All posts by Tommy Kulikowski

HUMANS OF ETOWN: BEN DIGGAN

Ben Diggan, a junior communications major, playing with his dog Rosco.

Ben Diggan is a junior communications major at Elizabethtown College. He grew up in Watsontown, Pennsylvania with his mother and his grandparents. Despite early setbacks and a difficult family situation, he managed to mature at a young age and overcome all the obstacles in his life thus far.

Ben’s childhood wasn’t a typical one. He was born with profound hearing loss in his left ear and it made making friends in elementary and middle school very difficult. He struggled with accepting he was nearly half deaf and it didn’t help that he was the only child in grades K-12 with a hearing issue. Kids at school didn’t think he was able to hear at all because of his aid, but luckily that unknowing led him to meet one of his life-long best friends. In second grade, he sat next to a girl named Chloe in the back of the classroom and every day she would repeat what the teacher was saying because she thought he was unable to hear him sitting all the way in the back. Eventually, she found out that he was perfectly capable of hearing, but they continued to form a friendship based around the sincere gesture.

Even though Ben had Chloe to get him through his days at school, his family life wasn’t ideal. His mother is completely deaf and it forced him to grow up at a much quicker pace then the kids around him. At seven years old, not only did he have to fill the male role in his household, but he also had to assist his mother in communicating to people outside the house. Ben didn’t let these challenges stand in his way, and although they may have slightly hindered his childhood, he continued pushing on in in a positive direction.

Throughout his middle school and high school years he developed more friendships and started to form into the person he is today. He became interested in teaching education and went into college with that as his main focus. Unfortunately, a bad job shadowing experience turned him away from teaching early on. At the time, Ben was upset because he didn’t know what path he wanted to take his career in, but now he looks back on it as the defining moment in his future.

Ben’s growing discontent led him to call his uncle, a Princeton graduate, for advice about his future. His uncle started to ask him questions relating to marketing and Ben found that he was able to answer the questions remarkably easily. After helping his mother communicate to people his whole life he decided that he wanted to pursue a career that combined his marketing knowledge and social skills. Soon, he spoke to his advisor and two of his best friends about his interest in marketing communications and began on the path to his future. It would’ve been easy for Ben to give up at an early age, but he persevered, helped his family, and in his words, “hasn’t looked back since.”

HUMANS OF ETOWN: MADDIE LASKO

Maddie Lasko, a junior Psychology major, works on homework in the fourth floor of High Library.

“My favorite Etown memory was when I became the top 200 breaststroker on my swim team. I had only swam the 200 breaststroke twice before and I was going to have to swim being the only member of my team since one of my teammates was sick. I was super nervous but it was better that no one else from the other team wanted to swim it either. After I finished the race I didn’t understand why my teammates were so excited since I was in so much pain I thought I did terrible. But I actually ended up dropping ten seconds off my best time. This time had me ranked as the top girl on my team for 200 breaststroke which had never happened before and it made me super excited.”

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HUMANS OF ETOWN: HARRY INGLIS

Harry Inglis, a sophomore education major, hanging out in his dorm room.

Listen to Harry’s story here.

Transcript:

 What is your name, year, and major?

 “Uh, I’m Harry Inglis. I’m a sophomore and I recently switched to education.”

What made you choose to come to Etown?

 “I came to Etown cause I talked to Skip (head coach of the men’s soccer team) and he said, you know, he’d give me a spot. He’d give me a tryout for the team and I said okay. Um, and I started out in bio allied health and I got into a really good program here and with Thomas Jefferson and so everything, everything, came together and so I decided to come here.”

What’s been your favorite memory so far at Etown?

 “Uh, my favorite memory is probably just a combination of all the times I’ve hung out with my friends and all the memories we’ve made since then.”

What do you want to do once you leave Etown?

 “Um, I don’t know yet. It’s just kinda like up in the air as of right now, but, uh, with my major I’m just gonna be a teacher and maybe coach a couple teams. Who knows, who knows.”

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HUMANS OF ETOWN: NATE BLEDSOE

Video of Nate Bledsoe, a sophomore business administration student in his dorm room.

Transcript:

 What is your name, year, and major?

 “I’m Nate Bledsoe, I’m a sophomore, and I’m a business administrations major with a concentration in finance.”

What made you choose to come to Etown?

 “I thought Elizabethtown had a lot of opportunities for me. It was a chance for me to see somewhere outside of New Jersey and it’s still close enough to home that if I wanted to go home I could.”

What’s been your favorite memory so far at Etown?

 “Uh, I have a ton of favorite memories. I guess I make new memories every day and I really couldn’t even rank what my best one was.”

What do you want to do once you graduate from Etown?

 “Uh, I just want to be successful and happy. Those are just my two goals for life.

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Fortnite: Battle Royale

A photo taken after a squad win on Battle Royale.

By Tommy Kulikowski

April 16, 2017

Imagine the most satisfying moment of your life; whether it be winning a trophy, getting a good test score, or meeting the love of your life. Without ever picking up a controller or turning on a gaming console you already know what it feels like to win Fortnite: Battle Royale.

Fortnite is a third-person shooter that takes place on a contemporary Earth where you must survive to win. The game itself has two different game modes, Battle Royale and Save the World, but based on popularity amongst players I’m only going to speak about Battle Royale. One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that Fortnite has managed to take popular concepts from successful games and tie them all together into the perfect game. One hundred players get dropped from a bus in the sky onto the same map at the beginning of every game. Much like The Hunger Games, once you step foot on the ground you either have the option to survive or die. Each player starts with 100 XP (health) and weapons and additional health are scattered throughout the map. Shortly after players land a circle forms on one section of the map and if they are not inside of the circle within a certain amount of time you will get caught in the “storm”. As the game continues, numbers dwindle and you are forced on top of the remaining players until one player is crowned the winner. What makes the game interesting is that you have the ability to build shelters and stairs, much like Minecraft, all while getting the shooter gameplay and weapon variety of games like Call of Duty and Halo.

Over the course of my life I’ve played close to a hundred different video games across all platforms, but none as entertaining or addicting as Fortnite. Immediately after being introduced to the game, I found myself spending hours not only playing, but watching others play online. I’ve yet to figure out what about the game sets its above everything else I’ve played, but recent online numbers have suggested I’m not alone. Fortnite now has close to 50 million players and recently set a gaming record with three million concurrent users.

The gameplay on all platforms is exceptional. Although my preferred gaming device is a PlayStation 4, I spent a few hours getting a feel for it on the Xbox, PC, and my phone. I was amazed at how smooth the game ran on all servers and found that the lobby time was consistent on all platforms.

To my understanding, the game is a couple years old but didn’t skyrocket until late December 2017. For a small-scale free download, Fortnite’s creators and developers have done a fantastic job at managing the updates and fixing any problems with the game. It wouldn’t surprise me if Fortnite’s popularity continued to grow. Nearly every week the developers introduce new content to the game, including weapons, map locations and outfits that you can unlock by leveling up or buy. Players can purchase a battle pass that allows them to level up as they acquire XP, creating an incentive to reach level 100 by the time the season expires and everything is reset. This is where the addictive nature of the game stems from.

Personally, I don’t have the battle pass, but I still spend countless hours every day playing and looking to level up. Every time I lose, it is by such a small margin that I continue to tell myself next game will be better. The game itself never changes, but the players, scenarios and circle drops do and that’s why I would not only recommend Fortnite, but encourage you to download it and become a part of the greatest game ever developed.