The Drive-Thru Theater Adventure

The first time I ever drove on the highway was the day I left home for college. I gripped the wheel, white-knuckled, and waited for my car to swiftly slide off the mountains of the Grapevine’s edge for the entire two and a half hours it took to drive myself and my room full of belongings in the infamous minivan. I spent the majority of my first year driving around during a time without regularly available smartphones as an inexperienced driver of only a year lost with an equally confused friend.

In fact, we got lost so often from not printing out directions ahead of time from MapQuest (not Google Maps) that we would jokingly call the mishaps adventures. The cellphones that we did have barely went on the internet, and when you did accidentally click the internet button, you had to click out really fast, or your mom would yell at you for racking up her bill. I could use my aging Chocolate LG sliding phone to make calls, take photos that looked like they were taken with a shoe, and play the highly-sought-after game of snake.

Continue reading “The Drive-Thru Theater Adventure”

Life Lessons From The Snowy Desert

It’s been eleven years since the first and latest time I had to bypass the grapevine heading south to avoid a snowstorm.

I had to go all the way around the mountains from Bakersfield by trekking backward and by taking the coastal 101 down to Southern California. It took me about six hours, but it put everything in perspective. I was able to be on the roads that I never have seen before. However, this was before the explosion of smartphones and the Waze app, and it became an event that I will always remember.

Now, 11 years later I had to do it again. However, this time my vehicle headed due southeast facing the desert. I was stuck in an endless line of cars that would snake around the mountains in a different direction. Instead of seeing the Pacific Ocean as I cruised along the highway 101, I would have to go through the Mojave Desert past the old dry brush weighed down by piles of freshly dumped snow while driving on pitched dark and icy roads.

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Why I Don’t Tell People To Go To College Anymore

college books

A deep yet anxious sigh escaped from the mouth on the other end of the phone call. The heavy breath was shaky as it struggled to push out words that were too nervous to reach my ears. There was a brief pause before my friend revealed her confession. “Jas, I don’t think college is for me.”

For years I spoke vehemently in favor of getting an education. I stressed the importance of college on everyone around me until they began to believe it themselves. College was a must, especially in my household. I still remember my sister jokingly telling my mom she didn’t have to go to college because she actually wanted to be a clown. To which my mom replied, “well, then you will go to clown college and become the best clown out there.” I couldn’t tell if my mother was joking. However, the point was made from an early age that college was the key to success until my views on the matter changed. Continue reading “Why I Don’t Tell People To Go To College Anymore”

Radio Talk Shows and Internships: The Importance of Using Post Secondary Resources Before Entering the Job Force

Operation Community Stimulus InterviewI ended up getting the chance to sit down and speak with a professional contact, whom I met while working on a research project for graduate school, on her online podcast, “Operation Community Stimulus.” The show takes the time to interview community nonprofits and business owners who give advice to college students and young working professionals, and regularly airs live from 5:30pm to 6:00pm on Fridays.

The show gave me another chance to give one of the most important pieces of advice I tend to give students hoping to enter the job force for the first time. I speak with individuals all the time who wonder how young professionals, such as myself, enter into the job force with “entry-level” job requirements that ask for years of experience. They scratch their heads and wonder how it’s even possible to somehow have experienced before not really having any experience, to which I always reply—internships.  Continue reading “Radio Talk Shows and Internships: The Importance of Using Post Secondary Resources Before Entering the Job Force”

Coloring With Crayons And Growing Up

Photo by Bruno Cordioli
Photo by Bruno Cordioli

A friend had recently called me in a panic to voice her concerns about the near future. I answered my ringing phone and spoke through the confines of a smile. “Hey, what’s up?”

“I don’t want to grow up.” I felt a slightly irrational sense of fear creep up from the other end of the phone. “Can’t we just sit on the floor and color?”

“I’m almost positive that you would have to find a job that would pay you to do that in order to survive as an adult,” I said.

She paused for a moment after my response to her calling attention to the obligations of a modern citizen living within the margins of traditional society. “These new responsibilities that come with adulthood are stupid.” Continue reading “Coloring With Crayons And Growing Up”

Why Tom Hanks And I Agree That Community College Should Be Free

Photo by Eric James Sarmiento via Flickr
Photo by Eric James Sarmiento via Flickr

Gone are the days when young adults didn’t need a high school diploma to get a great job. Many job requirements call for a diploma along with on the job training, a bachelor’s degree, some form of certification from a trade school, or an associate’s degree from their candidates. It is because of this that it has ultimately made it harder to get a job if you couldn’t afford some form of higher education.

A friend of mine has learned this the hard way. She wanted to make more than what she has made in the past at the numerous retail and fast food positions she has worked at, but as she looked at the job descriptions and requirements she realized that she wasn’t qualified. She confided in me that she felt stuck. The dilemma, however, isn’t that she knows she has to go to some form of school, but that she realizes that she can’t afford higher education and is afraid of falling into thousands of dollars worth of student loan debt. Continue reading “Why Tom Hanks And I Agree That Community College Should Be Free”

Stormageddon and Rainy Days

Winter Rain by Yen H Nguyen via Flickr
Winter Rain by Yen H Nguyen via Flickr

“They’re calling it ‘Stormageddon,’” she said while scrolling through her Twitter feed. “Oh dear, now people are thinking the drought is over.”

I laughed as she scrolled. I heard the rain over the phone where she was at in the Central Valley just as the rain began to fall over Southern California. It had just started raining in California, and there were already photos of cars crashed in ditches on the side of the road.

“Yeah, they’re calling it the storm of the decade in the Bay area,” I said. “They’re closing schools and everything.”

I could hear the rain picking up a bit outside my window. Cool water pooled in small puddles for the local kids to jump and run through. I watched as upset parents yelled from doorsteps at the children to get inside. Continue reading “Stormageddon and Rainy Days”

“W” is for Waitlisted

The Thing About These Recent Tuition and Fee Hikes For Education

Photo by Richard Lee via Flickr
Photo by Richard Lee via Flickr

The estimated costs of attending college in the University Of California school system for undergraduates during the entire 2013-2014 academic school year was $36,078. With estimated costs for books and supplies at $1,500, living costs at $13,800, personal and transportation costs at $2,200, and health insurance fees at $1,700, the total average estimated cost for education can put you back $55,278 a year. As of today, approved to raise tuition as much as 28% by 2019 for at University of California schools.

For California State University Schools the price tag rings a little differently, but the costs for attending the institutions are continuing to rise as well. During the 1989-1990 academic school year, tuition fees were at $700. Today, according to the California State University website, undergraduate CSU students pay $5,472 and, on average, mandatory campus fees of $1,287 totaling their costs to $6,759.

The other day I was speaking with a friend, who also went to the same Cal State School, about registering for classes. She was nervous, as everyone else was, about getting the classes that she needs in order to graduate on time. Continue reading ““W” is for Waitlisted”

The Real Trouble With Parking On Campus

For spring 2014 semester, it cost students $229.00 for a parking permit.
For spring 2014 semester, it cost students $229.00 for a parking permit.

As of 2013, there were a total of 8,640 student parking spaces on campus…Enrollment for the fall 2013 semester was 38,325,” according to information gathered by The Daily Titan. After looking at the numbers one sees that there clearly is an issue.

The campus is aware that The Daily Titan has covered the topic of the student success fee and many of the students’ concern for the raise in tuition. However, were not aware until recently that this success fee doesn’t seem to ease the concerns of some of the other larger issues on campus such as parking. Continue reading “The Real Trouble With Parking On Campus”

Things I Have Learned From Blogging

twitter background

Sometime in 2009 I sat down at a computer, created a Blogspot account and began publishing posts to the web. At the time, the recent economic downturn and cuts to higher education fueled the fire for Jasmine on the Issues, and then a couple of years later, my interest in telling stories led me to create Jazzed About Stuff. When I received a message from WordPress reminding me that I registered on the site three years ago, I was shocked at another realization.

I have been talking to strangers online from all over the world for about five years now. Continue reading “Things I Have Learned From Blogging”