Hi everyone! I’m glad to say things are winding down since the last post. While it is finals week, my homework load (yes, I still have last minute assignments) have decreased since my professors are just focusing on finals, but I’ve still got some to finish before school gets out tomorrow!

Anyways, I’m currently sitting in front of my art class awaiting my art portfolio review, which is my art “final” that’ll last around fifteen minutes. Art class was…interesting to say the least. I haven’t had an art class in four years so you could say my artwork could use a bit of sprucing up, but thanks to Professor Xenakis my skills have vastly improved. I came in hating drawing the human form but now I sort of like it (and I’m actually somewhat good! lol). I’m going to miss how fun the class was, despite its 8 AM timeslot. Blah. It was interesting hearing the different perspectives in art from other cultures around the world and through history. I might take another art class to make up for the lack thereof for the past four years! ha.

The awesome thing about this class is that we get to “grade” ourselves, one, and two, can turn things in late. I have my portfolio and I’m going to give myself an A because I genuinely believe I improved since the beginning of class to now. I’ve grasped concepts on tone and line, which are apparent in my homework assignments. I participate in class all of the time and ask thought-provoking questions during critiques, not half-baked questions for the sake of asking questions. But ultimately it’s up to my professor whether or not I get the A or not. He believes in me though! 

Anyways, this year is coming to a close in less than fifty hours. I’ve learned a lot inside and out of the classroom and I’m ready to take those lessons into my sophomore year. I’m going to miss all of the seniors this year who have all been a pseudo mentor to me, especially those who aren’t from the Greater D.C. area (or the United States for that matter).

I’m definitely going to keep in touch with them, however, especially Andrea from Student Government! She’s going to the UK for her master’s in economics, which is where I’ve decided I want to go. Ever since I finished watching Merlin, a British TV show on BBC, I’ve been adamantly researching schools across the pond. Andrea is going over for economics and she’s outstandingly excited, as am I. I’m definitely going to follow her adventure in the British education system to get a feel of what to expect.

I have another friend over in Scotland at the University of St. Andrews studying English and I recently contacted her about her experience as an international student and she told me it is definitely not for the faint of heart. While it’s been an amazing experience spending her first year overseas, the British system totally contrasts with what we’re used to in America. I can’t say just yet what she means because I want to gather more clear information but it’s definitely a different experience.

So I’m going to leave you now with the top three things I learned my freshman year that I hope you prospective freshmen will take with you onto college:

1. Fight. If you think you deserve a grade different than what you received, speak with your professor. I’ve been in instances where I’ve clearly defended my points for why I know I deserve a better grade. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t; you’ll never know until you try, right? It’s helping/has helped my GPA, that’s for sure.

2. Take initiative. I’ve received my first internship at the Smithsonian this past winter thanks to my efforts working with the Career and Internship center. I would go every week first semester because I was dead-set on receiving an internship. Sure, it’s unrelated to my major, but at least I got my foot in the door, right? I also met a lot of people this way, which helps for networking. I had dinner last week with my friend who works for APALA who’s going to hook me up with Filipino events that I’m pretty sure I’d be out of the loop on had it not been for him.

3. Write. I feel like this is a crucial skill to hone in college that doesn’t even need explaining. You’re going to do more writing than in high school.

Anyways, those are my tidbits from freshman year. Enjoy your summer everyone!

I just had to post this.

Seeing people come together like this kills me. Please listen to this song.

“A mashup remix version of the popular song that’s become the Japanese equivalent of Vitamin C’s “Graduation Song (Friends Forever).” It features individuals, school choruses and others doing their renditions of the song that’s become a graduation anthem at schools throughout Japan.”

I’m moved. After discovering this song I’m positive I’m going to be distracted at finals. I was talking with my friend about how one of the downsides to going to a small school is how you know everyone, including seniors. I’ve made such extraordinary friendships with soon-to-be-graduates, so it really, really SUCKS how they’re leaving. I’ve only started and once you know, they’re gone.

This song, “Tegami” by Angela Aki, is, for the most part, the Japanese version of Vitamin C’s “Graduation Song”. I’ve met so many seniors over the past year that have helped me enjoy my first year of college, from the seniors on Student Government, Alternative Spring Break, and of course, the International Club.

This song reminds me of my 8th grade (yes, EIGHTH GRADE LOL) graduation at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, VA (it’s actually right behind Marymount’s Ballston Campus). On our last day of school, our teachers distributed a letter to each of us from our parents, stating how proud they were of us and how they’ll stick with us during the next four years of high school. Everyone cried. All thirty-something of us.

Anyways, the song is about a letter, and since it’s Japan’s equivalent to “Graduation Song”, it made sense. I put the pieces together and its just now that it hit me that the seniors are leaving.

Sorry for a really scattered post but right now I’m scrambling to find the piano sheets to this song. HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG.

Turtles, Interior Design, Story-Telling…and now the Masaai Made Kenya Project

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to run your own business? Handle the accounting, supplies, advertisements, and sales? Much less…at age 18?

Well today the Kenya Project Team discussed just that at Marymount’s Student Research Conference in Caruther’s Hall. My group conveyed last semester’s project on selling Kenyan crafts to the Marymount Community. In a nutshell, the Masaai Made project is an initiative to raise money for the Masaai tribe, started by Dean Ryerson with the help of Jonah Lekiliara, a grad student of Kenya.

L to R: Jonah, me!, Liz, Ginnefine, & Nastacia

I’m honored to have worked with such dedicated students. Each of us played a role in what started as a small startup but ended up becoming a huge presence at Marymount. It’s great to see the students walking around showing off their products!

We didn’t really do much during the spring semester but Dean Ryerson has some big plans for the group for the upcoming future. We’re all students in the School of Business (except for Ginnefine, who is a graphic design major that helped with the advertisements) and we’re hoping to attract more dedicated individuals who can help shape this into an even bigger presence at Marymount (and who knows, maybe even the world, ha).

Anyways, I do not know the full details about what’s in store, but I do know that if you’re interested, we’d love to have you join. We’re looking for enthusiastic and creative, critical thinkers who will spearhead the fall semester. If you’re interested, shoot Dean Ryerson an e-mail because I know he’d love to continue this opportunity for Marymount to open themselves to other cultures and at the same time learn of the nuts and bolts behind a simple business. Additionally, getting involved with the Maasai Made: Kenya Project will give future business students an inkling of what to expect at Marymount’s School of Business.

However, if you aren’t that experienced in the business setting, or are a freshman, don’t hesitate to join. I’m a freshman and the upperclassmen definitely took me under their wing and that really helped me form an idea of how to be a part of a business. Basically you’re a mind for molding, so if you start in the beginning, imagine what it would be like when you’re a senior with the history of the Kenya Project!

International Week Pictures!

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I can’t believe how fast International Week flew by. I’ve literally never learned about so many cultures in my entire life.

The first day was Ethiopian Night where Eden Abate, President of Co-Curricular Council, and her Ethiopian friends hosted a dinner accompanied with traditional dances and music along with a fashion show on Ethiopian clothing. Tuesday was Nicaraguan Poetry and Music by Marlon, our gracious host! He came to showcase his art and help create a mural for Marymount to be displayed during the Banquet. Wednesday was the Interfaith Dialogue where we had different representatives from other religions (Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam) come and talk about sex and morality in their religion. It was outstandingly popular. Thursday was the Country Fair where different booths were set up by different students representing different countries. I displayed Philippines! And lastly Friday was the International Banquet.

The International Banquet was directed by the students of the International Club and the International Student Services. Together we came up with creative ideas to convey our theme: “Under Many Flags, we are One”. Participating countries performing were Nepali dancing, Irish step, Chinese Wushu, Indian Bhangra, and so much more. The food came from all over as well!

Here is the African Dance. Thanks NYVids010!

You bet I’ll be back for next year’s International Week!

So Wave Your Flag

International Week: post coming soon! This deserves a completely separate post.

Meanwhile, while I only have four weeks left of school, this is probably going to be the most busiest month of the school year.

  • First off, a couple of students and I are joining US PIRG to attend a Press Conference today at 2 to mark the one year anniversary of the President signing the Healthcare and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010. Perks of going to a school in D.C.
  • This Saturday (April 2) I’m volunteering with a group of students in Campus Ministry to work with disabled children at Marymount’s Annual Special Olympics!
  • Then, next week I’m going to be in a RealView TV video shoot for the Marymount website for marketing and recruiting purposes.
  • On April 13 is my first Student Research Conference for our Maasai Made group! I’m not sure if I told you all what this group is but in a nutshell we assist Dean Ryerson of the Business School sell handmade crafts made from the Maasai Tribe in Kenya.
  • Yesterday I started my first training day at the Smithsonian’s Paleobiological Training Program at the National History Museum. I was late, but still made the most of it.

And somewhere in there I’ll squeeze in my homework.

I’ve been stricken with a dire affliction

Yes, I’ve been diagnosed. Multiple tests performed and the results are in; I can’t hide it anymore. I’ve been feeling this way ever since I came back from Peru last week, but the effects began from way before.

It’s official: I have senioritis.

Okay, okay. I’m not in high school anymore, but the effects have lingered on into my freshman year. As I have mentioned, we’re summer-bound since there’s about one more month until school’s out (aka freedom). I often find myself sitting in class staring blankly at the white board/power point/window or doodling on my notes because I’m ready for a routine change.

Summer 2011 is a bit complex.

If I get one of the several internships I applied to, I’ll spend my summer doing that. When that’s over, I’ll be going to the Philippines in August, which will be the highlight of the break. It’ll be my aunts 50th birthday and we’re spending it in the same house she (and my dad) grew up in, which is newly renovated and stuff. So it’ll be a birthday/house blessing-ish party, woo.

However, if i get the Scholarship for Global Engagement, I’ll be going to South Africa for my study abroad semester. In South Africa, they’re second semester starts in July and ends in November, so I’ll have a short summer break but long winter break. More details on this within the next week!

Anyways, I’m just fighting on until this semester ends. There are a lot of things happening until school’s out, including International Week, the Conference where our “Maasai Made” group will attend, the resurrection of the Student Government newsletter (which I am writing an article on my Alternative Spring Break trip on!), Springfest, and the Service Cup, among others. I’m waiting for Easter “Break” (its really short) to use as a time for catching up on all of the work I missed, especially my drawings I’ve neglected to turn in. Ouuuuuuuuuuch.

At any rate, while I can’t wait until school is over, there is plenty of fun things left to do to keep me occupied until the glorious first day of summer. Aside from papers and exams, I’m looking forward to ending my first year of college on a great note. Here’s to the next few weeks of school!

My cousin, sister, brother, and I in the Philippines during Spring Break 2010

Yes, I had braces until senior year of high school.

Get Ready for International Week!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rIVtJrFbsY