The W Curve According to Wolverine and Spidey

Whenever I hear or learn about the W curve, it reminds me of Spider-man and Wolverine. This post is a compare/contrast of these two characters. Why?! Because no two college students are the same! Your experience will be different from your roommates, from the guy sitting in front of you in class, to, well, anyone at your college campus! I know I have talked about Spidey a lot recently, but he makes my point! Wolverine is new to this discussion and I am glad I can involve him.  The W curve doesn’t just relate to college. You will go through the steps of the W curve through almost every aspect of your life. Your first job, buying a home, traveling, having kids, it all relates back to the W curve.


The W curve begins with the Honeymoon stage. For the first time in your life, you will be on your own. No one will be telling you when to go to bed, what to eat, if you should go to class or not, all the decisions are yours! You are free to be your own person, and that is awesome! Like Spider-man, who was ecstatic, confused but ecstatic, he did all he could to feel the freedom and rush of having his new powers! As will you. You will test your limits and boundaries, discover who you are.

But, the Honeymoon stage cannot last forever. For some, the honeymoon stage lasts for a couple weeks, others a couple months, and for some they never experience the honeymoon stage, but rather go straight to the Cultural Shock stage! The latter of the three reminds me of Wolverine. Looking past Wolverine’s time in Weapon X (when he was experimented on) or his time in the Canadian Wilderness, but rather when he became a resident of Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and a member of the X-men. He has hit by culture shock hardcore! Being in a place such as that, it was new, disorienting, and something he was unfamiliar with. Spider-man also was affected by Cultural Shock when Uncle Ben died and he began to fight crime. Entering into this new terrain can be frightening and after the Honeymoon stage, after being away from the familiarity of your hometown and family, the cultural workings of college can be stifling. But here is the thing about the W curve…none of the stages last forever!

After a while, after meeting friends, getting involved, doing well in your classes, the next stage of the W curve occurs: Initial Adjustment. Everyone goes through it sooner or later, even superheroes. Spider-man and Wolverine both acclimated to their new lives and responsibilities. It takes time and effort. It isn’t the type of thing that will shift overnight. It would be cool if it did, but it doesn’t happen that way. Easiest way to adjust to college or any new experience? Get involved, ask for help, and know that you are not alone!!!  There are so many people around you who are going through the same thing. You have friends, family, and other loved ones who want to see you succeed. Spidey and Wolverine had their own support systems which made the adjustment easier (Aunt May and MJ for Spider-man and the X-men/Professor X for Wolverine.) Don’t think you have to do it on your own.

Of course, with any W, after the first up there is a second down. The mental isolation stage. This is when you feel the most alone, and in my personal opinion, this is the hardest part about the W curve. You start wondering “Is college for me?” “Would I be happier doing something else?” The thoughts that you are the only person who feels this way, that no one understands the stress and strain you under. (For most people this occurs right after Thanksgiving Break). Everyone goes through some degree of this isolation. Peter Parker gave up being Spider-man at one point because he couldn’t stand being the only person that knew he was Spider-man and Wolverine, well Wolverine always found a way to isolate himself from others, there were just times in which it was worse. Like all the stages before, this too will end. How?! Talk to family, talk to friends, make sure you are INVOLVED!!! I cannot state that enough! Getting involved makes all of this so much easier! And don’t be afraid to ask for help or even take time for yourself if need be.

And of course, the W curve does come to an end with Acceptance and Integration. By the end of all of it, you will feel like a member of the community, a part of the bigger group! Whether it be a part of the group, the campus, the team, or whatever you have been involved with. You may even begin to call your campus home. For some, this can take just a semester to feel accepted and integrated into the community, for others it can take the entire academic year. Why is there such a difference? Those who get involved earlier and stay involved are able to acclimate to their new accommodations easier than those that do not! So even more than just talking about Wolverine and Spider-man and the W curve, the biggest thing I can say is GET INVOLVED!!!

 

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night

I am sure that most people know Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corp, or at least GL from Ryan Reynold’s depiction of the character in the movie Green Lantern (which we won’t be talking about because it is an awful movie.) But while many people may know about Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corp, what they may not know is that there is a slew of other Corps in the DC Universe, varying in meaning and message. To be exact, there are nine Corps in total, including the Green Lanterns. These Corps are as follows: Orange, Indigo, Red, Yellow, Violet, White, Black, Blue, and of course, Green. And as each Corp has a different color, they also have different ideals that empower them.


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Orange: The Corp of Greed, those who seek power for themselves and only themselves. The orange light of avarice will be discovered and manipulated by a being whose greed knows no bounds” Because of the nature of greed, Due to the nature of greed, only one being can wield the Orange Ring at once, any more would cause infighting among the Corps members, as they’d be unable to share the power.

The Oath of the Orange Lantern Corp: This power is mine, this is my light. Be it in bright of day, or black of night. I lay claim to all that falls within my sight, To take what I want, That is my right!

Indigo: While some people might argue that indigo is just another shade of blue or purple, in this area, indigo is its own entity. Those of the Indigo Lantern Corp are actually members of an indigenous tribe of nomads. The ideology that empowers these nomads is that of compassion. The Psychology of Superheroes, describes compassion as being able to have empathy for someone while maintaining enough distance to understand their motivations.

The Oath of the Indigo Lantern Corp: *Note: This is a fan translation* In sorrowful day, in misfortunate night, We help those, who need our might, with the Lantern power of Abin Sur, we rid your misery…with compassionate might!


Red: Rage, that is what gives those who follow the Red Lantern Corp power. Geoff Johns describes the Red Lantern Corps as likely being “the most violent of the Corps […] based on violent reaction driven by emotional eruption – rage – instead of any clear-cut plan of war.” Those filled with rage are unable to think clearly, unable to think intelligently, that the only thing that remains is an animalistic sense surging through them. (Interesting enough, some of the characters from the Red Lantern Corp were based off of characters from the movie 28 Days Later).  

The Red Lantern Corp Oath: With blood and rage of crimson red, ripped from a corpse so freshly dead, together with our hellish hate, we’ll burn you all—That is your fate!


Yellow/Sinestro: Originally a member of the Green Lantern Corp, Sinestro founded the Yellow Lantern Corp. Based on fear, the Sinestro Corp is the archenemies of the Green Lantern Corp. They believe that fear is more powerful than willpower. Many of the main villains of the DC universe are members of the Yellow Lantern Corp, from Mongul, Cyborg-Superman, and even Scarecrow, believing that fear is their greatest way to control others.

The Yellow Lantern Corp Oath: In blackest day, in brightest night, beware your fears made into light. Let those who try to stop what’s right, burn like his powers…Sinestro’s might!


Violet: The power that emanates from the Violet Lantern Corps’ rings is that of love. This is not the sappy, Disney fantasized, ‘true love’. The love of the Violet Lantern, is the idea of what keeps a married couple together for 50 years. Love is one of the strongest emotions that feeds off of the wearers state of mind.

The Violet Lantern Corp: For Hearts Long Lost. And Full of Fright. For Those Alone In Blackest Night. Accept Our Ring and Join Our Fight — Love Conquers All — With Violet Light!


White: Those who are members of the White Lantern Corp follow the ideals of life. They get power from when the wearer embraces life, given them more power. However, the power from the white ring is unable to bring those from the dead back to life.

*Currently no oath for the White Lantern Corp*

Black: The Black Lantern Corp is one of the few Corps that can actually be considered to be the antagonists of the Green Lantern Universe. Why? Because they are the masters of death. They are given power by the death and demise of those around them. (Which is probably one of the creepiest things in comic books…or in the DC Universe at least)

The Black Lantern Oath: The Blackest Night falls from the skies. The darkness grows as all light dies. We crave your hearts and your demise. By my black hand… The dead shall rise!

Blue: The Flash was a member of the Blue Lantern Corp, and there is one thing I know about Barry Allen (the true identity of the Flash) he is empowered by hope, the same thing that empowers the Blue Lantern Corp. When all things seem impossible, he and the others of the Blue Lanterns, fight through with hope to get them through their darkest days. They were created to bring hope to the future in the light of so much destruction, when good faces overwhelming odds.

The Blue Lantern Oath: In fearful day, in raging night, with strong hearts full, our souls ignite. When all seems lost in the War of Light, look to the stars, for hope burns bright!


Green: The Green Lantern Corp, home of many heroes in the DC Universe, such as Hal Jordan and Jon Stewart. Like all of the Corps, the Green Lanterns are fueled by a great emotion: will power. They are powered by the Green Lantern and the Guardians of Oa. The Green Lanterns are intergalactical peacekeepers, each one being based on a different planet across the universe. What makes this Corp different from the others is that, instead of the Corp selecting its members, the ring chooses the wearer.

The Green Lantern Oath: In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!!!


Okay, so I know that was kind of long, but it was worth it in the end! So looking past what these Corps stand for, what their message is, the question must be asked, like I have asked so many times before, why does it matter? What is the point? The point is this: there are so many different emotions, so many different ideals that we often do not stop to think about what it means. That is what this entire blog has been about, making people stop and think about what they think and why!

Like the Lantern Corps, people allow different emotions and ideals to lead their lives, even if they don’t think so. There are those who come to college, telling themselves they will work hard, study vigorously to succeed (willpower). There are others who study for a test because they are afraid of failing the test and the class (fear). There are those who wish to live their lives to the fullest because they are afraid of death (death). There are those who use compassion in their everyday lives to help them forward (compassion).   

Now none of these ideals are better than the other, they all lead people throughout their lives. For some people, many of these ideals are brash, corrupt, and even immoral. To others, the more brash ideals get the job done that others may not. But this is not about good and bad, best and worse, it is about what works for each individual. Many people follow a variety of these ideals, not just one. However, just knowing what ideals directs one life is not enough. Asking why is the most important thing. Do me a favor: take a moment to think about what emotions and ideals you let direct your lives and why!

So while you may not wear a power ring or speak an oath, the ideals of the Lantern Corps are applicable to our everyday lives. Just remember to ask the questions that so many people brush over, never really thinking about.

Take A Moment to Smell the Roses

I’m not sure what is going on in the world. What do I mean by this? I just heard about a man from Florida who stopped at a gas station, next to an SUV filled with teenage boys playing their rap music at a very high volume. The man asked them to turn down the music, which they did, only to return it to its normal level. Therefore, in his frustration, the man proceeding to fire at the SUV, killing a 17 year old boy inside. The SUV drove away, as the man continued to fire at it. He was arrested, but was not sentenced for killing the boy, but rather for shooting at a moving vehicle. Another man shot at a car full of teenage girls who had egged his car as a Halloween prank, killing one of them. Now my point is not to depress you as you read this, my point of bringing up all of these horrific acts is to ask a question: how have we come to this? How have we come to the point in which we are so angry, so cruel to one another that if someone goes against us, they must be “punished.”  

It is as though we need some catastrophic event to bring us together, to allow us to be respectful with one another. I remember my Dad telling, after 9/11, telling me how people around each other would be courteous in every aspect of their day. When driving, people were not honking, forcing their way to their destination. People were not always angry with one another, not in a rush. It’s terrible that it takes something so terrible as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Irene, or Sandy to bring us together.

Now again, my point isn’t to make you feel terrible, or to say that the world an awful place filled with awful people. My point is to make you start asking those tough questions, to make you stop and think about what is going on in our lives. We are so focused on go, go, go, “it’s all about me” type mentality that we stop to ask the questions, “WHY?!” We are so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives that we think everyone is in our way, that everyone else is the problem.

So how does this connect to superheroes and college? Like any superhero, or college student, there are those moments when we can rush in “guns blazing” or we can take a step back and take a moment to think about the decisions that are before you. Think about Spider-man. After his Uncle Ben was killed, Peter Parker hunted down the man who killed him, got the revenge he thought he deserved. In the end, after killing Ben’s murderer, all he got wa pain and heartache, regret for the decision that he had made.

So this is what I ask of you, that I want you to think about as you go through your days: take a moment to slow down, smell the roses, as they say. I’m not saying that you can’t be angry or get frustrated at those around you. There are days when people just aren’t thinking straight, but don’t go around blindly as so many in our society do. Think about the decisions and choices you are making. And please, do not think that I am speaking down to you, that I think I am so much better than you. I am still the guy who screams at people as I am driving! I too am trying to figure this out. My point in writing this is to get the conversations started and to have you stop for a moment and think!

 

What Should We Call it….

College is one of the few times in your life, if one of the only, in which you will be with such a large amount of people of the same age group as yourself. While you all may be in the same age range, everyone you meet in college, yourself included, are different and unique. You will be exposed to new ideas, new cultures and ways of looking at the world. You will be challenged, forced to consider where you stand on social and moral issues, and it may be difficult. You will meet people of different race, sexual orientation, and ideals. The people you meet in college will help to shape who you will become as a person, if you let them. But here is the thing, when you get to college you have to make a choice. Are you going to accept people for who they are or are you going to judge them and believe that because they are different that makes them bad?


Joss Whedon, director of such blockbuster hits as The Avengers and Toy Story, has brought up a new idea of recognizing and showing equality, something that we all should strive for in college and afterwards.  


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDmzlKHuuoI


Now I’m not saying that you are a genderist by showing this video. The point is to make you think! While you may not consider yourself to be a racist or a sexist or any other negative ist word there is, the question you have to ask yourself is do you accept everyone for who they are? When you are in college and after, will you continue to accept people for who they are or will you judge them because they do not fit into the boxes that society considers to be “correct?” These are questions you must ask yourself, because while college may be the largest congregation of people in the same age range as yourself, it will not be the last time you will be around a diverse range of people.