Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We are coming into the home stretch now. Soon, the school will be buzzing with talk about classes for next semester, Thanksgiving vacation, the campus tree lighting finally Christmas break. Normally, Christmas is the time that students count down until. 

Not me.

I like the countdown until registration day. My idea of a good time is flipping through the course catalog and arranging different course combinations for upcoming semesters. The saddest moment is when the schedule is finalized and there are no more decisions to be made. On October 22, I will plan my final semester of classes. My final semester here at Albertus Magnus College will be boiled down to 17.5 credits. My role as a n Executive Founding member of the Student Alumni Association will run out in January and I will be reduced to a general member. I have always been an executive member; I just wish it did not have to end. 

Before you know it, May will be upon us and I will be relieved of my Resident Assistant responsibilities. What will I do without them? be honest, I will probably sleep a lot better at night, but I will miss the job. My purpose is to serve as an RA. How can I just relinquish that job?

Graduation will come and then I will really be lost. Planning for my final semester is a bittersweet moment. I have been waiting and working towards this for four long, hard years, but I just wish it had not come so soon. Everything is here.

I am most upset about graduating this year and not last year because my older sister (who has already done the big ceremony from NYU thing) is basically stealing my Graduation Day from me. No, that was not her intent when she began her Graduate program, but that is how it feels. She went to NYU. My parents watched her walk across the stage of Radio City Music Hall and receive her "diploma". We all watched from the stands of Yankee Stadium as they graduated the different schools. It was impressive and she had most of our family there. We were proud of her; we are still proud of her - but I just wish that I could have that moment to myself this May.

My family now has to split and decide who will see what graduation. The most important people in my family will all be at mine: mommy, daddy, Gabrielle, Jonathan, Aunt Mary Anne. I really want the whole family there: Uncle Michael, Nicole, Aunt Kristine, Angela, Joseph, Poppa, Rachel and Warren.

The list could go on.

Registration is a magically philosophical time for me and I plan to enjoy my last one. 

My impending college graduation is the most important day of my life. I did not plan on going to college, when I was younger and naive. Now, I am preparing to graduate from college and I deserve to have my whole family there. I deserve to have my own graduation day, just for me and me alone, just like Miss NYU had. 

Did I not earn the same respect for my achievements as Rachel did?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


How did we all do on Midterms?! Yes, some teachers do not have an actual midterm assignment or exam, but we can still have grades that either send us into a flurried panic or calm our souls at this point in the semester. Mine was the latter. I am still a little panicked over my grades, but they are good grades. I think I feel extra pressure because of my impending graduation this May. I really want to graduate from here with honors (Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude). I have to work really hard, but I know that I can do it. Maybe if I shoot for all A's at the end of this semester?

So far, I have three B+'s for my midterm grades. I do not know if I should be happy or worried about that. I think I should feel a little proud because those grades are in my three most difficult classes. 

Right now, I am balancing so much that I get headaches: sitting on duty at night, working in the Pub, organizing Breakwater, running to meetings and trying to find some down time for myself. It is all very stressful. I don't like it. Stress is not fun. That's why it is so important to manage your time well and not just in college. Now, that midterms are over, I think I feel a bit calmer, but we shall see how that long that keeps up.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

To Write...

For me, writing can be as easy as breathing or harder than candy corn after Halloween. I have chosen to embark on this journey that will end with me earning the title Novelist. Writing is so fickle because there will be days where your brain is filled with great ideas and interesting points of dialogue. Then, there are the days where the brain is dried up, tired and void of any creative thoughts. 

October started on a high note for me. I completed my very own short story, shared it in my Composing Process class and received rave reviews with some begging for more to the story. Here is my philosophy; if you are going to write, then do it. Don't hide behind the fear of rejection or the possibility for constructive criticism. Yes, there is such a thing as author's choice, but please be open to the idea of accepting feedback from those who are kind of to read the mutterings of a mad writer. You never know what reactions you will get. 

There are no standards for writers. It is not like writing a term paper where you have to write in MLA, APA, or Chicago formatting. Writers can create their own form, their own set of rules. I went on Tumblr tonight, and this is what I found. It is a quote by W. Somerset Maugham.

No one knows the rules because there truly are no rules. Writing is not something that can be boxed into a structure. are my three rules for all of you future writers that might be reading this:
Be Creative. Be Brave. Be Confident. 

It has taken me years to figure this out, but I am starting to. It is never too late. If you want to make it in the world as literary figures, then remember these three things and you will be fine.

Well Done, Pig

My school years are coming to a close and all of my school gear is falling apart.
These things are aging, just like me. Although, they are aging at a more rapid pace than I am.
The backpack that I have had since the 5th grade has to go in the garbage tonight.
My computer is falling apart and I am seriously considering buying a new one after school ends in May. Of course, I would have to buy it for myself, so saving the money for it will be hard. Maybe it will miraculously be a better laptop when I wake up in the morning?
Wishful thinking...I know.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Not Sorry | #ShineStrong Pantene

I came across this on Facebook. Now, it is a Pantene commercial, but it really does have an important message inside the video. Please watch it!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Use Your Skills

As October slowly walks into our lives, I need to reflect on how productive my September was. I wrote a short story and I cracked down and began to write my very first novel. I do have a working title and I would share a sample here, but I cannot risk someone stealing my work. Trust no one; question everything - that's my motto.

Carlo has started working on his novel too. He has a full first chapter. I am really proud of the two of us. It is an exciting time for writers and I cannot wait for the day that he and I both have a finished product in our hands. 

I think I want to try and publish my short story somewhere. It still needs some tweaking, but I will work on it until I am ready for it to go somewhere. 

My goals for October:
  • Write 2 chapters of my novel
  • Finish and submit my short story somewhere
  • Lose two pounds
  • Go to the gym two days a week for 30 minutes.
  • Catch up on all my school work

Cheers to a successful October!

I need a stress ball...

These past couple of weeks have been stressful ones. The work load is insane this year. Duty nights feel longer and the repetition of my schedule is driving me a little insane. Why did no one stop me from scheduling a class at 10:45 on Monday and Wednesday mornings??? It is so boring, but it is part of my minor so I need to get through it with my head held high. 

I am kind of behind in some of my classes because of all the online components they have. Why do schools have to use online assignments? What ever happened to the good old fashioned hand graded, hard copy, put it on the teacher's desk at the start of class assignments? That's what I grew up with. If I am being completely honest, I would have to say that my favorite class this semester is The Composing Process with Dr. Cole because she makes us hand our work right to her. She brings in her manila file folder and we place our weekly writing in there. 

So many of my classes have online forums and readings. You know what? I cannot read school work on a screen so I then have to find a printer and get the reading, take notes and somehow remember to answer a forum online. It's just not worth it. 

My RA stuff is getting to be too much as well. I am finding that I am exceedingly more ornery this year than I was last year. Sitting on duty from 8-12 or 8-1 is getting harder and harder. Hosting floor functions, constantly redecorating bulletin boards, and acting as a disciplinary are no longer my ideas of a good time. I have zero free time. My free time is the occasional night I am neither at work nor am I on duty. Those nights I will often do homework though. 

At this point, I can only hope that things will get better soon. It is so important to feel well rested and energized for your week. I try to soothe myself by reading for a few minutes, but it is never pleasure's more school work. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday Night's Alright for Duty

Tonight I am on duty in Sansbury Hall and it is definitely a dead zone here. The place is so incredibly silent. I find myself missing McAuliffe Hall because it is a 24 hour quiet dorm, but Sansbury is practically the same.

My night consists of sitting at the front table, smiling when appropriate, and watching my way through my "Must Watch" list on Netflix because apparently there are only 500 slots in which to mark things as a must-watch. There is one hour left and I have just started viewing the first season of ABC's Lipstick Jungle. It had all of, like, two seasons when it was on television, but it is actually kind of good to me. The women in this show have cell phones that could rival the dinosaurs at this point: a pink Motorola Razr, a flip cell and a blackberry (series 1). The show is good, the writing could use a little work, in my opinion, and the characters are these chic New York City not quite socialite corporate women. They lead such scandalous and fast paced lives, but there is just something about them that makes my mind soar.
I love them!
Watching them makes me want to write my book and read the novel Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell. I may have to make a trip to Barnes & Noble to acquire said novel.

This weekend, I got to hang out with my best friend, Courtney Pray. It was amazing! For one full afternoon, her attention was all mine and we just fell back into place as if she never graduated and moved to Albany. We had lunch and then hung out in Downtown New Haven as we made our way through College Night. Together, we picked out the perfect gift for my boss, Justin. I just hope he does not already own the gift I am giving him.

As a non-sequitur, I want to bring up the fact that I have been giving serious thought to a new life plan. I have actually considered looking into Grad School...particularly MFA programs. Right now, I am considering Albertus, College of St. Rose in Albany NY, Adelphi University and some places out in LA. Now...let me clarify something about the Los Angeles plan. The only way I could do grad school in Los Angeles is if I have a job out there and I can find an awesome apartment. Los Angeles might be on the back burner for a bit longer. I am serious about applying though. Anything that I can do to further my writing experience, the better it will be for me. I know that as a writer it might not be super important, but as a future Editor, it could very well be the difference between Penguin-Random House and unemployed. My plan is to apply for graduate school and if I get in, I will look for a job at the same time. Potentially I will work and go to school and maybe during that time, I will find an apartment. I guess it depends where the job is. This is an exciting time for me...even though transitions are always tough for me. As my mother pointed out, the yearly move from home into the dorms is enough to shock my system. I cannot imagine what finding a job and moving to my own place will do to me.

I have to start doing some research because applications are probably due soon.
Back to the Lipstick Jungle marathon.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Today Was a...

Today was the day that I looked at the sprawling greenish-brown hills, the gorgeous sun set on the horizon and the tall buildings of the Albertus Magnus campus and asked myself, "Am I ready to graduate?" Yes I know that I am getting way ahead of myself by thinking about graduation in May in September, but you have to talk to yourself sometimes; or, at least I do.

I look around this campus now and I reflect on how I felt about being on this campus for the very first time. I recall telling myself that I would never live in one of the dorms up the hill and how I was not going to join any clubs or hold any major roles on campus.
I live in Sansbury.
I am an RA, WA, Breakwater Co-Editor, SAA VP of Philanthropy and Fundraising and a Dean's List student.

Looking around the cafeteria is like admiring a train station in a foreign country; I do not speak the language, it is over crowded and I feel lost once again. There are so many new faces. None of them know how things were at Albertus when I was a freshman. The old cafeteria, prior to the re-model, cannot even exist as a fond memory for them because they did not live through it.

Today was an interesting experience for me because I went downtown with my friend and fellow RA, Matt, and we had such a good time. It was strange though. I am so used to having my best friend Carlo as my travel companion that it feels weird going there without him. While we were there today, Matt and I were walking past this man who was asking for park his car. I recently emptied all of my quarters into the bank in exchange for cash. I felt terrible for him.

I glanced in his direction, muttered some semblance of the response to the question and kept walking and it was not until way after the fact that I thought to myself. "Maybe I should go back and offer to pay the money for his parking," but it was too late. By that time, Matt and I were crossing the street to continue our journey downtown to Rite Aid. I feel terrible. This will most likely be one of those haunting memories every time I go downtown.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What is Creativity?

I am taking this course called The Creative Mind taught by Professor Dell. It counts for either a Communications or Drama C-Level, 3 credit course. I seriously recommend it. We were discussing today what we thought our definitions of the word achievement were and we think that links to how curious people can be. I thought this was interesting because is it not true that every person on this planet has their own standards for what they believe to be achievements in life? Some people consider making a certain salary, owning a fancy car or buying a house to be an achievement. Other people might consider something you imagined and made come to fruition to be an achievement.

Professor Dell gave us this quote by Ken Robinson. It says, "Curiosity is the engine of achievement."
If curiosity is the engine of achievement, then it is those curiosities that cause people to ask the questions that will help them work towards achievements. In some ways, for me at least, the realization that you can ask questions is an achievement on its own. Achievements are whatever we want and need them to be just so long as they are special to us.

We also touched upon the idea behind Humor and creativity.
Are they linked?
Are they distinctly good or bad when put together?
Is too much creativity a bad thing?
Is too much humor a bad thing?

These are some of the questions I have been assigned to answer. I'll let you know what I come up with.