ASB Blog Part 2

Because of the high risk of drunk drivers on the reservation, we decided to spend the first night in a hotel. The next morning we continued to drive a few extra hours, eventually we arrived in Pine Ridge South Dakota! To be honest, all fun and games stopped once we arrived on the reservation. While driving on this long and narrow road to the Resort/Hotel, we were silent. Personally, I was numb with a deep sadness and concern for the community. I could barely swallow or blink my eye. I was no longer in Baltimore, Maryland. Immediately, my comfort zone stripped. I was lost for words and felt extremely uncomfortable. I began to question if I was really ready for this. It was real folks! No more just reading about it because it was right in front of your face, the mud, dirt, poverty, broken faces and broken hearts everywhere. Again, it was REAL!

I slowly got out of the van and could barely stand. I couldn’t believe I was really here. Others surrounded me going about their way, for me it was personal because I felt the pain, heard the tears, and could smell nothing. It was real but surreal at the same time. I walked with the group into the lobby; we checked in and then ate at their café. Even though the menu looked delicious, and I was hungry, it was still a struggle. Even though there may be some similarities with the poverty in Baltimore, however I was looking in from out which gave me a totally different perspective of things.

While on this trip I knew that trying new foods was going to be one of my biggest challenges and it was. Did you know that it is very offensive to Native people to reject the food that they offer it to you? I did not want to be rude, therefore I had to scrape my taste buds, fix my face, and brace my stomach. The room where separated by gender. The rooms were standard. The beds were comfy too. The first day we got ourselves acquainted, packed lunched, and stuffed zip lock bags.

We were split into two groups, Crazy Horse and Wild Mustangs! The groups would rotate jobs and projects throughout the week during different times. We would eat breakfasts in the morning: typically cereal, nutria-grain bars, fruit, oatmeal, or a pot-tart. Packed lunches would consist of a PB&J or Ham & Cheese, chips, and water. Dinner time a group would cook a dish like homemade pizza, tuna casserole, or burgers. Keep in mind we were on six dollars a day/ per-person budget just like the natives. So we were stretching the dollars! It all worked out wonderfully!

The second day we combined groups and worked on two houses about an hour away. Everything was an hour away because, well the reservation is HUDGE! We worked with a man named Scott. Scott founded a non-profit organization and partnered with another organization as well. Scott is very compassionate for the natives. He’s willing to sacrifice his comfort zone to make the lives better for the natives. We worked together as a team. We moved furniture, scrapped paint, cleaned floors, cleaned windows, moved lumber, dug holes for trees, and more. It was hard work but working with such great people made it a blast.

Myself and a few other ASB folks had the opportunity to work with kids in an after school program. It was a great experience and enjoyed working with the kids. We helped move all of the toys in the building. We brought in several toys, games, costumes, and other items for the kids to enjoy. We played music for the kids and painted their feet. They were the cutest and nicest kids. We had so much fun with them. These kids were happy despite their surrounding conditions.

We also conducted a health fair. The fair was designed to inform natives of Diabetes and how to be healthy. We provided the natives with information packets, presenters, lunch, and the opportunity to have nursing staff check their blood pressure. We had so much fun conducting the health fair. I’m sure it was of great help to them.

The last day we visited the site of Wounded Knee, which is the actual place where the massacre occurred. It was very sad and lonely. There were flags, ribbon, and tobacco everywhere to symbolize grief and to pay respect to the victims. Also we visited Oglala Lakota College, which is the only college on the reservation. The campus was beautiful. Most of the buildings looked new. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly.

The next day we departed at 4am. It was very early, cold, and rainy. We packed out bags and loaded the vans. It was a very dangerous drive to the airport because the 99.9% muddy roads were extremely slippery (mudslide). Can you imagine driving three eight passenger vans on the slippery edges of mountain? Not fun! Fortunately and prayerfully we survived and arrived at Denver International Airport safely. It was a long and rocky plane ride home. We endured some turbulence and pain in our ears but made it though. At least I did, I think.

Overall, I had a amazing experience. I grew as a person, ambassador, student, and leader. I faced my fears and broke through barriers. Relationships with friends changed to family. I developed a deeper compassion and understanding for the community. I desire to make a change not just in my community but I the world. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this trip. I learned so much! I hope I blessed someone’s life. ASB was an incredible/ life-changing experience that I will never forget! Thanks for reading!

ASB Blog Part 1

I’m sure many are wondering what I did over my spring break ASB Trip, huh? Well, first for those who have never heard of CCBC’s Student Life Alternative Spring Break, it’s a student life program that gives twenty students the opportunity to volunteer out-of-state during the spring and out-of-the country in the summer. It’s truly a fantastic opportunity! You will break barriers and grow in every way! It’s a life changing experience. However, space is limited which means you must submit an application with an essay. There is a cost as well; however, you will host fundraiser over the semester to raise funds.

Over spring break I went to Pine Ridge South Dakota to volunteer on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Some say why a reservation or this particular one? Well, here are some stats (Stats from “Backpacks For Pine Ridge”):

· Alcoholism affects eight out of ten families on the Reservation.

For more info and stats on Pine Ridge check out:

 Reasons why I wanted to go:

Help People

Understand Indian Culture

Grow as a person

Break Barriers

Become better citizen and leader

Develop stronger relationships

Make a positive change

 

I hope the stats gave you a better understanding why Pine Ridge was one of the places we decided to volunteer at. Before this trip I had no idea of what to expect besides reading “On the Rez By: Ian Frazier” and researching stats online. I’m glad we had several meetings to help us prepare for this new journey. I must admit I was a little anxious but willing to experience whatever I had to, to help someone. Having some of my friends on the trip and other familiar faces definitely eased the butterflies in my stomach. (STOP)

We all met at Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) on April 16, 2011 at 6am! Yes, it was an early flight. However, we had some extra time to wake-up, chat, and grab some breakfast. It was a smooth three hour flight from Baltimore to Denver Colorado. Yes, there were some new flyers but we had each other to encourage and push through! Not to mention, it was fun!

ASB staff leaders rented three large, white, eight passenger vans! The road trip was long but enjoyable. We played games in the car, talked about different things, shared stories, took pictures, and enjoyed the marvelous views while driving. The views were remarkably beautiful! The views of the open range and mountains were breath taking! A nine hour drive turned into a day and a few hours trip. The road trip was long but enjoyable. We played games in the car, talked about different things, shared stories, took pictures, and enjoyed the marvelous views while driving. The views were remarkably beautiful! The views of the open range and mountains were breath taking! Reason being we had to make a few stops and it’s very dangerous to drive on the reservation at night because of drunk drivers, yikes! We had to make a few stops at Walmart and Sam’s Club because we needed to purchase food for us and toiletries for them. One of our projects was to conduct a Health Fair so we decided to put together little zip lock bags full of toiletries and pamphlets with tips for better health.

 

http://www.backpacksforpineridge.com/Stats_About_Pine_Ridge.html

CCBC END-OF-THE-YEAR BBQ

 

MAY 6, 2011 Quad or K-100 if it rains 12 – 3pm

Come Join Us at the CCBC Catonsville Campus for food, games, fun, music, and more! Meet all of the clubs and chat with your friends. Burn a burger, climb a mountain, work your feet, eat a snowball, watch a show, and enjoy yourself! This could be your last semester at CCBC like me, so enjoy it all while you can with your friends! Trust me, you will have a BLAST!!!!!

 

 

Caution: May cause extreme fun, joy, and happiness. May be sad when you leave your friends with tons of memories.

End of Semester Survival

The semester will be over for most of us in 2 – 3 weeks!!!! This semester is coming to a close and you can feel it in the air. May’s beautiful sunshine is heating us up and the grill is on fire!

 With all of the distractions that summer has to offer, how can one stay focused through finals??? Sunglasses and ice-cream cones are everywhere! Who wants to study or spend hours in class? I do!!!! Just kidding…..however, we must all stay focus on our studies even if Hershey Park offers free admission and Hershey bars are free, yes don’t we all dream of that???

We must plan, strategize, and visualize folks. Picture yourself with a cap and gown or transferring to your top university like me, yay!

 First get rid of the distractions, as beautiful as it is outside…STAY INSIDE with your textbooks and count the cracks in the ceiling! Keep your thoughts classy, which means don’t think about beaches and resorts while reading a book about Native History. You can do it! You have all summer to vacation, sleep, bake chips, scratch your toes, eat gummy worms and die your hair. Good Luck with that. Tell Dr. Phil I said hey!

Justice

         On April 24th 2011 a transgendered woman was attacked by two females in a Baltimore McDonalds for using the women’s bathroom. The two girls I should say attacked the woman repeatedly until she had a seizure. Eventually, an elderly woman helped her. This was without a doubt a hate crime. I was outraged when I heard such a thing. I dislike the thought of hate and judgment. Yes, I’m a Christian and I don’t condone such lifestyle, however, I don’t believe it’s right to ridicule or attack someone because of their preference. There are people in the world, including some Christians who are very judgmental and shun people away because of their sexuality and other things. I am not one of those people. Who am I to judge? People should love unconditionally, Instead of pointing the finger, how about helping someone instead. I must say that I consider myself to be very compassionate. People in the world are in dire need of God’s unconditional love. This type of violent behavior should not be tolerated in any degree. Hello, we are FREE people! Chrissy Lee Polis has a right to be whoever she wants to be and no one should judge her for it. I will keep her in my prayers and I pray that justice is served.

Smithsonian Museums

A few weekends ago I visited the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C with the CCBC Owings Mills crew. I had a great time! Each museum offered something different and I had the luxury of taking a self-guided tour through most of them. I remember going to the Smithsonian Castle and seeing some amazing stuff like endangered species, African sculptures, clothing from historical figures, and furniture from the 1700’s. I was fascinated by the amount of history that surrounded me. The building was remarkable, it’s gothic architecture appealed to me. After leaving the castle, I had the opportunity to visit the Haupt Garden and gosh was it beautiful. The garden was filled with marble ponds, wild trees, and exotic flowers. I was truly in awe by what I had seen. Next, I visited the Sackler Gallery and it was incredible.

The Sackler Gallery was filled with sculptures from various cultures with African and Indian art, and then I visited the African American art museum which was amazing as well. Each sculpture had such value and had a story attached to it. I was tempted to buy every item; unfortunately, I have a very limited budget being that I am a college student, afterwards, I visited the Hirshhorn museum and Air and Space museum.

I had such a blast at both museums. I felt like a little kid again, so easily fascinated by aviation and astronomy. I was taken over by knowledge. Lastly, I visited the museum of Natural History. I was overwhelmed by the amount of information before me, from oceanography to the history of dinosaurs. Did I mention I visited the Butterfly exhibit? All of this is surrounding the national mall and in site of the White House.

 So next time you visit D.C with CCBC….check out the Smithsonian Museums…..you’re in for a treat!!!! P.S. The food and gift shops are expensive so bring your wallet FULL!!!!

Spring Break!

 

Any Spring Break Plans? I’m going to Pine Ridge South Dakota to volunteer with Student Life’s Alternative Spring Break Program. This is going to be an incredible experience. I’m looking forward to being in a new environment, helping people, expanding my horizons, and learning new things about myself/others. I will be out of town Saturday – next Friday. I can’t wait to tell you about my trip, not to mention my visit to CUA Odyssey Day today and my trip to the Smithsonian Museums in D.C. last weekend. Whew…..am I going to have a lot to tell you when I get back? Peace, blessings, and safe traveling as always students! See ya!

Transfer Process

          The majority of students who attend CCBC, transfer after they achieve their goal …..whether it’s to complete a certain number of courses, or obtain an A.A. Degree. Originally, I planned on obtaining my A.A (Associates Degree) in Business Administration, then, Humanities and Arts, it took me some time to decide on a major because I just wasn’t sure on what I wanted. I have always wanted to study Architecture, but because of my struggle in Math, I was discouraged. For years, people have told me that Architecture required a lot of rigorous math courses. When I started taking math at CCBC, my skills strengthened. My second semester at CCBC, I had a wonderful math teacher who was very kind and helpful. At the end of a successful semester she introduced me to her sister in-law who is a prominent academic advisor and career counselor known across the country.  I contacted my teacher’s sister-in-law through email. She asked me everything I looked for in a school and the first thing that came in to mind was a Christian school. I attended a Christian high school; therefore attending a Christian college would be a great fit for me. She sent me three schools to look at; Catholic University was one of them. The other two were too far away and just didn’t fit what I was looking for; however, after seeing CUA’s website I was in awe of the school.

 

Consequently, I had a CUA bumper sticker on my windshield!

That summer, I went with my parents to visit CUA and it was beautiful.  It had a manicured lawn, gothic architecture, and all in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. I sound like an Architect, don’t I? I still wasn’t quite sure if CUA was the school for me because I heard about Morgan State University and University of Maryland Architecture programs. 

 

In my heart, I knew CUA was the school for me. Therefore, I started me research early. At that very moment I knew I had to invest a lot of time into transferring and evaluating my own credits. I had to become my own advisor. This doesn’t mean I rejected the help and resources provided by CCBC. I immediately began to take notes, make phone calls; send emails to CUA’s transfer coordinator and I contacted the Architecture Department. I researched Architecture programs online and read several books on Architecture. I also researched CUA and its location (D.C).

 

After, evaluating my CCBC courses, I found out that most of my general education courses like English, Math, and Science transfer but CADD (Computer –Aided Design and Drafting) do not transfer into the Architecture curriculum. Instead of obtaining my A.A in CADD, I decided to go straight to my B.S in Architecture. This was a choice that I had to make and pray about. The Lord laid on my heart the courage to apply. I gathered all of my information, course evaluations, recommendation letters, and applied to CUA. After, nearly two months of anxiety I received my acceptance letter to Catholic University of America and to CUA’s Edward M. Crough School of Architecture. I am super excited! Although I am going to miss my friend’s and all of CCBC’s staff, I know that this is a new journey that is destined to happen! Join me as we take a new trip through the transfer process!!!!

Talent Show

CCBC Talent Show has finally arrived!!!!

Come out and have an amazing time!!!!

Listen to your peers sing their hearts out like James Brown and dance like MJ!!!! It’s going to be a blast! Did I mention…..Jay-Z going to be there!?!?! Just joking but the show is going to be incredible! You don’t want to miss this!

Date:  Friday, April 8th (that’s this Friday, tonight!)

Time: 7pm to 9pm.

Location: BARN Theatre – CCBC Catonsville.

Students will be performing so come out and show support!

Hope to see you there!

STUDENT VS MATH

Math is a very interesting opponent. One, it keeps you up all night and for some it increases your heart rate. Some students may very well fear this subject. I’m here to tell you as much as math is a challenge for me, “DON’T FEAR MATH.” I know it’s much easier said than done. I took the liberty in making a list for students to follow: the object is to defeat math!

        15 Quick Tips To Defeat Math

  1. Math is a subject not a person.
  2. Relax…..bring coffee or hot tea to soothe your nerves
  3. Don’t go starving …..eat physically and mentally (In other words don’t just eat a doughnut…..but, STUDY)
  4. Make friends in your math class…. “be friendly”. Even Batman had help.
  5. Open your text book and read/follow examples/solve practice problems/check the odd #s
  6. Make frequent visits to the Student Success Center
  7. Make yourself available to attend math seminars
  8. Study everyday for more than an hour
  9. Meet with your teacher during office hours or by appointment

10. Don’t overdo it….take 15 – 30 minute breaks by having your favorite snack or listening to a upbeat song

11. Have faith and don’t be discouraged

12. If you didn’t get it the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time …..keep trying until you do get it

13. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

14. Think and speak positive …..even with things look bad

15. Be optimistic