Top 5 Tips on Interviewing

After nearly two years of attending Metropolitan State University of Denver, where I majored in journalism, I avoided any writing that involved interviewing. Since I’m a shy person by nature, interviewing people meant talking to people and these people would expect me, as the interviewer to know what I was doing. So, because I didn’t know how to interview and because I was, quite frankly terrified of interviewing, I kept my writing life easy and just didn’t offer to write any articles where an interview would be needed.

At the end of my sophomore year, I realized that if I wanted to progress as a journalist, I needed to stretch myself, to go beyond my comfort zone. I felt more comfortable interviewing people than I did prior to that.

Here is what I have learned when it comes to comfortably and confidently interviewing sources:

1. Do Your Research/Go Over Your Notes

I think it’s very important to take a few minutes prior to your interview and re-read your notes and your questions. Focus your mind on what you aim to achieve from the interview.

2. Be Organized

Do be prepared to vary from your list of questions in the light of what you learn during the interview. If your interviewee says something you want to know more about, then ask them about it.

3. Speak Clearly

Take a deep breath when beginning the interview, speaking slowly, clearly and confidently. I’ve learned that most people are happy to be interviewed and keen to get their point of view across.

4. Respect Other People’s Opinions

Being polite and neutral is the key in my opinion. You are not there to judge the person or their opinions. Just talk to them, ask them your questions and respond to their answers. If you start or become antagonistic you are not going to get the information you need.

5. Be Polite

Thank the person for their time at the end of the interview and if possible, let them know when and where the story will be published.

Also, it’s important to write a thank you note to the person you interviewed to thank them for their time. It always pays to be courteous to interviewees, because you never know when you’ll need to interview them again

This article originally appeared on Medium

Feature image: (iStock)

“Grace” A Memoir by Grace Coddington

From the very first page, I completely enjoyed reading “Grace” A Memoir by Grace Coddington. Like most fashionista’s out there, I’ve had a mega-crush on the red-head fashion icon that is American Vogue’s Creative Director, ever since I first saw The September Issue the day that documentary came out in 2009. Before watching the documentary, I did not know much about her. Coddington was the unexpected star of the film. She was very warm and funny, unlike the Editor-an-Chief of the American Vogue, Anna Wintour, who was shown cold and intimidating. Since the documentary’s release, interest in Coddington and her career in fashion have been off the charts. And I feel as if though this memoir is her response to that documentary.

Like every other fashionista out there, once Grace Coddington’s memoir came out back in 2012, I ran straight to Barnes and Nobles to purchase a copy and carefully put it on my bookshelf, and haven’t had the time to actually sit down and read it, until last month, when we as a class were assigned to work on this memoir paper/presentation assignment. I was exposed to Vogue ever since I was 12 years old. And since I was 18 years old, I have been dedicated to this Conde Nast publication so much that I kept back issues from a decade ago until recently.

“It always arrived rather late in the month, and there were usually only one or two in stock. Presumably, Harper’s Bazaar was around then, too, but for me it was always Vogue,” (Grace – A Memoir by Grace Coddington, p30), Coddington describes how she anxiously awaited the arrival of a current issue of Vogue, which was at least three months outdated because she needed to order it on “rush-copy.”

After watching The September Issue, my admiration for Grace continued to grow. Although her memoir starts off rather slow and changes gears quite quickly, as Grace tells how she moved to central London as a young teenager to pursue modelling in the 60’s. I had absolutely no clue she had such a high profile modelling career and was basically the Karen Elson of her time. Being a top model, Coddington writes about how she was exposed to certain perks in the fashion industry, like traveling the world, wearing haute couture fashions (even as “model off-duty” wear), relationships with famous men within the scene; like Michael Chow of Mr. Chow restaurant fame and being friends with world known photographers like Bruce Weber, Norman Parkinson, Patrick Demarchelier, Helmut Newton and Annie Leibovitz.

I did not know that Coddington was so skilled with a pen and sketchbook. She has already published a book of her sketches proving her obsession of cats titled, The Catwalk Cats, she shows her age and shamelessly but confidently admits that rather than taking notes or photos while sitting front row during fashion shows, she prefers to sketch each look by hand as they come down the runway. The old school way. As well as, two photography books of her work titled, Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue, and her recent photography book titled. Grace: The American Vogue Years.

In 1986, Coddington also worked as a Creative Director at Calvin Klein for a short period of time after leaving British Vogue for New York City. In my opinion, the most charming parts of the book has to be her adorable sketches at the beginning of each chapter and the amazingly fun cartoon sketch in the inside cover of legendary Vogue editors and contributors.

I thought Coddington’s memoir is a captivating recount of her upbringing, her fashionable modelling years and life at British Vogue and American Vogue. Her words are accompanied by unique scribbly drawings throughout the book, the same style in which she would draw every outfit at runway shows as they walked her way in the front row. The book puts Coddington’s transition into perspective, from the naive, young girl in Wales to experienced, confident creative director at Vogue magazine.

I thought the book is very simply written. She stays consistent within each chapter. It doesn’t really jump around from one to text to another. The book is 333 pages. It has big text and is easy to follow along. It is definitely an easy read and you can finish reading the book in two day. It took me about two weeks to finish it, because I didn’t have time and was reading one chapter each night before bed.

I admire Coddington’s highly recognized position at Vogue, her love of cats and her undeniably intelligent, classy and down-to-earth personality, which immediately placed her in the top women I look up to. She looks like a crazy gypsy red-head and is the only person who can tell Anna Wintour that she’s wrong. If you’ve seen the documentary “The September Issue” it’s hard not to be taken with her. 

I will genuinely “steal” the effortlessly simply text, which Coddington communicates through her writing, and the consistency of each chapter. I love the way she relives times in her life, and is able to laugh at herself and share her honest reflections and opinions on the industry that she was destined to thrive and be successful in.

Grace Coddington will always inspire me to pursue a career in fashion.

This review was written in November 2017 for a memoir writing workshop at MSU Denver.

5 Ways To Creating Your Own Personal Style

Fashion advice: Confidence is the key

Growing up, my mother used to dress me up in bright blazers. Blazers with skirts, shorts, jeans and dresses. She has a very unique taste when it comes to fashion and interior design. When I was 4 years old, she bought me my very first blazer–I remember it very clearly, as though it was yesterday. The blazer was bright pink, the inside fabric color was white with tiny pink dots. I fell in love with it from the moment I saw it. That’s when I knew that my passion for fashion had just begun. My mom used to dress me up very chic for every occasion and even for the “everyday looks.” Trust me, if you’d ever met my mother, you’d right away think she works in the fashion industry. My mother is my style icon!

Throughout the years, I wore different types of blazers, from bright colors to uniquely shaped textures. You can dress up any look with blazers and accessories, such as bracelets, cocktail rings, long necklaces and scarves. I love wearing blazers with scarves. Short scarves, long scarves–it doesn’t really matter.

I would describe my style as casual chic with a bit of rock n’ roll twist to it. Music is my number one inspiration when it comes to styling. I can pretty much listen to a song and pick an outfit based on the music and lyrics I’m listening to. What can I say, I am an artist, and we are all creatively weird sometimes.

Finding your own unique, personal style is a long road to be traveled. It does not happen just after a good night’s sleep and dream about beautiful clothes, but is an adventure that takes several years. “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year. Style is what you pick out of that fashion. It’s a matter of finding the right pieces and putting them together to create a perfect ensemble that you look and feel stylish and comfortable in,” says Denver personal style consultant, Sarah Waddell.

I’m not a style guru, no Anna Wintour, and certainly no Kate Moss, but I have lots of different phases in my early 20s where I was always totally convinced that I had found my style.

And now, a few years on, the time has come that I carefully dare to say that I have found my own taste indeed. It took a lot of embarrassing moments but my personality is best reflected in the most basic, minimalist outfits without too much fuss, but always with a little twist, like a bright blazer. Clothing is a way to express yourself every day. But how can you find your own personal style, you may ask?

1. Find inspiration

If you have no idea what to put on, and you are clueless every day for your closet, it’s a good idea to look for inspiration. Scour the Internet in search of styles that you like, street-style images that immediately bring to mind you and outfits that you can see yourself in. Then dive into your wardrobe and combine it!

2. Do not be afraid to experiment

Without trying things out, you never know what you like and do not like, and especially what is and is not beautiful at you. Try all sorts of looks, play with colors and layers, and also just go to the streets. It might be a crazy feeling, but you’ll quickly know what outfits suit you and what you do not feel comfortable in.

3. Find your signature piece

Search for a particular item, such as a leather jacket, a blazer, or a good bag that falls anywhere to combine a 100% reflection of you. This way you give every outfit your own twist and create a more personal look.

4. Shape

Know what shapes and styles of clothing do not fit well with your body and buy clothes in the right size. Too small clothes make you look bigger than you are, and loose clothing can make you disappear. If you stand facing the mirror and see exactly what features you like about yourself and what you want to show to everyone, you can much more easily put together an outfit and make choices during a shopping spree.

5. Mix and match 

Fashion is and remains a party, without rules and with a lot of freedom. Do not be embarrassed to try new things, playing with trends and occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone. Remember girls: You don’t have to buy expensive clothes to look fabulous. Just mix and match. I personally love shopping at H&M and Bebe. If something looks great on me and it costs $5, no doubt I’ll buy and wear it.

Conclusively, it’s all about having a good eye and taste in fashion. And most importantly, it’s all about confidence. To me, fashion is art. My idea of fashion is not only what is seen in the fashion shows and magazines. Fashion is about what people around the world are wearing. It’s about original style and taste. Fashion is all around us.

This article originally appeared on theodysseyonline

And re-appeared on medium

Fear is a Bad Advicer

Fear is a bad adviser. This is a saying that we are exposed to at an early age. Because by believing in a monster under your bed, you are forced to lie in bed with your parents. Been there, done that.

Fear comes in very different forms of expression around the corner. No longer am I afraid of monsters or other critters in my bedroom and I even have my fear of spiders somewhat under control. And yet, I am confronted several times a week with a fear that I almost dare say, am not the only one who suffers from it.

Because everyone these days seems to be afraid. Scary. Can’t. Not good enough. These are words that are commonly used in a conversation about dreams. Out of your comfort zone steps, go for what makes you happy, choose your own happiness, work on your dreams and take your future into your own hands. It seems almost go hand in hand with fear, whilst it should be accompanied with joy, excitement and a tickle in your stomach.

If I live without me being guided by fear, doubt or more of these destructive thoughts, I’m going to focus on what I want in life. I notice that the ideas just start running. The time racing past the words on my paper seem to flow naturally from my pen and all kinds of exciting plans are being born in my head. And not only that. My body is participating enthusiastically. The butterflies in my stomach flutter at such sporadic wonderful speed in my belly, and a smile, that out of nowhere strikes out of my face with excitement. Inside, I feel the power flow and confidence in myself, which I haven’t felt in a very long time.

Why we are guided by fear? Why we believe in our ignorance, mistakes, and we can tell endlessly about all our failures, but at the same time, we let fear take over our goals and dreams?

With the entrance of this new year, I made myself a promise. And that is to no longer be guided by fears, but to believe in my own abilities.

And so I watch the fear in my bright eyes, and I fight against myself with the best weapon I have in my possession — positivity and confidence. Arguably, the two most important tools in choosing personal happiness and the achievement of set targets. Because deep down, I feel the butterflies flutter and I know damn well what I want and what makes me happy.

This article originally appeared on Medium

Featured photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

Immigrating to ‘New Kid’ Status

Being the new kid in class is not always an easy situation, especially when you move to the United States from a foreign country and you have no clue what “Where are you from?” means. At least, that’s what happened to me.

It was sixth grade. I was 12 years old and had just moved to the United States from Russia with my parents. I remember my first day of middle school like it was yesterday. It was mid-September and I was the new kid in class.

Yes, the new foreign kid in class who did not speak English. As you can imagine, I was terrified about fitting in and adapting to a new culture and language. I felt uncomfortable and awkward. The only few words and sentences that I knew how to say in English were hi, goodbye, thank you, you are welcome, what is your name and cheese.

Yes, “cheese.” I’m not sure why. I suppose whenever I used to watch American cartoons and movies, they all yelled “CHEESE!” when taking pictures, so the word got stuck in my head. Plus, I love cheese.

Starting middle school, I had to learn the English alphabet and basic grammar from scratch. Everything American kids learned in kindergarten I had to learn at the age of 12. At first it was challenging to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture and traditions. Everything was so new and not what I was used to.

I walked into my math class for the first time, and the next thing I knew, kids were standing all around me, asking me where I’m from. I did not know what “Where are you from?” meant at that time.

What came to my mind was, “What are they saying?” “Are they insulting me?” I was offended without even knowing what the sentence meant. I started smiling and saying, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak English.” The majority of the kids in class were very nice and understanding, and said that it was OK, I will learn to speak English in no time.

As the years went on, I got used to the culture and gained American friends. Each year, my English got better and better. I even started thinking in American-English, which is very interesting to me to this day. Though I must admit, critical analysis is not easy because there are still times when I literally translate what I am going to say in my head before I say it out loud. But that usually happens in formal situations.

One of my successful academic experiences so far was when I graduated from high school. After living in the U.S. for more than a decade, I realize now that education is very important in this country. Just like any other country, having a college degree makes you look professional, intelligent and educated.

When I graduated from high school, I literally felt like I was on top of the world. I felt very proud of myself. I’m thankful to all my wonderful English teachers who have helped and guided me through it all. Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible.

 

Piece originally published in The Metropolitan, MSU Denver’s award winning, student run weekly newspaper. mymetmedia.com

Fear is a Bad Advicer

Fear is a bad adviser. This is a saying that we are exposed to at an early age. Because by believing in a monster under your bed, you are forced to lie in bed with your parents. Been there, done that.

Fear comes in very different forms of expression around the corner. No longer am I afraid of monsters or other critters in my bedroom and I even have my fear of spiders somewhat under control. And yet, I am confronted several times a week with a fear that I almost dare say, am not the only one who suffers from it.

Because everyone these days seems to be afraid. Scary. Can’t. Not good enough. These are words that are commonly used in a conversation about dreams. Out of your comfort zone steps, go for what makes you happy, choose your own happiness, work on your dreams and take your future into your own hands. It seems almost go hand in hand with fear, whilst it should be accompanied with joy, excitement and a tickle in your stomach.

tumblr_inline_nuztveo71t1smgkdx_500

If I live without me being guided by fear, doubt or more of these destructive thoughts, I’m going to focus on what I want in life. I notice that the ideas just start running. The time racing past the words on my paper seem to flow naturally from my pen and all kinds of exciting plans are being born in my head. And not only that. My body is participating enthusiastically. The butterflies in my stomach flutter at such sporadic wonderful spead in my belly, and a smile, that out of nowhere strikes out of my face with excitement. Inside, I feel the power flow and confidence in myself, which I haven’t felt in a very long time.

Why we are guided by fear? Why we believe in our ignorance, mistakes, and we can tell endlessly about all our failures, but at the same time, we let fear take over our goals and dreams?

With the entrance of this new year, I made myself a promise. And that is to no longer be guided by fears, but to believe in my own abilities.

And so I watch the fear in my bright eyes, and I fight against myself with the best weapon I have in my possession — positivity and confidence. Arguably, the two most important tools in choosing personal happiness and the achievement of set targets. Because deep down, I feel the butterflies flutter and I know damn well what I want and what makes me happy.

This article originally appeared on Medium

Featured photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

“Grace” A Memoir by Grace Coddington

“Grace” A Memoir by Grace Coddington

From the very first page, I completely enjoyed reading “Grace” A Memoir by Grace Coddington. Like most fashionista’s out there, I’ve had a mega-crush on the red-head fashion icon that is American Vogue’s Creative Director, ever since I first saw The September Issue the day that documentary came out in 2009. Before watching the documentary, I did not know much about her. Coddington was the unexpected star of the film. She was very warm and funny, unlike the Editor-an-Chief of the American Vogue, Anna Wintour, who was shown cold and intimidating. Since the documentary’s release, interest in Coddington and her career in fashion have been off the charts. And I feel as if though this memoir is her response to that documentary.

Like every other fashionista out there, once Grace Coddington’s memoir came out back in 2012, I ran straight to Barnes and Nobles to purchase a copy and carefully put it on my bookshelf, and haven’t had the time to actually sit down and read it, until last month, when we as a class were assigned to work on this memoir paper/presentation assignment. I was exposed to Vogue ever since I was 12 years old. And since I was 18 years old, I have been dedicated to this Conde Nast publication so much that I kept back issues from a decade ago until recently.

“It always arrived rather late in the month, and there were usually only one or two in stock. Presumably, Harper’s Bazaar was around then, too, but for me it was always Vogue,” (Grace – A Memoir by Grace Coddington, p30), Coddington describes how she anxiously awaited the arrival of a current issue of Vogue, which was at least three months outdated because she needed to order it on “rush-copy.”

After watching The September Issue, my admiration for Grace continued to grow. Although her memoir starts off rather slow and changes gears quite quickly, as Grace tells how she moved to central London as a young teenager to pursue modelling in the 60’s. I had absolutely no clue she had such a high profile modelling career and was basically the Karen Elson of her time. Being a top model, Coddington writes about how she was exposed to certain perks in the fashion industry, like traveling the world, wearing haute couture fashions (even as “model off-duty” wear), relationships with famous men within the scene; like Michael Chow of Mr. Chow restaurant fame and being friends with world known photographers like Bruce Weber, Norman Parkinson, Patrick Demarchelier, Helmut Newton and Annie Leibovitz.

I did not know that Coddington was so skilled with a pen and sketchbook. She has already published a book of her sketches proving her obsession of cats titled, The Catwalk Cats, she shows her age and shamelessly but confidently admits that rather than taking notes or photos while sitting front row during fashion shows, she prefers to sketch each look by hand as they come down the runway. The old school way. As well as, two photography books of her work titled, Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue, and her recent photography book titled. Grace: The American Vogue Years.

In 1986, Coddington also worked as a Creative Director at Calvin Klein for a short period of time after leaving British Vogue for New York City. In my opinion, the most charming parts of the book has to be her adorable sketches at the beginning of each chapter and the amazingly fun cartoon sketch in the inside cover of legendary Vogue editors and contributors.

I thought Coddington’s memoir is a captivating recount of her upbringing, her fashionable modelling years and life at British Vogue and American Vogue. Her words are accompanied by unique scribbly drawings throughout the book, the same style in which she would draw every outfit at runway shows as they walked her way in the front row. The book puts Coddington’s transition into perspective, from the naive, young girl in Wales to experienced, confident creative director at Vogue magazine.

I thought the book is very simply written. She stays consistent within each chapter. It doesn’t really jump around from one to text to another. The book is 333 pages. It has big text and is easy to follow along. It is definitely an easy read and you can finish reading the book in two day. It took me about two weeks to finish it, because I didn’t have time and was reading one chapter each night before bed.

I admire Coddington’s highly recognized position at Vogue, her love of cats and her undeniably intelligent, classy and down-to-earth personality, which immediately placed her in the top women I look up to. She looks like a crazy gypsy red-head and is the only person who can tell Anna Wintour that she’s wrong. If you’ve seen the documentary “The September Issue” it’s hard not to be taken with her. 

I will genuinely “steal” the effortlessly simply text, which Coddington communicates through her writing, and the consistency of each chapter. I love the way she relives times in her life, and is able to laugh at herself and share her honest reflections and opinions on the industry that she was destined to thrive and be successful in.

Grace Coddington will always inspire me to pursue a career in fashion.

This review was written in November 2017 for a memoir writing workshop at MSU Denver.

Top 5 Tips on Interviewing

After nearly two years of attending Metropolitan State University of Denver, where I majored in journalism, I avoided any writing that involved interviewing. Since I’m a shy person by nature, interviewing people meant talking to people and these people would expect me, as the interviewer to know what I was doing. So, because I didn’t know how to interview and because I was, quite frankly terrified of interviewing, I kept my writing life easy and just didn’t offer to write any articles where an interview would be needed.

At the end of my sophomore year, I learned that if I wanted to progress as a journalist, I needed to stretch myself, to go beyond my comfort zone. I felt more comfortable interviewing people than I did prior to that.

Here is what I have learned when it comes to comfortably and confidently interviewing sources:

1. Do Your Research/Go Over Your Notes

I think it’s very important to take a few minutes prior to your interview and re-read your notes and your questions. Focus your mind on what you aim to achieve from the interview.

2. Be Organized

Do be prepared to vary from your list of questions in the light of what you learn during the interview. If your interviewee says something you want to know more about, then ask them about it.

3. Speak Clearly

Take a deep breath when beginning the interview, speaking slowly, clearly and confidently. I’ve learned that most people are happy to be interviewed and keen to get their point of view across.

4. Respect Other People’s Opinions

Being polite and neutral is the key in my opinion. You are not there to judge the person or their opinions. Just talk to them, ask them your questions and respond to their answers. If you start or become antagonistic you are not going to get the information you need.

5. Be Polite

Thank the person for their time at the end of the interview and if possible, let them know when and where the story will be published.

Also, it’s important to write a thank you note to the person you interviewed to thank them for their time. It always pays to be courteous to interviewees, because you never know when you’ll need to interview them again

This article originally appeared on Medium

Feature image: (iStock)

Feature | How Online Dating effects the Way College Students meet on Campus

It’s difficult to meet people on campus organically, because everyone is too sewn to their phones and thinking of what their next move is going to be on Instagram or Snapchat. A lot of 20-somethings may just look for a hookup, however, there are college students who look-or-are looking for something a little more serious and mature.

Online networking is incredibly easy to meet people, but to meet potential lovers is tough. You can’t tell if someone is interested, not interested or just being a creep. If it doesn’t work out romantically, there is no shame in befriending an ex-potential date. You may still be compatible, just not the way you had originally intended to be.

Emily Friedman, a sophomore English major at the Metropolitan State University of Denver said:

“I have only used online dating sites and apps such as Tinder very infrequently, but I have gone on a couple of dates thanks to these sites, and I can say that a date with someone you met online and a date with someone you met, let’s say, at the grocery store have a very different feel. The basic human skills you get from having a conversation with a stranger, such as eye movement, posture, vocal inflection, etc. is completely lost when meeting an individual via internet,” Friedman said.

According to Friedman, text on a screen can tell you people’s opinions, their favorite kinds of things, what their hopes and dreams are, but it cannot let you know if you will talk over each other in conversation, what they will sound like, or if you all will have any kind of chemistry.

“This leads to a lot of disappointing dates. I have yet to have a date be fulfilling both emotionally and physically. Sometimes one, usually neither. You may say that this could be me being too picky, but from my experience, the dates always feel like trying to put on a glove that is just too small. You can pretend the glove is fitting, and you could probably get away with it for a little bit, but your hand will become uncomfortable after a little while,” Friedman added.

Despite the risk of online dating, Friedman still holds hope and faith within her that someday she will find the perfect match.

“With that being said, I really enjoy the idea of meeting people who match what you want on paper. I do think online dating has its place, and apparently it works for a lot of people, and it opens you up to a sea of available people looking for the same thing you are, but something is lost when meeting people online. Maybe whatever it is can be gained back through something long term, but I have never made it that far. I guess you just have to keep trying,” Friedman said.

Nowadays it’s considered strange meeting someone at a bar more romantic than finding them online. Users of dating apps are actually being proactive about finding someone. Online dating shouldn’t feel “artificial” because it is just an alternative way to meet people.

According to Zachery Simms, senior English major at the Metropolitan State University of Denver:

“Online dating, in my opinion, is a great concept, and might actually work for many people, but the thing is – attraction, especially for women, isn’t just about looks. A man can be very handsome but still ‘the one’ for her because his behavior is off putting (arrogant, not manly, whatever reason). And since online dating, is at first based on looks, it’s an imperfect system but hey, I guess it filters out a lot of people for you and it might actually cause you to end up with someone great.”

People feel super nervous meeting someone online for the first time because you never know if you’re just going to be friends or something more. Eye contact is one of the first ways to tell if someone likes you, and that can be a tricky gesture to understand clearly. If you don’t like them or they don’t like you, it’s not a big deal at all. If you do like each other, you’re connected immediately. Once it’s settled that you both like each other, why wouldn’t you say hello?

“Just don’t think that setting up a list of wishes and demands for you partner and putting it through the dating website will deliver you the perfect partner. That’s just not how attraction/love works. It’s still a decent way to meet people though, but people are too obsessed with meeting someone perfect that they don’t really pay attention to what’s out there,” Simms said.

Online dating is clearly a positive thing that has brought millions of people together who otherwise may never have had the opportunity to meet. Studies have shown that couples who meet online get married sooner and have more satisfying relationships. This shows that for those who are clear with their intentions and about they look for in a partner, online dating helps people do just that.

But there are obviously numerous problems that lead to many people being very frustrated with the medium, and abandoning it entirely.

Jessica Pearson, a senior philosophy student at the Metropolitan State University of Denver said:

“I was on Tinder for a couple of days earlier this year and then quickly unsubscribed when I realized my ‘swipe-right rules’ were pretty exclusive and defeated the whole purpose anyway. You’re basing preferences on photos alone so I quickly started saying “no” if any of the following were in (or prominent in) their photos: guns, cars, trucks, excessive drinking, smoking, tattoos, nudity, boobs (yep, in guys profiles, their “friends” boobs were quite common). So many photos had all of these at once it was almost laughable. It made me a very content single. I was happily not associating with any of these douchebags, and would happily continue this way.”

Online dating needs serious help from behavioral psychologists to address a lot of the frustrations people have with it. The fact that the online dating companies have an incentive for its members to stay single and active on their platforms is also a tricky hurtle to overcome.

 “It sounds judgmental but the whole concept is judgmental, photos alone can never describe someone. And people become more or less attractive to me based on their personality.

In theory I agree that online dating is a good way to overcome being stuck in a rut of your friends, and friends of friends, but take up a new hobby or two and you’re guaranteed to meet new people you’ll at least somewhat get along with. And worst-case you end up with a new skill. Or suggest a beer with a workmate that you think you might have a spark. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned,” Pearson said.

Those students who have tried online dating offer mixed opinions about the experience. Most have a positive outlook, even if they recognize certain downsides.

students

Users of online dating are generally positive but far from universally so about the pros and cons of dating digitally. On one hand, a majority of online dating users agree that dating digitally has distinct advantages over other ways of meeting romantic partners:

80 percent of students who have used online dating agree that online dating is a good way to meet people.

On the other hand, a substantial minority of these users agree that meeting people online can have potential negative consequences:

25 percent of students agree that online dating is more dangerous than other ways of meeting people. And that online dating keeps people from settling down, because they always have other options for people to date.

Overall, students who have used online dating tend to have similar views of the pros and cons with one major exception relating to personal safety. 45 percent of women who have used online dating, however, agree that it is more dangerous than other ways of meeting people.

Perhaps, the tricky part of meeting people online is that it only broadens the pool of people to choose from but does not help too much with the actual choosing phase, or any other phase of building a relationship. Not to say that the offline world cannot be deceiving, but wouldn’t you rather be certain that it will never be as deceiving as the online one is? What bothers people sometimes is the superficiality of our lives and online dating tends to encourage illusions.

Nothing tears a heart apart worse than illusions.

This article was written for an investigative reporting class at MSU Denver.

Feature | Matisse and Friends: Denver Art Museum’s Latest Exhibit

DENVER – Looking at the pleasing colors and understandable subject matter of the paintings in the Denver Art Museum’s latest exhibit, “Matisse and Friends: Selected Masterworks from the National Gallery of Art,” on display through Feb. 8, 2015, it’s hard to imagine that the artists were called “wild beasts” “les fauves” by Parisian art critics. Their bold use of colors and loose brush strokes were startling to the art world in the early 1900s. In their own bold fashion, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) has chosen to design “Matisse and Friends” in creative ways that make the most of the size and tone of the exhibition.

Fourteen paintings by Matisse and some of his contemporaries tell of a time when Impressionism “was becoming pedestrian, losing its power,” because everyone was doing it, according to Dr. Christoph Heinrich, who holds the position of Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the Denver Art Museum, “A new generation took it on, believing in the power of color and the immediacy of the scene.” He describes the paintings as ranking among the most important works in museums today, urging visitors to, “Have an encounter with these exquisite paintings that you can have a dialogue with.”

Screen-Shot-2014-11-12-at-4.28.08-PM“Regatta at Cowes” is by Raoul Dufy, a contemporary of Matisse’s and one of the artists featured in the exhibit. It is seen in detail, below, and in an exhibit room. [Photo by Irma Laliashvili’]

The exhibit is on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., while they remodel. At the Gallery, the paintings are displayed on white walls but Danielle St. Peter, master teacher for modern and contemporary art at the DAM and the exhibit’s designer placed them on walls colored purple, green and other colors found in each of the paintings. The effect accentuates the paintings and creates differentiated “rooms” the viewer can visit.

Multiple seating areas on ornate rugs provided by Shaver-Ramsey and props borrowed from the Denver Center Theatre Company invite museum-goers to linger at each painting. This design was inspired by a quote from Matisse painted on the entry wall of the exhibit:

“What I want is an art of purity and tranquility… so that all those who work with their brains… will look on it as something soothing, a kind of cerebral sedative, as relaxing in its way as a comfortable armchair.”

On the tables next to each seating area is a book of photographs, sketches and brief text about the artist whose painting is in that area.

In addition to bold-colored walls and opportunities to sit in front of each painting, St. Peter also created a different kind of audio tour experience. Usually, the tours offer historical references and explanations about the artist and that particular work. But St. Peter wanted to create more of a sensory experience. The viewer is encouraged to breathe deeply and relax; visually explore the painting with eyes open and then eyes closed, from memory; to imagine being in the scene, taking note of what is heard, smelled, felt and seen.

Although “Matisse and Friends” doesn’t have activities specifically geared toward children, the smaller size of the exhibit, bright colors, understandable subject matter and opportunities to curl up to view each work of art makes the exhibit more family-friendly.

“Matisse and Friends” is on view in the Gallagher Family Gallery on level one of the Hamilton Building and is included in Denver Art Museum admission. http://www.denverartmuseum.org.

Piece originally published in Metro-Post Telepgraph, post-telegraph.com