Saturday, November 29, 2014

Wolf Hollow Half Marathon

Last weekend I ran the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon! This was a race I found randomly through Running in the USA when I was searching for a half to sign up for, and I invited a few people to join me (as I do with every race I register for). Surprisingly, 5 people decided to sign up and join so we had a pretty solid crew of people all running the same day - both of my parents, Louie and his girlfriend, and my student Cassie, who was running her first half! My parents and Louie and his girlfriend signed up for the 2-person relay, while Cassie and I both signed up for the full race.

The race was located in Nashua, NH and the course itself was beautiful! The majority of the course went through Mines Fall Park, and with a New Hampshire autumn in full swing, it made for a beautiful backdrop during the run. The course for the full race was two loops, which I thought I wasn't going to enjoy (the idea of having the same scenery during a long run is always hard for me to imagine I'd like) but it was actually really nice to know where I was on the course the second time around and imagine how much of the race I had left.

It was a super gorgeous day (unseasonably warm for late-November in NH!) and we all crossed the finish line and got awesome medals (definitely my favorite one so far this year!). We celebrated afterward with a lunch at Shorty's. Overall it was a great day, and a wonderful way to close out my long-distance race schedule for the year! (Now it's time to look into races for 2015... yikes!)


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful in 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday, and for those of you who do not celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you're having a great day! This year, I'm heading up to Maine with my parents and pups to spend time with my extended family on my mom's side. It's great to be able to have time in my schedule this year to travel and spend time with them, because it's one of the only times of the year where I get to see them all at one time! As I mentioned last year, I always try to take a second to reflect what I'm thankful for. I'd like to just *ditto* everything from last year (I will always be thankful for friends, family, health, and jobs!) and also add a few things that are unique to this year in particular.

I'm on track to graduate with my Master's degree in May. At this point last year, the thought of graduation seemed pretty non-existent (I mean, even in the spring I still wasn't sure if graduating on time was in the cards for me). Now that my third semester is winding down and the assignments that I need to complete can be done pretty easily, it looks more and more that I'll be crossing the stage in the spring! It's a relief to be a bit more at ease about graduating on time as it was causing a lot of anxiety throughout my first year!

I've been able to balance everything in my life successfully this semester. Again, something I was very anxious about leading up to this fall! But I think I've done a really great job of taking care of all of my responsibilities, making sure my relationships are in a great spot, and also making sure I'm not losing my mind in the process. Taking things a day at a time and keeping a positive attitude has been extremely helpful, and I'm hoping it continues to get me through the rest of the academic year (even through the job/apartment search and an additional class during the spring semester!).

I've been given so many awesome professional opportunities this year and as a grad student, that's awesome. I was invited to present at a national convention and regional conference, I was offered a really cool graduate internship for the 2014-2015 year, I was offered a summer internship that allowed me to gain so much great hands-on experience with an orientation program, and I've been encouraged to do or apply to as many awesome things as I can get my hands on. It's really amazing to work with people who see professional potential in me in the field that I want to go into, and has really given me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and dream big!

What are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Non-Work Side of my Life*

I went back to check when the last time I gave you all a non-work related* life update and it's been over a month (woops), so I'd say I'm due for one! So what has happened in my life over the past 5 weeks? (I had to go through the photos on my phone to remember exactly...)

*Some of these are still work related, but my whole life is work at the moment, soooo what can ya do!

1. Rob and I went to see The Cruicible at Dean which was amazing. I love that show but had never seen it performed live, and I find the topic of the Salem Witch Trials to be so interesting, so needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The acting was incredbile as well. (Seriously, the student who played John Proctor was amazing.) It's so cool to say that I get to work with these students when I'm such a big fan of theirs! 

2. I tried the Sugar Cookie latte from Dunkin' Donuts. It was sub-par. #disappointing

3. Brett had his 26th birthday! We celebrated that evening with a few of his colleagues by going out to our favorite local Chinese restaurant, drinking some Mai Tais, and just taking some time from our hectic schedules to just relax. It was seriously just what we needed with all that we have going on, and he really enjoyed himself which is the most important part!

4. My student Cassie and I have been training for the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon! It's Cassie's first half and I'm very excited I get to run it with her and see her fall in love with this distance (trust me, Cass - you're going to get addicted). We ran the race itself yesterday, and I'll fill you in on how the day went later this week!

5. I worked my first major event at Clark - Jay Pharoah! He was hilarious and a very nice person as well. I got the chance to meet him after the show and take a photo with him, which was awesome! Other Student Activities people, if you're looking for a performer, I would totally recommend hiring Jay. He was great!

6. My family made the official decision that we will be jetting off on a family vacation for spring break! We haven't taken a trip as a family (just the four of us) since just before my sister graduated from high school in February 2006. So, with me about to graduate with my M.Ed. and to start really being a big kid, Mom & Dad thought we were due for another get away! We will be cruising from NOLA to Mexico, Belize, and Hounduras in mid-March (conveniently vacationing during both my dad's and sister's birthdays!) and I am pumped to go explore more of the world with them!

7. My CAs Mary and Jenna and I hosted my favorite program to host ever - DEEP FRIED EVERYTHING. This is a cooking/experiemental program that I tried out two years ago and was a huge hit, and so I decided to bring it back this year and it was just as successful! People loved trying out everything deep fried, learning how to make deep fried things (it's surprisingly very easy!), and just having the chance to hang out and bond!

8. Nichols had their last football game. It was a rough season, but I didn't see these guys give up one time through all of their losses. They always battled til the last whistle, which takes so much heart. If Nichols continues to play like that, they will eventually start winning more and more games in the years to come, and I hope I am there to watch it happen!

9. Rob and I went to see Urinetown at Dean on Friday (you know it's been a long time since my last life update when I can fit both of Dean's productions for the fall into one post). It was wonderful and hilarious and as usual, the Dean cast KILLED IT. I had never heard of Urinetown before the theater department announced that they would be doing the show, but I loved it and encourage everyone to go see it if they have the chance!

What have you been up to lately?

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Few of my Favorite Links {#9}

(Trigger Warning: metal health/suicide, sexual harassment)

With how crazy my schedule has been this semester, I wasn't sure if I was going to have enough links to share with you all in this post. But as I perused my  recent Facebook and Twitter posts, I've actually been finding quite a lot of things on the internet that are conversation worthy as of late! Take a read/watch/listen to these links, and let me know what your favorites are!

21 Products for Coffee Lovers

SO MANY of these IMMEDIATELY went on my wish list on the first pass through this list. Mugs and coffee accessories are always a good gift idea, in my opinion. I'm currently trying to coax Brett into buying me the iced coffee cup for Christmas (pictured above) that instantly chills your coffee when you're on the go! *mind explodes*

Why We Choose Suicide

I came across this TED Talk while I was doing research at my internship, and it was so powerful that I had to share it. Mark Henick shares his story of living with mental illness and attempting suicide himself, and although it's very uncomfortable to listen to him talk about it, he makes a good point - it's easy to talk about suicide as an issue as long as it's behind closed doors. As long as we don't have to deal with the suicide head on. In order to really make the issue of suicide a real priority, we have to be honest, be uncomfortable, and talk about it. Please watch this video with caution, as his stories are very real and chilling, but watch with an open mind and an understanding that we, as a society, need to be serious about changing our views and actions on mental illness.

Lockup Extended Stay: Charleston

My sister works in Corrections in South Carolina, and over the past year the people of Lockup on MSNBC have been filming at the jail she works at. Tomorrow the episode that features her jail will premeire at 9PM EST and there's a good chance she will be on it! I'm so excited to get an inside look at what she does on a day-to-day basis because it's so different from what I do. (I always laugh at myself when I'm stressing out over running an event for college students when my sister is literally risking her life at work every day!) Make sure you watch the trailer today (linked above) and the episode tomorrow night!

But What Was She Wearing?

You ever see a project and just want to give the creator a hug? I had that feeling when I first discovered "But What Was She Wearing?" last week. This is a blog that allows individuals (both men and women) to share their experiences of street harassment, and to share what they were wearing when they experienced it. Many victims of street harassment get the "but what were you wearing?" response when trying to tell their stories with the assumption that what you wear should indicate how people should treat you. On this blog, you see individuals dressed in all sorts of styles, and experiencing very similar situations. It really does not matter what someone is wearing - harassment can happen at any time. Check out this blog and read some of the submissions to further understand the aim behind this project.

21 Struggles Every Cashier Will Recognize

This post could NOT be more true. I was a cashier for a grocery store for a little over 7 years, and while it was a great first job and the company was very kind to me while I worked through my busy high school and college schedules, being in customer service can definitely wear on you over time. I can't tell you how many times I have experienced everything on this Buzzfeed list, and I'm so happy and thankful that I've been able to live without these annoyances in my life for the last year and a half. Customer service people, I feel for you and will forever treat you with respect because I know all too well how it feels!

Accurate representation of my life when I was a cashier.

What are some links you've been loving lately?
Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

25 Before 25: Finish a Painting (#16)

HELLO! I haven't forgotten about this list! 

I know it's been a while since I've posted about or accomplished any of these goals, but it's often in the back of my mind that I definitely need to step up my game in the 25 Before 25 department. But I've recently been able to cross out another item on my list - 16. Finish a painting.

*The photo is making the colors look a bit different than what they look like in person.

I did the bulk of this painting in August/September when I was going through a bit of a stressful point in the transition back into classes/internship/etc. and just needed a creative outlet, and I just put on the finishing touches yesterday evening. It felt so good to pick up a brush again, something I haven't really done since probably my junior year of college. I'm actually pretty impressed with myself to just pick up a brush and experiment, and I actually think the final product looks really cool.

Most of all, I just really enjoyed getting back to painting. I remember in high school I would just sit in my room or out on our deck and just paint. I missed the mixing of colors, the smell of the paint, getting paint all over my hands and clothes, and the feeling I get when something comes out just so unexpectedly awesome. The cool thing about painting is that you can't really control it. You can guide it along but it ultimately comes out the way it wants to. I know I sound pretty hipster and lame right now, but the experience I have when I paint just puts my perfectionist tendencies in check and I really enjoy being able to do that from time to time.

I really want to continue painting more regularly, and although I may not have all the time or energy in the world to do so at the moment, I would love to start creating pieces for friends, family, and colleagues who might want an extra piece of art in their homes or offices. Because I don't have a ton of money at the moment to purchase supplies for this endeavor, I would probably charge a small fee to do so (likely from $5-$30, depending on what you'd like), but my ultimate goal is to experience the joy that painting brings me while also creating a piece you'd love to have in your home. If you'd like me to paint something for you, please reach out to me so we can make my goal of painting more frequently and your goal of a new piece of art in your possession a reality! [/salespitch]

*I'm attempting to reach 25 goals before I reach the age of 25! Want to see the whole list? Check it out here!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mixing It Up: NACA Northeast 2014

Bears on Day 1 - ready to take on #NACAne!

A couple of weekends ago, I ventured down to Hartford with 11 awesome BSU students and 4 other awesome BSU staff members for the NACA Northeast Regional Conference! Because I'm nearing the end of my graduate experience and will soon be on the job hunt, my approach to tackling this conference was a bit different than last year's approach, which was basically "omg I have no clue what I'm doing so I guess I'll just try everything" (my normal approach to anything in life).

This year, with the help of my OSIL buds, I tried my best to become more involved on-site as well as meet as many people as my shy, introvert self can handle. I do want NACA to become a big part of my professional life and because I'm planning to stay in the region, I wanted to be sure I met a good number of my future colleagues while I was there.

My fear of public speaking is written all over my face...

I had the opportunity to present an educational session with my direct supervisor on program board advising, and while I was pretty nervous to share my experiences with a room full of established professionals, I think it was received well and we received many positive comments from those that attended, which is always encouraging!

I also, of course, got to spend a significant amount of time with the BSU delegation (the best part of the conference). They always make me so proud with how much heart and energy they put into everything they do, including attending conferences! They really see the value of attending things like the NACA Regional conferences and know that what they learn will benefit more than themselves, which is pretty amazing in my eyes.


I'm hoping that I will get the chance to attend NACA Northeast again in 2015 (the way NACA works is that you have to be part of a "member institution", as a student or a professional, in order to be a part of the organization, so if I don't end up landing a job at a member institution before next November I won't be able to go :/) but even if it doesn't work out I know that NACA will be in my very near future regardless!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Graduate Internship: 2 Month Update

The SLP Staff (aka the Clark delegation) at NACA Northeast last weekend!

I am currently on week 11 of my 15 week practicum for the fall semester and time is FLYING. I know that I mentioned that only being here 10 hours a week really makes it seem like time is just slipping away, and it still rings true. I'm usually only at Clark two days a week which also contributes to the illusion of the semester going by unusually fast. (By the time I finally catch up on everything I've missed while I was off campus, it's time for me to leave again!) I'm still really enjoying my time here, though, and am finally starting to feel a bit more acclimated to the Clark culture.


I'm getting significantly more student interaction on a day-to-day basis now, which I've been loving. I've been working 1-on-1 with my blog contributors on a semi-regular basis, and have even gotten the chance to sit in on a few Undergraduate Student Council meetings, which has been a pretty cool experience as I haven't yet worked with a student government organization.

I would definitely stick to my first observation that Clark students are very passionate and aren't afraid challenge ideas and face difficult situations. They aren't afraid to really ask questions of the staff, express their opinions on ideas, and make their voices heard. It's a refreshing change of pace from other campuses that I have been involved with, whose students may be a bit more reserved with it comes to difficult topics.

Moving forward, I'm hoping I will get to continue my interactions with Student Council, and I'm going to get to start interacting with the Orientation staff as well, which we all know that I LOVE! Next semester will definitely be much more hands on when it comes to working with students, which I am really looking forward to.


The SLP blog is officially off the ground! So far we've had 3 posts on very different topics, and I'm excited to continue working with the contributors to bring out their creativity when it comes to approaching leadership topics. If you'd like to take a peak at what we've been writing about, check it out here. (We actually just posted a really awesome infographic that one of the students I work with made today!)

I'm also still researching how other institutions approach leadership programs and how those programs could be implemented here. I'm meeting with a committee of faculty and staff members at Clark next Friday to discuss this topic (which will be really awesome!) and see what its place is here. I'm very interested to see what type of leadership issues are brought up at this meeting.

As I mentioned above, I'll be working more with the Orientation staff, particularly running leadership development sessions with them as they prepare for the summer. I'm going to meet with the Orientation Coordinators (sort of like the "head" Orientation Leaders) tomorrow and I can't wait to get a feel for their personalities and what it will be like to work with them throughout the rest of the academic year!

Tomorrow night I'll be attending my first Clark event - Jay Pharoah - put on by the Major Events Committee! I haven't yet been able to make a major event work in my schedule, so I am very excited to see what a large event looks like on this campus. I know that I'll be present at a few very large events in the spring that are beloved Clark traditions, but I'm glad I'll get the chance to see an event in action this semester as well!

I can't believe I only really have a month left of my first semester here. I'm very thankful that I'll get to continue my internship through the spring as well - one semester is definitely not enough! I'll be posting next month with my next update, so stay tuned!