Transformation Tuesday

I know that it’s not Tuesday, but the title is fitting for this final blog of the semester. Tomorrow I will move out of the dorms and close the door on the first chapter of my college career. All in all, this year has been fantastic.

I began my transformation in late August, excited, nervous and ready to meet new people. I didn’t start with that instant “click” that so many people come home and talk about. My first weekend here was kind of lonely to be totally honest. I’ve never been one to be super shy, but I was lacking confidence and really knew no one around me.

And then I met “the ones.” We all somehow got grouped together and all happened to occupy every room on the floor that ended with a 1. We went to our first college party together, worked with each other’s schedules to always have a lunch buddy and spent several late nights watching films together. Over the year we learned who real friends were and our group shrunk from 6 to 4, but I think it’s better this way.

I have found my best friend in my roommate and fellow “one,” Becca. She has taught me to be daring, be different and to take time to treat myself. B has been a huge part of my transformation this year.

Another place I have found opportunities and support in is my sorority, whose open motto is the namesake of this blog. I have connected with so many fabulous girls that love me and our chapter. I know that through this sisterhood I will be able to impact the world around me and Gamma Phi lets my talents as a leader shine. I look forward to living with and loving these girls in the house next year.

The final portion of my transformation has come through the Lutheran Student Center. This faith-based family was the first place I found home in on that beginning welcome weekend. Through the LSC my faith has expanded, strengthened and I been motivated to work hard to serve the Lord and those around me. This summer in my own church I plan to lead a young girls’ Bible study, sing in the praise band and lead VBS music, all with the confidence I have gained through the LSC.

My journey is far from over, and I know that I will look back on this and think, “man, I was a BABY!” But my life is so full of incredible things because of this place, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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Soap.

disney

Everyone goes to the bathroom. It’s part of life. Gross and weird, maybe, but still an event (or 6) that happens every day. After doing your “duty” the next step in the equation is washing your hands. This should also be an event that happens daily. Using a little soap and warm water is not gross or weird, but actually normal, expected even.

Over this year I have come to notice that some of the girls that I share a bathroom with do not feel the need to just utilize some soap. Let me paint this picture: About 40 of us live together on the floor and all of us use the bathroom centered on the hall. This bathroom is equipped with 5 sinks, 2 soap dispensers and 2 blow dryers, AKA all the necessary materials to just wash your hands. I walk my 25 feet to the bathroom door, unlock it with my key card and proceed to use the restroom. As I am washing my hands (LIKE A NORMAL, CLEAN and SANITARY person) previously stated “girl” exits the stall and heads straight to the door.

In my head, I’m standing there thinking, “EWWWWW! Girl friend, you forgot a MAJOR step in this process!! Get your mean-muggin’ self back in here and wash your dang hands!” But instead I just make a face and try not to think about it.

The fact of the matter is, washing your hands is important. Nobody wants “poop hands” as a nickname, that’s just not right. So do yourself and the other restroom users (meaning the entire planet) a favor and throw some soap on those nasty paws.

 

Be Smart. Be Passionate.

As a typical college student, the first question I get is “do you like it?” In my head I’m all: Duh. College is the best place on the planet. In what universe would I not LOVE it?? But out loud it sounds more like: Yes! College is great and I’m really enjoying it. The next question is “What is your major?” Now this one is a little more complicated. My major is special education and I usually get one of three responses:

  1. Oh! My grandma did that!
  2. Yikes. You must be nuts…
  3. Cool! Why special ed?

Why Special Ed? Because I’m smart! When I was little I always thought that if I chose to be a teacher instead of something more study-intensive, like a doctor or mechanical engineer, I would be wasting my talents. When I shared this concern with my mom, she totally changed my mind. She explained that the best and brightest teachers should be instructing special education classes. Those kids need specialized attention, lessons taught in a million different ways and all of that has to happen while you’re trying to advance both life skills and basic curriculum. It takes someone smart to make that all happen successfully.

I attribute much of my passion for teaching and special education to my mother. She was a special educator for several years and now serves the department by provided achievement testing as a process coordinator. I grew up in that realm. I am familiar with several disabilities, the lingo used and some of the ways to approach those kinds of students. I like to say that I have a “specialized patience”; I have almost no tolerance for those who are capable, but chose to be lazy, and when it comes to special education students, my outlook is totally different.

Now, at the end of my freshman year, I have no doubts about my future as a teacher. I’m itching to get into my own classroom, working with my own students to become successful people.  The moral of this story is not to doubt your passions. You have to do what makes you happy instead of what you feel like others are pushing you towards. It’s safe to say that yes, I could be doctor, but I sure do not want to be and that would not make me a happy person.

Blast from the Past

There’s just something about “classic” Disney channel that brings back great memories. After watching what my baby sister sees day-in and day-out it would appear that Disney is nothing like it used to be. How many of us remember dying to see “Luck of the Irish” where the handsome teenager turns into a leprechaun and has to win a basketball game to redeem his family? Or learning valuable life lessons from the always-stylish Lizzie McGuire? Even going back and re-watching these shows, I am in love with how great they were. My 19-year-old self and 9-year-old self sure can appreciate some solid films!

I feel like today’s Disney shows and movies lack creativity, strong moral stories and smart characters. Everything is dumbed down, geared towards kindergarteners instead of the 10-year-olds that actually understand what they’re absorbing.

So to wrap up this rant, I might as well throw in yet another list of my favorites and take you down memory lane with these fabulous shows/films:

  • Zenon
  • Lizzie McGuire
  • Even-Stevens
  • Smart House
  • That’s So Raven
  • Brink
  • Cadet Kelly
  • Luck of the Irish
  • High School Musical (Original)
  • Phil of the Future

It’s (Almost) Summertime, Y’all!

Break out the flip flops, country music and bug spray, because it is (almost) summertime!! It has finally come to that awesome time of year where everything slows down and we finally get to relax a little bit. I don’t know about you, but summer is one of my very favorite times of year. Here are some of the things that I like to do at home when I’m not working. Maybe I’ll give you an idea for filling your own time this season:

-Go see a couple movies at the Drive-In

-Swimming!

-Float trip

-Canoeing trip

-Motorcycle rides

-bonfires and s’mores

-backyard camping

-bike rides around town

-make smoothies

-decorate the sidewalks with motivational messages

My summer will be filled with lots of work, but only half days. So I will be spending many afternoons napping in the pool. I feel like no matter who or where you are, everyone needs “summertime”. Sunlight is good for your health, breaks are needed to combat stress and it just rejuvenates you for whatever task lies ahead. Driving around with a cold Sonic coke, country radio blaring and top down is what the doctor has ordered for this chick. I hope the next 12 weeks treat you well! Come back tan and happy!

 

Ghosts, Homes and Memories

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts. Describe the ghosts that live in this house: Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic
For this blog I chose to let WordPress “inspire me.” Something about ghosts and houses and the memories they hold.

Personally, I love old houses. The nooks and crannies, hard wood floors and crown molding, a big fireplace and a little bit of dust from the old vents. But the disheveled brick house pictured above doesn’t really fit that description or look like it experienced very much love and appreciation. I imagine the ghosts that live here don’t want to be stuck in this cramped shell of a home. The story could go one of two ways: 1. the home held a poor family, full of struggle and hurt or 2. the home was once well cared for by a new couple that only needed a small space to nurture and call their own.

Instead of being sad, lets explore the latter. The ghosts of this sweet place are happy, reliving moments of happiness and excitement. Scenes of laughter are caught in the peeling wallpaper and the creaking floors squeak from memories of dancing feet. Once their family grew too large for the quaint homestead, they relocated to something more fitting, but always returned to reminisce throughout the years. Now they have returned to stay. This place is where it all started: first Christmas, the first burnt dinners and first arguments. Where the couple learned to live with one another’s faults and annoyances, as well as learned each other’s secrets and dreams.

The image is titled, “love don’t live here anymore…” but I think otherwise. The love is just hidden in memories only the ghosts can see. A lot of times I think we forget the impact a place can have on our lives. Our homes, favorite places, family vacation places all hold memories that only we can experience. We tend to complain that it’s dirty or smells funky or that the floors creak. But each location has a past, memories etched in the walls and footprints on the floor. What is significant is remembering the value of how these places got that way.

So don’t dread the ghosts or the amount of work that needs to be done to these various places to fully enjoy them, but love the moments that are happing now. Reminisce with old memories and seek to continue creating new ones.

brick wall

So the big project rough draft is due tomorrow. I have roughly 23 hours to whip out something amazing and educated and insightful and impressive. Currently I have about 3 pages of scrambled thoughts and complicated sentences that are difficult to read. Also, there are no citations to prove that what I’m spewing out is actually valid. In conclusion, I am driving the struggle bus with this paper.

I think the biggest factor in my blockage of awesome is a serious lack of motivation. It’s not that I loath writing (I mean, I am ranting here on this oh so lovely blog for your enjoyment) but I just don’t feel the fire under my ass to get it done.

I’m hoping that this free write of rambling crap will help clear out the brick wall that is currently looking like the paper I’m supposed to be feverishly writing.

If you have successfully made it to the end of my brilliance, here’s a video link to lift your spirits! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTzTt1VnHRM It’s amazing what medical technology can do!