Technology: superheroes & villans

Heartbleed. If you don’t already know about this security breach,  read about it right now. It is extremely serious. I’m almost at the point of cutting all online stuff like banking and shopping out of my life because of the most recent online security breaches.

Anyway, while Heartbleed is extremely serious and people shouldn’t do things like this, it is never going away. As we will always have criminals,  we will always have hackers.

The problem I see here – and that scares me the most – is the amount of people going into this field. Now I’m not an expert; this is merely speculation on the situation. We aren’t producing enough superheroes to counteract the villans. And the villans that are produced, find it more profitable to be a villan than a superhero. What am I saying? Society as a whole cares more about using technology and falling in love with it rather than figuring out how the hell it all works. We love all of the shit technology allows us to do now that we could never do before. We hate often claim to not understand all the processes involved in today’s technology, which bores us to death because we don’t see the beauty in it. We care more about the result than how we got there. Because of this mentality,  we cannot fend off the villans. And those who do see the beauty in this field, find ways to take advantage of everyone else simply because of power. If you and another person are given the same exact tool with the same exact functions, and you don’t know how to use said tool, that person automatically has power over you. Sad, but true.

This is one reason why I’m an advocate for STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. For anyone who truly knows me, knows my deep appreciation for the arts (especially music), my love of poems and other humanity subjects. I’m not one of those “I’m a scientist and I only believe in science fueling the world”. While this is true on the extreme basic level, humans run best on diversity in all areas.

I push STEM because we need this. If we don’t focus and get people interested,  we will kill ourselves out in no time. I honestly believe that. Fundamental science and the like are such an integral part of society. So freaking important that people forget that without science we wouldn’t be where we are today. And like any freaking thing, we need to keep refueling – when your car runs out of gas, fill it; when you run out of food, go to the store; battery dies, charge it; employee leaves, refill the position.  WE CAN’T CONTINUE TO PROGRESS IF THERE’S NOTHING LEFT. I know that’s harsh, but sometimes the truth hurts. We can’t fight off these villans if there are no heroes. (Well, anyone can be a hero.)

I’m not saying drop what you’re doing right now and jump to the nearest CompSci book or course (would be helpful). I’m saying don’t shut it out. Don’t think that you can’t do it. I can do it. You can do it. We can all do it.
I was told in middle school that I “wasn’t smart enough anymore to continue in the advanced math classes”. Had I believed that bullshit, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today. I believed that I could do it. In less than three weeks, a piece of paper will prove that I did it. I graduated from college with a Bachelor Of Science (not arts, science) in Physics with a minor in math.

Don’t let anyone – including yourself – tell you that you can’t do it. Encourage others that they, in fact, can also do it. Just try. And the best part about this is that it can be applied to anything! Whether it be academic studies, personal enrichments or helping people. If you think you can, you can.

Hopefully, one day we can produce more superheroes than villans.

Xo, LZE

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The Little Things

Today is one of those days where everything is turned upside down and overwhelmingly in your face. Welcome to the day after super crazy weekend traveling during your last semester of undergraduate. 

My life’s a little crazy at the moment, but I’m trying to reign it in. Between work, classes and a shit ton of job interviews, I honestly can’t tell you how I do it. I am somehow strong enough to handle everything, and be there for the people who need me. I have miraculously been able to manage my time without having a full-on breakdown. I’m not going to explain everything going on in my life – that’s a little too personal. But what I did want to write about were the little things in life that can keep you going.

I just got back from my Fraternity Convention in Michigan. These are one of those events where you keep going until you almost pass out by pure exhaustion; between Brothers, fun, and exploring it’s almost like you never want to sleep. I love convention so much, and it truly strengthens the bonds of Brotherhood. It’s traveling back that isn’t so fun. It’s getting back into the groove of things, and that reality of “oh shit, people are still in their routines and expect everything from you”. Yeah…been fighting a whirlpool today. Whatever, long story short, I had the privilege to travel with the chapter mascot: Moo. He’s this tiny, albino blacksheep that desperately needs some tender loving care. I mean we love him obviously, butttttt, he could use a day at the spa. Anyway, this stuffed animal is one of the best little things to have. (Elmo is also great; I’ve had him since I was born.) Moo is the best therapy sheep of all time…. yeah let that soak in hahahahaha! Moo, a stuffed sheep, gives me such a sense of security that it calms my nerves and worries.

Here’s my explanation; Moo is treated like a person – with the exception of when I not-so-gracefully shoved him in my duffle bag. We love him, make him talk, take care of him (like he needs a bath, a hair makeover, and some food); he’s one of us. Fun fact: Moo is nothing more than a tiny white sheep thing that is a little bit bigger than my forearm. But somewhere, I find comfort in holding him or talking to him as if he were a live breathing animal. I love to make his hair look like Albert Einstein, and tie his scarf into a bow. Moo gives me a sense of security; a sense of Brotherhood. We all have our own version of a mascot, and love them the same ways. They represent our chapters, what we’ve gone through, and what we’re overcoming. It’s one of those special bonds. 

 

I have a similar thing with a necklace that I own. It was given to me as a gift, and every time I wear it, I feel like the person is with me – being supportive or whatever emotion I need that day. It’s just a necklace that was given as a gift. Of course gifts are important, but a lot of people give gifts. But this one in particular has a special place in my heart. 

 

I feel like I’m being circular, and not getting to the point hahaha

My point: Remember the little things in life that make you smile, and feel good. They aren’t always the biggest and best things in life, but somewhere that thing is something super special to you. It’s like when a child draws you a picture that is simply scribbles – there’s something inside that says “keep this picture because they gave it to you out of love”. When life tries to spin you out of control, just step back and remember those little things. They’ll keep you in check.

MUSIC! Music helps too. Goodness! So, I ran for a national position within my Fraternity and the entire time I was there I was freaking out. I freaked out so much I pretty much made myself sick [sorry]. BUT, this was/is super important to me! I wanted to do a good job, and get the position. So up until about maybe 45 minutes before I had to give my speech, I was freaking out. THEN IT HIT ME LIKE A TON OF BRICKS. I said “LZE, you idiot, what do you do when you freak out at school? LISTEN TO MUSIC. What do you do when you’re nervous? LISTEN TO MUSIC!” So, I pulled out my phone, curled up in a corner and meditated if you will. The Titanium cover by the Piano Guys has this way about it that feeds my soul, calms me down, and gets me ready to take on the world. That’s what I did. It took me 1.5 days to remember that, but I’m so glad I did [because I rocked my speech]. But it’s things like that. Something so simple as music, or a song that just gets you to put the world back into perspective. It’s a beautiful thing.

 

Music is the soul of life. 

 

[Moo & Elmo travel from Michigan!]

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(When I stop being so crazy busy, I have some articles I want to write on. So stay alert because within the next three weeks they’ll be coming back on full blast!)

Thank you for reading.

xo, LZE