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Whirlwind

August 17, 2010

This is going to be the standard “I can’t believe how fast the summer went by post,” with a few interesting highlights. Ready?

Wow. The summer after my freshman year is quickly coming to a close. I leave for school this Friday, and will be the first of 4 to move into my new apartment! I am so excited for the upcoming year. I am going down a week before Freshman Orientation and Move-In weekend for two reasons:

1) I will be a S.M.A.R.T. (Student Mentors Advising Rising Talent) Mentor this year! It is a program run through the Multicultural Center where upperclassmen students are paired with a group of freshmen, to help ease them into Elon and the college lifestyle in general. The multicultural community is very small at Elon (somewhere between 6-8% of our student body, I believe) and the SMART mentor/mentee program helps to bring that community together, and provide freshmen multicultural students with positive role models that they can feel comfortable approaching with any issue that may arise (at least that’s the goal). I had a pretty good experience last year as a mentee, so I’m very excited to be on the other end this year.

2) I am the Public Relations Coordinator for D.E.E.P. (Diversity Emerging Education Program), and thus, I have to attend “diversity training,” something similar to the training I will be receiving with the SMART program. It is also a way to get the new Executive Board for DEEP together for some bonding activity before our responsibilities start picking up. I am most excited for this!

So, there’s all that boring stuff. Here comes the interesting stuff:

I just got back from my trip to Arizona with my parents and my roommate, Melissa! I had the most amazing time. I would’ve never thought that Arizona was such a beautiful, peaceful, scenic place to vacation, I was just expecting heat and more heat. But it was the most wonderful week of my entire summer. I got a chance to see the Grand Canyon (which was absolutely breathtaking, to say the very least), Sedona (a mountainous region about 2 hours away from Phoenix that is almost as breathtaking as the Grand Canyon), as well as many other sites. We stayed in a resort that was basiaclly right in the middle of the desert, and there was a mountain range right next to us called Black Mountain that we climbed every single morning!! It was quite a workout, and the view from the very top (which we only made it to once, on our last day!) was incredible. I want to go back so badly! here are a few pictures:

Melissa and I at the Grand Canyon!

Mom, Dad, Melissa and I at the Grand Canyon

all of us at the Grand Canyon

those are just the Grand Canyon shots, I haven’t updated the Sedona ones yet, but I will! So stay tuned 😉

I’m going to try and update frequently throughout the semester, seeing as I posted once (this will be the second time) all summer. But a summer of lifeguarding and hanging out doesn’t really provide much basis for interesting blog posts, hence my hiatus, but never fear, my exciting, action-packed Elon lifestyle is just around the bend and I should have much to report.

That’s all for now!

Summertime

June 7, 2010

It’s been about a good month since I’ve updated, and I think the reason for that boils down to the fact that this summer has been pretty uneventful. I started working two weeks ago as of yesterday (my 5th year as a lifeguard at the local recreation center), and have spent my down time with my mom, boyfriend, and friends.

I’ve enjoyed being at home because my mom is teaching me how to cook this summer! All of the meals that I enjoyed throughout my childhood and high school years now seem so much different from the other side. I can appreciate all of the time and effort it takes to make a quality meal, especially after a long day at work and then cleaning up the kitchen. It takes about a quarter of the time to eat a meal than it takes to make one, but once you get over that fact, cooking can be really fun!

Now I feel more prepared to live in an apartment next year with a kitchen and only a 5-meal per week meal plan! That means no more chick-fil-a everyday for lunch (which is definitely a blessing in disguise).

I’ve got to say, reading about my classmates’ summer internships is making me a little jealous. I feel like I’ve done little to nothing productive this entire summer (all three weeks of it), as I spend my days at the pool and evenings in my basement, watching re-runs of Beverly Hills 90210 and One Tree Hill. But you’re only young once, and I guess it is safe to say that this may be my “last summer vacation,” if you look at it from the extensive relaxation standpoint. But I’m going to try and write more this summer to keep my skills up to par, and to ensure that my brain doesn’t turn into complete muck before sophomore year begins.

One thing I do enjoy about working at the pool is that there is always good conversation in the guard room. Alot of the seniors that will be graduating on Thursday (congratulations class of 2010!) have been asking me and my friends questions about what to expect during freshman year, how to adjust, how to make friends, how to properly manage your time, study habits, etc. and its making me feel old and wise. I can’t believe I can now talk to people about my college experiences and what I am looking forward to and what I would change. My goal is to maintain my stellar GPA, and to really commit myself to the activities that I have leadership positions in. I also want to grow closer to the Comm Fellows, because they’re all great students and even better people!

In the upcoming school year, I will be a S.M.A.R.T. mentor, which is a program run out of the Multicultural Center. I will have a group of multicultural freshman students that will be my ‘mentees’, and I will essentially help them with anything they need. One of my goals is to become much more involved with the multicultural community at Elon. As you can tell by my documentary below, diversity is something that I feel will become increasingly important to me during my college career, and thus I need to be as educated about it as possible. Perhaps even a new organization is in the making… we shall see!

Well, I think I have rambled enough for now. I will try and keep you posted on what unravels this summer… hopefully it will get more interesting!

Alexa

DMC Final Project!

May 14, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment has finally come. The end of Digital Media Convergence (well, with the exception of tomorrow’s 8 am 100-question final… oh).

After spending multiple nights in the lovely school of communications, I have finished my documentary regarding the issue of diversity at Elon. I think it’s something that is sometimes uncomfortable to talk about which is why I decided to make this video in the first place, but I think the people I interviewed had very interesting perspectives that can be appreciated by all types of students.

Here it is, enjoy!!

Ghana Video!

May 13, 2010

Instead of a written final exam, for my Global class, we were asked to create a video about a country that is need of change. How broad, right? I mean, every country in the entire world that I can think of has problems that need solutions. We have spent the entire semester researching one country in particular, and becoming an expert on it.

Our only instructions were to make our professor cry. While I found this humorous at first, I actually think that she might. We interviewed a fellow Elon Student, Fent Tahiru, who was born and raised in Ghana, and is now a senior here at Elon. He shared some truly powerful stories and anecdotes from his childhood that made our final video what it is.

Check it out!  I hope you find it is riveting as I do.

Also, I found it very interesting that Fent knew so much about the issues plaguing his country. It made me realize how much I don’t know and understand about America, and how I need to become more educated on prevalent issues.

End of freshman year!

May 11, 2010

I cannot believe an entire school year has come and gone already. It seems like yesterday we were moving into our dorms, and on Friday my mom is flying down to Elon to help me move out!

I’m so excited for sophomore year though. I finally get to take classes that are specific to my major, and I’m also looking forward to taking on a few leadership positions in the organizations that I joined this year!

I will try to update periodically throughout the summer, because I’m sure you are all looking forward to that 🙂


Diversity Documentary

May 9, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I came up with my final project idea. Now, I’ve begun to edit, edit, edit. The process of creating just a five-minute film is very meticulous, and although this is only the first draft, I want it to be as crisp as possible. It really helps that this is an issue that I am actually extremely concerned with, because I could not imagine spending this much time making something completely irrelevant to me.

Here is an excerpt from a one-hour documentary from the late ’90s that is based on my hometown, Shaker Heights, Ohio, regarding the issue of diversity.

Lumen Prize

May 5, 2010

If I were given $15,000 to conduct research, it would have to be something that I am extremely passionate about. Pretty much since I got to college, I have been very focused on finding myself and my true identity, and embracing the things in my life that  have made me who I am – I think of the biggest factors right now is my ethnicity. A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail about an online course called “African Americans and the Mass Media,” which I would’ve loved to take if time permitted. But in that realm, I would research the way that African Americans are portrayed in the media, certain patterns that can be observed, and how it became this way. I know that in 1950s cartoons, minorities were portrayed in very insulting and stereotypical ways, so perhaps I could start there.

However, there are shows like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Cosby Show that revamped African American television in the late 1980s and early 1990s; however, I feel like since the cancellation of these sitcoms, black media has significantly regressed.

Even if I choose not to apply for the Lumen Prize, though, I think I will end up conducting some of this research anyway, out of pure curiosity.