My how time flies.

I haven’t written anything in months and I’m pretty sure it was my New Year’s Resolution to write at least once a week. We all see how that worked out.

Well this summer (Yes, I know it is November) was AMAZING. I went to China for 2 weeks and had an amazing time. And then I moved on down to Florida to complete my internship.

Me on great wall

me at Qingdao University

Welcome to St. Pete

My time in Florida was so amazing. I was working at a very small institution and they wanted me to get the most out of my time there. I worked with some awesome people who I hope I get to work with again one day. I learned so much about myself and my future professional self in the short 6 weeks that I was there. My last post was Summer of Growth and boy, was that true.

I can’t wait to see where my profession takes me and what I end up doing. I do know that with the support of my friends, family, and coworkers that I will never be alone and will always have a listening ear or someone to push me in the right direction.

I have officially started my job search and this is when I learn if I will sink or swim as a new professional in student affairs. I graduate in 172 days. That is not much time when you think about it. And on top of that I have 110 days until I present at my first professional conference, 127 days until The Placement Exchange, and 144 days until the test that determines my fate. But before then I have to make it to Thanksgiving. I know that I can do it.

I’ll try to write more, I promise.

Y’all I am BEYOND excited about this summer.  This is going to be the best summer I have ever had and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you.

First off, closing is in 11 days. Yep 11 days. But before I can get to that I have to get past 3 tests, 1 paper, and a poster board session. I know that I can do it!

In just 19 short days I will be boarding a plane for China! It’s hard to imagine that in less than 3 weeks I will literally be on the OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD! I have a lot of concerns about leaving the country but that’s for a different post, this one is all about the AMAZING OPPORTUNITIES that I have been given.

Qingdao University

24 hours after I get back from China, I will be heading to Florida. Yep, Florida. I get to spend 6 beautiful weeks in the Sunshine State completing my internship.

I’ve never been more than 2 hours from home and this summer I will be halfway across the world and then 15 hours from where my family is. Talk about scary!

I know that this summer is going to be the most perfect summer because I am going to be able to grow as an individual and as a student affairs professional.  If I had never realized that student affairs is what I want to do the rest of my life, I wouldn’t have been given these amazing opportunities.

Many people have been there for me and supported me in this journey and I can’t thank them enough for everything that they have done for me.

My summer of growth starts in just 11 days…

This week I am on duty and it has been a week. A friend has decided that the duty phone is a horcux because when people have the phone they get REALLY grumpy and angry. And boy has that been me this week.  It’s just normal duty things: lockouts, broken windows, leaks in lobbies, and doors not opening. But for some reason this week has completely drained me!  Maybe it’s because I live in Arkansas and there has been threats of severe weather and tornadoes but poop on this week!

truth

On the bright side here is a list of wonderful things about today:

  1. It is FRIDAY and that is always a beautiful thing!
  2. We have potential GA candidates here for their on-campus interviews.
  3. It’s a BEAUTIFUL day after last night’s storms.
  4. I have bubble wrap!
  5. I bought all kinds of Cadberry chocolates last night.
  6. I’m completely done with one of my classes until the final on May 1st.
  7. I get to watch an Extremely Goofy Movie for class.
  8. My Pandora station is playing AWESOME songs today.
  9. On Monday I get to take the Sword of Gryffindor and destroy this horcrux pass off the duty phone.

It really breaks my heart that this school district won’t stand by their students. That they are BREAKING THE LAW by censoring their students. They don’t care.

According to their statement they are standing behind the “mission” of the school.

This is the mission of Sheridan High School:
“Sheridan High School provides opportunities for students to achieve their highest potential in learning, integrity and citizenship within a safe school environment.”

Can someone tell me how pulling a profile of an openly gay student is helping them achieve their highest potential? In my opinion Sheridan High School is not allowing Taylor Ellis to achieve anything. SHS says that they want to provide opportunities for their students in a safe school environment, but how can you have a safe environment for a student when they are not welcoming.

Y’all, it’s 2014. Get over the fact that everyone isn’t like you. That’s what makes us great! This high school is risking a law suit because they don’t agree with one student’s life choices. What if there was another gay student at that school that was afraid to come out to family and friends? Do you think they are going to want to now when they see what is being done to Taylor? Hell no, why would they?

I majored in mass communication and this drives me crazy that this school thinks they can get by with this. I know the advisor to the yearbook at Sheridan High School and he stands by his students in their right to publish Taylor’s profile. I wish him and his staff luck. If you do too, let them know. Share my story or any of the one’s below.

Momma’s Got A Dudes Name 1: http://www.mommasgotadudesname.com/2014/03/wtf-wednesday-sheridan-administrators.html

Momma’s Got A Dudes Name 2: http://www.mommasgotadudesname.com/2014/03/sheridan-high-school-censors-gay.html

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/sheridan-school-gay-yearbook_n_4979958.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

Arkansas Times: http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2014/03/18/sheridan-school-district-stands-firm-on-censoring-yearbook

Human Rights Campaign: http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/arkansas-high-school-refuses-to-publish-gay-students-bio

Today is my 24th birthday. There isn’t really anything special about 24 that I know of but this was by far the best birthday I have ever had.

It all started yesterday…because everyone wants a birthday weekend not just a day.

I spent Saturday with some friends. We went to Little Rock and had a blast. At midnight my sister called and my nieces sang me happy birthday.

Sunday I got to sleep in a little bit and then my mom drove up to take me out to lunch. She brought my puppy dog with her so we ended up going to PetSmart so she could get out and run around. While looking I fell in love with a fish. He is the brightest blue I’ve ever seen. His name is Olaf. And he obviously came home with me.

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Then I went and had coffee with my lovely friend Larissa. It was a bitter sweet moment because that will be the last time for a while since she’s getting married in a week and moving to Arizona! She got me these BEAUTIFUL flowers.

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When I returned from getting coffee there was a note under my door that told me to check my office. I walked into my office to find a bunch of balloons, more flowers and the sweetest card from my staff. And one of my Cubs got me a movie poster from my favorite movie that I can’t wait to get framed and hang up!

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I finally settled down to watch some Walking Dead when I hear someone POUNDING on the doors to my building. I opened my apartment door ready to jump into RC mode to see Bri, Matt, and Stephen standing there with pizza and cupcakes. They decided to surprise me for my birthday. I had no idea they were coming and it was the perfect way to end my day. In the middle of the Walking Dead I also received an awesome video of the cutest kid wishing me a happy birthday.

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I often forget how blessed I am to have people like this who really care about me and want to celebrate me. I can’t thank everyone enough for what they do for me everyday. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for them and I can’t wait to see what the next year of my life holds. I know that I will be just fine with my friends by my side!

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SHINE

SHINE

Today was awesome!!

The morning started way too early when I went to register to compete in the case study competition. My partner and I present first tomorrow. I’m excited but nervous. We were told it would be an intense roommate conflict. We have both been in housing a while so I think we will do great!

Today’s keynote speaker was awesome! Claudia Beeny PhD spoke to us about what makes us SHINE. In order for us to teach and lead others it is important for us to know what it is that makes us shine. I’m still trying to learn what makes me shine in this profession but what Dr. Benny shared with us today was great advice.

Here is a quick rundown of SHINE:
S- strengths
H- hobbies
I- interests and irritants
N- natural talents
E- experiences

After the keynote I spent my day attending different sessions put on by other professionals.

I went to a session about personal branding, a round table discussion for new professionals, a session on professionalism, and finally one on faculty in the residence halls.

Each session had its pros and cons but I’m glad I chose the ones I did. Most of the time I was away from my delegation so I was forced to talk to other people. In one session I made a contact with a graduate student who just got the pet policy changed on her campus, me and some other GAs are working on a proposal at our university and asked for her help. She said she would email me her research! Shoutout to Tsuki from UNT!!

After the sessions were over and prizes were given out I went to my state caucus meeting. I had no idea what to expect from this but I was glad I got to see that part of the conference. The Arkansas schools talked about what was going on with them and how SWACUHO could help. We talked about the numbers of employers going down at SPE and we talked about how in 2017 Arkansas will be hosting SWACUHO again.

I’m so proud to be part of a region that really cares what is going on at each individual school.

Every single day I am reminded that I am in the right place and I am in the right profession. I can’t wait until I graduate and get my first professional job so that I can give back like this region has given to me.

I’m that graduate student who is afraid to get involved because who knows where I will be working after I graduate. All I care about is that I get to work with students and be a part of something that is so much bigger than myself and my coworkers.

I am lucky enough to work for a department that wants me to grow professionally and sends me to SWACUHO. This year it is in Fort Worth and it’s been great so far.

Here is what went down today:

Since I’m a newcomer I went to the Newcomer’s reception and learned the basics of the conference. We met the exec board and the committee chairs. SWACUHO seems likes it has a great group of people working for them and that makes me excited to be a part of this region.

I signed up to be a program moderator and get to moderate the program I was most excited about, so that’s pretty cool. I’m an introvert so that whole networking thing really sucks for me but I think moderating will be a great way to help overcome that.

I went to learn about the case study competition and have decided to compete with a coworker. We finish each other’s… sandwiches so we are gonna kick butt. Did you get that reference? If not, you need to see Frozen. It’s the best movie EVER!!!

There was a cowboy on stilts and a lassoing cowboy and a gold cowboy statue that wasn’t really a statue. I kept forgetting I was in Texas and then someone would show up in a cowboy hat and remind me.

The opening gala was tonight. There was a macaroni and cheese bar, it was delicious.

The exhibitors’s booths opened tonight so I walked around and talked to some people who sell things to universities. Fun fact: there is a company in Fort Worth that cleans mattresses in a truck in 15 minutes. Yep. 15 minutes.

I’m really looking forward to Connecting in Cowtown even more tomorrow.