NNNN Episode #19 with Zach Valencia

Fun show today talking with Zach about all things:

-Public Speaking





Like, Subscribe, Leave a 5 star review and above all- Enjoy:













NNNN Episode #18

Listen and decide what you think:



Power Ranking Nicknames That Send Me Into a Spiral of Fury and Anguish

By: Jake Sockett Twitter: @SockettJake

There is no better way to get me worked up than by calling me a nickname that comes across as condescending. That shit really just gets under my skin. Inspired by Pat’s tweet from yesterday, I’m ranking some common nicknames used.

Before we jump in here I want to just explain the context of the use of these nicknames. The context in which I am being called these names is when I don’t know the person very well and we do not really intend on getting to know each other that well (i.e., I’m at work and they are a customer, they are someone I know from class, they are a stranger on the train).

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

10) Man

Man is at the bottom of this list because it really doesn’t bother me at all. In pretty much any context I am okay with being called man. It’s not really a gender-neutral term so I can understand why non-men might get upset by the word. Interesting to think that saying “hey man,” is so normal and non-confrontational but saying “hey woman,” would be really strange.

Much to think about.

9) Dude

Pretty similar to man here, dude is a go-to “I don’t really know you but I need to get you to look at me so I can get off this train” word. The only reason it could kinda get me mad is that dude is a little bit more of a personal word than man, but I don’t really mind it.

8) Guy

Like the two before it, guy is pretty low-key. It can be said with some inflection to make it a little rude, but it’s overall not really a bothersome word. Nothing else to say.

7) Boss

Boss is an interesting one because it has been used on me both when I was the customer and when I was the employee.

Both times it got under my skin.

It’s just a simple situation of “why did you choose that word? Of all words?” I’m not your “boss” and I don’t want to be.

Leave me alone.

6) Bro

Bro sits right here because there is a degree of personal relationship needed in my book to be called bro but I understand that there are many out there who use bro on a whim and it works for them. There have been instances where I’ve been called bro by a stranger and not minded, but there are plenty of cases where a stranger called me bro and I thought, “I don’t know you, and I know I’m not your bro.” 

5) Kid

This might not apply so much to any non-Boston readers, but kid pops up a lot for me. Being called kid is kind of like someone flicking your ear. It’s not the worst thing they could do to you, but it’s fucking annoying isn’t it? It’s patronizing and the user is trying to imply that they’re older/smarter/more important through that word.

4) Chief

Chief wasn’t very common until Twitter took “I don’t know about that one, chief” and ran WILD with it for a very long time in a very dark period of Twitter History or “Twistory” if you will. The amount of times I’ve been in the mud pits of the reply section and gotten second hand anger from seeing that stupid Naruto gif of the guy doing Jutsus (I hope you know the one) is absurd.

Disagreeing with a take and using that as a response doesn’t make you right, you turd.

3) Champ

Champ is pretty much only something you want to be called by your coach/dad literally right after you’ve won a championship or by Joe Rogan/Dana White after you take a UFC belt. No other time has anyone thought “boy I wish I were being called champ right now!” 

2) Buddy

Like Pat said in his tweet yesterday, being called buddy is so demoralizing. It throws off your day and quite frankly your entire week. Getting hit with a buddy by pretty much anyone can fuck your life up, but when the girl you’re talking to smacks you in the face with a “thanks buddy!” after you tell her how cute she looked today, there’s no coming back.

1) Pal


Where do I even start with pal? It’s just so easy to spit out of your mouth at someone. When someone calls you pal, they are probably wanting to call you fuckface but just aren’t able to say that word because there are children around (always gotta think about the children). Reserved for only the lowest of the low, pal is not to be trifled with or dropped casually.

If you call me pal, from that day going forward it’s on sight.


Editor’s Note:

1st off- great piece by Jake.

2nd- Saw “boss” so I think I have an obligation to link to a certain someone:


How ‘Lost’ Changed My Life

By: Nicole Bates

Most of us college kids were pretty young when Lost aired on ABC back in 2004. But if you haven’t heard of the show by now? You must be living under a rock.

There are many differing opinions about the show (I think it  was a masterpiece) but regardless of what you thought about the ending or the last few seasons- Lost had a huge cultural impact.

I discovered the world of Lost right around the time I was working on the dreaded common app my senior year of high school. I remember that period as a magical time in my life because alongside the stress of applying to colleges; I was knee-deep in Lost. If you ask anyone I was friends with at the time- I didn’t talk about anything but the show.

I was obsessed.

I found myself in awe at the cast of characters. The writers of the show did such a great job at creating an ensemble of fully real and human characters. This, in combination with the life of the island itself is what captivated me. I was taken by the secret underground bunker, the Dharma initiative and the mysterious smoke monster that could shapeshift into a character’s worst nightmare. It was such an imaginative, beautiful, wonderfully horrifying world, and every time I watched I felt I was literally transported away from my life into the world of the show.

This may sound like an exaggeration  (I am a dramatic person) but when the show ended; I felt like I lost some friends. I had been with these characters all throughout one of the most stressful times of my life yet so knowing I had watched everything there would ever be of these characters was sad.

Contrary to popular opinion, I enjoyed the ending. I thought it was fitting for a bizarre, complex show that built its legacy off of always leaving the audience with unanswered questions. (I also did my fair share of research on theories about the ending and I found an explanation that made me quite happy with the way things panned out).

I could go on and on talking about Lost and all its idiosyncrasies, but that isn’t the point of this post. To this day, three years after I finished the show, I still hold the world of Lost close to my heart because I have such fond memories of the time in my life when I was watching it.

It was a time in my life when I had to come face to the face with the fact that high school was ending and I would be leaving home and all my friends to go somewhere new. Obviously, this prospect was exciting.

But change is always scary too.

With my future preying on my mind, watching this show made me long for island life. The thought of it was so appealing. I could live surrounded by exotic vegetation, watch an awesome sunrise/sunset every day, wander as I please, eat mangoes and live a simple but beautiful life.

Obviously, in Lost (pardon my French), a lot of fucked up shit happens. However, that is because it is a form of entertainment and as much as we might hate to admit it- things have to happen in TV shows so people keep watching. But if you take all the horrific things out of the equation, you are left with a lot of really tender moments in the show.

Moments like when they build a golf course in an open field, Sun’s garden grows herbs that can save lives, Desmond and Hurley’s genuine friendship with Charlie or Rose and Bernard’s home they built for themselves on the island away from all its madness!

My list goes on and on.

I know, not all these characters make it, and evil incarnate itself also lives on the island. But what the show taught me is that in these dark and hopeless times, love, happiness and beauty still exist- and these are often the times people are brought together.

In a world where I feel I hear nothing but bad news every single day, the idea of living on an island away from everything is extremely appealing. On an island, I wouldn’t have to pay attention to politics, I wouldn’t have a phone or social media to worry about, and I wouldn’t need a boring job because my life would be consumed with gathering food and making life work on the island.

I would be able to enjoy life for what it is really is. (Hopefully on this island I would be surrounded by loved ones, and we could enjoy each day there together)

Now I am talking about this “island” idea as if it were some radical idea I came up with, but it is most definitely not.  This idea of paradise has been written about over and over again. The idea is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden from the Bible or Thomas More’s Utopia which speaks of a perfect community set on an island, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which is set on a tropical island full of spirits and monsters.

People have longed for this life since the start of time, but I feel as a society we have moved further away from it rather than closer. I am not promoting a true “utopia”, because we all know from reading books like 1984, The Hunger Games, and Fahrenheit 451 that attempts at perfection always turn dystopic. But what I would promote from this “island” lifestyle is to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

We do not need to live grandiose lives to find fulfilment and happiness.

We all find happiness in different things. You might like to have a routine and embrace the daily grind in an effort to get rich or to support a family; but this is not the only option.

There is so much pressure on students to get the internship, so they can get the job, so they can get rich- when some people may not want that. As I’ve gotten older, I am starting to think I may be a lot happier with a simpler life (like running a bed and breakfast in the South of France or owning a flower shop in Maine. Who knows? The possibilities are endless).

I am not exactly sure what I want in life yet, but I do know I would like to work towards finding the magical feeling watching Lost brought me.

I found that the moments in the show that stood out to me the most (and still do) were the moments when the characters found companionship in each other and peace in discovering the joy the island had to offer.

What a concept.


Friday Feedback Loops

I know- I’m tired on a Friday afternoon too so there will be no 2,000+ word think piece on the history of America today.

Thank God.

Just a quick little piece to pontificate about over the weekend.

*deep exasperated sigh* alright, let’s just get this over with.

Let’s talk a little bit about feedback loops.

One of the reasons I’m starting to get so fired up about about education is due to the simple idea of a feedback loop. I’m not in the mood to go about making graphs and shit so I’ll just use arrows to show it.

Personal factors -> Behavior -> Environmental influences

I was given an example in class the other day that went a little something like this:

Personal factors: student with low self esteem

Behavior: student gets bad grades

Environmental influences: teachers/parents scold student for getting bad grade

And the loop continues.

It’s a fairly easy concept to understand. Personal factors lead to certain behaviors and then those behaviors are either reinforced or corrected by environmental influences.

I think it’s ridiculous to try telling a student with low self-esteem “Hey… stop that” and expect to witness any change. Similarly, a teacher giving a student a good grade purely out of sympathy and not the quality of their work is not setting them up for the phrase we hear all too often:

The real world (which, by the way, doesn’t saying “the real world” imply that we live the first 22 years or so of our lives with some sort of distorted fantasy view of life? Sorry, I digress).

For those reasons, I think the best option for dramatic change regarding struggling students is to alter the environmental influences around the student.

If a kid is struggling in class and getting bad grades maybe the best option isn’t to scold them and say “You didn’t study hard enough” , “Try harder”, or the ultimate shitty teacher cop out of “I don’t give grades you earn them” (we know, but as a teacher you’re expected to- um- how should I say it? Teach).

Maybe the best option is to… oh…I don’t know…

Provide some positive feedback that focuses on the reality of the negative behavior  but takes into account personal factors in order to determine a method of improvement best tailored to that student going forward.

I know- it’s a crazy concept.

You might think that most schools already do this but I disagree.

The smart kids are smart and the “dumb” kids?

They’re just not trying hard enough.

A teacher doing this just one time is not going to be enough to inspire change. It has to be a daily effort for every student in their classroom.

But Pat these teachers are grossly underpaid- why should they bother going the extra mile?

Did they think education was a gold mine industry going into it?

If you’re a teacher and you’re not giving total effort to every student in your class please do everyone a favor and just stop teaching. I would hate to think that you went through all those years of schooling and got all those fancy degrees only to hand out a worksheet and scroll through Facebook the rest of class.

If I don’t say it; who will?