College

My Response to an Angry Letter About my Alma Mater

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The written word is a powerful thing and in this super-social-digital world that we are in, words spread fast. Videos are clickable, viral. Tweets are retweeted, liked, shared, sent. Impressions reach 1 million. Facebook posts get shared, emailed, messaged.

Recently, I read a WordPress blog from a newly graduated senior, and she/he seems to be very disappointed with her education she received at my alma mater, bashing things like parking, food, lack of clubs, mean people in the Bursars office.

This post spread fast on Facebook. I saw all my friends sharing it. I saw my friends get angry, cheer. I saw strangers share, share, share.

The reason I am writing back to this letter is not because I was that in love with my university. But, it’s been a year since I’ve graduated, and I realize, I do love my university. I love that I was able to get an education, no matter how many problems I had while I was attending (ie: Lack of student newspaper).

When you get out into the real world, you realize how truly special getting an education is. Of course, I do believe society needs to address many issues in higher education, especially the fact that the average student leaves college with $37,172 in debt (2016 statistic), but I just have realized that it takes more effort to be angry, than to be happy and try to make a difference. Standing up for what you believe in is no easy task, so if being angry and anonymous is easier for you, by all means, take that stand.

I chose, at my alma mater, to use the power of the written word to make a difference.

To this day, I am still doing just that.

—-

Here is my response to diaryofasciencekidd (I chose not to link to the blog):

Hi Diaryofasciencekidd,

After seeing this all over social media, I’ve been wondering if I should comment or just choose not to get involved. After seeing this post again come up, I decided, why not? There are numerous problems that need to be addressed at the school, that cannot be argued, but to write out petty problems like parking and staff members being mean only makes DelVal seem like a place where children graduate, and remain children. I really do not support this letter, mostly because I think you poorly articulated some of the real issues at DelVal, and I think you could have used the power of the written word to your advantage, to perhaps actually make a change.

I for one, during the four years I attended DelVal, actually tried to address some of these problems. I went to administration, had meetings, met with the president and several deans for problems that I wanted to see solved. This took many weeks, months, and years of planning, emails, sweat and tears, frustration, and hard work.

Did all of these problems get solved? Not really, no. But, I made myself seen and heard and tried to make a difference. I too have written posts and blogs and letters expressing my concern for things–things that I wanted to see change for the future of DelVal students. I saw a lot of other students do the same thing. The processes were long, the battles were long, and the stress trying to make a difference is indescribable.

I wanted to make one response to your comment: “Most important one: why don’t you listen to your students? We have a lot to say and we never get heard.” — Perhaps we never had a chance to be heard because we don’t go about it in the right ways. I am not too sure what your background is or your history with DelVal may be. Perhaps you did try to make a change only to be shot down. For that, I would say I am sorry that you had to deal with this. But, nowhere in this angry letter do I see anything from you where you tried to make an actual difference.

My privilege might have been different from your privilege. You might have been more privileged, or maybe it was me. My college experience certainly wasn’t like any other individual at the university. Not you, not my friends, not anyone. All experiences are different, but while we can’t change everything, it’s important to show future students that they do have the power to at least try to stand up and make a difference. It’s not easy.

Also — it’s quite a shame to see yet again another person bashing the liberal arts department. I graduated with a liberal arts degree, I got a job right out of college in New York…with my “not so great liberal arts degree from DelVal.” I was less fortunate and could only afford to go to DelVal instead of one of the “better” liberal arts colleges because I had to commute to school, my mother only works part time, and my dad was laid off from work. I don’t regret it because I had a great mentor(s), Dr. O’Connor to name one, and I made some amazing friends along the way who helped me even through some of the most stressful times. Shame on you for discrediting someone’s program, which you are not a part of, and shame on you for putting down some of the great professors that work in the liberal arts department. You are incorrect in saying that DelVal is trying to make it a liberal arts school. The school is just trying to grow, it will never lose its love for agriculture and science. Ever. But you will never know how much support the liberal arts department still needs, how much funding is still needed, and how the people in that department do everything in their power to give those liberal arts students the best education they can get.

Additionally, I found it amusing that you wrote this post anonymously, for two reasons. One: If you wrote this and signed your name, I can imagine you would have a very difficult time getting a job out of college, seeing as you bashed your alma mater after a few days of graduating. Maybe you skipped the class where we learned how to prepare for the real world (perhaps you were too busy being angry?) Two: It would be easier for the marketing department to find who you are and send you a cease and desist letter for using the school’s logo improperly. You should consider that.

Finally, I will not say that I left DelVal completely satisfied. I would have loved to see a few changes made during my four years there. Anyone else commenting saying they agree, you should consider trying to make a difference. That’s just my advice. It takes more effort to be angry than to try and enjoy life. I wish I would have told myself that sooner.

But, I know that I at least tried to make a difference, and that brings me some comfort, and I know it brings people at the school comfort. I hope that you too will find some comfort, and perhaps, this slam letter will do for now.

Sincerely,
(without anonymity)
Madison M. Moore
Media and Communication ’15
Delaware Valley University

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Class Cancelled

20131022_093946I’m sitting ridiculously on the floor, hunched over this computer. Panic! At the Disco’s new album Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! plays loudly in the background. All I can smell is the hair dye that is on my head right now, waiting for it to turn a shade called Honey Butter. My mom passes by my room, telling me to open my shades and let some sun into my room. It really warms up your room, she tells me. As I obey, sunbeams fall across the candy apple red bedspread that looks all too inviting to me right now. I like noticing this, the color of my bedspread, the way the sun comes in through my cloudy window that I should really clean, the sound of new music, the stretch in my legs as I attempt to sit pretzel-style. Today is not a normal day. I should really be waking up at 6:30 a.m., but instead, just on this Tuesday, I can sit here and watch the sun in my window.

Solitude

Recently, I’ve been taking time out of my day to just stop and think.

That seems like such a silly thing to say because I am always stopping and I am always thinking. But I think what I mean to say is that I’m finding how truly refreshing it is to just let myself be.

Freshman year, I took a Psychology course where my professor taught us how to meditate. At the end of every class, we would take the time to let go of our thoughts and find the space inside of us where we can have inner peace. I always enjoyed these end-of-day rituals, despite that the kids around me thought it was weird we were meditating in a college setting.

"You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say." --F. Scott Fitzgerald

“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sometimes I think back on that class. I liked the way I felt when I could actually stop and let go of what was bothering me. These feelings linger with us; make us exhausted and nervous or uptight and frustrated. I think especially now, in this world we live in (fast-paced and unable to slow down), that it is important to take little moments to myself.

I never used to be alone, and rarely do I choose to be alone. I prefer to be in the company of others, hear the sighs of people in a library, the computers tapping around me, or maybe the sounds of a train station with bustling passengers, with the pages of newspapers turning or music coming out of too-loud music devices. I choose this over the silence.

Now, I try and relish in these moments of solitude. If the sun is out, and it isn’t too chilly (now that fall is here, and staying) I try to go to a small bench in a patch of woods on campus, or visit a bench swing down by a gravel path. These spots are normally vacant, and students rarely pass by. I like to sit in these secret spots, and whether it is a moment I am working on homework or writing for myself, I have started appreciating when I take the time to be alone.

Recent events in my life have expanded my boundaries of writing. One reason is the college course I am taking on creative writing; learning everything from poetry to prose, film to fiction. From this class, I feel more accepting of unfinished sentences and thoughts in the form of broken lines and rhyming stanzas.

I think some of this creativity has come from these moments when I am alone, when I can focus on what I actually want to write, what I have to say and what I want to make meaning of in my world. Most importantly, I think this ability to reflect stems from the idea that I may very well be unbelievably full of bliss. The idea that one person can make me feel this way is eye-opening, life altering, but I don’t think I’d have it any other way. While I am beginning to focus more on taking time to be alone, it’s in these periods of isolation that I think of this happiness, and the person that has brought out everything good about me, including giving me the strength to explore writing even more than I thought I could.

Embracing the Change

I haven’t posted in over a month. I always write to clear my mind, to make a point, to bring meaning to something in my own life or others. It’s painful knowing I have been neglecting my passion, a part of my life.

If I am being honest with myself, I have been afraid. I have logged on several times to this account, hoping that these feelings I have had will come out. I have been hoping to find the answers to questions that have been left for me figure out.

I don’t think I will ever have the answers to some of these questions. However, I have come to terms with one thing, and that is change is inevitable and no matter how hard I try, I cannot determine what the future has in store for me. My experiences over the last year, the last month, have changed me more than I could handle, but I think now I have an understanding of where I am in my life.

Where does that leave me? If I start back in the beginning of college, I realize how young, stupid, naive I was. This is not to say I didn’t have a good head on my shoulders, I really did. I worked so hard, knowing every hour spent studying was a dollar worth spending. I made relationships, kept relationships, broke relationships, experienced heartbreak, drama, and a whole lot of bullshit. I tried to add onto the person I wanted to be, the person I was becoming.

It’s so unbelievably hard to become “someone.” We all have this grand master plan that we shoot for, and we end up falling hard with disappointment. We want the perfect job, the perfect scores, the best GPA, great friends and the guy/girl of our dreams. We want this house and that car. We want to live in close proximity to a school so our kids are safe. We want some life that we don’t know if we can have.

I’ve realized dreams are something that should pinned on a bulletin board, tattooed on an arm, plastered on a wall. They should be engraved in our brains. At the same time, I have realized that these dreams or goals or whatever, shouldn’t stop you from taking a chance on something new, exciting, different or scary. I can still have goals, but I can also be a risk-taker, a go-getter, a spontaneous woman ready to live her life.

I had this plan that I would marry this guy. Everything was great, wonderful. We never fought, well we never would, but I would nag at things I wanted to change. And they never did change. They got better at times, but still these things that I wanted to change remained the same. That’s so unbelievably wrong of me to think I can change a person. You can’t change anyone. They can change themselves, but ultimately in the end, people will be who they want to be. If I could only say every racing thought I had in that short span of time when I broke his heart, maybe he could understand. Maybe he could not hate me, his mom could stop telling everyone at work that I broke up with him out of the blue. It’s not my fault….I didn’t mean to change. How can you get a person to not change? I’m sorry for hurting him. I’m sorry I couldn’t be sad, that I moved on so quickly. I had this unrealistic idea that we would graduate, I would work in the city, so would he, and then we would live together, followed by marriage. Seriously. What the hell was I thinking? I sound like a 13 year old girl cutting pictures out of magazines of bridal dresses and cakes saying, “This is what my life is going to be like.” No one knows what life is like, it just happens. So, if I had to tell him anything, which I promised him I would (and I never did out of more fear of hurting him, and the sheer fact that I don’t think I owe him anything), I would say I am sorry for becoming a different person. This is the best thing to happen to us because if we continued walking down this comfortable, no-thrills path, I surely would regret the person you are and the person I had become. You have given me a special time in my life, one for which I am grateful of, and I will never forget it.

There’s love that falls apart in relationships and then there’s love that falls apart in friendships. I can’t say which I hate most, losing a relationship or losing a friendship. Friends are intertwined in our lives, at least they should be. The worst part in any relationship is giving 110% and receiving less than that. I always try and do my best to be a good friend. I don’t even know what a good friend is, and I don’t know if there needs to be a specific definition. I do know that I don’t regret leaving behind any of my friendships. I refuse to be walked on, have no self-respect, and be treated like a fool. I am willing to go to the ends of the Earth for people, and I sometimes think they wouldn’t even go to edge of the water for me. I was supposed to be in a special time of my one friend’s life. I tried so hard to mend the cracks in our relationship, some created by me and some created by her (although she’s so perfect she won’t admit she did anything wrong). All my effort was overlooked, all my cries for attention buried under an enormous mound of lies and laziness. Thank you, for teaching me to stand up for myself, something I don’t know if I ever will fully be able to do on my own. If it wasn’t for my mom, and the actual friends I had, I would have stood next to you and listened to you say, “I do,” and have to put on a happy face, knowing I am filler, an object to fill a space that you couldn’t care less about. You didn’t care about me, and in fact if I wouldn’t have tried to text, Facebook, email….whatever….you would have just let it fade. I’m sorry that I ruined your night, but you ruined countless of mine and made me think I was a worthless friend, and a worthless individual. I’d rather be self-centered than a liar.

Then I had this crazy rebellious stage. They say college is all about the “college experience,” and you know what? They are right. Kids need to get out there (being smart about it) and drink, have sex, do drugs, run around, stay up late, eat bad food–all of it. I think we all have this feeling, this urge, to just do something. You don’t know what it is until you are in the moment. I don’t even know what this “something” is. I just know that when you feel it, you just want to be so spontaneous you couldn’t care less about the outcome or the time of day. You just want to flirt and be with everyone you come in contact with, or at least that’s how I felt. I guess I didn’t want to be alone.

That’s when I met him. He had his “eye” on me for a span of time. A couple dates, a couple kisses, some late-night flirtatious texting and I thought maybe, this could be something. Then I realized he wasn’t going to treat me how I wanted to be treated, and what’s the point of seeing someone who doesn’t make the fireworks go off? Reminds me, I still need to text him.

When I think about sparks, I think about this guy. It’s a crazy love story, almost taken out of a Nicholas Sparks book or maybe just a cheesy rom-com on a Saturday night. He’s ridiculous. If I could manufacture the ideal guy, it would be him. He’s everything that I’ve ever wanted in someone, and more. We met while working in the same town, and thank goodness he decided to have some courage that day. Every time I pass that corner I think about him. It’s crazy, it’s just a corner! Now he’s back in my life. Let me tell you, this time I can be honest about my feelings for you. I wish I wouldn’t have held back. I hope that you and I can make this work. I don’t care about distance, labels, time.

Honestly, I want to see you be brave. Say what you want to say, and let the words fall out.”*

I know you’ve had bad experiences with a situation like this, but maybe one day I can change your mind. In the meantime I’m willing to do almost anything for you, because a connection like this is what everyone is searching for, despite how cliche it sounds, I think it’s that whole “missing puzzle piece” thing that everyone talks about. My music professor said, “Don’t be with someone you love, be with someone you can’t live without.” I think that fits for us.

Not every learning experience I have had has come from something bad. I’ve met a few amazing, inspiring, funny, and easy to get along with people so far this year. One young woman, who I hope will be my friend long after college, has opened my eyes. She just has the same morals, same ideas, same goals and dreams as I do. I don’t know what I would have done during this time of change, this time of confusion, without her. And as always, my mom has been a huge help and a huge supporter of everything I do. She can play devil’s advocate pretty well, but more often than not, she is always on my side. I am thankful to have another close friend, who may not be close in age, but she is someone so close and dear to me, I cannot imagine life without her. She’s just a great example of someone who has struggled in life, but continues to give and help even though she needs it more than I do.

I’ve heard people say change is good, and I’ve heard people being afraid of change. I can say now, that I can embrace anything that comes my way. I’m ready to be daring, different, spontaneous, loving, mindful, and at peace with myself and the people around me. Much like the journey to discovering myself, I am constantly traveling down new and exciting paths that tests my understanding and love of the written word. Without writing, there is no meaning. Without change, there is no future.

All Aboard the Inept Express

I’ve been having a sort of writer’s block lately. Not sure if it’s the heat getting to me or if I am just really lacking inspiration. I guess I can say I haven’t had a rant post (and I mean truly a rant post) in quite some time and something happened recently that certainly deserves a rant post (and a few expletives that will remain untyped).

As you may know from previous posts, if I’ve even mentioned it before, I take public transportation. It’s reliable, for the most part, and it does save me money. That is of course, if the people selling you tickets can do the most basic math equation (adding) and if the people you talk to can socialize with humans. Knowing my luck, I get just the opposite.

I used to buy these monthly passes for the line I ride, but for some reason (increase in fares) they don’t sell them anymore. I, unaware of this as a lowly passenger who knows nothing, set off to the station to buy my July monthly pass. My boyfriend was with me for moral support.

At the ticket booth, I had my boyfriend ask for the pass I normally get. The woman (who I will name Moonpie, which is a name as ridiculous as the person who sold me the tickets) seemed completely complexed. She might have suspected we were asking for a trip to Timbuktu.

“Well you see, we don’t have those.”

Oh, well, why not? I might question. Do you just not sell those in this city? Can I buy them somewhere else? Do I have to keep asking you questions? Do you even work here?

With a series of those questions, she finally got to the point that they have “abolished” (using some big words there, Moonpie!) those monthly passes. Well shoot, what am I supposed to buy now? I explained to her that I used to buy these tickets that were cheaper than paying for a one-way ride on the train. She had to discuss this with another employee, and by discuss, I mean shout to the person in the opposite end of the ticket booth.

I’m just going to interput and say that I normally do not complain about anyone working in establishments/companies. People work hard in jobs no one else really wants and unless you are in someone else’s shoes, you can’t really critique the job they are doing. That being said, if you are expecting a service, or product, and it isn’t even close to your satisfaction, or if you are dealing with someone who is either rude or just completely inept, I think it’s your constitutional right to complain until your lungs hurt.

Now, back to the obnoxious screaming.

“HEY JULIE (her name was not Julie and I could care less because she couldn’t help at all) IF SHE WANTS TO GET TICKETS THAT ARE ONE WAY DKFJDKAIEKAKDKAHAHA AHAHEIWWW OOO OOO AHH AHH”

That’s what it sounded like to me at least.

She told me what type of tickets were my option. Then she showed me two different versions and asked me which one did I think I should have. Moonpie, I don’t know which ticket I used before, you should know! She had no idea. I told her again where I was going (point a to b) and she said “Okay, it’s this ticket.”

I then explained to her (using big hand gestures) that “I go from blank to blank and I ride blank days a week, round trip. How many tickets should I buy?”

The math was just way too complex so she needed to take out her handy dandy calculator, much like I did in my basic trigonometry course in college. After doing some complex algebraic equations, graphing parabolas, figuring out limits and imaginary numbers, she concluded that I should get 12 tickets, round trip. Well thank you Moonpie, you just saved me money!

She lined up my tickets, one by one, and told me my total of $78. Hot dog! What a bargain. I then asked (and then asked twice more) “These are round trip, right?” And she said, “Yes.” She also reminded me (three times) that these tickets were being issued to me given the information I had told her. Well, nothing wrong with that, I gave you correct information and you gave me correct tickets! I thanked Moonpie and went on my merry way.

Long story short, I got on the train for work the next day, and handed the conductor/ticket guy my ticket. He punched it

AND THEN WALKED AWAY. Literally, walked right out of the car I was in and into the next one. He took my ticket. Meaning, my tickets were not round trip, like I had needed and requested and “purchased.” Holding back tears and vomit, I asked the train conductor, “Aren’t these tickets round trip?” And he said, “Oh no, these are only one way.” I then explained my situation, that Moonpie had completely effed up, to say it nicely, and he told me, “Oh yeah, you were WAY overcharged.”

Thanks.

You know when you watch those court shows, and you see how people are always screwed over hardcore, and yet it’s their own fault? Well, that’s sort of me in this predicament and I’ll tell you why. First, I paid with cash (which I never do) so I didn’t get a receipt, and of course forgot to ask for a handwritten one. Second, I trusted that someone working for this public transportation company had any brains at all to help me figure out what tickets I need. Everyone with this company either has attitude, or expects you, the patron/rider/customer to know what buy. I’m sorry, but I’m only 19. I have no clue what every ticket costs/looks like, nor do I know what every zone is, every line is, etc. That is your job. You are supposed to help me, and if you can’t, please find another profession so you don’t continue to screw people out of money.

So, lesson learned. Never pay with cash, or always ask for receipts. No matter where you go. Even if you get Chinese food, or buy a candy bar from a drugstore. Just get a flipping receipt. Then, if you do experience a problem, you just saved your butt because you now have proof of purchase. I, on the other hand, will probably not be seeing the money I was overcharged. And it’s my own fault, because I trusted the people who were supposed to being doing their job. Also, if you are looking for deals when using public transportation, know exactly what you are supposed to get. Don’t expect people working to know, they’re clearly not trained to do that. Who knows, I’ve heard the state I’m in has the worst public transportation services, so maybe it’s better somewhere else.

Thanks for listening to another rant about how I expect people to do the jobs they were trained to do, and experience their failure to do so.

 

Check out a funny Seinfeld video of Elaine freaking out on the subway.

Old Shoes

Sometimes you just find your mind wandering to old memories or things of the past, and you can’t help but sit and think. In the short span of time I have been alive, I’ve figured out some things of relationships. I know I’m not older and wiser, but I know I’ve had my fair share of experiences in the subject, and I’ve concluded one of the worst parts about break-ups or ending relationships is seeing them happy without you.

Even though I know that the relationships I ended were for the best, it still kills me to see them fine without me. I don’t know what I anticipated them doing without me, but I guess I wanted them to miss me like I miss them.

I saw an old friend at the gym the other day, and I couldn’t believe how different he looked. We parted ways years ago, but still inside of me I couldn’t help but feel anger towards him for throwing away the relationship we had. I wanted him to see that I was an older and happier without him, but he wouldn’t look my way. I wanted to be the one that was better off. I wanted him to be the same slightly overweight, fun-loving guy who liked my company and I hoped that upon glancing at me, maybe he would feel something about our past friendship.

I had this friend (ironically one who I am no longer friends with) who said, “Everything happens for a reason.” This phrase gets tossed around so often it’s hard for me to even believe it anymore. But, I have come to realize that everything does happen for a reason, and I wish I could thank her for always telling me that.

It’s hard to live a life where you tell yourself the bad things that happen are for a reason. Maybe your religion tells you that a higher being is doing things for a reason, or maybe you just believe you have this predetermined path set aside for you; either way the bad stuff still hurts for some time.

There have been so many things that have already impacted my life at such a young age, it’s hard to imagine how things will get when I’m older. I know to some I’m young and naiive and I have yet to endure the hardships that others will experience, and maybe eventually, myself. Something I have experienced is the ever-continuing loss of friendships in my life, something I nor anyone else can control.

You can say high school changes people, college, marriage, children; change is inevitable. It’s how we deal with the change that determines the marks we make on the relationships of our lives. Relationships are so crucial to our lives, and it’s certainly not a new discovery. We are taught to share in pre-school, treat others with fairness in grade school, build relationships in high school, and form long-lasting bonds in college. From there, we learn to make meaning of our lives, and then hopefully take the relationships we’ve made along on our journeys.

I’ve had friendships that have been so great and wonderful, but after awhile they just fell to pieces. It’s like a favorite pair of shoes. You buy new shoes and they’re so perfect, and then eventually they become worn down, tattered, old. You want something new, you want to replace the old. But, you know that would be so wrong, you want to fix them and turn them into what they once were. So maybe you try to tape them, glue them, tie them up in a way that they almost look new. This bandaid-technique works only for so long, and then they break again, and you’re left wondering if all that trying was for nothing. All that wasted mending, for what? Sore feet.

I can’t help but think I’ve made mistakes that I will never learn from, but I hope in time I can. Whenever I think that I’ve done something terribly wrong (in regards to my losing of friends) I think of what Demi Lovato did to her circle of friends. After rehab, Lovato turned on her phone and expected tons of texts to flow in, but instead she only had a few from close friends. She took a hard look at all of her relationships at that moment. She realized most of them didn’t have her best interest in mind, so she sifted through them and found her most faithful buddies. I like to think this is what I have been doing all along.

As I finish up the summer, I will enter my junior year of college, which means only two years left of college. I know this is a long time, but still this will go by so fast and before I know it, I will have to be ready for the real world. That’s what life is all about, moving on to the next step. I think relationships are the same way, you either move on with them, keeping up with the fast times, or you let them go.

So, for the friends that I couldn’t keep in my circle, I’m sorry. I’m sorry your best interest wasn’t in me, because I can assure you, you were always in mine. I don’t think I will ever truly forget how I chose to move on. I chose to make my life the way I want it, without you. I chose to end the five year relationship that I thought would only grow. I don’t think I will ever stop thinking about you, about us, or about the mistakes that I made; the mistakes that we made.

I tried to fix our relationship as best as I could, but there’s only so much tape and glue can do.

Halfway There

This past Friday was officially the end of my sophomore year.

My mom drove me to the train station on Thursday and told me, “Can you believe you have two years of college under your belt?” And later, on Friday, my friend said, “Madi, you’re technically a junior!”

Oh my, I really can’t even believe it myself! Those people who warned me to enjoy every bit of college were right, it does go by so fast!

I’m trying to absorb everything about college and sometimes sitting down and writing about it really helps. Actually, it’s rather hard because I have to think of all that I have done and what I’ve accomplished.

I was really hoping to make honors and the Dean’s list this year. Last semester, my Trig course brought my GPA down. Let me be frank, I understand I need to be a well-rounded student, but please tell me what journalist ever used parabolas and radians to conduct an interview?

Miraculously, I got all A’s (well, one A- and all A’s) and I am so happy! This hasn’t happened since middle school! Not to mention, most of my classes require a hefty amount of reading and writing, and on top of that, I work about 30 hours a week. Thanks for letting me take a nice break from blogging, WordPressers, you can give me a virtual pat on the back if you would like!

This last semester has been great, but difficult all at the same time. Thankfully, almost all of my classes were major-related, so nothing was a worthless GenEd course (except for Modern History of Western Societies, sorry Prof.!).

The literature course I took was extremely difficult for me. I’ve never been that good at figuring out themes, analyses, or applying outside knowledge to the texts. I’m more of a “give it to me straight” kind of girl. The course, overall, was mostly fun since we got to look at graphic novels and the theme of heroes and villains. You would think it’s all, “Oh yay Batman!” but the course really gave me a whole new perspective on comic book agendas and heroes in general.

I had a news reporting class (seriously, how cool does that just sound to you!) which gave me the chance to meet some fantastic friends in my major. I have convinced a good handful of media and communication students that we should all start working on having a school newspaper, and this summer our advisor and myself will be working towards just that! I do believe my willingness to get this going should make me some sort of editor, what do you think?

Speaking of my advisor, this year I had the chance to really get to know him, and he could probably say the same thing about me. I didn’t want to be another face in the crowd, so I’ve really been reaching out to try to improve things at the college. Our major is really unappreciated, and while I sense a lot of exciting things will eventually happen, it’s hard to keep your head up in the meantime, knowing a lot of people at the school don’t really think of your department as important. That being said, what does keep me going is knowing that all the professors in the English and media and communication department care so much about the students. When I say they care about the students, I don’t just mean they occasionally stay in their office a bit later, or they wait after class for me. I mean they let me text them with final exam questions at 11 p.m., they read my blog, they hand me jobs for working on campus, they mentor, teach and act as a guiding hand towards my success.

Alright, now you may just be thinking I am trying to sweeten them up for a good grade (did it help??) but I’m being completely serious. Sometimes I think about transferring to a school in the city. I really want to try something new, and I think some of the schools in the city are great for just that. But, when I think about leaving the faculty, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Without them, I’m sure I would be having not only a miserable time at school, but I wouldn’t be the student I am right now.

My advisor in particular is probably the reason why I haven’t lost faith in my future career/plans. Reporting changes whenever technology does. It’s more than just being able to write, and I don’t think I knew that until about a year ago. I always thought in high school that because I could write, that would get me the job. My advisor has taught me that yes, I can write, but the fact that I’m driven and I’m able to adapt is what people will want. He’s helped me at all hours, night and day, answer the question I wanted an answer to. His knowledge and experiences has helped me figure out what I need to do to be successful, and I can’t wait to make some changes at the school to make him and the department proud!

The other class I thoroughly enjoyed this semester was my Theory of Writing class. Never have I had a class where at the final exam, a professor would bring in chips and salsa and have us casually sit in a circle and read aloud a final paper. It seems like a fun time, but it was more than that. It wasn’t a professor giving us an easy way out. He wanted us to sit and express something greater than any 12 page test could do. The point of the assignment was to write a series of snapshots (known as crots) that would explain how far we have come with our writing (I will post my paper later!). These snapshots could be anything from theorists excerpts, short stories, poems, lyrics, letters, text messages, thoughts, experiences—heck, you oculdn’ve even used a fortune cookie message. We had about four or five students cry while reading their papers, and most of us were teary eyed listening. What they had written, what we had written, was so moving that only by reading it aloud could we see how expressive we all are. This is what the class had taught me. That through writing, you can do more than just get a good grade or become a person who “writes well.” You can make mistakes and still get your point across. You can say, screw the conventions, and just write a series of blurbs to make an essay come alive. You can make meaning of what you are writing. I did all of that and more with this class, and it’s one that I never want to forget.

"The definition of liable is..."

“The definition of libel is…”

My professor who taught that class is more than just some salsa-loving guy who wants us all to sit around and cry over our words. He wants us to do something greater with writing, and I think we all have learned that. He’s the reason I no longer write with some silly five-paragraph essay, and the reason why I try to write in my own voice and not someone else’s. He also asked me to be a writing tutor next year, and I’m so excited to be a part of that team! It’s great to see my development as a writer is recognized.

Overall this semester has been so many things, and I don’t think I can say it all in just one post. Technically speaking I can, but I think you all would start to get bored. I’ll just leave it at, sophomore year has been great but I am happy for it to be over with.

My summer is looking great. I have an internship at my college, where I will be working in the marketing and communications department. I will also be keeping my job at the library, I can’t leave the House of Books (as my friend calls it). So again my summer is working 10 hour work days, which is fine by me! I love to stay busy. I also joined a gym so you will be seeing posts about me actually being active. I plan on reading a lot too, and maybe I will even pick up a new hobby! Who knows, life is full of possibilities, and if I learned anything from this year, I can make things happen!

How about I put that on a t-shirt!?