Today’s Modern Day Walking Dead


Zombie /

In my English class here at Lenoir-Rhyne we read Chuck Klosterman’s, “My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead.” This article is what really inspired me to write this because of how it compares what the average human thinks about zombies, bloodthirsty and eating people alive, and the actual zombies that exist in the world we live in. You now if you’ve watched the popular television show The Walking Dead all you see is zombies wanting to rip people apart and as easy to kill. Although this is very entertaining for people to watch, why do they find it so interesting? One of the reasons that zombie television shows are so popular is because we have to fight zombies every day in our own lives. Chuck Klosterman in “My Zombie, Myself” describes modern day zombies as, “the Internet and the media and every conversation we don’t want to have.” This is really true in the world today because of all of the problems that social media and the internet has caused. All we have to do to solve these problems is to eliminate the zombies, or in other words delete what is directly in front of your face.

The bibliography that follows consists of the article written by Klosterman, and two other articles that look at zombies in the world today. One examines zombies in the workplace, how to identify them and possibly how to deal with these zombies at work. The other article looks at how the Haitians and Tanzanian cultures look at zombies and why these cultures look at zombies differently. Together these three articles look at how zombies exist in today’s world and how they create problems for humans. These articles differ by discussing the different types of zombies in today’s world. While one focuses on the zombies of the net, the other focuses on the zombies that are in the workplace.

Although I cannot see myself writing an essay of my own about zombies in the future, I have learned a great deal reading about these modern day zombies. After examining these articles, the way I think of zombies will never be the same because I learned that zombies are not just something imaginary in movies and television but can actually exist in the work place and online. These zombies may not be as scary as in movies but they can still hurt you in a numerous amount of methods.

Annotated Bibliography

Andersen, Erika. “Zombies At Work! How To Protect Yourself.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 19 July 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

In Erika Andersen’s “Zombies At Work! How To Protect Yourself” she identifies what work zombies are and how to identify or kill a work zombie when you see one. Andersen describes work zombies as, “People who aren’t doing their jobs and need to be fired, I’m talking about colleagues who are actively trying to (metaphorically) kill you and eat your still-beating heart.”  She also says people who want to see others fail at work are considered a work zombie. Andersen describes herself as, “A very hopeful person but the fact that there are folks who really want to see others fail- that was tough me for me to get my head around.”

Andersen goes on to describe two ways on how a person can recognize corporate zombies and avoid their “deadly bite.” That person who makes your life more difficult with the excuse that he or she is trying to help you is the first way that Andersen describes a corporate zombie. She then goes back and looks on her own life and explains one way this happened to her by a former employee. Long story short she told one of her colleagues that she was going to give some tough feedback to one of her employees and she only told her colleague because it would affect her area and she said not to tell that employee. Then her colleague goes straight to that employee and tells her, which basically broke the trust between Andersen and that employee. Another way Andersen says you can recognize a work zombie is when you know someone is a work zombie and you walk with that person into a group of people and the group stops talking. Andersen states that work zombies are more dangerous in packs, so don’t let that one zombie let other people make an impression on you. She says be yourself and consistently be supportive of your colleagues.

Something else about work zombies that Andersen says is that they are dead. If someone at work is committed to your failure, then don’t waste your time with them because they will not change, just move on. Work zombies are a fairly rare breed, most people are just people, but there are a slight few who want to see you fail.

Coates, Hannah. “The Culturally Different Undead | Lecture on the Anthropology of Zombies Reviews Different Cultures Walking Dead.” The Commonwealth Times. The Commonwealth Times, 10 Oct. 2012. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

Hannah Coates’ online article “The Culturally Different Undead” follows the studies of Amy Nichols-Belo of Randolph Macon College’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Some of Nichols-Belo’s studies consist of how differently the American culture thinks of zombies compared to the Haitian and Tanzanian cultures think of them. Coates states, “In American culture, zombies are entertaining and scary, but for Haitians and Africans the fear of zombification goes deeper than simply being turned.” In Nichols-Belo’s studies one of the reasons for so much fear of zombies by the Haitian and African culture is because both of these cultures have suffered immensely by the hands of slavery, so capture of their people again causes their fear.

Unlike the Haitians and Africans the American culture has not experienced slavery to their own, but they still fear zombies. Nichols-Belo’s studies shows that the American culture fears terrorism and after 9/11 that fear escalated. The American culture fears terrorism because seeing familiar cities crumble and falter, and terrorism is the closest apocalyptic catastrophe that Americans have had to face.

Klosterman, Chuck. “My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 4 Dec. 2010. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

In Chuck Klosterman’s article “My Zombie, Myself” he examines why people are so interested in zombies and how we can compare zombies to everyday life. In the article Klosterman describes zombies as “wordless and oozing and braindead, but they’re an ever-expanding market with no glass ceiling.”  Klosterman says we are so interested in zombies because of how much people can relate to them. Not just as a fear but a lot of modern life is exactly like slaughtering zombies. Klosterman compares the modern zombie to the net, the media and every conversation we don’t want to have, saying “It comes at us endlessly, and-if we surrender-we will be overtaken and absorbed.”

Klosterman’s writings also tell that these modern day “zombies” come at us every day in life and they never stop, just like in the popular television show The Walking Dead. The zombies never stop coming at them and they have to fight every day to keep from being consumed, just like in the world today to keep from being consumed by technology and social media.

The Dead are Alive

Chuck Klosterman is a part of the visiting writer series here at Lenoir-Rhyne but unfortunately I was not able to attend when he came to visit, so I will write a little something about one of his pieces.

In Chuck Klosterman’s article, “My Zombie, Myself”, he talks about why people are so interested in zombies and how we can compare zombies to everyday. In the article Klosterman describes zombies as “wordless and oozing and braindead, but they’re an ever-expanding market with no glass ceiling.”  Klosterman says we are so interested in zombies because of how much people can relate to them. Not just as a fear but a lot of modern life is exactly like slaughtering zombies. Klosterman compares the modern zombie to the internet, the media and every conversation we don’t want to have, saying “It comes at us endlessly, and-if we surrender-we will be overtaken and absorbed.”

In this article that Klosterman writes about zombies, he does a good job of comparing zombies in everyday life. I think that zombies in the world today is the internet and social media. The world we live in today would not be productive if there was not this kind of technology because we have become so accustom to it. These things come at us every day in life and they never stop, just like in the popular television show the walking dead. The zombies never stop coming at them and they have to fight every day to keep from being consumed. Just like we do in the world today to keep from being consumed by technology and social media.

Jeff Hobbs Visit

Jeff Hobbs, the author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, visited Lenoir-Rhyne last Thursday to speak about his Biography. Hobbs spoke about how he and Rob were roommates through college at Yale University. During Rob’s years at Yale he sold marijuana out of his dorm room and also smoked a lot himself, Hobbs says he never saw a problem with Rob doing this because they felt safe in their dorms. Even though Rob was Yale’s biggest drug dealer, Rob’s mom was still the most important thing in his life. Hobbs said that every time Rob got off the phone with his mom he would tell her, “You are my heart.”

I really enjoyed Jeff Hobbs visit to Lenoir-Rhyne because I got to see for myself someone who actually knew Rob and got to speak about him. The way Hobbs spoke about Rob I could really tell that Rob’s mom was the most important thing in his life. Hobbs also said during his visit that Rob never brought one girl back to meet his mom. I feel like this shows how much Rob really thought of his mom and how much he respected her because he wanted that one girl he brought home to be perfect. I also feel like the only reason that Rob sold drugs was because he did not want his mother to struggle. Rob gave some of the money that he made to his mom and he never had to ask his mom for money because he was making money himself. Rob would do anything for his mother, even when Rob was six he was working and giving his mom a portion of the money he made.

Moving On

            The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, a New York Times Bestseller, is a Biography written by Jeff Hobbs. This biography, as described by the cover of the book, is about a brilliant young man who left Newark for the Ivy League. This man’s name is Robert Peace and he grew up in Newark, New Jersey. Even though Rob left his hometown for the Ivy League, this does not mean his hometown leaves him as a person. Some might think that Rob made some bad decisions in college and after, but these decisions were a part of him like the hair on his head.

Rob growing up never really had a father because his dad went to jail when he was very young. However, his mother was always there for him and Rob was always there for her. When Rob was still in middle school he would bring home small amounts of money and lay the cash on the counter for his mom. He earned this money from the little jobs he did around Newark. Rob was a strong kid so he did not let being less fortunate affect him, he overcame this by doing very well in school, which was very important to his mother, and later going on to Yale for college. You might say that Rob was doing pretty well in life right now other than his family issues, but he was just like any other teenager in Newark. Rob was “the man” just like every other teenager thinks they are now days. He drank booze, smoked weed and flirted with girls just as much as all of his other friends did in high school. Rob was considered “the man” even toward his friends, they all looked up to him for advice. Whether it was advice about their school work or life in general, Rob was always their “go to guy.” These habits, unfortunately, were to be carried by Rob for the rest of his life.

Rob ended up graduating in the top of his class, and gets his chance to go to a magnificent school. Although Yale wasn’t his first choice he was still satisfied with this school. During Rob’s years at Yale he was still an outstanding student, but Newark still did not leave him as a person even though he left physically. He continues to do drugs, drink booze, and flirt with girls but he gets involved with something new when he gets to college. Rob starts dealing drugs instead of just consuming them. As said in the book Rob was one of the biggest drug dealers at Yale and he also smoked all of the time and at the same time was still able to keep up with all of his studies. Rob was unbelievably smart but some might say he was dumb at the same time because of the decisions he made. These are some habits that stick with him in his life and even start growing as he gets older.

These habits stick with Rob even after Graduating College, he continues to smoke weed and deal drugs. Unfortunately Rob really does not know what he wants to do for the rest of his life. Rob ends up going back to his old high school to teach biology. While teaching biology during the day he also sales drugs at night. Rob does not stay at this job too much longer because the job did not pay well enough. Instead Rob got a job at the airport unloading and loading luggage on to the planes and Rob would still sell drugs during the night. You might ask why is a grown man that just graduated from Yale unloading luggage at the airport and selling drugs, when he should be in a lab studying cancer cells. This is just another instance where his hometown stays with him as a person. Whatever is built up inside Rob stays with him throughout these last few years of his life.

In this biography it seems like Rob enjoys his life, I feel like he lives in the moment and has as much fun as he can. Also at the same time he has an education from a prestigious school and he is working at the airport while selling drugs at night. Rob could be off doing bigger things in his life but instead he moves back home and works these jobs that don’t require the education that he has. Rob is definitely over qualified for these jobs that he is working, so why doesn’t he do more? I feel like Rob does not want to move on because Newark will always be a part of him. Rob feels the most comfortable in Newark, his family and friends live there and he grew up there. Everything Rob wants to do is in Newark and I feel like he does not want move on from that. This is why Rob makes all of these bad decisions because he does not want to leave everything he knows and everything he has learned in this town.

Me Myself and The Screen

A 2013 New York Times editorial observes that, “Online classes are already common in colleges, and, on the whole, the record is not encouraging” (“The Trouble”). This editorial gets its facts from numerous amounts of studies from different colleges. The editorial talks about how beneficial online classes can be to students, but also how challenging these classes can actually be. There are quite a few problems with online classes, such as professors not being able to have an actual relationship with their students and students not actually being able to interact with the professor while in class. Also the article discusses how many students actually do online classes and how they actually do in these courses. I know from my experience that I learn much better in a classroom with a teacher because I can ask questions and be engaged with my class.

Before reading this article I thought online college was the easy way out, a way to not go to a traditional college but still get a degree worth something. I did not know until after reading this that there are quite a few problems with online classes. The editorial states, “Lacking confidence as well as competence, these students need engagement with their teachers to feel comfortable and to succeed” (“The Trouble”). Students engaging with their teachers, I think, is huge when it comes to education. From my own personal experience when in class and I have a question about the criteria I can raise my hand and ask the instructor, or even stay after class and ask them. When taking an online class who do you ask about the criteria? No one is there to go over what you just did in the online class and answer the questions you have. The relationship you get out of traditional college classes is not even comparable to what you get out of online classes. For example my freshmen year of high school I took an algebra class and I was clueless about the material we were learning. I felt myself struggling so I finally asked the teacher if I could come in one morning to get some extra help. With my teachers extra help I ended up making an A in that class. I feel like if the student makes a connection with the teacher then learning in that class would be much easier because you actually have someone there that wants to help you learn.

Exactly how many students participate in online college? A question I not once thought to ask myself, but something else I have learned while reading this article. The editorial states, “According to Columbia University’s Community College Research Center, for example, about seven million students — about a third of all those enrolled in college — are enrolled in what the center describes as traditional online courses” (“The Trouble”). This is really hard to believe, that about a third of college students today are enrolled in online classes. After all there are thousands of colleges in this world. This leaves me to ask why students choose online courses instead of traditional courses.

There are a few reasons that I think someone would choose to take online courses. Maybe they just like the freedom to take their time in a course and work at their own pace. Maybe, the student is actually enrolled in a traditional college but is required to take some online courses. This would be me, my school, Lenoir-Rhyne University, requires all students to pass an online course called CSC in order to graduate. CSC is a class about Microsoft office and teaches the students how to use it. Therefore I know from my own experience that there are two kinds of people that take online courses. Those who choose to take online courses and those who are required to take them in order to graduate from their school. Exactly how many of those seven million students, which the article talks about, actually take online courses because they choose to?

Something else to think about while pondering about online schooling is cheating. My professor once told me a story about a kid in summer school, the kid actually wasn’t who he said he was. The student showed up for another kid that actually needed the summer course. So if that can happen in summer school in a real classroom, how easy can cheating be behind a screen where no one can see what you’re doing? Someone could take a class for you or you could just pull up google on your computer and find what you need. This is another one of the many problems with online classes.

Another question you might ask is how these students actually do in their online courses. The editorial states, “A five-year study, issued in 2011, tracked 51,000 students enrolled in Washington State community and technical colleges. It found that those who took higher proportions of online courses were less likely to earn degrees or transfer to four-year colleges” (“The Trouble”). Students who take more online courses according to this study do not do very well in school. Why is this? Maybe this is because there is no professors to help the student with the material, or maybe the student just can’t handle all of the freedom that comes with taking online courses.

Online classes have so far not been to impressive, as said in the article “But, so far, the evidence shows that poorly designed courses can seriously shortchange the most vulnerable students” (“The Trouble”). Online courses do not provide students with the same opportunity as traditional classes would do. I still wonder why a lot of students choose to take online courses rather than traditional courses if most students end up not doing too well in them. This article has really opened up my eyes about online classes and will now have a great impact on me selecting my classes in the future.

Works Cited

“The Trouble with Online College.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 Feb. 2013. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.

Who has hands?

While reading Jaki Shelton Green’s poem “i know the grandmother one had hands” I kind of got reminded of my own grandma. This poem describes a woman whose hands are non stop, between making bread, planting seeds, doing hair and many other things that the poem describes her doing. This is what reminds me of my own grandma because she always wanted to be doing something. Whether it was cooking, cleaning the house, or doing yard work my grandmothers hands were busy also. This is just one reason that I think this poem is great.

Green never tells us who the “grandmother” one actually is. The grandmother could be Green’s grandmother, her friends grandmother, or she could just not be real at all. That is just one of the mystery’s of this poem. The other mystery is why she uses a lower case “i” because that is very unusual. Green is doing this for a reason she just didn’t mess up and forget about it. Or maybe she did?