If I had any sense of comedic timing, I would’ve figured out that a year ago I should have waited a few extra days to create my blog so I could coincide that birthday with my really for real birthday today.
Oh well. Water under the bridge I suppose.
And water everywhere for that matter, since the sky has opened up here in Southern California.
To be completely honest, rain on my birthday is a bit of a tradition at this point. My parents still love to tell the story about how my first birthday was washed out by a typhoon.
Enough thinking about the past though, because now that I’m 20 years old and officially no longer a “teen,” it’s time I start thinking ahead to the future.
The first thing I find myself thinking of is whether or not it seems conceited to be writing myself a post about my own birthday. Like sure, it’s my blog and everything, but it still feels strange.
I’m not even entirely sure what to say past reflecting a little on my hopes that 20 will be a great year for me, just like 19 was.
Maybe it would be easier to think of things I’ll miss now that I’m another year older. If I had to pick one thing about being under 20 that I’ll miss…
For a soon to be 20-year-old bachelor on Valentine’s Day, it helps to remember the small things that make what would otherwise be something similar to every other day into something more special thanks to that spirit of love in the air.
Like staying up into the early hours of the morning reading a book about one of the worst workplace disasters in American history.
Or taking a quiz about said awful tragedy.
Or eating pizza while doing homework, studying Bonobos for my primate class.
(I bet those Bonobos are jealous they don’t have pizza like this, I tell you what)
Playing Fire Emblem Heroes even seems to be just a touch more romantic, I’d say.
As the holiday season and the year 2016 come to a close (very conveniently at the same time in this case), I feel like I can’t help but take a moment to reflect on some things. As I mentioned in my last post about Carrie Fisher’s passing, the general attitude seems to be that 2016 can’t end soon enough. Globally, the world is a bit of a mess. In the United States, the incredibly divisive presidential election we just completed left everything feeling a little bit fractured and not-so-unified. In the world of popular culture lots of people who were well-known and highly adored by the general public passed away.
It’s understandable why people feel the year was so bad, and admittedly there’s some of that I’ve gotten bogged in too over the last couple months. However, for me personally, the year really hasn’t been all that awful. In fact, it’s been a fairly great year all things considered.
One thing I always find interesting as a gamer is reflecting on what games “defined my year,” as it were. Granted I didn’t necessarily diversify my interests a whole lot, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of things I played.
Toward the beginning of the year, I was still riding some of my Wii U hype. I just got my system as a present last Hanukah, in fact, so games like Super Mario Maker were still huge time sucks, moreso than they are now.
Another thing that I’d gotten for Hanukah in 2015 also continued to take up my time, and that was The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes.
While the game wasn’t a traditional Zelda game like we’d all been waiting for in the relatively soon-to-be-announced Breath of the Wild, it was still a blast to play. The game had some awesome multiplayer functionality both with friends and with strangers, and to this day I don’t think I’m over how hilarious it is to spam the cheerleader pom-pom Link emoji.
On top of that, you could literally dress Link up as a cheerleader and it was one of the most viable costumes in that game. Not sure I ever thought I’d be so gung-ho to get Link to cross dress in all honesty, but I was.
Also earlier on in the year, while I was still getting into the swing of the Spring semester, I remember binging every Shantae game that’s been released thus far.
Not only did I play the original Shantae for the Game Boy, I played Shantae: Risky’s Revenge and Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse. I fell in love with the series fast thanks to the lovable characters, the quirky and fun writing, the beautiful animation style and of course the music (composed by Jake Kaufman, who also produced the music for another one of my favorite games in the same general style: Shovel Knight). I literally played through all three in a row and loved every minute of it, even if none of the games were necessarily all that beefy.
Doing a little bit of research, it looks like the latest installment in the series, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, has been released just recently, but it apparently slipped under my radar somehow. I’m wholeheartedly Ret-2-Go with that game as soon as I can pick it up, as there are a few too many games in 2016 that I unfortunately missed despite wanting to play them. Didn’t have quite as much time to devote to these things as I would have liked.
Next on the list of my year’s rundown is the first in what I would consider my ‘return of old gaming loves’ trilogy. That, of course, was Fire Emblem Fates. All three together technically, but Birthright was undoubtedly my personal favorite.
There’s a few things I’ll never forget just leading up to the games being released. First, I’ll never forget the hunt my friends and I went on trying to find some of the special edition three-in-one game cartridges for Fates that was a resounding failure but had some great moments. Like getting literally laughed at by a guy in a Game Stop one time. That was awesome.
I’ll also never forget getting the first game, Birthright, as it was actually a gift that was given to me by the editors of the News section on the Daily Titan, Micah and Brianna, as thanks for being their assistant for the Fall 2015 semester. Seriously, check it out, I still have the note here:
It was really awesome, especially considering it apparently took a lot of work to build up to the reveal, including using my friend Kaleb as a spy to figure out which version of the game I wanted more.
Fire Emblem took up a huge chunk of my life from there on out, as I went on to play all three versions. In a row. In hindsight, admittedly not the best idea, but I’m really into the games so it was the decision I made at the time. Birthright was incredible, rose-colored glasses or not, Conquest literally made my just about cry on multiple occasions from how unnecessarily difficult it got to be at times (Seriously, screw the port level. If I never play that game again, the port level is to blame) and Revelations was… Admittedly underwhelming.
I meant to talk about it on here a little bit, but beyond just being burnt out on the games by the time I hit the third, there were a few things that really sort of killed the experience for me unfortunately. First, I padded it out too much for myself. I tried to grind all the characters up to have a ton of diverse skills rather than planning ahead what I would’ve wanted, and it wound up being far more effort than I was honestly willing to put in. Second, they killed off my favorite character in what was literally the worst possible way in my opinion. I have a huge, huge rant still built up about it because the moment was so caustic for me, but this isn’t really the time or the place, so perhaps I’ll still come back to it later. Third, there was another game coming on the horizon that left me rushing to finish, which took away a lot of my enjoyment toward the latter half of the storyline. Who knows, maybe if I go back to it now I’ll have a better time, but for now Birthright will continue to be the high point of my memories for Fire Emblem Fates.
The second game in my personal trilogy was Monster Hunter Generations.
I talked about it on here a bit, so I don’t think I need to go into too much detail, but this game sucked away quite a bit of my time as well. Though I’ve only been playing Monster Hunter since the last major release, Monster Hunter 4U, it has quickly become one of my favorite franchises.
The seemingly near infinite levels of customization thanks to a wide range of monsters and a progression-based-on-skill system is something almost totally unique to Monster Hunter in my gaming experience, and it ticks boxes like crazy for me. There are very few games that I get super in depth about building sets and doing hours of research into said sets and also things like lore, but Monster Hunter is definitely one of them. It’s also one of the favorite games of my friend Juan, so we always have a good time going on extravagant hunts as a super powered duo, Hunting Horn and Charge Blade in hands.
Granted, I’ll admit that the game wasn’t quite as invigorating as MH4U for me, since that was the game where I truly had a skill curve to learn and overcome so I could truly become a master, but Generations was still a blast to play through and through.
Last, but certainly not least, comes what must be an obvious entry on this list. Hell, there’s only one game that really defined not only the latter half of my year, but also most of what I’ve built my blogging experience on so far.
And that game is, of course, Pokémon Sun and Moon. Because technically they go together even if they’re two separate games. Because Pokémon works like that.
Really I’ve said more than enough about these games in many, many posts over the last year, so I don’t think I need to waste too much time on it right now. Not only were the games beautiful and fun experiences in themselves, surpassing what I consider to be some of my favorite and some of the best constructed games in the series thus far, they reinvigorated the love of competitive Pokémon breeding that I fostered in Alpha Sapphire and got me back into the Pokémon YouTube communities I followed around the same time.
I have been and will continue to do some breeding in the games, especially once the Pokébank opens in January, and I’ve considered doing more competitive battling in 2017. There’s an official battle competition coming up pretty soon that I’m pretty sure I’ll be entering, so I’m sure there will be plenty more posts in the future on the subject as well.
Beyond those massive entries that took up my time, there are a few other games that permeated my year’s experiences. The 20th Anniversary of Pokémon for me included the continued playing of Pokémon Shuffle and Pokémon Picross on my 3DS, which were my puzzle game obsessions that I’ve only recently seemed to kick.
The summer was undoubtedly defined by Niantic’s Pokémon GO, the game which really felt the most universally unifying during the sub-par situations of the year surrounding it.
My whole family was playing the game together and I still remember wandering El Camino College hatching eggs after my summer classes there. Though I wound up a little disillusioned with the game, and still haven’t jumped in to catch the start of the Generation 2 Pokédex, I still can’t imagine Pokémon GO won’t hold a place in history in some way or another.
Also hitting the mobile gaming scene this year was Super Mario Run.
I gave my thoughts on the game in depth a little while ago, and as a small follow-up I will say that having spent money on the full game has made the experience even better for me. I’ve gotten really into collecting all the colored coins in single player on long road trips and I have a pretty well developed town so far. As a first jump into the mobile scene for Nintendo, I can personally say that Super Mario Run has been a success, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.
I also replayed quite a few older Steam games that I adore but haven’t touched in some time this year.
My friend Samantha and I played Terraria for a long stretch of time together, progressively getting better and better as we learned and built more complicated structures and items together. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth ate up huge chunks of my time in brief intervals throughout the year, as it’s always an addictive rogue-like experience that I’ll never get tired of. The same could be said for FTL, which I can only describe as a real-time rogue-like spaceship command and battle simulator. For anyone who hasn’t heard of the game it can be hard to explain, but it’s one of my favorite games of all time.
My 2016 was defined by more than just the video games I played, however. It marked the end of my first year at college. It also included my first semester as an editor for a college paper, one which I feel went really well considering all the crazy things that happened politically while I was in charge of the News page.
2016 was where I really feel like I got into the rhythm of driving and being able to get myself places. It was also the first year where I got to vote for a serious election – despite how divisive it might have been as far as an election went.
However, because of my time as a journalist, I felt like this was the first time I really got to apply what I was doing and learning to a real-world event. Literally the more I learned, the more prepared I felt to vote in November.
On top of that, I feel like I really learned a lot just in general. Two semesters and a summer intersession at college had me taking classes all over the proverbial spectrum at two different schools: Cal State Fullerton and El Camino College. Not only was the subject matter of the things I learned interesting, I also got to explore more places at the same time, which I also enjoy doing.
I got my first few relatively well-paying jobs in 2016 between being an editor on the Daily Titan and working for Boom: A Journal of California. Thanks to that, I’ve felt more independent than I ever really have before.
In 2016, I went to New York for the first time in I honestly don’t know how long.
I used to have a lot of family living out there, but now most of my close relatives live here in California, so I rarely ever get to go out to the East Coast anywhere that isn’t Florida. The trip was amazing and so much fun, and I really felt like I got close to a lot of my friends and colleagues in the newsroom that went with me.
I also got to relive a part of my Dad’s childhood by finding his old high school.
So, all and all, I’d say that trip was probably one of the most memorable parts of the year for me.
I got to visit SpaceX for the first time this year, and though I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures inside, it was still a phenomenal place to see. Seriously, some of the stuff they have going on in there is incredible.
In my opinion, I really started to come out of my shell a little bit more in 2016, and that helped me meet and interact with some people who I can really see myself continuing to talk to for a long time to come. Both those in and out of the newsroom.
2016 was also the first year I’ve let my beard grow out. It started as a No Shave November thing we did for the Daily Titan, but in the end I wound up getting such a positive reception that I kept the hair grown out.
Seriously, what a difference a little bit of hair will make. I look totally different from one picture to the other, if you ask me. Probably helps that I had more hair on top of my head to cover my forehead in the first picture too… But that’s another story.
Finally, 2016 was where I really got into blogging. Yeah, seems like a silly thing to cap this whole list off with, but you are literally reading this on my blog. I started this blog back on February 18, a day after my birthday, thanks to some school assignments I had to do. My Communications 233 class required us to have a blog that we posted 20 things on of any subject we chose. Naturally, I chose to make this a blog about video games and about my journalism experience.
Though it started as an assignment, one that I literally had to come up with ways to finish by coming up with admittedly silly things to post, I’ve come to really love doing this. Writing is a passion of mine, and getting the chance to write more often has been wonderful. It’s also been a way to voice my opinions and thoughts on various subjects, which I don’t tend to do in a largely public forum like this very often. I may be a relatively small blog still, but I feel like I’ve found somewhat of a rhythm thanks to Pokémon Sun and Moon, and I’m looking forward to writing more on whatever comes up in 2017. As goofy as it might be to say it, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to try and write more next year, so I hope you all stick around to see whatever it is I come up with to write about.
Really, from the bottom of my heart thank you to everyone who’s following my blog, everyone who’s read anything I’ve wrote and to all my family and friends who have helped me explore, encouraged my writing ambitions, and worked to make sure I put my best foot forward. If you have any of your own favorite memories from 2016, or if you just want to send a good riddance sendoff to the year, feel free to share them down in the comments below.
I hope everyone has a Happy New Year, and here’s to 2017 being a happier time overall than 2016 seems to have been!
So obviously I don’t do this kind of thing a lot, but as a fan of just about all things geek, this feels especially poignant to at least mention.
After suffering a heart attack last Friday on a flight from London to Los Angeles, 60-year-old Hollywood Actress Carrie Fisher died at 8:55 a.m. this morning, Dec. 27, 2016, according to the New York Times. Though it’s hard to imagine anybody has not seen at least one branch of the legacy it spawned, her most renown claim to fame came from playing Princess Leia Organa in the 1977 phenomenon “Star Wars.”
Though playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise from Episode 4 in ’77 to Episode 7 in 2015 (with somewhat of a cameo in the Episode 3 to 4 transitional film Rogue One that came out earlier this month) has been her most famous role, Carrie Fisher also has at least 110 other credits for either acting, writing, producing and performing in various movie and television appearances, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Fisher has also written a number of books, including a recent memoir titled The Princess Diarist published on Nov. 22, 2016.
In a year which has also seen the deaths of quite a few other highly acclaimed celebrities, including Prince, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder and David Bowie to name a few of the many, this loss in particular hits pretty hard for science fiction like myself. It’s rather hard not to echo the general sentiment that 2016 has been a hard year for many at least in part because of such a largely star-studded death toll.
However, her titular role as the princess of a destined-to-be-doomed planet by the hands of a black suit-clad Sith Lord will likely live on longer than any of us and keep Fisher’s memory alive for a long, long time – much like many of the aforementioned stars who have also passed in the last year.
On July 22, 2016, Star Wars Episode 8 director Rian Johnson confirmed that principle photography for the next movie was completed. Thus, the film series that jump started her carrier will likely hold Fisher’s last film credit as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a memorial to her at the end of Episode 8, and if anything I’m looking forward to seeing it so I can get emotional about it all over again. With New Year’s Eve in less then a week now, here’s to 2017 hopefully being a little less cruel to our Cult of Celebrity than 2016 has been, even during its home stretch.
Rest In Peace Carrie Fisher, and may the Force be with you. Always.
The launch for Boom magazine‘s Urban Humanities issue was held tonight in the Perloff Hall Courtyard at UCLA. It was a small event, and most of it involved seasoned academia members standing around drinking, so there admittedly wasn’t a lot for me to do.
Well, there wasn’t a lot for me to do at the actual event itself. But I was at UCLA, and it was really my first time ever being on the campus proper. So, along with a friend from my honors 201A class who was there to attend the launch for some credit, we explored the campus to see what we could see.
And what we could see was undoubtedly beautiful, to say the least.
Though, I do have to say, the place is literally like a small city. Just these places we saw are a fraction of the available things to look at! So, as beautiful as everything was, it definitely strikes me as the kind of place that I’d like to visit and explore rather than the kind of place I’d like to study. But that’s just me.
Seriously though, calm down UCLA. Schools don’t need to be that big.
It’s pretty strange for me to see my own name attached to a news story that I’ve had very little or pretty much nothing to do with.
The magazine that I work for, Boom, released its prison issue not too long ago. There’s going to be an event held on September 26 in the Fullerton Arboretum to celebrate and discuss the ideas that are inside. A panel of speakers will be talking about prisons in California and prisoner reform for a few hours that night, and I’ll be bringing a reporter and photographer there from the Daily Titan to cover it. I would write about it for the newspaper myself, but it could arguably be seen as a conflict of interest to write about a group that’s paying me.
The reason I bring up this event is because an article was published on the Cal State Fullerton News Center talking to the magazine’s editor Jason Sexton about the magazine and what will be happening on Monday. While I wasn’t personally interviewed for the story that was written, I did get my picture taken along with everyone else working on the magazine at CSUF.
Granted, it took two tries on two separate days to get a proper picture done, but it wound up being a pretty sweet picture in the end if you ask me.
Check out the story here if you want, it’s a nicely done article and I think I look pretty good in the group shot, so I figured it would be worth sharing.
Today was the official last day of my summer Political Philosophy course. With both this one and the Abnormal Psychology class finished, I’m totally done with all the summer school obligations I signed myself up for. It feels nice honestly… Even if the Fall Semester at Fullerton is set to start on Monday, so there isn’t too much of a break in store for me before then.
However, even then we’ve already started production on the Daily Titan, and our first issue’s deadline night is Sunday, so I’m already working pretty hard to coordinate all of my writers and photographers to get everything finished by then. Admittedly it’s a bit overwhelming, having to balance school starting up and my new extensive responsibilities as an Editor on the newspaper, but with Political Philosophy out of the way it really does feel like a huge weight has been lifted.
Not that the class was necessarily hard by any means, really it was a fun experience. Both of the classes I took at El Camino College were, as Abnormal Psychology helped play more into my potential interest in going for a psych minor through how interesting it was and Political Philosophy introduced me to a lot of (obviously) philosophical topics that I otherwise wouldn’t have necessarily looked at. On top of that, I got to read some classical texts through the class that I’ve been taught about since my early high school days: Niccolò Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, Jean-Jacque Rousseau’s “Discourse on the Origin of Inequality”, J.S. Mill’s “On Liberty” and Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” among them.
Out of sheer dumb luck, the final exam for the class threw all the questions at me I was hoping wouldn’t be thrown at me, but at the very least I studied those related topics harder because I was less confident with them, so it all balanced out well.
Like I said before, our first serious Daily Titan newspaper production is on Sunday, so by Monday I should have some stuff to show off in that vein. At the same time, the summer issue of BOOM! Magazine should be close to release, so I’ll be able to show off some stuff from that as well once it does. Look forward to it, because I know I am!
Last night I spent the day over at Cal State Fullerton, working on our first “paper” for the Fall 2016 semester. It wasn’t really a full paper as much as it was just a small advertisement-filled insert of sorts meant to be displayed at the New Student Orientation, but still. It was the first things I’ve gotten to work on as the new News Editor on the Daily Titan’s editorial staff.
There’s another two weeks left before we start our serious productions, at which point posts on here about my journalism stuff should get quite a bit more frequent.
In the meantime, I’ve been trying to take advantage of the last bit of free time I have that isn’t taken up by my Political Philosophy class. For today, that meant going out with one of my sister’s friends who invited us out to Palos Verdes to spent time at Abalone Cove, where there’s tide pools to explore.
I got to swim in the ocean, which I haven’t done in quite some time, and we spent time skipping and stacking rocks.
Oh, and naturally, there were plenty of water-type Pokémon to find while we were there, because how could I not look out for them?
The Cove also happened to be right next to Lloyd Wright’s Wayfarers Chapel, which was right up the road. Lloyd Wright being the son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, naturally.
All and all a pretty good day, I’d say. Sometimes it’s nice to take a little bit of time to relax and enjoy nature – which is still just as pretty here in California despite the eternal drought we’ve been plagued with for an unsung number of years.
I’m not sure I’ve talked about it here yet, but I’ve been working for close to a month now with Boom magazine, a journal of California (which you can check out here, I’d highly recommend you do) as an Editorial Assistant. One professor I had over the Fall 2015 semester brought me along when he was invited to put together the next three or so issues, and I’ve been really grateful to have the extra work to keep me busy! Mostly it’s been things that I’m pretty used to thanks to my newspaper experience: Researching information, fact checking and section editing academic essays, writing bios, that sort of thing.
However, one thing I’ve had to do with Boom that I’m not totally used to is image research. With my journalism experience, most of the time getting an image boils down to asking the photo editor to get something that’ll relate to a particular story we might be running. In this case, I’ve been asked to actually look around and try to find possible images that we could use to supplement the essays that are going in the magazine.
The upcoming issue that I’ve been working on is focused on the prison system in California. Let me tell you, finding good images related to prisons that aren’t just pictures of drab prison architecture is a tough job. Mostly I’ve been searching around for artwork done by prisoners, which have brought me some cool finds. I figured I’d share one of them here, since I think it’s pretty worth looking at!
This piece, and most of this artist’s work at that, is not only really gorgeous to look at, it’s also a pretty impressive feat of creativity under restriction. Ramirez is being held in a Security Housing Unit (SHU), which is essentially a really high security isolation containment used in California – Though I’d read more about it here, since I’m not necessarily an expert on the subject. SHU’s are one of the focuses of the piece I read that inspired me to go out and find this piece of artwork, and according to the site where I pulled it from, “The colors on these drawings were developed by scraping paper pulp out of old magazines. Utilizing a rolled up piece of toilet paper dipped in the pulp, the scrapings are transferred onto the drawing paper.” Awesome to think about, if you ask me!
If you want to learn more about the California prison system in various facets through articles written by prominent figures in modern Californian writing, or if you want to potentially see more cool artwork done by prisoners, be sure to check out the next issue of Boom! I personally don’t know when exactly it’s to be released yet because we’re still working on it, but I know it’ll be relatively soon, so I’ll keep you all updated on when you can get your hands on it.
Now that I’m a year into college, I feel I finally have enough of a gap between now and high school to reflect on my experiences there with a bit more substance to my thoughts. Today my friend Tiana and I visited my alma mater, Redondo Union High School, and I got to see a bunch of teachers that I haven’t visited in probably close to a year – more due to constraints on my time rather than interest in going, as I would have loved to visit more often.
Though the visit was admittedly a little repetitive in that I was telling the same stories to each different person over and over when asked how college has been going so far, just the fact that I was asked so often really made me realize something. As a student who really cares about school, both the general experience and the actual learning it entails, I found that I really made a lot of friends among the teachers and administrators at my high school. The journalism facet of my life helped in this too, as I often found more reasons to ask about the diverse interests of those higher-ups, which helped me break a lot of barriers and find out a lot more about people than I would have otherwise.
In retrospect, this decision to try to get closer to my teachers and admins was really one of my best decisions I’ve made. Having friends with those in higher positions of authority not only helped me do my job as a journalist, it also helped me find opportunities and get encouragement in my college-hunting endeavors and more. Plus, now that I’ve graduated, these friendships have blossomed with even more benefits.
Today I sat with my AP Government teacher for close to an hour talking about my year in college, about his year teaching the class I once was a part of (which, by the way, sounded pretty exciting given the state of this year’s presidential election) and trading stories about how our college experiences have related to each other. I talked with my old AP Psychology teacher – who recently mailed me a letter commemorating my first year of her class and out of school I might add – about my experiences and got some pieces of advise I never would have gotten as a student wholly ignorant to the college world. My old art teacher, who still has a story I wrote in the school paper about her pinned on the wall, was very eager to take time out of her third period class to talk with me. My old journalism advisor was extremely impressed and proud to hear that I managed to clinch an editor position on the Daily Titan as a second year student there. I even talked with my Principal, who was actually my Principal throughout middle school and followed my class to high school as well. We talked pretty often due to this long-term proximity and her general eagerness to talk with me whenever I needed an administrative perspective for a news story on the paper. The list goes on and on.
Many of these people shaped my life for a long time, four years at least. If not for them, I likely wouldn’t be where I am today. Their classes made me more well-balanced and prepared for realistically intense workloads, their personalities made me happy to practice my interpersonal skills, and their friendliness helped me feel like I could always do more, always push myself to be better. Even now that I’m objectively totally out of their lives, it’s obvious that I’m definitely not out of their minds when I visit them. The fact that they all cared how my life was progressing on top of being more than eager to get more personal about their own lives and thoughts now that I’m not a student honestly feels wonderful, like I always have other family members to return to in a way.
Teachers are incredibly important. I’ve always felt that way, but really I’ve come to appreciate that fact more than ever recently. Some professors I’ve had in college so far have been amazing, others have made promising classes a really trying experience to endure. They make or break not only individual classes, but interests in various subjects as a whole. If there’s any advice I’d give to anyone who asks in relation to school, I’ll always tell them to connect to their teachers on a stronger level than they usually would with a “one year and done” mentality. They can serve as more than just the cornerstones of learning and as sources of advice or expertise, they can serve as really phenomenal friends too.