I Survived Two Weeks Without A Cell Phone

November 19, 2014 6:00 AM


VanSchmus is a sophomore public relations major and can be reached at emily.vanschmus@drake.edu

VanSchmus is a sophomore public relations major and can be reached at emily.vanschmus@drake.edu

Older generations are always harping on us to get off our phones and join the real world. They accuse us of not knowing how to connect with others in person because all we do is interact online or via smartphone.

As a self proclaimed Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter addict, I generally reply to these accusations with a hearty eye roll and then get back to whatever urgent message has popped up on my screen. I have always denied that our generation has a problem, especially since coming to college — sending a Snapchat or a text to a friend from home makes it much easier to communicate than if we had to send snail mail back-and-forth.

I’ve seen constant contact and connection as strictly a positive thing. Until a few weeks ago.

Halloweekend got the better of my iPhone, and with the way my plan and upgrade are set, I could either buy a new phone or wait just a few weeks.

Part of my addict’s mind seriously considered forking over the cash just to maintain my habits, but, in the end I survived for a whole two weeks with no phone.

The first day was absolute agony. I lost count of the number of times I reached for my phone to take a Snapchat, send a text or get on Twitter simply because I had 28 seconds to spare, and why should I have to be bored for half a minute if I can entertain myself by reading a few tweets?

By the third or fourth day I was getting used to not having my phone in my hand every second of the day, but I was green with envy at the people around me happily Snapchatting away and reading new GroupMe notifications.

These symptoms were most likely just withdrawal from what I now realize was (and in all honesty, still is) an extreme addiction.

I began to notice things in my life I had been missing before, just because the latest Yik Yak was too interesting or because picking an Instagram filter really can take 20 minutes, and yes there is a “right” filter for every photo, thank you very much.

As the second week began, I started noticing myself engaging in more basic human contact.

I smiled at my peers on the way to class instead of staring at my phone, and when my friend went to the restroom at a party, I introduced myself to someone I didn’t know instead of scrolling through the latest newsfeed while I waited.

As I anxiously await the arrival of my new phone, I am both excited to have Instagram filters to choose from again, but nervous that I will stop being annoyed that everyone at the dinner table is on their phones, because I will be too.

Our generation has certainly benefited from new technologies in hundreds of ways, but I fear we may also be losing more than we realize in the process.

It’s Not a New Thing for Kardashian to Pose Nude

6:00 AM


Hersheway is a sophomore writing and creative advertising double major. He can be reached at jeffrey.hersheway@drake.edu.

Hersheway is a sophomore writing and creative advertising double major. He can be reached at jeffrey.hersheway@drake.edu.

“Oh my God! Kim Kardashian? NAKED? Impossible!” — Words I heard uttered by no one this week.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably seen Kardashian’s newest nude photos on the cover of Paper Magazine, the headline reading “Break the Internet.” Honestly, the only thing I think Kardashian broke with that cover was her assistant’s hand squeezing multiple different oil bottles onto her ass.

Not to slut-shame Kardashian but, honestly, her taking off her clothing in front of millions of people is not all that shocking. Hell, her family practically made an entire empire off of Kardashian taking off her clothes for the camera.

In 2007, Kardashian’s sex tape with sort-of hip-hop star Ray-J leaked, which eventually led to her and her family to make their reality show, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” which led to two spinoffs, fragrances, clothing lines and even an App which is dominating the smartphone market. And this is not the only time she’s posed naked either. Along with the sex tape in 2007, she also posed naked for Playboy in 2008.

It’s not a new thing for Kardashian to pose nude, so I’m not exactly sure how this new supposed grandiose gesture is supposed to “break the Internet.” Kardashian’s naked body isn’t in high demand because it has been supplied multiple times. It’s a publicity stunt featuring Kardashian going back to her business roots — selling the image of her body. Perhaps there is more to Kardashian than she exposes in these pictures and video, but she sure seems to want to cover up a more serious side of her.

Kudos to the woman who owns her sexuality and uses it as a business strategy, but it’s not necessary anymore. Her family is already overexposed, her body has been seen by thousands and she’s married to one of the most successful rappers in the game. What more is she trying to do with this magazine spread?

I’m not going to sit here and pretend Kardashian isn’t a beautiful woman. But she needs to do more with her fame than repeat history with these photo spreads. She could emphasize different cultures, dedicate her time to philanthropy or at least dedicate a foundation for scholarships or body positivity.

Instead, she is proclaiming how beautiful she is for, ultimately, no higher purpose other than making money. Her photos didn’t “break the Internet,” but instead just made everyone on the Internet collectively shrug and go back to whatever they were doing. Kardashian’s greasy butt is old news. We’ve all seen it before because she constantly calls attention to it.

I have no hate for Kardashian. It’s a smart business strategy, objectifying her body to add to her family’s multi-million dollar empire. I just wish there was more proof that she was in on this objectification.

Iron Heart Tattoo Delivers Great Experience

6:00 AM


For students interested in expanding their horizons in terms of body decoration (we know the youth today are notorious for that), Iron Heart Tattoo certainly delivers great service, affordable prices and an overall chill experience.

(While I, unfortunately, cannot speak on the tattoo portion of Iron Heart, I would assume the experience would be similar to that of receiving a piercing there.)

My freshman year rebellion came in the form of a belly button piercing I got at Iron Heart last September. Being my first piercing since my ear lobes (which I received at an age too young to remember what it was like) I was a nervous wreck the entire car ride there, questioning why I would put myself through such agony for a little jewel in my stomach. But I digress.

Simply walking into Iron Heart began to put me at ease. While some tattoo and piercing parlors have a shady aura or look as intimidatingly sterile as the inside of a doctor’s office, Iron Heart meets in the middle with a sort of rustic atmosphere, making it very approachable. Picture frames of its various body artwork line the wooden walls, and a comfy couch resides in the lobby area.

In the next room, the workers are very relaxed. They chat with each other and customers, making drawing on someone’s skin with ink and needle seem like the most casual thing in the world.

While I was definitely still nervous being led into a small room right beyond the lobby area for my piercing, the piercer was so chill it was difficult to not relax as well. He was super knowledgeable, personable and funny. The process was quick and painless (well, minus the pinch of the needle) and I walked out with a bedazzled belly button for $40 flat, and to this day I haven’t had any issues with it.

This school year, I returned to Iron Heart for triple ear lobe and cartilage piercings. Once again, they delivered with awesome service. While cartilage piercings are typically $30 and ear lobes $40, the piercer gave me $10 off for getting all three.

In addition, he realized the original two piercings on one of my ears were not even with that of the other. So before piercing my triples and cartilage, he re-did my first piercing to even out the earrings for no extra cost. It was an insanely nice gesture that serves as an example for its great customer service.

Based on my experiences, I definitely recommend Iron Heart to students looking for new piercings, as its prices are much more affordable than most places. The inside is clean and non-intimidating, and the staff is so genuine and cool it makes the experience relaxing and enjoyable. It is easy to see they enjoy what they are doing and care a lot about customer satisfaction.

Iron Heart Tattoo is a five to ten minute drive from campus at 2815 Beaver Ave. They can be reached at 515-270-1500.

Letter to the Editor: DEAL Pursuing Solutions

6:00 AM

As a graduate of Drake University (JO ’92) and former member of the Drake Environmental Action League (DEAL), I would really like to read more news about DEAL’s activities and especially their “divestment from fossil fuels”campaign. Could you please assign a reporter to cover their meetings and write a roundup of DEAL’s efforts and successes? I believe they are pursuing an extremely important long-term objective right there on Drake’s campus — improving the chances for long term survival of human civilization.

The science is in. Ninety-eight percent of expert scientists in the field believe the man-made climate change is accelerating at a pace which will cause the conditions on this planet to vary well outside the range of climate which has allowed human civilization to develop over the past 10,000 years. Surely you’ve heard of this issue. If not, please read up. I would be glad (as I’m sure DEAL members would) to provide sources of background information to aid in your reporting.

The science is in. The time is now to turn away from 19th century energy technology and embrace a space age energy system which will allow our progeny to thrive for the next 10,000 years. Burning fossil fuels is incompatible with this goal.

Drake University’s $120 million endowment is currently (partially) invested in the companies that are a large part of this problem. Everyone associated with Drake University should be urging Drake’s leadership to remedy this self-destructive behavior. Divesting from fossil fuels would be a good first step. Transitioning the roofs of every campus building to photovoltaic power platforms would be another important step.

Drake’s image is at stake. Drake will be judged by the actions it takes to lead the way, or fall behind due to inaction.

Drake will surely be negatively financially impacted if they retain their investments in fossil fuel companies as the world transitions to less harmful power sources, and the value of those investments plummet.

There will be many great stories from many angles to tell along the way and I would love to read about them in The Times-Delphic. Please help the greater Drake community follow the people and events as this transition takes place. Thank you for your attention.


Perry Thomas


Battling the Mid-College Career Crisis

6:00 AM


Clare_Vanechauti-w800-h800I am a victim of the mid-college crisis.

I came in my first-year as a theatre directing major. By the middle of my first semester, I added a musical theatre minor. By the end of that first semester, I added a bachelor’s in writing. By the end of my second semester, I had also added a public relations triple major.

Now, nearing the end of my first semester of my sophomore year, I am a news/Internet, writing and study of culture and society triple major. I am also considering a minor in business.

So what the heck am I doing? Obviously, I have no idea.

Most people I have talked to have switched their majors at least once. I have a friend who graduated last year who switched his major 12 times and still managed to graduate in four years.

You would think this would give me a sense of hope, the comfort of knowing that I am not the only one who has struggled with what to study and what to do with my life, but, instead, it makes me feel like I can continue at the rate I am going, hopelessly switching majors and areas of interest with no conceivable end in sight.

It is inconceivable that an 18-year-old will know what she wants to do as a career 30 years down the line. The economy is constantly changing, jobs are dwindling and there is some frightening statistic that says a terrifyingly large percentage of college graduates do not even hold careers within the field their degree is in.

So what’s the point?

The point that I am coming to grips with as I battle this mid-college crisis is this: Do what you want and somehow, some way you will get what you need. Not necessarily what you want, but what you need.

I am a big believer in fate. I believe that what happens to us is somehow what is supposed to happen, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. I believe that if we focus on our needs and wants, eventually it will all pan out and we will live a life we can look back on and be proud of.

To battle this mid-college crisis, I have learned to let go of my constant need for control. I tend to take things too seriously, to put too much pressure on myself. It eventually leads to me feeling like I have let myself down, when really, my expectations were too high.

I wanted to take a gap year this year. I talked with my older sister about it, and she eventually talked me out of it. She said, “College is the time for exploration. Take a bunch of classes that interest you and just enjoy the time.”

So now I am here, spending my money and my time trying to figure out how to be an active citizen of the world. I am figuring out how to develop my natural abilities into functional societal benefits, and I have discovered that I love to write and to inform the people of what is going on. I have discovered that people are what fascinate me, their personalities and preferences, and the environmental affects that drive them and guides them to become who they are today.

My advice to all of you out there: If you aren’t liking what you are doing or studying, try something new. If you are feeling stuck, remember: You are not alone. Talk to your professors, talk to your friends. College is the time for self-discovery and revelation.

We are told to put so much emphasis on our time here, to study, study, study, to get those good grades, to ace those tests. But college is a time to explore.

We are surrounded on campus by so many gifted and talented students being shaped and molded by even more gifted and talented professors. Our professors aren’t only here to stand in front of a group of anonymous students and talk. They are here as a resource. I guarantee they would love to speak with you.

Forget the mid-college crisis. There are going to be plenty more times down the road that will make this panic look like nothing.

Hold your friends close, make memories and do try to make the grades. Remember what brought you to Drake. Dig a little deeper and self-discover. I promise, it will all be okay.

No Common Ground for T-Swift Fans

November 13, 2014 6:00 AM


People that know me well know that I struggle to find a common ground between Taylor Swift and myself. She’s genius, yet infuriating. She’s smart, yet oh so dumb. She’s wise beyond her years, yet stuck in the world of a 12-year-old.

You either love or hate Swift. The media has made her into a debate of whether or not pop music’s biggest superstar is really all she’s cracked up to be. I stand frozen in the middle of this debate. If I say I like Swift I’m seen as a silly girl. If I say I don’t like her it’s as if I don’t understand pop music at all.

Swift’s newly released video for her next single “Blank Space” hit the Internet hard Monday afternoon. “Blank Space” is arguably the best song on her new album “1989” (way better than “Shake It Off” and less Harry Styles than “Out of the Woods”). The video perfectly sums up mine, and what I assume is the mass culture’s love/hate relationship with the singer.

“Blank Space” takes place in a Gatsby-like mansion with Swift and a really attractive gentleman starting a relationship. They’re shown riding horses, having fancy dinners and enjoying picnics. At one point Swift paints a creepy picture of her new love. You know, normal relationship stuff. Then the relationship seems to go south.

The attractive man is calling other girls. Swift is getting jealous. She starts acting controlling. Boy starts to get really freaked out but can’t seem to find an excuse to get away from Swift. Is this not the same cycle we go through with her? We love her right up until she starts to act like she’s 12. We’re disgusted with her when she starts to talk about how she wrote a song about Katy Perry, yet we can’t stop blaring the song at 2 a.m. just like Swift wants us to.

We are under her annoyingly captivating spell. We resent her for becoming a pop diva, yet we rocked her “1989” album sales to make it the biggest selling album of the year.

Just like the dude in the video, our relationship started off great with Swift back when she was singing about teardrops on guitars, but as the years went on we started to feel uneasy when she turns into the crazy girl that paints pictures of her ex-boyfriends in songs.

The girl she seems to be, whether the interpretation is true or not, is like the girl she plays in the video: sweet and sensible one minute, and crazed the next.

But maybe she isn’t crazy at all. Sure, she dresses like it’s 1955 and wears far too much red lipstick, but behind all the press and debate over her, at the end of the day she’s writing songs that get people talking.

If ever there were a definition for evil genius, it would be Taylor Swift. It’s clear now that we cannot ignore her. Like her character in the “Blank Space” video she’s not going anywhere.

And even worse, Swift knows that even when we hate on her, we’ll always come back for more. She may be insane, but she plays the game so well. Pop music is lucky to have her.