Sunday, April 22, 2012


Today was my last Chapter as APO president. As ready as I was to be done with the responsibility, I do not think I am ready to pass the gavel.

As we were doing election for president, I became oddly possessive. I came to the sudden realization that I am not ready to let go, I am not ready for APO to not feel like my responsibility anymore.

I know it is not solely my responsibility, but still...

I kept thinking of more things I want to do. I have been in this Fraternity since my very first semester at Oglethorpe. As a pledge and a freshman, the whole process was one big cluster fuck. I understood absolutely nothing, knew absolutely no one. I even forgot to go to my own initiation.

Needless to say, at that time being president was the last thing on mind, and honestly never seemed like a possibility.

A lot of things didn't before I came to Oglethorpe. It was not until my senior year that I began to peek out of my shell in highschool. I was a nobody. Sure, I was a friend to some, the quiet girl in the back...but I did not all.

I came to Oglethorpe with one goal: make a few friends, and do not be as shy as I was in highschool. I am naturally VERY loud, so the habit of not talking that I had picked up sometime in my early education was unrewarding and frustrating. I love people and shy was not me.

So that was the goal. Simple enough, talk to people, be yourself. Little did I know that, at Oglethorpe, that small goal would go a long way.

So after making my first Ogle-family, that goal was accomplished, and I set more:

  • Be and RA
  • Join a Sorority (I had a specific one in mind. XD)
  • Lady Oglethorpe...ok that was not really a goal...just a seemingly unattainable secret wish that I got after facebook stalking past winners. Honestly, I never thought that would happen...and even when I was nominated...I was not listening for my name, but there it was. Me, Lady Oglethorpe. When I called my dad and told him, he said, "Well damn, honestly I never thought you would do it, but you did. My daughter is a homecoming queen." He was beaming through the phone. It was one of my happiest moments, because I realized that there are places and moments where just being friendly is enough...I did not have to be the hottest thing to hit this campus, I could just be nice to people, make genuine friends. Anyway, enough of that rant.
  • President of APO. 
Basically, Oglethorpe has given me an invaluable opportunity. The opportunity to grow, to push myself, and meet the most amazing people. 

For real though, if you are not a Stormy Petrel, I'm sorry you are missing out. 

Anyway, back to president. Ready or not, my presidency is over, and Allen is going to do a steller job. 

I am so excited to experience APO from the other side of the exec table again. Sit back and just enjoy the Service and Friendship sides of the frat for a while. 

Right now though, it is bitter sweet. 

To the Brothers of MuMu,
Thank you so much for allowing me to be your president this year. Thank you for the opportunity to give back to the organization which gave so much to me. APO has consistently been the best decision I made while being at OU, and there are a lot of things competing for that title. Leadership, friendship and service are everything I stand for, and being surrounded by people who value these things as well, is invaluable. I feel that there is no place on this campus where I am given as much respect, support, and true brotherhood as I receive in APO. I love coming to chapter, and even our long chapters are enjoyable. There are few people I would wake up before 10am for, and for the opportunity to do service with my brothers, I would even wake up at 9. ;)
Thanks for laughing at my dumb jokes, and bearing with me when I am spacey or frustrated. Thank you for giving me the most adorable squirrel family ever, and to the know I really do love yall, sibling rivalry. :) 
Finally, thank you for honoring me with the leadership award and DSK and trusting me this year to have been your president. 

Consider this my last gavel bang. 

Happy Sunday. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Alternative Spring Break

So, it has been a long time coming. I am finally going to post the blogs that I wrote during Spring Break.
It is in the context of that week...and is 8 days, so it is kinda long.

Alternative Spring Break Blog – Day 1 3/17
You know those mornings when you wake up 5 minutes before you need to be somewhere and you have a laundry list of things other than your normal morning routine to do? That was this morning. It was the kind of morning where you are instantly awake, but more from a state of panic than the fact that you actually got a decent nights sleep.
I stayed up until about 3:30 talking to Matt about my future, his future and our respective lives. Now that is someone who I can truly say is a role model. Matthew Claiborne. Maybe you heard of him, because he is kind of a big deal.
Anyway, after frantically throwing the remaining items in my back pack, dropping Iggly off with Zac, I headed over to Emerson. Of course, I forgot to pack socks and the blanket that Justin let me borrow for the week. It is the perfect blanket. I am so sad I left it.
We piled in the van, in route to Charleston SC. Honestly, I slept for the majority of the trip.
The house that we are staying at is too cute. It looks like a compilation of thrift store finds and hand-me-down furniture. My room is lovely. I am sharing it with Ali and Jessie. It has wooden floors, greyish-blue walls and white furniture. The best part is we have this HUGE balcony that looks over the back yard. (which is also huge).
It is stunning. I can’t wait until tomorrow.

Day 2 – 3/19/12
Today was an early early day. We woke up at about 6:15 to leave in an hour heading to “Keeping North Charleston Beautiful.”
We were split into 2 groups. One would remain on site and work in their garden and the other group would get to head off to two different locations. I got to go off site.
My group went to the Butterfly Garden and a small park. We planted flowers and laid out pine straw. This seems easy enough, but let me tell you, next time you look at a nice garden…take a moment and appreciate all the work that went into it.
Anyway, we saw some of the coolest stuff. At the Butterfly Garden, of course we saw butterflies. We also saw these crazy ducks. The were so ballsy. They would come up at you liked they owned the place, and even chased Jake awake from the van. We also saw one sitting on her eggs.
Both groups got to garden and by then end of the day you could tell it was a yard-work day. Fingernails caked with dirt, farmer’s tans, sun kissed faces and bug bites.
Jessie, Ali and I made dinner. We made pancakes, eggs, and bacon. I made pancakes and eggs. I’m the Susie Homemaker of breakfast these days…except not really. Spaghetti tomorrow!!
All in all good day.

Day 4 – 3/20
Today was amazing.
We went to the Dream Mission Center which is an organization located in one of the worst neighborhoods in North Charleston. They provide tutoring, basketball, a free clinic, food pantry and closet donations for the families in the area.
Today Jeet, Ifey, Felecia and I went to Cecelia’s house. She is a woman in the neighborhood who is receiving a total home make over in her kitchen.
It was quite a day. Ifey overcame her fear of dogs and Jeet taught us about Nepali music.
More importantly, we helped a woman who really needed it. She told us her story and why her house got into a state of disrepair.
She had a bad back, Hepatitis from a surgery a few years ago, and her husband spent the money they had on alcohol instead of fixing the house. She assured us that she loved her husband, but he did not always make the wisest decisions.
It really seemed like life dealt her a bad hand. However, despite all of this, she still volunteers at the Clinic every Thursday. It just goes to show that even when It seems like you don’t have a lot, you still have something that you can give, even if it is just time or a friendly disposition.
I was honored to be able to work on her kitchen.

Day 5 – 3/21
This was probably the least rewarding day for me in terms of service, but the most rewarding in terms of the relationships I am building with the people here.
Today I help to take apart the Kitchen at the Dream Mission Center. I also learned to make popcorn and cotton candy. Tomorrow we are running a carnival for preschool children while their parents go to the free clinic. Jake and I will be running the popcorn and Sam will run the cotton candy. Of course, we had to do a “taste test” today.
We have decided to open our own stores. “Papa Jeet’s Cotton Candy” and “J&J’s Popcorn Stand.”
After the project we came home and the boys cooked dinner. By the boys I mean Allen, Jeet and Sam. It was quite the affair. They played classical music, seated us and the meal was a 3 course dining experience.
The menu:
First course – Salad with dressing of choice
2nd course – Chicken Fingers with Macaroni and Cheese
Dessert Course – Brownies
Lovely to say the least.
After dinner I sat outside and talked to Christian and Jake for a while. We started by talking about what we want to do with our lives and what motivates us.
Christian wants to be a dentist. Her passion for it is really inspiring. She says she does not care how many mistakes someone has made, she wants to provide a healthy mouth for someone. In turn this will give them all the benefits of a healthy smile and disband the stereotypes that people may place on someone because of the condition of their teeth. Jake says, she “wants to make people smile.” J
And Jake, Jake is a science major and wants to learn and explore everything. He spoke about how everything we interact has something that can be learned about it. He told us about a transcendentalist painting of a man in a suit looking out at a hill, as if the world was for him to explore. That is how he views the world, and science is his means to make a difference and find the meaning of life.
As we talked, more people joined us and eventually there was quite a crowd. The conversation moved from one topic to another, and of course, the night ended in Pictionary.
After I went upstairs I talked with Jessie about her experiences at Camp Starfish. Let me tell you something, she is going to make an amazing RA.
I realized something in talking to people today. Well 2 things.
The first is that I think that the ability to socialize with people and have fun with anyone is on an inverse bell curve in relation to age. When we are so young, everyone is our friend, we play and awkward moments don’t really exist. Middle and highschool is the bottom of the curve. EVERYTHING is awkward. And as I get older, I am learning how my parents were able to make friend everywhere. You can learn so much from people. I am not much more interesting than I was just a few years ago and there are definatly no fewer awkward moments, I am just different. I think as people get older, we learn to deal with these moments and learn to appreciate them, both the differneces and changes we experience as well as those awkward moments. Where do you thing jokes come from anyway?
The second thing that I learned is that I really am a bubbly soul. Even if a few bubbles pop every now and then, I have the potential and the ability to just blow a few more and if I can’t, just by being around such wonderful people, they can blow a few bubbles for me. J
Anyway, I am exhausted, have a mask on my face that I need to wash off and need to wake up in 6 and a half hours.
Tomorrows agenda: carnival, shopping, fashion week with Felecia, and potentially see Ronshalee. I think it will be a perfect day.
Until then. Good night.

Day 6 – 3/22/12
I got to see Ronshalee today. It was so exciting.
So this morning we went back for our last day at the Dream Mission Center. Today we helped with the clinic, Dream Closet, food pantry and entertaining the kids of the people going to get the services.
My day was mostly spent behind a popcorn machine and getting to hold two kids, Luke and Elle. Elle let me hold her forever, Luke would barely stay in my arms. He loved Jeet though. Jeet would be 10ft away, but if Luke saw him, he would reach out his arms for him. Ifey was so good with the kids too. There was a little boy names Mackie that Ifey had running all around the moon bounce.
Today we got to interact with the people in the community who use the center that we have been working on all week. I think a lot of people got to see what we have really been working for and the impact that this center has and how we have, even in our menial tasks, been a part of that.
This evening we had a reflection and got to talk about our experiences. The things that were said were a complete 180 from our previous reflection. Keturah talked about how this service experience has caused her to think a lot about her city and people’s perception of it. She says it makes her defensive that people are assuming that this is such a place of great need, and according to one of her classes, many Americans, including her family, are not too far from the life of the people we met today. Jessie went on to talk about being on the receiving end of that aid and how embarrassing it is. I could totally relate.
However my family has a hard time realizing that accepting aid would not doom us to the “needy” category. My family thinks “We are the servers.” Reflection made me realize that we have placed ourselves in “us” and “them” categories. They need service, we can provide it. However that is not always the case, service is not such a black and white distinction. People can accept help and still give it. Cecilia, who we helped yesterday, is a prime example of the grey area. She very graciously accepts the help that she needs and in return, gives the time that she can.
That is the most important thing that I have learned from this trip thus far is that it is ok to blur these lines, because they are blurred naturally.
Anyway, back to the trip. So after the project today we got to go shopping by the Waterfront in downtown Charleston. I split from the group and went with Felecia to find Ronshalee. We walked around for forever but ended up at fashion week for some of the best shopping. Had a mini photo shoot and then went out shopping. It was wonderful.
I really feel like I have bonded so much with people one-on-one this trip. I know I will go back to Atlanta with so many new friends and relationships formed. Ifey and I are going to have a Law and Order SVU night and I really feel like I know Jeet so much better.
I cannot wait to go back to school and see these people with this new context added to our relationships.
I also can’t wait to see Justin, but that is another story. J
My feet are stinking up the whole room, so I should probably shower…but for now, good night.

Day 7 – 3/22
We woke up bright and early for the beach. It was wonderful and made the spring break seem not very alternative.
We went Ronald McDonald House tonight to may tacos for the residents there. I used to volunteer with Ronald McDonald in Macon and I loved it. Actually the woman who was on duty that night spoke about the house in Macon.
We did not get much opportunity to interact with the residents, but I did get to talk to the woman on duty and learn about how she was affiliated with the house. She told us that they stayed in the house in Savannah while her daughter was in the hospital. She assured us that while we may not see many residents tonight, our work is still so helpful. Many of the families have long days, disappointing days, or just exhausting days, and the last thing on their minds is cooking dinner. So, us preparing a meal takes one less worry off of their minds which may already be bogged down with countless other worries.
I did not get to sit and eat with any residents, but I got to eat with Jake, Jeet and Ifey. Basically, we were the most culturally diverse table: Nepal, Korea, Nigeria and Macon. We talked about school, growing up in our different places. It was fascinating.
I am surprised at how much I am learning about the people on this trip, and how different, diverse, and amazing each one of them are.
Fun fact: Jeet was born on the side of a mountain and if Jake went back to Korea, he would have to serve for 2 years.

Day 8 – 3/23
Last Day.
Favorite project yet.
We played soft ball with adults with mental and physical disabilities today at the Miracle League. I loved it. It reminded me so much of when I was little and my mom, who works with MR adults, would take me and my sister on outings with them to the movies and lunch.
I loved seeing everyone’s different style with the adults. It seemed like everyone was perfectly matched.
Christian was running a man around the bases in his wheel chair and Sam was with this old man who was quite talkative.
The first round, Christina and I were cheer leaders and tried to learn everyone’s names so we could cheer for them.
The second round I got to be on the field. The man that I was with ran so fast, I could not keep up! He was so nice and too funny. He told me all about his shoes and hats, and gave love notes to all the girls. Talk about a player!
And now we are in the van headed home.
I am sad to leave. ASB is like the best and most rewarding break from life. No cell phone service, no worries, just great people and amazing experiences.
But, I am ready to go back, see everyone and tell people about how awesome Charleston was! It is such a great city.
Now, I think I might sleep in the van.

 ASB 2012 = Win.

Monday, April 16, 2012 a fortune cookie life.

Today started bad, peaked about dinner time at awful, and ended with absolutely wonderful.

So I had to wake up at 7:30am. 
Cranky, exhausted, and not in the mood.
Then, I get a call from home. Since my freshman year, I answer every call from home slightly terrified, because at least once every few months it is bad news. 

These past few months have been dreaded phone call, after dreaded phone call. 
Today was a dreaded phone call day. 

I answer and my dad starts with, "Well, I went to the doctor today, and it does not look good." 
Chest tighten. 
My dad has lost circulation in his good leg. See, freshman year, my dad lost his foot to a staff infection. That was a hurdle, figuring out how to pay for the surgery, the prosthetic, ramps and other changes to the house. However, like everything else, we got through, and that was behind us. Supposedly. But now the other leg.

After talking to my mom today, things seem much better than they originally thought. As of today, they will not have to amputate his other leg. As of today, he is still in the hospital but doing well. 

Anyway, after I found out, I was shaken up, called into work and went to my room. 
I cried. Of course I was scared...but more than that, I was just exhausted. I am sick of dreaded phone calls, hospital rooms that my family can't pay for, and feeling selfishly helpless while I get to sit in Atlanta, ignore it all and pretend homework is my biggest problem. 

Of course, Justin consoled me in the most perfect way. He just let me lie on the bed, hugged me while I had my moment, and then made me get up and carry on. 

He suggested we go for a walk. As we headed down stairs, we saw Zac out the window, grabbed him and left campus for about 30 minutes. Perfect Break. 

Class. After class, my next challenge of the day started.


I tried 4 different websites to file my taxes. FOUR. Frustrating, but I did it. I put on my big girl pants, tried site after site and filed my first tax return and in 2-3 weeks, my reward (refund) will be in the mail. 

As a "Justin did not get into Grad school and Janet had a shit day" remedy, Justin and I decided to use the P.F. Changs gift card his mom gave me for Christmas. We invited him mom...then I realized that the card was not in my wallet. 

I lost it. I cried the whole ride to the restaurant. Worst part...people on campus saw me. 

I HATE people seeing me cry. I'm strong right? bubbly? Crying does not fit the mold. 

But who cares. People cry, people have moments...and I had one. 

At the restaurant my whole day turned around. I had so much fun with Justin and his mom. They always put me in the best mood...and always treat me like part of their family.
Of course my dad is still in the hospital...but I had so much fun, got my mind off of everything and ate the BEST food. 

We ended the meal with fortune cookies...and very fitting to my life in fortune was
"No need to worry! You will always have everything that you need." 
So, to address the fortune cookie company...thank you. That is my biggest worry, my constant fear and my uphill battle. Sometimes I feel like it is not fair that I have to start in the red...but it is ok. I know that the people around me won't let me fall...and more importantly, I won't let myself. So thank you fortune for reminding me that everything will be taken care of.

Ended the night with Mario Party with Ali and what I consider a deserved shower.

So that is it, my day, and you know what? I'll mark this one as a win.

Oh yeah, and remember my post about wanting my grades...well I should have them all by Wenesday! Paper and debate grades tomorrow (hopefully) and Exam on Wednesday (but I got glimpse at it...and so far so good!) I will keep you posted.

Anyway, Happy Monday.

Picture of my Mom, Dad, and me. Keep them in your thoughts. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

...getting my grades back.

School is wrapping up for the semester. Junior year almost done.

Since I last posted, so much has happened.

First, I went to North Carolina with Justin and his mom. We took my camera with the intention of taking pictures. I am pretty sure the camera stayed in the suit case the whole no pictures for you, but I still had such a great time.

We played BINGO and ended up in the smokers section. Which was surprisingly much bigger than the nonsmoking section. I noticed two things while I was there.

First, I do not think it is possible for Justin and I to go on a trip and not end up in a smoking area. The smoking suite in Athens, and the smoking section in trip one of us might take up smoking...eck.

Second, while I was there, I stared to identify with the smokers. When someone from the smoking section won, I got kind of excited for them. When someone in the nonsmoking section won...I got annoyed. Psychology at work I suppose. The people watching was great. The woman sucked on her cigarette like it was an oxygen tank. That was the saddest thing, people in the smoking section with oxygen masks.

It makes me sad that they can see the negative effects of their habit and yet they still sit there inhaling oxygen through their tanks and secondhand smoke through their mouths.

Then I think...I do that with my weight sometimes. I know that my eating habits are not the best for me and I struggle to change them. People (including me) are so quick to judge others, and if they took a step back they might realize that they have things to work on too.

Anyway, after that we came back and I had an exam to prepare for.

I am so proud of myself. In the past week I had 2 debates, a paper, an exam and a presentation due, and I also managed to go to another state. What really makes me proud is that I think I rocked all of it. :)

I got my first grade back today. 105 on my Developmental Debate...what is even better is Dr. Wise wrote that our group has had the best debate so far. Talk about feeling super capable.

Yesterday was symposium day. I was so proud in general.

First of myself. I felt my presentation went pretty good, and I loved being able to debate for my team. We had so much fun preparing, singing Home and just goofing off, and the final product turned out pretty good if I do say so myself. Plus people were complementing me on my public speaking, and that was pretty nice. It is always nice to feel like people are impressed by you. I mean, I like to feel impressive.

Secondly, I was really proud of Justin. He won 2 awards and we all know he deserves them both. Actually, I cannot think of anyone who deserves them more. Yesterday really was his day.

The worst thing about symposium though was it marks the beginning of the end. just a month left until graduation.

I HATE graduation. It is when I become a sloppy teary mess. Worst of all, it is when I have to say goodbye.

I am no good at goodbye unless I am the one leaving. It also signifies change, and well...I am not so good at that either. It will be ok though. It is always ok.

Now with the majority of my assignments behind me I have 3 things left to really focus on:
1. finals
2. What the hell I am going to do for my birthday. 21. 21. 21.
3. Where I will be for the summer. Where I need to be, where I should be, where I can be. Figuring this out is my hardest task.

But for now, life is good, and I am happy.

Happy Wednesday.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 onion.

This quote, this quote right here was my week:

What this means to me is that people should stop and realize that not everyone is like them. I do not mean this in the cheesy sense, but people need to realize that there is so much to other people that we simply do not know. The most limiting thing is that we do not know exactly how much, how substantial, or how important the things that we do not know are. Therefore we have to remember to filter our reactions because we do not know what might strike a nerve or bring up a memory. We have to be respectful. Not everyone will be drastically different, but chances are, someone will be drastically different, and we may not even know. I think more important than monitoring our actions and reactions because of our ignorance we should take this reality as an opportunity. Learn from the people whose crazy may be different than ours. Soak in their reality, their lives. I think the hardest thing for me is that, before we judge people for being ignorant to our crazy, we have to be willing to share it, brave enough to let people know how we are different and accept the fact that as much as we don't know about others, they do not know an equal amount about us. :)

Vague I know, but this was my week.

Full of people who care about me and my family immensely.

Sometimes I feel like I have on a disguise. Slowly people, the outside world, are peeling away pieces and figuring out who I am.
I am an onion.

I felt like a lot of things this week: mammoth, duck, onion. None of which actually describe what I am feeling yet still serve as the perfect descriptions for my state of being. Kind of like being a noodle I guess.

Anyway, enough incoherent rambling for one night. I apologize that this post made absolutely no sense, but I think it is the best way to explain things.

Happy weekend. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

...taking it eeeeeeasy.

New blog design for a new month. Happy April fools day.

Sundays leave me exhausted.

Sundays are nice because I get to sleep in. This morning I stayed in bed until about noon, got up, breakfast and then actually got some work done. (yesterday I got so much done...210 pages read!)

Then it begins. APO exec. Exec was super chaotic today. Partially because we realized how much needed to be done and how little time there was to do it. Lots of nominations, lost of discussions, lots of elections and long long chapters. 2 more weeks. 

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore APO and love being president, but at the end of my second semester, I am getting tired. I have been at this since I began college and I think I need a break.  

It would not be so bad if Sundays in general were not so exhausting. 

After exec, chapter. Then a break for dinner and then Sigma Chapter.
I get to my room around 8:30, and then homework. 

Chapters are getting longer because things are wrapping up.

Chapter was lovely today though. I was given the Leadership award for APO today and was so honored. :) Sigma ran smoothly too. 

Basically all this rambling in this blog was me taking 5 minutes to myself before heading off to the library to resume my role and overly-involved college student. :)

Today, that is my favorite thing about blogging. It ensures that I take at least 5 minutes everyday to think about my own thoughts. To work things out, to let things out. I get to talk to myself and argue with myself without seeming crazy. AND, I get to brag, brag about amazing people and amazing days. 

I end with my inspiration song for the night. 

Happy Sunday.