Friday, November 22, 2013

National Collegiate Honors Council in New Orleans!

by Jessa K., Panther Blogger

On Wednesday, Nov. 6th, myself along with two fellow students and two faculty members traveled to New Orleans, Lousiana to attend the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC).  Our first full day in New Orleans was spent participating in a program called City as Text. This event is used to help students become more familiar with the city where the conference is held.  My City as Text destination was the Presbytere, focusing on Mardi Gras.  My group learned all about the history of Mardi Gras from its conception through today.  We learned about the importance of costumes and how the different groups who throw trinkets to the crowds came to be.

After our time at the Presbytere, we went to Café du Monde for lunch where we had Café au Lait and beignettes.

The next day, I presented at one of the student poster sessions.  My poster encompassed the research that I worked on about The Taming of the Shrew during the previous spring semester. After my poster session, I attended two other sessions:  one about writing newsletters within the honors program and another about the over-involved student. All three sessions were extremely informative and I was able to not only bring back new knowledge for myself but also for the honors program.

On Thursday and Friday night, we all went out to local restaurants to get an authentic taste of New Orleans.  One night during one of our outings, we ran into Aaron Sanchez, a celebrity judge on the show Chopped.  We were all too chicken to approach him except for Paige, who walked right up to him and asked for a photograph.  I am so glad she did because my mom, who is a major fan of the show, was able to see the picture.

Our trip to New Orleans for the NCHC was one of the best I've had so far at Ferrum. I had fun, I made new friends from all across the country, I was able to work on my professional skills in a low-stress environment, and I also learned that I really do not take enough pictures of everything (thanks, Paige, for letting me use all of your great pictures).  I have already started working on literary research to present at next year's conference in Denver, Colorado!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ferrum College So Far

by Dannica B., Panther Blogger

I have been at Ferrum College for almost four months now and I have loved every day of it. There is so much to do here!  From free movie night to bingo to themed dances in the Panther's Den, there is always something fun to do!  Even though it seems like Ferrum is in the middle of nowhere, I haven't been bored yet! 

There have been many big events on campus this year, such as the centennial homecoming weekend and the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival.  Both events were a huge success. We had a huge concert on homecoming weekend, which included the Tams, an electric violinist, and other local bands. We also had a country-style dinner that took place outside and we also had a huge parade!  The Folklife Festival was a huge hit - they had so many activities that everyone could get involved in. They had coon dog racing, honey making, country bands, mule jumping, a car show, and so much more!  This festival happens every year and thousands of people attend - it is open to all ages. 
Dressed up and ready for the Great Gatsby party

We also have many mini-activities happening on campus almost every day!  We have a flag football game every other day and even though I can't play sports, they are so much fun to watch!  Sometimes we have bingo nights, which is a lot of fun and we also win prizes.  Most Thursday evenings, we have themed dances in the Panther's Den, which are so much fun and I always have a blast!  This past Saturday, we had a Great Gatsby-themed party at our local Ferrum Bar and Grill, which was fantastic because my friends and I all dressed up and danced the night away!  A lot of people are curious as to what there is to do at Ferrum, but there is always something to do.  You just have to get involved!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Always On the Go

by Delana S., Panther Blogger

Let me start by saying that the fast-paced lifestyle of D.C. can be a bit overwhelming!  This past month, I have had a lot to do whether it's in class, my internship, or my work-study position.  Sometimes I do not see my room until 10:30 p.m. after starting my day at 8 a.m.!  It's not that different from just going to regular classes, but at the same time, it is a lot more work.

When it comes to my internship, I love it more and more as each day goes by!  My supervisor is really nice, the rest of the office staff is always asking me about my day, and the other interns have become like a family to me. This past month, we had about five to six events that were back to back, so we were non-stop busy inside and outside the office. I had the opportunity to meet representatives from the state department, embassies, and high-profile professionals from the DC area.
It always intrigues me how these professionals always take a vested interest in what you want to do with your future and what you are studying. In one instance, I met a dean from John's Hopkins who was impressed with a question I had asked and then who proceeded to talk to me after the event about my future. He even introduced me to one of his fellow colleagues.  Just seeing how some of the people go above and beyond continually impresses me and makes me feel so privileged to be able to meet them on a personal level and hear from their experience. 

One requirement of my program is that we have to interview a professional of our choice who has a career that we are interested in pursuing.  I interviewed a Public Relations / Public Affairs officer from the Embassy of Egypt.  We had met her when we first went to the embassy to learn about the status of Egypt with the Deputy Chief of Missions (DCM) and later on, I got in touch with her and asked her a million and one questions about her career, how she chose that path, advice she had for me, and whether or not I was on the right track to be qualified for the job.  It was nice to have that one-on-one experience with her and it helped me figure out that I do want to pursue that type of career!  I want to work for an embassy, and it is all a matter of figuring out how to successfully graduate from college, go to graduate school, and then get started with the career.  That is easier said than done, but I have met so many people who want to help me that I can't believe that this is my life right now!

To go along with that statement, I have had the opportunity to celebrate many cultural festivals in DC that you cannot see anywhere else in the United States. I have bought so many mementos that my parents are going to need a bigger vehicle to transport them home when it is time for me to leave!  Of course, everything will not be going back to Ferrum with me, but a good portion of my favorite items will. 

So far, I cannot name my favorite festival that I have encountered, but each and every one of them has brought something interesting to my life and I get to share all of these experiences with my roommate, Yumi.  Yumi is from Japan from a town near Okinawa.  This is her first time in the United States and she has had a blast so far!  During our fall break, Yumi came home with me to Virginia Beach and got to see an American football game, go to the beach, and get to know my family and best friend. She even received a few mementos from our trip and started calling my parents "mom" and "dad."  Being able to share these experiences with her and showing her where I live have been unique opportunities because I know where she is coming from and it is easier for her to be herself and be reminded of home. That is definitely true about my house, which is filled with Japanese and Italian culture.

I can honestly say that I have changed and grown more as an individual through these experiences.  It may seem like I am no longer the same person, but that is not true. I am just a little more conscious of who I am and who I want to be "when I grow up."  It makes me laugh when I think of that statement because when I talk to my parents about everything that I am doing and what I have learned, they are always amazed about what I have to say and the passion that they see me have for my studies and my pursuit of mentors who help me reach my goals. Things are still pretty hectic with having to complete a simulation, writing a conflict-resolution report, and completing my duties for my internship, but I would not have it any other way!