student-stories

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Our final tour video, including the most epic lipsync that we have ever completed, as well as four incredible student stories from the road.

Please subscribe to our new YouTube channel where we will soon put up all of the student stories we collected on our journey!!

We will choose one lucky YouTube subscriber on our new channel to receive a free t-shirt, accessory bundle, AND OUR NEW POSTER THAT IS NOT FOR SALE ON THE SITE!  Go over and subscribe, gaybeans!!

**Many thanks to all of the incredible schools that hosted us, and a special round of applause for Caroline and the students at UVA who gathered together for the biggest lip-sync of 2011!!**

PS: We will also give away a one-of-a-kind mystery prize to one reblogger…

Once my teacher gave us a lecture because two kids didn’t bring in a textbook
So he told us that it was pathetic how lazy we were and how we’ll end up working at McDonald’s and some of us on the streets and some as maybe strippers
so my friend got really pissed and screamed “at least they make more money than you!”
Our teacher than stopped and continued on with the lesson

I love you so much I want to put a piece of you into every poem and story and book I’ll ever write. I want you to pour through my hand into everything I do because I love you so much and I want others to feel how I feel when you’re in my life.
—  So much love for you I’m exploding
vimeo

Hi gayboops!!

Here is our first selection of student stories from our travels…with a dash of lipsyncing to remind you that we still love to be idiots.  Stay tuned for more next week!!

XOXO

D & K

  • <p><b><p></b> <b><p></b> <b>teacher:</b> Did everyone finish chapter 16 of "ajsjdsk"?<p/><b>me:</b> <p/><b>students:</b> yes<p/><b>me:</b> lol by chapter 16 do you mean chapter 16 of my fanfiction?Bc yes I did.In fact I stayed up the whole night to finish the story.<p/><b>teacher:</b> <p/><b>students:</b> <p/></p><p/></p><p/></p>
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Mathew Kieser launched his menswear label Sol-Sol on Skillshare. Watch this success story unfold, and learn how Mathew used Skillshare to fine-tune his branding, meet Jeff Staple, and catch the eye of industry pros.

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This is Sabian, who is one of the first six people that we featured on our new YouTube channel, “Everyone Is Gay: Your Stories.”

You can read Sabian’s coming out article that was published in his high school newspaper over at our new sister Tumblr, I Am the Unknown.

Having the opportunity to come and meet so many of you is an incredible experience, and we are so, so excited to continue to grow this project and highlight your personal stories as yet another way of bringing us all that much closer together in our efforts.

So, today, I got up around noon to get myself some pasta...

So I walked into the kitchen and…

Yeh. That was a bit odd. Also odd, the used plasters on the table.

So this was really a bit weird, but then I noticed a little bottle sitting in the middle of the table, and suddenly over-turned chairs and used plasters made sense.

89.9% alcohol. I don’t need any more explanation.

Fullstack Feature: Sarah Muenzinger and Seema Ullal

In this month’s Fullstack Feature we talk to Seema (on left) and Sarah– two students of Fullstack who have completed the 13 week immersive program as well as a three month fellowship after graduation. 

Explain your individual journeys to Fullstack. What got you interested in coding? Why did you choose Fullstack?

Sarah Muenzinger: Before Fullstack I worked as a social worker. I liked the work and I liked helping people, but I spent a lot of my day just kind of struggling with technology and often my clients lives depended on fax machines working and software that was from the 90s… It was very frustrating. I decided that I was going to learn some front-end development so I could make basic websites for a lot of the nonprofits I was working with. I noticed a lot of them didn’t have websites at all, so I started teaching myself coding and building sites. I wanted to go to Fullstack so that I could learn at a much quicker pace than I was at home.

Seema Ullal: So I studied applied math in college and I took some programming classes. I liked them but I didn’t realize how much I liked them at the time. After I graduated I did Teach For America. That was a good experience, but I realized that I really missed the critical thinking, problem solving, and technical challenges that came with more computational disciplines. I thought about what kind of classes I had taken and realized I liked the programming classes more than I liked any of my math classes. I think a lot of that has to do with how I like solving problems and thinking about how to apply technology to challenging things. So I decided to go to grad school and study computer science. Although I learned a lot there, I felt like I wasn’t building anything important. When I heard about Fullstack it sounded like exactly what I was looking for because you learn super relevant technologies while getting the chance to work on your own projects.

How would you describe your Fullstack experience, in just three words?

SM: Intense, satisfying, and empowering

SU: Rewarding, challenging, and meaningful

Let’s talk about a project you both built, Bechdelerator. This was for a hackathon you two worked on together during your senior phase. Can you explain the project, describe for us what your original intentions were for it, and how it has evolved since then?

SU: So the project is centered around this test called the Bechdel test. It was created by an author named Alison Bechdel and it basically assesses the presence of women in a movie. A movie passes the test if there is at least two women in the movie having a conversation about something or anything that does not involve a male character. You’d think that most movies would pass that test, but a surprising number don’t.

We decided to do this project because we thought it was an interesting challenge to try to take a piece of text, the move script, and have a computer analyze it. There wasn’t really any database or anything of whether movies had passed the test, there were just collections of people debating whether movies had passed the test. We were interested to see if we could do that using an algorithm.

SM: This was a hackathon project so we only had three days plus a weekend to put it together. We definitely prioritized what we thought were the “Wow” moments, which meant that for our original version we were essentially inputting movie scripts into the Bechdelator and then analyzing them. Now that we’ve had more time to polish the project, we made a web scraper that will find a movie’s script for you, which I think makes it a lot more user friendly. So you can go to our app, pick your favorite movie and then see how it fares for the Bechdel test.

You two are, in loose terms, advocates for women in tech… presenting Bechdelerator at different Meetups (including a recent Women Who Code Hacknight) and active participants of “Ladies of Fullstack” lunches on campus. Why do you think it’s important for women to be involved in tech?

SU: I think that it’s important, though I wouldn’t say that somebody should be involved in technology just because they are a woman. I think that obviously there is a huge gap in diversity and technology, not just for women but for various groups of people. I guess my answer is that it’s important to improve the gender ratio in tech, but there are challenges that women face because they are minorities in this industry. I think that those challenges need to be addressed. When I went to grad school for CS, for example, there were plenty of women in my courses, often 50% of a class. When you go into the industry, you see that the retention rate is extremely low. I don’t think the problem is always getting women to necessarily pursue technology, I think it’s also targeting them to stay in the field and to not leave.

SM: I think it’s really important, that we need more women in tech and not just women, other groups too. We need a diverse array of voices in tech in general, because in a lot of ways the tech community dictates norms in society. I think the websites and products that we build today drastically influence how society works, because that’s what everyone is using. In the same way that voting is one of the primary ways to have our voices heard, I think that being present and having a strong voice in the tech community is really important for society.


Seema and Sarah presenting individual lightning talks at HookandLoop offices this past month.


What would you say to a woman who wants to get into programming but feels intimidated by how male dominated the field is?

SM: Do it! I took a computer science class in college and I thought it was neat, but I assumed that it would take me decades before I could make anything useful or interesting. I was intimidated by the awesome people in my class who were creating great things and I saw how they had been studying how to make cool things on their graphing calculators when they were 10, and what had I done? So I assumed that it would take me forever to do anything interesting. That’s just not true. You can do really great things in three months, to six months to a year and it’s just keeps ramping up from there. Just because it takes you a little longer or just because you haven’t heard of something before doesn’t mean you can’t learn it today.

SU: One of the things that I didn’t expect was that as a woman in technology you are part of this really incredible community of women… I have met some really powerful, amazing and inspirational people that have encouraged me and I think that if you want to be a part of it, you will have great support. For example, Sarah and I recently presented Bechdelerator at a Women Who Code event… It was a really encouraging space. We regularly see people at their events who are just starting off in programming and their careers, and there is no judgement at all. The atmosphere communicates “we were in your shoes once too, let us help you”. I think that everyone in the industry, not just women, have realized that diversity is pretty low, and they’re trying to help. It is a good time to get involved in the field.

What are your plans and hopes for after Fullstack?

SM: I’m hoping to find an organization that I can continue to learn at, I am definitely hoping to find a place where I believe in the work that they are doing, and that has a positive impact.

SU: Yeah I would definitely like to find a place where they are building a product that they believe in. And also a place that is excited about technology, and love what they do.  I am extremely happy to be in the field and I love it. I would like to be surrounded by people who are similarly passionate, excited and inspired. I think having a culture of learning is also super important and I would love to have opportunities to continue learning and be encouraged to do so.

Sarah and Seema are recent grads of the Fullstack Fellowship Program and are now seeking full time employment. 

uaf.edu
Profile: Brant Schalk | Naturally Inspiring

Before breaking his back in a four-wheeler accident in 2001, Brant Schalk was a skateboarder. “I would try a trick over and over until I landed it,” he says. “And printmaking demands the same level of patience and process, if not more. In a way, printmaking has filled the hole that was left when I could no longer skateboard.”

Student Stories: Eric Corpus

Meet Skillshare student Eric Corpus.     

Eric recently caught our eye after noticing a very familiar-looking piece in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency (the incredibly popular online arm of Dave Eggers’ publishing house). Sure enough, it was Eric’s very own Skillshare project from Grace Bello’s humor writing class.     

Considering Eric managed to achieve the holy grail of online publishing with his Skillshare project, we knew we had to reach out to give him an online high-five and ask him a bit more about his experience.

Hey Eric! Tell us a bit more about yourself and your background.

I’m a freelance jack of some trades in New York City. Right now, I could be called a writer, editor, web designer, content producer and online marketer. I also write a personal blog called Are We Still Cool? with my wife. I took the long way to get here, starting with a degree in engineering, which I’ve yet to use except for listing it under EDUCATION in my LinkedIn profile.

Instead of engineering things, I pursued music for a decade while working at a university by day. My family moved from Florida to New York in 2008, and I haven’t been the same. Mostly, I talk louder.

We recently heard your Skillshare project was published in McSweeney’s! What’s the story?

During my journey between jobs and places, I recently decided I should be a writer. I enjoy it, and it’s a job I can do into old age.

I’m under the impression that some people find my writing funny, so I wanted to hone my humor writing skills. Grace Bello’s class, “Humor Writing: Become the Next David Sedaris,” looked like the perfect little investment into my aspirations.

Our class project was to write a 500-word humorous essay or short story. My idea was an open apology to my high school senior class for my performance as “Most Likely to Succeed.”

Grace was incredibly helpful, as were several classmates, by encouraging me and providing constructive, detailed feedback on my work. With their guidance, I wrote and rewrote and shaped the essay as much as I could, and then submitted it to the popular humor website Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. A couple of days later, they said they would publish the piece. It was live the next day! You can read it here



Grace’s class gave me the instruction, motivation and accountability I needed to start and finish a piece that will be a gem in my fledgling writing resume.


Are there other ways that Skillshare has been helpful to you professionally or personally?

Just the fact that Skillshare exists is helpful. The platform represents opportunity in a low-cost, low-commitment package. To learn more about writing, I know I could find a course taught by someone who’s been there before. Or I could try out a totally different field.

And if I feel like I have knowledge and experience that could help others, I could teach a class on Skillshare.


Do you have any tips for other people on how to get the most out of Skillshare?

First of all, if a class looks appealing or exciting, go for it. Odds are you’ll discover a new passion, take your craft to the next level, or create something you may never would have otherwise. That’s money well spent.

In class, take an active role in the community. People may be counting on you. Your classmates may need your collaboration. The teacher may need you to give feedback on your classmates’ work. The virtual classroom is much more fun when people peek out from behind their avatars and start sharing.

___

Check out Eric’s Skillshare project and resulting McSweeny’s piece, and while you’re at it, check out the class that made it all happen - Grace is re-teaching it online on March 6th! Enroll today.

How to have your travel cake and eat it too!

Here are three all too familiar problems facing University students today:

  1. I want to travel overseas, but I’m stuck here because…
  2. Travel is way too expensive and I don’t have enough money right now; I just brought tickets to that music festival and last weekend was a BIG one.
  3. Going on a European soiree will mean I’ll have to extend my degree by at least six months, which means working HERE for at least six more months, in a word ewww!

Lesson 1: It’s all about perspective

When it comes to planning a trip it’s easy to get in one mind set, you know backpack across Europe, do a Contiki tour, or if you’re feeling adventurous, go it alone. However, by shifting perspective a little to the left and joining a study abroad program you can have your travel cake and eat it to.

Enter Molly Haddon-Bolger a recent graduate of Swinburne University, majoring in communications and advertising. During her second year of university, Molly decided it was about time that she went off and saw the world, so she undertook a six-month study abroad program at the University of Surrey in the UK.  

Talking to Molly today it quickly becomes apparent that this was, in her opinion, the best decision she has ever made.  So I asked her to share some tips about how she did it.

Lesson 2: Places to find the cash other then the back of the couch

Molly went to Surrey with less the $1000, but didn’t lose out on any travel, social or study opportunities. How I hear you ask?

Well for a start she was careful with her money, and didn’t buy everything in sight. However more importantly through doing a study abroad program she was eligible for scholarships, study grants, and OS help loans, and in addition, while overseas Molly continued to receive Centerlink support. All of this meant that Molly had some fantastic stories about late nights in Surrey, and backpacking around Europe on weekends and holidays.

Molly’s advice: “Don’t think money is a problem, there’s always some around, and as for my stories some of them may not be so appropriate to share, you’ll have to go make some for yourself.”

Lesson 3: This is the part where we eat the cake

 Let’s revisit problem three, extending your degree to travel. The beauty of a study aboard program is that units of study that you undertake oversees count towards your degree; no time added to your University sentence and you get to see the world. FYI this is one of those win - win situations. 

The other thing you need to know is that being able to say that you studied overseas is a great thing to have on a resume. It shows independence, maturity and that you can adapt to new and challenging situations.  

Molly’s thoughts; “Regardless of your motivations for wanting to head overseas ‘DO IT’. Employers love that stuff, but more importantly being thrown into the deep end without your usual support network will force you to grow as a person, it’s hard, but totally worth it.”

Lesson 4: You’ve got to be in it to win it

Molly’s exchange experience taught her a lot of things. In her words “Studying abroad taught me just how immature I was before, and how in order to live my life I need to accept a lot more responsibility. It has given me independence, confidence, friends for life and a deep-seated appreciation of how great my mum is during the trials and tribulations of the morning after what was the night before. Most importantly it taught me that I can do this, which is why since completing my degree I have moved back to the UK and I’m now living it up in Liverpool.”

Her final and unsurprising piece of advice is that everyone should seize the opportunity that universities like Swinburne offer with their study abroad programs. Take the plunge and have a travel adventure.

Find out more about Swinburne Study Abroad here

eighteen late
every morning
cause i hate
sharing
a class-
room
with a buncha dumbass
rich kids comsum-
ing the little dedication
i kept
through years void of motivation,
when they read how a nun wept
in 18th century
spain
cause she couldn’t be
a woman without pain
inflicted for indecency,
called her dumb convent
whore
who didn’t deserve to vent
cause she swore
an oath,
like that removes her gender,
as though emotions are a growth
to be removed, tried to defend her
y nunca mas pude yo
to consider
these kids my equal, could only throw
my books on the floor
hug the professor before
i slam the door
and walked
out, kids talked
to me for days
trying to discover
which of the ways
they heard the story cover-
ed through the school
was the truth,
if i was that cool
to walk out or if youth
made me too dumb
to realize i ruint
my life, nah, i just couldn’t numb
myself in this belief i was a student,
and that professor cried
when i left because
he tried
to teach me i was
just like the nun,
yeah, i know i am,
but i’m the one
to get away and slam
the door on history
and what it expects of me -
—  J.S.

“dropout”

http://brokenbrushpoetry.tumblr.com/