A quick post…

…to let you know that I am OFFICIALLY going to be vice president for THREE different clubs next semester: National Broadcasting Society (and I’m still going to be treasurer, too), Astronomy Club and Sigma Delta Pi. I’m pretty pumped, but I hope it won’t be too much for me! I’ll let you know how everything goes, of course :)

In other news, you should read my latest post (about the ridiculous travel crisis in Europe right now) and let me know what you think. C’mon guys, I got a WordPress blog for a reason – I’m addicted to the STATS! I know you’re reading, and I want to know what YOU think. Don’t be afraid to speak up!! :)

Also, coming soon, I hope to touch upon everyone’s favorite subject: aging. I’m young for my grade, and it seems like I can’t turn 21 soon enough. I’ll talk about why I’m so excited, and it won’t just be because I want to go out to the bars with my friends. Stay tuned and take care! :)


Time and Birthdays

It’s so funny how views on birthdays change over the years. Remember when you were little, and you had a birthday and got SUPER excited? And then when your parents’ birthdays came around, you got really excited for them, but they never did? I never really understood that until these past few years. I mean, I did, but I’m reaching that point where it truly makes sense.

I am, of course, excited for my 21st birthday for obvious reasons (and, sidenote, this is relevant because ANOTHER one of my college friends turned 21 today, another one turns 21 on Monday and another, the Monday after that). Yes, I’m excited to be able to legally drink (and after being able to legally drink in Spain, I find the age limit here more absurd every day). I’m excited to go out with my friends to the bars if I want. To have a glass of wine with dinner at a restaurant. To be able to make myself a few drinks with liquor I purchased myself and not worry about paying someone back, or getting caught. Yes, that will be nice. But the other half of the reason I’m so excited is because from here on out, I’ll be the one who gets to gloat.

See, for the last, I don’t know, 20 years or so, I’ve been playing catch-up with my friends from my grade. I’m not turning 21 until my SENIOR year of college… I didn’t get my driver’s license until my junior year of high school and didn’t turn 18 until I got to college. So, yes, I am young for my grade. My birthday always falls at the beginning of the school year, and it’s a nice way to start off the year. New school year, new age…. but then it’s overshadowed by the fact that everyone else who had a birthday after me was a year older. I was FINALLY turning 16 when everyone else was turning 17. And when I FINALLY turned 17… well guess what, all my friends were about to turn 18. no big deal. And like, I never got teased about it. But I’m younger than all my friends in my grade, and yeah, I feel like I’ve been playing catch-up my whole life.

This year, the tables turn.

I’m starting to see that 21 is the last birthday everyone looks forward to. And it makes sense. Some of my friends complain, “ugh, 22? I’m so OLD!” After you turn 21, you’re an adult. And not only do you get the liquor, but everything else that comes along with turning said age: the responsibility, the job, the underlying expectation that you know what you’re going to do with your life. You actually have to face the *real* world. And yeah, it sucks. I’m not looking forward to it, and I’m not necessarily excited to turn older in subsequent years.

Except for the fact that instead of playing catch-up, and instead of being the envious one… for the rest of my life, *I’m* going to be the envied one. My friends might have beamed proudly when they got to turn 10, 13, 16, 18, before me. But guess what? That also means they get to turn 30, 40, and 50 before me. 21 years of watching my friends reap the benefits of growing up…. and from now on, I’ll be the one to lay back and calmly watch everyone panic as they turn a decade older, knowing that I have at least 9 months before I have to worry about it.

Yes, revenge is sweet my friends, and I firmly believe karma will always even everything out. 21 years of “haha, I’m 16 and you’re 15!” or, “haha, I’m 21 and you’re 20!” (even though it never went *exactly* like that :p) will soon turn into, “haha, I’m 29 and you’re 30!” or, “haha, I’m 39 and you’re 40!” yep, I am definitely looking forward to this. You never realize it until now, but being younger definitely has its benefits. :)

Summer Plans!

Hello, all! I apologize for such a horrid delay in updates! Once the year took off, it really took off and left me with hardly any time to think. I’m now nearly a month away from finishing the semester and becoming a senior in college! CRAZY! With summer fast approaching I’ve been giving some thought as to what plans I hold. And let me tell you, I do have some exciting plans :)

First of all, a month or so ago I bought a plane ticket to Barcelona. Which means I am officially going back to Spain mid-May! Commence child-like squeeing!! I’m meeting a friend from WSU there, and we will spend two days in Barcelona. Then I’m taking a train up to France to visit a high school friend studying there, then another train back down to my old stomping grounds, Granada! I’m going to be seeing and hopefully staying with two good college friends who just happen to be staying with the host family that I stayed with. I have to get back up to Barcelona because that’s where I leave from, and then I have a 23-hour layover in Amsterdam before flying home. This sounds absurd but I purchased this ticket on purpose – this way, I’ll be able to explore the city! I have never been there but I hope to take a river boat tour and just explore a little bit. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place! I am beyond excited and plan to keep everyone updated on my travels here! Hopefully I’ll be able to update before I leave on May 10!

Secondly, and even more importantly, I have an internship for this summer with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)!!!!!! I have been following this organization since I was very little and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to be given the chance to work for them, even if it is only for credit. In the beginning of June I’ll fly out to Washington D.C., where their U.S. headquarters are, and spend about two months working on editing and producing video in their Creative Services department. While I’m not looking forward to paying insanely high rent out there, I am beyond stoked to live in the nation’s capitol for two months. I’ve spent a lot of time this academic school year in video editing and production, and I really enjoy it. I’m excited to learn more and hopefully have a lot of fun as well! I’ll definitely keep you updated on how that’s going here, too!

I know this update was extremely brief, but I’m at home right now and I’m probably going to be eating dinner and getting together with the neighbor folk soon. But, I promise I’ll try to update sometime before I leave for Europe and let you know how everything is going! Take care!!

RIP, Bogy T

RIP, Bogart T. April 2, 1998 - January 25, 2010

While he certainly had his grumpy old man moments, he was undoubtedly the sweetest, most kindhearted, most intelligent dog we’ve ever had (except Cashmere maybe, our first dog, but she died when I was in 3rd grade so I don’t remember her as well). Our only boy dog, who we weren’t sure was going to last long when we adopted him. His previous owner decided that a dog food formula containing only blueberries and grains was sufficient nutrition, and that keeping him locked up in a crate 14 hours out of the day while he worked was acceptable. He wasn’t quite a year old and was maybe 30 or 40 pounds when he should have been around 70. Tapeworms, parasites, and BOY was he trouble. He would steal things out of the garbage to get attention… can you say JEALOUS. We even gave him ‘Trouble’ for a middle name- Bogart T. When we adopted him we had Penny, who was around 9 months older than him and the alpha dog for sure. She was the definition of BITCH lol. But they came to be best friends, and you could really tell how much they loved each other.

We had to put Penny down when she was 6 – we found out she had cancer and put her down a week later. I’m not sure Bogart ever fully recovered. At first, he was afraid to go outside alone, just acted funny and skittish a lot of the time. He still stole stuff to get attention but he mellowed out a TON. I really hope he’s running around with her right now.

There were just times where you swore he could understand every single word of what you said to him. You could talk to him like another human and he would sit there, just watching you. If you ever cried, he would come up to you and nudge his nose under your arm or put his paw up by you. He just understood and cared about you so much.

When my dad did housework Bogart was right there with him. Always interested in what we’re doing and if he had thumbs he’d be there helping. Just so responsive and aware of everything.

My favorite mornings were the ones where I would be half awake, just emerging from a dream, before 7am. My dad wakes up at 5am every morning to feed the dogs, so Bogart would eat his breakfast and then I would hear the “click clack” of his long toenails on my bathroom floor. He would nudge the door open with his nose and come in to say good morning to me, maybe lay in my room for a few hours until I woke up. He was always so protective and loving.

He absolutely detested Nikki for the first months we had her. While he grew up with Penny, he had been alone for 4 or 5 years after she died so he had gotten used to the attention, and being the alpha dog. He was never afraid to put her in her place, never afraid to growl or nip at her (even if he got scolded for doing so). But they eventually came to peacefully co-exist, and despite Nikki’s habits of stealing his food or knocking him over… I think they came to really love each other. I’m not sure what Nikki is going to do now, how she’ll be. She’s not even 2 and a half… she’s lived with Bogart her entire life so far.

Anyway, please keep my parents in your thoughts. Bogart is the oldest dog we’ve had, and we all felt closer to him than almost any other dog we’ve had, I think. It’s nothing like having a human die, but it’s close, and I’d argue it’s just as hard. It’s at least easier for me because I’m at school, and I don’t even want to imagine what my parents are like. I know I would be a complete mess.

So here’s to my Bogy love… thanks for all the love and memories, old boy. <3

An ode to the weather

There’s certainly nothing like October and November in Minnesota.

I will admit, I might have been a little bitter about the fact that it was snowing just two weeks ago. But sitting on my front porch in jeans and a tank top, eating an M&M’s frozen yogurt sundae (which completely negates the fact that I biked around the lakes this morning)… Minnesota, you always find a way to redeem yourself.

I find myself comparing today’s 63 degree weather to those precious five minutes in the morning after you hit your snooze button. You find yourself awake but still not ready to get up and face the world, so you just lay there in your groggy state, just savoring the warmth of your bed and the comfort of your pillow. Whatever obstacles lay ahead for you that day can wait an extra five minutes as you mentally prepare yourself for them.

So here’s to celebrating (probably) the last weekend of warmth and beautiful fall weather before the abyss that is Minnesota’s winter sets in, and here’s to hoping we get to see spring before April.

[a picture I took while biking around the lakes this morning. I only had my cell phone so I apologize for sub-par quality!]

Convention results

All the NBS-ers at dinner!

The Winona NBS-ers at dinner Friday, left to right: Nate, Megan, Jade, Olga, myself and Kevin

Wow, you guys. Just wow. That’s all I can say. While I’m not particularly religious anymore, I would definitely consider myself spiritual at the least, and I must say that I think all the stars aligned just perfectly for me this weekend at the National Broadcasting Society (NBS) Regional Convention in Quad Cities, Iowa/Illinois.

I’ll start out by explaining everything a little, and then tell you why I am about ready to burst at the seams because I am so excited to start planning for next summer, and my future. NBS is a professional, university-based organization. Tons of universities and colleges around the country have NBS chapters, and it (obviously) just so happens that Winona State has one. The main focus of the organization is career planning, and the highlights are the regional and national conventions. The convention this year was held this weekend (Oct. 23-24) in the Quad Cities.

Before I continue, I have to stress that I only joined NBS by happenstance. I decided to show up to the first meeting of the semester just to see what it was like. We’re a small organization – there’s probably 20-25 people on the mailing list, though less than 10 people show up to any given meeting. Anyhow, that first meeting I was informed that there were two officer positions open. I won’t say I was forced into the position of treasurer, but I was definitely strongly encouraged to do so :) I also signed up for the convention figuring “why not” – I hoped it would only help me out in the future. I really have no broadcasting experience yet, so I’ll take whatever I can get!

We left WSU at 6 a.m. Friday and arrived at our hotel 5 hours later with plenty of leeway before our first excursion. The entire weekend, we were given opportunities to speak with and hopefully learn from many professionals in the opportunity. Round table discussions, keynote speakers and studio tours made up the two-day itinerary, including the obligatory pizza dinner, pool party time, and luncheon (and awards ceremony, where we smoked the competition! we took every award except for most improved chapter!!). Aforementioned excursion, we decided, would be to the Independent News Network (INN) station headquarters nearby. I had no clue what to expect, and I was excited! More

Uncharted territory…

Well I must say, many exciting events have transpired since my last entry almost a month ago, and I apologize for my absence! As I mentioned earlier, I do have a lot going on in my life. Aforementioned ‘niche’ includes writing multiple news stories a week in all sorts of exciting formats, as well as lots of club commitments. Most recently, I did some clean-up work with one of WSU’s newest clubs, Photo League, in the bluffs across the river. We hiked all the way up there (and there were no nice steps like at Garvin Heights!), took some pictures and a quick lunch break, and swiftly got to work clearing out invasive species like buckthorn and honeysuckle. I’ll be the first to admit that I am still sore two days later! It’s not easy work on flat ground, but the angle at which we were doing all this work made it a lot harder on my pathetically out of shape body. It was a lot of fun though, and we’re thinking of making it into a monthly ordeal! I’m looking forward to the next one, because there are rumors of burning everything we cut out. I’ll let you know how that goes (and hopefully in a timely manner!).

In other exciting news, that story I wrote for the Daily News?? Ended up on the front page of the next day’s paper!!!! I was a little dumbfounded (slow news day, I’m sure) but excited none the less. It was so crazy to see MY name attached to the story… what an incredible feeling. Although I will admit that I started writing the story and when my editor looked it over, he pretty much re-wrote the entire thing. But it was a great learning experience, and that amazing feeling, looking down at my byline, reminds me why I’m going into journalism. Read my story here!

Coming up this weekend is my first convention, and a journalism-related one too! National Broadcasting Society is holding a regional convention for our region in Moline, Illinois (Quad Cities) Friday and Saturday, and I’m driving down there with 5 other members (and possibly our advisor, though we’re still not sure). I’m not really sure what to expect, seeing as how I’ve never participated in anything like this before. I’m a little nervous but excited at the prospect of networking and finding out what I have to learn (which, I know, is still a lot!). I’m also excited to spend the weekend with my fellow NBS-ers, as they all seem like great people. I don’t really know any of them too well so hopefully the weekend will go smoothly! If anyone happens to read this before our departure at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning, I am certainly open to suggestions and words of encouragement regarding this endeavor. Wish me luck!

I also promised news commentaries, and there have been so many blog-worthy stories lately. Everyone’s favorite balloon boy and the release of Windows 7 are among several stories I heard about and thought, “hey, I should blog about this!”… but to no avail. I think one of my problems is that I’m having a tough time figuring out exactly how to go about commenting on these news stories. If anyone has any suggestions, or bloggers you really like that you think I could take note from, don’t hesitate to let me know!

Alas, I will do my hardest to update here more often, perhaps once life quiets down a bit and I have some breathing time. Take care, all, and have a great weekend!

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