About kevinle

I'm really good at laying around and doing nothing and terrible at a ton of things. Including writing blog posts.

Becoming a Memory

One of the main reasons I joined Beta was because of one person, Ray. Ray is an alumni, having graduated the semester that I joined. He ended up as my Great Grandbig (my big’s big’s big) and we made a whole ton of good memories in that one semester we had together. Easily one of the best parts of joining.

So I realized something the other day. Our current new members never met Ray or any of the other members from the class of 2016. And that’s a kinda weird thought. Beta as it currently is is not the house that I joined. The Seniors graduated, we got a whole bunch of new members and the house culture has changed a lot.

And in a few days, it’s all going to change again when the current Seniors graduate. And then we’ll get new members. Then those members won’t know who the members from the class of 2017 were. And that’s a pretty weird thought too.

And eventually (but thankfully not soon), I’ll be graduating. Then, Beta will be a completely different house than the one I joined. And people like Ray will be a long distant memory.

And not long after that, I’ll be just a memory too. This just makes me think. What will be the legacy I leave? Will I make a big enough impact that Betas 5 or 10 years after I graduate know who I am? Or will I be forgotten and fade into the background like countless alumni unfortunately have? It’s more than likely the latter, but I can’t help but wonder.

Damn. I really need to be studying for my last final instead of getting philosophical.

The Best Thing

The best thing about Spring Break is nothing. Absolutely nothing.

There’s nothing to worry or stress about. Nothing to do. Nothing.

It’s an incredible feeling after a crazy Spring semester so far. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have nothing to do.

A Walk around Campus

The last time I think I took a walk through campus was probably not long after moving in Freshman year. A floormate and I just explored campus and got to know it better before everyone else got there.

But since then, I haven’t really explored. I’ve just been too caught up with life and busy with other things. But today, I had nothing to do. No tests to prepare for, no midterms or papers, nothing.

So I decided to do what I haven’t done in so long and take a walk. I texted one of my friends and we met up by the Donor’s Circle in front of Trimble with my camera. And then we just started walking.

We started at the Donor’s Circle and walked to the President’s Woods. Then we walked in between Thompson and Schneebeck before heading over to Wyatt. From there, we walked past the track meet towards the Fieldhouse. We talked down the street from there and turned onto Theme Row, finishing our stroll through campus at the SUB.

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A tree in the President’s Woods

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The side of Thompson

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Ran across this at Wyatt

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Ran into Nathan on his way out of the gym. The face only a mother could love.

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Looking down Theme Row

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Looking at Thomas Hall from Seward

Positivity

Life is tough right now. Next week is midterms. For some, graduation is coming and the real world is on the horizon. For others, there are still a few years left here. For our country, well, I’m just not gonna comment on that.

Anyway, I feel like I need to inject some positivity into our world. So here are some wholesome memes:

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My fraternity is actually planning on doing something like this. It’s gonna be pretty freaking awesome.

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AWWWWWWW

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Same though

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To all the seniors out there

I hope everyone reading this enjoyed it and their day was made a little brighter. For more wholesome memes, check out https://www.reddit.com/r/wholesomememes/

Brotherhood

Every fraternity talks about brotherhood.

“We have such a strong brotherhood.”

“Brotherhood is our top priority.”

But what is brotherhood? Why does it matter? Why do we always talk about it?

Brotherhood is the glue the binds the house together. It’s what drives us support each other in all of our activities outside the house. It’s what makes it okay to express ourselves. It’s what makes memories. It’s what is behind every smile. It’s what makes lifelong friends. It’s what makes brothers.

In my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, brotherhood is something we hold above many things. The bond I have with my brothers is so strong that I know it will last long after we all graduate and part ways.

It’s hard to talk about brotherhood. Not because it’s a difficult topic, but because you don’t talk about brotherhood, you show it. Sometimes, brotherhood is more like a feeling than some type of display.

It’s what we feel when we are having a bad day and talk about it with one of our brothers. We talk for hours and hours about everything and anything, no matter the time of day.

It’s what we feel when we spend a weekend night playing video games and watching weird Youtube videos.

It’s what we feel when we just hop in the car and go for a drive for a little while, just quietly enjoying each other’s presence.

It’s what we feel when we’re all watching a movie and heckling the plot and characters.

It’s… brotherhood.

Growing Up

A few months ago, back in the summer, I had a mid-life crisis. I was at a relative’s house for a barbecue and my aunt asked me how old I was turning this year.

“I’m turning nine- oh.” My eyes widened with the sudden realization that I wasn’t turning 19. I was turning 20. I had a dumbfounded look on my face, so my aunt starting laughing and left me to deal with my internal crisis on my own.

I wasn’t going to be a teenager anymore. I was going to be an adult. I was going to be old. Panic started to set in as I started reaching out to different people, explaining what happened and what I was feeling. I didn’t want to grow up.

Growing up means more responsibilities. It means more stress. It means swallowing my pride acting like an adult. It means less free time. It means the fun is over. It means a dark and bleak future of eternal suffering.

Which brings me to today. My birthday. My 20th birthday. And… it’s not as bad as I thought.

Sure, I have a bunch more responsibilities. But I’m actually having a lot of fun. I love planning, so planning out all the Programming events for next semester for Beta and IFC is a ton of fun. I have a dozen other non-academic things I need to attend to before I leave. But I’m enjoying myself.

And I’m definitely not acting my age. If you ask anyone that knows me, I’m one of the most obnoxious and immature people around. You can always count on me to say something inappropriate at the worst possible time.

The fun never really ended. Things changed, but I never stopped having fun. I’ve made so many new friends and even more memories. The future is now and it’s not that dark and bleak.

Maybe growing up isn’t as bad as I thought.

Heater

So I recently moved into a new room because we have some new guys moving into Beta so we had to shift some people around in order to make accommodations. I love my room. It’s the perfect size. Small enough to be cozy, but big enough to fit a couple people that want to hang out. It’s also right near the bathroom and almost equidistant from our front and back doors. But there’s one thing.

The heater doesn’t work.

Well technically it does work, just not very well. It’s really finicky, only turning on if the knob is turned to a very precise location. And when it does turn on, it shuts off after about 5 minutes (which isn’t nearly enough time to heat up a room!).

I already talked to my GHC (Greek House Coordinator, the RA for Greek Houses) and he filed a work order a few days ago. Facilities did come and check it and another room’s heater out and fixed both. But whenever I want to operate it, it takes 6 or 7 tries to get it on.

Given the recent cold weather and a California body that isn’t used to much below 50 degrees, I kind of need a heater. Or else I might turn into a Kevin-sicle during finals. Actually, that sounds like a better alternative to finals.

Off-Roading

So I just got back from off-roading for the the first time. It was pretty freaking awesome.

I went off-roading with two of my friends, Mitch and Matt. Mitch had mentioned they were going off-roading last night and invited me to come along.

Driving down the highway with the roof off.

Driving down the highway with the roof off.

We started the trip with the roof down. This lasted a good 10 minutes before we realized it was freezing and was about to rain. But, I was able to get a good Snapchat of us crossing the Narrows bridge before we put the roof back up.

Eventually, we got to the trailhead. It was absolutely beautiful. It was so green with a classic Washington overcast. And we were about go roaring through it in Mitch’s Wrangler.

A sign at the trailhead

A sign at the trailhead

Mitch's Jeep Wrangler

Mitch’s Jeep Wrangler

We spent a good amount of time traversing the woods, hitting every single bump along the way. Mitch commented “This feels a lot like Tacoma roads, just prettier.” I mean, he wasn’t wrong.

Probably should not have been standing here as the car was going down a slope...

Probably should not have been standing here as the car was going down a slope…

After some time in the woods, we came across a massive muddy area to drive around in. Mitch drove through a couple puddles before allowing me to take the driver’s seat. Mitch encouraged me to drive through the biggest puddle in the area, while Matt was just fearing for his life. Mitch just instructed me to floor it so we wouldn’t get stuck.

Well as it turns out, that puddle was pretty deep. It was deep enough that the water almost came up over the hood. I basically almost turned Mitch’s Jeep into a boat. We were all freaking out. Thankfully, I never took my foot off of the gas, so we managed to make it out.

When we emerged from the water, steam vented from the engine, while streams of water flowed down the sides of the car. For a couple of minutes, we couldn’t stop talking about how awesome that was. Mitch, then let me drive around some more while he took some awesome slo-mo videos.

TREES

TREES

After some more driving, we parked on the side of a hill and dropped the roof. We climbed on top of the roll cage and just took in the sight before us. It was green as far as the eye could see. Just rows and rows of the most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen. We all sat there for a while, listening to music and enjoying the forest around us. I can’t even begin to describe how perfect it was. All I can say is that we all agreed it was one of the top 5 moments of our lives.

Friends, music and nature. Absolute perfection.

Friends, music, nature and a Jeep. Absolute perfection.

Trees as far as the eye could see

Trees as far as the eye could see.

Then the rain started to come down. After some struggling to get the roof back up, we all climbed into the car. Then we realized we didn’t know where we were.

A Visit from SACPC

Caryln Sampson from Rebuilding Hope! Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County (SACPC) came to visit my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, at our chapter meeting today. For those that don’t know, SACPC “offers support toward healing through advocacy and therapy for those affected by sexual assault and abuse” in the Pierce County area. Alongside supporting victims, SACPC also offers intensive trainings to police, medical professionals and other people interested in becoming advocates for victims. SACPC is Beta’s philanthropy and Carlyn is our primary contact with the organization.

Personally, I support SACPC, and sexual assault prevention in general, because I think that sexual assault is totally unacceptable (as any logical person should). Beta choosing SACPC as its philanthropy just aligns with my core values.

Carlyn came to introduce herself to us and lead a discussion on sexual assault and the role that SACPC plays in it. And holy shit it was refreshing.

In my experience, sexual assault prevention trainings and workshops tend to just make me feel terrible. Men are almost always portrayed as the perpetrators and women as victims. There is always this accusatory tone towards the male gender. As a male, this obviously doesn’t make me feel too good. While I am passionate about the topic, the feeling makes me apprehensive to participate in discussions. I’m made to feel that as a male, I have nothing to and should not contribute.

But Carlyn wasn’t like that. Carlyn was incredibly informative, spouting knowledge of every step of the sexual assault reporting process and the different resources that SACPC offers, just to name a few of the topics she discussed. She even mentioned the program she started last year that supported victims of sex trafficking in Pierce County.

Throughout her talk, the tone she took was evenhanded and just generally not accusatory at all. For once, I didn’t feel like a terrible person. Carlyn even mentioned that the idea of men becoming uncontrollable cavemen around women was an archaic and just ridiculous idea. She said that she wanted to help us fight that stigma against males (particularly fraternities) in conversations about sexual assault. All of our members agreed that they thought that the discussion was refreshing and just plain amazing.

Carlyn is expected to visit us again next semester and looking into the possibility of getting us at least part of the same training that SACPC offers to law enforcement and medical professionals and requires of their volunteers and staff.

I can’t wait!

Coping

Well it happened. It actually fucking happened. What started as a joke a few years ago resulted in one of the worst possible outcomes. This doesn’t even feel like reality.

We’re all feeling different things, anger, sadness, fear, uncertainty. But whatever you’re feeling, don’t forget to practice self-care. In times like now, the least we can do is maintain our well being.

The main thing is to not bury any of your feelings and thoughts. Burying and pushing them away will only cause them to bubble back up in the future. Don’t be afraid to express yourself in whatever way you feel comfortable. To some, that’s sharing their thoughts on Facebook. To others, that’s writing in their private journal. The list doesn’t end there. Working out, making art, playing video games, watching cat videos, cooking, there is no wrong thing to do. Just do anything that makes you feel better.

And please don’t forget to take care of your physical well-being. Eat food, drink water, get some fresh air. You’d be surprised at how much better you’ll feel after getting some air.

We’re all going to be coping with this in our own ways. One of the best things we can do for one another is respect each other’s coping strategies. Everyone deals with issues in their own way and we cannot create a toxic environment of harshness and criticism like this shit show has been for the last few years.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go kill space terrorists in Call of Duty until I feel better.

 

I’m sorry if this seems incoherent, my brain is just fried after the past day.