15 September 2015

New Developments

Last time I posted, I promised more regular updates.

That was a month ago.

Oops.

So this won't be a post so much as it will be a series of updates. Let's see what I've been up to:


Studying

I have been so busy since school started again! 

It's only Week Four and I'm already behind on reading for Humanities, and Comparative Politics, and Philosophy... And add to that to the quiz and the two tests and the essay I have in store for me next week. This GPA isn't going to maintain itself, you know. I made the Dean's List last semester, and I'd like to prove to myself that it wasn't simply a fluke.

Working

Over the summer, I got Lifeguard certified on a whim. I figured it was useful knowledge to have, and having the certification opened up more opportunities for me, job-wise. It only took a weekend, and in the long run it was well worth the cost, so why the heck not?

When I got back to Reno, I checked out some of the part-time job openings the city had, as I was actually hoping to return to my old job in Youth Services. Lo and behold, there was a lifeguard position waiting for me. I applied simply because I was applying everywhere, but I did end up getting called back, so now I have the honor of guarding the lives of Reno's citizens. And hey, I get free access to city facilities.

Getting Involved

Last semester, I became a sister of Sigma Alpha Iota and I'm loving it! I love seeing my sisters every week and I'm already on three (actually, technically four) committees. 

I've also joined an on-campus group called Nevada Youth for Bernie Sanders, which works in tandem with the Washoe County Democrats for Bernie Sanders to volunteer for the campaign. We're currently working on voter registration, canvassing, and phone calling; on campus, we're going to begin tabling to register students to vote and talk to them more about voting for Bernie and volunteering for his campaign. 

Additionally, I applied for an internship with the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) and I was nominated for one of the open positions! Next week I have a meeting that should confirm my admittance as a Legislative Intern.

Becoming Health Conscious

This semester, I have a few goals regarding my lifestyle. They are as follows:
  1. Continue the exercise routine I established in physical therapy over the summer to help my knees improve.
  2. Strengthen my upper body and core, and increase my endurance.
  3. Lose weight and keep it off.
  4. Maintain a more balanced diet, i.e. more than just pasta and others carbs.
I'm also going to try to go vegetarian for a month sometime this semester, purely to challenge myself.


However, none of this means that I'm done blogging; if anything, this all means I'll just have more to blog about! I still have plenty of post ideas that I need to flesh out, whenever I have the time and/or the inspiration. And I'm hoping to expand Dilettanteish even more, becoming more active within the blogging communities I'm already a member of, and taking more control over my blog. So stay tuned, and to really keep up with me, follow me on:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

and Tumblr






10 August 2015

Career Consideration

At the end of my junior year of high school, I decided that Music Education was the right path for me; I was set on being a band director, excited to teach and influence students the way my band director had taught and influenced me and my peers.

And now, here I am, heading into my sophomore year of college, a Political Science major. How did I get here?? Let's review.

1. Editor-in-Chief (English major, a focus on [American] Literature)

...at a big name publishing house, naturally. At 16, I fantasized about having my own office on the top floor of a large building overlooking the bustling streets of a fast-paced city, having an assistant, wearing pencil skirts and blouses and sensible heels, all while being the powerful and in-control head of publications for whatever company I had graced with my presence.

2. Band Director (Music Education)

Perhaps high school, perhaps college (Dr. Augustine certainly has a nice shine to it, doesn't it?), it didn't really matter to me as long as I had my baton in one hand and a large coffee in the other. (Both necessary to making it through a long and demanding day of score study, rehearsals, paperwork, etc., etc., etc.) That lasted until I realized that I didn't want to deal with the immature and bratty students who would petition to get me fired (something that actually happened to my HS director (nothing came of it; their ridiculous claims had no grounds)), nor did I have the patience to do so.

3. Museum Curator (History, with an emphasis on Museum Studies)

Social studies has always been a bit of a strong point for me; history has always held a great deal of mystique and intrigue in my eyes. It sort of just made sense. It held the same allure as Editor-in-Chief, in a completely different field.

4. Librarian (Masters in Library Sciences/Information Studies)

I can sort of just picture myself as a librarian. However, after a bit of research, I found that my university does not offer this program and I could not find any related undergraduate programs either. But that didn't matter, because my boyfriend's father {future father-in-law? maybe.} pointed out that libraries are a bit of a dying breed, loathe as I am to admit that.

5. Campaign Manager

Where I am currently: similar to #4, picturing myself as a campaign manager (a la Jen Barker, of Parks and Recreation) sort of just clicks in my head. It feels right. I shiver with delight when I think about it. It fills me with enthusiasm. I believe I've found what I'm meant to do- but we'll see. Maybe I'll be adding a #6 to this list. 

03 August 2015

Top Five || Song Lyrics

I know I'm not the only one who uses song lyrics as captions on selfies and aesthetic photos. Personally, whenever I hear a line that strongly resonates with me, I add it to an ever-growing note on my phone (which I refer to whenever I post to Instagram). [If you follow me on insta, try to spot if/when I've used these as captions: @aveformosissima]

Of these, here are my top five.


Life has a hopeful undertone.

{ twenty one pilots - migraine }


Just a series of blurs, like I never occurred.

{ death cab for cutie - someday you will be loved }


Not sure there's a way to express what you mean to me.

{ macklemore + ryan lewis - cowboy boots }


All these broken pieces fit together to make a perfect picture of us.

{ snow patrol - the lightning strike }


Satisfaction feels like a distant memory.

{ arctic monkeys - r u mine? }


And a few bonus lyrics, since I've been on hiatus since I got back to Vegas:


Nothing safe is worth the drive.

{ taylor swift - treacherous }


Now he lives inside someone he does not recognize, when he catches his reflection on accident.

{ death cab for cutie - brothers on a hotel bed }


Be the lightning in me.

{ snow patrol - the lightning strike }
[yes, i am counting it separately, because this is a three movement, fifteen-minute long song; see link above]


Baby, it couldn't have been that easy to forget about me.

{ tom petty - even the losers }


I fall apart, with all my heart.

{ lorde - tennis court }

I've had a few ideas so stayed tuned for a couple more updates in the coming weeks. My blog has been neglected for far too long.

07 May 2015

Sierra Kids Quotes

In March, I started working for the City of Reno, in a Youth Services Program called Sierra Kids: it's a before and after school program for kids whose parents have to go to work early or stay late.

This worked perfectly for me, as the shifts started around 7 and ended a little after 9 in the morning, which gave me plenty of time to get home and get to my 10 a.m. class. I'm nothing close to a "morning person," so there were many days where I considered calling in, but somehow I always mustered up the drive to roll out of bed and get to school.

Although my stint there didn't last long, I really enjoyed the opportunity and am glad I got the chance at all.

And that's not just because of the hilarious things some of the kids have said to me (which I leave you with now).


  • [Being told to listen] I can't hear because my ears aren't happy!
  • [Her mom drops her off and she walks up to our table; the first thing she says is] My grandma puts alcohol in her fudge.
  • [I suggested to a child that he should play a card game against one of the other girls in the program] But she's a stronger opponent than me!
  • It's just not easy being a kid.
  • [He raised his hand; I walked over and asked if he needed anything.] Yeah, I need to tell you something. It's a secret. [leans in closer and whispers to me] You look beautiful.
  • [In reference to being told to follow directions] I like listening, but it's weird. And if I listen, how will I see the action... on his face?
  • And it's not heart healthy, like Campbell's!
  • [Holds up a Lego] This is my puppy!
  • When I grow up, I want to be a dog.
  • I have stinky farts. They smell like a dog pooped in a house and they left it for three days.
  • [Singing to himself, while playing with a Lego man] I believe I can fly... in the sky. I believe I can fall and hurt myself. [Makes crash landing noises]
  • Dude, can you babysit my baby?
  • What's your name again? [I tell him my name.] Okay! [Leans in a gives me a hug.]
  • [Opens a Danimals yogurt drink.] Ew... somebody pooped in here.
  • [He was trying to pronounce "class" without saying "crass"] Cuhl-ASS!
  • [Walks up and hands me a blank sheet of paper] Can you make me a cootie catcher?
  • [My supervisor called one of the girls "Wise guy."] I am not a guy. [He corrects himself and calls her "Wise girl."] I am not wise.
  • A likes B, but C likes B too and now C is like really protective of B and if he finds out that A asked B out then C will hurt A, so we have to stay close to A all day and protect him.
  • [In reference to a yo-yo that they were trying to "sleep"] I can hear it snoring!
  • I just know it, I read a book about science.

01 May 2015

Roses and Pearls

Today, I will be initiated into Sigma Alpha Iota, an international music fraternity for women.

{Yes, fraternity, and not sorority.}

At first, I was a little apprehensive. Did I really want to commit myself to this? Did I want these girls to be my sisters? Did I have any time left to spend on it? Would I even be able to pass the National Exam? And I had to do a recital?? 

Oh, dear.


I missed all of the events that happened during recruitment week, aside from the very last one, which I almost didn't attend because I was nervous that it would look bad since I had been absent at every other event. Nevertheless, I attended and submitted my information, then settled in to watch the movie with the other girls.

It was Tangled, which I've seen a dozen times and am no longer so keen on, but I had fun. Something about the atmosphere in the room between all of us girls just felt so electric. I wanted more of it.

And then I was nervous that they wouldn't want me to be their sister.

Luckily for me, I have a few friends who are already members and who vouched for me. I received my invitation.


I met my Big, and again felt apprehension. What if I don't like her? What if she doesn't like me? What if it's awkward? Oh my god what did I just sign up for?

But I do like [love] her and she does like [love] me and, yes, it was awkward, but we moved past it and I can't imagine having anyone else take me through the process of becoming a sister of SAI.

As for what I signed up for, I signed up for a fellowship forged through music. I signed up for friendships created because of common interests and continued because of genuine love. I signed up for sisterhood.

I survived my recital despite my stage fright and I survived our sleepover/study night despite my lack of social prowess and I survived the National Exam despite my poor study skills.

And tonight, all of that comes to fruition and all of this becomes real.

I am bursting with excitement and with love for my fellow MITs and future sisters.


So, here's to Roses and Pearls and ΣΑΙ Girls.

I can't wait.


02 April 2015

<< The College Journey >>

Part II

I'm so incredibly excited for May to arrive. I'm so restless here, I'm so ready to spend the summer at home. It's making it hard to focus on classes, and therefore, it's a problem.

So maybe the solution is to re-visit last summer and remind myself why I decided to exile myself to Reno. (Only partly kidding.)

Let me begin by saying that I had a really fantastic senior year: I had (have) a great boyfriend, I had (have) awesome friends, I was doing well in school and found out that I was a valedictorian candidate, I was accepted to every college I'd applied to and offered tons of money to attend. I had a lot of things going for me. 

And then suddenly high school was ending and, well, I wasn't ready for that.

I have a fear of public speaking that definitely was not relieved by a 300-strong graduating class (plus family members). My boyfriend was leaving for the summer, and we broke up. I was plagued by the idea that maybe when I'd accepted admission and declared my major that maybe I'd chosen wrong. 

I spent the summer trying to distract from the train-wreck that was my speech, the heartbreak that remained of my relationship, and the terrifying doubt that I was leaving everything I loved behind for a mistake.

I distracted myself well enough that I grew excited at the prospect of moving to Reno. I was possessed by idea of transforming myself and finding myself and moving into a new chapter of my life. Orientation got me psyched up for the semester and furnishing my apartment psyched me up to live on my own and my (ex) boyfriend's silence steeled my determination to be better off without him.

So even though we've since gotten back together and even though this apartment has disappointed me significantly and even though the academic stress has caused more than a few meltdowns, I'm going to try to approach the rest of this semester with the same enthusiasm and optimism that I had coming into the year. I'm going to try to revive the zeal I brought here with me.

And hopefully that will carry me through until I can migrate back south.

29 March 2015

Pre // Post

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Well, the honest answer there is that I don't. I haven't given much thought to where I'll be or what I'll be doing at 24 because the answers to those questions hinge so heavily on who I'll be.

But that's not exactly an answer your parents and former teachers want to hear when they ask that, so I tell them that I want to move back to Henderson (which is true) and that I want to work in local government (also true). But they're not things I want in the sense that I'm anxiously awaiting the day they become possible, laying groundwork and preparing myself for the inevitability that these things will come to pass.

I can barely imagine where I'll be in two months. Do people seriously expect me to have the next five years planned out so intricately that I'll have even a semblance of an idea as to what I'll be doing then? Why do we expect 18 year olds to have the next 60 years of their lives mapped out?

I've tried to plan my journey: terror used to overwhelm me when things didn't add up, even the minute details. But then something would change- usually within a few days- and I'd have to get back to calculating and scheming. So much of my time was spent worrying about where I would be, I didn't have any minutes to spend on enjoying where I was.

And all of that planning- where did it get me? I certainly didn't stick to any of the ideas I'd had. I learned more about myself and changed my mind and steeled my will then crumbled it again. So why was I worrying so much about getting something I might not even want the next day?

Now I've accepted that I have no clue what I'll be, and I'm okay not trying to figure it out. I've come to terms with taking things a day or a week or a month at a time and letting things unfold as they come to me- and I'm excited to see where they'll take me.

27 March 2015

<< The College Journey >>

Part I

As spring break wraps up, I've spent a lot of time reflecting on the past several months. In August, I took my first solo step into the world outside my hometown. The day my parents drove back to Vegas without me was the day this adventure truly started. Like any good adventure, the road hasn't been easy.

For starters, the friend I planned on living with had to bail at the last minute due to financial reasons. So, two months before the start of the semester, I had a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment and no roommate. And housing arrangements had been long since made.

Cue Craigslist: forum for the desperate and despairing. (Luckily, I get along fantastically with the girl who responded to the ad.)

Oh, and a fun fact about this building? It sits right in between two cemeteries. I didn't know that until I got lost walking home one day and took a roundabout route that led me right past one.

The graves used to creep me out terribly, but I got over that fear when I began working on my photography final last semester.

And there's no way I could leave out the college parties. I've only been to a handful- they're definitely not my thing- but at least they didn't disappoint.

On my very first day in Reno, a friend of mine that also attends the university invited me to a party so that she could introduce me to people. I agreed and rode to the party with her group- five of us in all. While at the party, I got separated from everyone (partially my own fault- I felt a little pathetic following my friend around as though I had on a child's backpack-leash) and ended up in the backyard. That's where I learned what the term "shotgunning a beer" means.

Later, when it got colder (which I thought was ridiculous, because it was August, for Christ's sake!) I wandered back inside (and felt immediately overwhelmed by the life-sized sardine can I'd trapped myself in) and plopped myself down on the couch. Where I was almost immediately accosted by two drunk girls: they demanded my name (which I told them), asked if I was a freshman (I said yes), then said if I didn't like it then I could just leave. (They, of course, used a lot more expletives than I've included here.) Not longer after, a friend of theirs (also drunk) distracted them and somehow the three of them enthusiastically came to the conclusion that they should go climb the observatory. On campus. At least a twenty minute drive away.

The three of them ran out the door and, since I never heard about any climbing-deaths or whispers about "what happened at the observatory," I have to assume that they either didn't follow through or didn't get caught.

Another party I went to actually wasn't supposed to be a party. My section and I had planned a birthday party for the four of us who have birthdays in January, to be held at my section leader's house. Not even an hour in, we looked out the window and see the driveway, the sidewalk, and the street teeming with people. They trickled in slowly at first, but once something cracks, it shatters. The house was overrun in seconds. I left as soon as I heard, "Oh man, this is gonna be so much better than a dorm party."

And then there's tonight, where my friend invited me out for frozen yogurt and then we ended up playing Hide and Seek in the Quad for two hours.

But not all of the adventures have been quite so exciting.

I get lost frequently.

There have been several near-misses in terms of car accidents.

No, the dirt and debris on the carpet will not be magically absorbed and disappear. It will show up on your socks.

It took three months to get used to the streetlamp outside that turns on and off intermittently.

It is possible to keep pulling your clothes out of boxes instead of unpacking, but at some point you get tired of ironing t-shirts just so you don't look ridiculous.

Kitchens do not come pre-stocked with the cooking/baking staples.

Keep a mental list if you want to, but when you need that thing that you forgot because you didn't write it down, have fun calculating if you have enough money to buy gas to drive to Wal-Mart and to buy said item.

Living on my own, in a city I'd visited twice prior to moving: that's been the adventure.



21 March 2015

Motto

Noun. A short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family, or an institution.

Give up giving up.

The fifteen-year-old version of myself heard this phrase at a leadership lecture given by a high school/college-band-director-turned-motivational-speaker and ignored it in favor of his more "tangible" advice.

The next year, my sixteen-year-old self didn't attend. I'd forgotten all of his points and didn't care to try to remember. It was a low point in my history as a leader.

At seventeen, I was reminded why I loved leadership; it renewed my zeal and strengthened my determination. That year, when I heard him say those words, my ears perked up. What an interesting concept.

I liked to scrawl the sentence on pieces of notebook paper, in the margins of Calculus homework; I liked to edit photos of landscape and overlay the words in pretty fonts over trees and ships' masts and lakes. (And then post those on Instagram.)

The way those words sound together- euphonic. The ebb and flow of the syllables. I just enjoyed the music of it. Not until later did I start thinking about the meaning.

I mean, it's fairly straightforward. Give up giving up. Nothing to analyze there.

The concept is so simple, and yet in practice, I've found it to be one of the most difficult rules to follow.

I've realized just how quick I am to quit. I'm so easily discouraged. I find a task or assignment trying or frustrating, so I half-ass it because some points is better than no points and throw it away, feeling dissatisfied. I walk into lessons or lectures, already thinking up excuses or shortcuts, figuring numbers to find what the minimum amount of effort I can put in is and still maintain my GPA.

This motto is in almost complete opposition to who I am as a person. If something doesn't come easily to me, I psych myself up with try harder, it'll happen, give it some time. And then I make excuses, or I procrastinate; I avoid doing whatever it is until it's a distant memory and I'm wondering, why didn't that ever work out?

I've spent the past year trying to incorporate this phrase into my every day life and so far the only success I've had has been not giving up on trying to do so. Every goal I've worked towards in the past twelve months, both large and small, has ended with me completely forgetting about these words. Whether I achieve my ends or not, my utter lack of conviction in their attempts leaves me with an unsavory feeling. To me, not giving up includes one-hundred-percent effort.

So it's been hard, trying to live up to these words, but for some reason they're always tumbling around in my head. And even though keeping them with me throughout the past year has been the one thing I haven't given up on halfway through, it's still something. I'll hold onto that, at least.

20 March 2015

rumination

Fatigue,

but not the kind that’s cured with sleep.

Rather, the kind that comes with a weary soul.

It’s the pounding ache in your chest, in time with each thud of your heart (or maybe it is your heart). Your blood coagulates, slides torpidly through your veins. It exhausts you. You delay each breath; each expansion of your lungs takes so much out of you.

Even laying here, watching the darkness settle: the effort of keeping your eyes open is almost too much. And then the heaviness descends, suffocative, the cold penetrating your blankets. You briefly consider standing, throwing off the comforter (not that it’s done that so well), switching on the lights, but then you choke on your next breath and your heart thuds protestingly-

and you slump further into your mattress.

You can’t tell anymore if it’s the pillows or your own sadness that’s swallowing you.