Entries Tagged as 'Life on the Hill'

How It Feels…to Flip Your Car

4.24.2017

How It Feels2

By Hallie Holton, 22, KU senior majoring in strategic communications, as told to Jackson Vickery

It was a Friday night when I flipped, my car that is.

I was driving 80 miles per hour on I-35 South, excited to get into Fort Worth, Texas, for my friend’s 21st birthday weekend. Only 45 minutes out and two miles from the Oklahoma-Texas border, I was feeling pretty great considering it was 11:30 p.m.

There wasn’t much to look at on the road. The last memorable sight was the sunset I saw a few hours before. My auxiliary chord and Spotify playlist were enough to get me through the tail end of this trip.

“Willie,” my car’s name, was in cruise control as I was sailing in the left-hand lane. The lights from the WinStar World Casino captured my attention. My head and eyes continued to follow those lights as my car started to drift left.

The bowl-sized rumble strips caught me off guard. The car was shaking. Within mere moments I had overcorrected.

“Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god,” I repeatedly screamed.

I could see the grey hood of my car nosedive into the ditch, which acted as the divide between the sides of traffic. During the flip I felt like I was floating until the car jolted to a stop.

My hands were grasped tightly to the steering wheel for 30 seconds until I started feeling myself. No cuts. I looked for my phone, which was previously in the cup holder. It ended up in the middle console. Phone in hand, I looked out of the window watching cars fly by in the opposite direction I was.

I unbuckled and unsuccessfully tried to open the driver side door. In this minute and a half window, cars had stopped to see what had happened. A man in his mid to late 30s came over and asked if I was okay. He too couldn’t open the driver’s side door.

As this was going on, my insides started shaking. I kept trying to take deep breaths and reassure myself that I was fine.

The man says from the back end of my car to come and walk through the trunk. I was barefoot. Holding onto whatever I could and stepping on glass that scattered the inside of the car, I made my way out. The last thing I remember seeing was the tripod-style lamp my mom had gotten me for my house back in Lawrence, left in the back of the trunk.

I walked across the lanes of traffic to a couple’s car. I sat there with my bare feet dangling, saying to myself, “Shit. What happened? Did I hit something?” The gravity of what just happened didn’t hit me until I saw my overturned car in the grass.

After that, multiple paramedics came to ask me if I needed to go to the hospital. The only scratch I had was a tiny one on my foot from the broken glass. A frenzied phone call with my mom followed, who was thousands of miles away in Seattle. She made sure to talk to every individual I did.

Before leaving, the paramedic asked if he could get anything from my car. I asked for my KU duffle bag and Birkenstocks. This was the last trip someone would take to my car.

I had gone on a lot of road trips before – St. Louis, Chicago, Gulf Shores. That night, “Willie” wouldn’t make it to Dallas. I was lucky though.

My car was totaled, but I was thankful for everyone who had helped me, from the paramedics to the state trooper to the couple who drove me to Fort Worth that night instead of spending their night at the WinStar.

The state trooper was right – if I hadn’t been wearing my seatbelt that night could have turned out much worse than just a cut on the foot and a headache the next morning.

Head on the Hill

4.20.2017

HOTH crop

  • “He sounds like he has a cat up his nose.”
  • Person 1:”Stop singing about president Putin!”
  • Person 2:”But he’s my best friend.”
  • Person 1:”Shut the fuck up”
  • “Do I need to know his name? No. I just need to know his body.
  • Person 1:”I’m just endlessly eating food, I need help.”
    Person 2:”NO you need sustenance.”
    Person 1:”Damn you’re right, I can’t argue with that logic.”
  • Person 1:”Guys, Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim to win an Oscar!”
    Person 2: “Wait, I thought he was black.”
  • “Your uterus is probably like Chernobyl.”
  • Person 1: “Who even invented tequila?”
    Person 2: “Someone who wanted to see the world burn.”
  • “What is it with white people and not staying with the stove?”
  • “I clock in, take a nap, go to the wheel, and then clock out.”
  • “I just remembered my grandmother uses Royal Crown as mouthwash.”

dis / connected

4.19.2017

By Cody Schmitz

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Two years ago, Leyli Beims was starting her freshman year of college, had thousands of followers between her Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Vine, and Facebook accounts, and was just learning to cope with severe depression. But as she logged in to her social media circles in search of connection, Beims says she was met with an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy.

“Comparing myself with others on social media fueled my depression,” Beims said. “When I was home alone on a Saturday night, I saw my friends having fun at a party or cuddling with a boyfriend. And that kind of content just made me feel worse and worse about myself.”

Beims, now 21 and a junior at Washburn University, says deactivating all of her social media accounts in early 2015 was an answer to a question of mental health. In vulnerable moments, as Beims scanned a virtual highlight reel of her friends’ lives, she felt completely alone. The problem with modern social media use, however, is just how widespread these feelings of isolation have become.

Benjamin Stodt, a researcher in the department of cognitive psychology at the University of Duisburg-Essen, co-authored a study about the consequences of heavy social networking in teens. The study focuses on “FOMO,” or the fear of missing out on experiences that one’s friends may have and post about online. Stodt says, “The results of our study showed that having more severe symptoms of depression and anxiety lead to a higher experience of FOMO and a more excessive use of social media. This overuse could lead to further intensification of mental health problems.”

According to a study performed by the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, Canada, children and teens who used social networking sites for more than two hours a day also independently reported high levels of psychological distress, a poor self-rating of overall mental health, and suicidal ideation.

What makes this statistic even more alarming is that compulsive social media use as described in this study is no longer an anomaly in modern teens. According to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center, 92 percent of teens say they go online daily, and 24 percent go online “almost constantly.” Stodt says that — while most individuals use social media as a functional and inherent part of everyday life — “research indicated that a small amount of younger adults and teens show problematic social media use. Although an ‘internet use disorder’ or ‘internet communication disorder’ is not officially classified as an addiction, past research has shown that these behaviors share common symptoms with other substance-related or behavioral addictions.”

Before she deleted her accounts, Beims says she found herself compulsively refreshing the familiar apps in order to feel a connection to the outside world. But what she saw online only fed her feelings of disconnection.

“People get so worked up about a million different issues, and then they dump all of their thoughts on social media. And then you as a user ingest all of that anger. Ingesting all of that toxicity all day long paints the way you see the world,” Beims said. “I got hooked on that high emotion, so I kept going back to it. Even when I wasn’t online, I was thinking, ‘What am I missing? What are people posting?’ That’s how our world is set up right now. You never get any peace of mind when you’re doing that.”

Finding peace on the web may soon be a dream of the past. As politics grow more polarizing, so do our Facebook posts, according to a study performed by Facebook scientists and published in the journal Science. In fact, the months following the 2016 presidential election have seen Facebook, Twitter, and Google implementing new features in order to stop the growing trends of fake news and online harassment, according to NPR. But adding new ways to mute certain sites and individuals may not be enough to quell the often overwhelming sense of negativity that can be found online.

According to a 2016 report from the Pew Research Center, a majority of adults now get their news from social media. Alyssa Soto, a junior at the University of Kansas, says Facebook is one of her primary sources for staying on top of current events, but she’s finding it harder to keep up as her feed is flooded with bad news and strong opinion. “I like to know what’s happening in the world, but I also find it to be overwhelming. The majority of what I see is negative,” Soto says. “I usually leave Facebook feeling drained.”

These feelings of helplessness in young adults magnify when they are observed with a wider lens. Close to 3 million American teens had one or more significant depressive episode in 2015, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Almost 6.5 million have an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Stodt doesn’t think a simple solution like banning smartphones in schools is the solution to such a complicated problem. “Communication through mobile devices is integrated into today’s society, and not every young adult suffers from consequences because of smartphone use,” Stodt says. “Nevertheless, we have to use our devices consciously in order to maintain control over them. Choose to put the smartphone aside and have a face-to-face conversation. Self-regulation is a necessary skill for internet use without negative consequences. Our research showed that these skills can be key competencies to prevent problematic use.”

Two years after first disconnecting from social media, Beims says she has made great strides in managing her depression through regular therapy and medication. Beims also attributes a significant portion of this shift to the release she felt after removing social media from her daily life.

“The peace of mind I felt after deleting my accounts changed everything,” Beims said. “Being on social media really is carrying something around with you. All day long I used to carry around my Twitter and Instagram feeds, and it never led to a positive feeling. To have that weight gone and to be able to think about things that mattered to me — one day I was suddenly like, ‘I am really into my life.’ And after a while, when you are just really working on school and really forming connections with people offline, you think, ‘Oh. I haven’t even thought about what’s happening on Facebook.’”

How It Feels…To Be Racially Profiled

4.17.2017

By Nashia Baker

How It Feels2

Four years ago in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, University of Kansas law student Rhavean Anderson was stopped by police and racially profiled during a run. This is what it felt like.

It was about mid-day on Thanksgiving Eve of my freshman year, and as I got ready for my 7-mile run that my coach assigned for the holidays, I saw my mom cooking away to prep for Thanksgiving Day, and I knew I was finally home. It was the first time I’d been home since I joined the KU track team earlier that fall as a middle-distance runner, and it was a much needed break from school to visit my family in Memphis, where I was born and raised.

I let my mom know that I was headed towards the main street in town, stretched, popped my headphones in, and took off. I was about 2.5 miles into my run when I felt eyes stinging my back from a Memphis squad car, creeping up behind me. I didn’t pay it any mind until the police car sped past me and parked in the middle of my path ahead.

Two white police officers stepped out of the car, stopped me, and coldly asked, “Why are you out running?”

I looked at them, took my headphones out, and cautiously stated back, “I’m a track and field athlete. I’m out training.”

They continued by aggressively asking, “…You’re a college athlete? So where do you go?

I looked down at my outfit covered in crimson, blue, Adidas, and a large Jayhawk on my chest, and said back, “The University of Kansas…”

The questioning continued for about five minutes, but all I could think about was what I could be doing wrong. I was running in daylight, because everyone knows not to run in the dark in Memphis, and I was clearly jogging. But I didn’t want anything to escalate, so I kept answering to their satisfaction until they finally let me go.

As they drove off, I looked ahead, put my headphones back in, and got back to my run. When I got home and told my mom what happened, I could feel the anger welling up inside of me and I could see the confusion in her eyes.

Being a Jayhawk, a college student, an athlete, daughter, and more – those things won’t save me. But the color of my skin will not stop me.

Heard on the Hill

4.13.2017

HOTH crop

  • “You look like a young Santa Claus.”
  • “You can never have too much moonshine.”
  • “Microwaving any longer than 3 minutes is cooking. That’s just not worth it.”
  • “You only call her when you need a ride. And it’s not free because you pay her in sex! You’re a fucking prostitute!”
  • “Bears are the seals of the animal kingdom.”
  • “I wanna go to a Chinese buffet, but only, like, a nice one.”
  • Person 1:”I’m just endlessly eating food, I need help.”
    Person 2:”No, you need sustenance.”
    Person 1:”Damn, you’re right I can’t argue with that logic.”
  • “You’ll be a really pretty grandma, not now but when you’re a grandma.”
  • “I’m going to start drinking my own tears to help the environment.”
  • “I’d cut off my left tit to get out of that situation.”

How It Feels…To Be Told You’re Dying When You’re Not

4.10.2017

As told by Rick Donnelson to Samantha Harms

How It Feels2

Twenty years ago, project manager Rick Donnelson, 55, was told that he was dying of cancer when he really wasn’t. This is what it felt like.

Sitting on the chair in the doctor’s office, I was told the test I had been given indicated pancreatic cancer and that I had less than six months to live. Pancreatic cancer is incurable 99 percent of the time and has a very quick death rate. I was 33 years old and I had five children.

It was 1994 and I was in treasurer school. I wasn’t eating normally. I had lost about 30 pounds in the last three months. I knew that wasn’t healthy. I came home and went to the doctor for a simple check up. I very quickly though received a phone call telling me that I should come in.

I sat down and as the doctor told me that the tests showed pancreatic cancer, a perpetual state of shock just came over me. I could feel the words “I don’t believe you” come out of my mouth. I asked for a second opinion right away.

The sterile, sickening smell of that doctor’s office as I got potentially the worst news of my life is something that I still carry with me. I told him that I knew it wasn’t the case that I had this. I rationalized, with him and with myself.

I always came back to believing that there was nothing wrong with me. Because how could this happen to me? I was in the best shape of my life.

Because of the limited time they had given me left to live my life, they rushed me to KU Med for additional testing. That testing showed that I didn’t have pancreatic cancer, but I had cancer of the duodenum, which is cancer of the stomach and small intestine. So they scheduled me for surgery to see if that’s actually what I had. The worst part was waiting for my surgery, for two weeks thinking I was might to die soon. I had a chance then to think about my life but I’m a believer in God and I knew I would live through all of it and have a normal life.

The nurses kept coming in while I was waiting, asking me “Are you nervous?” I kept saying, “Nope, because I know nothing’s wrong.” And they kept saying “Oh he’s in denial.” But that’s okay because I got the last laugh.

After waiting almost two weeks of thinking I had six to nine months to live, I went into surgery and had what’s called a freeze plug test. They took the part of my stomach out that they were operating on and tested it right there in the operating room. So when I came out, I got that bit of good news that not only did I not have any cancer but there was absolutely nothing wrong. They couldn’t find anything wrong; they just believed that it was some bug that my body overacted to.  Here I sit, 20 years later as healthy as I can be.

Heard on the Hill

4.06.2017

HOTH crop

  • Person 1: “So Tu served you at Dunkin’?”
  • Person 2: “What are you talking about, speak English.”
  • Person 1: “I can’t, he’s Vietnamese.”
  • “I think Great Britain is an anarchy. Maybe.”
  • “Dude I can’t even name five condiments.”
  • “I’m so high. At this right I’m never gonna have downs.”
  • “I smell like dirty clothes and baked potatoes.”
  • “Treating a nature valley bar like an ice cream cone does nothing for me.”
  • Person 1: “What did you do for Spring Break?”
  • Person 2: “Climb a mountain.”
  • Person 1: “Which one?”
  • Person 2: “Uh, I forgot the name of it.”
  • ” ‘Death by cheese’ the best way to go out.”
  • “Lasagna is a great pasta but a shitty horse.”
  • Person 1: “What’s your fetish?”
  • Person 2: “Respecting women.”

How It Feels…To be Severly Concussed

4.03.2017

By Scott Chasen

How It Feels2

Steve Carver is a Kansas native who played high school basketball at Shawnee Mission Northwest. In high school, Carver broke his father’s school scoring record. He then went on to play basketball for the College of the Holy Cross, though his time with that program was cut short because of a concussion.

I always knew my basketball career would end someday. I didn’t think, however, I’d be just months into my first season at Holy Cross when it all came crashing down.

I was in practice, scrimmaging under the fluorescent lights of Hart Center. I ran up and down the court, past the purple and white Crusader logo at its midway point. I’d tracked across the tan hardwood flooring tens of times that day and probably thousands more over the last three months.

I’d been running for hours, trying to stay composed and conserve what little energy I had, but as I watched the man I was guarding sprint across the floor ahead of me, I knew I needed an extra burst to catch up.

Josh Jones was a senior big man on our team. I was 6-foot-8 and had an inch or two on him, but he outweighed me by more than 25 pounds. He didn’t play a lot, but he was fairly athletic and strong, though I suppose that doesn’t matter much when the point of his elbow is coming at your skull.

I chased down the court after him, tracking him like a hunter. He stopped short at the free throw line, turning to position himself between my body and the hoop. I tried to stop, but his arm was already flying toward me. I saw it first in my peripheries. I didn’t have time to get out of the way.

I don’t remember the blow. I know his elbow smacked into the side of my head as he swung his arm back. I do remember what happened after.

My eyesight went black. I stumbled forward and then back a step. I never fell to the ground.

My vision started to return, but everything was wrong. My center of gravity rocked back and forth. I could barely stand up straight.

I shifted my eyes. The gym looked fuzzy. I stumbled to the sideline, over to one of the black folding chairs with purple padding that lined the court. The coaches sat me down as I tried to catch my breath.

“What’s your birthday?”

I looked up. Kevin Robinson, an assistant coach, was staring back at me.

“Your birthday.”

He wanted to know if I was coherent enough to answer the question. I was.

“November 19.” Coincidentally two weeks earlier.

But that wasn’t enough. Moments later I was crossing over the logo at center court again, not as part of the scrimmage but on my way out of the gym. The coaches were concerned. I was too.

Looking back, I probably had experienced several concussions before. But this one was different.

The trainers tested my memory, asking me to recall simple words and sentences. I failed horribly. They did it again days later. I failed again.

I wasn’t allowed to sleep through the night. My roommate woke me up every hour to check for brain damage.

And perhaps the worst part, my headache wouldn’t go away.  I felt the blood rushing to my head, the throbbing in my temples and sensitivity to light and sound for days. That piercing feeling eventually faded, but for years it kept coming back every other week as if it were required to keep to a schedule.

The corners of my vision would become hazy. When that happened, I knew it was starting. A minute later, everything would look sparkly, like when you rub your eyes too hard and then open them up quickly.

That was my new reality. And when I felt a headache starting, there was nothing I could do but deal with it. I’d feel helpless and then angry, but soon a nagging, excruciating pain replaced that emotion, precluding me from focusing on anything else.

The moment I got elbowed in the head, my basketball career was over. I wasn’t completely sure of it at the time — I stayed with the team for a while after that day — but part of me had a feeling. And even now, with most of the symptoms under control, I still haven’t forgotten that moment.

 

 

How it Feels… To Leap Through an Ice Hole

3.27.2017

By Matthew Clough

How It Feels2

A year ago while studying in Sweden, University of Kansas senior Emma Anderson went on an expedition with four friends to search for the Northern Lights at Lake Torneträsk and ended up plunging into water that was 14 degrees Fahrenheit. This is what it felt like.

The first feeling that hit after diving through a hole in the frozen lake in my bikini was a staggering sort of piercing, like brief, electric bursts against my skin. My feet were the only things that didn’t feel much initially – I was wearing socks because without them your feet will freeze on the sprint across the lake before you even make it to the water.

As the cold wormed its way up my spine I thought, “Wow, this is totally voluntary. This is insane and I chose to do it.”

My whole body was numb, except for the very top of my head, which was the last thing under and only for the quickest flash of a second. You can’t keep your head underwater or you’ll very likely pass out.

The water around me was only 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and as I was plunging into it I still wasn’t sure it was something I wanted to do. We were in Sweden at the top of the Arctic Circle – my friends and I – and we’d originally come to watch the Northern Lights. But this ice hole diving business is a local tradition, and I figured, “Hey, we’re here, I might as well give it a go.”

I pulled myself back up out of the water. I could only stand to be in there for a couple seconds. Everything out there was iced over, except for these small square areas cut out of the ice for people bold enough – or just stupid enough – to give plunging a shot. I looked back down through the hole for a brief second. The water was dark blue, nearly black.

The water was miserable but the air back on the surface was worse. Somewhere around -4, -5 Fahrenheit. My completely drenched socks felt sticky against the ice as I began the 30-foot sprint back to the small saunas on the edge of the lake.

Still, this run was more enjoyable – if you can call it that – than the run to the hole. The whole process is just extreme temperature changes. You sit in the sauna first until your body warms up and you start to sweat. Then you run as fast as you can to the water. It’s only a couple seconds but it feels like minutes because the sweat literally freezes to your skin.

Back in the sauna, I caught my breath and got back into some more fitting winter weather clothes.

I’m glad I did it, but the experience was one of the most physically weird, exhilarating and challenging things ever, and it all happened in no more than a minute.

 

How It Feels…To Bring Your Newborn Baby Home

3.20.2017

As told to Cody Schmitz

How It Feels2

Twenty one years ago, professor of health and wellness Deb Monzon tried to bring her newborn daughter home for the first time. This is what it felt like.

Midnight. Two blocks from the hospital. I sit in the passenger seat as my husband drives through a flood. Another contraction. I can see the outline of the hospital through the downpour. Oh my god. I’m going to have to swim there, I think.

The car in front of our mini van hits a wall of water so deep that it laps at the windshield. I scream my husband’s name. He screams back, “This is fucking awesome!” The lead car splits the deepest of the floodwaters. We trail closely behind in its wake and pull up to the hospital.

I’m in the room by 12:30. My daughter is born within the hour.

We baby-proofed our new home before the birth. The last thing to do was seal our wooden floors, but my near-constant nausea prevented us from ever opening the can of finish. 

Once baby Courtney is safely in my arms, my husband gets it in his head to finish those floors before our daughter sees her new home. He leaves the hospital the next morning in order to pick up our older daughter and work on the home.

I get a phone call at 6 the next morning. My husband says, “I’ve got some bad news. We kind of had a house fire last night. Everyone is fine, please don’t worry.”

I go numb. I ask him how bad it is.

He says, “well… It’s not that bad.” 

I can tell when my husband is lying. I look to my left. Courtney is sleeping soundly next to me in the hospital room. I ask if we will be able to come home in a couple of days.

A pause. “Probably not.” 

The ground disappears beneath me. I feel completely alone. As I begin to cry, a nurse places my sleeping daughter in my arms. 

I have everything, I think as I look at her face. 

I have nothing, I remember as I hang up the phone.

The day that Courtney and I are released from the hospital, my husband tells me what happened. He says that my oldest daughter and he went to sleep after finishing the floors. He had thrown rags covered in finishing solution into a garbage can on our back porch. The mixed chemicals must have combusted, because my husband says he woke up to the sound of our smoke alarm. He grabbed our daughter and ran from the house wearing nothing but a trench coat.

“Do you want to see it?” He asks as we pull into town.

From the outside, my house looks as it did a week ago. The front door shines with a fresh coat of red paint. The cottonwood stretches past the second-floor window. It feels like I’m bringing my baby girl to her new home. Just like we had planned.

Instead, my mom follows closely behind us. She grabs Courtney from my arms in order to take my baby to her house — where we’ll be staying until we find a new place. 

We had painted the living room walls a crisp white before the birth. They are as black as tar. My husband says the fire started in the back of the house and worked its way up. If this is the least of the damage, I don’t dare step beyond the entryway. We manage to save a few boxes of photos from the wreckage. To this day, if I open those singed boxes, I can still smell the scent of stepping into our charred home.

Today we live less than two miles from our old home. Whenever I drive by, I thank God for reminding me to change our smoke detectors’ batteries the week before Courtney’s birth.

Heard on the Hill

3.16.2017

HOTH crop

  • “His hairline looks like Texas.”
  • “I am aggressive about peanut butter. You don’t fuck with peanut butter.”
  • “After a long day, I like to eat some roast beef…helps me relax.”
  • “Lightly parmesaned, bitter chortling. I feel like that’s who I am as a person.”
  • “I just ate applesauce with a knife, don’t test me!”
  • “You’re like a bath bomb but much cuter. And much less expensive.”
  • “My cat is staring at me and I think I like it a lot.”
  • “God, damn it! I just wish I had a dick so I could whip it out on the table.”
  • “I like how that restaurant assumes I know how to use chopsticks.”
  • “I can’t stop yawning. I think I’m addicted to air.”

How It Feels… To Be Sued By The German Government

3.13.2017

By Tom Quinley, 23, as told to Maddy Moloney

How It Feels2

The phone call was unexpected. I had just gotten back from Germany a couple weeks earlier, so the fact Manu Euen was calling was strange. He was my old roommate, an exchange student from Stuttgart, Germany who I had just traveled to visit.  “Did you download any movies while you were here…illegally?” he asked.

Gulp.

I had downloaded “Selma” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” using a file sharing website while at Manu’s home and put them onto his computer. Crap movies by the way, ones I never even finished.

Unbeknownst to me, Germany takes copyright laws very seriously. The German government was suing my roommate, on behalf of me, 1,800 Euros, which equates to nearly 2,000 American dollars.

That phone call did offer Manu some relief. He was happy he had gotten to the bottom of who had downloaded the movies. Under German law, whoever the computer IP number is registered to will be found at fault for anything illegal done using that web address.

Agitated, I told Manu I would handle it and had him forward me the legal document. Then I took the documents and copied and pasted them into Google Translate to try to understand what was going on. I remembered back to the last day of my First Amendment law class where my professor offered free legal advice to any of his students.

Penniless and with few options, I turned to my professor for help. He suggested hiring a German lawyer to get the lawsuit name me as the defendant instead of Manu, in hopes of freeing him from the mess and then making it tougher for Germany to get through the United States legal system.

So through odd jobs, involving the selling of my plasma, I scraped up $800 and sent it to a German lawyer he found online, who I was told not to contact. And just like that the whole situation disappeared. Neither my friend nor I were ever contacted again.

 

 

How it Feels… To Realize Your Internet Fame

3.06.2017

By Melissa Yunk

How It Feels2

Connor Wade is a senior at the University of Kansas from Burlington, Kansas. In early 2016 he started broadcasting on a social website called YouNow. A live broadcasting site. A few months later, after going live regularly and building followers, the site contracted him and the followers kept rolling in. Now, almost a year later, @itsconnorwade has collected over 1.7 million views and over 2,500 subscribers. He is considered a “content creator” for the site. This new-found fame hadn’t hit Connor until he had the opportunity to meet his fans for the first time at Good Times Chicago, the “largest creator convention in Winter.”

I get the call to go to Chicago for the “Good Times Conference” at the beginning of winter break and am shocked. I honestly have no idea why they want me on one of their panels. I know I’m not all that popular.  

The other 30 to 40 content creators attending are much more established than I am. Don’t get me wrong, I’m honored, but terrified at the same time. I realize it is a good opportunity to get my name out there and put my fears aside and decide to attend.

A few weeks later, the plane lands in Chicago on the Friday night before my panel, which is at 11 a.m. the next day. They even have a whole floor reserved in the hotel just for us….it’s wild. I can barely focus on having a good time though because I can’t stop thinking of the disaster tomorrow could be.

I set about nine alarms for the next morning, starting with 5:30 a.m., to make sure I don’t oversleep, thinking I would actually be able to get any sleep at all.

That next morning, they line the 10 of us in that panel up and explain that we are going to answer a few questions and then stand while the fans can walk through and meet us.

As I am standing between two YouTubers with more than 10x the number of followers I have, the worst thoughts run through my head. No one is going to be here for me. What am I even doing here?

By this point I am physically shaking and sweat is dripping off my hands. The security guard opens the door a million screams flood through…my heart sinks.

“Oh shit,” I exclaim. My friend looks over and assures me it was all going to be okay.  

From that point on it all turns into a blur. Hundreds of people are screaming our names, even mine!

As the audience starts walking through to meet us, I realize that there are people here that actually know me, and care about me. I have real fans! Some of them even bring me my favorite candy and gift cards.

Hell, one girl drove eight hours from Canada…just to meet me!

Being able to put faces to my followers gives what I have been doing a whole new meaning. They showed me that they care about me and motivate me to keep working at this and expanding my fan base. They give me hope.

How It Feels… To Perform Your First Autopsy

2.27.2017

By Mary Ann Omoscharka

How It Feels2

Almost a decade ago, Eva C. moved to Kansas City from a small Greek island named Chios, and began her pathology residency at Truman Medical Center. Only a few weeks later, she performed her first autopsy. This is how it felt.

I remember walking to the hospital “dungeons” where the morgue is, rubbing Vicks into my nostrils, naively hoping it would prevent the smell of the decomposing flesh from hitting me. My outfit wasn’t exactly the chicest, as pathologists almost look like astronauts to keep themselves and the body of the deceased uncontaminated. I wore my scrubs, a not-so-couture surgical gown, goggles, a mask and special boots. The temperature of the autopsy room was significantly low. “Am I cold or am I nervous?” I thought to myself.

The rest of the team unzipped a sizable black body bag, removed the corpse and placed it on the table. I do not say this with pride, but I was extremely relieved when I saw the body of a thin man. Everyone in our field knows that the higher the amount of fat, the more repugnant the odor. The deceased was a 54-year-old male with history of chronic alcoholism, smoking and malnourishment.

The first step was opening the torso by doing an extensive Y-shaped incision, running from each shoulder towards the chest, ending at the sternum. A massive pair of shears must be used in order to remove the chest cavity and gain access to all the organs. I picked up the entire organ block and proceeded to detach the organs from each other, so that their sections could be submitted for processing. Vicks proved to be useless, as it cleared up my breathing passages and made the smell truly unbearable when emptying the bowels.

Immediately after, we used a saw to open the skull. Another inappropriate thought passed through my mind while I was removing the skin from the bone. “It truly seems like peeling a ripe lychee” I realized. The brain was taken out and submitted for examination.

After five hours, the body was sewed together, cleansed and prepared to be picked up by the funeral services. The cause of death would be revealed during the next 48 hours.

I spent the following days thinking this was not the path for me and obsessing about my options. Nine years later, I have performed 65 autopsies.

Photography by Emma Creighton

 

Heard on the Hill

2.16.2017

HOTH crop

  • “When in doubt, break the law.”
  • “I feel like a goat on a stick.”
  • “LMAO, I broke into a house in middle school. I think I did it because I knew I wouldn’t go to jail.”
  • “I can’t tell you how many times the UDK has called me something offensive.”
  • “I’m boycotting McDonald’s because they made a larger version of the Big Mac and called it the Grand Mac instead of the Mac Daddy.”
  • “I don’t need good grades. The Bible said Adam and Eve not Adam and achieve.”
  • “I’m not really an early bird or a night owl, I’m some form of a permanently exhausted pigeon.”
  • “No, I never wash my hands leaving the bathroom. But I always need to dry them.”
  • “The black guy sitting next to me? I’m not trying to be racist, but it’s his birthday.”
  • “I’m basically addicted to antibiotics.”

WTF Is Up?! – Some Twins, Some Confirmation Hearings & More!

2.03.2017

WTF-Darby

By Darby VanHoutan

The theme of the year seems to either be fake news or breaking news, but either way there’s news! Yeah, yeah, yeah you all have your own interests but let me nerd out about the ~news~ and better yet, deliver it here to you. WTF happened this week?

‘Yonce Delivers Blessings

There are a few instances in a person’s life that they will remember where they were at the exact moment they learned about a situation. I was sitting at the Underground chugging my sixth cup of coffee for the day the first time I heard Beyonce Knowles was pregnant with twins.
The news was delivered to me the same way I assume it was delivered to many others, via Beyonce’s Instagram announcement on Wednesday. The photo has received a record-breaking 8.9 million likes so far. The 35-year-old has since also released some ~life-changing~ maternity photos on her website, many featuring Beyonce and Jay-Z’s only other child, Blue Ivy.

Houston – We have a Secretary of State

It’s proving to be more manageable to keep up with the Kardashians than it is to keep up with President Trump. The president, who seems to be fulfilling campaign promises and breaking news every day, produces quite a bit to keep up on. One thing in particular happened for Trump this week, within his cabinet to be more specific.

The US Senate approved Trump’s pick for Secretary of State with a vote of 56-43. The pick is former chief executive and chairman of Exxon Mobil Rex Tillerson. An interesting thing to note: the number of votes against Tillerson is the highest against a Secretary of State pick in US History.

A little background on Tillerson: he’s 65 years old, hails from Texas and well, used to be in charge of the mega-company Exxon Mobil.

Thanks Obama

There are few people who are relaxed as former President Barack Obama right now. Or at least, there are few people who LOOK as relaxed as Obama does right now. First, Obama ventured to Palm Springs, California with the entire family. This vacay followed President Trump’s inauguration which officially relieved Obama of his duties.

This meant that Obama, luckily for us, could be a ~gangsta~ again. After his California get-away, former Commander-In-Chief headed off to the British Virgin Islands with wife Michelle. It was here that a twitter video shows him sporting a backward baseball cap and just…chilling. I personally hope this trend continues as the former First Family returns back to their new digs in Washington D.C.

“You’re Fired” – Catchphrase in Action

Unfortunately, news of a relaxed previous president must be interrupted with our regularly scheduled programing. In more President Trump news, the acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, was fired by Trump on Monday night.

The firing came after Yates, who had served as Attorney General under Obama, announced that the Justice Department would not uphold and defend President Trump’s immigration ban. The blow to Yates was delivered to her in her office on Monday evening in the form of a handwritten note.

Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, then did a lil’ bit of lashing out at former Attorney General Yates who then, I assume, just continued on to ~boss~ things. The president replaced Yates with US attorney Dana Boente for the time being.

Heard on the Hill

2.02.2017

HOTH crop

  • Person 1: “You can do anything you want in this world.”
  • Person 2: “Except get paid as much as a man.”
  • “That gas station had no Cheetos. It’s basically an INconvenience store.”
  • “I told my mom I was gonna smoke crack. That way she won’t be as mad if I get caught for weed.”
  • “Don’t pee on me! Don’t!”
  • “I think she’s pregnant but hey at least I got laid.”
  • “I brought my Sprite bottle up with me, so there I was, sipping lean during my presentation.”
  • “Have you seen these? It’s Naked with 90mg’s of bananas.”
  • “He’s great but I hate that we can’t hold hands because of his arm diplegia.”
  • “I thought she was cool and then she posted a flipagram to insta.”
  • “My New Year’s resolutions are to be more straight up with people, eat healthier, and start getting fucked up at the pregame so I don’t have to spend money on drinks at the bars.”

10 Reasons Why the KU Memorial Union Has the Best Restrooms On Campus

1.31.2017

By Logan Gossett

image00

It doesn’t matter if you’re politically left-wing, right-wing, or libertarian-wing: everyone uses the restroom-thing. The census opinion is that restrooms are at least a “lawful neutral” on the alignment chart.

Restrooms are especially useful for KU students, and the most useful restrooms on campus can be found at the KU Memorial Union.

“What makes the KU Memorial Union’s restrooms so great?”, you might have asked (If you did, good question! That sense of childlike wonder will take you a long way.)

Here are just a few reasons why the KU Memorial Union provides the best restroom experience on campus.

  1. They Force You To Get Creative: Who hasn’t experienced this? You go to your nearest restroom to purge your tumultuous intestines and ALL of the stalls are occupied. At KU’s Memorial Union, the men’s fourth floor restroom supports four poopers at once — not a whole lot! Now you have to think outside of the stall. One creative idea for men is to employ the urinal. Clean your no-no area by angling your bumhole upward toward the espousing water that fountains down when you flush the urinal, like using a bidet at a 220 degree incline.
  2. The KU Memorial Union’s Single-Ply Toilet Paper Prevents Disease: Premium toilet paper is soothing and comfortable, which presents the temptation to rub it on your face after wiping. Gross! The KU Memorial Union mitigates this temptation by using single-ply toilet paper, which is harrowingly painful to the touch.
  3. The KU Memorial Union’s Single-Ply Toilet Paper Makes For A Neat DIY Snapchat Filter: Do you find Snapchat’s current filter lineup to be tiresome? Spice things up by draping a sheet of single-ply toilet paper over the camera lens before taking a stall selfie! The sheer, almost transparent toilet paper presents a charming sheen that’s sure to impress your friends (or lover). This filter appeals to the purists, and pays homage to the filters used by your ancestors.  
  4. The KU Memorial Union’s Single-Ply Toilet Paper Can Lead to the Early Prevention of Prostate Cancer: For the men on campus, single-ply toilet paper presents a convenient way to inadvertently check your prostate. When the 10% opacity sheet of single-ply toilet paper you’re using inevitably breaks, your finger will poke through and reach your prostate. While this may seem like an unwelcome mess for some folks, the reassurance of examining your unsuspecting prostate makes it well worth it!
  5. Pre-Wiping: Some students don’t want to roll the dice just for it to yield four occupied stalls. A few considerate, innovative students have began “pre-wiping,” whether it be at home or during a slow day in class. This cost-effective tactic, inspired by the Memorial Union’s single-ply toilet paper, saves scarce toilet time and keeps your hands away from your messy dookie parts!
  6. The 5th Floor Restrooms Promote Community Bonding: The KU Memorial Union’s 5th floor restrooms have long been one of KU’s hidden gems. Upon entering the men’s room, you can opt for the left side or the right side stalls/urinals/sinks. Upon securing a stall, you join a communal experience that rivals a KU basketball game or viewing a movie’s midnight release. You and your fellow left or right side companions duel against the opposing side in a battle of bumhole bombast.
    “I walked into the 5th floor stalls scared and alone, but I left with one thought: ‘This is where I belong,’” said one junior at KU. “That’s really what attending KU is all about.”
  7. Impressively Responsive Automatic Soap Dispensers: Similar to cooking and copulation, the worst part about visiting a restroom is the cleanup period. Fortunately, the KU Memorial Union’s soap dispensers are highly responsive and eager to assist you in the cleanup. Oftentimes these eager soap squirters volley soap toward you more uproariously and unexpectedly than an uncle’s sneeze! Their read-distance is approximately 10 feet — perfect for expediting the dreaded hand-washing phase of a restroom safari.
  8. It’s Entirely Possible That the Narrow 4th Floor Restroom Doorways Are a Good Thing Somehow: Sure, the narrow corridor leading to the Memorial Union’s easternmost 4th floor restrooms can make for some uncomfortably intimate contact with fellow restroom users. But pressing your body against the wall to make room for people entering the restroom doesn’t have to be all bad. Sometimes it’s only some bad! Studies have probably shown that close-quarters doorways have an off-chance of having some sort of somewhat positive social effect or something. Who knows, really?
  9. Automatic Flushing: While automatically flushing toilets are common on KU’s campus, the Memorial Union’s toilets are especially adept at the art.
    “I was just sitting on the toilet browsing Reddit,” a freshman at KU said. “When all of a sudden the waste I emitted was gone. A little splashback was left on my [bottom], but that was okay. I like to think of it as a souvenir. (laughs to the point of tears, which was kind of unsettling).”

The Memorial Union’s Restrooms Are a Safe Place: Nothing’s worse than entering a stall only to be assaulted by stall art, which often includes profanity! Yikes!
Once again, KU’s Memorial Union leads the charge to provide an accommodating environment for students of all majors, sexual orientations, and ethnicities. The beaded and glossy texture of the Memorial Union’s stalls prevents monsters from scribbling anything offensive.
Restrooms are supposed to be a bastion of cleanliness. Desecrating the place where people void their bowels with hate speech is wrong. The last place vandals should target is the restroom — where the bacteria-laden refuse of the human body is expunged. How can people possibly excrete the foul fumes of one’s intestines with disgusting images on the walls?

Heard on the Hill

1.26.2017

HOTH crop

  • “I hate philosophy. Apparently, I might not be real. God might not even be real.”
  • “You look like the kind of kid to be deadly allergic to peanuts.”
  • “Does W come before R in the alphabet?”
  • Person 1: “When I’m high, I can tell which lines in reality shows are scripted.”
  • Person 2: “That’s like the worst super power ever.”
  • “I took so many damn chicken tenders, like I filled my bag up.”
  • “Imagine if cotton candy had nipples and you mixed it, that’s what this strawberry milkshake tastes like.”
  • “The guy next to me smells like cheese, Gouda.”
  • “Why are you studying for that final? You already took it!”
  • “Damn! That boy is serious if he took you to the Cheesecake Factory!”
  • “Why do I have to get a turtle for your success?”

Heard on the Hill

1.19.2017

HOTH crop

  • “I have all break to grade your research papers and cry.”
  • “I just, like, relate to the Grinch on such a personal level.”
  • “My liver seriously hates me right now.”
  • “Ugh, if I ever meet Charlie Brown I might cry.”
  • “I though Queen Latifah and Whoopi Goldberg were the same person.”
  • “He is a practiced, licensed piece of shit.”
  • “What’s a dance party if you don’t throw up pizza?”
  • “He always looks like he did a face swap with a worse version of himself.”
  • “Which is more lit? Anschutz during finals week or the Hawk on dollar night?”
  • “A guy with 3 Mountain Dews and longboard just walked past me, why aren’t we dating?”
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