What a Year!

Time has FLOWN by this past year! So much has happened, and I cannot believe that I am one year away from graduating college! I have had such a great experience here at Ball State these past two years, and cannot wait to see what is in store for my senior year!

Between the official switch of my major, to getting more involved, to joining new organizations and getting deeper in the ones I’m already involved in, to just being in college!- I have made some incredible memories, and friendships that will last forever. Next year, I am focusing on pageants again, as well as my involvement with Cru and IJM, as well as working on my senior thesis project for the Honors College in the fall. It’s sure to be full of excitement!

Thanks to everyone who has followed my journey this year and read about all of the things I did. I hope you enjoyed it, and keep digging into the magic at Ball State!

May 3, 2012

Spectacular!

This past weekend was the Ball State University Singer’s Spectacular! University Singers is BSU’s show choir, and one of the top show choirs in the country! They are also Indiana’s Goodwill Ambassadors! This group of incredibly talented students travel around the state performing and attend several Ball State events as well. Anyone can audition for the group (it’s not comprised of just music majors) and their Spectacular is simply that! I know several people in the ensemble and was fortunate enough to attend the Spectacular last weekend and cheer them on! I will also be auditioning for the group at the end of this school year, so here’s hoping! :)

Preview Performance at Bracken Library!

David and I after the show!

AJ!

Rachel!

Lauren!

April 18, 2012

Breaking Chains

What a busy semester! Usually the beginning or ending of a semester is busy for me, but this time around, the middle has been CRAZY! I’ve never felt so overloaded, but luckily it has started to wind down. I can’t believe that I only have three weeks of class left!

One of the organizations I am involved with on campus is International Justice Mission (IJM). According to their official website, IJM “human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.” If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know that the event I attended in January called Passion focused a great deal on slavery, and this issue has become very close to my heart. Ball State’s chapter of IJM recently held an event in order to make our campus more aware of this issue. I have included some pictures that were taken, and you can read an article about it from The Daily News.

View of the audience…so pleased with the turnout for our first event!

Our four lovely student speakers who shared God’s love for slaves and the passion to end trafficking

The darkness and the single lamp was for dramatic effect, and you can’t really see from the picture but that’s ME introducing the event

Our speaker Marti MacGibbon, a survivor of human trafficking who shared her personal story with us!

¬†It was a really great event and truly eye opening about slavery and trafficking today. I hope that my passion for this cause stays as strong as it is now, because there’s so much that can be done!

April 10, 2012

FOTWAD

On Friday, the Department of Theatre and Dance held FOTWAD, which stands for “Festival of the Word and Dance.” This is a small show that gives theatre and dance majors an opportunity to perform any piece they’d like, ¬†whether it’s a cover of another song, original choreography, etc. It’s a great way to showcase many of the talented students that the university doesn’t always get to see in one of the shows the department puts on during the year.

This was my second year performing in FOTWAD, and I was very excited to participate again. One of my classes, THEAT 299A (Voice for the non-MTO) puts together a musical to perform at FOTWAD. The entire musical isn’t performed, but we do sing a majority of the songs with choreography. Last year, my class did Hairspray, and it was a great time. This year, my class combined with the other section of the class and performed Chicago. This musical is very popular and was very fun to put together. We’ve been working on the music and choreography for a good part of this semester, and being able to showcase all of our talents was a great time.

I do not have any pictures of Chicago (yet!) but I am hoping to have some that I can put up soon. Meanwhile, I have included some photos from our performance of Hairspray last year!

 


March 26, 2012

Mid-Semester

So, at the beginning of the semester, I posted a list of the courses I am taking this spring. Emails were sent out today about thinking about courses for the fall semester. I get I didn’t realize it was the middle of MARCH already! Where has the year gone?

As I look back on the past several weeks and look ahead to the final stretch, I think about all of the papers, projects, and presentations the average college student completes over a semester. Just from my experience in the Honors College as well as the Spanish and Theatre departments, I can tell you- IT’S A LOT! This is only my second year at Ball State, but due to credits I received before coming to Ball State, I am at junior standing and will graduate next spring. CRAZY! In the Honors College, students must complete a senior thesis. This can either be a paper or a creative project. Another student and I are in the process of drafting our thesis (we are doing a project together) and it is a very daunting task. I am also preparing to take the Writing Proficiency Exam, which all Ball State students are required to pass before graduating.

Planning for graduation means planning for your future, and if you think the transition from high school to college is bad, I can only imagine what stepping out into the real world is like.

March 18, 2012

Spring Break?? Really??

It is Sunday, March 4, 2012, and I am supposed to be on Spring Break. Unfortunately, that just means going home to Ohio, where it is currently SNOWING. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like Spring to me.

My last week before break was CRAZY. First off, I had computer problems. I had someone hack my Ball State e-mail and send lots of junk mail and spam, so the university had to close my account for a while, not giving me access. Luckily, we have awesome tech support here at BSU called TechTime, and I had the situation cleared up in no time! Ball State is very conscious of your safety, including on the Internet, which I greatly appreciate.

This week, most students had midterms. I didn’t have any paper tests, but I had papers to write and assignments to complete, meetings to attend, films to see and write more papers on, dance rehearsals….you get the idea. During the little downtime that I had, I needed stress relief. Some people play video games, get a massage, or sleep to escape their stress- I just surround myself with friends. There’s a stereotype about going to college, especially one as large as Ball State, and getting involved with the wrong kinds of people. You get involved with parties, alcohol, drugs, and one thing leads to another and your life falls apart. Fortunately for me, I have surrounded myself with AMAZING friends that keep me accountable and keep me sane. They are the best stress relief a girl could ask for. Get involved on campus in organizations that interest you and that you have a passion for, and you’ll meet people with similar interests that can become your best friends! I met these girls through Cru, and we’ve been in a bible study together for two years!Here’s some pictures of me and some friends from throughout the year.

Now I’m home on break, and I get to see my family and friends here. This week will be full of relaxation and zero stress, so I can recharge my batteries and get ready for the last half of the semester!

March 4, 2012

What is Service?

Community Service is a big idea on Ball State’s campus. Between fraternity/sorority philanthropy, non-profit organizations, and free hugs at the scramble light, there are thousands of students on campus every day striving for a better campus, and essentially a better world. Being in the pageant system, especially the Miss America Organization, service is something very important to me, and I love to get involved with different activities.

Speaking of the MAO, we had a guest speaker on campus this week- Katie Stam Irk, Miss America 2009! Her personal platform was community service, and she has such a big heart for serving others! She spoke about her time at Miss America and spoke about the importance of service, how it can benefit those around you, and make an impact on your life in return.

I had the privilege of meeting Katie at a pageant in August that I competed in, and I was blown away by a beautiful, intelligent, talented, and overall amazing woman. She is probably my biggest role model, and not just because she was Miss America- she is a spiritual mentor for me. Her faith is something important to her, and she’s not shy about it, and I really admire that about her!

Katie and I after her speech!

There are many organizations that promote service on campus, and you can find them at THIS LINK. One way I contribute is supporting the philanthropy efforts of fraternities and sororities. Some events are large and campus wide, while others are small, but just as important. The Kappa Delta sorority held a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings here in Muncie, and they raised money for several organizations, including Very Special Arts, a program where mentally handicapped adults use art projects to build relationships and focus on something other than their disability. Some friends and I had dinner and supported this great cause, and it was fun! (not to mention delicious)

Eating at B Dubs! (sorry it’s blurry and dark!)

Another event that was recently held on campus was the BSU Dance Marathon. This consisted of 12 hours of dancing…no breaks. It seems simple enough, but raising funds for this is a big job and I know it gets tiring. Through the work of over 50 students participating, over $87,000 was raised for Riley’s Children Hospital! Incredible!

Like I said, service is a big deal on campus. Whether you go to a park and rake leaves, build a house with Habitat for Humanity, dance for 12 hours, or have dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, you can still make an impact in someone’s life, and that act of service can greatly impact you.

February 22, 2012

Isn’t She Lovely

What an exciting weekend! Even as the days of homecoming and prom fade away, I still love opportunities to get dressed up, and I had two chances to do that this past weekend.

Friday night was Cru Formal. This is basically a big dance held at Cornerstone Center for the Arts in Muncie, and everyone from Cru dresses up and dances (appropriately, of course). I did hair and had dinner with my Bible Study ladies, and we had such a great time.

My bible study before Cru Formal
The two Nicoles!

Saturday was a busy day. I was a part of the Miss Ball State pageant. I am involved with the Miss Ohio pageant system, but as a Ball State student, I can compete in this pageant. The day was full of rehearsal, interviews, hair curling and competing. While I did not win, our new Miss Ball State, Courtney Jurick, is an amazing young woman and very deserving of the title, and I cannot wait to see how she does this summer at Miss Indiana.

The crowning of our new Miss Ball State, Courtney Jurick! So proud of you! (From BSU Daily News)
Me with Jackie Jerlecki, Miss Indiana!
Me and Ellen Bryan, Miss Ohio and a BSU grad!

After a busy weekend of dressing up, it’s been very relaxing to dress down and get back into classes without the stress of a busy weekend. As we go into this long stretch of classes, I see a light at the end of the tunnel- SPRING BREAK.

February 1, 2012

Spring 2012

The spring semester has begun! This semester is a full load for me, with 18 credit hours and several extra curricular activities. Here are the classes I am taking this semester:

SP 301- Spanish Conversation. This class is exactly what it sounds like- we talk in Spanish. We have started out simple, going over vocabulary and correct grammar usage, but we have oral presentations during the semester as well.

SP 302- Spanish Composition. Again, exactly what it sounds like. We do talk in class and have book work, but we do A LOT of writing.

HONRS 189- Non-Western Literature. This class through the Honors College, and every section is a little different. My section is reading literature from Eastern cultures, such as Africa and the Middle East. Honors classes are mostly discussion-based, so instead of having a lecture, we all discuss the readings in class.

HONRS 298- Biodiversity. Again, the sections of the Honors Science classes vary, but this class is biology-based. We have started the semester talking about evolution and natural selection. I am not a big fan of science, so I’m hoping to take something away from this class.

THEAT 220- Stagecraft. This class is very fun, because it gives theatre students a chance to work behind the scenes. In high school, I was always on stage, so this class makes me really appreciate the non-performers of the theatre world. We learn about different tools and all components of the stage, and we learn how to use tools like drills and saws!

THEAT 299A- Voice for the non-MTO. This class is my favorite. Since I am not a performance major, I do not get the opportunities to perform like I did in high school. This class gives non-performance majors a chance to sing in a master class setting, and it’s really fun!

As the semester goes on, I’ll be sure to keep updates about classes and scheduling, since students create their own schedules. It will be interesting to see if I still like the classes I do now, and if any of the lesser-liked classes grow on me.

 

I am also competing in the Miss Ball State pageant this weekend, so check back next week for an update on how I did!

 

January 26, 2012

We Raise Our White Flag

Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a great holiday season! Winter break was MUCH needed for me, but now I am back at school, ready for a new semester. I really enjoyed having time off during break, and I got to do a lot of really cool things. One of the highlights of my break was going to Atlanta, Georgia.

Last year over winter break, I went to Indianapolis for a conference called IndyCC. Lots of schools from the Great Lakes region came together for a conference through CRU, and it was a great time. This year, I wasn’t able to go, but my fellow blogger Nicole was able to, so you can read about her experience there. While I was unable to go to IndyCC, I was fortunate enough to attend a different conference, called Passion. It was held in Atlanta, Georgia, and over 45,000 students from all over the world attended. Main sessions were held in the Georgia Dome, while breakout sessions and other events were held in a neighboring convention center and nearby hotels. It was a great experience to be surrounded by thousands of people my age, all in support of a great movement and celebrating our fellowship together!

45,000 in the Georgia Dome

While it was a Christian conference,part of it was outreach, and helping those in need. The movement this year focused on human trafficking. Outrageous statistics were given to us, such as the number of people currently in some form of slavery: 27 MILLION. That’s more slaves today than there has ever been in history.

The conference partnered with several great organizations, and we all banded together to Do Something Now, which was our theme. Over three days, we were able to raise over $3 MILLION for great organizations that are combating human trafficking, such as IJM, A21, Hagar, and countless others. It was great to see all of these poor college students stand in line to donate their money- what a testimony. After students donated, we helped build and decorate a structure in front of the Georgia Dome to represent our fight to end slavery. The last night of the conference, all 45,000 in attendance held a candlelight prayer vigil in front of the statue, and then lit it up and praised God for the things He has done and will do to free people from slavery.

Amazing...

Now that I’m back in the swings of things here at Ball State, I can’t help but reflect over my time at Passion, and feel so fortunate to have the comforts and security that I do. It really puts your life in perspective and see everything that we take for granted in life.

I have made my photo album from Passion available for everyone to see on Facebook. Enjoy the photos- just please don’t stalk me! :)

 

 

Visuals of slavery really made us all think...

Reaching up, reaching out.

My family group….6 people I never knew, now who I LOVE! :)

January 12, 2012

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