Archive | August, 2008

Orientation Staff

22 Aug

I really love the Orientation staff this year. They are all so much fun, and all work really hard. One of my goals for this team was to do a lot of teambuilding and really get them working together, and I think that’s happened really well. I think they’ve all really bonded well and they will work well together. I don’t think I have once heard anyone complain about anyone else on the team. 

On the day Orientation training when we run over the Real Scoop and Traditions skits, we always take the entire team out to Krispy Kreme at the end and all get doughnuts. It’s always on the schedule as a secret activity, so the new members don’t know what it is. This year, we decided to load up our cars and drive around Spartanburg for about 15 minutes before arriving at Krispy Kreme. The new members that I was driving around had no idea what we were doing. It was on the schedule as “treasure hunting,” so I told them we had to find the treasure of Spartanburg. I think they were worried a little bit; they said I was too sneaky because I wouldn’t really answer their questions or tell them what was going on. But of course, everything worked out, and we really did find the treasure of Spartanburg.

Speaking of Real Scoop, it’s got to be one of the best sessions during Orientation. It’s a skit dealing with issues college students face, such as drinking, STDs, roommate issues, laundry etiquette, rape, personal safety and being careful on the Internet (especially Facebook). I saw it once as a freshman, and then twice every year since then (rehearsals and performances), and it really never gets old. I love watching it because it’s both hilarious and very informative. There are a lot of serious things they talk about, but it’s also really entertaining. It’s really one of my favorite things about Orientation.

One of my favorite parts of Orientation training and beyond is tick checks. Each year, the SOC makes a “tick” out of a clothespin, which is painted and made really cute, usually with googly eyes. The OL staff have to sneakily pin it on someone, and if anyone gets caught with it during our staff meetings, they draw a tick card and have to do something crazy. The cards have funny stuff, such as doing the chicken dance, saying the alphabet backwards, singing random songs (Disney, Oscar Meyer weiner, humming the national anthem), insisting to be called princess, quacking every time your name is heard, etc. It’s always really fun and hilarious. Everyone gets into it, so no one is ever embarrassed by anything.

This year, I decided to add a new element: the flea. I have a second clothespin, which looks different than the other. This one they’re all trying to steal from each other because it makes the owner immune to tick checks. So, if you have the flea, you cannot be caught with the tick if you happen to get it. It’s been really funny having one that people want to get rid of and one that people want to steal. I think it’s really been a great bonding thing, too. It’s been going on all week, and it’s one of my favorite Orientation traditions.

On our last night of training, we did a penny drop on Dexter’s grave for good luck. I think it really worked, because, even though we’ve had some issues (like every year, which can’t be helped), things have gone very smoothly. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience during Orientation. I love my staff. I love the other students that are here on campus working. Everyone is so supportive of each other, and I think it’s going to be a great year.

Hooray for the best Orientation ever!



19 Aug

I am currently obsessed with perfumes. I’ve been shopping around on ebay again, buying them at discount prices. I really love smelling good, as I’m sure most people do. But lately, perfumes have become something of an interest to me. My mom once did one of those things where you pick out your own oils and make a personalized perfume. I think that would be fun. But for now, a list of the perfumes in my rotation:

Perfumes I own: 
Live by Jennifer Lopez
Chanel Allure (my “signature” scent),
Grass by Demeter
Abercrombie 8
Miami Glow by Jennifer Lopez
Usher for Women
Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean (my new favorite)
Calgon White Tea (more of a body splash, but still delicious)

Perfumes I want:  Flowers by Kenzo, Coco Mademoiselle, Body by Victoria, Burberry Weekend, Chanel Chance


PS, if you haven’t seen the movie Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, you should. It’s creepy, but very beautiful.

Two Current Pet Peeves

18 Aug

As the title of this post suggests, there are two things that are currently quite irritating to me.

Number One. The Jonas Brothers. I saw their picture on Rolling Stone about two weeks ago, and they looked like they had been pumped up with testosterone, in the words of my lovely roommate Mari. Which is kind of ironic, considering that they’re pretty effeminate. Most of the time when I see them, they look like they’re wearing more makeup than I am. Kind of cross between emo and being made of clay. When Mari was still down here for FADC, we went to Barnes and Noble one night and looked at all the ridiculous tween magazines like Tiger Beat. We didn’t know who anyone in those things were, other than Miley Cyrus and Zac Efron. I swear, every single one of those magazines had the Jones Brothers on them. It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t know who any of those people were, because it could be borderline pedophilia at this point. I feel bad for my future children; what sort of outrageous celebrities are they going to have to put up with?

Anyway, I’m especially irritated that someone let the Jonas Brothers cover Hello Goodbye for a Target commercial. Usually I really like Target ads quite a bit, but this one draws the line. I cannot listen to those little wannabes cover that song. They probably have plenty of respect for The Beatles, but come on. What nerve.

Speaking of that, I’d like to add a third, alternate pet peeve: that JCPenney commercial that parodies The Breakfast Club. We won’t even discuss how much instant rage that gives me.

Number Two. Political Ads. I think it’s great we have democracy in America. But I hate election years, because that’s all you ever hear about on the news, and you have to watch those stupid political ads during commercials on TV. I especially hate the ones that attack the opposing candidate but don’t say anything about the person they’re advertising. I would much rather hear about all the positive things they have planned for the country, rather than highlighting all the awful qualities of their opponent. I’m just not that into negativity.

For that matter, I’m kind of over our electoral college system of voting. I think it’s kind of outdated, and the country has gotten too big for it to be effective anymore. My friend Eric that I knew in high school once told me about a different system of voting that made a lot more sense. It was a system where you ranked the candidates in order of your preference for them. Searching around on Wikipedia has told me this is a form of preferential voting. Here’s a sample of it. Pretty interesting:

There was a really great example he gave using the Muppets, but I can’t find it. Anyway, in the meantime, enjoy.

Michael Phelps

17 Aug

As of about 11:00 last night, Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian in history. His medal count is proof enough of that. He’s just absolutely phenomenal to watch, and has really brought great attention to competitive swimming. There will probably be a surge of kids wanting to swim now that he’s uber-famous. Winning any gold medal is a superhuman task, but eight, all of them gold, in one Olympics? It’s never been done before. It’s like Morgan Freeman said in that Visa commercial: there are just no words for it. We’ll have to pen new words to describe something like this.

As if all the greatness of last night wasn’t enough, one also has to consider he’s set seven world records in his finals. Again, truly amazing.

And finally, if anyone doubted that Michael Phelps was the greatest Olympian ever, consider this:

On August 14, during one of his finals, his goggles began filling with water. By the time he got to the wall on the last leg, he couldn’t see anymore. And he still managed to win a gold medal. And break the world record. Together.

It’s just nothing short of incredible, what he’s done. That Olympic record, seven gold medals in one Games by Mark Spitz, stood for 36 years. And I’m proud to say that I was watching on the night The Greatest Ever finally earned his title. I guess pretty much the only record left to break is the most medals, ever. Looks like the chances are good.

Congratulations, Michael.

Southern by the Grace of God

16 Aug

I get very irritated when Northerners move to the South and then complain about how backwards we are. True, we are very set in our ways and are not nearly as progressive as the North. We are poorer, less educated, and generally considered old-fashioned. But you know what? We like it that way. We like our slower, more polite way of life. It’s always too hot down here to run around accomplishing great things. Why do you think we drink so much sweet tea and lemonade?

Living down here, I fully understand Southern culture. It’s different in different Southern states, too. Tennessee isn’t quite as “Southern” as South Carolina. And even in SC, the Upstate is different from the Midlands and from the Low Country. And Louisiana is an entirely different matter. And I’m pretty sure that Texans still consider themselves their own country. But collectively, we have a unique culture that just hasn’t really caught up to the rest of the country. I don’t think that bothers too many people, though.

It’s just annoying to have people move down here and then complain about everything we do. I know it’s a very different place than anywhere else in the country. But please don’t come down here and expect to change things. And don’t expect us to appreciate whining about our way of life. We really don’t like it. It would be much the same if Southerners all moved up North and then complained about everything in sight. I don’t think you guys would appreciate that, either.

I know the South is not the North. I know Northerners might not be happy to be down here. But please, keep it to yourself. Chances are you will be much better liked for it. If you’re really that unhappy here, you could leave if you want. We probably don’t want you around either.

Moving Out and the End of Summer

14 Aug

So I’m leaving my apartment tomorrow and moving back on campus. I can’t believe it’s already the end. It’s gone by way too fast. It seems like just yesterday I was moving into the apartment and getting used to living with different roommates. Now it’s the end, and we don’t live together anymore.

I’m ready to be back on campus with everyone around all the time, but I’m not actually looking forward to the moving process. I’m very good at packing, but I just don’t want to do it. It’s one thing to move between Tennessee and South Carolina twice a year. It’s another to move across town. I just wish I coud snap my fingers and have it all done.

Mallory and Natalie have already moved out. Our apartment is looking so sad. Having half our stuff gone is really different; especially the coffee table. That’s usually where we ate, in front of the TV. But now there’s nothing but a big empty space. It’s looking so pitiful. If anyone comes to visit these last few days, they’re really not going to be impressed. It’s not cute anymore. Sad.

My brother is also moving this weekend. He’s starting his freshman year at USC, so he’s moving down to Columbia on Saturday. I think he’s excited, but nervous. He sais the other day that he doesn’t really know what to do, since it’s his first time moving. It’s just one of those things you get used to, I guess. It’s definitely a new experience, leaving home and moving away to college. I’ve had a great time, but it’s definitely something you have to do for yourself; no one else can describe accurately what it’s really like.

It’s been very busy around here the last few days. Today is my last day in the office, then all the Orientation Leaders move in and training starts on Saturday. I hope everything is ready for that. I had such a busy day on Tuesday that I didn’t even eat most of my lunch until I was driving home. I snacked throughout the day, though, so I wasn’t just starving. I had muffins and a granola bar and one or two other small things. But I ate my sandwich while driving back home to the West Side at the end of the day. It was so crazy. I felt like a chicken running around with my head cut off the whole day.

As busy as I’ve been at work, I still feel like I’ve been very lazy this summer. I didn’t get done nearly anything I wanted to do. I had big plans to go up to the painting studio and start working on my pieces for my senior show in the spring, to get a head start. I didn’t do it. I had big plans to do a lot of volunteer hours for Bonner. I didn’t do it. I had big plans to start my art therapy internship. I didn’t do it.

I was out of town a lot, though. And a had a lot more responsibility at work that I anticipated. It certainly kept me busy enough. Maybe I shouldn’t feel too guilty about the relaxation time I did have. I tend to feel guilty sometimes when I lay around and watch movies or generally don’t do anything. I have to get out of that habit, because lazy time is really important to unwinding from a busy day.

I can’t believe it’s already the end of summer. School starts in ten days. I’m totally not ready. I don’t even remember my schedule. To me, Converse is about Orientation right now, not about coming back to go to class. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Somehow I have to get everything ready. 

Wish me luck.


14 Aug

While driving to work this morning, I had a revelation. It might have had something to do with the fact that John Boy and Billy were doing a “Playhouse” sketch on the Alamo.

Anyway, I’ve decided, brilliantly, I think, that if I ever opened an ice cream shop, it would be called “Remember the A La Mode.”

I’ve just copyrighted this idea. If you steal it, you will be butt-kicked.