Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Farewell to Chico

By Becky Edwards,
Assistant Account Executive

Graduating seniors share what they are going to miss about TGC, CSUC and life in Chico.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fun in the Sun

By Shelby Hudak, Assistant Account Executive
There is something about warm weather that brings out the best in everyone. Chico goes from temperature lows to temperature highs in a matter of days. Springtime is here and summer is just around the corner. We can finally put our pea coats and UGG boots in the back of our closets and bring forward the flip-flops and tank tops.

My all time favorite summer activities are boating and wakeboarding, whether it be at Folsom Lake in my hometown or Lake Oroville, which is just about a 30-minute drive from Chico. Boating is such a relaxing yet exhilarating activity. Hanging on to a rope attached to a boat while my feet are strapped into a wakeboard is one of the best feelings.

Another great thing about summertime approaching is that many towns, including Chico, have weekly markets. These markets include numerous vendors selling various items such as produce, art and handmade jewelry. Chico has the Thursday Night Market which helps bring the community together.

When I think of summer, one of the first things that comes to mind is barbecue. In the summer the days stay lighter for longer; It will still be light until at least around 8 p.m. This makes for great outdoor get-togethers with family and friends where people have fire pits and barbecue.

Camping is a popular family vacation in the summer. Students have around a two to three month break from school for summer, and many parents take their vacation time during the summer. This equals a recipe for family vacations.

I love warm weather and all the fun activities that warm weather brings. Summer is my favorite season and time of year

My Favorite Time of Day

By Adam Prieto,
As the season shifts and the spring weather is in the air, I usually have to wait for my favorite time of the day. Once 7 p.m. hits you can usually find me out and about in my own little world. The sun has about another hour left in its day until it proceeds to its slow diminishing act. This is the time of the day that I’m usually waiting for. The lighting is low and warm, and the deep shadows create abstract objects. Everything in sight is slightly more beautiful. One of my most favorite things about photography is how easy you can get up and just go.  I pop in my headphones and captivate my ear canals with soft, relaxing music. All of a sudden, things in front of me become still. External noises are eliminated and I’m in a therapeutic sense of meditation. 
The most fascinating thing about going out and just shooting is you never know what that thing is going to be that draws you in. You just let it happen. It seems odd, but it’s almost like letting your self be seduced a little bit every day. This is the real joy of it. To go out and be part of the world you’re in. To see it, to keep your eyes open, to really relate and react to what you’re seeing. I don’t think, “is this in the moment enough or beautiful enough?” I’m just reacting, reacting to the moment. Life is a series of moments, and photography allows me to capture and share them – to capture a little piece of the universe and sustain it one picture at a time.  It is now 7:35 p.m. 

“For the world is movement, and you cannot be stationary in your attitude toward something that is moving. Sometimes you light upon the picture in seconds; it may also require hours or days. But there is no standard plan, no pattern from which to work. You must be on the alert with the brain, the eye; and have a suppleness of body.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Truth-Room Sessions & Frenemies

By Christina Rafael, Photographer/Videographer

In elementary school she ditched you at recess. In junior high she stole your boyfriend. And in high school she blamed you when the teacher caught her cheating. As an adult, well, she’s the friend that you’ve been in a silent fight with for the last three months.

Back in easier times one could choose to just find new friends, move on and better yourself. In the adult world, one where you must network constantly, you’ll need better tactics.

So what do you do when a fight that has been simmering blows up in your face? Well, ladies, you handle your words like a PR professional.

When journalism Professor Morris Brown taught “Introduction to Public Relations,” he gave a simple list of question to answer when introduced to a PR crisis.

What is the problem?
Why is there a problem?
What are the probable causes of the problem?
How serious is the problem?
Who is affected by the problem?
What has been done to solve the problem?

This situation analysis is useful when identifying issues, figuring out if they’re worth fighting over and assessing how you’ve done so far. When dealing with women, it’s best to choose your battles and often admit wrong doing for problems not worth an escalation.

If there is a problem which you’ve personally caused, it’s best to own up to said problem by following a basic to-do list from gigaom.com:

Confess. State what you did. Own up to it. Be clear and candid. Give enough details.

Apologize. Say, “I apologize” — not just, “I’m sorry” — for whatever it is you did.

Rectify. How will you make the current situation better? What are the short-term and reactive measures?

What are the long-term and preemptive steps that will assure this doesn’t happen again — ever?

Seek forgiveness. This is important. Don’t forget to ask for forgiveness from those impacted.

If a situation is not your fault yet becomes thrust upon you, it’s best to tread lightly but stand your ground. Remember that every word can be like stepping in a minefield; you never know what will cause an explosion.

It’s best to approach the offender in a neutral space, like a coffee shop, where things have less ability to reach epic proportions. Once you are able to sit down, have what the industry calls a “truth-room session” with the friend.

During a traditional truth-room session, a consultant tells a client something that's probably true, but not flattering. In a frenemy truth-room session, you’ll need to lay all cards on the table and confront with as little assumptions as possible.

Although these tips help solve most arguments, there comes a time when a friendship has run its course and you must cut ties with the friend. As a PR professional, cutting ties and rebranding is part of the industry and sometimes the best solution after a crisis has been addressed.

Dealing with your frenemy as a PR professional is the best way to keep arguments as classy as possible, leave little backlash to you and the best way to take the high road.

Below are some helpful articles about handling professional or personal crisis management situations.

Music in Visual Media: More than Meets the Ear

By Kayla Noriega, Social Media Assistant and Editorial Assistant

There are few things in my life that come close to matching the love I have for music. Film is one of those things that come close, and I think the two go hand in hand. 

The thing that I love most about music is its ability to have a real emotional impact on people; there are songs that take me right back to certain memories and remind of people, places and events. Since music can have such a lasting effect, the songs that make up a movie soundtrack, in my opinion, are just as important as the movie itself. 
Music supervisors can really influence viewers and prompt certain reactions by having the right music play during the right scene. A great soundtrack definitely doesn’t go unnoticed by viewers and can sometimes generate more popularity for a film. Soundtracks have now evolved even more with different artists and groups creating original songs for movies. Some examples are movies like “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” which garnered their own popularity and stayed at the top of the charts on iTunes before the movies were even released.

Whether it’s a musical score or a compilation of different songs, some film music becomes iconic and is recognizable around the world and across generations. 
Here are some examples of well-received soundtracks and well-known composers.
  • The “Garden State” soundtrack, which was compiled by Zach Braff who also starred in the film. The soundtrack won a Grammy award.
  • The “Almost Famous” soundtrack: It won a Grammy award.
  • The “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack: It won a Grammy award.
  • Eddie Vedder’s song “Guaranteed” for the movie “Into the Wild” won a Golden Globe and a Grammy award.
  • A.R. Rahman’s song “Jai Ho” for the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” won an Academy Award.
  • “Titanic”: It won multiple Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Grammy Awards for the score by composer James Horner and for the song “My Heart Will Go On,” performed by Celine Dion, who also won an award.
  • John Williams: Composer for films like the “Star Wars” series, “Jaws,” the Indiana Jones series, “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Superman,” “Jurassic Park,” and three of the Harry Potter films, to name just a few.My dream job is to one day become a music supervisor; I want to have a career that I love and I think working with music is the key to that. I want to contribute to a soundtrack and help create meaningful moments for viewers that I have experienced as a viewer myself. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Summer Improvement

By Greg Bloom, Online Communications Director

One of the great benefits of the modern age is the ability to access wisdom and knowledge that others have gathered and apply that knowledge to our own lives. Countless brilliant authors, poets and sages have contributed to an endless plethora of useful knowledge that, once understood, can add immeasurable value to our life experiences.  Personally, I really enjoy reading or listening to audiobooks that can have the effect of improved efficiency, creativity, health or spiritual satisfaction in my life. These are a few of the books that I have embraced as key influencers on my perception of the world.

1.Napoleon Hill, “The Law of Success”
 Of all the great thinkers and books I have consumed, I must admit that Napoleon Hill has proven to be the cornerstone of my appreciation for the self-improvement
genre. Nowhere else can you find a more comprehensive volume of hidden-in-plain-sight knowledge that can greatly benefit your life. With critical lessons such as “the habit of doing more than paid for,” “the art of pleasing personality” and “concentration,” this book is a must-have for any person pursuing the self-improvement arts.

2. Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
Often considered the greatest self-improvement book of all time, this book lets us in on the master key of success in our relationships with other people. The secret, this book says, is that arguing to prove your point-of-view is useless. The trick is to understand that your opponent thinks what they do for a reason. The trick is that one must show the person that they validate their opinion for a legitimate reason. The role then is to tell let them that they must understand how that their experience may be an expanded view of reality that incorporates their own opinion. Again, this is a cornerstone book for anyone seeking a path of dramatic self improvement.

3.Daniel Goleman, “Social Intelligence”
Daniel Goleman, whom some consider created the modern self-improvement genre with his groundbreaking work, “Emotional Intelligence,” has recently released a book that is sure to have just as much of a revolutionary impact in the self-improvement world as its predecessor. The key idea it presents is that the mental interaction between two individuals  is not only an abstract process but a physical one; our brains are creating a physical connection among neurons between two individuals across space and possibly time. This book is a profound, groundbreaking work in the exciting new field of social neurology.

4.Robert Greene, “The 48 Laws of Power,”
Dubbing himself a “hyper-realist,” Greene has often been called hedonistic, Machiavellian or even plain evil. This book nonetheless provides invaluable knowledge. The knowledge I gained from this
book is that it provides colorful historical anecdotes for all lessons it advises. Citing such historical figures as Napoleon, Galileo and Sun Tzu, this work is a manifesto of the opaque laws of material power.

These are a few of the many outstanding books to get you started in the world of the self-improvement genre. All can be found in both print and audio book formats. I personally like to listen to all of them successfully and re-listen as often as possible. 
I also suggest reading the print versions as often as possible to enhance recollection using visual mind-recall tactics.

I Am Not Jane Fonda

By Sara Koniniec, Lead Photographer    

I do not look beautiful while I work out. I don’t really even have time to work out. Does that stop me from going? Nope! I still haul my rear end to the gym as much as I possibly can.

It’s tough trying to find time to fit a one-hour gym trip into an already booked schedule. But let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, it is worth it!

Exercise Gives You Energy.
In the famous words of Elle Woods: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands.” It sounds crazy, but working out actually makes you happy! When you’re happier, it helps you get through your day easier.

Exercise Allows You to Slack Off on Your Diet.
Just a little bit. If you are exercising regularly, it is not going to be the end of the world if you have no time to eat healthy. You don’t have to feel as guilty when you grab a bag of chips. I like to think I am an avid healthy eater, but sometimes when I just don’t have time to grab some veggies, I’ll grab some chips.

Exercise Gives You a Sense of Accomplishment.
This is my favorite part of making it to the gym. If you have a packed day and feel like you haven’t accomplished anything you set out to do, it’s nice to know that you at least finished one thing. This is especially true when at the end of the week you notice that you look like a rock star.

Exercise Keeps You Healthy.
Duh! This is a no-brainer. However, your life will be a lot easier if you don’t have to fight off a cold in addition to dealing with your daily schedule. It helps you in the long run, too, with benefits that include a healthier heart and lungs.

Exercise Gives You Time to Think.
I know this sounds crazy, but sometimes I do some of my best thinking when I’m doing sit-ups. Everyone needs time during his or her day to either think through an existing problem, or just think about nothing at all!

My favorite exercises when I can’t get to the gym include a ten-minute workout and an at work workout.

Exercise puts a sense of balance in my life that I could not live without. While I may not look like Jane Fonda, I sure as heck feel like her after I’m done working out.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Not Stopping Anytime Soon

By Cheyenne King, Account Executive

s I was casually driving to a banquet in high school, freshly 16 and in my nice new car, I accidentally forgot to stop completely at a stop sign. I know, I know – rookie move, but being a new driver is just too exciting and I was in a hurry for no good reason. Seconds later, after I swiftly passed through the intersection, I noticed that familiar white and black car with flashing lights following me. I thought if I pretended that I was turning into the next neighborhood he would somehow forget about me and not try to pull me over. Wrong, Cheyenne.

As I shakily tried to find my license and registration (I gave him every paper in my glovebox hoping he knew what my registration looked like), the nice police officer asked if I was aware I ran the stop sign. Teary eyed, I tried to apologize many times and explained I was late to a prestigious award ceremony (thinking that if he thought I was important, he would let me off easy). Little did I know, another interesting trait about myself would be the ticket out of getting a ticket.

As the police officer took my license and registration and walked back to his car, he paused and then hurriedly came back to my window. I, of course, thought the worst and was certain I was going to be arrested for who knows what.

“Is your name really Cheyenne Wyoming King?” asked the police officer.

“Yes … I promise it's not a fake ID! I'm only 16!” I replied.

Turns out Cheyenne, Wyo. was the police officer's favorite spot to vacation, and he goes there every summer. We continued to have a conversation about how I want to visit, what his favorite restaurants are there and when he will return. This was followed by him not giving me a ticket but instead a smile and, “Have a great day Cheyenne Wyoming!”
My name being unique has helped me get out of tickets, gotten me unwanted attention on the first day of school by the professors asking me to stand up because they wanted to know who Cheyenne Wyoming was, and people remembering me. This is the part that is the most important, especially since the dreaded post-graduation life is quickly approaching.

Being unique and standing out in an interview is crucial but only if you are standing out in the
right way. It can be a very fine line between them remembering you for being something negative or outrageous, or because you blew them away with your brilliant responses. Either way, setting yourself apart from the crowd is necessary in this game of job hunting.

If you are trying too hard to be funny, witty or complementary, it could be detrimental to your short time with the interviewer. But at the same time, charming the audience can be the difference between getting a call back. In this article, being personable, at ease and wowing the interviewer with something unique are some tips for success.

Since I was 16, I've been pulled over once more for accidentally not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. That time, the police officer clearly didn't vacation much.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

10 Days Until Graduation

By Jackie Richardson, Account Executive

Ironically, the reason we all go to college is to leave. Well ... with a degree, of course. But I can’t believe how quickly these past four years have flown by. 

In 10 days, I will officially be an adult. I will be venturing off into the real world to jump into the next phase of my life.
The problem? I have no idea what I will be doing. I hear all the time that it is completely normal to not have any idea of where you want to go or what you want to do after graduation, but I’m starting to freak out a little. I have used countless resources to find tips for recent grads

We have been slaving over our classes, homework, early mornings and late nights for the past four years. So why is it that we recent grads are immediately pushed into a career? Why not take a break to travel the world, work odd jobs or just do something we love? That’s right ... we’re all in debt. 

A few tips that have held my head above water during these past few months have hopefully prepared me for a smoother transition from college to career.
A few tips I found myself living by include:

  • Start early — Start researching and applying for jobs as soon as possible. Trust me. Though it’s exciting, watching all your friends get interviews and job inquiries before you is not exactly fun.
  • Set your nerves aside — Be confident. The more confident you are, the easier the transition will be. Instead of dreading growing up, embrace it.
  • Network — Reach out to whomever you can that is working in a similar field you may want to get into. Informational interviews are key; not only do they give you real life practice for future interviews, they are also great opportunities to get your foot in the door.  
  • Enjoy it — These 10 days are going to fly by. 

Enjoy the last few nights of the college life the right way. 
Good luck to all who will be graduating along my side in 10 days!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

NorCal vs. SoCal

By Ashlee Bischoff, Social Media Director

When I moved to Chico from San Diego in August 2008 I thought everyone would be jealous. When people asked me where I was from, I wasn’t expecting all the negative reactions. Doesn’t everyone want to live in Southern California? Oh boy, was I wrong.

It’s four years later, and I’m about to graduate from college and have a big dilemma: I fell in love with Northern California. My plan was always to move back to Southern California, but now I can’t see myself leaving here. I have to make a decision by the end of the year, and I’ve started compiling a list of pros and cons of living in Northern California.

You all are awful drivers. Seriously, how do you make it from point A to point B alive and in a timely manner? Don’t hesitate to turn right on red, use your blinker while merging or drive the speed limit. Traffic laws are not suggestions. Also, it’s called the 5 Freeway.

“Hella” is not a real word. It does not substitute a measurement. I don’t understand what you mean when you tell me hella people were there, or you were hella upset.

The weather is as unpredictable as my ex-boyfriend. I’m an advocate for seasons, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t keep up with the weather changes. I’m unpacking my rain boots one day and the next I’m wearing flip-flops. I’m not sure whether to blame global warming or years of being spoiled with perfect 70-degree weather.

Apparently other greenery exists in California besides palm trees and ice plants. Go figure. There is so much more beautiful nature and open land to take advantage of. I’m not surrounded by buildings and freeways. I can take a deep breath and smell fresh air, not smog.

Everyone says “hi” with a smile. If you acknowledge a stranger on the streets in Southern California you are either one – a creep, or two – crazy. I can’t tell if it’s because people find more parking or have to deal with less rush-hour traffic, but I tend to be greeted more with a smile.

There’s more to life than owning the latest and greatest. I never thought I would get sick of shopping, but it’s kind of refreshing not having to stretch my paychecks. Obviously life is costly, but it’s definitely less expensive up here. Maybe there’s just less options, though.

Despite whatever petty list I can construct, the choice is clear. I haven’t finished my journey up here quite yet. So now begins the countless hours of research. Where should I live? What career path should I take? I’ve taken interest in firms such as Edelman and Fleishman-Hillard. At this point I’ve come to realize that I just need to step out of my comfort zone and take advantage of the opportunities in life.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

By Stephanie Burke, Assistant Account Executive

Graduation is approaching, and when students look back on their time at Chico State they think of times of accomplishment, hard work and dedication. Sometimes they can also think of times of regret and embarrassment, but none would expect those times to be posted online for everyone to see. Thedirty.com has made this nightmare a reality.

  Thedirty.com is a website created and hosted by Nik Richie that allows viewers to post anonymously about another person. The posts usually include unflattering pictures and cruel words about the person. Richie then puts his own thoughts about the person at the end of each post. For example:

The only reason women wear black is to hide fat. And the only reason Kat’s boobs are big is because she is fat. – nik”

You would think it would be easy to get your picture and post taken off, but it’s far from that. When Richie was featured on Anderson Cooper’s show, he stood behind his claim that it’s within his legal rights to let this information remain open to the public.

Because of websites like thedirty.com, being aware of your online presence is becoming very important in this time of the current social media revolution. More and more employers are Googling their potential employees to see how they portray themselves in the online world. If an employer would come across an image of a potential employee on “the Dirty,” do you think they would hire them? I doubt it.

So, what can you do?

Be aware of what pictures and content is posted about you online. If you use Facebook, change your privacy settings so you must approve pictures and posts to your wall before they go viral. But most of all stay classy, so you don’t have to worry about situations like being posted about on thedirty.com.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Realizing What I’ve Got Before It’s Gone

 By Sara Ortega, Account Executive 

Well, it’s almost here. It’s almost time to put on my awkwardly oversized gown and cap and get my diploma! It’s what I’ve been working for these past four years and it’s hard to believe it’s already time. While I’m beyond excited to get out into the real world (whatever that means) it’s starting to hit me – I’m moving back in with my parents.

This shocking realization has made me think about all the simple things I won’t be able to get while living at home in Sacramento. While my parents are both pretty easygoing people, my new roomies are in for a treat.

With fewer than 30 days before I walk across that stage, I’m making sure that I spend every waking moment on things I’ll begin to miss once I unpack and settle in back home.

Here are just a few of the things that I think I’ll miss most (they’re in no special order):

1. Complete and utter FREEDOM.
2. Eating Celestino’s Pizza: $3.75 and you have a feast.
3. Being in a college town.
4. One dollar drink specials.
5. Waking up in a house filled with three cats, a bunny and my best friends.
6. Having my house and school within a block in walking distance and all of my friends around the corner.
7. Being in a wonderful land where sleeping in until one is socially acceptable.
8. Being expected to screw things up every once in awhile – I had four years to do that and apparently that’s all we get.
9. Eating Top Ramen, living in a run-down apartment on a dirty street while still managing to have the best times of my life.
10. Attending those college parties and still being one of the college kids.

When it comes down to it, I couldn’t be more excited to get out into the real world and to finally graduate! It’s definitely bittersweet and a little scary, but my Chico experience has given me memories to cherish forever.