiring athlete, but asthma and heart conditions have forced him to overcome tough obstacles.

Williams was born in the Swedish American Hospital, which is located in his hometown, Rockford, Illinois. He was a premature baby, being born a month early. This stopped his heart from being fully developed.

At only 6 months old, doctors found a heart murmur.  At 9 months old, Williams had open heart surgery, and was sent to ICU (intensive care unit) for four months.

Along with his erratic heart condition, Williams also, on a daily basis, battled asthma. Up through middle school, asthma limited Williams from playing sports to his full ability.

For Mitchell’s family, Asthma was a common occurrence. Williams told me that he would always have his inhaler handy during his childhood.

“Life wasn’t easy for a child with a heart and lung condition,” Williams said.

During his childhood, Williams was a gifted baseball player. Even though his play was limited, Williams played on a little league coached by his father, Mitchell Williams Sr.

Since Williams was always involved with sports, visiting the doctor for checkups was common. At age 12, doctors discovered Williams’s heart beat to be irregular. An MRI showed yet another heart murmur.

Doctors forced Mitchell to slow down on activities in order to let his heart become normal again. Thankfully his heart was able to heal on its own.

Williams shared with me how thankful he was for his family to be with him during these traumatic experiences.

Williams’s mom, Vernetta Bedford, a phone company operator, was always around the house supporting Williams. Mitchell Williams Sr. joined the Army, and left to Iraq during his teen years, but was able to visit for graduation.

“These Experiences has taught me to appreciate life and my family.”, Williams said.

Ever since his second heart murmur was discovered, Williams’s overall health has been improved. Recently, Williams has been an active wrestler and overall athlete, for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. He has finally been able to perform to his fullest potential.


My interests in movies

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  • This summer there has been an abundance of blockbusters released, like a typical summer movie season. Unlike a typical movie goer I try to view as movies that I am interested in, even i they are small independent licks that are hard to find. I enjoy a variety o genres and I try to experiment with challenging films also. This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the blockbuster films, because those are the most fun when seen at a packed theater with butter popcorn shoved in your face. But I also want to view films that are maybe not told in the traditional narrative, or has unusual characters, or a off beat tone to it. There are so many different kinds of films, and during the summer time is when I try to visit or revisit all types.

Chef (2014)

  • This season there were a couple of smaller films that I saw that were either released in limited theaters, or made independently. The first one that came to my mind is Chef starred and directed by John Favreau. This movie tells the story of a successful chef who suddenly loses his job and decides to start a food truck with his son and friend because. He was never able to cook what he wanted to cook and with this food truck he is able to live by his rules and hang out with his son who he rarely ever gets to see. It’s a heartwarming family movie that showcases the best of John Favreau’s light humor. The coolest thing about this movie is that they relate social media with the plot. Social media in the film helps Favreau’s character’s food truck get notice by the public. Though Twitter updates, the truck slowly attracts a crowd of fans. It successfully shows how social media is used nowadays and what the power of social media can do. This movie ends of being a heartwarming story about a father and son bonding, while working on a food truck. These kind of small independent films that pull at the heart strings really get to me.