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Daily Dose of Danny: Finally Done

by Danny on May 12, 2011

At around 5 p.m. yesterday, I did my usual post-test routine of looking over my Scantron answer sheet to make sure all the questions were answered and that my information was correct. Everything looked good, so I packed up my things and walked to the front of the room to turn my test in. I gave the professor a smile and wished her a good summer. I walked outside, and it hit me.

I am done. I am finally done. I’ve been trying to reflect on the past 17 years of education, but it’s too surreal right now. All I can tell you is that life is good, and the future is exciting. Graduation Cap

I just bought myself a nice single speed bike for summer transportation, I found a summer house that is three houses down from my best friends, and I convinced my former roommate to move back to Fort Collins to live with me for the summer. This weekend I will move into that new house, catch up with old friends and family, and of course, officially graduate.

It’s great to end this blog on a high note. Thanks to all my family, friends, professors, co-workers, everyone in the CSU PR department, anyone who has read this blog, and Kimberly Sorensen, my intern supervisor. You have all helped me more than I can express these past few years.

Stay tuned to MyCSU next year for more student blogs, and good luck to the new MyCSU student bloggers.

This semester has been a blast.

Thank you for your time,

-Danny

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Daily Dose of Danny: How You Can Change the World

by Danny on May 5, 2011

Every Tuesday and Thursday this semester, I’ve had to come up with new and (hopefully) interesting subjects to write about. Sometimes ideas seem to fall from the sky, and other times writer’s block grabs hold and doesn’t let go.

Today though, inspiration struck like a lightning bolt.Lori Peek

Tuesday, I wrote about some of my favorite classes and teachers – one of which was contemporary race/ethnic relations, taught by Dr. Lori Peek. In that class, we spent the semester studying social inequality and how people have changed the social landscape throughout history. To conclude the semester though, Dr. Peek told the class how each of us can take individual steps to change the world.

I started thinking about what I could do to make the world a better place with the knowledge I gained from that class and the rest of my college career. I hope to improve the world in any way I am capable, so today I’m starting small and using this blog as a mouthpiece to educate.

11 ways to create social change

Here is a summarized version of the final lecture of race/ethnic relations that outlines 11 things each of us can do to individually influence social change regarding race and ethnicity.

1. Talk to your family about racial views. If a family member uses racist language, ask him or her “why?” The answer will often be “I don’t know.”

2. Avoid stereotypical language. Realize the huge size of racial and ethnic groups means that generalizations are impossible.

3. Racism is not funny. Humor can be used in regard to race, but if you would not tell a racist joke to the subject of that joke, you probably should not be saying it at all.

4. Be introspective. When thinking about your behaviors, ask yourself, “Why did I do that?”

5. Be a good citizen and vote, regardless of your political affiliation. That is how change occurs.

6. Mass media often appeals to the lowest common denominator. Realize this when messages in the media are hurtful or perpetuate stereotypes.

7. Learn your family’s history. It is part of your identity, and understanding the past is important in changing the future.

8. Teach through example.

9. Step out of your comfort zone. Spend time with a racial/ethnic group other than your own.

10. Know yourself. Before you can change the views of others, you must understand your own identity.

11. Practice color consciousness. Stop being “color blind’ regarding race. While the sentiment is nice, social inequality has a long history and is deeply rooted in our society. You cannot suddenly pretend that racism does not exist when it so clearly does. So acknowledge the current racial situation of our society.

Thank you

I would like to thank Dr. Peek again for an amazing course. After class was finished yesterday, there was a line of students out the door who wanted to thank her and give her a hug. That was incredible to see..

One thing I left out of Tuesday’s blog about Dr. Peek is how incredibly inspiring she is.

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Daily Dose of Danny: My Top 5 Favorite Classes

by Danny on May 4, 2011

After 120 credits and 40-some classes, I feel that I’m in a position to reflect on some of the courses I’ve taken here at CSU. Some were hard, and some were easy. Some were engaging and some were nap-inducing. Some I never wanted to leave, and some I had to drag myself to.

Here are my five most memorable courses. While many were part of my journalism major, I did my best to include some favorite electives.

5. Communication and Pop Culture

While I registered because I was looking for an easy class during a difficult semester, this turned out to be incredibly interesting. The way culture and media cyclically influence each other is something I never realized because 19-year-olds have a limited point of reference.

4. Contemporary Race/ Ethnic Relations

Part of why this class is a favorite is because of the professor. Dr. Lori Peek may be the most enthusiastic and energetic teacher I have ever had in my 16+ years of education. I have never had a teacher individualize her teaching in a classroom of more than 150 students, but she managed to learn everyone’s name, and does so every semester.

Apart from how great Dr. Peek is, the bottom line is that the class makes you learn. Race and ethnic relations can be a touchy subject politically and socially, but this class has respectful discussion, tolerance and the objective presentation of facts. If I had it my way, this course would be added to the university core curriculum.

3. Communication Law

Comm. Law: where journalists can pretend to be lawyers for three hours per week. This class was memory intensive, but somehow kept my full attention. We covered free speech cases, libel, slander and advertising law, among others.Lee Christian

This was another class where the professor made all the difference. At the time I took it, the teacher was Lee Christian, a professional lawyer who taught this single class at CSU. He was knowledgeable, treated his students like colleagues, and cancelled class the first day of the ski season.

He also happened to represent the parents in Fort Collins’ infamous “balloon boy” incident while I took the class, which meant CNN waited for him by his car every day after class. That made things interesting. He is on the left in this picture, which was taken during the trial.

2. Public Relations Campaigns

This was a favorite because I am proud of what my group and I created. We spent the semester planning a year-long campaign for the United Way of Larimer County. We researched, surveyed, set goals, created ads and other public relations tactics, and then presented our plan to the organization.

The professor, Cindy Christen, was also another favorite teacher. If any student had a question, no matter how obscure or seemingly insignificant, she answered it in explicit detail for full understanding.

1. Public Relations Cases

This is the public relations capstone, and it’s somewhat infamous for how time intensive it is. It was basically my public relations campaigns class, except that instead of one campaign, we created five. On top of the campaign cases, a 10-hour per week internship was required.

The challenge of this class is what made it my favorite. Dr. Jonna Pearson knows her stuff and is willing to help, but she was not one to hold our hands through the process. She urged us to solve problems through collaboration within our groups, rather than simply being given the right direction.

I can finish any project thrown at me after that class.

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Daily Dose of Danny: 4 Reasons Why President Tony Frank is Awesome

by Danny on April 28, 2011

I think if Gallup conducted an opinion poll, Dr. Frank’s approval rating might somehow defy the laws of math and statistics and end up more than 100 percent. Here’s why:

1. He’s open and honest

Consistent updates on policy changes, especially budget cuts and tuition hikes, are essential to communicate to the stakeholders of any business. For CSU, that includes us, the students. He talks in a tone that shows he really cares about the students above all else. tony-frank-speaking-story

He also makes himself readily available for any student who wants to speak with him, including Collegian staff and regular Joes who want to meet the infamous Tony.

2. His success

Maybe Tony has had a direct effect on CSU’s success in recent years, or maybe it’s just his charisma and presence. Either way, CSU has seen record freshmen enrollment, and we’re doing amazing things in the realm of clean and renewable energy. The future is bright for CSU.

3. His e-mails to students

We got this one from Tony today:

“To all of the CSU students who have been sending me the oh-so-kind and thoughtful emails expressing condolences and sympathy during the Rockies domination of the Cubs in the latest series, thank you. Your messages reminded me of the various epic Cub collapses of my lifetime (1969, 1984 and 2003 come immediately and painfully to mind). In answer to some of your questions, no, I don’t remember the last World Series they won; my late father wasn’t even born then! When did we stop teaching history?  And, yes, I suppose it’s possible that divine intervention rained out the final game yesterday, but I’m skeptical – divine intervention hasn’t historically been helpful to the Cubs.  Now, please go study for your finals. I’ve sent notes to your professors expressing my concern that you have too much time and your emails to me are obviously a suppressed cry for more challenging exams. Good luck!

– tony”

How awesome is that? Not only does he have a great sense of humor, but he signs every e-mail with a dash and his un-capitalized first name. Most doctors try to slip the title in front of their names whenever possible, but not “tony.” His humility is refreshing.

4. The mythical beard

Not since Don King, Farrah Fawcett, Donald Trump or Justin Bieber have a collection of hair follicles been so adored. Some students still question its very existence, likening it to a unicorn or Sasquatch, but it’s real and everything you imagined it to be. I can see beard modeling potential in his future.

I think he keeps it just for us students. Seeing Tony shave would be like seeing Santa shave – It would devastate our young psyches.

The best word to describe his beard has unfortunately been beaten like a dead horse, but “epic” is the only word that fits perfectly.

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Daily Dose of Danny: Freshman Year Memories

by Danny on April 26, 2011

As May 14 creeps closer, my time at CSU is quickly coming to an end. What better way to celebrate graduation than to reminisce about all the good times I had? I’ll start at the beginning with my freshman year - I am also using this as an opportunity to test how good my memory is!

The dormsCorbett Hall

I moved into room G211 in Corbett Hall on one of the hottest days of the summer. There is nothing better than moving furniture up stairs into a building without air conditioning, but luckily the dorm experience only got better from that point. 

I got sick of the dorm food by the end of the year, and there were times where I thought my roommate was going to drive me clinically insane, but I think everyone experiences those dorm moments. Overall, it was an experience that I’ll never forget, and I now find myself missing dorm food four years later.

My friends

I think I had one of the best floors possible. I had relaxed RAs and some made some long-time friends on my floor. Off the top of my head, I can name at least a dozen people from my floor that I still see regularly, and you can rest assured that we still exchange old dorm stories from time to time.

My best memories from that year aren’t from big spectacular events, but rather the small day-to-day interaction with my newfound friends. Walking to Consuelo’s for breakfast burritos, playing volleyball in the courtyard, biking to Old Town and trekking to Durrell Express for a late-night meal were among my favorite things to do.

Other favorite memories include:

  • Dorm move-in day and playing the “name game” with everyone on my floor (I can still name 38 out of 40-some people!)
  • My first autumn on campus and staring all the picturesque trees in The Oval
  • My first time studying all night for a 7 a.m. final. – Then taking a nap and pulling another all-nighter. Don’t worry; I quickly re-evaluated my study habits after that
  • My first time tailgating before a football game at Hughes Stadium
  • My first winter break and moving back into the parents’ house. The home-cooked food makes up for the loss of freedom.
  • Free comedy shows in the LSC
  • Counting the tally marks at the end of the year that represented the number of time my suitemates locked me out of the bathroom.
  • Playing Frisbee by the lagoon
  • Switching my major from business to journalism, which is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

The wrap-up

The next two weeks will include more of my favorite memories from CSU, so stay tuned.