I’m Still A Proud Nittany Lion

If you know anything about me, you know that I am obsessed entirely with Penn State. I graduated from there and I have more pride about going there than anyone else. I bleed blue and white. I danced for the kids at Hershey. I lost my voice at football games with 110,000 brothers and sisters. I went to Tampa for teh Outback Bowl against Tennessee. I know that this is a dark time for us PSU-ers but there are some things that I would like to make clear with the general public.

First off, no one and I mean no one, thinks what Jerry Sandusky is accused of is okay. There is no one at Penn State being like “Oh he’s accused of molesting little boys, that’s okay with us.” Trust me, no one feels that way. We, as a University, raised 250,000 for RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) after all this came out. We do stand behind our school. The media has come in and made a circus out of our school and has said some hateful things about us. One apple shouldn’t spoil it for the whole bunch. I realize that in most cases it does, but the media should have helped to be our ally as a University, not an enemy against us. The media could have reported great things about Penn State while reporting the negativity of Jerry Sandusky. For example, news and media flooded Penn State when all this was going on. When Joe Pa was fired and he later passed away, there was media coverage everywhere. But when Penn State students raised over $10 million, yes I said Penn State students raised over $10 million, in one year for pedatric cancer and the Hershey Medical Center through THON (Penn State IFC/PHC Dance Marathon,) where were the news outlets then? That’s right, no where to be found. That is completely unfair to the men and women who bust their behinds for a year straight standing on street corners in the cold, calling every business in the country and going to hospitals to visit sick children, where some don’t make it. It’s very hurtful to see that such a difference that is being made is going unnoticed because it’s not as juicy as the Jerry Sandusky scandal is.

On another note, people can still be fans of Penn State and support the institution without being tied up with Sandusky. After it all happened, I went to Penn State that weekend for the football game. I saw people wearing “Pedophile State University” shirts on. Seriously? Not only is that unacceptable, that’s completely classless. Have some respect. That is taking the situation to a whole different level. Penn State still has much to be proud of and when someone makes a statement like that, it just adds salt to the open wound. I’m proud of the accomplishments I have done at Penn State and what the school has done as a whole. The things I listed above about THON are incredible.

Finally, when the media says that it’s the “Penn State Abuse Scandal,” you are talking about me. You are talking about me, my fraternity brothers, my THON dance partners, my community, my friends, the alumni who have paved the way before us, and the future alumni that are making a difference now. That’s not fair. I didn’t abuse anyone. I’m not part of the scandal and neither are any of my friends. But calling it the “Penn State Abuse Scandal” will help you sell more papers and may get your story on live tv. That’s how sick and twisted our media is. It sickens me to know that in their minds it’s “anything to sell a story.” And what was the outcome because of it? Our head coach, who dedicated his life to the school, he died. I know I wouldn’t want that on my hands. But then again, anything to sell a story, right media?

Thanks. I hope that you are never faced with something that effects your life like this has for all of us Penn Staters. I will say one thing though, I look at what we have done that’s good and that by far outweighs the bad. I am, have been, and will forever always be A PROUD NITTANY LION!

 **I wrote this before he was convicted of 45 out of the 48 counts he was charged with. He will be going to jail for a long time. 442 years to be exact. Penn State will never be the same again but it’s how we rise from the ashes and bring back our name that will define us as a university.

And Your Host…

This is the Escape. I am your host and will be for the duration of the ride. My name is Chris, people call me Xtoph or CT, depending on when you knew me. I am a Penn State graduate. I currently work for an online advertising company that focuses on diversity inclusion and recruitment strategies. I am a lefty so I am over the top creative, which is a good thing most of the time. Sometimes I fly too far off the handle and I need someone to bring me back to reality on ideas.

I love softball, house music, clubs, going out, my dog (Bett), and my friends and family. I play outfield in a few different softball leagues. I’m quick so it’s a good match up. I love playing and it keeps me in shape. I love going down the shore and going to Atlantic City to see my best friend and to party.

Below is a picture of Bett. She was a rescue that I bought as a birthday present for my mom’s birthday last year. She is about a year and a half old. She is a plotthound mix from South Carolina. She saw her first snow fall this year in which she went crazy. She was diving all over our deck and was rolling around in it. She’s a jumper too. I caught her jumping up on our deck rail from the ground and jumping over it. She’s so cute though. I could never be mad at her. And she is turning out to be such a good dog. She met my Dad yesterday and she was so well behaved. I was so proud of her.

This is also the first post on my wordpress account. The other posts are from my blogspot account which I have been  able to transfer over here. I’m really happy I didn’t have to lose it when transfering sites.

Old Enough to Know Better; Young Enough Not to Care

I went to Maine this weekend with my cousin Sara and my Aunt Dee. We went up there because my other cousin, Mikey aka Carlton, was graduating from high school. Mikey is heading into the Army so it was nice to be able to see him in case I don’t get the chance too before he leaves. It’s funny because if you ask me what my favorite memory with Mikey is, it would be the fact that when he was younger, my friend and I wrapped him in a laundry basket with a blanket and stuck him under the Christmas tree with a note starting off “Dear Finders, I am the baby Jesus…”. Needless to say, he slept there all night until my Dad and Aunt came home and found him under there. I was never asked to watch him again after that. Probably a good idea on their part. Goes to show that I was still a creative genius back then and nothing has changed.

On the positive side, I weighed myself again on Friday. Down -31 pounds. I have about 12 more to go til I am at my goal weight of 160. I am really excited about that because I am working hard to each much better and try to live a healthier lifestyle. Doing a lot more walking and exercising when I can to help fight the fat. I am tired of looking at pictures of myself and not being happy with what I look like. I have a goal set in my mind and so far, I am on my way to achieving it. I just need to believe that I can do it and I will one day get there. Hopefully sooner than later, but I will get there knowing that I can because I believe in me.

This weekend got me thinking me. I am at that age where sometimes I know what the right thing to do is and what isn’t. Usually, it’s go home after a long night with my friends because I know I have work the next morning. I am not really a morning person when I haven’t slept much. I’m more of a grouch and don’t want to be bothered all day. I had a knack of just getting up and going to sleep when I was in high school/college when I was ready. There could still be people sitting on my couch watching tv and I would just up and go. Such a graceful host I am. No wonder why everyone really likes me. I guess it may be the summer though because I stil want to have my fun. I want to go out and party til all hours of the morning and make memories I’ll never remember with friends I’ll never forget. I guess that is the wild side in me just wanting to escape and be free. I yearn for the days I can be an active social butterfuly in NYC or some other major city networking and being so in love with my life. Just me and the open road ahead onto new adventures.

I think that I am working up to that part of life. I am putting in my time now so that in the future I can make those kinds of fantasies actual realities and when I look back on my life, I won’t be mad at the decisions I’ve made. I’ll be glad that I took the chances I did and that I did the fun things that really matter most in life. Money only goes so far. It doesn’t buy happiness and it doesn’t make you any better of a person. I think that’s why I love taking pictures. So that I have something to look back on and to hold on. To know that I am a party boy at heart and I love the nightlife and myself. Maybe a little too much sometimes, but hey, I need to treat myself once in a while.So the angel on my right side is old enough to know better, but the devil on my left, is young enough not to care…

A Healthy Self-Obsession

For those of you who don’t know me, I am midly self-obsessed. I have a lot of self-confidence because I have a great job, great friends, I’m looking better, and I am good at mostly everything I do. That may sound conceited, but there is a lot behind it that people don’t realize.

To start off, I am a director of public relations and branding for my company. That is a higly prestigious title and the fact that I’m only twenty seven, well that’s pretty good. But it doesn’t come without a price. I worked my butt off to get to that position. My original position at WorkplaceDiversity.com was just a part-time internet marketing associate. I worked hard to pave my own path and get to where I am today. I have my interns and now we are making our company hit new levels that we haven’t hit before. Our SEO has reached a new level and I was so proud of everyone today for their hard work. I work a lot of hours too to help make my position what it is. Whether I am in the office, working off my phone, weekends or holidays, public relations never takes a break. So sometimes, I look self-obsessed on my phone playing on facebook or twitter, but really, I’m making my company money.

I have the best friends in the world. They understand my self-obsession and working hard to get to where I want to be in my personal and professional life. They understand that I sometimes have to break commitments to get my work done and they are cool with it. Mainly because I make up for it by taking them to some crazy concert in Atlantic City or partying at a club in NYC til 5am. I like being that group of people that everyone is jealous of. We have a good time and we aren’t afraid to show it when we go out.

I am becoming obsessed with working out. I constantly want to be in the gym and working hard to get in shape. I’ve lost a decent amount of weight so far and I am really seeing it. I see it in my face the most, as my face isn’t round anymore. My arms and legs are really starting to tone up and define themselves which is making me thrilled. My stomach is the problem area right now and I am working hard to get that into shape. I just need to work on eating better. Food is my enemy. If the food is terrible and awful for you, I love it and vise-versa. So to fight that, I am trying to make one or two better choices a day to help fight that. I figure eventually, I will be making the right choices because I want too, not because I have too.

Being good at mostly everything I do takes a lot of work. I am not great at one thing. There are many things that I am good at. And I work hard to constantly get better at them. I self-obsess a little bit over them so that I can be better at it the next time I do it. Whether it’s sports, music or anything else, I want to be the best at everything. It’s the competitive side of me. I constantly want to be better and work that much harder to achieve it.

I do work hard to be the best at everything I can. Whether it be professional or my personal life, I like being awesome. So maybe a little bit of self-obsession isn’t a bad thing. It keeps me on my toes and how I can strive to be better. I’m not gonna lie though, being the center of attention at a party or a bar isn’t the worst feeling in the world.

PR, Branding & SMM …Oh My!

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Brandergy.com, About.Me, LinkedIn, Google+ and the list goes on. There are so many social media sites out there that sometimes my head begins to spin thinking about it. For anyone that isn’t involved in social media, you are missing one big market for advertising, public relations, and marketing. I mean, a brand new term called “social media marketing” or SMM for short was created for it. I noticed this today when I was helping an older gentleman aka my dad, learn how to use his new iPhone. He has come into the twenty first century and he is having a blast with it. Things that seem so simple to me like downloading music, finding free apps and just using the internet are second nature to me and it’s interesting to see how different it is for him.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a public relations and branding director for an online advertising agency. We help diverse candidates connect with job employers and gain employment. We do a lot with diversity inclusion and focus on all aspects of diversity. We deal with military veterans, handicapped, and the black/latino/asian communities, respectively. My company is called WorkplaceDiversity.com and we are ranked in the top ten diversity inclusion companies in the United States.

My job is all about getting the word out there. What’s the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to get your name out there? Social media. So when it comes to all the websites I listed above, I am on all of them. Making new friends, “liking” people’s Facebook status, tweeting, circling and +1-ing all content that I find informative. I write press releases, I’ve been interviewed, I create backlinking, write blog postings (kind of like this one) and find new ways to get my companies name in everyones mouth. It is a lot of work and a lot of creative thinking to do what I do but I can tell you one thing, I absolutely love it! Since college, this is the first job that I found myself loving. I don’t hate myself every morning for having to get up and go to work. I enjoy my time there and I really receive great gratification in doing the work I do. My right my main focus in on veterans coming from from Afghanistan and Iraq and helping them re assimilate back into the workplace society.

The one thing that I always tell veterans that are looking for jobs is that you have to keep up on your networking and branding skills. Your resume needs to highlight all of your qualifications in civilan’s terms. Not all employers understand military jargon and that is one of the adjustments that veterans need to make when coming back into the workforce. Learn how to maximize the skills you’ve learned in the military to be the best team leader for your next job. Explain to your interviewer that you are quick on your feet, you are focused on the task at hand, you work well in groups and always mention that you work well under pressure.

I also tell veterans that social media is one of the best ways to stay involved and find jobs. There are so many groups in all of these social media hotspots that are veteran related. Keep an ongoing twitter and follow different companies that are in the field you are looking to get into. Introduce yourself on LinkedIn but don’t always go right in for the kill. Talk a little bit about the company with them. Maybe something interesting that the company has done that you find impressive. Sweet talk them and build a relationship, then find out about job opportunities. Like a bunch of campaigns on Facebook that are relatable to your field and find out all the information you can.

The information I provided above isn’t just good for military veterans but for any job seeker really. No one is going to hire you if they don’t know anything about you. If you are on a bunch of social media sites actively engaging with people, companies and in groups, you are more likely to find an employer who wants to do business with you. Don’t give up all of your information though. No one wants to pay for the milk when they can get it for free. Leave a lasting impression that makes employers want to want you. Social media can really help with that.