Friday, May 23, 2008

Looking forward

Considering the fact that I have only just started college this past fall, and I have a good 9 years ahead of me before I am finished, it is both inspirational and daunting to think about the fact that my best friend graduated from his five year music and recording sciences program yesterday.

I've only known him for the last 2 1/2 years of his 5 year journey, but it was more than enough to see how hard he worked to get where he is now. From the brain draining math classes at Hopkins to his senior clarinet recital last year, he has served as an inspiration and a role model to me to put the same effort into my own studies.

I wasn't able to be there to share this incredibly important day with him, and for that I am very sorry. I know that he understands and is ok with it, but I also know that when the time comes for me to graduate, I would be heartbroken if he was not there to see me. Afterall, I wouldn't even BE where I am now if not for him.

Joe, I have little doubt that you will go on from here to succeed in life, and that you will be able to achieve whatever dreams you still have growing inside of your heart.

I'm so very proud of you, and congratulations on achieving such an amazing and honorable feat!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Something to think about

You have probably heard, at one time or another, a story similar to the one I am about to recount . . . or perhaps you've recieved one of those mass email forwards like it.

You know what I'm talking about . . . those stories that remind you to be a good person and try your best all of the time, not just when you know you're being watched. The ones that talk about the teenaged fast food employee that was rude to the customer in his line at McDonalds, only to find out later that the customer was his new girlfriend's father . . . or to strike you even deeper, there is the story about the beggar on the street that you passed by without giving change to, only to find out later that the beggar was God, and he was testing you. (Ok, I'm sure you get the point by now . . . we've all gotten those forwards, right?)

I have recently had a somewhat similar situation in which putting all of my effort into something may have benefited me greatly in a totally unrelated way.

On Monday, as I announced here on this blog, I recieved a letter in the mail stating that I was the winner of a $2,000 scholarship that is offered by a group right here on my college campus. In order to get this scholarship, I had to fill out an application, write an essay, and have a teacher nominate me.

Now, as you know from what I have told you in this blog, I put a lot of energy into my writing (well, into my serious writing, not necessarily always into my blog writing) and I feel a deep sense of pride when I feel I've produced a quality piece of work. This scholarship essay was no different. I put a lot of thought into it, and did my best to give the committee that would review the essay a good taste of ME. I wanted to make it very person, yet professoinal at the same time.

Aside from the essay, the letters of recomendation, I felt, were a big part of the process, as well. The teacher I asked to nominate me noticed that more than one faculty member could do so, and because I have put so much effort into my schoolwork, I had my choice of teachers who were more than willing to help me out.

Reading that letter that said that I had won the scholarship was all I needed to tell me that my hard work and dedication is paying off.

However, what I didn't expect was that the effort I put into getting that scholarship would help me in other areas of my life, as well.

A few weeks ago I interviewed for a job in one of the offices here at the college. I felt the interview went well, and in the end, I did get the job. Yesterday, my new boss was congratulating me on getting the scholarship, and he told me what a wonderful application I had.

It turns out, he was on the committee to choose the recipient. So aside from interviewing me for the job, he had read my application for the scholarship, read my entire life story, and knew of my dreams and aspirations as well as my weaknesses and challenges.

I can't help but wonder if the scholarship application had any effect on his decision to hire me. Whether it did or not, the possibiity is there, and it is a very strong reminder to me to do my best all of the time, and to treat people with kindess and respect all of the time.

You never know of the person you are assisting while doing your job at Target is your future mother-in-law. Or perhaps that person you were rude to on the street will be deciding factor on your acceptance into an exclusive club or prestigious job.

Even the tiniest of things you do can affect major aspects of your life.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Irony is . . .

. . . your speech teacher explaining the importance of being sure to pronounce words in your speeches correctly, all the while repeatedly saying 'pronounciation' himself!

It could be worse . . . he could be a silly Texan boy that pronounces the name of your state 'Ellinoise' just to annoy the crap out of you.

All joking aside, my speech teacher, though today is only the third day of class, is a really awesome guy, and I think he is going to be among the growing list of teachers I will remember for a long time to come. After all, he is probably the first person ever to be able to keep my attention for 3 hours straight for 3 days in a row so far!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I GOT IT!!!!!!

Just checked my mail in the first time in more than a week, and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long because a week ago I was mailed a letter that says....


Not only that, but this August I will be the
honored guest at a dinner (at a fancy restaraunt!) held by the 21st Century Scholars Society!!!!!  HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT!?  

Is my excitement transparent, or do I hide it well?  

Overload? I hope not!

Starting tomorrow (well, today if you want to get technical) I will be working THREE (3) jobs, as well as taking summer classes.  

Three jobs.  

And school.  

Oh, and driving two+ hours (each way) to see Nicole regularly.  

And at some point in there, I'd like to have a bit of a social life, as well.  I'm a glutton for punishment, aren't I?  I wonder sometimes if my strong desire to keep myself so incredibly busy stems from when I was a kid, and my parents wouldn't miss a chance to tell me I was fat and lazy and that I'd never amount to anything.  Perhaps, deep down, I'm still feeling the need to prove those sentiments wrong every chance I get.  

Whatever it is, I can't seem to enjoy my downtime unless it's at least almost as structured as my non-downtime.  I enjoy my trips because they are days are filled with fun things to do.  
I had a structured plan in place for this past week, as well, but unfortunately it all required gas money -- a luxury I don't have.  So, that fell through, and I spent the majority of my time right here with my butt planted firmly in front of this very computer.  I couldn't muster the motivation to get anything done that I needed to get done.  Curiously enough, I have little doubt I'd have gotten more done if I had been busier to begin with.  Doesn't make much sense, I know, but that's just how it is!

It also might seem odd to some that it is a relief to me to be starting back at school (albeit just one class, as opposed to five) and starting another job tomorrow.  I can't wait for the structure work and school provides.  I can't wait to fill my brain with more knowledge and to busy my idle hands.  

But that's ok if it seems odd to others.  I enjoy it.  It's just who I am.  

Also who I am: a girl who never goes to bed when she should!  1 A.M., the night before I start my new job and my new class, and am I sleeping?  No, I'm writing a blog entry about how I over-do things!

Night, folks!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

18 Candles

Some of you may remember that back in January I posted about the tragic events that occurred concerning my 17 year old cousin Nicole.  

I haven't talked a lot about it on this blog simply due to the need for privacy and the concern for her safety, as she was a victim of a crime.  

However, now, nearly six months later, a lot has changed, and I feel a little bit more comfortable talking about it.  Nicole has made such amazing improvements, especially in the last couple of months.  It is incredible how much she and those around her have endured since November 30th, and even more incredible are the odds that Nicole has overcome.  

We had doctors and nurses telling us that she would never be more than a tragedy whose most basic body processes barely function.  They implied that she would never get out of that hospital bed . . . that she would never be able to smile or laugh or put her arms around us for a hug . . . that she would be fed through a tube in her stomach for the rest of her life . . .

. . . yesterday was Nicole's 18th birthday.  When I arrived at the rehab facility, she was in the therapy room with two occupational therapists, sitting up mostly on her own, making a birthday craft.  It was a butterfly, which she had already colored, and was in the process of gluing on sequins to the wings.  One of the therapists asked her to say who I was, but she was a bit tired, and she's only barely begun relearning to use her voice.  So on her dry erase board, she wrote "Corry."

Back in her room, we looked at pictures, watched Looney Toons videos on youtube on my phone, and were just generally silly and full of laughs.  

And Nicole knows that Corry isn't Corry if she doesn't have her camera with her . . . so we had a little bit of fun with that, too!

Happy Birthday Nicole! You are my miracle!

More from right field . . .

I thought I'd share a few more pictures from the Cubs game Sunday!

Natalie and Josh . . .

Keith and Jenn . . .

Chris . . .

. . . and ME!

You can't tell it from that picture, but I was lookin' pretty badass that day.

I'd forgotten to pack a jacket the night before (it was warm!), so when we stopped by Chris's to pick him up, he was nice enough to loan me his jacket from his rebel days!

Here's Corry, rippin' apart a gigantic cotton candy!

(Photo taken by Jenn)

And here's the whole gang!
From nearest to furthest: Josh, Natalie, Chris, Me, Jenn, Keith

(Photo taken with Jenn's camera)

And that's all for the Cubs game! GO CUBBIES!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One's named Barats and the other's named Bereta!

If, in  your time here in internetland, you haven't run across the gems that are Luke Barats and Joe Bereta, you have been missing out on some quality entertainment!

I came across thier website when someone on my Myspace friends list posted a bulletin with thier Mother's Day Video.   I laughed so hard, I had to go to thier website and see what they were all about.  Thankfully, I have no school all week, because I was up all night watching thier videos over and over again. 

So, I thought I'd share some Barats and Bereta love, and post  a couple of my favorite videos. 

So Smooth: 

Completely Uncalled For:

Enjoy!  And expect them to become regularly featured on this blog!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Go Cubs, Go!

Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today!
They’re singing …
Go, Cubs, go!
Go, Cubs, go!   

"Go Cubs, Go" ~Steve Goodman

Let me tell ya...hearing nearly 40,000 rowdy fans sing those lyrics in unison right after the Cubs swept the D-Backs was a pretty amazing thing to witness.  It seems that this is the norm for home team wins in Wrigleyville, but since this was only my second time seeing the Cubs play at home, it was a first for me.  I really wish I had a video camera with me so I could have recorded that moment, and the many other memorable moments I experienced at the game yesterday.  

Aside from only being my 2nd game at Wrigley, it was my first game as a bleacher bum.  I was surrounded by drunk people -- other than those in my group -- and every one of them was as die-hard as the next.  The one behind me was so drunk he fell into me and nearly knocked me down the bleachers 4 times before Chris, one of my group, finally made me switch seats with him.  Then the guy STILL managed to fall on me one more time! My back still hurts today!  

But...despite that, even he added to the enchantment of the day for me.  

The non-game highlight of the day was the guy that was seated about 20 or so people over from us...he was one among a group of shirtless (and also very drunk) guys with "Cubs" written across their stomachs.  About 3/4 of the way into the game, this guy put his hoodie back on, jumped the fence/wall of the right field bleachers, where we were, and charged the field!  

This is better told in pictures....

Don't get me wrong. . . the game itself was pretty great, but I think I got more out of just being part of the crowd, participating in several Cubbie traditions, and having a great time with 5 of the best friends a girl could ask for.  

The weather was crap, but I am thankful that the rain held off enough that the game even went on in the first place!  We were all so bummed out when we awoke yesterday morning to gray, cloudy skies and non-stop rain!  

Those gray skies didn't leave, but it still ended up being a beautiful day to me!  

I'd forgotten how much I love baseball!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Brain Drain

Day one of finals is over! WOOT! I already know I got an A (95%)on my English final, and I was already carrying a high A in the class.

I will know tomorrow or Wednesday what I got on the Biology final...I don't think I bombed it, but I doubt I did well enough to bring my B up to an A.

Oh well... ONE B out of all of my classes is acceptable....I guess. ;)

Tomorrow, Algebra and Anthropology. That leaves only my presentation for my Honors course on Wednesday, and I'm DONE WITH MY FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE!!!

This has been a truly amazing year.