Friday, May 27, 2011

That Overwhelming Feeling

You know that feeling? The overwhelming one you get right before you make a major change in your life? I can only imagine that feeling is universal, and though it may be fleeting, I think everyone experiences it from time to time. As I try to fall asleep tonight, I have that feeling. Not in a bad way, but in a big way.

In two days I will move from my family's home in Washington, Illinois to Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha isn’t such a scary place. It is a city I’ve grown to love in the last four years. I’m moving into a beautiful apartment, with new furniture, where I’ll be surrounded by old friends, as I anxiously await August 10th, the first day of medical school, where I will go to pursue my dreams of becoming a doctor.

Why the overwhelming feeling then?

Three weeks ago I was in Columbus, Ohio saying goodbye to dear friends I have made during my year as a Leadership Consultant for Kappa. While we all knew it was goodbye, I don’t think it had hit any of us yet. Who knew that a group of women who worked together, yet almost never saw each other could become close friends? We are eight independent women who traveled the country, learning and experiencing things that you can’t quite articulate to others. Many people try to understand, but there are only a few who have stood up in front of a room and said, “Hello! I am the Leadership Consultant visiting your chapter this week.” If you’ve said those words then you get it.

This past year I lived my life in week-long increments. Each Sunday afternoon I flew into a new city, where I was greeted by new Kappa sisters, who introduced me to a new chapter at a new university. Sometimes I loved my visits so much I never wanted to leave. Sometimes chapters frustrated me so much I wanted to hit them over the head with their Leadership Guides. Sometimes I stayed up late sharing stories and laughter. Sometimes I walked into situations so difficult; I admired the collegiate women who worked through them with strength and poise. But each Friday morning, no matter how much I loved or didn’t love a chapter, it was time to say goodbye. And so I packed up my things, into two suitcases and a laptop bag, and was off to the next place.

This past year was new and exciting and adventurous. Next year will be stable, but also challenging. If I was at a chapter that didn’t build sleep into their recruitment schedule, if I was at a chapter where the weather was unbearably cold, or if I was at a chapter that refused to listen to a word of advice I offered them; it was only five days. I could do anything for five days. Anyone can do anything for five days.

Next year is the start of the rest of my life. Medical school will blossom into residency, and residency will lead to the start of my career as a physician. There are no more week-long increments. No more walking away after five days. And I don’t want to walk away. But this is it. This is me growing up. This is the start of the rest of my life.

I’m excited, I’m ready, but I also have that overwhelming feeling.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Flight Attendant: My Next Job?

This morning I was flying from Peoria, IL to Newburgh, NY to visit Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. I had a layover (and delay) in Detroit. While I was waiting at the gate, I had a very interesting encounter with the gate agent.

Gate Agent: "Nicole? Nicole!! NICOLE!!"
Me: "Are you talking to me?"
Gate Agent: "Yes, you're Nicole, right?"
Me: "No sorry"
Gate Agent: "What's your name then?"
Me: "Sarah...."
Gate Agent: "If they are going to change our flight attendant, they need to let me know!!"
Me: "I'm not a flight attendant."

Apparently it would also be appropriate for a Delta flight attendant to wear a black dress, red scarf, and gray trench coat. In fact, three other people commented that I looked like a flight attendant today.

P.S. I wear this outfit every single week and often when I travel.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Um, Like, a Kind of Interesting Article

Today one of my fellow LCs, Carolyn, sent us all the link to a very insightful article. The article below describes how women often use self-deprecating language that not only takes away from the message they are trying to get across, but makes others think that we are less intelligent and capable than we are.

This is a must read for all women!

Are Your Words Holding You Back?

After reading this article this afternoon, I (sadly) noticed these behaviors in many of the chapter women I was meeting with. My typical day consists of lots of meetings--I meet with the chapter, Chapter Council as a group, each Chapter Council officer individually, Greek Life Adviser, Advisory Board, and House Board. Today was no different, and after reading this article I had four more meetings. In every single one of my meetings, chapter officers used these self-defeating words.

I'm not saying they are the only ones. I realize some of these same words could be heard coming out of my mouth.

My biggest problem word?


I am perhaps such an over-user of the word "sorry" that I have actually had it pointed out to me. Back in my Pizza Hut days (yes, I worked at Pizza Hut.), a coworker, classy individual that he was, was constantly on me for my apologetic behavior. We'd bump into each other in the busy kitchen, and I would quickly exclaim, "I'm sorry!" "Sarah," he told me, "You didn't hurt me. You didn't offend me. I bumped into you too. There is nothing to be sorry about." This conversation was repeated multiple times in a shift, every single day we worked together.

It is something to think about. Choose your words to reflect the strong and intelligent woman that you are.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Craziest Travel Day

This past Friday was officially the craziest travel day I have had to date. I was originally scheduled to leave Oklahoma City at 7 AM, fly to Minneapolis, then fly to Peoria and be home by 11:30 AM. I woke up at 4:45 AM to get ready for my departure and simultaneously got a phone call from Delta. My first flight had been delayed by an hour and half (no reason?), and I was going to miss my connection. They had automatically re-booked me: Oklahoma City to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Detroit, then Detroit to Peoria, arriving at home by 4 PM. Although I was a little annoyed, my new travel schedule was manageable.

It was manageable UNTIL I got to Detroit and found out my Detroit to Peoria flight had been canceled! Do you know why my flight was canceled? The weather was fine. The plane was fine. But the pilot called in sick. Yes, seriously.

I headed to the re-booking area to see what they could do for me. In line, I met a few other people who were scheduled to be on my same flight from Detroit to Peoria. When I finally got to talk to the ticketing agent, the earliest flight she was able to get me on was 10 PM on Saturday night—a full 36 hours after I was originally scheduled to get home! This might not have been so bad if I wasn’t leaving first thing on Sunday morning for another LC visit.

Another guy who I had been waiting in line with me was equally as frustrated.
I looked at him, “Want to rent a car?”
Him: “How far away is it?”
Me, Googling it on my phone: “7 hours”
Him: “Alright, let’s do it.”

My new friend and I headed downstairs to talk to the baggage people and figure out what was going on with our luggage. Turns out, my luggage hadn’t even made the Minneapolis to Detroit connection. I had to laugh. At that point, what else could I do? They would have it to Peoria by tomorrow morning, and it would get delivered to my house.

We walked out to the ground transportation area to catch a bus out to the rental cars. Until this point, I had not really considered the fact that I was going to be driving at least seven hours with a complete stranger. We had been talking for half an hour in the re-booking line, and I was positive he was a genuinely nice guy. After all, he had been booked on a flight to Peoria too. We both got onto the bus, then my new friend stepped outside for a cigarette.

The bus driver, a 65 year old, heavy, and very friendly man, turned to me: “You know that guy?”
Me: “Well, we just met, but we’re renting a car and driving down to Peoria together.”
Bus Driver: “Pretty little girl like you, you need to be careful.”
Me: “Yes, thank you. I will be careful.”
Bus Driver: “Do you want my special pen?”
Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean?”
Bus Driver, pulling a decent-sized knife out of his pocket: “Do you want this knife?”
Me, completely shocked and taken aback: “Umm…no thank you.”

(WHAT??! DID THE BUS DRIVER JUST OFFER ME A KNIFE?!?! Let me be clear, this was not a pocket knife. It was a knife knife. I’m not sure what the laws are on concealed weapons in Michigan, but I’m almost positive that is illegal!)

Bus Driver, continuing to offer self-defense advice: “Well here, let me show you something.” He took the keys out of the ignition and put one key between each of his fingers and said, “if you hold your keys like this, you can really do some damage if you strike someone.”
Me: “Ok…”
Bus Driver: “Or just kick him in the balls and run.”
Me: “Ok”

To all of my readers: Please don’t judge me for making a bad judgment call. My new friend was 45, dressed well, you know—business man-like, and he had actually been scheduled to go to Peoria on my same canceled flight.

Even though I had been fairly confident in my decision, the bus driver had seriously scared me. Did I just set myself up to be kid-napped, raped, and murdered?

When we got into the rental car place, there was a group of five who had also been in the re-booking line. There were three business women, an older lady, and a younger guy.

Me: “Are you headed to Peoria too?”
Nice business woman: “Yes. Is that where you’re headed?”
Me, with a presumably terrified look in my eyes: “Yes! Would you like to caravan with us?”
Nice business woman: “Absolutely.”

Her and I started exchanging contact information, then my friend starts bonding with the guy from the other group. Once both cars had been rented, I managed to pawn the new guy off on my friend and jump into the car with the four other women. No one seemed too upset with my switch. Our car ended up leading the caravan, and I was the official navigator. Navigating was actually surprisingly difficult because we didn’t want to take the most direct route—through Chicago, because we knew we’d hit terrible traffic.

The next eight hours were the most bizarre eight hours of my life. Here I was, with six random strangers, road-tripping from Detroit to Peoria because our flight had been canceled.

Our drive took longer than I originally expected because the drivers were not as lead-footed as I am, and we hit some heavy rain along the way. My mom met us at a gas station in Morton, IL along the interstate to pick me up, and I can honestly say I have never been so happy to get home.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kappa Kappa Oklahoma

After a relaxing but great weekend in Atlanta with Elizabeth, Kappa's Director of Membership, I headed to Oklahoma for a visit to the Beta Theta chapter at Oklahoma University. This week was my birthday week, and I couldn't be more excited to spend it with their chapter. OU was my very first visit as an LC, and I really enjoyed my visit there!

When I arrived in Oklahoma City, I met up with one of Kappa's Chapter Consultants, Megan. Megan lives with the Oklahoma State chapter, but she was planning on being in Oklahoma City for the day. Her and I had been trying to coordinate a meeting at a coffee shop or frozen yogurt store. Somehow we all got very confused and ended up at this sketchy mall in OKC. The only fast food restaurant was Burger King, so we met there.

Pause for a minute to think about this: A group of sorority girls chose to meet at a deserted, sketchy mall Burger King.

We were the ONLY people in Burger King, and one of the girls working there was so excited to have customers that she literally waited on us AT A BURGER KING. The whole thing was really just too funny.

Regardless of our bizarre meeting location, it was SO great to see Megan and catch up with her! I haven't seen her since January. I'll post a picture soon, but the internet access I have right now is awfully slow!

My week at Oklahoma was great! Monday was my birthday, and Beta Theta chapter really pulled out all of the stops to ensure I had a great birthday. The chapter bought me a bouquet of irises and cupcakes in the afternoon. That night, some members from Chapter Council took me out to dinner at BJs. For dessert, we had a HUGE pizookie (cookie pizza) with 10 scoops of ice cream on top! (Pictures to come soon!) Sadly, or maybe not, we nearly finished the whole thing! Needless to say, I had a wonderful birthday, and I feel blessed for being able to spend it with a chapter as thoughtful as Beta Theta.

Tuesday was just as fun as Monday! The chapter had bought everyone tickets to the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game for a sisterhood event. I had a fun group of four freshman who took me to the game, and boy were they lucky! Not only did they get to hang out with me all night haha, I was able to get our group down onto the basketball court after the game for pictures. I met a Lambda Chi Alpha consultant who had a friend who worked for OKC Thunder, and he was able to get our group onto the court. This job is all about connections! We all had a blast and took some fun pictures (coming soon!).

The rest of my week was much more normal, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Emory University

This past week, I have been at Emory University in Atlanta. I have really enjoyed my week here, especially because the weather has been amazing! I even got a sunburn one day from just walking around to and from meetings...oops.

Emory has eight Panhellenic sororities, and they are all housed in these row houses, they call lodges.

Asbury Circle, in the middle of campus

A building within a building in Emory's Student Center

The Quad

Emory's Medical School. So pretty, I should have applied down here!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break Part III-Georgia Aquarium

After seeing the World of Coca-Cola, Luke and I headed next door to the Georgia Aquarium.

Georgia Aquarium

Whale shark and manta ray!

Icky Octopus.


Giant Japanese Crab. Scary!

Albino Alligator

Luke and I at the aquarium.

Spring Break Part III-World of Coke

During the final weekend of my spring break, I flew down to Atlanta, Georgia and met up with Luke for a weekend of sight-seeing prior to my visit at Emory University.

On Friday, I arrived mid-afternoon, so we grabbed some food and explored downtown. The downtown area of Atlanta was really nice, and it was neat to see Underground Atlanta, a now shopping mall/dining district that was previously an underground railroad. Unfortunately, my camera was dead!

On Saturday, we did the big touristy things in Atlanta--World of Coke and the Georgia Aquarium.

World of Coca-Cola

Here's a picture from the outside of the World of Coke.

A few years ago, Coco-Cola had a competition for artists to create Coco-Cola bottles representing different cultures around the world. Here are a few of the bottles!

Lots of different Coco-Cola advertisements and products in the Museum.

Santa Claus loves Coco-Cola.

Near the very end of the tour, tourists have the opportunity to sample different Coke products from all over the world. Here's a picture of Luke and I in the traditional Coke sampling room.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Break Part II

My Spring break consisted of two days in Chicago, five days at home, and two days in Atlanta. Chicago was awesome! Atlanta was awesome! The home part in between was really, really terrible.

When I got home on Sunday evening, my family had all come together to celebrate my birthday (over two weeks early). Patrick was home for Spring Break too though, and it was fun to have everyone home at the same time.

My birthday cake below.

Me: I'm not turning five.
Mom: I thought you were smart enough to figure it out. Look again.
Me: Ooooh. 2 pink candles and 3 blue candles... 23

No surprise, I was able to blow out all five candles at once!

Here starts the crappy part of my Spring Break. Feel free to fast forward.

On Monday morning, I woke up feeling miserable. Sore throat, cough, tired, just miserable.

Whiskers, our 17 year old cat, also woke up feeling miserable. He had been getting progressively sicker over the last few months, and on Monday morning, we knew he was not doing well. He was not eating. He was not drinking. He was not really doing much of anything. Later that day, we had him put to sleep.

It was a difficult time for our family, but it was nice that both Patrick and I were home to say goodbye.

Here are a couple of pictures of Whiskers.

Whiskers at Christmas!

Whiskers and Brownie, our two cats. They are from the same litter, believe it or not!

I spent the rest of the week in bed and ended up getting better in time for my trip to Atlanta on Friday.

I told you my week was depressing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Break Part I

After a very cold week at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, I headed to Chicago for a weekend with Amanda, my college roommate. Little did I know, the dying of the river was happening that weekend, along with other St. Patrick's Day festivities.

On Saturday morning, Amanda and I met up with some of her friends to walk down to the green river. We were a little late and didn't actually get to see them dye it, but we did get to see the end result, a very green river!

Amanda and I at the river!

Me, Amanda, and a few of her medical school friends!

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Birthday Month

Although my birthday is not until the end of this month, there has been a lot of birthday talk in the last few days. This past weekend, I was at home for the first time since January. On Friday afternoon I was goofing around, looking at furniture online or watching Modern Family on Hulu or something when I got a text message from my friend Doug.

Doug: Is today your birthday?
Me: No haha. It is March 28
Doug: I'm kind of impressed I even got the right month!
Me: Oh Doug
Doug: My computer doesn't work so I can't really see fbook...and I swear I woke up with a premonition that today was for sure your bday.

Later that evening my parents asked me when I would prefer to celebrate my birthday. I will be home for March 13-17 for part of my Spring Break and then again April 1-3 for a weekend prior to my visit at Knox College. Although the second weekend is closer to my actual birthday, my brother Patrick will be home for Spring Break for the same time as my Spring Break.

My response: How about both times?

I'm not kidding. I really like my birthday.

And for anyone who wants to celebrate my birthday on the actual day, I will be in Norman, Oklahoma with the Beta Theta KKG chapter at Oklahoma University. See you there?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

These are a Few of my Favorite Things

I'm sitting here eating strawberries and thinking about what a good day I'm having.

As usual, I started my day by sneaking into Carnegie Mellon's gym. After showering and getting ready, I had two officer meetings, followed by a two and a half hour break. I used my break to go to Starbucks to do some reporting. While I was at Starbucks I remembered a gift card I had in my wallet (hello, free coffee.), then proceeded to hammer out an entire report start to finish. Whew! As much as I love love love coffee, I try not to drink it too often. I'm very sensitive to caffeine, and when I drink it, I have more energy than a three year old child...hence the super-reporting.

After my "break," I headed back towards campus for a meeting with the campus Greek Adviser, who gave me the largest consultant packet I have ever seen. It is a thick folder complete with anything I could ever dream of asking. I hate to admit it, but I will probably just skim the thing....its like 50 pages! Still though, I'm impressed.

Now I'm hanging out, eating strawberries, and feeling good. The chapter bought me a million different snacks, including everything I asked for plus more. In a document that outlines how to plan an LC visit, chapters are instructed to ask us what our favorite snack and breakfast foods are. Every week my list varies a little depending on how hungry I was when I responded to the email. (It's like grocery shopping on an empty stomach.) I don't remember what I requested...but it wasn't all of this and very few things make me happier than good food and lots of it.

For all my chapter women friends out there, just remember:

Happy LCs write nice reports about your chapter.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Weekend in NOLA

This past weekend I flew down to New Orleans for a fun weekend in between my University of Kentucky and Carnegie Mellon visits. I had never even been to Louisiana before, let alone New Orleans, so when my friend Luke mentioned meeting up there, I didn't hesitate to make travel arrangements!

On Friday, we didn't do too much. When we both got into town, we went out for dinner and caught a night parade in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me to take any pictures!

Saturday was the day where I really got to see New Orleans. Luke's cousins live in Algiers Point on the West Bank, across the river from downtown. We went over to their house, then took the ferry to downtown New Orleans. Here's a picture of downtown from the ferry.

Exploring the city was so much fun, and the weather was perfect. Here's a picture of Royal Street on a gorgeous 75 degree afternoon.

Of course we had to check out Pat O'Brien's, a New Orleans bar that can brag about selling eight million dollars worth of Hurricane mixed drinks each year.

Here is a picture of the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral.

I was amazed by how many street performers there were. We saw magicians, a transformer, jugglers, bands, everything. This dancing group, shown below, has become so popular that this location is their territory. They had the most wild moves, including flipping over 7 volunteers from the crowd.

Here is another street performer, who actually does not perform at all. He just sits. And sits. And sits. And eventually he gets up and moves to another location where he sits. And sits. And sits. He won't even move when people disturb him or do inappropriate things to him. The photo below is a bit R-rated because of a generous gift from a likely intoxicated tourist.

Here's a picture of Bourbon Street, taken mid-afternoon. I was amazed by how many people managed to be drunk at that hour of the day!

After exploring downtown for a bit, we caught a cab out to the Garden District, a beautiful neighborhood in New Orleans. The houses in the Garden District are old, refurbished, and amazingly beautiful. I also got to see a traditional New Orleans cemetery, shown below.

Here's a picture of Luke and I in the Garden District.

After a delicious French dinner at Coquette, followed by gelatti, Luke and I headed back downtown to catch one of the evening parades. We ended up seeing three parades while we were in New Orleans, and I don't know why I didn't think of taking pictures during the day parade we saw. I think I was too busy trying to catch beads! Since my camera doesn't do well with bright, moving objects at night, I didn't get the best picture, but here is a picture of one of the floats.

Here's an even lower quality photo of an Elvis-themed float in the parade.

All in all, I'd say it was the perfect weekend. I had so much fun experiencing New Orleans in its early stages of Mardi Gras madness.

This week I am in Pittsburgh for a second visit to Carnegie Mellon University. My week started off pretty rough, with flight delays that caused me to miss Standards, CC, and chapter meeting. Then, I lost my luggage for the first time all year. Luckily enough, it was found and delivered to the CMU Kappa house at 8 o'clock this morning.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Fake IDs

Being the goody two shoes that I am, I never had much experience with fake IDs. I'm not sure how I managed to get through my underclass years without a fake, but I must have been too busy hanging out in the library with my chemistry friends to really care about the bar scene.

This year however, I have a new fake ID every week. Let me explain.

Prior to going on a LC visit, I send an introduction letter to the chapter. It includes a brief biography, what forms the chapter needs to complete, and a list of very general requests. My three requests are:

1) Start meetings at 10 AM (if possible) to allow working out in the morning
2) A guest pass to the campus gym and a chapter member to escort me there every morning
3) A t-shirt or other fun Kappa item to add to my collection

First semester I had some additional requests and the current #2 was not in there. Believe it or not, "allow working out in the morning" was not a big enough hint that I wanted to workout in the morning. Adding the second request has made things much more clear.

I have learned throughout this year that many university gyms either a) do not have guest passes or b) their student workers have no idea if they do have guest passes. As a result, nine times out of ten, I am given some random chapter member's student ID to use for gym admission.

More often than not, I can get a hold of the ID of someone who I could pass as. While I rarely look like the person, I try to remind myself that if I was a senior in college, I probably wouldn't look that much like freshman "me" anyway.

Sometimes I get a girl's ID who has stick straight hair. Fine, I'll wear it straight that week.

Sometimes I get a girl's ID who has really blonde or really dark brown hair. Fine, people dye their hair.

Sometimes I get a girl's ID who is a little chubbier than I am. Fine, I'll puff out my cheeks a bit while I give a closed mouth smile.

Once I got the ID of an Indian chapter woman. WHOA. That is where I draw the line. I realize that student workers at the gym don't look closely, but no one is THAT stupid.

I'm not sure if the bar scene is so easy, but I have become a pro at sneaking into university gyms.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


This week I'm at the University of Kentucky. Here are two pictures of their beautiful old mansion! Their house is actually 140 years, as old as Kappa Kappa Gamma!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nu Province Meeting

I spent the last weekend at Nu Province Meeting in Nashville, TN. Every even year, Kappa holds its General Convention meeting in the summer, and every odd year they have smaller Province meetings around the country. Kappa is divided into 16 different provinces, and they are each holding a meeting this spring. Nu Province, where I was this weekend, includes Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky.

Last week, I was at the University of Tennessee. At the end of the week, I drove with them to Nashville for this province meeting. After the meeting was over, I traveled to University of Kentucky with some of their chapter members who had been in attendance. Pretty clever, huh?

Province Meetings are quick, but eventful. Friday night, all 70+ registrants went to the Vanderbilt University KKG house for dinner and a philanthropy activity. Saturday was the busy day though, with meetings, four educational programs, and the banquet/awards ceremony. During the afternoon, I gave two different presentations, "Kappa Values," and "Getting the Most out of Your Kappa Experience." The first presentation was one that the entire Field Representatives team wrote and is working on sharing with chapters around the country. The second presentation was one that I put together last minute, but ended up being very successful.

The banquet on Saturday night is the highlight of the weekend though. We all sat down to enjoy a delicious dinner, listen to a beautiful and inspiring speech from a previous Loyalty Award winner (the highest honor a Kappa can receive), then celebrate the achievements of the chapters and alumnae associations in Nu Province.

Every chapter did very well, each winning at least one award, but I was very proud of the Epsilon Lambda (Tennessee) and Beta Chi (Kentucky) women since these are the two chapters I have the opportunity to visit.

Epsilon Lambda won awards for Risk Management and Most Improved. Here I am, pictured with the Tennessee chapter women.

Beta Chi won awards for Heritage and Most Outstanding Overall. Here's a picture of the group of us!

Here are two more pictures from the evening:

The first is me with Melissa, a previous Leadership Consultant and current Chapter Consultant

Here is a group of me with some of the "top dogs" in Kappa, (from left to right) Region III Director of Chapters, Nu West Province Director of Chapters, Fraternity President, Nu East Province Director of Chapters, and Melissa, the LC/CC.

This week I am the University of Kentucky, and so far, I am enjoying it very much! This morning I got to sleep in until 9 AM, which was much needed after this busy weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ok, Ok I Need to Blog: Part Two

Continued from Part One...

After a fun weekend in Boston, I took an early morning train to the University of Connecticut for the week. I was really excited to go back to UConn, because I got along so well with the chapter women when I was there in the fall. Last time I forgot to take pictures, so this time, I have a few pictures of the house covered in snow!!

Here's a picture of Hannah, the chapter President, and I in front of the house. With the various snow storms they've had, they have 3-4' of snow on the ground!

While I was in Connecticut, they got SO MUCH SNOW. I recognize that the entire country was being dumped on that week, but really, it was a lot. UConn actually ended up having two snow days while I was there! The first day there was a lot of snow, and the second day there was a lot of ice! Since the roads were so bad, I had all of my meals on campus. Trekking to and from the dining halls for meals was adventurous and comparably dangerous to hiking Mount Everest :)

Having snow days was interesting, because I still had a job to do, and many of the chapter officers live in the house. But when I wasn't in meetings, we were all just hanging out and being goofy. It was hard to focus and actually get work done!!

After my week in Connecticut, I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, home of Kappa Kappa Gamma Headquarters, for a Risk Management Focus Group. Seven chapter women, an RDC, the Fraternity Risk Management Chairman, and I were in attendance for the weekend. It was a busy and productive weekend. We scoured through the Fraternity's risk management procedures, policies, and documents, trying to see where adjustments needed to be made. I have always had an interest in risk management, but after the weekend, I have such a deeper understanding and appreciation for it. We had a lot of suggestions for the Fraternity, and I hope we can see a lot of them implemented in the next year!

Here is a picture of the group of us at HQ for the weekend.

Following my weekend in Columbus, I traveled down to Orlando, Florida for one last visit to Rollins College. The weather was just gorgeous that week, and I took a picture of the lake by Rollins when I was out jogging one afternoon.

This year, I have visited the Rollins chapter four times and have grown close with the chapter women. There are a few other chapters I have been to twice, but this is the only chapter I have been to four different times. It has been interesting and exciting to watch them grow, and I am amazed by how much they have learned this year. At the end of the week, they gave me a beautiful key necklace as a thank you gift. I honestly wish I could go back. Not to mention, I met a cute guy while I was in Orlando :)

This week I'm at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. UTK was my second visit of the entire year, and it has been really fun to be back. I'm having a lot of fun with the chapter women, especially because its not so hectic during regular visits. I think they like me too. Last night we accidentally killed a Kappa sister's beta fish while cleaning the tank. A group of us rushed out to a 24-hour Wal-Mart, convinced that we could replace her fish without her ever knowing. Of course, she realized right away that her fish looked different. After getting over the initial shock, she was surprisingly calm about the situation and decided to name her new beta fish "Roszhart." I, of course, am very flattered.

This weekend, I'll be traveling with the UTK-Epsilon Lambda Kappas to Nashville, TN for the Nu Province Meeting. Province Meetings are held on the opposite year as Convention Meetings, and are on a much smaller scale. I am really excited to see some old faces and get to meet a lot of new Kappas! At the end of the weekend, I will be traveling to Kentucky with the Beta Chi KKG chapter!

Ok, Ok I Need to Blog: Part One

Wow, this is embarrassing! It has been over a month since my last blog post. I have no idea where the time has flown or why I've been so busy!! Not only have I been a terrible blogger, but I've been a terrible communicator with friends and family overall. What I have been though, is a good LC. That has to count for something, right?

This semester started off with two crazy recruitment visits to Virginia Tech and Rollins College. I love recruitment, but everyone who has been through sorority recruitment can attest to how exhausting it can be! After these two visits, I realized just how "behind" I was with paperwork and correspondence for my job. I use the word "behind" loosely though. I never actually came close to missing a deadline, but it bothers me to let the work build up. Unfortunately, blogging never trumps paperwork.

My next visit was to the University of Florida. Here are two pictures of the Kappa Kappa Gamma house at UF!

I really enjoyed getting to know the chapter women, and as you might imagine, spending two weeks in Florida was also particularly pleasant in the month of January. I'll kick myself for it now, but while I was at UF, I found myself commiserating with the women about how "cold" it was...yeah 55 degrees is pretty painful. Two weeks in Florida made my blood thin!

After my weekend in Florida, I flew up to Boston, MA for the weekend, and dang was it cold! (I take back all comments about the chilly Florida weather.) Boston was so much fun! I stayed with Michelle, a previous LC, for the weekend and got to meet up with two other LC's, Kristen and Stephanie, who were in town for the weekend too. The most embarrassing thing though, is that none of the three of us had planned the weekend together!

On Friday night, Kristen, Michelle, and I went out to dinner near Fenway. Here's a picture of the three of us!

Then Stephanie and her boy joined us for a few drinks later that night. Seeing familiar faces on the road is always my favorite!

Saturday, Michelle and I spent the day on the slopes at Waterville Valley Ski Resort in New Hampshire.

Michelle's company had free lift passes (score!), so we made the two hour trek for a fun day on the mountain. I looooove skiing and haven't had the chance to go this year! Because of my travel, I obviously don't have room in my suitcase for ski gear on top of everything else. Michelle somehow was able to come together with an array of ski attire, but I was missing one goggles.

All in all, my outfit wasn't too bad. Things didn't match very well, but I had enough gear to keep me warm. BUT wearing sunglasses in place of goggles, I looked like a novice. When we went to rent skis, the guy working was very skeptical of my skiing ability. He looked at my form, where I had checked Type III skier, then looked at me, then looked back at the form.

Guy at the counter: "You realize Type III means expert?"
Me: "Well, yea, I'm a pretty good skier."
Guy at the counter, who is judging my mismatched attire and sunglasses: "Are you sure?"
Me: "Yes, really."
Guy, still skeptical: "You ski out here often?"
Me: "No, this is my first time. I usually ski out West."
Guy, still skeptical: "Fine, what length ski do you want?"
Me (Thinking: oh sh*t!): " fifty....three?"
Guy: "Yea, alright"

Whew! Why the grand inquisition?!

I was happy to finally get my gear and get on the slopes! Here's a picture of Michelle and I on top of the mountain.

The guy at the counter would be happy to know that I indeed skied very well that day, tackling all of the black diamonds and not falling once.

My lunch date is here! To be continued....