The Zeitgeist


What I Learned From My Ex-Boyfriend’s Ex-Girlfriend

A conversation until 4:00 am with a girl I could formerly not look in the eyes taught me a lot about myself.

You see, the last interaction I had with her I was slapping her new boyfriend square across the face.

She dated the guy that I shared everything short of a last name with.

But, not for long after that.

What I learned from her after that night has changed my life forever.

This story is not a story of love and love lost, rather a story of empowerment.

After our late night conversation I was on a high for the rest of the week.

Could the girl I formerly hated suddenly be one of my best friends?

Is she really that nice?

She had every reason in the world to hate me, but I got only forgiveness and love from her since the start of our budding relationship.

Inevitably, our conversation happened long after she broke up with this boy and was full of lots of tears, honesty and healing.

It seems as though we should have or could have bonded over the common pain that we had endured, but this did not end up being the case.

We ended up filing the friendship void for one another that we realized that we both had.

Both of my best friends had just moved away, and she was going through the beginning of her transitional post- grad life.

We began going out together, watching movies together, and she began to be the girl that I knew would ALWAYS come around when I needed her.

But how did we get to this point?

Honestly, our relationship is still a bit of a miracle in terms of the typical social hierarchy. Our interactions should have involved hair pulling and yelling, right?


I think that what makes our relationship so special is the fact that we realized that strong friendships can overcome anything, start any way and are one of the most important relationships that you will make in college.

No boy or social norm can determine who we can be friends with.

True friendship boils down to the heart- unconditional love, fierce faithfulness and no judgement.

Never forget that.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Vanni Bassetti/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Wendy’s Spicy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich And What Makes Food “Asian”

It was over winter break when I first saw the commercial for ​Wendy’s new “Spicy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich.”​

I was flipping through channels on the television out of boredom when all of the sudden a white teacher appeared on my screening pointing to a chalkboard with the words “SRIRACHA (SEE-RAH-CHA)” written in plain view.

Then, the commercial cuts to a white man tattooing a heart with the word “sriracha” in the middle and a young girl in her sriracha themed room dreamily uttering the word, “sriracha…”

Finally, the commercial ends with a full description of Wendy’s new “Spicy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich” which includes a sriracha jack-cheese, sriracha aioli, and a sriracha infused bun.

Now, while the commercial is obviously an innocuous, kooky advertisement promoting Wendy’s new product, it got me thinking about the way white westerners are consistently fascinated by “exotic,” non-western foods and use that fascination to create dishes that, in my opinion, are neither bona fide nor appealing.

This isn’t the first time that Wendy’s has introduced a dish with an “Asian flavor.”

A few years ago, Wendy’s unveiled their ​“Asian Chicken Salad”​ which consisted of ​edamame, cashews, grilled chicken breast, sliced cucumbers, diced red bell peppers, and a lettuce blend dressed with a light spicy Asian chili vinaigrette.

Although this chicken salad, like the sriracha sandwich, seems completely benign, I feel it is worth questioning what exactly makes this dish “Asian”?

Is it the edamame?

The cashews?

What ingredients make this salad go from an ordinary salad, to an exciting, “Asian” salad?

Now, I’m not someone who expects Wendy’s to be the kind of restaurant that keeps cultural awareness at the forefront of their recipes, but I feel that some of their dishes are a part of this larger trend of slapping the “Asian” label on any foods that happens to include ingredients like peanuts, mandarin oranges, sriracha, and soy sauce.

Take, for instance, this ​Home Chef “Korean Pork Medallions” recipe​.

At the heart of this recipe lies a, what do you know, ​sriracha​ marinade.

And in spite of the fact that sriracha was created by David Tran, a Vietnamese-American man, this recipe is still given the label of being inspired by “Korean flavors,” which begs my previous question, “what is it about this dish that makes it Korean”?

Running in the same vein, ​this advertisement​ pointed out by Twitter user @CarmanTse showcases bibimbap (a Korean “mixed rice” dish consisting of seasoned vegetable, white rice, red pepper paste, and a fried egg) with kale and avocado which would make any Korean person go, “… excuse me?”

Photo Credit: CarmanTse/ Twitter

At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering, “why does this even matter? It’s just food. Why do you care?”

And to that, I respond by saying that as a Korean-American who grew up eating the foods that are now becoming the dish du jour, it is upsetting to see foods of my childhood be the source of an inspiration that has little regard for them.

Whenever I see “Asian” dish this or “Asian inspired,” I see dishes made by people who do not understand that Asia is a huge continent with a diversity of cultures, people, and cuisines.

East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian dishes all differ from one another, so the flippant use of the word “Asian” do not do these foods justice and displays a clear lack of specificity.

All too often, I feel that non-western cuisines are not allowed to be autonomous and are, instead, lumped with ingredients that do not make sense and are advocated by people outside of said cuisines’ cultural context.

For instance, a controversial article by Bon Appetit last september featured a white chef showing Bon Appetit’s audience the “proper way” of eating Pho (you can read more about the controversy ​here​ and watch the video ​here​).

Rather than feature a local Vietnamese Pho restaurant to discuss the topic at hand, Bon Appetit opted for a non-Vietnamese man to act as the cultural kiosk for this dish.

Time and time again, people who are not a part of a food’s culture do the dissemination and education as opposed to people who have the cultural background.

The “Korean Pork Medallion” recipe was not created by a Korean individual, and I find it hard to believe that a Korean person came up with the “kale and avocado bibimbap” recipe.

However, this article should not suggest that people should only make food from their own culture and that not doing so is cultural appropriation.

Rather, within this context, I feel it is important to think about the words we choose to use when describing food, to be respectful of the culture of where this food is coming from, and to be mindful of who has and doesn’t have a seat at the dinner table during these conversations.

In their “Spicy sriracha Chicken Sandwich” advertisement, Wendy’s claims to be “fluent” in sriracha.

But, for the sake of fluency, Wendy’s, and many other chefs, recipes, and restaurants, detracts attention from the nexus of where this food is coming from resulting in a contrived, whitewashed dish that quite frankly leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Wendy’s Canada/ Youtube (Screengrab)

I Don’t Have Cable In College And I Don’t Think I Ever Will Again

From the time I started college, I have had a TV in my room.

I can’t sleep without turning the TV on and just letting it play.

Most of the time I am not actually watching it.

I just like it for the noise and light.

Before I started college I used to watch cable all the time.

I used to be obsessed with making sure I watched my regular weekly shows that I was into to.

I would be extremely upset if I missed them because then I could not engage in conversation with my friends at school.

Once I got to college I did the same thing.

I made friends and we watched shows together and I would watch plenty of cable by myself.

I would time it correctly so that I could get home from class and watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch for a couple hours.

Yep. That was the life.

At least I thought it was anyway.

After a year at my old college I transferred to my new college and decided to make a change.

I realized that I could have been doing so, so much more with my time rather than watching cable.

When I transferred I still put a TV in my room and I got an Apple TV and I only really watch it when I am going to sleep.

Honestly it’s been the best thing I have ever done.

I like to focus on positive things in life and I never noticed how much of a negative impact that TV had on me.

I started realizing that it was altering the way that I viewed reality.

It sounds crazy but I was living as if I was on a TV show.

Not only was I living my life like that I was also missing out on the life going on all around me.

Life moves fast.

Do not waste your time on watching TV.

Honestly you can go out and live a life that’s so grand that you would never need cable again.

I’ve found myself being able to do so much more since I have cut the need for cable out of my life.

I have found a love for running and I’ve run two half marathons and am training for a full one.

I had a love for outdoorsy things before ,but since I’ve cut cable out of my life I love it that much more.

I used my friends longboard all the time and I just bought one for myself so I am completely excited.

I used to look at a lot of things on TV and would say to myself why can’t I do that or I would say I wish I could do that.

The truth is I can and you can too just cut useless things out of your life, such as cable.

This world has so many things to offer.

I always see this quote on things like twitter and tumblr and it says “You were not born just to pay bills and die.”

You also were not born just to waste your life away sitting and watching cable.

Besides all the good shows aren’t even on cable anymore.

It doesn’t benefit you at all.

Get out in the world and do something that does benefit you.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Stefan/ Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

What It’s Like Being One Of The Only White Kids In A Predominately Black School

I have to confess.

I enthusiastically agreed to write this piece.

It seemed as if it would be easy to write about my life, a part that was as formative as it was unpredictable.

The truth is, I was completely at a loss for how to actually put into words my 7th and 8th grade years in Arlington, Texas.

At first, I thought I would tie in school choice.

I figured it’s a hot topic in our current political climate, and I have plenty of thoughts on the issue.

Then, I decided I would write it as if it were a platform; I’d persuade you to my side with tales from my childhood.

Instead, I’ve chosen to write you a letter.

This letter is addressed to all those who have ever feared the unknown, that have ever gone off of a preconception rather than waited for an actual personal experience, that have ever been proven right, that have ever been proven wrong, and that have ever realized that learning doesn’t stop just because you’re no longer in school.

This is for you.

My name is Bradley Pennington, and I was raised in the south as a white student in a black majority junior high.

At the time, I’m not sure this particular experience stood out as extraordinary to me, but it has come to mean a great deal.

I had no way of knowing, but the two years I spent at this school would have a lasting impact on me for years to come.

You see; an education does not consist of only the things you learn in the classroom, but also of the things you learn in the hallway, out on the parking lot, and on your walk home.

I learned innumerable lessons at this school, but I will stick to recounting three of the most valuable lessons.

The first lesson I learned was how to communicate, not only with people and about topics I was comfortable with, but also with strangers about topics that would often push me outside of my narrow view of the world and into a space where I could better learn and grow.

There’s something tremendously valuable about the coming together of multiple cultures.

There’s something equally valuable, if not slightly more chaotic, about the the coming together of multiple 14 year olds.

In any given day, I would be prompted to explain the way my family did things and hear the stories of how my classmates’ families conducted themselves.

It wasn’t the differences that stood out, but rather, the similarities.

Photo Credit: Charlie/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

And within those similarities, I learned about universal truths; the want of a child to make their parents proud, the need for familial love regardless of whether the need is met, and the pursuit of fulfillment in life.

It is through these basic needs, that my communication skills began to blossom.

I went from being shy and nervous, to knowing exactly where I could find a commonality with a stranger.

I was now blessed with the skill of conversation. I could talk to friends, enemies, strangers, adults, kids, and anyone in between because I had finally had my eyes open to something different and realized, that at our core, differences fade and we all end up desperately seeking the same things.

The second lesson I learned was that passion is the secret ingredient in the recipe of happiness.

I’ll be honest and say that my junior high wasn’t always the easiest place to learn.

The school served the highest priced homes in the city and the homeless shelters simultaneously.

I fell in the middle of that group and never knew either extreme intimately.

With the vastly different background of the students came behavior problems.

There were students who had to be concerned more with where their next meal would come from than the Pythagorean theorem.

Likewise, there were students whose entitlement stood in the way of their ability to learn those valuable lessons outside of the classroom; the social and emotional lessons.

Neither of these groups were truly responsible for their hindrances, but the burden nonetheless fell to the same people; the teachers.

And as I watched many of the teachers deal with the 16 hours outside of the classroom just as much as the 8 hours within the walls of the school building, I learned about putting your passion into action.

True happiness can only come from finding what you want to do and seeking it with a reckless abandon.

The teachers were stakeholders; they mentored, they educated, they loved, and they sacrificed.

Every day that I wake up, I pray that I can be half as passionate as them.

The last lesson is one more spiritual in nature.

I learned that fate, or God in my belief, puts us right where we need to be at any given moment.

Had my parents had another option, they may not have placed me at this particular junior high.

There were other, more prestigious junior highs in the city, and I was a young man that had an affinity for learning.

But had I not been there, I don’t know that my eyes would have ever been fully opened to the world around me.

I was challenged at this school.

The teachers didn’t care that some of their students walked in the door having all the resources in the world at their disposal while others walked in without a single pencil; they expected our best, consistently.

I was made to give up on making excuses because mine weren’t as good as some and any excuse I could think of had surely already been told before.

And ultimately, I learned that is our shared responsibility on this earth to do right by each other.

No one is going to make it through this life alone.

There is no use in cutting ourselves off from new opportunity and new friendship.

I was destined to be at that school because it would play a major role in who I would become.

Would I have learned these lessons at any other school?

I have no way of knowing that.

But I do know this: Diversity breeds intuitiveness, and intuitiveness leads to understanding.

Often times our world leaves us wishing people had more understanding for their fellow man.

I wish everyone could have an experience like I did.

Being the minority, even if it’s only for 8 hours a day, opens your eyes and allows you to see the world for what it is.

I treasure my days in junior high because they ultimately taught me about humanity.

So my advice to you is to reach out to someone you would have never thought about talking to before.

Make time for personal growth and learning.

The world can be your classroom and every person you encounter has the chance to be your teacher.

You’ll never know until you are far enough removed from a situation whether it was one that can transform you forever.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: justine warrington/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Don’t Stress If You Don’t Have A Job In Your Field Right After Graduating. That’s Not Really How The World Works

I always want to know what kind of job I will take after graduating from college.

It’s a common feeling that most college students have.

Where will I end up after this whole school thing ends?

My major is hospitality.

Back home in China, the hospitality major is divided into tourism and hotel management.

My original drive was to concentrate on the hotel aspect of it because I used to believe that the hotel industry will continue to develop in China.

I was dead set on it.

Now I don’t know what kind of job I will take after graduating.

And that’s totally ok.

I’ve realized that it is more important to continue to gain experience and develop myself than stress about landing a specific job.

I could find out that I actually like doing something different than my original plan.

Now I even enjoy the process of changing my resume format to fit into different job applications.

Now what? Photo Credit: Jeff Wilcox/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Through this process, I have kept digging up my strengths for those areas that I want to try and seeing whether there is a fit.

Sure I’d like to have a “perfect” job lined up for right after I graduate but I’m not even sure what that would look like anymore.

Hospitality is so broad that it is easy for us students to apply the knowledge that we learn to the business world.

I mean that like accounting, HR, finance, revenue. I will be happy even though I will not work in hotel in my future. I can still use my knowledge.

The same is true in most professions as well.

Here is another way to look at it.

A recent New York Federal Reserve Bank study found that only 27 percent of college graduates have a job directly related to their major.

However, 62 percent of college grads hold jobs that requires a degree.

This is just reality.

Few of us will work in jobs that ever directly relate to our major but most of us will use the more general skills learned in college to get ahead.

College life is a process that allows students to grow and develop themselves.

Be happy. It’s going to be great. Photo Credit: K-State Research and Extension/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Through communicating with other students, we will know more about ourselves and do what we are considering to take in the future.

We join in student clubs and take internships to try.

It is good to find an area that we are really passionate about.

In China, I grew up hearing stories in which students comply with their parents’ expectations to work as civil servants.

Although more and more parents are becoming open-minded, there are some parents who want their offspring to take stable jobs and live with them.

That is the cultural expectation.

I also know some friends who take engineering or mathematics as a major but end up with working in consulting or financial business which are little related with what they learn.

People will say “what a waste” to spend so much time and talent on learning complicated knowledge without using them in work.

But I don’t agree.

Don’t worry. Photo Credit: University of Salford Press Office/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Maybe those students enjoy their new jobs after trying their original area and moving on.

I always tell my mentees to broaden their options when choose internship opportunities.

I believe there are students who are very determined about what they want to do in the future and they just keep growing in that specific area.

For me, I still on the way to find the area that I am passionate about.

I enjoy this process to try what I want to try when I am young.

So don’t stress out about finding that perfect job right after school.

It doesn’t exist yet.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Nazareth College/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

An Optimistic Poem About South Africa’s Water Crisis

Is there a hint of optimism concealed in South Africa’s water shortage crisis?

When drought brings about hope

Thinking back to my childhood

water was never a concern.

The communal tap supplied us daily –

we filled our buckets to the brim.


And as I quenched my thirst with freshly caught rain water

ice cold and refreshing

I did not even realise

that this was indeed a blessing.


Now the children learn from young

to value each and every drop.

No longer is it limitless –

at any time the supply can stop.


Yet, in this time of crisis

South Africans are coming together.

“Please, let rain fall from the sky”,

they pray to the Creator.


Sharing tips, sharing ideas

to make it last, this scarce commodity.

To the outsider this may even come across

as an obsession, or a bit of an oddity.


“Use bath water to water the garden

Close the tap while brushing your teeth

Put a brick in your toilet’s cistern

And defrost frozen foods in the fridge


If it’s yellow, let it mellow

Rinse dishes in a basin

Wash your car on the lawn

Cover the pool to avoid evaporation”


So while the drought disaster may cause fear

it also brings about a new form of appreciation.

It shows unity during hardship

and leaves me with hope for our rainbow nation

More from our South Africa Team: 

Calling Young South African Writers, Journalists And Leaders: Tell Your Story And Make A Difference

Meet Eddie Ndopu: The First Disabled African To Attend Oxford University

More Original Poetry: 

Young Politician: A Poem

“What Do You Live For?” Series: An American Educated South African Answers That Question In A Poem

“Peace”: You Have To Read This Powerful Poem About Police Violence

Everyone Should Read This Incredibly Powerful Poem A Man Wrote To His Transgender Sister

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: dasroofless/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Does An Invitation To A Frat Formal Require You To Have Sex With The Guy?

I have this ring on my right middle finger.

It’s a peace sign that I originally wore on my left ring finger – you know, the finger associated with marriage.

2008 me was convinced that if Nick Jonas, the man I was destined to marry, was going to refrain from being intimate until marriage, so would I.

I held on to the notion that I would remain abstinent until marriage until I was 16.

I had my first real love, and suddenly my opinion of waiting until marriage seemed out of step with reality.

My feelings towards sex radically changed once I realized the importance of another level of intimacy in becoming closer to another individual, and while some choose not to have sex, I didn’t.

In my eyes, God (you betcha I believe in a higher power) created the body to enjoy his other creations, including sex.


I am a 20-year-old woman who has openly expressed on the internet that she is sexually active and takes pride in her ability to make the choice to be.

Is it just me or does it feel like I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment? You know what I mean, when she was typing away on her laptop in Sex and the City?

Carrie Bradshaw typing away. Photo Credit: AlexHerrera/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Psh, why do I even need to have a Carrie Bradshaw moment?

Well, level with me here because I’m not about to tell you about my sexual escapades.

I value the sanctity of physical intimacy, and I would never share details of an experience with a partner to another individual.

Instead, I think it is important for someone to be frank about sex in college because:





I am unable to trace back to where Western college culture changed so that the major aspect of social development was linked to sex.

Maybe it happened when women (rightly) claimed the entitlements back to their bodies; or maybe it happened when the media could openly sexualize relationships.

Whenever it happened, there was a dynamic shift in our understanding and appreciation of sex.

For the most part, the conversation surrounding sex is treated as much like the methods used to study for a test.

While I think it is truly wonderful that we can have open discussions about intimacy, there seems to be a series of unspoken rules about sex on college campuses in the United States, which I didn’t know about.

Have you ever heard the expression: “High school is all about how long can they date before they hook up? But college…college is all about how long can they hook up before they date?”

It is the most accurate depiction of college hook up culture.

Like I want to paint it on a canvas or get it printed on a flyer because it holds that much power over interpersonal relationships in college.

Don’t worry; Monogamy happens still.

I can tell you from personal experience, I am still struggling with my last heart-break.

But the purpose of this piece is not to talk about monogamy.

Rather, I want to bring to attention the issue that everyone is entitled to believe what they do and should be free from pressure to participate in something they find unsettling.

The results of these beliefs may not always host positive outcomes, but nonetheless the individuals will deal with the consequences as they are presented.

There is some beauty in being in a world where there is an understanding that you can sleep with whomever you want.

What is not remotely beautiful is the expectation that everyone participates in this hook up culture.

Allow me to offer a specific example.

If you, my dear reader, are not involved in Greek life, like the American high school homecoming and prom, fraternities and sororities host semi-formals and formals dances.

While sororities are expected to host their events within the city limits of their university, fraternities will go out-of-town for both events.

At least he has a cat. Photo Credit: T U R K A I R O/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Just as sorority women can invite individuals involved and not involved in Greek life, fraternity men may do the same.

The fact that they go out-of-town means they must spend a decent amount of money to secure the hotel room and the nice dinner venue.

Their dates usually will make them a cooler or flask or craft something else catered to the taste of the gentleman.

Basically, the fraternity and its guests are all in for a weekend of all kinds of fun in a city, taking a pseudo-vacation.

Sounds great, right?!

Well, formal season is almost over, but if I hear anything else about fraternity men looking for dates, I will let you know.

There is one catch, though, the frat boy will probably be expecting you to have sex with him or at the very least fool around until he is satisfied.

Yeah, I would be a little taken aback too.

This party is so lit right now bro. Photo Credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

By no means are all fraternity men expecting this, and I have been fortunate enough to be asked on formals by men that identified with their gender assigned at birth that I was either seeing or very good friends with.

There was no expectation from me to do anything I was not comfortable with.

However, I have had approximately seven girlfriends come and speak to me about how uncomfortable they felt around their date because he seemed to hold this expectation that she would participate in the hook up culture.

Let me be perfectly clear:

It does not matter your gender identity, sexuality or combination of the two spectra.

If you invite an individual on some event, whether it be out of college or while you are in school, you do not have a right to expect something in return for the invitation.

I find it appalling and a reflection of the manipulative nature of our modern culture that the definition has evolved from something that used to mean to request someone’s presence at to a word that offers an incentive or opens the door to the likelihood of an opportunity.


This beautifully masked article has been another approach to aid those who still do not understand the concept of consent the entire time!

While I may choose to be free with my body, I still reserve the right to say no and be uninhibited by the expectation that I will use the pleasure intimacy can create to essentially repay a fraternity member with his choice to bring a date on a pricey event.

Don’t be afraid to go stag!

Or just don’t go!

Or better yet, take someone you may actually like!

So, while there is a definite beauty in an individual’s ability to choose to sleep with as many people as they want, whether they are being safe about it or not (which for the sake of everyone else I hope they are being), not everyone has to participate in this culture shift, especially when they are invited out to an event, like a date or a weekend getaway.

If you are interested in reading more about the hookup culture of today, I highly suggest listening to the Hidden Brain podcast from NPR published on February 14.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Angie Chung

So What Is A Sapiosexual Exactly?

By Sonam Ahluwalia


It’s a word that’s in vogue right now.

From Tumblr pages to Tinder profiles, lots of people are claiming to be members of this shadow group.

Urban Dictionary (a fairly reputable source in these matters) defines a sapiosexual as “one who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature”.


So sapiosexuality is a term that has been coined in order to describe a group of people who value intelligence over other sexual features such as face structure, body build, performance, aura, and many other components involved in sexual attraction.

People love to identify with something on social media, so this new term adds to the vocabulary list available when describing yourself to others.

“You read so good. Have my babies.” Photo Credit: Marketa/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

However, this term has also sparked controversy.

Some folks don’t believe that you can actually be a sapiosexual and that calling yourself one is merely pretentious and offensive because people are categorized according to their intelligence.

This counter argument goes: how can something so demeaning be considered an acceptable option as a preference in matters of sexual attraction?

Plus, can you be with someone only because they are smart?

Don’t ask many college freshmen that question.

But we can take a different route when looking at this newly fashioned term.

The definition from Urban Dictionary refers to a sapiosexual as someone who values intelligence as the “most sexually attractive feature”.

This does not mean that it is the only aspect we look at somebody.

For many people intelligence is certainly important in a relationship. and having a sexual stimulation from intellect is not a stand alone sexual orientation for them but rather an element of deeper feelings.

“She never remembers to wear shoes but she has a really good handle on thermal dynamics. xo.” Photo Credit: Ulisse Albiati/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Sapiosexuality can vary among people because intelligence varies, and so does the expectations of the level of intelligence one has for their partner.

For example, a lawyer may consider him or herself a sapiosexual for readers while a car mechanic sees him or herself a sapiosexual for people that know a lot about cars.

The incredible variation of what one finds as intelligence stems from the commonalities people have when looking for a partner.

If two people both love to identify plants while hiking, then they value that type of knowledge.

The vast diversity in intellectual interests actually works with the ambiguous definition of sapiosexuality.

Thus, you can be a sapiosexual.

But most of us are already.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Our Whole Generation Needs To Watch “Love Jones”

On the 20th anniversary of the release of Love Jones, I used my snow day from work to see the film for a second time.

The first time, I finished it with a very negative attitude, immediately texting the friend who suggested it to ask why she loved it so much.

The reason why she suggested it was due to what I was going through in my current dating life: the ups, downs, and everything in between.

A little bit of background: Love Jones is a 1997 romantic film that intertwines love, poetry, and career choices between Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate) and Nina Mosley (Nia Long), and the highs and lows that come with it.

The two lovers struggle with admitting their true feelings for each other, and this notion is constantly tested throughout the film.

The movie has gained a cult following because of its unique take on love during the late 90s, a time when technology was starting to make real change in the way we saw each other.

After watching the film again, I realize why I had such a bad taste in my mouth the first time and why I fell in love with it the second.

It solidified how different things are nowadays in terms of dating and relationships: we hide our emotions behind a screen.

We text each other our affection with some emojis thrown in there rather than picking up the phone to hear the voice on the other end.

We say “I don’t care” instead of taking the risk.

We find ways to not be memorable rather than to be something the other cannot forget.

With my first (and only, for now) relationship, my boyfriend and I never necessarily asked each other if we wanted to be in one – it just happened.

We would only get on the phone when we needed to resolve an issue or when we were in a fight and needed to clarify things.

The first time we broke up, he did it through a text message because he was “busy with his boys.”

When we first said “I love you,” we would text each other constantly, repeating it over and over again because the feeling was so fresh, new, and alive.

However, there is a difference between texting it and saying it loud and proud.

Although things did not work out, our relationship and time together did teach me what I wanted in my next relationship and what I did not want, and for that, thank you.

With the man I was dating over the summer, we were very much out and about.

However, we were known as “bae” to each other and as “friends” to everyone else.

Love is weird man. Photo Credit: Johnny Lai/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

This was the first time I did not feel like creating a label for us because “labels complicate things,” as most people my age tend to say.

With him leaving to law school by the end of the summer, we were able to talk and still do.

However, our talking is, yet again, by texting.

Do I remember his voice?

Hardly, but he did write me a poem, which I still have.

I can say he tried.

With the guy (I think?) I am dating now, we absolutely never get on the phone, and quite honestly, we have not decided what we are other than “just having fun.”

While I was OK with it at first, I realized I am a person who enjoys having labels because labels do not complicate what you have with someone.

If there are complications, it is because of you, that other person, or both.

Do labels mean I want a relationship?

Not necessarily.

It just means that we are mature enough to have a conversation and talk things through.

Darius and Nina confess their love for each other by the end of the movie and how they will make things work although they are on different sides of the country.

That is not necessarily saying that they will get into a relationship – they are going to work things through.

That is what I commend.

People say women tend to get caught up in the idea of a Hollywood romance.

However, who would not want a love such as the one in Love Jones?

A man who publicly admits his admiration through a poetry performance.

A woman who is set on her career but also is set on love.

A love that has Lauryn Hill singing in the background.

A love where you can remember the voice of the person you are into because you take the time to call each other.

See the movie for yourself and decide.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cable News Is Dying And We Should Hope For A Swift Death

As a multimedia journalism student I should hope for the success of cable news.

After a steady decline in average viewership, the 2016 election cycle seems to have brought prime-time and overall viewership back into an upward swing.

Both revenue and newsroom spending for cable news has also steadily increased, a good sign for my personal post-graduation job prospects.

Local affiliate stations offer hyper-local news programs that provide information I’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere besides my local newspaper.

But I’m most likely to get my news online, just like 50% of my fellow millennials.

As someone who has friends and former co-workers in the cable news business, I wouldn’t wish for their stations and programs to be shut down.

But regardless of the statistics, advantages of the format and my friends in the industry, I firmly believe we’d be better off without cable news-at least in its current form.

I haven’t watched cable television since the Super Bowl and before that I only watched cable news for election night.

Most of the political coverage and debates were streamed online and I found no reason to stick around to get “expert analysis” from CNN, MSNBC or Fox News commentators.

While President Trump’s rise to power has been entertaining, his hyperbolic comments on the death of the media has fueled him and the industry he has targeted.

Still, the modern cable news program seems to serve no greater purpose than react to whatever crazy statement the Trump administration said that day.

The visual aspect of storytelling cable news used to have over newspapers and magazines has now been eclipsed by internet based news sites.

Cable news is looking as outdated as black and white in today’s world. Photo Credit: John Atherton/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Publications like Now This and TheBlaze have risen to prominence across Facebook and Twitter feeds for their easily digestible video content and controversial program hosts like Tomi Lahren.

Even the traditional cable news networks offer convenient links to the same videos and articles they talk about on television through their social media and online websites.

In a world of instant gratification through the internet, there’s simply no reason to watch cable news programs that require you to wade through the muck just to find the content you’re looking for.

One could argue that this new age of news is shortening our attention spans and encouraging the “rush to be first” breaking news mentality that stimulates inaccuracies.

But I would argue that news is headed this direction no matter what format we get our news.

The days of standardized local news “stand-up” stories and CNN pitting a panel of Trump and Clinton supporters against each other has done nothing but push me away.

I’m annoyed and exhausted with news programs that are driven through controversy for the sake of profits and attracting advertisers.

In an ideal world, I see the media being funded on a subscription basis, one that would allow the stories to be told without the outside influence of ads and sponsored products in-between every story.

Platforms like already provide a way for me to directly fund entertainment and programs I enjoy, while also giving me the power to influence the type of stories and content my favorite creators make.

This subscription based funding of media doesn’t facilitate a bright future for cable news, but then again neither does our current path of news digestion.

A 9-year-old with a smartphone and Facebook live can be considered a journalist.

Youtubers and vloggers can accrue larger daily audiences than many cable news programs.

Whether this is good or bad for the industry as a whole is a matter of perspective.

From my perspective, despite recent increases in viewership, cable news is on the way out.

Once the presidency of Donald Trump ends, cable news will become stale and ratings will settle into another plateau before declining again.

The journalism industry as a whole and those who engage in the content produced from it would be better off if the death of cable news was expedited.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Steven Depolo/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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