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

We Are Powerful Beyond Measure

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

-Marianne Williamson

Hi everyone,
After months and months of careful planning, I’m very happy to say that my hard work has paid off. I’ve known for a while now how busy this weekend was going to be, so luckily I’ve been able to mentally prepare, but I never expected I would learn as much as I did. I’ve never felt so empowered, so motivated, so inspired. This weekend showed me that I’m capable of so much more than I ever thought of. Now that I can let out a sigh of relief and enjoy some downtime, let me tell you a little about my weekend:

Impact Summit at Bellarmine UniversityIMPACT SUMMIT:

Bellarmine held its first annual Impact Summit leadership program on Friday evening. I was able to attend the first committee meeting and assist with foundation planning of the event, but was unable to attend the remainder of the meetings as I had two other big events I was responsible for in the two days after the Summit. I was truly impressed with how the Impact Summit program turned out and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be surrounded by so many talented emerging leaders within our University. We all came from different backgrounds and different student organizations, but we all had similar experiences.

What stuck with me the most was learning the importance of making a difference. Even if you impact just one person, that’s positive change and your act, whether you’re aware of it or not, may trickle forward to other acts of kindness.  I’m a huge fan of random acts of kindness, as well as letting my friends and family know how much I care about them, so this program really meant a lot to me.

KY Phi Mu Day

Phi Mu National President, Kris Bridges, and I at KY Phi Mu Day

KY Phi Mu DayKY Phi Mu DayKy Phi Mu DayAfter months of planning, countless meetings, late nights and crafting, it was finally the big day!  I was so happy to finally welcome almost 200 Phi Mu women from across Kentucky and southern Indiana to Bellarmine’s campus. It was a wonderful opportunity getting to meet new sisters and swap ideas with them, as well as listen to our oh-so-elegant National President speak. All of the hard work for this event, especially this past week, became so worth it getting to sit in awe knowing I was surrounded by girls who have gone through the same things I have and share the same special bond.

After Impact Summit and KY Phi Mu Day I was ready to close my weekend with the Phillip Phillips concert. One of the countless reason why I love Bellarmine so much is that they provide us with so many opportunities. Whether it is to help us develop professionally at the Impact Summit, allow us to celebrate our sisterhood at Phi Mu Day, or to enjoy a relaxing evening in the Quad accompanied by Phillip Phillips’ wonderful performance, they give us opportunities. And for that, I’m incredibly thankful.

Song of the day: Home by Phillip Phillips. This weekend proved to me that Louisville is my home, reaffirmed to me how Bellarmine couldn’t have been a more perfect choice, and that this is where I truly belong.

My Journey to Law School: The Big Reveal

For those playing at home, I made a post a couple of days ago (and by a couple of days ago I mean yesterday) called “Dun Dun Dun the plot thickens” about how I had decided on a law school. Well the boyfriend ported in Singapore so I was able to talk to him and tell him the news, SO that means, I get to share the excitement with you all…

SO without further ado (drum roll please…)

I will be attending Penn State University starting August 2013.

I know, I’m probably as shocked as anyone. Originally I had decided on another school but this past weekend (well, Thursday and Friday) I ventured to State College, PA to visit the school. When I arrived on campus I just had this gut feeling (though truthfully, that could have been due to the fact that I woke up at 4am and was hopped up on caffeine) Anyway, as I walked around the campus I just had this feeling of belonging– like this was the place I was meant to be. Every little thing that happened I took as a sign– for example, this picture:

This is a picture of the famous Nittany Lion (Penn State’s mascot). After I took the picture I realized that it looked almost as if the sun was shining straight on the statue– of course I took that as a sign. I also considered the fact that the Senior Admissions Director I met with had actually heard of Bellarmine as a sign. Upon meeting Mr. Keener he said “I’ve got a bone to pick with you. Bellarmine was the only team that we lost a ballot to last weekend at the Mock Trial tournament.”  I kinda laughed and said, “yeahhh, our Mock Trial team is kind of a big deal….” Mr. Keener was extremely complimentary about our Mock Trial team and program and even gave me a letter and t-shirt to bring back to the Mock Trial coach, Jim Wagoner.

Another fun story for y’all– as I was walking to the law school to sit in on a class I passed a piece of gum that had been smushed on the side walk. At first I thought it was a penny because it was pretty much a perfect circle. When I realized that it was just someone’s discarded chewing gum I thought “man, if that was a penny it would have been like a sign that I was supposed to go here”. Well, guess what I found no more than 20 feet later — yup, that’s right a HEADS-UP penny. Well played universe, well played.

Superstitions aside, I am reminded of a quote from one of my favorite television characters Leslie Knope (played by Amy Pohler) of Parks and Rec “When you’re in love, everything seems like a sign”. The fact that I took everything as I sign that I am supposed to go to Penn State next fall just reaffirms the fact that I am supposed to be there– I fell in love with the program and the place and I justified my love by finding “hidden signs” hah.

I am very grateful for my friends and family who have put up with me and supported me endlessly through my journey to law school . I’d be lost without them.

Alright kids, that’s all for now!

Ailise

Why College Radio?

Last Friday, I was given the opportunity to attend a concert and interview a group called the Soil and the Sun with my friend and co-host Vincent Clark– truthfully he kinda got the opportunity and I went as the plus one and music enthusiast.

The Soil and the Sun (minus one)

The Michigan-based group is amidst of a tour. They played SXSW (South by Southwest for those unfamiliar with the acronym) earlier this month and they have a handful of shows with Kellen+Me before they head back home.

Now, I’m going to be honest– prior to getting the invite to the concert I hadn’t really heard of the Soil and the Sun before, I checked out a couple of their songs and read up on some of their history but I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect. To say I was pleasantly surprised would probably be an understatement. Not only was the group super friendly and down to earth but they made amazing music. When we spoke to them before their set we asked them what genre they were and they explained it as “orchestral/alternative/folk/ambient” I’m not sure what you all imagine when you hear such a wide spectrum of genres put together but I was definitely intrigued.

While listening to their set I had somewhat of an epiphany/light bulb moment. At Bellarmine when you want to become a DJ for Bellarmine Radio you typically have to take broadcasting lab taught by Dr. Kyle Barnett. I took broadcasting lab last year and I remember a moment in one of the first few class periods where Kyle posed then answered the question “Why college radio?” His answer was simple yet brilliant. He told us to think of our favorite song or our favorite artist and said they weren’t your favorite until you found out about them– someone or something introduced you do them and that that is the point of college radio– to expose people to music they may not typically encounter and to help people find their new favorite artist or new favorite song. That being said, Bellarmine radio is responsible for introducing me to The Soil and the Sun– a band that is quickly topping “number of plays” in my itunes, so I am going to pass on the favor and introduce them to you.

Don’t worry, you can thank me later.

That’s all for now, until next time!

Ailise

ps. here is an obscene amount of pictures I took at their concert — if you scroll through them quickly it has the same effect as one of those picture books that looks like the people are dancing — I know, pretty awesome ha

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200481418095290.1073741825.1152360284&type=1&l=bc967041d5

pps I’d include more from the interview but sadly Vincent has those notes not me — I”ll update y’all when I can get my hands on them!

Hillside 2013 presents Phillip Phillips and guest Churchill

Phillip-Phillips

Tickets are available online at www.BellarmineTickets.com

American Idol winner Phillip Phillips is coming to Bellarmine for our yearly concert series, Hillside on April 6th!. Some of our past Hillside performers include: Maroon 5, Gloriana, Sara Bareilles, Bowling for Soup, Live, Josh Gracin, Vertical Horizon, Blessid Union of Souls, Matt Nathanson and Mat Kearney! The concert will he held rain (Knights Hall) or shine (the Quad). Both locations are intimate and provide a one of a kind experience to see a talented musician perform.

Filling my days with art

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
-Ansel Adams

It’s always nice to know during the week that leads to spring break that a prize will be found over the hill of mid-terms and an intense workload. Up until last Monday I believed that my roommate and I would begin driving to Orlando on Saturday morning. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a spur of a moment kind of planner and unfortunately this was one of those ideas that we idealized rather then were realistic about. I am now staying in Kentucky over my last senior spring break because not having a reliable vehicle and driving 24 hours in 5 days might be leaning towards the crazy side.

“…but I would walk, 500 (1600) miles….”. Yeah sorry awesome song lyrics stuck in my head. Not going to happen.

On the bright side, this is really a blessing in disguise. I have a senior art show on the 15th of March, and this will be more time I can dedicate to really making it the best opening reception ever. I have the most wonderfully talented artists to exhibit with, Jen Greb and Laurel Anderson, and more time will allow me to not become a nervous wreck a week before it starts.

Bellarmine has an art department that I am proud to be involved in. The classes are so small and the relationships you can establish with the teachers is like having a mentor for four years and even after graduation. Even if you don’t think your right brained, after taking a few creative classes, the result is that anyone can do it with practice. Going out of a comfortable element can make you feel nervous, but I also tried out painting for the first time this semester and progress leads to a great emotional triumph of accomplishment.

photo photo-1 photo-2

Fear of Heights? I Don’t Think So…

Over the past couple weeks I’ve discovered a new passion in the form of aerial silks. As a little girl I always dreamed of joining the circus but never did I think that in my senior year of university that circus practice would become a reality. Louisville has a lot to offer including acrobatic experiences. Nestled in a building off the side of River Road lies American Turner’s Circus, a gym which has circus training classes. The first couple times, I could barely make it off the ground. It’s only improved each time I’ve gone and I look forward to the day that I can call this a piece of cake.

photo-5

It’s your turn to try something new! I know I did…

It’s for a Lifetime

Phi MuIt’s truly astounding to be a part of an organization that is so much bigger than myself, and to be able to embrace the support of sisters who have been in the organization long before me. This past December, I applied for and was awarded the Louisville Alumnae Panhellenic Scholarship. I was one of two recipients and we were recognized this weekend at a special scholarship luncheon. It was an incredible experience getting to be surrounded by women with whom all had one special thing in common: regardless of how old we were, what chapter we were from, what sorority we were from, and what school we came from, we all share the bond and ideals of sisterhood.

Me and KaylaI’m absolutely honored that this wonderful group of alumnae picked me to be one of the scholarship recipients. The women represent all sorts of sororities but still believed in me and chose me. It was heartwarming to know that they have faith in me and my abilities and want to help me succeed in school.

The luncheon was absolutely wonderful. We had a great professional image consultant come and speak and I enjoyed getting to spend time with Phi Mu alumnae as well as with new and old friends. It is so surprising how sorority life can open doors and connect you with people you may never have had a chance to meet. I’m really glad I got to see my old friend, Kayla! (See photo on the left.) After she moved to North Carolina for high school and then came back to Louisville for college, I never expected that we would both be sorority sisters! She’s in a different sorority, though.

On another note, this year’s Outstanding Alumna Award winner was also a Phi Mu alumna, and I was able to sit by her at our table and talk with her further. When she went up to get her award, she spoke about how her twenty years of being a Phi Mu alumna was more significant than her time as a collegiate member. That left me wondering and hopeful for the future. I hope to give back to my chapter and my organization in the future, especially because of how much it has helped me. Phi Mu has given me countless opportunities to grow professionally, academically, and socially, and I cannot be more thankful for the support from my collegiate sisters as well as my alumnae sisters. Phi Mu is not just for our collegiate years, but a support system from a wonderful group of girls that lasts a lifetime.

Fun fact: did you know Bellarmine has many Greek professors? In fact, we have five Phi Mu’s on staff! Leave a comment with your guess on who they are :)

Song of the day: I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons. I was so happy that they won so many awards at the Grammy’s last night. They deserve it! Such a great band.