Earning My Horns


My first week at VCU was well spent by attending this year’s Ram Camp. The experience helped me to engage in my new community earlier, and helped me to acclimate to the campus quickly. Between the amazing camp leaders and staff, I felt more than welcomed that week.

Each day began by having a group breakfast, and then heading off for group activities. We all came up with team chants and names for our groups of about ten or so. During our group activities, we learned leadership skills that helped us to understand ourselves, as well as the people in our groups better. We were faced with challenges in which we had to think outside of the box almost daily.

Personality tests were administered to us Ram Campers that helped us understand what types of leaders we are. Once you understand how others work, you can more effectively work with them to get things accomplished. Even though there were very different personalities in some of our groups, I believe we all learned to play to our strengths as individuals. Ram Camp taught me that just because someone has a different way of doing something, this doesn’t mean that their way is wrong or yours is right. Success can be attained on a multitude of paths, and often times a different vision combined with yours can even help you achieve success quicker.

On the second day of Ram Camp it was organized for us to attend a Challenge Discovery course. This obstacle course of ropes and different activities taught us how to see the better in people and how to work together. All though it was extremely hot this day, my group managed to complete all of the tasks Challenge Discovery had for us with good attitudes. The most fun was the actual ropes course. We were harnessed and suspended several feet above the ground and then challenged with courses to complete. Everyone handled this task differently, but even those in my group who were afraid of heights managed to do their best and try at the course.

One of the things we did later in the week was come up with a skit that explained some aspect of VCU. The group I was a part of received VCU athletics, and boy were we excited. We came up with a smooth and somewhat comedic skit by representing a few sports. Our skit ended with one of the famous basketball game chants, and by the end of our skit we had the majority of Ram Camp participating in the chants.

Overall, I could not have asked for a smoother transition into the VCU community than Ram Camp. From moving into my dorm early, to learning my way around campus, Ram Camp helped in a various amount of ways. I would recommend it to any of the future freshman. This camp was great because it took the task of making teens learn and grow together, and created a fun, memorable experience. Learning about myself as well as the people around me has given me a positive outlook on the rest of the school year.

What I Learned from “The Circle” by Dave Eggers


Dave Eggers tells the story of a young girl named Mae throughout his novel, The Circle. Not only does The Circle give its audience an idea of the dangers technology could bring to the near future, it warns us of what could happen to us personally with the examples of Mae and Annie. Annie is representative of those of society who seem to have everything under control. She reminds me of what the dream post-college student looks like. A successful career, steady income, and outgoing personality make her the ideal young adult that most college students hope to become within a few years of graduating. This aspect of the novel relates to my life because, like Mae, I wish to become a part of something bigger than the norm as far as a career path. Becoming established and known in a company like The Circle is something that would initially be appealing to any student. The employees at The Circle worked very hard to make sure that Mae felt at home and “in the loop” when she was there. Characters such as Jared and Dan went to whatever lengths they had to congratulate and keep up with Mae’s first day efforts as a “customer experience” employee. Any undergraduate student, including myself, would love a company that seemed to care so much about them before they even became big names in the company. Rather than judging Mae, we as an audience should understand that in the moment we would act just as Mae does in the novel. The truths about The Circle’s controlling and “translucent” ways did not become evident until Mae had already become a part of the company.

As a new student in college, what I take from The Circle is that we should learn to find a healthy balance with technology. The truth is that we need technology to work efficiently in today’s work force and while in school, but we should not need technology in order to enjoy our lives or to have memorable moments with friends. The documentation of events should not be more entertaining than the events themselves. Once this happens, society becomes obsessed with who is doing what and why, just as they did in The Circle. The introduction of the cameras that allowed for the monitoring of an individual at anytime, or the SeeChange, is what would have put the pump on the breaks for me personally. This aspect of the novel seems unrealistic but at the same time, technologies similar to this one are already in effect in certain areas of our country. As a nation, it is our job to be sure that we only allow technology to control as much of our lives as we want it to. The fault in The Circle’s employees is that they allowed a network of invasion to control their lives, and some even did so unknowingly. Being aware and researching new technology and the companies that produce them is a way I can personally ensure a positive future with new technology. This will help my generation, as well as myself, to stay above the technology we use in our everyday lives.