New Activities Around Campus

Yesterday, while looking at my daily student emails I came across an email that really caught my attention. The email was sent from the student community email regarding the Spring Fling. It has been a long time since we have been able to participate in activities in person such as trivia nights and movie nights at the Loma Theater. Reading this email made me really happy because I felt like it was another step closer to “normal life”. The thought of us coming together for another week-long event is heartwarming. 

One of the events being held that really caught my attention was Giant Chess at the east side of Fidel. One of my favorite tv shows that I watched last year while staying at home was The Queen’s Gambit. The Queen’s Gambit quickly became a fan favorite and anywhere I went I would hear someone talk about it. If you haven’t watched The Queen’s Gambit, it is literally a show all about chess. That show renewed my interest in chess and since then I have been playing a lot of chess in my free time.

Another event that really caught my attention was Laser Tag at the library. There isn’t much information on these events yet so it is left up to imagination. I imagined being in the library with laser guns wearing neon vests, while the lights in the library were dimmed. Another one of my favorite shows is Community and each season on the show the community college would have school wide paintball fights. Seeing how much chaos was created from the paintball fights made me think about how laser tag in the library would go. I’m sure it would be a lot less chaotic.

There are a lot of other fun activities planned for that week so make sure to check it out if you haven’t already! Since Socorro County just turned Turquoise the SGA is going to try to plan some more events. Besides the activities planned during Spring Fling week, there have also been a couple of announcements regarding movie nights at the Loma Theater. I’m very excited to see what other new events are announced over the remainder of the semester!


Alternative Spring Break

Hello readers, Tech students have just come back from one of the sporadic days off we are getting strewn throughout the semester as an alternative to spring break. Our normal spring break has been cancelled due to complications from current events, but I think I might like this more than a traditional week off for spring break.

I would argue having shorter non-routine breaks give greater emotional and logistical benefits than longer duration breaks per unit of time. This is under the condition that you are not going on a vacation during this time, which will not be very feasible during one-day breaks. By having a short non-routine break in the middle of the week one doesn’t get into the routine of being taskless which confers a novelty that allows one to appreciate their break even more. It also side-steps that end of break dread that one might experience at the prospect of having to resume work or school. 

I wish we could have this alternative spring break again next year, but I’m likely in the minority. I’m unaware of the number of students that actually go on a vacation for spring break during a normal year, but even for those that don’t there will be out-of-state students that would like to visit their family. So I wonder what proportion of in-state, non-vacationing students share my opinion on this?

~ Matthew

Let’s Talk About Internships

By now most of you have finished your first round of exams. Some of us (including me) may even be nearing the second round of exams. Luckily, we are also nearing March 18th. March 18th is a school holiday that was added to the academic calendar due to the absence of our spring break. I’m sure many of us are looking forward to having an extra day off.

This has been an extremely busy semester and because we are nearing the end of the spring semester, I assume that there are many students who are making plans for their summer break. Myself and many others that I have talked to are still on the lookout for internship opportunities. If you’ve been applying to internships over the past year, you may or may not be familiar with an email starting with “Thank you for your interest but….”. Unfortunately, you may be all too familiar with receiving an email like that. Even though it may be pretty disheartening to be turned down for an internship opportunity, the most important thing to remember is to keep trying. It’s very easy to lose motivation after seeing many opportunities fall through and decide that you gave it your best shot and will try again another time.

If you are currently in the process of applying for internships, or if you plan to start looking, it is always a good idea to do some research and read some tips about how to make your resume stand out. Your resume is probably the most important item you submit when you’re applying for internships because it will tell the company everything they need to know about you. Your resume tells them your skills, education status, and any previous work experience that may be relevant.

I always try to update my resume as often as I can. Therefore, I am always on the lookout for any important emails or newsletters that offer any resume advice. New Mexico Tech frequently sends out information for any Resume workshops being held. In fact, a couple of days ago I received an email from the school about the Sandia National Laboratories Resume Workshop and Review being held on March 30th and March 31st. All you have to do is upload your resume which will be reviewed by a Sandia National Labs Professional and they try to match you up with an NMT alumni in your academic area. This seems like a great opportunity to get some really good advice on how to update your resume!

I wish everyone who is internship hunting good luck!


Preparing for Midterms

I hope everyone’s pre-spring is going well, here in Socorro it’s finally warming up. We have one more week of midterms to get through before we get a slight break until the end of the semester comes up. Due to the current circumstances, I would like to talk about good habits for being a studious student.

One good practice is to review the chapter or lecture notes before the lecture. This will help prime you for whatever questions you may have over the material and will be able to have them resolved in the lecture itself. I would also recommend you use a digital note taking software, this allows you to take notes on the lecture slides so you can focus on adding any new information that is not included on the slides. After the lecture you change your notes into your own words after the class and organize them by concept.

Another helpful method I’ve been using is the Pomodoro Technique. In it you identify what tasks you need to do for the day and only work on it for 25 minutes at a time before taking a break. This has been very helpful for breaking my bad habit of waiting until the last minute before starting a project. It is a lot easier to get yourself to commit yourself to smaller chunks of labor instead of the total sum, which is a little discouraging.

These have been a few ways that I’ve been coping with midterms. I will let you all know next time if I survived this set. I hope that you all have a good March.

~ Matthew

Becoming a TA at NMT

Hey everyone, I hope you are all staying as safe as you can in this terrible weather and pandemic. I’d like to tell you about my experience getting hired on as a TA for NMT’s CS department. 

My experience getting the position was a little out of the ordinary since I didn’t apply for it. I think since I did well in one of the CS classes, they thought I would be a good candidate for it. So, if you are looking to become a TA I would suggest trying to get 100% on every assignment for the class. Even if you don’t meet the mark completely, ending up with a B shouldn’t put you at a disadvantage. I would also recommend to apply for the position unlike me. I also had a bit of an unfair advantage since the class was introductory programming and I already had two programming classes under my belt by the time I took it.

My second semester they have me working as a head TA for the class I originally assisted. If I had to guess their reasoning for wanting me it would have to be due to the fact that I never missed any of my scheduled hours, I helped them out with some extra events, and I would try to contribute as much as I could while I worked. I think these are generally good behaviors to exhibit for any job you get, as well as having a good attitude. It also isn’t the first time those behaviors have landed me with more responsibilities/hours.

Being a Head TA has been a fun learning experience so far. They’ve had me work on the schedules for our lab and general tutoring hours. I relearned a lot of excel to help me create it, since we had weird rules of how many general tutoring hours a person got based off of the hours they received. It also helped me create as even of a distribution of hours as well as class TA representation throughout the week. It has also been very important to have good communication with my peers and superiors, since I’ve been needing to lean on their knowledge due to my lack of experience in the role.

Overall, being a TA has enriched my university experience at Tech. It’s been a good way of making friends as well as provided valuable experience that I can take with me into my future career.

Discovering a New Hobby

It’s no secret that physical exercise is important to me. When the pandemic first began I started to do exercise at home by watching my new favorite exercise channel, Popsugar Fitness, since I wasn’t able to go back to the New Mexico Tech gym. 

Last year was a tough one for all of us as we adjusted to going fully online in our classes. I found myself sitting at my desk doing homework and watching lectures from 9am to 10pm. It became a daily routine and as the semester went on I found it harder and harder to find time to do some exercise and I found myself losing motivation to do even the smallest things. I’ve always made sure to take some time to myself and read a book or go on a walk with my dog and remember that it’s ok to take a break. However, for some reason even taking some time to myself didn’t seem to be enough as my motivation to do homework wasn’t getting any better. It felt like all of my homework was piling up. I stopped doing exercise and I didn’t realize it at the time but exercise gave me the energy I didn’t know I needed. 

That being said, it’s a brand-new semester that brings a lot of new interesting classes! This semester I enrolled in a volleyball class with my friends. When they brought up the idea to enroll I wasn’t very enthusiastic about it. I felt like I wouldn’t have time to take that class and my motivation to do much else other than homework was already pretty low. After a lot of convincing I decided to give it a try but the day I tried to enroll I couldn’t find the volleyball class on Banweb. The only two classes I saw under physical education were basketball and yoga. Since I couldn’t find it I decided that I gave it a try and the universe was telling me not to enroll in volleyball. A couple days later my friends told me that the volleyball course was actually under basketball, which was why I couldn’t find it. I thought that was funny because there actually isn’t even a basketball class. When you click on basketball it gives you a time session for volleyball. 

To my delight, I found out that you didn’t need to be a pro at volleyball to be in the class. Most of us hadn’t played volleyball since high school so we started out practicing the basics. After a couple sessions we started to play the actual game and it turned out to be tons of fun! I can tell that everyone is enjoying themselves. To my surprise, I found myself slowly coming out of my slump that I got into last semester. I was finding it much easier to find motivation to do my homework and focus more in class. It occurred to me a couple days ago that doing some exercise again has really helped me be in a better mental space! Not only did I regain a lot of my motivation but I also found a new hobby that I really enjoy, which is playing volleyball. 

This experience has reminded me how important it is to try new things. I hope I can encourage you to do the same! 


Career Fair and Workshops

            I hope everyone is doing good during this new year so far. Here at Tech we are almost one month into our semester. We just had our career fair this week, which is available to all students. There are also a ton of supplementary events to help students get ready for it.

            One of the events that I took part of was their resume writing workshop. There was a lot of good information in what employers are looking for in a resume. One tip they had was include your GPA, if it’s good. I’ve heard this go both ways though. Other workshops that they had were over interviewing skills and preparing students specifically for a virtual career fair. To top it all off they offered resume reviews where they would offer students feedback on their resumes. All of these were offered virtually and the resume reviews were also offered in person.

            I didn’t attend this year since I was working, but I probably should have asked for the time off to do so. It can be very important to get an internship position while you are still in school because it can end up being a big boost in the job-seeking process after graduation. So taking advantage of every opportunity the school provides for internship/job placement is generally a good idea. There is always next semester for me.


It’s Time for Finals Week!

The last couple weeks of a semester always feel bittersweet to me. On one hand, I’m closer to finishing my classes and then I’m rewarded with a nice long break to look forward to. On the other hand, I get closer to the week that I always dread, finals week. The thought of finals week always makes me nervous due to the long nights I stay up studying in order to be prepared to be tested on everything that I learned this semester. This is my 3rd year at NMT and after taking many finals I feel like I have developed a nice strategy to prepare myself for finals week. Below is a list of things some of the things I do to prepare:

  1. Hold study sessions with friends. 

Studying with friends has always been on my list of ways to prepare. Not only is it an opportunity to spend some time with your friends but you have the opportunity to ask your friends questions about a problem that you’re stuck on. It’s always good to see what other methods are available to solve the problem other than your professors method. My friends and I like to watch youtube videos of someone working through a similar problem so we can get a different perspective. 

  1. Meditate. 

This year I have gotten really into meditation and doing yoga. By the end of the night after spending some hours studying I start to feel really stressed and burnt out. No matter how much studying I get done I sometimes feel like it’s not enough, which is something I feel like a lot of us can relate to. Meditation always helps me relieve some stress and clear up my mind.  

Whether you decide that meditation could work for you or not, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and breathe when you’re feeling stressed out after a long day. You don’t want to push yourself to the point of exhaustion.

  1. Attend study sessions held by your professors

Perhaps one of the most helpful things you can do to prepare is to attend any review sessions held by your professors. These review sessions are a good way to go over any material that you may still be confused about. 

Even if your professors aren’t holding any study sessions, there are other options.  For example, NMT is holding a study extravaganza where you can easily reach out to a tutor to talk about a specific topic you need help on. This sounds like a good opportunity to get some extra studying in and I will definitely be taking advantage of it!

4. Don’t forget to take a break!

Perhaps one of the hardest things to do is learn how to take a break from studying. While you may feel tempted to keep going you should keep in mind that it’s ok to take a break when you need and to continue at a later time. 

One of the best feelings in the world is when you finish your final and turn it in. You immediately feel a ton of weight being lifted off of your shoulders. These are just a couple things I keep in mind to prepare for finals week and I hope you were able to gain something valuable from this. Good luck to everyone during finals week and have a good winter break! 


What Are You Thankful For?

Melody Beattie once said that “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more; denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion into clarity, a meal into a feast, a house into a home and a stranger into a friend”. 

We can all agree that this year has been filled with a series of ongoing unfortunate events, one that have affected us all in one way or the other. As a result, most of us are dwelling in the fear of uncertainty, focusing on what we no longer have rather than what we have. As we approach thanksgiving week, I am reminded about the things to be thankful for that many of us have taken for granted. I shall tell you these things and hopefully it will lessen your worries and help you realize what you are thankful for. 

What am I thankful for?

I am thankful for good health, having never experienced any case of infection in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. I am thankful for the ability to learn at New Mexico Tech because the leaders are constantly looking for ways to make the process of learning smooth while maintaining the safety of the students. I am thankful for good parents who are my support system, cheering me on even when the going is tough. I am thankful for mistakes because I have learned from them. I’m thankful for cellphones because they have made communication with friends and colleagues easy. I am thankful for good friends who I can call and discuss the matters that come with being a youth, like the struggle to succeed and unfortunate romances. I am thankful for laughter because it brings ease when my heart is burdened. I am thankful for time because it brings reassurance that things will get better. I am thankful for daylight because it reminds me that it is a new day. I am thankful for nighttime because it reminds me after a long day that it is time to rest. I am thankful for a bed to sleep because it enables me to repair my mind and be fit for another day. I am thankful for life because without it, this author would not be able to remind you my dear reader, the importance of gratitude.

So my dear reader, what are you thankful for?


Election Week

This week marks one of the most important times for the American people! The presidential election began on November 3rd and has been ongoing for the last three days. In most elections, the result is usually known by the end of the night. This time however, it is a very different presidential election than what we are used to. This year, you have people voting in person, voting early, or by mail. Due to this, the election is much different this year. All across the country, people have been anxiously waiting to hear the results over the last couple of days.

Either way it goes, I think we can all agree that the turnout this year has been absolutely incredible! In the 2016 presidential election, we saw about 139 million people vote. This election, over 143 million votes have been counted with projections that that number could go up to about 159 million votes! This would mark a record high number of ballots cast in a presidential election and be the highest voter turnout rate since 1900. I think that this in itself is such a great achievement!

I thought that NMT did a great job of trying to get as many students involved in this discussion. This included holding debate watch parties over zoom and sending occasional emails to the student body where they encouraged students to exercise their right to vote and encourage others to do the same. Students were also encouraged to attend the moderated discussion that began immediately after the debate watch party. This consisted of having an informative and considerate discussion on the issues surrounding the presidential election.

Tech also created a Student Voting Information website where they provided information to students regarding how to register to vote for the first time, the voting options that were available to us during the COVID-19 pandemic, important dates and deadlines, and much more. This year was my first time ever voting and by looking at all of the information that was provided to me on that website I was able to know exactly what I needed to do in order to be ready to vote.

To close this out I thought I would provide a fun fact about the voter turnout in Socorro county. According to the unofficial results provided by the secretary of state, the Socorro county voter turnout was 7,202.