Story & Photos by Kessley Miller
As college students, it can be difficult to find the extra money to spend on extravagant vacations or fun events. With the high cost of college, prioritizing how to spend money is crucial to be able to budget school, everyday expenses and leisure activities. It can be overwhelming to make plans for spring break with so many expenses, but here are some options to have a memorable spring break this year without leaving the Oklahoma.
1. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge: Located in Lawton, this is a short hour and a half drive from the Oklahoma City Metro. Here you will find many activities to do such as nature walks, fishing, rock climbing and beautiful scenery overlooking the mountains. A great time to go would be during the sunset as the sky changes colors from blue to a pastel pink.
2. The Plaza District: This artistic area of Oklahoma City has a number of eccentric shops, restaurants and beautiful murals to look at while venturing from shop to shop. Here, you can eat some pizza at Empire Slice House, get an ice cream at Roxy’s Ice Cream Social and then have a photoshoot in front of one of the many murals.
3. Turner Falls Park: Located in Davis, an hour and 15 minute drive down I-35 South, there is a blue waterfall that flows into a pond that is available to the public to swim in on warmer days. In this park, there is also zip lining, hiking trails, picnic areas, etc. Be sure to stop by The Arbuckle Fried Pies, right outside of the park, for a sweet treat as well.
4. Oklahoma City Zoo: For all the animal lovers out there, this is the place for you. A new elephant exhibit allows visitors to walk out on a deck overlooking the elephants and watch them in their habitat. Patrons can be on the lookout for the latest addition to the herd. Baby elephant Kairavi was born in October 2018. Prices are $11 for adults and $8 for children and senior citizens.
5. The Escape OKC: Put your mental abilities to the test at The Escape OKC. Visitors are immersed in the mid dle of a scene that requires working together as a group to figure out the puzzle and “escape” from the room before time runs out. For group rates, the prices start out at $24.
6. Oklahoma City Museum of Art: Located in the heart, Downtown Oklahoma City, the OKCMOA is home to one of the largest glass sculptures ever created by Dale Chihuly. The current exhibit hosted by OKCMOA is Ansel Adams and the Photographers of the West which opened Feb. 1 and is here until May 26. Admission is $12 for
adults, but with a group of 15 or more, admission is just
7. iFly Indoor Skydiving: For the thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies out there, this is the perfect place. Located in northwest Oklahoma City, this indoor facility allows customers to suit up and actually have the experience of skydiving from indoors. After practicing with an instructor, the visitor steps inside a giant cylindrical tube that gives the feeling of falling from the sky. Prices range from $59.95 to $86.95 depending on the type of flight.
8. Great Salt Plains State Park: A unique state park located in Northern Oklahoma, this park allows visitors to walk on grounds that are about half as salty as the ocean. Visitors are able to literally lick the ground to taste the salt.
9. Pops: Take a short drive to Arcadia up Route 66 and enjoy a refreshing soda from Pops. There are more than 700 drinks to choose from and diner-style cooking with vibrant walls that are covered in different soda bottles. There is also a great place for a photo opportunity in front of the giant soda bottle in the parking lot.
10. Beavers Bend State Park: This state park is located in the southeastern area of Oklahoma. Visitors can try activities such as float trips, canoeing and horseback riding. There are many beautiful scenic views of this mountainous region. This state park would be the perfect place for a weekend or day trip.
11. Washita Battlefield National Historic Site: This site is the location of Lt. Col. George A. Custer’s surprise attack on the Cheyenne Village of Peace Chief Black Kettle. This site is home to a tragic event in history and now visitors are able to learn what truly happened on the Washita River by going on ranger-led tours, seeing the Washita Native Garden and experiencing views of the Washita River Valley.
12. Oklahoma City Underground: At this hidden gem underneath Oklahoma City, visitors are able to walk around brightly colored lit up tunnels. These tunnels connect parking garages and businesses. This is a place to have photoshoots and see an artistic perspective of what were once just normal walkways.
13. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum: Walking around the grounds of what is left of the Alfred P. Murrah building is an uneasy experience, but learning about the history of that fateful day in April 1995 shows visitors the impact Oklahomans made when they were able to come together.
14. Oklahoma lakes: Oklahoma is home to the most man-made lakes in the United States and they are all over the state. There are options to go to nearby lake or take a road trip, and there is even the choice between visiting a large lake or small lake. There are so many activities to do at a lake, such as camping, fishing, nature walks, boating or having a campfire.
15. Wheeler Ferris Wheel: Located within the Wheeler District of OKC, this Ferris wheel was originally from California, but is now open and offers rides to visitors. This Ferris wheel is now an iconic landmark in Oklahoma City. No matter what your budget is this spring break, there are so many different options that a person has to make it a memorable week. Expensive trips might not be realistic, but grabbing a group of family or friends and going to do something new is always special. For more ideas of activities or places to visit, go to www.travelok.com.
Story & Photo by Carmen Jacobs
“It’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” and other similar sayings are frequently quoted when it comes to the subject of attraction. The media perpetuates the narrative that physical appearance should not be a factor in the pursuit of romantic relationships. Simultaneously, the media contradicts this and maintains a fixation on superficial, aesthetic qualities and continually inundates the public with templates of what an attractive person should look like. The entertainment, fashion, makeup,social media and dating app industries are some of the biggest culprits.
For example, Tinder is a popular dating app structured in a way that forces its users—all 50 million of them—to choose potential partners based almost purely on their looks. This allows users to find dates quickly and maximize their chances of finding a desirable partner. The media’s impact on the degree to which people value aesthetic is undeniably powerful. However, as powerful as it may be, is it the only factor influencing human attraction? Or are there internal, individualistic factors that influence whom one is attracted to? In every corner of the world, there is diversity in the attractiveness of people in relationships. If people had to fit society’s image of beauty to date, only a miniscule amount of people would be in relationships.
So what else is it that drives physical attraction?
Humans are born with a psychological mechanism that causes individuals to almost exclusively seek relationships with people in their own perceived realm of physical attractiveness.
However, the main key to this concept is that this behavior is not only involuntary, but subconscious. It does not just apply to people turning a blind eye to those deemed less attractive than them; the principle also applies to people deemed more attractive than them.
Of course, there are many couples who exhibit drastically varying levels of attractiveness who appear to be exceptions to this rule. Non-physical, features such as money, power, status and fetishization can, and often do, impact relationship pairings. Still, these relationships cannot be fully regarded as “exceptions” to the scientific rule.
According to Rose State Psychology Professor Dr. Richard Wedemeyer, people make the conscious decision to date someone for superficial reasons.
“This behavior is actually immoral, perhaps this is what people are thinking of when they think shallow.”
As it seems, the stereotypical belief that people in unequal relationships are likely dating their partner for superficial benefits is relatively true.
“This is why when we see an unlikely couple-an odd pairing walking down the street, we feel a bit of initial shock-we are a bit surprised. We feel this way for a reason—it’s not ‘normal’,” Wedemeyer said.
Considering that shallow relationships are driven by ulterior motives, it is logical to conclude that these couples do not actually defy the psychological principle. These relationships are created with shallow, ingenuine intentions, sacrifice the core values of a true, healthy relationship are sacrificed.
Even accounting for the impactful psychological factors, it is not surprising that someone in a high position of power would pursue a relationship with someone perceived to be far more attractive than them. The media gives society the impression that being in a relationship with someone seen as extremely physically attractive is a coveted accomplishment. This is one way the outer influence of the media still finds a way to override human nature and psychological instinct.
All things considered, this situation also does not break the scientific rule: the described person above would not be seeking a true connection to begin a sincere relationship. Instead, their desires and impulses would be almost completely superficial.
These examples and many others reflect how powerful the media’s influence can be on relationship formation and physical attraction. It is a powerful force that affects everyone in various ways.
Yes, looks do matter—and not only because the media tells society they do. While the media’s outside influence does play significant role in relationships and attraction, the inner workings of the brain are what actually determines whom individuals view as an ideal match. In this respect, the aforementioned saying takes on a new meaning: “It’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside.”
Styling and Maintaining Type 4 Curls
Story by Selena Williams
Photos by Julie Archer
Although society does not have the ability to tell people what to do with their hair, it promotes a standard of what beauty should look like. The media’s representation of beauty is so narrow and people who are not confident in themselves can fall prey to altering their appearance in order to feel accepted.
According to Taniah Herron, a sociology major at Rose State, hair was considered to be good straight or wavy in her family. Taniah has type 4c curls and her mother, Tamica Webster, has type 3a curls.
“Growing up even to this point, I still have people in my family that believe that good hair is biracial hair or straight hair,” Herron said. “You know, the finer the hair the better the hair or the more defined the curl is, the better it is. Still, to this day, I look at it like that, you know the easier your hair is to tame the better your hair is. So, you know I do like my hair, but at times I look at it like ‘Oh, I wish I had this person’s hair,’ because society tells us that’s what good hair is.”
Soon-to-be aesthetician and Rose State biology major Olivia Tarver thought the same.
“I feel that society tells us that natural hair should be straight and you shouldn’t embrace your curls,” Tarver said. “It took a while to start loving my naturally curly hair, but I think being natural made me look at myself like I'm worth more, it made me realize that I don’t need to be what society considers unique.”
According to Herron, people prefer straight hair because it is considered to be more clean and classy.
“I remember people coming up to me when I first really started wearing an afro, they would say, ‘oh, my gosh!’ I really love the wild hair,’” Herron said. “I don’t really know what that means; maybe they’re saying that curly hair is considered to be out of the ordinary and that’s what makes them feel so uncomfortable because nobody’s curl pattern is the same. No matter if you have 4a or 4c, we all have different curl patterns. Our hair flows a certain way whereas, with straight hair, you either have thick or thin.”
Types 4a and 4c curl types do not have a defined curl pattern. It shrinks 70 percent more than any other hair texture.
How to moisturize type 3 or higher natural curly hair
Deep conditioning, oil treatments and hair masks are the best for keeping curly hair moisturized and fresh.
“I think a person with naturally curly hair should deep condition twice a week,” Tarver said. “Also, what keeps your hair healthy are scalp massages, they will promote hair growth and blood circulation.”
She also emphasized the need for leave-in conditioner.
“Wet Line Xtreme Professional Styling Gel is a great gel to use on curly hair because it won’t make your hair feel crunchy. Some other products to use are Nairobi, Shea Moisture, TGIN (Thank God It’s Natural), Carol’s Daughter and Camille Rose Naturals Products.”
How to maintain naturally curly hair
“Protective hairstyles like braids and twists are a perfect way to maintain curly hair and to promote hair growth,” Tarver said. “Also, stay away from any products that contain alcohol, sulfates and parabens; use satin hair ties when you put your hair up in a bun or ponytail to avoid breakage.” It is also important to avoid over processing hair.
“If a person with curly hair wants to switch up their hairstyle, I recommend them straightening their hair only once or twice a year,” Tarver said.
In spite of societal standards often determining what is considered beautiful, curly hair is natural and learning to care for it can help women better appreciate themselves.
For a hair texture quiz, visit naturallycurly.com.
Story and Photos by Tanner Pipins
Springtime may not be in full bloom, but plant lovers can still visit thousands of plant varieties for free at the Myriad
Oklahoma City’s Myriad Botanical Gardens opens its doors to the public for free tours on the last Saturday of each month. From 10-11 a.m., the guided tours will take visitors down two different paths: “Plants for Water Conservation”
and “Plants for Color.”
Located on the southwest corner of Reno and Robins the 13,000-square-foot Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory
serves as the home to about 2,000 different types of plants. The outside grounds of the garden include a collection full of
13 plants native to Oklahoma.
After becoming a non-profit organization in Oklahoma City in 2014, the Gardens started the Myriad Gardens Walking
Tour. That became a tradition after its inception and has served the community ever since. On a month-to-month basis, the Gardens usually has about 20 guests
“The Myriad Botanical Gardens is one of Oklahoma City’s most beloved public spaces,” said Joel Bramhall, the director of education at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. “Offering its visitors a 15-acre natural escape in the very heart of Downtown, it provides our guests, young and old, with a place to seek solitude with nature, or seek community and the company of others.”
Additionally, there are attractions and expansions happening to the Gardens. The Visitors Center, located on the south end of the Gardens, is two months into its
most recent remodel.
Coming soon is Scissortail Park, which is a 70-acre expansion under the Umbrella Organization that will open later this year. As of right now, they are anticipating a September or October grand opening. For more information on bookings and tours, visit oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com.
Story & Photos by Bella Kok
Ink Master is a competitive tattoo show that airs on the channel Paramount. Between the passion portrayed through the art and the competitive edge, Ink Master is the show to watch. With $100,000 and the title of Ink Master on the line, ten tattoo artists compete in a series of competitions in New York, to prove who is indeed the ultimate “Ink Master.” The spin off show Ink Master Angels stems from Ink Master a show where four of the top previous female Ink Master winners, also known as Angels, travel the United States and compete against local artists to win the ultimate Ink Master Angels title.
a tattoo in their own style. After two hours the tattoos are judged by the Angels and two of the local artists advance to the next round. Per round-two rules, the tattoo must be of something that represents the city the local artists are in. The angels have the local artists tattoo a Native American headdress tattoo but, the tattoo must be done with photo-realism aspects.
After round-two, the local artist Drew Shurtleff is ready to battle against Angel Nikki Simpson. Before the tattoo commences, the competing artists sit down and meet their canvases in order to discuss what direction they want their tattoos to go. For the Oklahoma City Ink Master Angels, the two canvases are widely known Oklahomans, Aren Almon and Chris Fields. Almon and Fields are known for the picture of the firefighter carrying the deceased baby on April 19, 1995 when a bomb exploded in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. The baby was Almon’s 1 year old daughter, Baylee Almon, and the first responder was, now retired, OKC Firefighter Fields.
“As a father of a young daughter, with a young son on the way, it is a terrifying to think about not having your children,” Shurtleff said. “If I could pull this tattoo off and give her what she really wants, then I am going to call it a win.”
Shurtleff and Almon, decided on a tattoo design that represented a star that was purchased in honor of Baylee, Almon’s daughter, following her tragic death. “I wanted it to appear as though I was holding her star. The tattoo makes me feel like I am getting to hold her again. I love it,” Almon said.
Nikki Simpson, the Angel competing against Shurtleff, got the honor of tattooing Fields. “I usually like to do something a little bit more illustrative, but today I am doing something more realistic. I am doing stone and marble which looks old and cracked and has little holes and pores in it. I am a very versatile artist and I am not afraid of a challenge like this.” Simpson stated confidently. The tattoo inspiration for Fields and Simpson was Saint Anne.
With the six-hour final round wrapped up, the other Angels, the eliminated local artists and everybody in the crowd is received a metal angel wing to drop into the metal box after they viewed the tattoos up close. Once every angel wing is dropped and the votes are tallied the moment of truth appears. The winner is announced at last. In that challenge the winner was… NIKKI SIMPSON!
Story & Photos by Michelle Rojano
E-waste is considered to be anything discarded that is electrical, including electronic devices. Now more than ever, our society not only uses more electronic devices, but we also have a high level of turnover for electronics. This means we go through devices rapidly but we do not necessarily properly discard them.
“The rapid turnover [of] e-waste by modern society has caused this fairly new category of waste to become a major concern for environmental pollution issues, which could lead to public health concerns,” said Daniel Ratcliff, environmental science professor and coordinator.
E-waste that is disposed of improperly can result in toxic chemicals released into the atmosphere. According to Ratcliff, e-waste tested with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Characteristic Leaching Procedure contains more than 5 mg/L of lead. According to the EPA, children under the age of 6 are more vulnerable to the effects of lead. Effects of lead on children include lower IQ, issues with behavior and learning, anemia and hearing problems. In addition, pregnant women are also susceptible to side effects such as underdeveloped vital fetal organs, early birth, a smaller baby and can even be a cause of miscarriage.
According to Becca Stokes, Rose State alumna and environmental science major at Oklahoma State University, lead is not the only risk factor to tossing e-waste in the trash bin.
“[It] creates large amounts of solid waste that is full of toxic materials including mercury, cadmium, chromium and copper. When it accumulates in landfills, these materials are incredibly harmful to the environment,” Stokes said.
Chemicals in landfills can seep into our soil and water sources and even affect our air. According to the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, residue from e-waste in groundwater can result in humans consuming toxic water, which can have a negative impact on the nervous and reproductive systems.
Recycling electronics has been made easier with popular retailers offering recycling services. Target stores accept plastic bags, ink cartridges, MP3 players and phones. Best Buy recycles everything from broken charging cords to major appliances,
and they even offer haul away options for customers.
According to the Best Buy website, “Consumers recycle more appliances and electronics with Best Buy than any other retailer. The company collects more than 400 pounds of product for recycling every minute our stores are open — no matter what retailer the products were purchased from.”
Best Buy’s goal is to recycle 2 billion pounds of electronics by the end of 2020. In addition, Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma offers recycling for many items including phones. Recyclers of Oklahoma offers recycling for batteries, including car batteries.
Taking care of electronics and making them last is a great way to help reduce e-waste. Donating electronics is an alternative to recycling. Old computers can be donated to public schools or low income families. Computer brands like Apple and Microsoft Surface are known to have good quality items with great durability.
“[We should] update our electronics when needed, with the best brands that are shown to be more durable,” Ratcliff said.
Rose State takes part in reducing e-waste by auctioning or donating its old equipment. People interested in recycling electronics can start by having e-waste bins to toss broken phone chargers, batteries, remotes and other electronic waste. Taking old electronics to local retailers for recycling is another way consumers can safely dispose of electronic items. Sometimes, items may have a trade-in value and can result in extra cash. Appliances can be posted for free pick up or even donated to local appliance repair shops. Typically, they will be properly recycled or even used for parts to fix other appliances.
Recycling bins picked up by the city only take plastic, paper, cans and glass, not e-waste. According to the official website for the city of Oklahoma City, people should rinse cans, jars and bottles before placing in the bin. Boxes should be flattened and all items should be loose; placing items in bags can slow down the separation process.
For more information, visit okc.gov. For a full list of recyclable items and where to locally recycle them, including electronics, visit okc.gov/departments/utilities/recycling/beyond-the-bin.
Story by Danny Fritts
Pictures by Michelle Rojano
everything felt fine, until suddenly being engulfed with fear and panic as your body began to slowly fade. Your mind is full of clarity, but your body insists it is in danger. You try telling yourself everything is fine, but you convince yourself that everything around you is burning as you’re up in flames. Soon enough, you find yourself in a hospital bed, being told what you’re going through is depression and anxiety.
Meet Riley Ramsey. Ramsey is a junior at the University of Oklahoma and takes online courses in order to work two different jobs to support herself. This is not new to her since she has been working both jobs since her senior year of high school. She lost both her parents and two younger brothers in a horrific car accident just days before class started at Duncan High School. As resilient as she is, she said keeping everything bottled in for so long only made things worse.
“I didn’t want to live,” she said. “No family, no life, no real goals. Why go on, I thought?”
As unique as Ramsey’s case is, she is not alone. According to Mental Health America, 1-out-of-5 young adults between the ages of 17 and 26 are suffering from some type of depression or anxiety. This is a rate that can be caused by many different experiences in life or fearing the future.
Whenever life would throw her a curve ball, she did not know how to handle it at times. She convinced herself that everything was all right and those feelings would eventually pass. There were times she thought it was her fault her family was in an accident; like if she were with them, maybe things would have happened differently.
After her hospital visit, she told herself she needed professional help. Keeping everything bottled up for so many years put her in a dark place, a place she never wants to return.
Putting her mental health as a top priority was the first step. She was so consumed with trying to make everything perfect, she forgot about the most important thing: herself. Ramsey also said she is learning how to truly love herself.
“The past couple months have changed my perspective on life,” she said. “I am slowly realizing my self-worth and that help is always a phone call away. I am not alone.”
If you or someone you know is going through any hardship in life or just feel stuck, Rose State offers free counseling to all students and faculty. You can also call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, which is always available.
Story by Courtney Burleigh
As the years go by, it is safe to assume that society’s views on different issues and topics change over time. It is not unusual for the newer generations to prioritize different issues and have varying perspectives that differ from those of earlier generations, including topics that may have been considered unpleasant or even uncomfortable to discuss. Such topics include mental health, politics and even education. All of these have carried some relevance in society for decades.
Millennials Embrace Mental Health
Mental health is a topic that is no stranger to most millennials. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, millennials grew up hearing about depression, suicide, anxiety and eating disorders. Exposure to such information could suggest why younger generations have become more accepting of others with mental illnesses or prompting them to speak out and get help. However, this was not always the case. Humanities Dean Toni Castillo said when she was younger, the topic of mental health in the 1960s was rarely discussed openly. “Mental health issues were generally thought of as a weakness or oddity rather than an actual illness,” Castillo said. “Certainly alcoholism and drug addiction were viewed back then as a character failing rather than an illness. The stigma was being labeled as a person of weak character, or as a criminal.”
When the United States entered the Vietnam War in 1965, the links between mental health and trauma began to surface. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it was not until 1980 when the American Psychiatric Association officially recognized and named post-traumatic stress disorder as a mental disorder. “Conditions we would now define as bipolar disorder or PTSD were not openly discussed because the main treatment was institutionalization,” Castillo said. “However ... the concept of counseling had begun to emerge, and it [created] a dividing line, with some—especially older generation people—scoffing and ridiculing those who sought treatment.” Castillo continued to describe how a contrast began to form between the older and younger generations on the topic of mental illness, saying the younger generations found the treatments for mental illness “intriguing” and even “full of possibilities.” By the late-‘90s and early-2000s, the stigma began to dissipate. Rose State Political Science Professor Dr. Emily Stacey said society began to “open up.” “It was during the 2000s that we as a society started to be more open about mental health issues,” Stacey said. “From the cultural
and societal level, [we] did see an opening of minds in relation to mental health.”
Now that society began to shift its perspective, how likely were individuals to seek help?
“High,” said Stacey. “I was in therapy for most of my teenage years into my freshman year of college, and I recommend it for
anyone that needs to work through issues of any sort.”
Stacey stated something similar, saying she was lucky enough to be able to focus on what she loved, but what about today’s students? “I am not sure that I was as focused on a career path as I should have been when I was going through my undergraduate,” Stacey said. “[But] I think that students today are focused more on finding a suitable and lucrative career path, which is good, but [they] may be missing some of the ‘getting to know yourself’ part of college. This is important too.”
She may be correct. According to a Gallup poll cited by the Washington Post, only 38 percent of millennials with bachelor’s
degrees thought their higher education was worth it, and that they saw their degree as “the only entry ticket for any good job.”
On the contrary, the majority of millennials seem to disagree with this sentiment. The younger generations are beginning to think they can be just as successful without a college degree, similar to what baby boomers once did. According to Pew Research Center, 42 percent of baby boomers have bachelor’s degrees, with at least 388,000 returning to college. It can be said that among some millennials, opinions about higher education may have come full circle, yet 61 percent remain in college, according to Pew data. Discussing topics like mental health has not always been an easy task. However, time has proven that with proper research and exposure, society will become more informed, which reduces stigma and bias against mental health.
The 6420 is a student publication at Rose State College.