Heard on the Hill

5.04.2017

HOTH crop

  • “I’m like espresso. I’m hot and bitter.”
  • “I wish kisses had caffeine, except then I’d be up all night.”
  • “EXCUSE ME, I have a shoebox full of frozens!”
  • “I’m metamorphosing into the most beautiful gay butterfly.”
  • “Yesterday at Arby’s…”
  • “Come to the wings and bingo thing with me…you vegetarian!”
  • “I’m gonna drink this wine out of the bottle because I’m troubled”
  • “Omg can I smoke with someone please? I’ll pay you I swear.”
  • “I wasn’t blacked out but it was a very dark shade of brown.”

How it Feels…To Fall From a 12-foot Ladder

5.01.2017

By Evan Riggs

How It Feels2

One year ago, 20-year old Dylan Galliert had the scare of a lifetime when he fell from the top of a 12-foot ladder while he was working in Scott City, Kansas. This is what it felt like.

It was Wednesday, Feb. 17. I don’t remember the fall, or going to the intensive care Unit in Scott City. I just remember waking up in the airplane on the way to Wichita. Just a few hours earlier, I had fallen off the top of a 12-foot ladder, and broken two vertebrae in my back and two in my neck.

I was doing electrical work for the new Loves in Scott City, and I was running a pipe through the wall for a water heater. I hit my elbow on the trough that the wire goes through, and after scuffling on the ladder, I blacked out. They said I fell onto another electrical panel that almost ripped my ear off. It turned me around and threw me on a spool of wire, which is what broke the bones.

At first I felt more fear than pain because I was on morphine. But I was in a lot of pain when the morphine wore off three days later and I was coherent. My head was ringing, and I had a sharp shooting pain from my neck down to my back. It was definitely the worst pain I’ve ever felt.

I had very little feeling in my upper body, and I could hardly move anything. I was scared, wondering what was going to happen to me.

A day or so later, I was able to start rehab, but it was just the doctors moving my legs, toes and arms while I lay in bed. It felt like my body wasn’t even there and I could hardly move anything.

My rehab started a few days after I got to Wichita. The doctors started by moving my legs, toes and arms while I lay in bed. Then they moved me to the edge of my bed and tried to get me to be able to bend my knees again. I had to completely relearn everything. I had to re-learn how to walk, and how to grab things with my hands.

I almost threw up the first time I stood up. The rehab probably took four weeks, and I absolutely hated it. I hated rehab because it took so much out of me.

By the end of March I had finally returned home. I’m back working my old job, but I can’t climb tall ladders.  My right hand is still really tight, so sometimes I can’t even open it. And I still have no sensation from my left side to the bottom of my ribs.

Everything is going pretty well, I only wish I had full use of my hand.

Masculine Pinsecurity

4.25.2017

By Matthew Clough

Nathan Clem has just signed an apartment lease for next year with his girlfriend, Rena Stair. After dating for nearly two years, they decided it was time to give living together a shot. He’s already been preparing for the move by collecting kitchen supplies, buying brand new bedsheets, even building a coffee table with one of his friends.

There’s just one more step he’s making in his preparations: getting a Pinterest account.

Clem, a junior from Baldwin City, Kansas, says his sister first showed him the app, and he thought it was a cool way to organize ideas, especially for planning home décor options and DIY projects. The app curates content for you from around the web based on topics you’ve indicated interest in. He was careful to not tell too many people he was using it, though. “I just thought, Pinterest is more for women and I didn’t want to seem too feminine,” he says. “It does carry a certain connotation.”

He’s not the only one who feels this way. According to a Pew Research Center study released at the end of 2016, 45 percent of online adult women use the virtual bulletin board site, while only 17 percent of online men do. This comes after statistics released by Pinterest that claim its male user base in the U.S. increased by 73 percent over the course of 2014.

Among college men, there’s a mix of reactions to Pinterest. Some say it’s a place for “arts and crafts bullshit” or “a platform for people who want to build personal fantasies.” But other men like Clem think it’s useful for everyone.

“Nathan came up to me, and he was kind of shy about it. He was like, ‘I don’t want to be weird or anything, but I think it’d be a really great idea if we shared house ideas with, like, Pinterest,’” Stair recalls. “At this point we had already decided we were going to live together next year,” Clem says. “I just thought it would be a good way to save ideas.”

Still, it’s clear that the concept of men using Pinterest has some taboo connotation. Simply searching “do men use Pinterest?” on Google yields a slew of articles about the site’s largely skewed demographics. But more interestingly, it also brings up the related searches “is Pinterest for guys too?” and “manteresting,” which is a website similar to Pinterest but with more sexy cars and hilarious videos, according to its Twitter. (Instead of “pinning” things to boards, you use manly nails.)

Perhaps more than anything, these searches convey an insecurity among men in using the virtual bulletin board. The most revealing thing about them is the perceived cultural necessity of assigning gender to things that are objectively genderless.

Hyunjin Seo, an associate professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Kansas who researches social media, says that the visual nature of Pinterest may be one reason more women are using it than men. “Think of the topics that more align with visual-based social media sites,” she says. “Fashion, food, travel and so on. There’s more women than men that share content on social media on these topics.”

The visual appearance of Pinterest itself may be part of the reason men shy away from it, although its design doesn’t necessarily cater directly to women. The site is plain white and upon logging in you’re greeted with a collage-like scattering of content. Manteresting, by comparison, looks essentially identical except for a black background. Houzz is a home design site that boasts slightly more male users than Pinterest; its design, like its content, is more architectural.

Instagram is interesting in that its interface is entirely visual-driven, yet according to Seo, the proportions of male and female users are very similar. Although women still outnumber men on the platform – 58 to 42 percent as of 2016, the gap is nowhere near as wide as it was several years ago, Seo said.

Some college men maintain that appearance has nothing to do with it. Conan Lee is a freshman from Overland Park, Kan., who studies illustration and uses the site for inspiration. “I have a sci-fi board and a fantasy board, for stuff like character design and concept art – ideas for drawing,” he says. Another student, Murphy Smith from Westwood, Kan., does not use the site but says “If I want something that seems to be similar to Pinterest, I just go to Reddit.” That site is significantly less structured in appearance than Pinterest.

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Regardless of appearance or perceptions, Clem remains adamant in the value of Pinterest. He and Stair have been organizing apartment decoration ideas and projects to take on together over the summer while they prepare for the big move. “I think people should use it no matter what society thinks,” he says.

 

 

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.”
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