All posts by brynncanttan

Finals — Some notes on Survival


by Brynn Biesik

Though December marks a time of jolly spirits and mass consumerism, it also means finals are right around the corner – at Hilbert, they start on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

As if people didn’t have enough to worry about, buying gifts, driving in the snow, and having to talk to relatives that they haven’t seen since the last family reunion, the pressure to study for every class loudly crashes beneath the surface. In an attempt to try and do everything, people will stay up all night in a Red Bull-induced rage of key board mashing and crying. We are all going through the struggle. So, after asking not-so-qualified personnel about de-stressing techniques it was apparent everyone was going through the ringer.

“Meditate. Not even in the religious kind of way. Just clear your mind and focus on positivity. That, or just go for a walk,” Theater and Communications Professor Taylor Doherty suggested. Though it’s getting cold there are many benefits of doing both activities. One releases the happy hormone called endorphins, and the other helps a person mentally drain the bad vibes so only positivity energy is retained.

“I distract myself by avoiding life’s responsibilities by immersing myself in a fictitious world that doesn’t have taxes, tests, or Trump. A world like Halo.” Said Alicia Southworth, a sophomore Forensics Science major. Immersing one’s self in an entirely different mindset is actually good for a person when studying. Studying should be done in intervals, not in a constant string of self-loathing hours.

It’s tough right now, everyone can agree. But, if you focus on Eudaimonia — that awesome feeling of accomplishment lying in bed at the end of a hard day’s work — the ends will justify those three nights of staying up to high-five the sun.

Veteran’s Day: From A Devil Dog’s Perspective

I had never been very athletic, at least willingly. I’d run when I had to in P.E., but aside from that it’d take Freddie or Jason to be chasing me in the dead of night for me to go faster than a constipated llama. I also didn’t have an affinity for authority. Teachers, parents, and any other superior in my life would try to restrain the ball of fire that I am and would fail miserably or I’d completely disregard and impulsively lcorporalive life. So, when I told my parents that I was going to be joining the Marine Corps, they were floored.
Three months and one week would be spent in Parris Island, South Carolina doing nothing but working out, learning how to shoot an M16 A-4 Service Rifle from 500 yards away (a football field is only 120 yards long for reference), marching, and fighting techniques called Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. Every day I’d wake up a 0400 (4 AM) and run around from “activity” to “activity” to the sound of three extremely pissed off and loud drill instructors until 2000 (8 PM). We were never alone, at least one of the fiercest, highly trained bad asses was watching us at any given moment this included using the bathroom and taking showers. Moving out of position of attention or parade rest would result in being Intensively Trained (I.T.). Talking amongst ourselves was prohibited. If we wanted to use the bathroom we’d have to request permission in a loud, warrior cry. Oh, and we weren’t allowed to say “I, me, or my.” Instead we were “these recruits, that recruit, and those recruits.”
Through the 13 weeks of hell, and four years of service, I realized what I was made of. Being stripped of everything, including my own name, food, comfortable clothes, comfort in general, and anything that held some semblance of security, made me come face to face with myself. I earned my Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. Not another living soul assisted me in attaining the title of Marine. I dug from deep within and pulled it together. All the blood, sweat, and tears translated into respect that I will have that is synonymous with the world’s greatest fighting force for the rest of my life. These lessons of perseverance and dedication have prepared me for the world and are accompanying me in my life as a civilian here at Hilbert College. It gave me the confidence to try new things, the security of being ok with myself (because when you’re not allowed to shave or shower for a week at a time you learn that beauty doesn’t mean anything in the end), and most importantly it revealed to me the simple pleasures in life that so many take for granted. I am a proud veteran and have learned so much. I want to impart my experiences and knowledge onto people just as my drill instructors did to me.
Not everyone’s experience is the same. Some may have had it worse and others better, but I want to thank every person who has served, is still serving, and will serve because at times it is a thankless job. Veterans of all branches, you have my utmost respect and undying gratitude. Semper Fi and God bless.

Coming Out Day

“I’m out because you can’t hold back all this sass,” Hilbert Spectrum treasurer Corey Boice proclaimed at the Coming Oasdfghjkijuytrewsedrftgyhujkhgtfrdesw-1ut Day event held in Bogel front foyer on October 12th from 12pm to 3 pm. Though Coming Out Day is on October 11th, Student Activates wanted to recognize the LGBTQIAP+ community when everyone could attend and learn about the importance of the day.
“The purpose of the event is to honor the 1987 March of Washington,” Tommy Vane, director of student activities, asserted. “It’s to inform about proper pronouns, different sexualities, equality, see what students come out as allies, and to just celebrate.” Adorned on his chest was a “He/His/Him” sticker, though there were many to choose from like: She/Her/Hers, Ze/Hir/Hirs, Xe/Xem/Xyrs, They/Them/Theirs, and even one left blank for people to fill in.
“This was our first time doing this event. I received excellent feedback. Several students were excited to see their flag/sexuality/gender represented through signage or nametags. I received several “thank yous” from students, faculty, and staff for hosting the event,“ Vane explained. The signages Vane spoke of were papers about different kinds of sexuality flags and what they represented such as the Pansexual flag, the Asexual flag, the Bisexual flag, the Transgender flag, and the Rainbow flag. Each one had an in
depth enriching description of what they stood for. There was also assorted sweets and an arrangement of fruits in a rainbow theme for those who wanted to participate.
Though there have been some leaps in equality, there are still places where those of the LBGTQIAP+ community would be in danger and same sex marriage isn’t recognized by the government. It may take longer for the world to recognize love is love no matter the outer shell, but Hilbert College is doing its part by giving the necessary attention and exposure that the cause deserves.

Petting Reptiles

By Brynn Bielsik

“Her favorite food is fish nuggets and tilapia,” Keith Gisser, the man who has 25 years of experience traveling around the country with various types of reptiles explained. He wasn’t talking about his wife or friend, he was speaking for Gator, a five-foot-long,  25-pound Asian water monitor, otherwise known as a giant lizard. Gisser was on campus Monday October 3rd educating students and staff about the foundation called “Herps Alive Foundation,”one of the best reptile rescues in the country. It’s the 40th anniversary of the program that has strived to educate people on reptiles. Though he is strictly a traveling educator, there is a more permanent place that people could go to look at about 225 reptiles that are also adoptable in South Euclid.

“They’re trained to eat frozen thawed food, rodents that are killed humanely, and it’s also better for the animals,” Gisser explained as he held the biggest snake at the display, an albino Burmese python named Silas that was about nine feet long. Along with snakes and lizards, there were also tortoises that munched on bananas and let anyone pick them up with graceful acceptance.

Later on, Mike Sheridan, llama owner, joined in on the fun by bringing his llamas Jack Daniels, 20 months old, and Silver Colossus, 13 months old. Jack Daniels was the more friendly of the brothers as he gave kisses and nuzzled a few people, while Silver Colossus looked like he just wanted to go home and take a nap. However, both were extremely cute and awkward looking and did not spit on anyone. If anyone ever had the hankering to go so the majesty of these fluffy creatures, they could always go to Hemstreet Farm Llamas that is known for more than 24 Championships for breeding brilliant llamas.

Since it is said that petting dogs can reduce stress, maybe petting a 9-foot-long snake has some good psychological effects, too. Either way, it was a unique experience that many captured with their phones because, really, who can say they’ve ever gotten to take a selfie with a llama?

New Start for New Students

By Brynn Biesik

Starting at a new college can be terrifying and exciting. Both transfers and freshmen alike have a lot to look forward to. This is the time for young adults to experience life to its fullest and discover what they want to do with their time on earth. Everyone has gone or will go through a transition in their life whether it be a big move, joining the military, or having a child. A big change is something every human can relate to. We’re all on the same page, so there’s no need to be scared.

Jackie Randall, sophomore transfer student majoring in human services, said, “The drive here is much longer, but they have a good human services program.” Though transfer students may be seasoned in the ins and outs of college life, entering a private school has its own way of doing things. Jackie goes on to explain that she loves the smaller community Hilbert has to offer and that she may even dorm at the college, something she hadn’t done previously. Since Hilbert is a private school, there’s a smaller community, with that means everyone eventually gets to know everyone. Meaning such a small population could show potential to become a tight knit group, which is what Jackie likes. “I might join a club, eventually, but I’m just focusing on getting my degree,” Jackie asserted.

I spoke to Brian Brennan, freshman from Cheektowaga majoring in cyber security, who choose this school based on its small student to teacher ratio. “I like it thus far,” the tall brunette nodded, and said he was excited to meet new people. Freshmen like Brian are just getting out of an establishment that required them to ask for permission to go to the bathroom and are now expected to pay taxes and vote. They can get tattoos without the need of a parent’s signature and can buy cigarettes. Essentially, they’re gaining their independence. Now that they’re going to college they can even choose the classes they want to take instead of having particular subjects shoved down their throat. “I look forward to going to the games,” Brian added. He’s, needless to say, excited to explore all that adulthood has to offer.

With each new wave of students that passes through Hilbert’s halls, there is the next bestselling author, the next sports star, maybe even the next president. Students go to college in spite of the crippling debt and the possible distance from the familiar because these college days of McGivering pens to be chop sticks and scrapping money from couch cushions will be some of the best times that person will ever have. Their future husband or wife could be roaming the halls. The two types of sleepless nights from either cramming for an exam or drinking until they forget their names await them. The friendships that’ll last a life time are going to be made. New doesn’t necessarily mean good or bad, it’s up to the individual to find out.