Oh Captain My Captain

Jordan Kallady is the captain that any Southern University Games (SUGS) basketball team would kill for. He’s not just driven on the court – off the court he’s hard working as well.

Jordan is studying a Bachelor of Health Science and a Masters in Health Education Management. Jordan is in his fifth and final year. He will be graduating at the end of the year.

“Majority of my education has gone towards project management, as there are new advancements in the field through computer systems. On top of that, sorting out legal requirements around medical records, more funding for a hospital, clinical coding and program development.”

Even though Jordan is finishing his degree at the end of the year. It’s never too late to change your mind about what you want to do in life.

“I couldn’t imagine myself sitting behind a desk in the next 40 years. That is why I’m changing to Para-med next year, after I graduate.”

Jordan would be described as a very active person, who has ingrained leadership qualities. These strengths were utilised in this years SUGS when he was captain of the basketball team. “Captain Softie” the boys called him.

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“I’ve been on 4 SUGS so far and the 2016 SUGS was definitely the best by far. Everyone was close on SUGS and became even closer after.”

A message from Jordan to the 2016 Basketball team this year:

“I enjoyed being your captain so much because everyone on the team was a good person, as well as a great basketball player.”

Jordan may be playing again next year either on La Trobe’s team as captain again or maybe on another? I guess you’ll have to wait and see.

By Brianne Keogh

One of life’s choices and a sneaky tequila worm

Vasilios is a first year at La Trobe studying a Bachelor of Science Degree. Like every other University student though, he’s indecisive. He does not know if the degree he is doing is the right one for him. Many students face this problem towards midyear. Some drop out – others defer. Vas on the other hand is in the midst of changing his degree altogether.

Vas found, “science wasn’t for me, as much as it is interesting – I couldn’t see myself having a career in it in the future.”

Why be stuck in a degree that would give you future dissatisfaction?

He’s been researching what degree to change into and has settled on a Bachelor of Phycology. “It encompasses the science factor and also the human body. That is what I find fascinating. I also want to make a difference in society and I feel psychology can do that.” Vas is also interested in how people think, and what stimulates a person’s motive. “In psychology I believe I can research this.” Vas is one of those lucky people that change their mind about their degree. Some people after 5 years still don’t know what they want to do

He was also on Southern University Games (SUG) for LTU, playing basketball. Vas on SUG’s was known for offering everyone on the basketball team tequila worms on the first night. Some may think tequila worms are gummy worms soaked in tequila however, you are totally wrong. These are real dead worms soaked in tequila. Some teammates were in utter horror. Vas with a smile wouldn’t let them back out of it. Vas on SUGS nickname was Lazarus because he rose from the dead and played basketball after a massive night out.

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Overall Vas is one of those guys you can easily get along with around LTU. If you ever feel like changing degrees go to him for advice because he’s been through it all.

By Brianne Keogh

Echo 360 and Class Attendance

Throughout your time at La Trobe, you will undoubtedly hear many times “the lecture will be on the LMS”. This is usually quickly followed by “but it’s much better to be in class”. As the semester goes on, the numbers in most lectures gradually drops. Sometimes it only falls to 80%. Sometimes to less than 50%.

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But what does this mean? Through the semester, are an increasing number of people discovering the joys of listening to a lecture online? Possibly more likely, people decide not to attend class with the thought that they can just listen to it whenever they want. It’s easy to put off making the commute to La Trobe with the rationale that you can do the learning anytime you want.

The issue is that for most people, the lecture gets ignored indefinitely. Just listening online is so simple that the weight of what it actually entails is lost. Having it so readily available and accessible means that it doesn’t seem like a vital educational tool. At best, it seems like a chore. At worst, it seems unnecessary or redundant. A friend of mine, Nop Songsangkhan asked me “What’s the point of going all the way to La Trobe when I can listen to it at home? At least there I can be comfortable and do whatever I want.”

Perhaps this is the reason that lecturers and tutors are always saying it is better to be in the lecture theatre. This ‘comfort’ and ability to be in a personal environment where one can do whatever they want is, potentially, a poor way to learn. It diminishes the importance of learning and provides ample distraction.

Of course, for many people, Echo 360 is a godsend. It gives busy people the chance to catch up on something they’ve missed, and an easy way to revise for assignments and exams. It’s a great tool, it’s just a question of how it is used. Many class quizzes I have taken in tutorials are now based upon the lectures, trying to keep students honest. However, if people fail or do poorly on said quizzes because they haven’t attended the lecture is anything really gained or lost? The people that attended the lectures will do well, the people that didn’t listen to them will not. It’s almost the same as just taking attendance.

Echo 360 is a great tool and helpful to many people, but nothing can compare to actually being in the room.

 

By James Wallace

Hann, the modern day superwoman

Hann Mrakov is possibly one of the most individual people you’ll ever meet. She’s literally one of a kind.

Hann is 6 foot 2 and she skyscrapers over the whole of La Trobe University. Hann isn’t discouraged by her height – she embraces it, in more ways than one. One of those ways is by creating her own clothes for herself. Every outfit you will see Hann in at LTU she has handmade herself. One of the reasons she started remaking clothes from Savers was to improve our environment, as she is an activist for the Greens. She believes “recycling is key to sustain a better future.” Maybe she’s right? Hann is an example of the future role models we’ll need in our society.

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She not only is an activist for the Greens, she plays a key role in rallies for freeing refugees in our detention centres on Kangaroo Island. She was the key person in the march that happened last week in the CBD. Hann recites the chants and leads the rally with the megaphone.

Hann also fed the Homeless last Saturday night. Hann isn’t just an angel she did admit, “I went to Anyway after and then had kick on’s at revs till Sunday morning”. Hann is a Revs regular and believes “Revs is the place to be”. She is also a regular at Doofs.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with DOOFS – “slang term doof or bush doof refers to a type of outdoor dance party in Australia and New Zealand, generally held in a remote country area or just outside big cities in surrounding bush or rainforests and similar to raves or teknivals.”

Hann believes “Doofs are better than festivals because there’s a sense of community within them.”

Hann also is a vegan and is very active in her local community against animal cruelty. “I once saw a chick be slaughtered in a video and couldn’t eat chicken again after it.” Now Hann says that her only favourite take out food is hot chips from Macca’s and fake vegan Parma’s.

Ever had fake chicken?

Hann suggest you should try it, before you judge it !

By Brianne Keogh

Young Student Leaders

This weekend I had the opportunity to give a talk to the students of the School for Student Leadership at the Gnurad-Gundidj campus, and it was awesome. Being someone who has been through the Gnurad program, I really appreciate and value the awesome things they are doing towards developing young student leaders. Being able to hang out with the students as well as tell them a thing or two about my journey from Gnurad and beyond is truly incredible.

 

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Each day Gnurad has two student leaders, who essentially run the day’s goings-on. From head-count, to giving reminders and important announcements, they also select the quote of the day. On Sunday it was this:

 

“Don’t give up! There’s no shame in falling down. True shame is not standing up again!”

– Shintaro Midorima.

 

The students base their Dearr (drop everything, read and reflect) sessions on this quote, and seeing as I got to partake in the program for the day I decided it was only fair I joined them. This is how I interpreted the quote:

 

There will be a vast number of times in life that you will fall down. Both literally and metaphorically.

 

You don’t achieve your goal, the bloke next to you gets the raise you worked harder for, you don’t quite get the mark you were after despite giving your all to an assignment.

 

Life is full of quite disappointing and difficult set backs. They will, and definitely do, happen.

 

However, the main issue occurs when you allow these set backs to manifest into something permanent. A sense of self-doubt or disbelief in your own abilities. A feeling that your goals are unattainable and unachievable.

 

There is no shame to be found in making a mistake or having some form of set-back happen. There is especially no shame in getting back up or doing the necessary things to correct your course.

 

Having a long line of set backs or a goal that continually moves away from you no matter how hard you chase it can cause a lot of stress. Stress (thanks to the cortisol that is released when you feel stressed) if experienced for long enough can lead to some really nasty things. A break-down in your immune system and a breakdown of your persistence and heart.

 

This often leads to even worse things. Debilitating health issues and perhaps even having an effect on your mental health.

 

There is no shame in falling down. There is shame in not getting back up on the horse and doing what you’ve got to do.

 

Reset your goal. Keep hustling. Keep chasing the dream. Because you will never achieve it if you’re too busy worrying about the fact that you were set back.

 

We’re half-way through the last semester of 2016, let’s finish strong La Trobe.

 

By Tyler Trevaskis 

Blended Learning

It’s a phrase that many students have undoubtedly heard many times at La Trobe. It simply means that there is a mixture of online learning, and face to face classroom education as well. As it is a mixed system of schooling, it seems almost fitting that it receives mixed reviews from students, its positives sky high, but its short comings almost tragically low.

Shannon Jayamaha is doing a science course, he tells me that most of his work at home “is reading, and reading, and reading. If [he] doesn’t have to read something from the text book, [he] has to read it from the internet. The thing [he is] doing is the same, but he just swaps between [his] computer and his book.”

Another friend of mine, Michael Pizzato, is doing media. He tells me that “most of the work at home is just watching a short YouTube video. It’s great, but most people don’t do it anyway.”

There are positives and negatives hidden within both of their statements. For Shannon’s case, it is obvious that fact that the learning is ‘blended’, is irrelevant as the internet is providing nothing but a new stance or way to read the same thing. However, this does mean that he can be reading on the go, learning his work to and from Uni on his commute. One of the guidelines on the La Trobe website for blended learning asks, “does the online learning environment complement – and not simply mirror – the classroom learning environment?” For Shannon, the internet is a mirror.

As for Michael, he has positive feelings towards the system. He doesn’t have to sit around reading a book for hours every night. It’s something simple, and he knows how long it’s going to take. That said, it’s true that almost no one watches the videos anyway. Would these people have read x chapter in y book if that had been their homework? Probably not, but the blended learning system doesn’t solve that issue.

The biggest worry about the system is its first guideline. “Is at least 25% of the student’s workload based solely in the online learning environment?” To make an overarching guideline like this ignores whether or not the internet and online work is really relevant to that specific subject or class. For something like media, it’s great. The work online can be to watch a video and discuss what was seen in class. For something like law or art (I don’t take either of these subjects so I am not certain), the internet doesn’t seem as relevant. It doesn’t seem like there should be a minimum quota, rather online learning should be implemented when it is only going to add to a student’s learning.

 

By James Wallace

 

A New Hope: Generation Zion

Generation Z: A generation of techno savvy Beliebers and social media natives. They entered the world in the age of the internet; an age where Google knows absolutely everything from the history of ancient Persia to the name of the other member of Destiny’s Child. To deal with the information overload, Gen Zed have developed an eight second attention span in order to filter through the enormity of information available to them.

Sometimes I think about this 8-second filter, the creation of the selfie stick, The Kardashians and The Twilight saga and worry about what our future might look like under the rule of Generation Z. Do these little pouting punks have what it takes to run the world? Meeting people like 18-year-old Zion Lulseged, puts my mind at ease.

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Zion is a lovely young student at LaTrobe University who is studying a Bachelor of Media and Communications. Fresh out of high school and into tertiary study, Zion is continuing an interest in media which she established at St Aloysius College, the all-girls Catholic high school she attended in North Melbourne.

I had seen Zion around LaTrobe a lot and had noticed a warm, friendly aura about her. Exuding the presence of a natural born leader, I felt as though I knew her.

Zion is of Ethiopian heritage and was born in Sudan before her family moved to Melbourne in 1999. Her mother is a chef and her father owned and operated a café until most recently.

Growing up Western Melbourne suburbs, Zion holds Kensington particularly close to her heart. She shared kindergarten and high school with the same girls and formed lifelong friendships. Quite the extra curricular queen, she participated in choir, soccer, volleyball, table tennis and was School Captain in her senior year.

There is a kind, nurturing and somewhat maternal quality in the young student. This could be attributed to the arrival of her youngest brother, Lucas when Zion was entering her formative, teenage years. She told me proudly, through a glowing smile, of his 6th Birthday party and the show stopping cake she made for him.

Zion is your average Harry Potter loving eighteen-year-old, sporting a polaroid camera and binging on ‘How I Met Your Mother’.

Zion doesn’t know exactly what she’ll make of her degree in Media and Communications. Personally, I would say she has the gumption to find success wherever she seeks it. A promising, young leader.

Upon speaking with her further, it turns out I actually did know her. Ho ho ho. We had met at a bar in Brunswick and chatted in the endless line for the bathroom: a place where many of the greatest friendships are formed.

The future of this world is uncertain and Generation Z is at the forefront of a new age of digital-everything. I am proud and excited to enter a future with people like Zion at the helm.

You got this, Gen Zed.

 

By Scarlett Maloney 

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go. Loved by old Pokémon players and the general public alike. Kind of. Why kind of? Because the only real draw of the game is that it is Pokémon, and most people’s first exposure to the world of augmented reality. It is simple, and has a massive fan base. Everyone either plays it, or knows what it is. To not have Pokémon Go is to be missing out.

There are some positives to the game. It brings random people of the public together, let’s them walk around and see someone doing the same, giving them a chance to ask, “Pokémon?”, to which the reply is a nod and a resounding, “Pokémon.” It gets people on their feet, walking around the real world and exploring places they haven’t really checked out before. The game has shown millions of people a concept (augmented reality), that they had no clue was even possible.

Despite all this, Pokémon Go is barely a game. It is riddled with bugs and server issues, poor decision making from the creators Niantic, that restrict player feedback to essentially zero, and terrible communication from Niantic to their player base. The people that defend the problems are fanatics. But these negatives are another story.

The impact that the Pokémon Go app has had on student life is undoubtedly immense. With several Pokestops around campus, students now have an incentive to walk around and explore their university. With the couple gyms in the area, they can battle for supremacy, glaring at people from other courses, from other years at the university. In essence, La Trobe feels like a tighter knit community.

It has also weighed heavily on actual classes too. There are a few buildings around campus that have rooms within range of Pokestops. People that would previously be on Facebook in class now just attach a lure to those stops and sit around swiping their screens. Whether this is a good or bad thing is debatable, as the people focusing on Pokémon would likely not be paying attention anyway, and have to focus less on Pokémon than Facebook, however it is still a distraction that is incredibly easy to be swayed by.

Similar to how the app works in public, if you see someone playing it in class, a simple question of “what team are you in?” is a great conversation starter. Those that were previously alone can find friends even easier now, and it’s hard to call something that encourages social interaction and exercise a bad thing.

By James Wallace

 

The “Hot Asian” takes SUGS

Southern University Games (SUGS) – the pinnacle of greatness in sport – where some of the best athletes from different universities across the south side of Australia compete. “SUGS”, the term shortened by the athletes themselves, is not all about playing sport. Oh no, Angie describes it as being “schoolies on steroids”. The amount of alcohol these athletes consumed could flood La Trobe University’s moats.

Angie Wang-Hartman was nicknamed on SUGS by the hockey team as the “HOT ASIAN” and this is Angie’s story on how SUGS was for her.

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“I played basketball for La Trobe in the second team. Basically we played basketball, slept, went out and met some pretty cool people. This was repeated for 4 nights straight. The great thing about SUGS is that I’ve met some life long friends from La Trobe.”

Angie does want to advise some students about certain things on SUGS. “ We went to La Di Da and Brown Alley for clubbing. I advise everyone who does SUGS in Melbourne, that La Di Da is shit, no one should go there again.”

Highlights were: “Dinner was really good, at CQ (the club everyone goes to on a Friday) they supplied some good potato salad.” Angie gives her tick of approval.

“The dessert was pretty good – didn’t like how our teammates ditched us on the first night so we didn’t get to eat the dessert – not cool.”

“Do SUGS it’s fun, but not when you’re shit at basketball… don’t do it then.”

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That’s it from Angie Wang, SUGS 2017 campaign for basketball starts now!

By Brianne Keogh

Writers in action

La Trobe University offers students the opportunity to complete an interactive subject that surrounds the various writing festivals. I, and many other students from across the campuses will be attending the subject run during the Bendigo Writers Festival.

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Writers in Action offers La Trobe students an interactive look at how the festival works and provides the opportunity to participate in the various workshops and sessions across the event.

As well as the line-up featured as part of the festival, the Bendigo Library is also offering a side festival: Write on the Fringe.

Between the two festivals this year, the timetable consists of a more than 60 different sessions (including some workshops) that feature a wide variety of authors and professionals discussing various topics and ideas.

With so many sessions to choose from I am most looking forward to attending sessions and workshops with Stephanie Alexander, Di Morrissey, Isobelle Carmody, Julian Assange, Darren Middleton, Sarah Ferguson, Tim Flannery and many more.

Whilst Writers in Action is still a University subject with assignments and class requirements, the opportunities given through both content and festival sessions make for an interesting and interactive subject that I am excited to be part of.

Ticketing options range from day passes to weekend passes.

You can find out more about the Writers in Action subject in the universities handbook.

*All images have been sourced from the Bendigo Writers Festival Website*

By Rhiannon Lloyd