Tales from Room 309 Blog

My roommate Alicia Rodriguez and I have a blog where we post college advice-type articles, aimed at women. Check out our latest post about decorating your room with greenery! For more fun articles, visit talesfromroom309.wordpress.com


“We’re starting a new category today about dorm room decor. First up: plants! Seriously, a little greenery in any space can change the entire atmosphere of the room. Any show room you see in a magazine has plants sprinkled throughout. Plants are really not that hard to take care of and they add life (literally) to a dreary cinderblock dorm room – “less industrial,” according to our friend Tobin. I’ve found that bringing the outdoors in has had a dramatic impact on my mood, and our dorm room feels much more “homey.” Even on the rainiest of days, our cheery cacti (Alicia has to have SOME piece of Arizona here since she’s stuck in cold Ohio) still looks the same. Along with my resident plant expert roomie, here is our list of reasons to have some green in your room.

First of all.. They just look cool! Plants are a serious conversation starter. Especially when you have a whole room full (we’ve got 27, at last count). We love finding new types and fun containers at thrift stores.They also make great presents! We’re harboring a few in our room right now for students who aren’t here this semester. And plant sitting is the bomb. Obviously.

Secondly, they give you something to look after, since you cannot (I’m assuming) have pets in your dorm room. Besides the aquatic friends in our room, we have to water, rotate some into sunlight, repot, etc. Most of our plants only need watered 1-2 times a week, especially succulents, while our cacti really only need watered twice a month. . Alicia admits that sometimes she monitors them too closely and might over-water them at times, but its easily remedied by pouring off any water that the soil has not absorbed in a few minutes.

Also, plants are fairly cheap. You can find them at Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, your local greenhouse, etc, for a few dollars. Our university science club holds a fundraiser every semester where they sell young plants for $1-2, so check and see if your school does something similar! Soil for repotting is always super inexpensive. Alicia managed to snag a 10 lb bag at the local gas station for only 99 cents.

Alicia: Plants make great travel momentos! There’s usually a gift shop, botanical garden, or something similar nearby, wherever you should go. When I go home, I like to bring different varieties of cacti back to school. And this summer, I went to San Fransisco and I brought back a Euphorbia Mili (aka “lemon drops”), which looks a little like a spiky bonsai tree. I was able to fly back to school with it no problem – most places I’ve bought plants from are always really nice about boxing it up and making it easy to travel with.

We hope you found this informative and will consider adding some greenery to your space! Even if you start out small, with one little succulent in a teacup, you can always grow your collection, and continue it after your college days are behind you. Check back often for new posts! We’re going to try to keep up a regular posting schedule.

As always, comment your thoughts below. :)


Meg and Alicia”

Ask Wendy: mean what you say

If you have anything going on in your life that you’d like an alternate perspective on, Wendy is here for you! Contact her by commenting on this post or by email: AskWendyBlufftonConnection@aol.com.

“I’m sorry” or “I’m really sorry” is just a bunch of blah, blah, blah. People are killing the meaning behind these words.  Ladies, I think it’s time for us to stop saying “I’m really sorry” when we just want a guy to leave us alone or when we don’t want to hurt their feelings. Yes, I understand that it’s easy to say, but after a while it starts to get annoying.

Fellas, stop thinking that saying it will automatically make girls want to forgive you. Always remember this: actions speak louder than words. It’s perfectly fine to say you’re sorry, but when your actions indicate something else then you are automatically labeled as a hypocrite.

If we are going to say things, then we should mean them.  There are other phrases similar to this that we use, but tend to not to actually mean. One common phrase would be “I love you” when basically you just met the person or haven’t known them for a long time. When it comes to these phrases let’s make sure we say them with meaning and feeling.

College Football Wrapup


Last Saturday was one of those days where it paid off to be glued to your screen, watching all the college football you possibly could. In case you missed anything here’s a synopsis of the big games that took place.

West Virginia exposes #4 Baylor, 41-27
The Baylor Bears weaseled their way into the playoff conversation by watching other contenders fall by the wayside early in the season. This past weekend was their time to do so. This loss kills any chance they had at ending the season in the top four.

West Virginia gave us a couple glimpses at what they could do when they gave Alabama some trouble in the opening weekend and hung around against Oklahoma a month ago. This time around they were able to pull off the upset, and in doing so jumped into the rankings at 22.

Big 12 teams are some of the worst offenders when it comes to relying heavily on an offensive gameplan. This strategy is why we continually see these sorts of games. An explosive offense is fun to watch but it is generally far more difficult to execute on a weekly basis than stout defensive play. Baylor learned that lesson the hard way.

#14 Kansas State sneaks by #11 Oklahoma, 31-30
What a difference a couple weeks can make. That’s what Oklahoma must be thinking after falling all the way from four to 17 in just three weeks. This was a tight game throughout. Kansas State needed a number of things to go their way, they did, and the Wildcats were able to steal a conference win on the road.

Michael Hunnicutt had a rough afternoon. Normally reliable, the Oklahoma kicker missed three crucial kicks. The first came on a 32-yard attempt just before halftime. In the fourth quarter he had a game-tying extra point attempt blocked, then shanked a 19-yarder with less than four minutes left in the game. Not a great day at the office.

Kansas State’s dedication to defense has a lot to do with why they give fellow Big 12 teams so many issues. The Wildcats still have trips to TCU, West Virginia, and Baylor looming on their schedule so there’s still work to do, but I like their chances to come out on top of the conference.

#7 Alabama embarrasses #21 Texas A&M, 59-0
Not much needs to be said about this one. The score tells the story, the game was never close. The Crimson Tide made the Aggies look like chumps.

Kenny Hill and the A&M offense couldn’t figure out a way move the ball, let alone score. They were blanked for the first time since head coach Kevin Sumlin took over in 2012.

Just when we all began to wonder whether Alabama was falling off- following a loss to Ole Miss and a squeaker win over Arkansas- the Tide put those thoughts to bed. It’s safe to say they’re still an elite team and will be a factor in the pursuit of the playoff.

#12 TCU smacks #15 Oklahoma State, 42-9
These two teams should never have been ranked as close to one another as they were coming into this game. TCU took a tough loss two weeks ago at the hands of Baylor which clearly motivated them for this game.

Oklahoma State had no business being in the top 15 as evidenced by their getting stomped. Their most impressive performance this season came in the opener a month and a half ago when they lost to Florida State by only six points. The problem was that other teams ranked above them kept losing so they kept rising in the rankings.

Going forward, expect to see more TCU and much less of Oklahoma State.

#2 Florida State survives visit from #5 Notre Dame, 31-27
You should feel sad if you missed this one. It was by far the best game we’ve seen thus far this season. And even though Florida State came away with the win, Notre Dame eliminated any doubt that they belong in the playoff discussion.

Two of the top quarterbacks in the nation squared off in primetime with neither one disappointing. Jameis Winston and Everett Golson led their teams as they always do. The two arguably have more of an impact on their teams’ performance than any other players in the nation have on theirs. Watching them go back-and-forth was a treat.

Unfortunately for all those involved, the game was decided by a penalty call that needed to be made because the play was such an obvious violation. Nevertheless, this was a fantastic clash and I can only hope that somehow these two meet again in the playoff.

#16 Arizona State bounces #23 Stanford from rankings, 26-10
For the first time since the 2010 preseason poll the AP top 25 does not include the Stanford Cardinal. The Arizona State Sun Devils made this happen by utterly outplaying their opponent in Saturday night’s late game.

Stanford just can’t score enough. In their three losses this season, the Cardinal have tallied a combined 34 points. Defense continues to be their strong suit. They give up just over 12 points per game, but they can only do so much, they need some help.

If it weren’t for an absolute defensive lapse against UCLA last month, Arizona State would be in the top 10. Major matchups against Utah, Notre Dame and at Arizona remain for the Sun Devils. Wins in those three games will make an already closely contested Pac-12 even more interesting.


Feeling like the underdog can sometimes be the best feeling in the world due to the fact that no one expects the underdog to win. The Kansas City Royals have experienced this before they made it to the World Series this year. Not many people expected them to set a record with staying unbeaten so far in the 2014 postseason.

They have put together an outstanding run with their 7-0 record beating out the Detroit tigers and Baltimore Orioles. The Tigers have probably one of the best starting pitching cores in the league right now. They have starters that have proven to be effective during the regular season putting up ridiculous numbers for pitchers. It was a shock to many people, including myself, to see them beat the Tigers. I was not really a surprise to see them beat the Orioles, but to move into the World Series staying unbeaten was amazing.

It is my hope that they remain unbeaten and win the World Series, because they have proven that they want it more than anything. It’s their drive and teamwork that shows that they can win it all. They are not a big ball club like the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Dodgers, and others, but they have proven that they can compete with the best of the best.

Being the underdog can be the best feeling in the world and the Royals are determined to prove that underdogs can win in big games even when people don’t believe in them.

Why You Should Do Yoga

The definition of yoga means “to join” mind, body, and spirit.

I have been doing yoga for approximately two years now. In my experience, it has been the best thing added to my morning routine. Reasons why you should do yoga include:

  1. It makes you Happy.
  2. Exercising to the point where your heart rate is increased has been proven to release endorphins. These chemicals send signals to your brain and therefore, by doing yoga, it literally makes you happy.
  3. You’ll feel less achy.
  4. Yoga is not all about bending and stretching but that is a pretty large chunk. By stretching out your muscles (some you weren’t aware were even there), you work out the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles after strenuous activity. This then helps to get rid of the aches and pains that tend to occur, even from just sitting in a chair for too long.
  5. It can be a confidence Booster (better body awareness).
  6. While attempting a pose, there is balance and breathing involved. These both require concentration and force you to notice how your body is reacting to how little or how much it is being stretched. Over time, you become more aware of your body and what it needs. This tunes you in to what it can do and how it feels, not how it looks.
  7. It tones muscles.
  8. Don’t let the word “stretch” fool you. If you’re doing it right, yoga is difficult and by practicing daily you will surely see results in muscle tone.
  9. Makes for a better night’s Sleep.
  10. Gives you time to worship.
  11. By taking the time in the morning to practice yoga, you are able to have your quiet time with the Lord. Read a bible verse and mediate on it.
  12. Starting the day with the Lord, getting in tune with what you can control and letting go of what you can’t makes for a better night’s sleep. You also have something to look forward to every morning instead of just rolling out of bed and going to class.

Meet Alex Parker


Alex Parker is a Junior Public Health and Communication double-major.
He is from Alger, Ohio.
He is a commuter student.
Campus job: Communications Assistant for the Public Relations Office.
Campus involvements: Improv Co-leader, Worship Dance Club, Fault Lines Dance Club, Track and Field,Gospel Choir, Radio Show Host.

You’re a radio host?
Yes! “It is awesome.” Alex has been guest-staring on radio shows since his freshman year here at Bluffton University. He has hosted his own show and has co-hosted several shows. This summer he was the intern for 96.1 WBWH FM and currently co-hosts That One Show.

What is That One Show?
“It is a show where two people of equal amazingness speak about life, music and fun”. That One Show airs at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays on 96.1 WBWH. Tune in or click on the live streaming icon.

Interesting Things about Alex:
He has a deep sultry voice that makes women and men alike on campus swoon. “His hips don’t lie” as in he is a fantastic dancer.  He was told so by a professional dance instructor in the presence of the Fault Lines Line Dancing Club.  He participates in outdoor dramas and plays. He is in this year’s fall play and was in last year’s play as well. If you recognize his voice from last year’s musical How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, that is because he did the voice over from the “How to” book. Also, keep chocolate away from him because it makes him violently ill if he ingests it.

Alex’s Accomplishments:

He has successfully worn the color blue every day for going on three years! He has won as many Oscars as Leonardo DiCaprio, in his mind. In real life he has won awards in acting for his home county, ask him about them. He was accepted into the C. Henry Smith’s Scholars and packs Uncrustables peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch often.

Meet Mitch Gatzke


 Senior double-majoring in Sport Management, and Broadcasting and Journalism

 from Harper Woods, Michigan

resides in Hirshey Annex

Program Director for WBWH, and Executive Editor of Bluffton Connection


A Little About Mitch:

Mitch often makes sport of watching football, baseball, soccer and hockey. Participating in these sports brings him joy. Ask him about media based entertainment, perhaps you have similar interests, don’t be shy, he enjoys finding new music, and TV shows. Specific sustenance makes his tummy joyful: Five Guys burgers, deep dish pizza, half chocolate half strawberry milkshakes, and popcorn.

Mitch’s Life Goals:

  • to be a baseball play-by-play broadcaster
  • host his own sports talk radio show
  • inspire kids who can’t play for whatever reason and show them they    can still be involved in the game
  • design his own line of men’s wear, suits and ties type stuff
  • find “the one” and fall madly in love

Interesting Things about Mitch:

His dad wanted to name him “Jay,” just like Gatsby, which has sparked an interest within him. Thus led to his nickname the Great Gatzke. He is “a total city slicker” as said by Mitch himself. His left leg has a permanent steel rod in it which repaired a broken tibia he suffered from while playing football in his junior year of high school. This is a private high school mind you, 48 people in his graduating class.

Mitch’s Accomplishments:

He dresses very well.  Every day of his senior year he has sported exquisite taste in attire that has the campus talking and complimenting. “He got swag,” said an anonymous student admirer. He was a member of the 2011 University Liggett baseball team which won Michigan’s Division 4 State Championship.  Also, Mitch is the ultimate upper hand and gentle controlling force of 96.1 WBWH FM and BlufftonConnection.com.

Children’s Rights Advocates Share Nobel Peace Prize

On October 10th, 2014 Malala Yousafzi from Pakistan, along with Kailash Satyarthi from India, won the Noble Peace Prize for their advocacy for children’s rights and education. Satyarthi, advocating against child labor and slavery, has saved approximately 80,000 children from slavery through his organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan. Yousafzi, the now 17-year-old young woman, is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient in the history of the award. She has advocated for the rights of women and children throughout her own childhood. At the age of 11 she blogged about the life of oppression she led while living under Taliban control for the BBC under a pseudonym. On October 9th, 2012 Yousafzi was shot in the head on her way home from school. The Taliban later took credit for the shooting. Miraculously, Yousafzi survived and she has continued her advocacy. To watch Malala’s acceptance speech, click here.

British-Iranian Woman Goes on Hunger Strike

By: Venessa Owsley

Editor’s note: This article was written a couple weeks ago but due to editing difficulties and Fall Break was not published in a timely manner.  Information might be outdated but the story was important enough that we decided to post it anyway.

A British-Iranian woman, Ghoncheh Ghavami, age 25, is being held in Evin Prison, Tehran’s most infamous prison. Ghavami has been charged with alleged “propaganda against the regime” following her attempt to attend a men’s volleyball match. To mark her hundredth day of her detainment (fifty of which were spent in solitary confinement) Ghavami went on a hunger strike. Ghavami has not eaten for five days and her health is deteriorating. Originally Ghavami was held in custody on June 20, interrogated for four hours, and then released. She was arrested again only a few days later. There is a petition calling for Ghavami’s release. The petition, set up through Change.org, now has approximately 527,000 signatures. The charge against Ghavami could potentially result in a sentence lasting several years and with her medical stability on the line, Ghavami’s family is appalled by her plight. This anxiety is heightened by the fact that Ghavami has had only minimal contact with her family. Susan Moshtaghian, Ghavami’s mother, told The Guardian “I am restless since I heard about this and I have also gone on hunger strike. I stayed silent for 82 days in the hope that my daughter comes back home safely. Now I am worried about her life and will not stop until she’s free.”

Photo of the Week

Editor’s note: Bluffton Connection will be posting a “Photo of the Week” periodically throughout the semester.  If you’ve recently taken a picture that you’re proud of and would like it to appear on the site, send it to us at: gatmca@bluffton.edu.

This week’s photo was taken by Caitlin Nearhood.

Matt McCoy, a senior accounting major from Archbold, Ohio, serves the ball during a tennis match at a recent Tennis Club meeting.

Matt McCoy, a senior accounting major from Archbold, Ohio, serves the ball during a tennis match at a Tennis Club meeting.