Thursday, December 18, 2014

Stephanie Katherine Fidis: Cum Laude

That's what they will call me at graduation in May. This semester was one of my hardest ever during my time here at Albertus Magnus, and I am positive that my final semester will be its equal; it was, however, an incredibly fruitful semester. 

I received all of my final marks this morning and I have earned my Christmas vacation with a 3.9 GPA (for this semester) and all A's. I was flabbergasted...still am. If someone presented me with this report card in high school, I would have thought that someone higher up was bribed. 

All A's...
Can you believe it?!

I really want to earn Magna Cum Laude status for graduation, but my overall GPA is only a 3.5 (Cum Laude). To be a Magna I would need to have a GPA of 3.7 by graduation time. Is that even possible? Maybe I could just convince Dean O'Connell to read the Cum Laude part as he calls my name?

When I look back on my earlier school years, I realize how far I have come and how much hard work has been applied to my academics. I work harder in school than my other siblings. Homework and tests comes so easily for them. I feel much better about myself now that I am on their level a little more than I used to be. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A little R and R

Tomorrow is the day i have been waiting for, dreaming about, drooling over, etc. You get the picture. I finally get to go hone for Christmas vacation! I anticipate this being very short but fulfilling break from school. I have wild dreams of being able to read novels and work on parts of my own whilst sitting in my bed with a hot cup of tea. Mmm...

I have such a crazy, busy schedule from now until Christmas Day. This week i will decorate two trees and go to work for two days. Before you know it, it's Christmas Eve morning and we are heading out the door to make strouffoli. "Soon it will be Christmas day" (Bing Crosby).

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Winter Break is Here

It's finally time for me to kick back, relax, and watch as the rest of the campus suffers through finals time. All of my finals were last week and are therefore completed! Now, I plan to spend my days napping in bed, reading novels, working out, and just detoxing from this semester. Of course, there will be the days spent in the Writing Center, the nights in the Pub, and those spent sitting on duty, but I will have to persevere. 

December 15 at 5 p.m. - that's the last day I will be on campus until the new year.
8 more days to go. 

Last night was the Winter Formal. Everything looked so magical! It was Mardi Gras themed. They decorated the BCR with fancy Mardi Gras archways, trees completed with strands of lights, and snow to complete the image. There were also walls covered in sheets of white lights to give it a snowy look. There was a photo booth there and my friends and I took advantage of it. Sometimes it can be really fun to just accessorize and take funny photos. The best photos are the ones with errors because only you know about them. It's the blemishes that make them beautiful. My whole group looked quite glamorous. 

The Wolcott boys had lovely suits on and masquerade masks that completed the outfits. 
Erika's purple dress, beautifully accented with a glittery silver pin, accentuated her natural features nicely. 
Emili and I matched: my dress was blue with black lace sleeves and she wore a black dress with blue tights the color of my dress. 
Meaghan's purple dress was so cute and sparkled when you looked at it in the right light; her silvery headband really completed the outfit.
Caroline had on this red dress that made her look completely comfortable with herself. 

I wish that we had stayed longer at the dance, but, alas alack, the group wanted to go out to Miya's for sushi at 10:30. It was a fun night because we were all together.

My plans for break include spending massive amounts of time with my family, hanging out with new friends, and working on my book. If I want to succeed as a serious writer, I have to work on pieces to submit to different magazines and contests, both online and in print. I have ten pages of my novel, but I am not sure that I am in love with the story. I have a couple of short stories in the works as well. I have one that I really want to submit somewhere. I am very proud of that piece. Maybe I will do a little career research too. I don't really know what I want to do after Graduation. Do I really want to work for a publishing house? Maybe I want to try the Script Supervisor job? Anything I do apply for will be an entry-level position, but I just need to be sure. I also need to study these companies I am thinking of applying to. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving is here again...

I am trying so hard to restrain myself and not freak out about waiting on campus for residents to leave and fighting against this potential snow mess that could happen. I would hate to have to take a train home to New York in messy weather, but I am just doing the best I can to distract myself. I have started work on my novel again and I just cranked out one of my final papers. Luckily, I took a rough draft to the Writing Center, so finishing it up was a cinch. I do not have much to say tonight, but I did want to re-introduce myself to you because I have been missing in action around here. November was just about the craziest month ever for me. I cannot wait to go home and see my family!

This past weekend, I finished a book! I was so jazzed because I have not had time for pleasure reading in four weeks. I completed Stewart O' Nan's Last Night at the Lobster in one afternoon. It is a pretty short book, but it took the longest time for me to just sit down and finish it. The novel itself was pretty interesting to read because the author did so much research about the terms used in a restaurant and really made me feel like I was spending a snowy day inside a Red Lobster. It was exciting for me to read this because I have lived in New Haven now for four years and he would mention road signs or different cities in Connecticut that I could not help but crack the widest smile as if to say "Oh my gosh! I know where that is!"

Well, I have a hot cup of tea and one more assignment calling my name before I crash land under my comforter. I will definitely be back very soon with more exciting updates!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Feeling Good

The best feeling is when a student I tutored in the writing center receives a kick ass grade on a paper: a 99! Wow! Although, it's bothering me what the one point reduction was for. I really appreciate academic success and his paper was really awesome. I have been a Writing Associate for so long that sometimes I feel like my eyes just don't catch all the things we are supposed to. All it takes is one success to know that after 3 1/2 years, I can still do my job effectively.

So, this month is a big one for writer's across the globe. It's National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This is the first year that I am participating in such an event. The goal is start and finish a 50,000 word novel or more in the month of November. 

50,000 words in 30 days; quite the endeavor. 

Luckily, I am working on this challenge with my best friend Carlo. He and I are cheerleaders for one another. We read whatever the other has written and offer comments and feedback. As aspiring writers, we depend on the constructive criticism offered by those closest to us. 

So far I have a little over 2,000 words. I have a long way to go.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November is Here

According to the calculations of my countdown app, I have 195 days until graduation. Does anyone understand how amazing that feels? I have one semester left as an RA, as a WA, as a member of SAA, as the co-editor of Breakwater and as a student. I registered for my last 15 credits, I am working on the first chapter of my first novel and I am having fun going to the gym three days a week. 

I have a plan. 
It's pretty well thought out, if you ask me.
I created a workout schedule for the semester based on my class times, work study, duty nights and desk hours. I workout for at least 30 minutes three times a week. I am off to a pretty excellent start. Last week, I went to the gym on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Meaghan and I went today, but I did not do thirty minutes. It's okay though because I am going tomorrow and Tuesday. Maybe I will have enough energy by Thursday afternoon to workout after class. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Welcome to the show

Here we are. 
The year is winding down and soon 2014 will be a thing of the past. 
Let's take a look at my list of to-do's:

-Register for my final semester
-Attend Fall Fest
-Complete assignments in timely manner

Oh...and my personal favorite one,

-Finally wake up on time for my Monday morning class.

I have one more class to register for because quite frankly I would not be an Albertus student if I registered without problems. Today, I have a few errands to run around campus that are residual from Fall Fest this past weekend. 

Most of the clan was here this weekend: Mommy, Daddy, Aunt Mary Anne, Rachel, Warren, Gabrielle, and Jonathan. It was really nice having them here. I took them on a tour of our gorgeous campus and I attempted to show it off to them, but since it was a Saturday, most of the buildings were locked up. Oh well. Next time I guess. 

During Fall Fest, Breakwater was hard-at-work selling coffee, tea and hot chocolate while holding a paint-your-own-pumpkin activity to raise money for the 2015 publication of Breakwater.

On Sunday, Residential Life spent the day at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, CT. It was a gorgeous day and we got to go through the corn maze as a group, indulge in hot apple crisps and apple cider, and then we spent some time in the apple trees biting into some of the juiciest apples I have had all year. Kim was searching for some Golden Delicious, but instead we ate the Reds. Working through the maze was the best part for me because it required all of our brains to figure out how to read the map and to take risks and try different routes. It was just a nice, family day at the orchards. 

Now, I am not normally an apple crisp kind of girl and quite frankly the apple chunks were too large for me in this particular one, but I am willing to give it a try in the future as long as it is paired with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream melting into it. 

It's time to start the day I suppose. I have so much to do and a 10:45 class to attend in about 2 1/2 hours. Have a great day everyone! 

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.