International Interview Issue #4 Saudi Arabia

Name: Nasser Alsowayigh Home country: Saudi Arabia Age: 25 Major: Master's degree in Information Technology Management How long are you staying? I have been in the US for three years now. I did my undergraduate degree back home and then came here to study English and do my master's. Why did you come here? I have a scholarship from my country for Missouri Western. My country provides a list of universities that I can go to and Western was one of the universities on the list. I applied to different universities and got accepted to Western, that's why I came here. I came to America mostly for my English, since my bachelor's degree was Tourism Management and for tourism you need English because it's the universal language. What did you expect? I saw a lot of movies, maybe I had this idea American people would be similar to the movies. It is kind of different, but I like it here. People are friendly, I didn't expect that. I mean since there is history between my country and United States, and some people have a bad image about Muslim people and they think some of us are terrorists or we are very strict. So I was worried I might face some trouble but most of the people are friendly and they also think that I am friendly and open-minded. A good thing that I learned is to communicate with other cultures and religions and it's actually really fun. Favorite thing about America? Here I feel more free, not because my country is strict or anything like, but because people here don't judge you. In my country they might not judge you to your face but you can feel it, maybe it's just me but that is how I feel. The way you talk, the way you dress, the way you joke, you may face judgment in my country. But here you don't face judging, you just do what you want, whenever you want, as long as you don't break any law of course. That's something I like here. And also meeting new cultures, you can't find that in many countries. Least favorite thing about America? I can't really think of something. Maybe something about me, not America - that people don't speak my language, but that's not their problem [laughs]. But there is nothing in particular I dislike. What did you think about Americans before? What now? I didn't have stereotypes in mind, but as I said before I based my perspective of America on movies where they show people to be heroes all the time and romantic relationships in a certain way, and in real life it's very different. People act normally and not so exaggerated. What did surprise you? You know how sometimes media portrays something a certain way and you assume people all think a certain way, but when you talk to actual people they sometimes think the media is wrong and agree with you and are interested in my culture and religion, that's something that surprised me. They are more open-minded and still want to hear about my religion even after what they heard from the media. Favorite TV Show? I like Shark Tank and I like watching Family Feud, it's really funny. I also watch a lot of Netflix. Worst/best food and beer? Best food I tried in the United States is Burger. Worst one was steak. The steak back home is well-done, people here like it bloody. My favorite beer is Budweiser and my least favorite is Bud Light. Favorite experience? Chicago. I lived in Chicago for one and a half years and it feels like my country, not only my city. It's home to me. What do you miss most about home? My family, my childhood friends, food and how you can communicate with others way easier in your own language. I also miss my culture, I don't have to explain myself. Some of my people here face trouble praying. I don't say people are complaining when we do it, but we feel like we make people uncomfortable so we don't do it.

Caffeine Addiction

We all know the coffee addiction is too real - I’m sure it’s something most people have experienced at some point. However, did you know that coffee addiction is now recognized as a disorder? That is how dependent we have become on coffee. Although caffeine can be an amazing high, coming down from that high can be extremely painful. Not to mention the horrible headache that results from a lack of caffeine. The feeling is equivalent to airplane turbulence or that final exam you “studied” for. What happens when your daily coffee run turns into the make or break point of your day? Maybe you’ve overdone it and it’s time to cut back on the coffee. Here are a few symptoms you’ll experience: 1. Waking up grumpy at everyone. You wake up already exhausted and nothing can cure the pounding in your head. There is no right side of the bed when someone is giving up his or her addiction. What a great way to start the day… not. 2. Trying not to have any human interaction. You realize you are actually an unpleasant person without your coffee. Everyone annoys you and you don’t even want to be in public. 3. You realize you’ve been addicted to a “drug” for about twenty years. The struggle is so real and if someone tries to talk to you about it they will be slapped. 4. Anytime you hear the word "Starbucks," you have a small panic attack. The withdrawal symptoms are crippling, and you start seeing Starbucks coffee shops everywhere you look. 5. You feel like you’ll never be happy again. If you knew giving up your coffee addiction would feel paralyzing, you would have never given it up. You now feel crazy because you fantasize of drinking coffee not only in the morning, but every moment of the day. These notions are consuming you and now affecting your work, so it’s time to go back to drinking coffee… right! RIGHT?! Right?

Missouri Western’s Canvas

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Missouri Western’s Canvas is an on-campus literary journal creating a product that represents the campus as a whole. It is fully executed and distributed by an all-student staff. Dr. Kunkel, the staff advisor for the Canvas, believes this journal tells us who we are and the creative potential we have. “You should read this because it tells a story about them and their University,” she said. To showcase the best of Missouri Western’s work, this easy-to-carry paperback book contains not only short stories and poetry, but a collection of artwork, photography, graphic designs, original sheet music, lyrics and more. These have all been submitted from our fellow classmates and alumni - people we see and know around campus. Canvas is made possible through university funding, so it’s free to any and all students and staff affiliated with Missouri Western. The student Editor-In-Chief Crystal Crawford thinks a creative writing publication run by all students is needed. “Students can relate to other students in a way that faculty can’t,” Crawford said. Canvas allows hands on experience producing a publication. The student staff gets the opportunity to learn layout design, editing, proofing and printing skills. Dr. Kunkel said these skills are important for many students. “It’s hugely important in the English department because we have students who are earning an English degree with a Creative Writing in publishing emphasis,” Kunkel said. Not only is Canvas creating a product to support the artistic community that is unique and touching, but it also builds connections between its students. “If you can get your thoughts onto paper, in a way that someone else can read it, and they can relate to it, you might help them to realize that they’re not quite so alone,” Crawford said. Canvas is creating an experience for other readers. It only works if members of the Western community contribute to it. This documented piece of Western’s artistic voice conveys a message of the time we spent here. “It bring worlds to life, it brings feelings and people, emotions that you never would of even considered before to life, that you can connect to,” Crawford said. If you are a student who has any creative writing stories, a collection of photography or graphic design pieces, really anything that reflects your literary or artistic abilities, please bring your work to Canvas. There is still time to become a published author. You can submit by Feb. 20 to Canvas, Eder 222. There will be a launch party on April 30 for this year’s newly published Canvas journal. Students are encouraged to come.

Winter Drinks

The way to a freezing student's heart is undoubtedly through his stomach, so here are two fool-proof drink recipes to warm your fingers and stomach. Hot cider (Alcoholic) You will need: 3 cups of Apple Cider 1 cup of Orange Juice 2 ounces of Grand Marnier 2 pieces of cinnamon 5 pieces of star aniseed 4 pieces of cardamon Sugar to taste Heat everything up in a big pot, but don't bring it to a boil. Let everything sit in the pot for 30 minutes. Once it is cooled off a bit you can strain the hot cider and enjoy it immediately or fill it into bottles and reheat it later. My mom's hot chocolate (Non-alcoholic) You will need: 3 ounces of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips 1 tablespoon of sugar 4 cups of milk 1 teaspoon of starch Take half a cup of the cold milk and mix it with the sugar and starch. Take the rest of the milk, heat it up in a pot and add the chocolate chips. Keep stirring. As soon as the chocolate is completely dissolved, add the cold milk you set aside earlier and bring everything to a boil. Remove from the stove top immediately and keep stirring. Now it's ready to fill into mugs and drink. Tastes great with a dash of Baileys or cognac.

Nostalgia Aside: Star Wars Battlefront II

A long time ago, one of the best selling games of the Star Wars franchise was released.  Recently, I was able to purchase it from for my PC; Star Wars Battlefront II. I was expecting something just to occupy my downtime (what little there is) and at least relive the experiences I had with this game, but I got more than I expected. So let's dive in and explore why this game is still amazing. Currently, Battlefront II is still the third highest selling Star Wars video game so far, only being out sold by its predecessor Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Like the first Battlefront, this game is a first- and third-person shooter in which there are different classes of troopers to choose from. What set this game apart from the first game was the addition of space combat, which I will give more detail on later. I have to say that this game really did hold up well compared to today's standards of action or shooting games. I spent a few hours playing through the campaign called "Rise of the Empire," in which the player goes through events throughout the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War through the eyes of the Empire. While this is a departure for Star Wars in general to play as the villains, it was actually a big positive to me. Not because it's fun to be evil, but because it was refreshing to see this point of view and add its own storylines to better immerse the player and not just replay the same mission over and over again. The controls of the game are still responsive and easy to pick up for a novice player, or one that hasn't played the game in a few years, like me. There are still a couple functions in which the responses are slow - such as when trying to pilot a starship, it is difficult to turn sharply. There is also a delay in trying to throw grenades as a trooper, but it actually adds a little bit of a challenge in which the player has to compensate for to survive. I have a love/hate relationship with the space combat. The goal of these missions is to jump into the cockpit of a starship and either fly around shooting down enemy fighters, or to board the enemy ship and destroy its internal systems. I do enjoy the missions and being able to fly some of my favorite ships from the movies. However, my problems stem from a lack of real variety in the space missions. The game merely changes the position of the capital ships and the backgrounds of planets or deep space. Another drawback is the graphics. Even though normally we try to forgive the lack of great graphics, I was let down on the look of the capital ships. Star Wars: Battlefront II was a great sequel to the first installment of the series. Now that a new film is in the final phases of production, a new Battlefront will be released soon. So not only are Star Wars fans like me geeking over the fact that there is an Episode VII, but a new Battlefront will be on the next generation of game consoles.