Remembering the Good Times

One of the most convenient things about living so close to home is that I can make the somewhat-quick, thirty minute drive, to stop in and see my family. With working 40+ hours a week this summer, I haven’t been able to spend as much time in my hometown as I have wanted, yet I’m happy for the time I do get to spend with my family. Every time I come home, no matter how short, it’s always nice to see what has changed yet what has stayed the same. With my town as small as it is, it’s not uncommon to run into familiar faces and sometimes run into people I haven’t seen in years. 
 
I had one of those experiences during one of my more recent trips home. I was at the grocery store near my neighborhood and, in the midst of picking up groceries for my grandparents, saw someone I surely wasn’t expecting to see. It was my cheerleading coach, Eric, who I hadn’t seen since my freshman year of high school – keep in mind that I’m now a rising senior in college. After doing competitive allstar cheering for three years at the gym he owned, Kentucky Wolfpack Allstars, he decided to close the gym and moved away to the west coast for a couple of years. He just very recently moved back to our county with his family, which I didn’t know until seeing him at Kroger, so it was certainly a surprise when I thought he still lived on the other side of the nation. 
 
Seeing my cheer coach, someone I looked up to for years and to this day respect so much, was a subtle reminder of great memories from my past. I grew up doing gymnastics for 8 years, then within months started all-star competitive cheerleading with Eric at Wolfpack, stayed there for three years, cheered for my high school for three years, and then cheered at Bellarmine for two years. Because of Eric and the Kentucky Wolfpack Allstars family, my love for cheerleading kept me going, continually inspired even through college. 
 
With all of the hustle in bustle of striving to live in the present and to arduously prepare for my future, it was nice to take a look back and remember some of the good times. Oh, what I would do to cheer one more routine with the Wolfpack team… 
 
Wolfpack days – at dinner with Courtney and Calyn after a competition – note all of our crazy glitter performance makeup was washed off :) 
 
 
Fast forward to high school – all of us seniors celebrating senior night!
 
 
Fast forward again to freshman year of college where BU Cheer traveled to Daytona, FL for our national competition!
 
 
 

Moving through Milestones

“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground.”

It has been quite a while since my last blog post. So much has happened in such a short time frame, which has left me little to no time to write! Since my last post, I completed my junior year of college with another semester of all A’s, turned 21 during finals week, moved into a house with two of my girlfriends, drove 16 hours to Marco Island, FL for a week, and ended an incredibly enriching experience to begin another new and exciting chapter of my life.

These milestone happenings deserve their own separate posts, but for the sake of time and interest, I’ll condense them for you in some short anecdotes and pictures.

Moved into a house with two great friends!Roomies

21st Birthday!

21st Birthday

21st Birthday

My last day at Community Foundation of Louisville: It was tough not to shed some tears upon leaving one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. I am so thankful to have gained invaluable experience, unforgettable memories, and to simply have been a part of the Community Foundation of Louisville family. I had been there since last February and loved every minute being their first intern. I’m very happy that one of my Bellarmine friends, Alex, is the next intern and I have the utmost faith in her, knowing she will have a great time! The CFL crew even threw me a farewell party, where I was given a gorgeous and stylish green briefcase as a parting gift, and I gave my supervisor, Anne, and the CEO, Susan, gifts that I hand-painted for them. The quote that I used struck a chord with me in that I was truly surrounded by dreamers, believers, and all of the other categories listed in the quote, and I was truly going to miss working with such a talented and supportive team. They have helped me grow so much in the past almost year and a half and I can’t thank them enough. Thank you again, Anne and the rest of the crew at CFL, for such an amazing first internship.InternshipInternship Internship Internship

Marco Island: drove 16 hours one way to spend a couple days in Paradise with Michael and some of our friends, before starting my next internship! Marco Island

Beginning at Brown-Forman: I was honored to accept an internship position with Brown-Forman after going through a very competitive application process for the past couple of months. 165+ candidates applied for around 25 positions within the corporation and I am so happy that I was chosen. I just started this past Monday (May 20) and have thoroughly enjoyed my first week. I have been assigned to work with the Digital Marketing team for the brands Southern Comfort and TUACA and it’s still all so surreal to me that I’m even working there. I have never been a part of anything at such a large scale as Brown-Forman or the Modern Liqueurs brands and I’m in awe to be surrounded by and to learn from so many talented professionals. After taking a Marketing class this past semester, it’s amazing to see what I’ve learned be put into action. I’m eager to learn from the Digital Marketing team and have a great time making new experiences and meeting new people. They have been so welcoming from the start and I know we are going to have a great time! Brown-Forman Brown-Forman Brown-Forman

I hope that was semi-condensed. I’ll be sure to post more frequently this summer, now that things have relaxed a bit!

Song of the day: Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Pharrell. It brings me back to Earth Wind and Fire, with a touch of Daft Punk’s hit Harder Better Faster Stronger from a couple years ago. Enjoy the jam!

From One Chapter to Another

“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.”

-Thomas Merton

Letting go at the end of a moment has always been a struggle for me. For 17 years of my life all I’ve known is the life of a student and the offshore gaze into the ocean of adulthood has been a comfortable breeze of the saying, “I’ll worry about it when I’m there.” As quickly as my name was called during Bellarmine’s graudation ceremony last Saturday, I am now here. I am now a cum laude graduate of Bellarmine’s School of Communication, jumping head first into those once dreamy waters of adult life.

Funny enough, even without a pool, Bellarmine properly taught me how to swim and I can’t thank them enough for it. I’ve throughly enjoyed my time as a blogger for Bellarmine University and thank those who have given me the opportunity to showcase my own student life but also actively reflect on my own role in our fluid and ever changing American culture. My future plans include more exciting adventures abroad and finding a professional career path where I can leverage all these wonderful and creative skills that this university has helped me harness within myself.

graduation

Reflecting on my senior capstone

With four days left in the semester I probably should be freaking out over everything I still have left to do, however, I am surprisingingly calm. I’m pretty sure that that has something to do with the fact that I completed one of my biggest projects of the semester– my senior capstone.

Since I am part of the Brown Scholars Program, I had to complete a senior capstone. The capstone is supposed to integrate different things we learned while in the Brown Scholars program and specifically highlight civic engagement, communication and leadership.Since I knew I was going to be participating in an alternative spring break in Washington DC working with the homeless, I decided to make my capstone about homelessness.

When I started the project my original plan was to interviews of students where I just asked them questions about homelessness to gauge their understanding of the issue. My theory was that as a society, we are often times very ignorant in regards to homeless– I thought that if people were more educated about the issue they would be more willing to help.

When I interviewed students I found that I was correct– we didn’t know that much about homelessness. But I found when I put all the interviews together, it didn’t leave an impact. I decided to scratch that idea and go a different direction. Instead of having students discuss what they don’t know about homelessness, I decided to talk to people who were actually homeless and hear their stories. The end result was this:

a documentary that focuses on the four main parts that people seemed to the most misconceptions about. If you have a chance to watch it, you should… I mean, I would — though I may be kind of biased. I started my capstone with the hopes of enlightening others and in the end I found that I was enlightened myself.

Enjoy!

Until next time!

Ailise

“Sleep, to the homeless thou art home; the friendless find in thee a friend” -  Ebenezer Elliott

Making Lemonade out of Life’s Lemons

I know we have all heard the mega cliche “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. For those of you who haven’t (or maybe sayings just aren’t your strong point), it basically means taking a bad situation and turning it into a good situation.I’d be lying if I said that that phrase is my mantra– typically I prefer to complain and whine about the lemons I am given and just drive to the store for lemonade (I hope we are all still following the metaphor here…)

Whining and complaining was pretty much my go to, though the past year I have been making more of an effort to come to terms with life’s little setbacks, and see them just as that: little setbacks. I tried to view “bad” things as little setbacks– things that temporarily interrupted the flow of everyday life but things that would be resolved.

This approach to senior year had worked pretty well for me –but don’t get me wrong, I still complained from time to time. I used the past tense (had worked) because around the end of February, life dealt me a colossal lemon.

In February my mom was diagnosed with Lupus. Actually, when I first found out I was dealing with one of life’s setbacks– I had ran over a screw with my car and subsequently need to have my tire replaced. While dealing with the tire center at Costco I got a call from my dad saying that my mom found out she had Lupus. Immediately I hung up with my dad and called my mom, she said that she didn’t tell me herself because she didn’t want me to worry while I was away at school (that’s my mom for you– always putting others before herself).

Now, I’m not sure if you all know anything about Lupus but I definitely didn’t. All the knowledge I had in regards to Lupus was derived from the television show House, and even that wasn’t all that informative.

lupusSO, I took this colossal lemon that life threw at my family and made a colossal amount of lemonade. I started researching Lupus. I found out as much as I could. Lupus is a chronic (meaning there is no cure) autoimmune disease where your body attacks and destroys its healthy tissues. They don’t know what causes Lupus and anyone can develop Lupus. I started sending links to my mom regarding Lupus — what a Lupus diagnosis means, what to expect, how to talk to your family about Lupus. I found that by comforting my mom I ended up comforting myself.

During all my research I found out that there are Lupus Walks (not all that surprising because there are walks for practically everything these days). I found a walk that wasn’t too far away from my house and invited all my friends and family to join my team.

The walk is May 19th– just one more thing to look forward too besides graduation!

That’s all for now, until next time!

Ailise

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The past couple years of have my life have been dedicated to the MCAT, filling out applications, writing essays, and traveling to interviews.  But I am happy to say that all the hard work has played off…

I am officially a member of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Class of 2017!!!

The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine…my new home this fall!

Throughout the entire process, I have had great support from friends, family, and the Bellarmine community.  I would like to thank everyone who has given me advice, kept me in their thoughts, or listened to me vent!

A special thanks to all of the Bellarmine faculty and the BU Pre-Medical Advising Committee for providing direction and guidance throughout my journey, and for preparing me for the next step in my life!