What’s Next?

The past few years at CCBC have been utterly amazing! Last night, my achievements manifested in an overwhelming amount of rewards and recognition! As a member of the Student Honors Council, the Student Life Ambassadors and as President of the Art Club and the Game Development Club, I took home 4 certificates for my achievement! For all of my hard work in the Art Department, I was chosen as the Outstanding Student for Art, Design & Interactive Media. But that’s not all!! I was also selected as the Outstanding Student Leader for the year! How amazing! I cannot say enough how happy I am to have truly found an institution where I have grown as a student, a leader and a person!

Looking forward to the future, it’s clear that I must keep this going! I’ve chosen to take my talents and commitment to greatness to UMBC! I’ll be double majoring in Photography and Art History, two of my highest passions!

If you have time, please visit and share my funding account for my future at UMBC! http://www.gofundme.com/92a9ho Any and all donations will be used to fund my education! Thank you!

Down to the Wire

Hey all!  I don’t know about you, but it feels like the closer we get to the end of the semester, the faster it races! I’m having more trouble keeping up then ever and with graduation right around the corner, there’s so much to do!

So much has happened lately, that I haven’t even had time to process all the fun things that have been going on, but one thing is clear: appreciating people is always something that people should make time for. Whether you’re asking someone for help, or recognizing all the things someone does for you without even being asked: I urge you to verbally acknowledge those around you for all they do. Some may be facing serious battles, but keeping a strong face. Some may need their own help, but are too proud or shy to ask for it. Whatever the case is, take a moment out of your day and appreciate those around you.

Thank you dear readers. It’s humbling to know you read my words, absorb my thoughts and react to my musings. As always, I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day!

Spring Break Please!

Having fun out in Harlan County!

I don’t’ know about you, but I was REALLY ready for Spring Break to start… Just before it, I found myself completely overwhelmed and all I could think  was “just a couple more days left until I can enjoy all the fun that’s on the horizon!”

For the past 4 years, my husband and I join some of our off-roading friends over Easter break to ride around on the side of a mountain. We typically travel to Kentucky, where I can find comfort in avoiding the “are you coming to ____ for Easter?” line of questions. While I had lots of work to get done, without attending classes I had enough time to get the multiple papers and artistic projects done before we left. Not everything got done, but significant progress was made. Cross your fingers that I can get the rest done even with my full 12-14 hour days running around like a nut!

Enjoy some photos from this year’s travels to Putney, Kentucky!

 

Paul setting up a camera on his hood. This Jeep is our CJ 5.

Paul loves rock crawling!

Our friend John loves playing in the mud!

 

Paul got stuck in the mud.

Poor little broken Jeep!

Foundation Gala

Saturday, CCBC partners, students, faculty and staff came together to raise money for the many foundation scholarships. In addition to the dinner, there was a raffle, silent auction and casino games. Not only did I win the grand prize in the raffle (a cleaning service for a fur), I won a silent auction package I had bid on (a trip to the Maryland Zoo and an all weather camera to take some cute shots while there)! Of course I had to bid on the camera!

Limited to a few photos taken on my cell phone, these don’t accurately capture the immense fun I had, but it does show how great everyone looked! Thank you to student Laura McQuain of the Chop Shop in Hamilton for the up-do!

With fellow Ambassadors Esmeralda Contreas & Ria Edwards

With fellow Ambassador Ugo Okwudiri

With fellow Ambassadors Nelly, Dua, Glory, Esmeralda, Eke, and Ria!

Table 6!

My raffle winnings. Although I’ll never use it, it’s still cool to win!

The ladies of Essex Honors! Raquelle, Dr. Rosenthal, Liberty, Jenn, Sara, and Jonna

The fancy men of Essex Honors! Hamad, Alex, Steve, Jonathan and Ugo

I always have to end each event with a hug from Ria!

My Mid-Semester Trip!

After a VERY busy Monday & Tuesday, the time came for me to fly out to the US Virgin Islands. What had been a pretty secretive trip in the beginning, quickly became something worth sharing with friends, classmates and professors. You see, it wasn’t a vacation: it was a terrific opportunity to participate in the opening of a museum! (But I did make time for the other fun stuff!)

I’m in the Curation and Gallery Coordination class on the Catonsville campus, so when asked if I wanted to be a part of a museum opening, my answer was immediately yes! I’ve been volunteering at an environmental camp during the summer that my father runs since I was 11, so as the years have gone by and my studies have changed there’s always been a way to use my newly learned skills. You really have to be versatile and flexible on the secluded side of a small island!

The Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station, located within the National Park on St. John, USVI, became my home from Wednesday to Monday. The shortness of the trip doesn’t mean I didn’t have time to do anything though! While most run on Island Time, I was still firing all cylinders, getting as much done as quickly as possible.We had a museum opening to prepare for and it was all thanks to Project Tektite.

Project Tektite was an underwater habitat and research project which was conducted in 1969 and 1970.  The experiment not only provided opportunities for marine research, particularly on the behavior and ecology of reef fauna and reef sedimentology, but also provided data for a variety of behavioral, biomedical and engineering studies. With the 45th anniversary of Project Tektite celebration scheduled for Saturday, much needed to be done. Four of the scientists who lived underwater during the Tektite missions, also known as the Aquanauts, traveled from across the country to attend, so the pressure was on!

Over the course of my days, I hung pictures, filled display cases, entertained Aquanauts and even spent time snorkeling the site where the Tektite habitat had been placed. There was even some time to hike and relax on the beach! One of the most important things for my mental health was the time I spent laying on the dock, looking up at the stars. I felt like I could melt into the water and just become a part of the ocean forever. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep the memories of the ocean breeze when finals roll around in order to keep calm!

Enough of the blabbering on! Here’s a VERY small amount of photos taken last week! Enjoy and let me know what you think! Please check out the VIERS website for information about volunteering, eco-tourism and Project Tektite! http://islands.org/VIERS/

The Aquanauts! These brave men lived under water, undergoing tremendous strain in order to further scientific research

Working on a display case in the museum!

The site where the Tektite habitat was submerged.

Getting some much needed relaxation time in back at camp!

Doing what I do best! Taking some photos! One of the Aquanauts and I hiked and climbed over many feet of rocks to get to the very tip of Yawzi Point in order to get the best shots!

Little Lameshur Bay, a quiet and secluded beach close to the camp. A quick walk and you’re in the clear blue water!

Toes in the rocky part of Lameshur Bay. The warm water was just what my feet needed after some hiking!

Greater Lameshur Bay is home to the research lab and many tourists have decided to come and use the calm bay as a mooring spot.

5,000 photos later and a couple full memory cards, getting to take my passion with me is the greatest gift I could ever ask for. It was definitely the experience of a lifetime!

PLEASE DO NOT TAKE MY PHOTOS WITHOUT PERMISSION! With the exception of the photographs of me, which were taken by my mother, these are taken by me for my personal use. If you would like a copy, please ask! Thank you!

Ambassadors

As most of you know, I’m a Student Life Ambassador. Since I’ll be graduating this May (exciting!) there will be some vacancies in the Ambassador program. It’s been an amazing experience and one that I suggest you consider!

As an ambassador, you’re going to be called on to help with a diverse amount of students and faculty. From First Week to the End of the Semester BBQ, helping out with events throughout the year will introduce you to new people and new ways of thinking. For example: The annual Hunger Banquet really touches people, letting them see the vast differences between income classes. As an ambassador you’d be responsible for helping set up the event, direct students to the proper areas and assist the coordinator during the event. You’re really given the opportunity to engage with the subject matter at these events, so please don’t think it’s all work and no play!

As an ambassador you’re also invited to some pretty prestigious events, such as the Holiday Party at Dr. Kurtinis’s house and the Legislative Breakfast. I was honored to attend each of these and it’s such a wonderful opportunity to meet people that really effect our lives. I never thought I’d really attend an event at the President’s house, but thanks to my role as an ambassador, this was possible!

Some ambassadors are also selected as student bloggers! I’ve loved getting to connect with you all every week through my posts. Our media director is such a supportive person, making sure we have what we need to post such great blogs. If you’re really interested in being a blogger, the Ambassador program is the way to do it!

So if you love connecting with students, meeting new people, being a great leader and representing CCBC~join the ranks of Student Life Ambassadors! While we love being a part of such a great group, it doesn’t hurt that we also get paid! So don’t wait! Fill out the application now found at http://ccbcmd.edu/media/ambassadors/leadership_app.pdf

Applications can also be picked up on any campus at the Student Life Office. They’re due in May so make sure you don’t delay! As always, if you have any questions~just ask!

Sensitivity

I don’t often look to Facebook for articles, but an article popped up in my news feed that caught my attention. The Huffington Post, albeit a questionable news source thanks to their recent obsession with celebrities, does have some great bloggers including Amanda Chan. Most of her writings are centered on food issues or neurological effects, things that interest me quite a bit. Entitled “16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People,” her thoughtful article really shed some light on certain traits commonly found in highly sensitive people, some of which I’d never noticed before.

So just what the heck is hypersensitivity anyway? As the word itself implies, it’s an intense sensitivity to your environment and can translate into your mental state. People that are hypersensitive or highly sensitive find themselves to be more emotional, have stronger reactions to smells and sounds, and to take things harder. While it’s not commonly known or discussed, hypersensitivity is one of the most common personality traits. 1 in 5 possess it!

Highly sensitive people are often mistaken for being introverts. There is a huge difference between sensitivity and introversion. Now that introverts are starting to gain some attention and are beginning to be treated the way that they’ve wanted for decades, the new shift will likely be to understand the highly sensitive. Think you might be? Take the test here : http://www.hsperson.com/pages/test.htm Go on, take it! Then come back and join me for the rest of this post. I’ll be here :)

All done? How did you do? I scored at 21, 7 more than the provided standard for probable high sensitivity. Certainly not as high as I thought it would be, but this is a self-assessment after all. Being hyper-sensitive, or “highly sensitive” as Ms. Chan puts it, puts a strain not only on your daily life, but can have serious effects on relationships and work. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been hyper-sensitive. Having a “super sensitive day” or SSD as I often refer to them, can really throw everything off balance. I’ve found over the years that I’m also increasingly sensitive to smells and loud noises. Being conscious of this, I tend to avoid concerts, incredibly loud situations and people that are notorious for wearing too much perfume or too little deodorant. Those of you that have known me for a while have almost certainly heard me say that my big nose is sensitive. I’ve also been told not to beat myself up over things or not to take events so personally. It’s incredibly hard to make someone understand that I just can’t. It’s just how I am. But by educating others, the world gets a little bit better. Maybe one person will think twice before leaving the house without deodorant… please. (Please wear deodorant :P )

While it’s easy to focus on the negatives, there are a number of greatly positive aspects to being highly sensitive. We’re extremely detail oriented. I’m usually one of the first people to notice a new hair cut, something most people don’t even notice. It’s a great boost to your relationship with someone when they see you’ve paid attention to them and noticed such an overlooked aspect of their appearance. This ability to be so in tune with details makes us great in teams! As deep thinkers and great workers, we’re a great asset to any team. Often praised and highly valued for the strong presence brought into the group, this can also be a great boost in self esteem for the highly sensitive person. It doesn’t hurt that they’re typically incredibly courteous and polite. Being sensitive means that annoying things are escalated into incredibly annoying things for the highly sensitive person, so partaking in those types of activities isn’t common practice. Keep in mind that if something is annoying you, it’s almost certainly annoying a highly sensitive person to an exponential degree.

So let’s band together and make the world a bit better. Be conscious of your actions. And if you’re hypersensitive too, know that you’re not alone! It’s incredibly common and nothing to feel the slightest bit strange about. As always, I’m here to talk if you want more information or just to get something off your chest. I would also like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ve used this blog as a diving board straight into the vast pool of my personal experiences and the feedback has been priceless. If I even connect with one person then I’ve been incredibly successful and the support of you, my dear readers, is something that I hope to continue to pay forward.

I strongly suggest you read Amanda Chan’s article, which can be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/highly-sensitive-people-signs-habits_n_4810794.html It’s an illuminating read and I’m certain you won’t regret it! Even if just to skim some of the bold print!

Integrity

American businessman Henry Kravis stated “If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.”

These words cannot be truer. Integrity is a vital part of all aspects of life. Lacking integrity results in very serious real world consequences, most of which are completely avoidable by being an upstanding person. More than just the stereotypical sleeze-ball standing on the corner selling stolen watches, people that lack integrity can be ones that we interact with every day.

While in school, it can be obvious what is right and wrong. Cheating on exams, copying someone else’s homework and plagiarizing papers are all obvious, but integrity runs much deeper. Gossip is fun for some, but breeching the trust of a friend is some shady business. Being cliquey and judging others aren’t honorable. I hate to burst your bubble, but if you’re doing things strictly for praise, you’re doing them for the wrong reason. I get so frustrated when I see students only do things so they “look good.” Live a transparent life, being a good person on the inside and the outside!

Cheating on your significant other is one of the most well known ways to break hearts and be targeted as untrustworthy. But what happens when you don’t tell that person? While you may think that no one knows about your indiscretion, keep in mind that a tango takes two and the other person might not have such sealed lips. Other people may find out and then it can get back to your partner, resulting in even more damage. Coming clean can help repair a relationship, but it’s better to not involve yourself in such activity at all. If you’re not emotionally ready to be involved with one person, then hold off. Keep on your own timeline and don’t get involved with someone just because your friends are all involved with people. Seriously. So many great people become a victim of a cheating partner, go on to hurt others because of the lingering pain and the vicious cycle continues. Let’s put a stop to it. Come clean. Don’t act like nothing happened or like you’ve done nothing wrong.

Whether at school or home, keep in mind how you would want others to treat you. Putting on a face for the world that doesn’t match how you truly act doesn’t mean you have integrity. Be the person you want to see in the mirror. You’ll live a much happier life.

Last Semester

Yesterday, I was talking with my fabulous friend Liz about the general feeling of this semester. I’ve been frustrated with the snow days, honestly wanting to be in class. I enjoy my classes and always feel like I get too behind if I miss class~weather related reasons or not. I thought it was just me, but she wholeheartedly agreed that the vibe of this semester is different than previous ones. “It feels like senior year of high school!”

She couldn’t be more right. High school wasn’t as recent for me as some of you, but I definitely agree with Liz. The weather has been so cold, creating a chill on the entire campus. Everywhere I look, people are curled up in their coats instead of hanging out in the Quad. Many of my classmates are graduating, so there’s an air of sadness knowing we won’t all be together in a couple months. But hopefully the excitement of the unknown kicks in soon and the weather decides to let up!

I’m truly hoping that the snow decides to pick on someone else soon so we can all get back to our normal selves! Do you have any tips for getting through this icy mess? My toes have been frozen for weeks!

Puppies

Having pets can be hard. Even without hectic class schedules and piles of homework, providing the attention a pet truly needs can be a difficult task. Many long days at school mean your companion is sitting at home staring out the window, awaiting the moment you return. That pure joy and excitement they display when you open the door is the reason I’m a Dog Person. There’s nothing like unconditional love and a good dog has that in spades. No offense to cats, but I’ve only had one cat wag their tail and greet me at the door when I got home… and he never behaved like a cat. But I digress…

Last semester, I averaged about 60 hours a week on campus. Seriously. Long days away from home not only took a toll on me, but it my two dogs were noticeably effected. I’m the proud momma of two gorgeous purebred pinschers: Lola, a German pinscher and BabyGirl, a toy miniature pinscher. They’re spoiled beyond belief, cuddled constantly and honestly two of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met. Lola is especially sensitive, with terrible separation anxiety. Beyond the normal “not liking it” when an owner is away, Lola becomes physically sick and works herself up into a crying ball of mush. She’s my Sweet Baby Lo, but this causes some serious issues when I’m at school all day.

This means most of the care of my darling girls fell on the shoulders of my husband when I’m at school. Studio classes and extra curricular activities eat up your time quickly, but after a semester of having no days to myself, this semester I instituted Super Puppy Cuddle Sundays.  By designating one day a week that I make no commitments, I get to spend time with my girls, get homework done and relax. By creating this stability in the home, my dogs know that they’re important. It’s also helped the health and overall attitude of my girls. I’m not sure how you feel about dogs, but trust me: my girls have some personality…

I’ve always allowed them to sleep next to me in bed, often times losing my own pillow. Thankfully, it’s adorable and I can get some cute candid pictures out of it. Just saying “it’s bed times!” causes them to spring up and run straight to the bedroom. When Lola is particularly happy, she’ll spin around on the bed and berserk. It’s hilarious. Does your dog do anything like that?

Having a pet is a responsibility. They might be part of your life, but you’re their entire life. Before you go out for the day, make sure you spend a couple minutes with your furry friend. You wouldn’t like being ignored and alone for days on end, so why would you subject your pets to that? Just please be mindful of their needs! Companions are incredible gifts and I wouldn’t trade my girls for anything. I love my snuggly pups!

 

Over this winter, my girls turned 4. I can’t believe time has flown by!

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom:

BabyGirl’s favorite toy is a blue dragon the same size as her. She carries it around and will let you look at it. Look with your eyes not with your hands!

A common sight, Lola and BabyGirl tuck themselves into the blanket and steal my pillow!

BabyGirl couldn’t decide if she wanted to be under the blanket or not… maybe she just thinks she’s an ostrich…

When I get home, BabyGirl gets in my face and demands kisses. When she’s satisfied, she puts her head under my chin and sits on my belly until she’s hungry. She’s a piggy, so that’s usually not as long as you’d think…

Lola is certainly the sensitive one. Just lay down on the couch and she’ll melt next to you, usually with you as her personal pillow.

Lola was born on Christmas! Wrapping a Christmas bow around her doesn’t even phase her, she just wants to cuddle!

Helping make tags for the transfer show is hard work! BabyGirl had to take a nap…

Lola and BabyGirl cuddle each other, they’ve always known the other as sisters and spend their days playing and napping on the couch. I love catching then balled up and snoozing!

Show me your furry babies! Post a picture in the comment section and show off your four legged friend! [or 2 legged feathered friends  :cough:Corinne:cough:]