Having any kind of powered toy car meant you were the coolest kid on the block. All the other kids wanted one after seeing you driving down the block. Over time everyone ends up outgrowing the toy and packs it away, deep into the garage. These old toy cars can now be brought back to life, due to talented robotic students.
A robotics club at Dublin, Coffman high school is working hard to turn the toys into something useful. They are transforming it into a remote controlled car to enable kids with disabilities. Allowing a child with disabilities to ride in a toy car can be beneficial to their mobility and growth.
The advisors and students at Coffmans robotics team are trying to spread awareness for this cause. The robotics team is part of FIRST Robotics Competition. If you visit the website you can find teams around your area and help them get involved.
Hey everyone, thanks for listening. If any of you out there are fans of twitch you’ve probably encountered plenty of PC gamers out there, but what about console players?
Lets get rid of the notion that serious gamers only play PC and start talking about strategies you can employ to get yourself out of EloHell! I know I plan on learning a thing or two along the way from some pretty great players.
For my first episode I’d like to welcome my good friend Mitch Unger. Mitch is a platinum level player who recently switched over to PC. He is an avid consumer of Twitch streams and just about the most knowledgable guy I know when it comes to Overwatch.
Today we’re tackling an issue that most gamers have probably come across, why do PC gamers keep laughing at me for playing on console? What is the “PC Master Race”? Should you be worried?
South by South West (SXSW) is the largest media conference and festival in the world. It takes place in Austin, TX during the second and third weeks of March, annually. The conference entails every portion of media from film, music, gaming, app development, interactive media and everything in between.
Every year, 26 students are selected to attend SXSW with Ohio University’s media program. This year, I was lucky enough to be one of them. Here is a quick look at what our group experienced at SXSW during this past week.
Being under 24-hour surveillance feels like prison. My room is right outside the nurse’s station. Blinds and door open. No privacy.
If I need to use the bathroom, the nurse has to bring in a portable toilet with handles you see old people use. She even stays to watch while I do my business. I have an IV in my hand giving me fluids. I am stuck in this sterile, white hell until there isn’t a single drop of alcohol in my system, which might take awhile.
The doctors say that only then will I be in the right mind to talk about what I have done to myself. But they’re wrong. I’m thinking fine, maybe even thinking clearly for the first time in years. Tears are streaming down my face and I stare at the ceiling wishing more than anything that I could just go home and forget what happened.
Above my door in the Intensive Care Unit, the dry-erase board reads “high-risk patient.”
How in the hell did I get in this situation? What was I doing in the ICU being watched like a 20-year-old criminal that Saturday after Thanksgiving of 2012? How did I lose control, and why would I put my family through this? Why, that time, was it so severe?
No matter how many questions I asked, I had to remind myself how lucky I was that I was still alive to ask them. I had been given a second chance. I was one of the lucky ones. Mental illness is real, and I want my story to not only spread awareness, but to let others know they are not alone.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, and for every suicide, there are many more attempts. It is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds. There is often a strong link between suicide and mental disorders, but there are also a large number of suicides that happen impulsively after experiencing trauma, disaster, violence, etc.
Despite these statistics, there are many people suffering from mental illness who never get diagnosed. There are different reasons, ranging from an inability to afford help to the general stigma associated with mental illness.
But why is this stigma even here? Why do so many people want to hide the fact that they are in pain?
My depression started in middle school when I went through my first heartbreak. As a young teenager, I felt like it was the end of the world, but I had no idea that this one stressor in my life would snowball and start collecting many other things. I was 14 and I felt insignificant, unwanted, and worthless. I felt ashamed of the way I looked and was so nervous to say the wrong thing I started to not speak at all. I blamed myself for all of the bad things going on in my life, so I decided I deserved to be punished. What I didn’t know was that the beginning of my self-inflicted punishment would just be the start of a painful and dangerous road ahead.
My mom always told me I was impulsive, and that due to family history, would likely have an addictive personality. She couldn’t have been more right. I started taking apart my shaving razors to make tiny little cuts all over my body almost every day. This first, impulsive action turned into my addiction.
After plastering a fake smile on my face all day at school, I would come home and be so consumed in pain I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was mad at myself for feeling so sad. I was sad for so many reasons I couldn’t find the root of my problem anymore, and I felt like if anybody on the outside knew, they would tell me how stupid I was because my life was just fine. Nobody would understand me because I didn’t even understand myself. So I would argue with myself. I had so many voices in my head telling me what I should do that my head started to spin. I wondered if any of it was real, and when I felt so breathless I didn’t think I could go on, I cut. I cut just deep enough for blood to form into little pools on my arm. At the same time I was punishing myself, it reminded me that I was alive. It was the release I needed and the only outlet I knew.
I was lost in the mess of myself.
Many children who consistently see counselors often have experienced some kind of physical or sexual abuse, have experienced some sort of trauma, or suffer from anxiety. Some children also live in poverty, so combine all of that together and throw in going to school, and sometimes kids don’t know how to cope with the stress. That’s when they start looking for a way out of their problems, and suicide seems to be an available option.
For people a little older, the triggers for depression can change. Krystal Hernandez, a counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services at OU, explained that anyone, no matter the age, might be vulnerable to depression. Stressors such as a job/career loss, trauma, body image, managing academic pressures, dating, and decrease in self-esteem can all play a role in depression. Factors such as family history, culture, and individual coping skills also can play a role.
Hernandez explains that mental disorders are typically caused by a combination of biological and environment factors, and some individuals have a “biological/genetic vulnerability to develop mental illness, and their environment at a given time may serve to help protect them or put them at a greater risk of a disorder.” This disproves the argument that a person can just decide to not be depressed anymore. Sometimes there is more to it than what a person can do on his or her own.
Family has always been my No. 1 priority. I come from a big family full of aunts, uncles, cousins, and we are all close.
I was a junior in high school when my cousin Jena was pregnant with her first child. Earlier that year she got married and moved out of state, but after some marital problems decided to return home to the support of her family. Her mom, Cindy, was overjoyed with excitement about having a grandchild. I could see in her eyes how happy she was.
Jena was 25 and had reached her sixth month of pregnancy. The day was Friday, Nov. 13, and anyone superstitious was already weary of the day. I was sitting in class when I got a note to get my things and go to the office. When I walked into the office and saw my mom and dad, my heart dropped. I stayed quiet until we walked out of the school and got into the car. My mom already had tears in her eyes when she told me that Aunt Cindy and Uncle Ralph had come home from work and couldn’t find Jena. They went downstairs to check on her and found her hanging from a rope from the ceiling.
She and the baby were gone.
I didn’t know it then, but Jena had been suffering from bipolar disorder as well as manic depression. My first reaction — shared by some other family members — was shock and anger. I kept thinking, How could she be so selfish? And why would she do this to her family? I thought she took the easy way out and left her family to pick up the pieces.
But it didn’t take me long to realize how wrong I was to think that. The real questions should have been what was she going through? What kind of pain was hurting her so much that she couldn’t bear it any longer? None of the rest of the family knew how much she was suffering, but if we did, would it have made a difference?
Mental illness is real and it is invasive.
I started college at Ohio University in 2011 as a journalism student in the Scripps School. I was living the dream. School always came easy to me, so drinking every night while still making the Dean’s List wasn’t uncommon. I didn’t have a care in the world besides having fun.
The euphoria didn’t last long. By the last quarter of my freshman year I started to feel a familiar sense of sadness creeping into my chest. My first reaction was embarrassment. I was living the dream in college and knew not even my friends would believe me if I told them I had a problem. I hadn’t suffered from depression since early high school, but I knew that it would destroy me if I let it, so I gathered my courage and for the first time, told my mom that I needed help. I saw my family doctor and he prescribed Celexa, an anti-anxiety/depression medication.
They say college is where you find yourself. But I can honestly say college is where I lost myself. Into my sophomore year, my anxiety grew stronger. To try and curb my anxiety, I started binge drinking almost every night. I was fully immersed into the party scene, being around asshole guys who only wanted to sleep with me and attention-seeking girls who didn’t care what happened to me. Life started to blur and as hard as I tried, I just didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere.
I didn’t know it at the time, but all I wanted was love. But I was looking for it in all the wrong places.
The frustration and anxiety continued to build. I felt used and unwanted. All I wanted was for someone to reach out to me and love me for me, not for the party and the crazy nights, not for my looks, and not for convenience.
It was November 2012 and I went home for Thanksgiving break. That next weekend, I went out to the bars with some family and friends and my binge-drinking habits continued. Into the night, I could see the crowd getting drunker, and the more we drank, the more attention I started getting from guys. After finding out my boyfriend got back with his ex a couple days before, I was pushed over the edge. I felt so violated and thought the only reason I ever got attention was for all of the wrong reasons.
I was upset, but held it together until I got home. My feelings of worthlessness and being used told me it was my fault. So I quietly went up to my room when I got home, grabbed a razor from the bathroom and took it apart. I wanted to make the pain I felt inside physical. I used to do this all the time years before. I knew I could hide it. So I pressed the blade onto my wrist just like before, but I looked down and knew this was bad. Too bad to keep this mistake a secret because I knew I needed to go to the hospital.
I immediately felt embarrassed, stupid, guilty, and so wrong for what I did. My mom and sister rushed me into the car and as I walked in with a blood-covered towel on my arm and tears streaming down my face, I saw Aunt Cindy, on call as an ER nurse. She had to deal with losing her daughter and grandchild from suicide a few years earlier. Now she had to deal with me.
Why is it so hard to talk about feeling sad? Why do we feel like we always have to have a smile? I knew I was embarrassed to talk to my family about it, and that’s why the first time they found out (besides my mom) was when I had stitches in my wrist. I isolated myself from my family and friends. I felt like I didn’t have a good enough excuse for feeling so down, and too ashamed to tell them I was upset about a boy.
But we are social creatures. As Hernandez would put it, “Suicidality is also characterized as a relational phenomenon, as someone contemplating suicide may feel lonely and isolated from others, withdrawn from those critical social bonds, or worry about feeling like a burden to loved ones.”
People act and react to situations in very different ways. Sometimes the people who appear the happiest are the ones struggling the most. But we won’t know about it until we ask. Sometimes all it takes is something simple to let someone know you care, and that simple thing might be the thing that makes someone decide this life is worth it. Depression isn’t something that can’t be cured. We are stronger than we think, and our words hold strength. The trick is being brave enough to say them before it’s too late.
Caitlin was beautiful. She was my cousin and one of my best friends. Cait was exuberant, positive, smart, creative, unique…the list could go on. She taught me that deep in one’s soul is where you find true beauty. She taught me not to judge, but to accept. Her friends called her a bundle of sunshine and a lover of light. It was impossible not to be affected by Cait. Just her presence could light up a room, and her smile was unforgettable. She was 23-years-old and had the power to change the world.
But no one knew there was a darker side to Cait. Yes, from the outside it looked like she had everything going for her. She just graduated from college and had her whole life ahead of her.
It was two months after I got out of the hospital. I had only told immediate family what had happened, but didn’t talk about it with the rest of my family. It was February 2013 when my mom called. It was late, and I was hanging out with some friends. The first thing my mom said was, “I didn’t want to do this over the phone, but I think you need to know now.”
Cait, just like Jena, had been struggling with bipolar disorder and manic depression. And just like Jena, no one knew she was struggling with something so serious. Cait’s parents didn’t know what else to do, so Cait was placed in a mental hospital with 24/7 surveillance. It was in this place, the place that was supposed to be the safest, that Cait attempted suicide by hanging. By the time the nurses found her, her oxygen supply had been cut so long she was in a coma.
Cait lasted two weeks in that coma.We all prayed as our beautiful Cait lay in a peaceful slumber, but her oxygen deprivation proved too much for her body. Even if she woke up, it wouldn’t be Cait anymore…
Just a short two months before, I had been sitting in my own hospital bed. If I had opened up to her about what had happened to me, would it have made a difference? Would it have shown her a glimpse of how much it would hurt the family to lose me, so much so that she would decide against suicide herself?
I ask myself these questions every day. Could I have made an impact? Could I have saved her? Even though we were miles apart, we were going through a similar situation at the same time. And now I live with this regret that I could’ve stopped it.
I don’t want to have to lose anyone else to this disease. If all it takes is a simple reminder that someone matters, I want to share my story with everyone in hopes that it will shed a new light on this life, and show that no matter how much pain you are in, you matter. It doesn’t matter how someone acts on the outside it’s what goes on inside that counts. I still struggle sometimes. It’s easy to fall into a darkness of stress and sadness that consumes me, but I know it can be overcome, and I know this life is worth living.
If you or someone you know is struggling and in need of help, don’t wait to take action. Here are some places that can help.
Katie Curry is a senior at Ohio University majoring in journalism and minoring in world religion. She loves to cook, draw, and spend time with her family and friends. She is preparing to move to Atlanta, GA, to intern for CNN spring semester.
After a fire ravaged several businesses on Union Street in November, Casa Nueva was among the Athens businesses that stepped in to help displaced workers. A sense of family infuses the Athens community, and Casa Nueva plays a central role. In their most recent all-members meeting, Casa started working on plans to aid workers from Jackie O’s and The Union. Some might view those businesses as competitors, but Casa sees them as family.
Nestled among the bars and boutiques that dot Uptown Athens is Casa Nueva, a Mexican fusion restaurant with its own bar. Although it’s the only Mexican sit-down restaurant on and around Court Street, its food isn’t what sets it apart. It’s the people who work there. Casa’s worker-owned structure aligns with the ideals of a a hip, liberal college hub. Money isn’t the only thing that motivates Casa’s workers. It’s more than that. It’s family.
Casa’s more than 70 members are omnipresent in the business’ decision-making processes. Josh Brown, a worker owner and the booking coordinator at Casa, is responsible for scheduling bands and comedians at the venue. He exudes comfort and confidence, looking right at home in his leather jacket and scuffed jeans, which he wore to the member meeting he had just attended. Brown became involved with Casa in 1996 and said it was the best decision he ever made. He admits that sometimes bureaucratic processes can be frustrating and exhausting, but the meetings always have a good outcome.
“We bicker like family, but we also work it out like one,” Brown said, gesturing to form a wide circle with his hands.
This sense of family infuses the day-to-day routines at Casa. It’s how the business overcomes problems ranging from an overbooked dining room to an hour wait for food. Casa’s front of the house meshes with the back of the house to juggle these obstacles to give their customers a better overall experience. Although Casa is known for its long waiting time, this is a strategic move on the waiters’ part. If they see the kitchens are overloaded with orders, they’ll slow down the seating to give the cooks a chance to catch up.
Diana Harland, an associate of Casa, said, “Casa can’t just be a job … It’s a philosophy for life.” When people butt heads, they work through their problems and squabbles during meetings. They conclude amiably, and if not, they continue to work to resolve the issues.
Casa Nueva was born out of a floundering business called Casa Que Pasa in the spring of 1985. The original eight worker-owners of Casa Nueva decided to take over the business after seeing how much the camaraderie and community atmosphere was retained, even when the building owners took over from the original owners. Although they had little business knowledge, these first eight collaborated with the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks. Together, they built a business that was community-based through the worker-owner cooperative structure. Casa strives “to create a workplace in which all individuals are treated with equality, respect and compassion,” according the the About page on its website.
The worker-owner structure is a little hard to digest from the fine print and guidelines Casa provides on its website. In short, a worker-owner structure is any business that is controlled by its members, who usually pay some kind of membership fee. This fee is returned should a member choose to end his or her career at Casa. While a conventional business is controlled by outside owners who have little to no interaction with day-to-day processes, control of Casa is exercised democratically by its members.
Workers at Casa are defined by the amount of investment they have put into their jobs:
Worker-Owner (members) – These workers have full voting rights and participate in profit sharing. To become a worker-owner, a worker must go through trial membership, complete a set of requirements, and be proficient in at least four areas of the business.
Coordinators – These workers are worker-owners who are in charge of coordinating groups of worker-owners and associates to manage various aspects of the restaurant. The groups are called committees and include, among many others, the training committee, the cantina committee, and the finance committee.
Board of Directors – These workers are worker-owners who take responsibility for the financial stability of the business. They oversee the committees and take direction from their fellow worker-owners.
Associates – These workers are not worker-owners but are strongly encouraged to attend meetings to express their opinions on how to better the restaurant. Though they don’t have voting rights, associates’ opinions are considered when making decisions.
Though these categories may seem hierarchical, Casa dedicates itself to consensus building. Leslie Schaller, one of the original eight worker-owners, said, “We try to instill a sense that the vision and values of the corporation are driven by the members of that corporation.” Worker-owners and associates alike shoulder many responsibilities. Throughout the day, workers at Casa are thinking about everything from fair wages to how to better communicate with the back of the house.
Much like Jack Byrnes’ “circle of trust” in “Meet the Parents,” becoming a member takes commitment and dedication. Nick Riggenback is Casa’s newest member — he’s been there five years — and he’s Casa’s president. He said that after leaving a conventional business, Casa is like being unplugged from the Matrix.
“Not a lot of people are ready for that kind of responsibility,” said Riggenback taking a swig from his PBR and spinning his chair from side to side at the bar,. He explained that Casa’s regular meetings are a time for character building, but what members do outside of those meeting is what really makes an impact. Coming to a consensus means not only establishing your opinion, but campaigning for it day-to-day.
Casa customers — more like fans, actually — also participate in the culture. They use the space to come together and share good times. Patty Mitchell, a recent True Heroes award winner and creative founder of Passion Works Studio, is a regular at Casa. As a pioneer for commendable community building, Casa is the epicenter of Athens and a place for people from all walks of life to come together as one, she said.
Looking forward, Casa currently has no plans for physical expansion. Riggenbach explained that it would go against Casa’s community-building values to buy out the surrounding business for their own gain. Riggenbach did say there are discussions about building solar panels to adhere to their sustainability values, though these plans are more into the future. More immediate plans include building a Casa Nueva farm to oversee their products from farm to table as well as a food truck, which would add space without having to buy out other businesses. It would also serve as a mobile marketing strategy.
In the end, Casa is group of friends sitting at the bar. They share a few drinks and laughs. They boost each other and are friends before co-workers. Out of deep respect and admiration for each other, out of friendship and family, Casa Nueva is a worker-owned restaurant.
Paola Santiago Del Castillo is a junior at Ohio University majoring in print journalism. She is an avid lover of international journalism, Harry Potter, and pizza. You can usually catch her in her room, sipping coffee, reading up on transborder communication and watching an occasional episode of “How I Met Your Mother.”
Upon entering their senior year, most Bobcats create an Athens bucket list. It’s almost guaranteed that liberating an “Athens Block” brick from Court Street or College Green will be on that list.
This has been a tradition for years, and many alumni proudly display bricks in their offices or homes. Brick liberation generally occurs in the dark of night and as quickly as possible.
But what happens when two #basic best friends decide to get their own bricks? Erica Frank and I — the most basic of basics — were determined to find out.
But first, we need to discuss the basics of #basic. Most college students are both familiar with and annoyed with the term due to its recent spike in popularity.
When you think basic, picture a 20-something white girl wearing leggings, Uggs, a puffer vest and a Kate Spade cross-body while clutching a venti Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte with her perfectly manicured hand. But this “basic” image is used for stereotyping and demeaning insults. So I have to ask: What is so wrong with any of that? What is wrong with liking Starbucks or being comfortable in what are basically a giant hug for your feet (yes I’m talking about Uggs).
Quite frankly, I think the basic life is the best life to lead. Joining me in that belief is Erica, a Ohio University senior and my basic best friend.
When we began our journey to get Erica her senior year brick, we really didn’t think things through. From parking mishaps (which thankfully were not caught on video) to not being able to find a true Athens Block brick to forgetting any sort of tool that might have helped us extract the brick, we failed on every level. As a result, no bricks were liberated and we gave up to both escape the foul stench that plagued us all evening (Court Street will never smell like roses) and to meet our friends to play pool — poorly.
Despite the stereotype, basics take their homework and professional work very seriously so it was a few days before Erica and I could regroup to plan our next clandestine outing to search for bricks. But during that time, I had received some intriguing information from James Robinson, CEO of Athens Bricks LLC.
I had begun the interview thinking he would say it’s wrong to steal bricks and that you shouldn’t do it out of principle. Instead, he shared some hard facts that would make anyone (basic or otherwise) rethink carrying out this tradition.
“The only problem with this tradition is when they tear out one brick, it creates damage to the whole area,” Robinson said. “The bricks will shift even after just four days. You can’t just replace one brick with another. Each street is hand fitted together. You pull out one and pull out a string in a ball of yarn. The city has to tear up the entire area to replace even just one stolen brick. The whole area can begin to sag and it’s like a domino affect. The bricks will move to fill in the gap. The city has to spend a lot of money and man hours to fix all the areas it affects.”
His story opened our eyes to the damage even a small action could inflict. We were beginning to realize that maybe stealing a brick wasn’t a very basic thing to do …
Because in the end, basics don’t steal … they go shopping!
Sarah Rachul is a junior majoring in strategic communications and minoring in sports management and visual communications at Ohio University. She is a self-described basic who would die without always having a Starbucks within a 2-mile radius. Her other interests include Disney World, playing golf in all black (because it’s slimming) and trying new recipes she finds from hours of surfing through Pinterest. You can check out some of her other work on her website and professionally stalk her on LinkedIn.