I’m sure almost everyone has a friend who has posted a link to the Invisible Children’s video promoting the “Kony 2012”campaign on Facebook within the past week or so. This video has started a worldwide debate on the situation with Joseph Kony and the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) in central Africa and has proven the viral power of social media.
Invisible Children’s video was posted on Monday, and has garnered an astonishing 55 million views as of the last time I looked. As the video gained momentum on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, it was picked up by news organizations, bringing more awareness to it, and further increasing viewings.
What makes the fact that this video has gone viral so astounding is that, historically videos about humanitarian and social injustices do not typically spread in this fashion. The fact that this video is 30 minutes long makes its viral nature especially interesting, because a main rule of making a viral video is keeping it “focused, consistent, and SHORT.”
It’s that time of year again… a new year, and time for New Year’s resolutions. I thought about what I wanted to do with this year and how I could improve myself, but I lacked inspiration, so as usual I turned to Google.
The first thing I found was a list of the ten most common New Year’s resolutions. They were all excellent, but all of them are things I already strive for on a daily basis: spending more time with loved ones, getting more organized, exercising, eating healthy, etc. I remained uninspired.
After spending more time in attempts to find a resolution, I stumbled upon the million-dollar question: Why do I even need to make a new year’s resolution? What makes January 1st so special in that it’s the only time of year to make a new resolution and improve myself? I knew there had to be a reason resolutions exist, otherwise, why is this custom worldwide?
After contemplating these questions (and doing some research of course), I found my answers. The magic of a new year is that it inspires us to dream big. We tend to get stuck in the monotony of day-to-day life. There is just something about a new year that breaks that cycle. It helps us realize that “if we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves” –Thomas Edison.
The promise of new beginnings allows us the opportunity to shoot for the stars and remove the cynicism that seeps into our lives as the year progresses. Kristi Hedges from Forbes Magazine said, “we’ve been trained to be critical and think small. We’re cautious of new ideas and motives, and we wait for the other shoe to drop. We get a lot of social reinforcement for this posture by being heralded as savvy, analytical, and smart.” Continue reading New Year’s Revolutions→
Whenever I go home to Dallas for Thanksgiving, I love to run the YMCA Turkey Trot. The Dallas Turkey Trot hosts about 35,000 energetic runners, joggers and walkers alike. This particular year, the Turkey Trot made an attempt for a world record for the most people in turkey costumes in one place.
I love this race because it’s the perfect thanksgiving tradition: burning calories before you eat your weight in delicious thanksgiving cuisine. It’s also a lot of fun because of all the college rivalries. Those who didn’t come in turkey outfits came in all of their collegiate paraphernalia. There are fight songs from all sorts of schools going around the crowd, but non louder than our very own “Texas Fight!” fight song.
I have been running since my junior year of high school, when I joined my school’s track and field team. I was atrocious, but I loved the freedom I felt while running. I continued to run throughout high school, and love to run recreationally in college. Continue reading Run Austin!→
As the holidays roll around (best time of the year!), I am certain I will be asked my family and friends “Why MPA?” (The switch from MIS was a little bit of a surprise to everyone.) This sounds like a simple question, and I’m sure some of you already have an answer prepared, perhaps in preparation for interviews. But, for me, it took a lot of thought. I figured I would share my thoughts on this because some of you may be prospective MPAs who are actually asking YOURSELF the question, “Why MPA?” Or you might be current MPAs who have been giving this some thought recently.
My experiences in MPA thus far have led me to believe that there are infinite reasons to join the MPA program, but there are two extremes that you will find are pretty common:
First, is the student that has known for years (might I even say their whole life) that they wanted to be an accountant (or maybe they even knew they wanted to be in the MPA program at UT.) If this is you, congratulations! You did it! Or if you are a prospective MPA then definitely apply- make your dreams come true! Continue reading Why MPA?→