An Alien’s Perspective: Getting things right the first time

Thanks to you, I’m back by popular demand. It’s been a good winter for me, given that I got to visit my family for a short while. The semester’s begun and while for many of you it means resuming classes at Wichita State, I realize for some of you, it is your first time at WSU. I dedicate this column to letting you know the few things I learned about WSU after just coming here.

Basketball’s big: A lot of countries aren’t able to support a sports program that can get larger than life. Coming to WSU, I knew it supported a good athletic program. What I didn’t realize was how big basketball is at WSU. As a student, you can easily procure tickets for free from the University. Even if you haven’t watched basketball ever before, make sure you get the tickets in advance and attend the games. Your college schedule will get the better of you before you know it, and attending the games is a crucial bit of the student experience at WSU.

The food is terrible: If you’re new and haven’t heard of the phrase, “freshman fifteen,” you soon will. Very shortly, you will realize that the food served on campus is terrible for you. The protein content is lower than one would like, while the fat and sodium levels go through the roof. In a paranoid world run by a paranoid me, I would arrest you on grounds of being suicidal for eating the food on campus.

If you’re living in the dorms, there’s a shuttle service that goes to Dillons and Wal-Mart frequently. Get your own groceries and start cooking your own healthy food. Don’t make excuses for yourself by saying you have no experience in cooking. The solution to that is simple: watch YouTube videos and grab a copy of The Sunflower on Thursdays.

What’s the worst that could happen? You might end up burning down the dorms. At least you’ll look fabulous from eating healthier when you’re running out of the burning building.

An Alien's Perspective - Welcome Spring 2014

Time management: The education system in the country I come from is different in several ways than the system at WSU. Everyone back home shared the same timetable. We had classes at the same time and went to bed at the same time. So when I came here, I realized that I was inferior at time management. Don’t let that happen to you, and make sure you plan your schedule well in advance and stick to it. It’s one of your most valuable assets.

It’s good to be back, and I wish you the best in your endeavors this semester.

What I think about Facebook acquiring Whatsapp

I see several people making jokes about Facebook’s recent purchase. While some people seem to have been following the chain of events, a lot of people merely seem to have discovered the whole matter only now. So here’s a dumbed down version of what is actually happening.

If you google ‘Facebook user decline report’, you should come across at least a dozen legitimate news sources that should get you caught up with the strong suspicion that Facebook’s seeing a decline in users. Now though the number of Facebook accounts might be increasing by the day, the decrease can be measured in terms of the net time spent on the site per month. Also there are strong hints that point out a decline in younger users. There’s strong indication that as more and more people are grasping the concept of social media, and with the increase of mobile access, there are more parents and grandparents joining the social media giant.

As a recent victim of this phenomenon, I instantly see the appeal of leaving Facebook. Combined with this, the fact that several more private social media solutions like Whatsapp, Viber, Snapchat, etc. only make it easier for younger users to migrate to social networks that protect their privacy. Facebook’s ever-fluctuating privacy policy hasn’t helped the case.

Facbook acquires whatsapp

Enter Whatsapp. What started out as a simple app that cut out the cost of international texting tariffs, slowly grew due to its operating ethics. I’ve only looked at it as a mere texting app replacement, the application has gained immense popularity in certain parts of the world as a legitimate social network, one that is more private, and simply more comfortable to live in. At $1.00 a year after the first year, it’s an inexpensive juggernaut hurtling towards a time-local success.

From Facebook’s perspective, if you can’t beat them, you join them. And that’s exactly what has happened. By acquiring Whatsapp, Facebook will be able to keep its place as the dominant social media solution. They did this with Instagram as well, and I can only hope they will have the decency to not change the way Whatsapp works.

It’s been a good two years of being a Whatsapp user for me. I am desperately looking at other solutions to have a texting solution that will not mean giving up what is left of my privacy.

Hello Viber?

Final Friday shows off Wichita’s culture

Compared to New York and San Francisco, Wichita may seem devoid of culture. But on the last Friday of every month, the city comes alive with vibrant local art.

Ever since it began in April 2009, the Final Friday events take place on the last Friday of every month. The event features a variety of artists- professionals, amateurs and students. During the event, several art galleries, museums, restaurants and retailers participate by opening up to the public and displaying visual artwork like paintings, photographs, sculptures and installations.

“Final Fridays are fun,” said Melinda Sudbrink, a fine arts sophomore at WSU. “It is inexpensive and a good chance to expose yourself to all types and forms of art.”

Since it features several artists, the wide range of artwork appeals to multiple demographics. Apart from benefiting the average art patron, Final Friday is quite important to art students who are seeking avenues to display their work and have their work received by a significantly large audience.

“My experience at Final Friday is very warming,” said Matthew Eames, a Wichita State University graduate. “For a city as expansive as Wichita is, the amount of appreciation for art can be limited. When Final Friday comes around, it’s nice to see how many people come out.”

As a student at WSU, Eames participated in the Final Friday on multiple occasions. He works a studio resident technician at the Carbondale Clay Center in Carbondale, Col.

The hours of operation for different venues may vary. However, all participating venues remain open between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. There is no charge for entry, and some artwork selections may be available for patrons to purchase.

Illustration: Colourblindness

Image

Colour Blindness