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DEPARTMENT S N O I S S U DISC

This week, opinions writers take sides and discuss the pros and cons of their majors. page 3

Thursday, December 5, 2013 An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 www.collegiatetimes.com

COLLEGIATETIMES 110th year, issue 61 News, page 2

Lifestyles, page 6

Opinions, page 3

The Story of Florian: A future robo-rescuer BY MATT MINOR | news staff writer

Sports, page 5

Study Break, page 4

Dr. Tomalei Vess unexpectedly loses position Vess’ position as Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research was recently dissolved, causing student outcry. ERICA CORDER news staff writer

COURTESY OF TEAM VIGIR

Developed in Boston, Florian is a semi-autonomous robot that is currently being programmed by TORC Robotics in Blacksburg.

M

eet Florian, the 6”2, 330 pound robot from Boston who could one day end up saving your life (and even drive you to the hospital). Although he’s a bit rusty right now, by the end of the month his handlers at the Blacksburg, Va. based TORC Robotics will have programmed him to perform advanced actions like opening doors, climbing ladders and

even driving a utility vehicle – all without physical assistance. Florian, who’s named after St. Florian — the patron saint of firefighters and rescuers — is one of seven Atlas-model humanoid robots built by the robotic hardware specialists of Boston Dynamics, which were awarded to participants who excelled in the first round of the “DARPA Robotics Challenge.”

DARPA, or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is a division of the U.S. Department of Defense and is offering a $2 million reward to the overall winner of the challenge. TORC Robotics is an unmanned systems and robotics company founded by engineers in 2005. In 2007, TORC teamed up with Virginia Tech to participate in the “DARPA Urban Challenge,” which required each of the 89 registered teams to build a self-directed vehicle

Blacksburg Transit asks for community feedback ZACK WAJSGRAS news staff writer

The Blacksburg Transit is making a new effort to obtain the public’s opinion about what needs to be done about the current transportation system around town. The company has developed surveys intended to help citizens voice their concerns and ideas based on their use of the transit system. “(The survey) is essentially a route analysis where we are seeking input from the public for future planning,” said Fiona Rhodes, a marketing specialist for Blacksburg Transit. Blacksburg Transit is working with a consulting agency called Foursquare ITP to run the analysis and gain an understanding of how to better develop routes in the future.

NEWS A bike was stolen, among other crimes. see page 2 Elementary school kids are contributing to a new gallery in the Center for the Arts. see page 2

The surveys allow users to indicate what new stops they would like to see in the future, what times would be more convenient for buses to travel through certain areas and how frequently the buses should run compared to how they run now. The company is sending out messages on campus and letting local media outlets broadcast the opportunity to take the surveys. “We want input from everybody — not just students, but all people who use the bus system,” Rhodes said. The surveys also include questions about what method would be most effective for providing bus schedules. The company’s ultimate goal is to create a multi-model transportation facility on campus. This would serve as a hub for services like taxis and buses, although the plan

more info To get to the survey, go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BTSurvey1 Participants will be entered into a raffle to win one of three $25 gift cards. is still tentative. As an added incentive for citizens to take the surveys, all participants will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win one of three $25 gift cards. “The goal of the survey is to really get an idea of what our customers really need from our transportation system,” Rhodes said.

@ZackWajsCT

LIFESTYLES

he she

SAID

see page 6

see FLORIAN / page two

At 9 a.m. on Nov. 19, Dr. Tomalei Vess walked into work at the Office of Undergraduate Research to find that her position as director ceased to exist, effective immediately. The decision was made by the Office of the Provost, which cited sections of the VT Faculty Handbook as justification for her dismissal. The sections, 2.11.3 and 7.6.1, discuss non-reapportionment, asserting that firing “of faculty members on temporary or restricted appointments for which there is no indicated opportunity for reappointment” may be done based on “factors beyond unsatisfactory service,” — but the factors need not be specified. Both the immediate dismissal of Vess and the dissolution of her position as director of undergraduate research drove Vess’ significant other and assistant professor of biological sciences, Dr. Bryan Brown, to send an email with claims criticizing those who were involved in the decision. Specifically, it criticized Vess’ immediate supervisor, Dr. Jill Sible, and Sible’s super-

VESS

BROWN

visor, Dr. Rachel Holloway. The email was sent to undergraduate research students in Brown’s department. To the question of why Vess was dismissed, Brown asserted in the email that “the simple answer is politics.” Brown clarified further, charging Holloway and Sible with setting personal agendas that failed to sufficiently serve undergraduate researchers. Because the email included contact information for Holloway and Sible — encouraging students to contact them — news of the circulated message reached the Office of the Provost, as concerned parties ventured to ask for answers about Vess’ dismissal. Holloway was unable to be reached for comment, but according to Sible, the outcry was the result of “a lot of misinformation.” see VESS / page two

Student success advisors offer exam survival tips MICHELLE STARK lifestyles staff writer

Most undergraduate students are getting more anxious and stressed as exam week inches closer, but the Student Success Center has numerous tips and strategies to help tackle the upcoming final exams. While studying in advance is best, many students find themselves in a situation where they need to cram. Nick Hyer, an assistant director for the center, said that cramming should be a last resort since the information is not fully retained and it creates test anxiety. “Cramming is not learning. Cramming is getting as much information in your head and brain dumping it onto your paper before it all goes away,” Hyer said. Jessica Grimes, the direc-

tor of the center, said students need to prioritize which information deserves their time and energy. Making to-do lists and prioritizing are essential and, according to Hyer, the more specific students can be about what they want to do, the more productive they’ll be. “Make sure that you have some kind of time management tool, whether that is a hard copy like a planner or something electronic, whether it’s an app, have something where you can put everything that you need to do,” Hyer said. The material chosen should then be studied in chunks, possibly with a time limit for each study session. This should be done in advance. Grimes advises studying an hour and a half or two hours for four to five days to reduce procrastination and increase

SPORTS See what five things our senior columnists learned through their undergraduate years.

see TEST / page six

ONLINE Find out the possible destinations for the Hokies’ bowl game.

see page 5

overall retention of the material. Studying for multiple subjects may also help. “A lot of students don’t want to do that, because they feel like they might get the material confused, but really it’s helpful when you’re studying material concurrently, especially if the subjects are different,” Grimes said. “It’s a way of breaking things up and actually keeping you engaged.” Hyer also suggests students turn off their phone and their Wi-Fi when it isn’t needed to avoid distractions also. And, of course, location can be the make or break factor of any studying process. “Students have to figure out the best place to study for themselves,” Grimes said. “Some students need a little background noise, so they

The wrestling team tries to bounce back from a loss to Virginia.

For updates throughout the day. www.collegiatetimes.com

ctlifestyles CollegiateTimes @collegiatetimes


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newseditor@collegiatetimes.com

December 5, 2013

collegiatetimes.com

NEWS

Water paints to Warhol: Young Artists Vess: Sudden AASTHA BATRA news staff writer

This month, the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech will feature reinterpretations of classic works of art by artists with a fresh, youthful taste. The center will be showcasing talented youngsters from five different elementary schools in the upcoming “Young Artists” exhibition. These young creators consist of elementary school students who possess the ability to recreate pieces from many well-known artists from around the world. The exhibition will be held in the Ruth C. Horton Gallery, located in the Moss Arts Center. It will be open on Friday, Dec. 6 and will stay open until Dec. 15. The Center for the Arts will also host an opening on Friday from 4-6 p.m., open to the public for free. “I would imagine this would be exciting for students and parents in the community,” said curator Margo Crutchfield. “The celebration of color, the celebration of

the burst of energy — it’s a wonderful thing.” The exhibition will feature artwork from Gilbert Linkous Elementar y, Margaret Beeks Elementary, Harding Avenue Elementary, Kipps Elementary and Price’s Fork Elementary. Each school’s chosen art pieces will offer the exhibition a unique style or creation. Students at each school were exposed to a variety of artists and style of recreating artwork. The students from Gilbert Linkous Elementary, for example, created works inspired by artists like Andy Warhol, Wayne Th iebaud and Roy Lichtenstein. Alternatively, Price’s Fork Elementary School students worked with metallic paints, oil pastels and photographs of themselves, inspired by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. “It’s to celebrate creativity and honor the teachers who nurture that,” Crutchfield said. “I felt it was really important to value what happens in the classroom and how creativity begins in young minds, because that’s

dismissal spawns disgruntled email to students from page one

COURTESY OF VT NEWS

where it all starts. “Creativity is one of the most important aspects of who we are, what we do, what is possible in life. And it begins at a very early age and for me and for many, it is important to treasure that, honor that, and encourage that. This is one way to celebrate all.”

The exhibition may be one of the first steps in achieving the new Center for the Arts’ mission to instill a new era for the arts at Virginia Tech and its surrounding communities.

@CollegiateTimes

Florian: Robot designed to save lives from page one

and have it drive 60 miles through varying conditions. TORC and VT’s vehicle, Odin, was one of only three to cross the finish line. For this robotics challenge, researchers from TORC once again teamed up with Tech’s Center for Human-Computer Interaction (CHCI), as well as Oregon State University and Technische Universität Darmstadt (an engineering research university in Germany) to form Team ViGIR, which placed sixth in the first round of the challenge, held in June 2013. Jesse Hurdus, a soft ware engineer at TORC and current project manager of Team ViGIR, says that the main objective of the team is to build the soft ware that will guide Florian in learning how to respond to certain situations semi-autonomously. “We are essentially writing the soft ware from scratch,” Hurdus said. “One of the biggest emphases in our research is to find the best combination of human and robot interaction so that the operator can simply give a goal or task and have the robot execute it independently.” In the first event of the DARPA challenge, Team ViGIR was tasked with creating soft ware that would allow a virtual robot to perform a set series of tasks that it would find in a disaster zone. David Conner, a senior research scientist at TORC and

COURTESY OF TEAM VIGIR

Team ViGIR was one of seven teams to receive a robot after passing the first phase of the challenge. the principal investigator of Team ViGIR, noted that Tech students had a hand in helping develop the soft ware used in this part of the challenge. Currently, it takes a team of operators to control Florian, each with a specific job and a multi-computer station. The main operator will be set up with four monitors, and will only be allowed to see through Florian’s line of sight, while the others will be responsible for maintenance. Hurdus says that TORC hopes in the future to streamline the method of control over humanoid robotics. “Our ultimate goal is to simplify human-robot control so that one person can direct it,”

Hurdus said. “Ideally, we want someone who isn’t a robotics expert to be able to control it, like a first responder on the scene of an accident.” Florian will have his work cut out for him as he prepares for the next event, which will be held at Homestead-Miami Speedway from Dec. 20-21. Of the obstacles that he’ll have to navigate, including using a power tool to break through concrete and even locating a leaking pipe and closing it’s valve, Hurdus says the hardest part — as any parent of a 16-year-old can attest — will be teaching Florian to drive. “Florian will have to capitalize on all of his skills to even

get in the vehicle in the first place,” Hurdus said. “Not only is the coordinated motion of actually getting into a vehicle hard to replicate, but there are advanced manipulation capabilities required to locate the pedals and steering wheel.” TORC and Virginia Tech’s research into the dynamics of robotics will undoubtedly serve as an impressive testament of human ingenuity in the 21st century — just don’t expect Florian to don a leather jacket and hop on a motorcycle anytime too soon.

Sible claimed the decision to terminate the position was the result of a shifting organizational structure within the university. Further, Sible maintained that the role of director of undergraduate research was “not the right format for the office.” “We’re in the middle of a restructuring,” Sible said. “The Office of Undergraduate Research will continue to function. We are working on developing a structure and a program that’s really going to broaden our reach and serve across campus in all majors and colleges.” When responding to student inquiries, Sible stated that the Office of the Provost stood behind a united response in relation to the issue and replied to each inquiry with the same message. “We wanted to stress that the (Office of Undergraduate Research) will continue and that our commitment to undergraduate research is very strong and will continue,” Sible said. Vess said she felt slighted by the sudden termination and unclear reasoning behind it. “There could be great reasons (for the termination of the position). I don’t know. Everything could be totally fine. I don’t know,” Vess said. According to the Faculty Handbook, notice of dismissal for certain faculty, like Vess, required 12 months’ notice. Rather than staying in the Office of Undergraduate Research for those 12 months, the Office of the Provost reassigned Vess to report directly to Dr. Dennis Dean, who is the director of Life Sciences. However, Vess remains unclear about her current job responsibilities. “The short answer is, I don’t know,” Vess said. “I work with Dennis Dean, who I think is great. He’ll have me working on some things —

we’re still figuring out what that looks like.” Vess herself created the position in July 2011. During her two and a half years in office, Vess established the Office of Undergraduate Research, created the office’s website and focused on facilitating undergraduate research. The Office of the Provost has taken over these responsibilities since the termination of the director position, and the Office of Undergraduate Research will continue operations.

There could be great reasons (for the termination)... I don’t know. Everything could be totally fine. I don’t know.” Dr. Tomalei Vess Former Dir. of Office of Undergraduate Research

The contents of the email written on Vess’ behalf then spread quickly to other students. The email’s original recipients posted the message on social media, creating an outcry of support for Vess from students. “I didn’t actually hear about (Vess’ termination) until I looked on Facebook. That seemed to be the main method of everyone finding out,” said Ki Eun Lee, a junior undergraduate researcher. “I thought it was very unfair. I thought that they were just removing her from the position for no reason. I mean, they haven’t even given her a new position yet because it’s under the guise of corporate restructuring.” Currently, Vess is waiting to hear what her official role at Tech will be, while looking for a new job outside of the university.

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Nov. 2

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Underage Possession of Alcohol x 2

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Possession of Marijuana

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OPINIONS

opinionseditor@collegiatetimes.com

December 5, 2013

collegiatetimes.com

T N E M T R DEPA S N O I S S U C S I D This week, opinions writers take sides and discuss the pros and cons of their majors.

Communication offers more value than meets the eye D iscussing my major with new acquaintances has become a rather familiar

chore. The dreaded question usually pops up midway through an otherwise pleasant conversation, just in time to dampen any friendly headway we might have been making. “Now what did you say your major was again?” I reply that I’m a communication major, which usually ushers in momentary confusion. Clearly, my companion was under the impression that she was conversing with a halfway intelligent human being; one that, for instance, can negotiate a hot cup of coffee and a conversation at the same time. But now she’s questioning that because of my major. A quick look up and down confirms that I’m not an athlete coasting by with an easy major between practices. So what could I possibly be doing studying communication? This is the point in the conversation where I usually feel compelled to tell the other person my GPA in a vain effort to prove not every comm major is of the “C’s get degrees” mentality, or mention that Hoda Kotb is an alumna of the program – “You know, from Today with Kathie Lee?” – but that never impresses anyone as much as I expect it will. And then the conversation really gets going. “Oh. So… what are you planning to do with that?” But there’s a silent addendum that comes with the question: “Besides flip burgers, I mean.” The general consensus seems to be that the study of communication is a waste of time – “I mean, who doesn’t know how to communicate, right?” Anyone can slap “excellent communication skills” on their resume, so what’s the point of spending four years on a degree? But any communication major worth his or her salt will give you a two-part answer. Part one: there’s a big difference between being able to communicate and being able to communicate effectively. And part two: the field of communication encompasses so much more than merely communicating. The curriculum might allow some people to coast their way to a degree, but if you’re genuinely interested in a career in media, you can’t do better than Virginia Tech’s Communication Department with its hands-on approach to learning and dedicated faculty. Like any degree, you’re going to get out of it what you put in, and for some students the reward will be greater than for

others. Communication majors that pass away class time Snapchatting and Facebooking can graduate with a degree but with very little in the way of applicable knowledge, a must for the field they’re looking to enter. But the rest of Virginia Tech’s communication students are learning applicable, professional skills in the fields of multimedia journalism and public relations. The new Center for the Arts houses a functioning multimedia studio, a production control room and a newsroom, allowing the department to prepare its students for their future careers in a way few other departments can. Perhaps most importantly, the department of communication understands that times are changing. Journalism isn’t happening exclusively in print anymore and the curriculum reflects that. Learning how a broadcast works and how to edit film and audio in a professional setting are invaluable skills in career field that is increasingly concentrated online. But career options for communication grads aren’t limited to the fields of public relations and journalism. A degree in communication studies can also prepare you for further study in any field from politics to education to business. In fact, the number of jobs open to communication grads allows for consistently low unemployment rates for those with the degree. The longer I’ve been part of the communication department, the less I feel the urge to blurt out my GPA or make some self-deprecating remark about taking part in the major. The communication department has so much to offer – the trick is to take advantage of it.

ASHLEY ADAMS - regular columnist - junior - communication

Multimedia fails to reach potential of other options If  you’re a communication major, congratulations. You are in a program that has over 5,000 alumni and features a staff that has published numerous scholarly texts. Communication is definitely a high-quality department here at Virginia Tech. If your option is “Multimedia Journalism,” I apologize. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to dive into your chosen field for a few semesters, while those choosing other options will find their classes much more interesting. For some unknown reason, the department of communication does not have any journalism-related classes that are meant to be taken early in a student’s academic career. For a communication major, your first few communication classes include Introduction to Communication Studies, Communication Skills, Public Speaking, Introduction to Communication Research and Media Institutions. For someone who is choosing the “Communication Studies” or “Public Relations” option, the current curriculum is nearly perfect. You get to dive into concepts relating to both options, and are able to gain some minor yet important expertise. But for those who have chosen the “Multimedia Journalism” option, there’s a lot left to be desired. Why is it that these students must wait until their fourth or possibly fift h semester of college to take classes that at least address the journalism aspect of communication? Waiting this long can hurt these students’ chances to gain internships or maybe even a job as they have yet to have a chance to gain any real experience in the field. Those who are in the field, or aspire to be in the future,

know that the field is very competitive, and experience is vital to success. Unfortunately, the communication major at Virginia Tech does not give pre-career experience to future journalists and that is a travesty. A weakness in one part of a department affects the entire department. If students are unhappy, teachers are unhappy. And with a subject like multimedia journalism, which is very much the future of communication and an increasingly desired major, keeping students from gaining valuable skills to be successful in obtaining and working jobs during their time here is just wrong. Not to mention the adverse effects a lack of experience can have upon graduation when entering the real working world. Of course it is widely known that the deeper you get into your academic career, the more “major-specific” classes become, but it seems that the “Multimedia Journalism’ option is being neglected compared to the other options in the communication major. Perhaps some “Introduction to Journalism” courses would help. But something should be done. Multimedia journalism is becoming a growing sector, especially with the growth and higher accessibility to the Internet. More and more reporting is occurring through videos and social media. We as a college must prepare our future journalists for an ever-changing field, or else the “Multimedia Journalism” option may not be around long. RICKY LaBLUE - regular columnist - sophomore - communication

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The Collegiate Times is an independent studentrun newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor in Chief: Priscilla Alvarez Managing Editor: Danielle Buynak Art Director: Kevin Dickel Design Editors: Brad Klodowski, Andrea Ledesma Public Editor: Andrew Kulak Web Editor: James O’Hara Multimedia Editor: Nick Smirniotopoulos News Editors: Cameron Austin, Dean Seal News Reporters: Melissa Draudt, Leslie McCrea News Staff Writers: Kelly Cline, Josh Higgins, Matt Minor Features Editor: Chelsea Giles Features Reporters: Madeline Gordon, Jessica Groves Opinions Editors: David Levitt, Shareth Reddy Sports Editors: Jacob Emert, Alex Koma Sports Media Manager: Mike Platania Assistant Photo Editor: Ben Wiedlich Collegiate Times Business Staff Business Manager: James Dean Seal Circulation Manager: Keith Bardsley College Media Solutions Ad Director: Michelle Sutherland Assistant Ad Director: Cameron Taylor Account Executives: Eric Dioglin, Touhi Zaman, Danielle Pedra, Gary Johnston Inside Sales Manager: Catie Stockdale Assistant Account Executives: Emily Reinas, Rach Biltz, Josh Dolinger, Jess Angelos, Sephanie Morris Creative Director: Diana Bayless Assistant Director: Samantha Keck Creative Staff: Mariah Jones, Ashlyn Davidson, Luke Lesinski, Emily Bollman Voice your opinion. Readers are encouraged to send letters to the Collegiate Times. 365 Squires Student Center Blacksburg, VA, 24061 Fax: (540) 231-9151 opinionseditor@collegiatetimes.com All letters to the editor must include a name and daytime phone number. Students must include year and major. Faculty and staff must include position and department. All other submissions must include city of residence, and if applicable, relationship to Virginia Tech (i.e., alumni, parent, etc.). All letters should be in MS Word (.doc) format, if possible. Letters, commentaries and editorial cartoons do not reflect the views of the Collegiate Times. Editorials are written by the Collegiate Times editorial board, which is composed of the opinions editors, editor-in-chief and the managing editors. Letters to the editor are submissions from Collegiate Times readers. We reserve the right to edit for any reason. Anonymous letters will not be printed. Have a news tip? Call or text 200-TIPS or e-mail newstips@collegiatetimes.com Collegiate Times Newsroom 231-9865 Editor-in-Chief 231-9867 College Media Solutions Advertising 961-9860 The Collegiate Times, a division of the Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech, was established in 1903 by and for the students of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The Collegiate Times is published every Tuesday through Friday of the academic year except during exams and vacations. The Collegiate Times receives no direct funding from the university. The Collegiate Times can be found online at www.collegiatetimes.com. Except where noted, all photographs were taken by the Student Publications Photo Staff. To order a reprint of a photograph printed in the Collegiate Times, visit reprints.collegemedia.com. The first copy is free, any copy of the paper after that is 50 cents per issue. © Collegiate Times, 2013. All rights reserved. Material published in the Collegiate Times is the property thereof, and may not be reprinted without the express written consent of the Collegiate Times.

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December 5, 2013

Your Ad Space Here Campus Events 2013-2014 SPORN AWARD

Call for Nominations for the 2014 University Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Introductory Subjects The University Sporn Award is a studentselected award for teaching excellence in introductory subjects. This award is presented in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Sporn. Dr. Sporn was President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Electric Power Company. One award of $2000 is given each year, and the recipient is inducted into the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence. Nominations are received from students only. The award selection committee is comprised of student representatives from Omicron Delta Kappa and the Golden Key National Honor Society along with a faculty advisor (the previous year’s award winner). Eligible candidates for the Sporn Award are Virginia Tech faculty members who teach introductory courses at the 1000/2000 level. Nomination deadline is February 1, 2014. Announcement of the 2014 Sporn Award will be made in late-March 2014. Please submit a nomination for the 2014 Sporn Award to https:// survey.vt.edu/ survey/ entry.jsp’id=1384221228696. For more information, write to Dr. Kee Jeong Kim, the 2014 Sporn Award Committee’s faculty advisor.

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DOWN 1 Showing-off expression 2 Cultural group 3 Tops 4 Bike passenger's support, facetiously 5 Campaign rewards 6 Fixes 7 Gloaming, in verse 8 Made 60-Across for technocrats? 9 "Atlantic City" director 10 Familiarity/appeal measurement used in marketing 11 __-Aztecan languages 12 Sweet pop music 13 Trellis for training fruit trees 14 Sleeping kittens, e.g. 20 Marine layer 24 __-ray Discs 27 Ordered 29 Wine flavored by pine resin-sealed barrels 31 North Sea country: Abbr.

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12/3/13

WORDSEARCH: Firefighting Locate the list of words in the word bank in the letter grid.

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Aries (March 21-April 19) Mercury enters Sagittarius (until 12/24); you see (and can articulate) a broader perspective. Share it in person, via email or social media, and get the word out in bold letters. Get extra ef icient. Pack everything you do with passion.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) For the next three weeks, you’re even smarter than usual, and especially good with words. Get disciplined (especially today and tomorrow) about your health, diet and exercise. You can afford to invest in your vitality, and this includes rest.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) It’s time for adventure time. Try something new, or explore areas you normally avoid to discover something you didn’t know about yourself. Set long-range educational goals over the next two days.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) For the next three weeks, improve things at home, especially through communication. Stay out of somebody else’s battle. Focus on household renovation and get the best quality. Shop carefully, and ensure the team’s aligned before committing. Play with it!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) For the next three weeks, realizing dreams goes easier. It’s a philosophical phase, and what you learn could have volatile moments. A female brings beauty into your home. Overbuild. Imagine, but don’t venture too far yet. Set priorities.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) For the next three weeks with Mercury in Sagittarius, reconsider assumptions. You’re especially bright, witty and persuasive. Stand up to a critic. More study will be required. Increase your family’s comfort. Temptations are alluring and love blossoms.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) For the next three weeks, consider all possibilities and discuss them. Group participation gets powerful results. Confer with others and discover views that ring true. Plan carefully. Have what you want delivered, and delegate roles and tasks.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) It could get easier to spend over the next three weeks, so think before handing over that card. Get only what you need and go for the best quality. You may be able to borrow and share resources.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) For three weeks, what you say impacts your career directly. Answers lead to new questions. Your assets are gaining value. Consider it a three-week testing phase. Don’t deplete resources and keep the faith; it’s a winning combination.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) For three weeks with Mercury in Sagittarius, communication with your partner is more direct and easy. Rely on others. Choose participation over isolation. Expand your bankroll. Shared holdings increase in value. Luxuriate privately or with someone special. Cancer (June 21-July 22) For the next three weeks, expand your sphere of understanding. Let yourself get persuaded to participate. Your work becomes more interesting. Weigh pros and cons. Figure out what your heart wants and study it with a passion.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Ask probing questions to deepen your studies, which expand through communication over the next three weeks. The action is behind the scenes. Enjoy new developments. Turn down a public for a private engagement. Question authority.

(540) 231-9860 www.collegemedia.com


SPORTS

sportseditor@collegiatetimes.com

December 5, 2013

collegiatetimes.com

5

Tech’s postseason destination still to be determined ALEX KOMA sports editor

The Virginia Tech football team’s fate in the ACC may be sealed, but the Hokies’ postseason bowl destination is still very much up in the air. Frank Beamer and the rest of the team will have to wait until Sunday to find out where they will be traveling, but there are a few top contenders for where the Hokies will be ending their season. While bowl selection is traditionally a convoluted process, things are a bit simpler this year in the ACC given the quality of the top teams. Florida State, ranked No. 1 in the BCS, seems destined to play in the national title game barring a stunning loss in the ACC Championship Game. That means the Orange Bowl will need to choose a team as a replacement to the Seminoles - a bid that will likely go to Clemson, provided the Tigers can remain in the top 14 of the BCS standings. Dabo Swinney’s squad is all out of regular season games to play, and although they may be precariously perched at 13th overall, it would take some big changes in the BCS standings after Championship Saturday to knock them out of the Orange Bowl. But what does this all mean for the Hokies? Despite some added clarity thanks to the Tigers and Seminoles, things are still a bit murky. Bowl directors are creatures of habit; each bowl has an established template for teams that they’ll take, with contracts that dictate which conferences they pick from and the order of selection for the teams in that conference. For the Hokies, this means that they’re looking at bowls that not only are tied to the ACC, but those that favor teams from the conference that finished in the middle of the

pack. Realistically, that leaves the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the Russell Athletic Bowl, the Sun Bowl and the Belk Bowl as those that would be interested in hosting Virginia Tech, as they hold the second through fift h picks of ACC teams, respectively. The Hokies might’ve fi nished fourth in the conference behind the Tigers, Seminoles and Duke Blue Devils, but there is still the vague possibility they could head to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Bowl based on their history with the game and potential drawing power. The bowl has sent representatives to several of Tech’s big games, including their games against Miami and Virginia, and has put the program on their short list of ACC teams to consider. However, most analysts don’t think it’s in the cards. “You really have to wait and see with bowl season, particularly with Championship Saturday yet to take place, but I think the Chick-fil-A Bowl is out of reach for the Hokies,” said ESPN college football studio analyst Rece Davis. Tech has been to the bowl game four different times, most recently in 2009, but other teams might be more tempting for their name recognition. Although the Hokies finished ahead of the Miami Hurricanes, the program’s prestige might be enough to get them to Atlanta. Similarly, the Hokies could fi nd themselves bumped by the Blue Devils for the bowl game as they were for the ACC Coastal Division title. Duke scored their first 10-win season in program history and this turnaround makes for a compelling narrative nationally. “Congratulations to Duke, they’ve done something there that’s never been done before,” Beamer said. “They deserve a lot of credit, those kids hung in there and played great.”

FILE 2012 / SPPS

Luther Maddy (92) and Ronny Vandyke (37) embrace in celebration after the Hokies defeated Rutgers in the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl. But while their story might be a unique one, Chick-fi l-A Bowl officials might be concerned about Duke’s ability to draw fan interest and pick the more popular Hurricanes instead. That would put the Blue Devils in line for the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Fla., the game the Hokies played in last year. The combination of Duke’s success story and the fact that Tech just participated in the game a season ago could bump the Hokies from that contest as well. “I really think (Duke coach) David Cutcliffe should be the national coach of the year,” Davis said. “They’ve pulled out games week after week while constantly exceeding expectations, and they’ve done it with a talent level that can’t compare to other top teams.”

Wrestling team rebounds after loss to No. 15 UVa McKENZIE PAVACICH sports staff writer

While students were chowing down on turkey and shopping for killer Black Friday deals, the No. 12 Virginia Tech wrestling team remained in Blacksburg, preparing for two matches over the break. For the first time in eight years, then-No. 8 Tech fell to the University of Virginia. After an even start to the rivalry match, Tech fell behind, allowing UVa to gain bonus points that ultimately led to the demise of the Hokies. The last match came down to heavyweight Ty Walz. If Walz pinned his opponent, officials would analyze criteria and bonus points in order to determine a winner. “(Coach Kevin) Dresser came up to me a couple of times before my match and told me, ‘Wrestle your match, wrestle for yourself,’” Walz said. “And so that’s what I kept in my mind the whole time. I really haven’t worked a lot on pinning. I mostly work on takedowns.” The redshirt freshman heavyweight won by decision, but only brought the fi nal score up to 19-16. “Ty’s just one piece of the puzzle. Because he’s the heavyweight, you get the

whole dual meet on your shoulders,” said coach Kevin Dresser. “I said, ‘You know what? There are nine other guys out there that either did their job or didn’t do their job …. You can’t make up for nine other guys.” Junior Devin Carter won his match by major decision, gaining bonus points for the Hokies, but those points didn’t make a difference in the outcome of the match. “The problem wasn’t bonus points this match, it was that not everybody worked on their own individual match,” Carter said. It was the first time Virginia has ever beaten a ranked team. “It was a long time coming, and I think what we took away from it was that our guys weren’t ready and UVa’s guys were ready,” Dresser said. “Do I think UVa is better than us? No, I think they were more ready for us.” The Hokies bounced back two days later with a 29-3 victory over Old Dominion University to improve to 8-1 on the season. “I think the timing for ODU to catch us was bad timing on their part, just because we were a little fired up,” Dresser said. “I think the emotion that we didn’t have on Sunday, we did have on Tuesday.”

The team plans to move forward and use the UVa upset as a learning experience. “I think it’ll be a motivator,” Dresser said. “I think you learn a lot more from losing than winning. We already proved it, just within 48 hours.” Th is weekend, Tech will participate in the annual Las Vegas Invitational. The twoday tournament will feature 33 of the top programs in the nation. Devin Carter will be facing some of the best talent in the nation in the 141-weight class. His top competition and the most anticipated match of the weight class looks to include No. 1 Logan Stieber of Ohio State. “The No. 1 kid in the country, two-time national champ,” Carter said. “I’ll have him, hopefully in the finals, if I make it that far. There’s a bunch of other ranked guys, but I’m mainly looking forward to the Ohio State kid.” Although an upset set them back in the rankings, the Hokies are determined to leave the UVa match behind and continue on the road to success this season.

@MPavacich_VT

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Considering these factors, it seems likely that the Hokies head for the bowl that gets the fourth pick of ACC teams, the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Tech hasn’t played in the game since 1947, so familiarity certainly isn’t a factor in deterring the bowl’s interest. The bowl’s committee typically gets the Pac-12’s fourth selection, which most analysts project to be UCLA, providing the Hokies with a matchup against a team they’ve never faced before. Despite the Hokies’ many flaws, they do still have some features that prove attractive to outside observers. “They’ll be a formidable opponent for whoever they place simply because of their defense,” Davis said. “And despite Logan Thomas’ issues,

he’s still a 6’5” athlete with a rocket arm, and that’s fun to watch.” But while the team may have some positives that could attract bowl committees’ interest, the squad’s late struggles hurt the public’s perception of the Hokies. “It’s certainly fair to be disappointed with this season for Tech,” Davis said. “With the way the defense looked against Alabama, there were big expectations. But they needed the offense to come along, and Thomas was never really able to take over a game and those three losses late really hurt.” Should these factors cause the Sun Bowl to pass on Tech as well, the Hokies would be left with the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C. or the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn.

However, Texas seems to be the surest bet for Tech, since it seems unlikely that anyone would reach past the Hokies for a team like Georgia Tech instead. Quarterback Logan Thomas has said he wants to go “somewhere warm” for the bowl game, but called the idea of an El Paso trip a little too warm for his blood. Yet, the last time the Hokies played in the bowl, they fought through temperatures below freezing. Things might’ve changed quite a bit since then, but Tech fans might want to start packing their parkas for El Paso now.

@AlexKomaVT


6

lifestyleseditor@collegiatetimes.com

December 5, 2013

he she

collegiatetimes.com

SAID

LIFESTYLES

Five lessons from four years

She said: Take control of your college experience, live a little

W

ith my time as an undergraduate coming quickly to a close (two more weeks!) and with the penning of my final “She Said” column, I’ve decided to leave you guys with five things I’ve learned in my years at Tech. Most likely you’ve heard most of these before, but consider this my passing down of elderly wisdom gleaned from a wild three and a half years at this school. 1. You are in control of your education. It took me a while to really understand this one, but think about it. While in college, you are purchasing a service, and that service is your education. You are employing professors to learn what you want to learn, and, ideally, coming out four years later with a piece of paper and possibly a pat on the back. So while you have a world of incredible resources (people, professors, visitors, places) — learn what you want to learn. Explore what you want to explore. Take classes you want to take. Take charge of your education, because, at

the end of the day, you are in school to become a more well-informed human being. Don’t be afraid to ask your professors questions or to attend random lectures or make use of the awesome technology. Th is is what you’re paying for. Take advantage of it. 2. Take your headphones out. For the first half of freshman year, I walked to classes while listening to music. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with this, as I could entertain myself with the “Phantom of the Opera” soundtrack while making my merry way across campus. Sometime during my second semester, I stopped doing that. It was incredible how big of a difference that made. I felt connected to my campus. I saw more people, noticed more things and just enjoyed my time being present at my school. 3. Don’t worry about your friend situation. Freshmen year, it’s so easy to make friends with the people across the hall, so do it. Some of the people you meet will be important for the rest of your life. Some you

will stop talking to after that year. Befriend them anyway. The important ones will stick around. 4. Live a little. Th is one might be life advice-y, but at this point in your life you have few responsibilities and an influx of free time. So drive to West Virginia in the middle of the night with your friends. Change your major a thousand times. Throw something truly vile up. Take a class outside your major. Climb stuff. Work in food service. Meet someone you’d never meet in the tiny college bubble. But for goodness sake, do something that scares the Walt Whitman out of you. You’re basically too young to mess anything up so bad that you can’t fi x it. Kind of. 5. And finally, enjoy yourself. The real world is almost upon πyou. DANIELLE BUYNAK -managing editor -senior -English major

Test: Intrinsic motivation key to focusing for finals from page one

may pick a different location than a person who likes to have it completely quiet.” Hyer also recommends distraction-free places that are off campus but still close. Academic atriums, such as the one in Wallace Hall, are also ideal for studying and are rarely used. Studying in an empty classroom may also help, because students are more likely to recall that information in the same environment. While this may be effective for tests, Hyer said that studying foundational information in a variety of different places enforces the information in the long term. Many students seem to struggle with motivation during exam week, especially when it comes to staying focused on schoolwork. Taking breaks can allow students to better engage

with their studying. The amount of breaks needed varies for each student, but Grimes said students should not go more than two hours without a break. To avoid taking a break that lasts too long, she said to eat a healthy snack, take a walk or read for fun instead of activities that may be harder to stop doing, such as playing video games and watching TV. Breaks, along with other extrinsic motivation, such as inspirational quotes, rewards and support from friends are helpful to stay motivated, but Hyer said he believes that intrinsic motivation is more powerful. “Understand what you want to accomplish while you’re here and after you leave here,” Hyer said. “The students that have a great understanding of that are the ones that are able to motivate themselves and push themselves forward

during these extra stressful times.” While taking an exam, look over the entire test to create a plan on how to best approach it, then engage with the test by covering up other questions and following along with a pen. Above all else, take a deep breath and relax. Hyer suggests that students arrive to the testing area early and avoid anyone who may make them more nervous. Also, students should wear earbuds to cancel out the commotion before the test. “If you’re sitting in the chair getting ready to take the test, there’s really nothing else at that point that you can do,” Grimes said. “So just reaffi rm to yourself that you’ve done what you’ve been able to do.”

@MichelleKStark

He said: There’s no ‘eureka’ moment, just live and learn

U

nlike my lovely “she said” counterpart, I will not be graduating after this semester. Fear of the unknown often keeps us from completing tasks quicker than we need to, and I congratulate those brave enough to do so. However, I will be graduating in the spring, and I feel like there aren’t many more lessons for me to learn. Therefore, I’m comfortable in saying these are the five best lessons I learned while at Virginia Tech, some more important than others. 1. Virginia Tech is not abbreviated as Va. Tech. As a sports fan, I was bombarded with this way to abbreviate Virginia Tech by ESPN and other sports outlets year after year. My freshman year, I mistakenly referred to us as Va. Tech on Twitter and was quickly informed by many Hokie fans that Va. Tech was wrong and terrible and that I was wrong and terrible. For the curious, there are two ways to abbreviate Virginia Tech: VT and Tech. The second one is the best, because it annoys

Georgia Tech fans. 2. Sub Station II is what subs are supposed to taste like. For someone who grew up in a Northern Virginia suburb, a good amount of the restaurants around were chains. One of the best parts of Blacksburg is the plethora of local restaurants and the king is Sub Station II. Eating at any chain like Jimmy John’s or Firehouse is just robbing yourself of a delicious sandwich. 3. Remember to check the weather report before you leave. In my formative years, I could trust my parents to inform me when I was wearing woefully incorrect clothing. And if that failed, school was all indoors, so I could get away with a mistake or two. In college, you have to walk outside to go from class to class, and with the ever-changing weather of Blacksburg, you can be made to look foolish quickly. Just consider that part of the increased responsibilities of growing up. 4. Growing up isn’t some big ceremony; it’s just something that happens.

I am a huge consumer of media and one big trope is the “eureka” moment a character has and then their life is changed forever. Sadly, such an obvious moment does not happen in real life. Instead, it’s just a series of never-ending mistakes that you eventually learn from and try not to repeat, which is much more fun than it sounds. 5. Try new things. Those who know me know I am terrible at trying new things, but this is a part of those never-ending mistakes I mentioned earlier and sometimes you find things you truly love. I hated English in school, but found a love in sports writing when I came here, and in just a little over a year, The Collegiate Times has given me some of my best memories and friendships. JAMES O’HARA -web editor -senior -computer science major

health. ealtth. eemployment. mpl crime. music. sports. art. dorms. education. duc cation. housing. government. world politics. sales. travel. raveel. traffic. tr construction. business. relationships. entertainment. ntertainmen virginia tech. ut prosim. construction. We share your concerns Ch k

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Thursday, December 5, 2013 Print Edition