94 Days of Summer, Day 70: Ishtar's East Coast Summer Continues

Senior Communication Studies major Ishtar Schneider has been having a busy summer back East. Let’s catch up!

“Wow! I can’t believe this month has flown by as quickly as it has.  I ‘graduated’ from The Fund for American Studies Institute on Political Journalism today having totally survived microeconomics (with an A no less!).  I’ve had some really great experiences both in and out of the program this month.


Graduating from The Fund (sounds mysterious... like a secret agent graduation!)

I spent the fourth of July exploring the National Mall (no, not the shopping kind) with my friends, listening to the Air Force band and watching the awesome fireworks on the lawn.  It was really cool to experience the nation’s birthday in such a history rich city.


The real National Mall

I also got to fly back to the bay the second weekend for my best friend (and USF alum and communication studies major) Sara Keller’s wedding in Sonoma. It was beautiful in the bay that weekend and the big day was gorgeous.


Two happy COMS majors, Ishtar and alum Sara K! Congrats!

I took a couple day trips with my mom including one to Chesapeake beach, which was totally relaxing.  I’m used to the frigid water of Ocean Beach so it was a nice change!


Chesapeake Beach

Program-wise we had some awesome speakers this month including Fred Barnes the executive editor and original creator of the news publication The Weekly Standard.  We got to meet him after his talk and he was just the sweetest man.  He had tons of good advice for us as future journalists and pr professionals.


Ishtar with Mr. Fred Barnes

We also got to go behind the scenes at ABC news with reporter (and TFAS alum) Karen Travers.  It was really neat, plus, their studios are right next to ESPN’s so we got to take a sneak peek at them too!  I visited the National Press Club headquarters and attended their weekly Taco Night and happy hour with some of my fellow program participants.  I’ve become friends with the young members director and I got to attend a special tete-a-tete at the Kazakhstan embassy (super awesome).  They have some really cool events at the NPC and most are free for members.  Each POTUS is a member of the club and most have given a luncheon talk at one point or another.


At the National Press Club


Visiting ABC News

Somewhere in there I had time to finish my ethics course and start (and now finish) my microeconomics class. All in all it has been a full month and despite the ridiculous humidity and sky-high temps I think I’ll miss the east coast a little bit once I’m gone.  Good thing I leave for NYC on Monday so I have some more adventures to look forward to next month!”

Congratulations, Ishtar! This seems like such a great experience! So nice to have our majors represented in our nation’s capitol!


94 Days of Summer, Day 68: Cayden on Blogospheres and Jintershobs

We’re checking in again with Communication Studies major and guest blogger (and philosopher?) Cayden Berkmoyer. Here we go…

“Makes Sense to Me: A Communication Studies student’s observations over a summer in San Francisco

Volume 2: You can feel the electricity in the air… No, that’s just my Kindle

I was going to write about the end of summer and, ‘My how the days just fly by!’ Instead, in the midst of my typing, I wrote the world ‘blogosphere’ and something most curious occurred that I would like to share with you. Microsoft Word did not correct me, which is terrifying. No red squiggle alerting me to my error, as it so loves to do when I spell my own name. Rather, it would appear, that ‘blogosphere’ is now in the Microsoft dictionary. More and more, technology is an increasingly large part of our lives. Whether a Kindle or a cell phone or a shiny new tablet doohickey, technological advances unequivocally affect how we communicate.

Call me old school, but I like having a nice face-to-face interaction. I already feel left in the dust as it is as I search for jobs, internships, and jintershobs (a term I’m attempting to coin for paid internships—they’re not quite jobs and not quite internships. A term Microsoft Word refuses to recognize, despite my numerous emails to Mr. Gates. I’m still waiting for your response, sir.). One internship I came across required applicants to have Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit accounts as well as and a Twitter following of at least 10,000 people. Is it a bad sign that I just downloaded the new Silverlight plugin for my Hotmail account? That’s right. I still have a Hotmail account. What of it?

Wordsmith and hotmail user Cayden B.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. I love technology and all—don’t get me wrong, I don’t know where I would be without Facebook updating me on the new people my acquaintances from middle school have befriended (or e-friended?) and whatever goofy new applications my friends have on their iPhones. But at some point we have to say, ‘This is enough.’ Enough in the sense of, ‘I’ve had enough and I’m putting my foot down. Onto my Kindle.’ Also enough in the sense of, ‘I can check my email and text while talking on the phone, video chatting with my cousin in Ecuador, and downloading the newest episode of Teen Wolf for that excruciating fifteen-minute bus ride. I think this is enough.’ But will it ever be enough?

It seems that humanity has an irrepressible tendency for progress, unceasing in its quest for advancement. Every new generation believes that it has reached the pinnacle of development and laughs at their predecessors who hold on to their outdated beliefs and practices. Soon enough, much to the chagrin of the once new generation, they are surpassed by the developments of the newest generation, they now the ones who tenaciously grip on to the ‘old ways.’

I vividly recall my parents noting how I would ‘tune out’ when I would listen to my CD player. ‘Surely, they can’t be serious,’ I thought, ‘I can manage to have a conversation and listen to Blink-182. They just don’t understand.’ However, I now find my blood pressure rising at every Kindle commercial I see (If you haven’t gathered from the numerous Kindle references thus far, I am not its biggest fan) and feel a sinking in my heart when I see parents and children walking together, each sporting their own respective pair of ear-buds—present, but not ‘there’ with one another. I recently attended my friend’s sister’s wedding where there was a child, around ten or eleven-years-old, who had his earphones in the entire night. Although I was thoroughly impressed with the battery life, I found it infuriating that he would or could do this. Where were the parents in this situation? Surely they shouldn’t be allowing this to happen!

It was around this time that I realized that I might just be feeling the initial shock of a generational gap. Even in my early twenties, I am lagging and resisting new forms of technology and, consequently, communication. Technology is an increasingly integral part of communication nowadays and although I love me a good book and an in-person conversation, are we headed the way of WALL-E? Though I dread the thought of my child hovering along beside me on an evening stroll, I have to wonder if this is the wave of the future. As those involved in Communication Studies, do we support these new forms and means of communication or warn society of the potential handicaps they may create?

Whatever you believe, I hope these ramblings have got you thinking.”

They did, indeed, Cayden!

And I myself pledge to start using your term “jintershob.”