February 2014


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.

This is a VERY busy time of year for me and my co-workers and my cohort members. The second years are busy job hunting and us first years are looking for summer internships.

I applied for summer internships through ACUHO-I because I LOVE LOVE LOVE housing and really want to stick with it. I’ve been in Arkansas ALL of my life. I need to get out and try new things if I want to be marketable when I start job hunting next year.

So far I have had 2 interviews and I have 2 more set up for next week. I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple places as well, so like I said, I’ve been busy.

One of the things that makes the internship search so difficult is that I have very specific dates that I can work. Why you might ask? Because I AM GOING TO CHINA!! I paid my deposit last week so in May I will be boarding a plane and flying halfway around the world! How amazing is that?  I’m really really excited but also really really nervous. Because I AM GOING TO CHINA!

Well that is what is going on right now. I don’t think I’m going to have time to post again anytime soon because this weekend I will be at SPE interviewing candidates for next year’s cohort and then next weekend I will be going to Fort Worth to SWACUHO!

It’s a very busy month! But I will leave you with this…my birthday is in 19 days!