#FixThePool

Although “Doug McDermott Bobble Head Night” was the designated theme for tonight’s nail-biting victory over Big East counterpart Seton Hall, a select group of Creighton students embraced a separate agenda. As the countdown to tip-off dwindled, the usual diehard fans assumed their positions in the front row of the bustling CenturyLink Center. However, the typical “Roll Jays” signs and vibrant Creighton blue attire were not as apparent as usual. Instead, the Bluejay faithful were adorned in pool attire. Wielding swimwear, inflatable sharks, and signs reading “#FixThePool”, the members of the so-called “Fix the Pool Movement” battled the best college basketball player in the country for camera time in order to broadcast their message.

Brad Williams Photography Photo from https://twitter.com/bradwphoto/status

Brad Williams Photography
Photo from https://twitter.com/bradwphoto/status

To clarify, our university’s swimming pool draws an outrageously close resemblance to both the Mojave Desert and my theology professor’s personality – extremely dry. While I have failed to pinpoint when the pool was last used, I have concluded after speaking with several alumni this past weekend that it was long, long before ‘Nam. That being said, I now present to you the top five reasons why the pool should be resurrected.

1. For the scorchers. Although Omaha isn’t exactly the most desirable vacation spot, it certainly does have its fair share of blazing hot days. That being said, it would be ideal to have a place to cool off besides the fountain outside of Swanson Hall (Public Safety does not approve).

2. For the athletes. As a distance runner, I know from firsthand experience that aquatic exercise is the best way to stay in shape while nursing an injury. Thus, filling the pool with the good ole H20 would be a major asset to our athletic program.

3. For the Average Joes/Josephines. No, I am not an avid swimmer. No, I do not own a speedo (you’re welcome or sorry, depending on who’s reading this). And no, chlorine is not my scent of choice. But I must admit that I would not mind fine-tuning my cannon ball before spring break.

4. For convenience. As of now, students wishing to take a dip have a grand total of two options – the YMCA and Carter Lake, neither of which are worth anyone’s time when we have what could be a perfectly fine pool right here on campus.

5. For the absurd amount of money we pay to call this wonderful university our home. Creighton is expensive… really expensive. So to all the naysayers of this unofficial aquatic revolution, be thankful it’s #FixThePool and not #BuildAWaterpark. Just saying.

 

My roommate actually took the time to make a Facebook page for today’s game… https://www.facebook.com/events/1399449986981849/

And for what it’s worth, the world’s best water parks. http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/31/travel/worlds-best-water-parks/

Advertisements

The Backup Screen

Aside from sports, I don’t watch that much television. For TV shows I’m a Netflix guy mainly because I dislike planning my day around the boob tube. However, it is always hard not to tune in when my Twitter feed is blown up with information about a show or event. That’s when the element of curiosity enters the room and proceeds to taunt me like Richard Sherman. And if I’m doing something important like studying or eating white cheddar popcorn, chances are I’m going to pause the task at-hand to get up and turn the TV on (our remote is broken). This development in social media usage is easy and effective for any televised occasion, especially when holiday-esque events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics roll around.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 1.30.11 AM

That being said, I definitely participate in this second-screen trend. I usually find it worthwhile to check out the variety of reactions and comments that are tweeted by the accounts I follow. At the same time, I usually tweet once or twice during a game – maybe even three times if I’m feeling especially outspoken. My most recent second-screen Twitter activity was during the Creighton game earlier today. McDermott tied his season high of 39 points as the 18th ranked Bluejays thumped the 6th ranked Villanova Wildcats. Although I only tweeted once, I easily could’ve tweeted enough to lose a substantial amount of followers considering how exceptional we played in the biggest game of the season thus far. I also keep close tabs on the team’s Twitter account so I can see the game-day graphics and promotional material I put together.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 1.23.09 AM

As great as this trend is, there is one major drawback that comes to mind. Unfortunately, it facilitates cyber conflict, especially among rival fans and players. Because social media is so dangerously accessible, infuriated viewers can post their unfiltered thoughts in a matter of seconds for all of humanity to see. Thus, athletes are frequently force-fed excessive amounts of explicit hate mail. Besides this, I think this phenomenon is a valuable promotional tactic that can be utilized by just about any show, event, or company to increase viewership.­

A link to the game-day graphic I threw together yesterday afternoon… http://instagram.com/p/kfQDStAsL0/

And more on this trend. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2013/10/10/the-second-screen-phenomenon-is-much-bigger-than-twitter-and-facebook/

Why Wasting Time Online is Hardly a Waste At All

I have always spent a considerable amount of time online. But how much of that time is spent in a productive manner is certainly up for debate. I joined Facebook my sophomore year of high school, and Twitter the following year. Like many people, these two sites comprise the vast majority of my non-academic online activity. However, I have recently started using LinkedIn, which I find myself checking almost just as frequently in order to increase my connections and endorsements. While I have been encouraged by my professors to utilize other social networking sites like Google +, Instagram, and the uncomfortably feminine Pinterest, my interest in doing so is currently nowhere to be found (I have a feeling it will turn up soon though).

While the majority of my time wasted online comes from social media, I have always been inclined to excessively Google miscellaneous subjects. In my mind, this rather meaningless hobby has had more of an impact on my life than any social media site has had to date. This trend started when I was in sixth grade, also known as the Era of AOL Instant Messenger. I have been a basketball fanatic since day one, so naturally I spent a great deal of time reading about my favorite players like Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade. But I didn’t stop at player statistics – soon I was researching their hometowns and neighborhoods. Part of the reason I sought out this information was due to its foreign nature. As a Caucasian youth growing up in the bland ole state of South Dakota, I found the gang violence, drug trafficking, and poverty of some of these areas to be intriguing. It was a way of life I had never been exposed to (thankfully), and it helped me develop a newfound level of respect and appreciation for some of my favorite world-class athletes who had triumphed trying circumstances to reach the pinnacle of the sports world. As you might imagine, this interest in various sociological environments was eventually appeased – although I still find this subject to be very interesting today. And although I cannot confirm that it has helped me in any tangible manner, it opened my eyes at an early age to the intricate diversity of our world. In doing so, I have grown to take immense pride in my ability to relate to and sympathize with others.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 12.49.52 AM

This phase of online wandering paved the way for my next subject of recreational research – art. My first passion, before basketball, was in fact drawing. My artistic pursuits evolved from Calvin and Hobbes-inspired cartooning at a young age to realistic drawings of just about anything and everything early in my high school career. I took every drawing class available, and practiced religiously at home. By sophomore year, I was set on becoming an artist. I was confident in my abilities, and wanted nothing more than to advance my artistic capacity. However, my parents were wary, as they did not want their first-born son to surrender his promising academic potential for an unstable future as a starving artist. While I spent most of my time searching countless artists and their work online, I eventually began to explore career alternatives in the creative industry. Fortunately, It didn’t take long for me to pinpoint advertising and graphic design as my niche.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 12.50.12 AM

Yes, social media is essential, especially in my field of study. And contrary to popular belief, wasting time on it can be beneficial. However, this pastime cannot compete with the personal knowledge and growth I have acquired from countless hours of simply Googling whatever sparks my interest.

A look at two of the NBA’s premiere guards and the harsh environment they escaped… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cydAKyfJoOE

And some facts about the site I am most scared of joining. http://socialmediatoday.com/gillpolard/1839431/5-pinterest-stats-consider

Social Media Evaluation

So I googled my name. The results weren’t all that exciting. My Facebook came up first, followed by a comment on CU Confessions about my friend and I being “the hottest roommate duo on campus” (obviously a joke). Other relevant results included this blog and a cross country profile from high school that I definitely did not make, along with a Prezi on Hamlet I did for an English class. Pretty random stuff.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 1.28.12 AM

That being said, I need to step my social media presence up. I am consistently active on Twitter, but for some reason my account did not come up. Yet for now, I’m perfectly fine with that. While I can see how Twitter is a valuable networking tool, I personally feel that in this point in my life that is not what I need to use it for. For me it is simply recreational. I have just under 400 followers, which isn’t too shabby if you ask me. In order to make my brand more professional, it is essential that I do away with the procrastination and finally make a LinkedIn profile. In my opinion, this is the most important social media tool a college student can utilize.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 1.42.57 AM

My Klout score was a 28, which wasn’t exactly a surprise considering I’m only active on two social media sites. 62% of my social media activity comes from Twitter, while the other 38% is from Facebook. I’m curious to see how this score will raise as new Google +, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts are factored in.

 

Why Klout isn’t all it’s chalked up to be… http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

And how college students like myself can get the most of Twitter… http://www.business2community.com/social-media/5-ways-college-students-can-professionally-use-twitter-to-grow-their-personal-brand-042626#!ufDol