Radiating Sunshine: June 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Last Minute Beach Trip

So, when I got the RC position down in Texas, I was over joyed! Not only would I have a great job, but I would be in a new place and would be making some great memories.

However, there were some bittersweet feelings because I knew that my chances to go to the beach with my family would be slim to none.

Love my family!
Every year my family has gone to OBX with some close family friends. This is going to be the last year because now all of us college kids are getting jobs/internships and it is getting too

complicated for all of us to get off work. The beach week is literally the highlight of the year. We go with a great group and we do so many cool things.

So, I made some unofficial plans with RCs to spend my break (intersession: 4 day break between closing of Term 1 and training for Term 2) to spend time in Texas... but last week all of those plans were replaced by my plane ticket to Norfolk, Virginia so I can go to the beach with my family.

I'm bummed that I'll be missing out on some staff bonding... but I'm SO EXCITED for the beach with family and friends. Plus, my parents promised me that we will take some family pictures on the beach, which we have never done before.

So, here is to the next 50 hours until I'm at the beach with my family and friends! Can't wait to see you all and spend a few days making our last trip the best one yet! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Weekend Updates

Weekend updates... courtesy of my iPhone! Sorry, for the photo dump! It was a great weekend and I'm starting to get sad that I only have 5 days left with my minions. 

Friday we had the traditional Staff vs. Tipsters
Ultimate Frisbee Game! For any of you who know me
personally, you will know that sports/ coordination in
general aren't really my forte.

However,  I surprised myself and actually through
the frisbee fairly accurately. I actually loved the
game and I can't wait for next term!

Exhaustion has taken on a new form.
But, seriously the weekend may be three days
but it feels like a full week.
Late night Sonic runs for milkshakes
has become a norm for the res. staff.

Pretty sure Sonic almost died when
we called in this order at 11:50pm.

My AC finally got fixed. So, my in dorm
swimming pool is now shut down for the season!
Sorry friends :) 

Saturday was Agfest and I was working
Quad games which was AWESOME!

The main attraction: putting Vasoline all over
a watermelon and having the kids pass it around.

Other attractions: orange relay (pass orange using
only neck/chin-- intense), pudding fling (exactly what it sounds),
jello snarffle (kids eat jello with only their mouth in a race).

Saturday night we had a circus themed dance!
It was great and we did face-painting which
was a hoot! 

Sunday was a great day! I went to church with some
tipsters in the morning and then we had movie time!

After dinner we went to Grand Station, where we got to
play unlimited bowling, mini golf, laser tag and arcade games!
This was a great staff bonding experience and I'm so pumped
for next term. 

Thanks for stopping by! Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Newest Cravings

My newest craving down here in College Station is Jason's Deli! Jason's Deli is a chain restaurant, but unfortunately it hasn't made its way up to Maryland yet, or at least I don't think it has? 

But, man am I in love! They have delicious sandwiches... My favorite being the Club Royale, they have a top notch salad bar, excellent fruit choices, delicious sweet tea, and to end every visit with a bang they have unlimited soft serve ice-cream-- yum! 

Not only is their food fresh and delicious, but they also have great customer service! The employees are all so friendly and really give you the Jason's deli experience. 

So, if you are driving around and looking for a great lunch spot... Go there! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Button Love

For all of you who are involved with Residence Life conferences, you know how much they love BUTTONS. I started my collection this past March when I attended the ACPA's Next Gen conference!  I can't wait to continue to add to my collection. 

Since, I am working in a residence life this summer, it came to know surprise that they would have buttons. Duke TIP just started the button initiative this term, so it was great to try out the button machine. 

I knew I wanted to make minion buttons for my girls when I decided to go with the Despicable Me as a theme! So, instead of going through the hassle of getting the minions printed in color I decided to just draw/color them instead! They turned out really well and it surprisingly didn't take me too long.

I also made buttons for my Res. and Admin staff! Most of them are fairly simple, but it was great giving my fellow staff members their first buttons!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Saturday to Thursday

Howdy, friends! So... I'm sorry I have been MIA for the past few days. I have literally been going non-stop and on my day off I just took a computer-hiatus so I am finally just sitting down to write about the weekend events and update you all on what's going on in my life.

Saturday night was a blast! We had a dance (like we do every week) and this week's theme was Party Under the Neon Sun! It was all neon-blacklight-glow-stick-palm tree decorations and it was a blast! As an RC we are responsible for basically being chaperones. But, even though that can be a lame gig I made sure to make the best of it. For, most of the night I was in the middle of the pit of jumping/ dancing high schoolers and it was so fun.

Honestly, I just tried to be as goofy and ridiculous as possible and the tipsters even told me that they wished the other RCs would dance with them like I was--- SO SWEET TO HEAR... especially because I'm almost positive I made a fool out of myself!

On Sunday evening we hosted Roll Call, which basically includes a song that the tipsters make up a dance or a skit too. I was on the Roll Call committee and we chose the theme of musicals.

There were songs from Wicked, Grease, Chicago, Jailhouse Rock, Disney broadway productions, Jersey Boys, etc!

My girls got assigned "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan and they did a great job!

Also, during Roll Call I co-hosted/ MC'd with another RC, Brandon! We both have totally different personalities and I think we did a great job! Brandon, has a great announcing voice and can do so many accents so we really had a great time with that!

Thanks to Holden and Danielle who were also on the Roll Call committee we really had a excellent event!
Sarah and I

I love Tuesdays... partly because its a nice day and because its my day off. I have the greatest group of gals who are off with me and for the past two weeks we really have hit it off.

So... what did we do?
- We of course hit up Sonic for Happy Hour on Limeades ;) I had a cherry limeade, but after trying Sarah's cranberry I'm definitely gonna get that one next time!

- After Sonic, we did a casual Walmart run and then came back to campus. I then got an opportunity to FaceTime with my friend, Alex from back at home! It was so nice talking to her and "seeing" her. I miss her like crazy!

- After relaxing for a bit, Danielle, Sarah, Ola, and I went to the movies to see Now You See Me... and all I'm gonna say is my mind was totally blown! Not only was the movie super cheap (I love college towns) but the movie was so GREAT! If you need a night out and a movie suggestion... go see that, like seriously please do!
Ola, Danielle, and I with our pizza!

- So, after the movie we were all starving so we decided to get a pizza and sit outside, listen to music, and enjoy each other's company. This was great... except I got bit by a mosquito on my toe and it is literally so uncomfortable!

- And to add to some more relaxing... a bunch of the RCs and I curled up with pillows and blankets and watched Pitch Perfect! It was a simple- but, much needed bonding/relaxation time!

Today, (Thursday) was an all-around perfect day!! I had breakfast duty and transport duty which were exhausting, but made better by a delicious lunch, great company, and receiving a letter from my best friend, Hannah!

I absolutely love letters... or snail mail! I think there is just something so timeless and nice about communicating via letters. I honestly feel like our society is entrenched in communicating via technology, so if I get a chance to write a letter I don't pass up the opportunity.

Now, Hannah knows I'm a sucker for letters and she has had her fair share of letter-writing experiences because her BF goes to the Naval Academy, so we make the perfect pen-pal match! The letter was timed perfectly, because literally when I woke up this morning I was really missing my family and friends so getting this letter half way through my day, couldn't have been better.

I also had my RC Group Night tonight, which means I got to spend time with just my minions and our honorary minion, Danielle. The girls and I had our off campus RC night so we went to Sonic for milkshakes and then went to Walmart. It was awesome to just get off campus with them!

All and all this week has been an amazing blur! 
I can't believe I only have 8 days left  
until the Tipsters go home. 

Thanks for stopping by. Love you all :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

just a few updates

Howdy y'all... I'm currently squeezing in this post to give you a couple updates on the past few evenings!

First Update: my first trip to Sonic!! This was definitely a monumental moment in my life... but seriously. Went with some great RCs and it was so delicious!!

Down here (probably every Sonic location?), they have half priced shakes after 8pm... so a dollar for a mini milkshake what could be better?

Second Update: Matie the squirrel! My boss brought Matie back from a South African university to use as our Kudos squirrel. So, every other day the person who has Matie gives him to another member of our staff for doing a remarkable job with something.

Courtesy of my fellow RC, Brandon... Matie came home with me on Thursday... which means that tonight I need to select someone from our staff to pass Matie along too! Wish me luck, folks! It is hard to choose someone when everyone has been working just as hard and is awesome :)

Third Update: I-N-S-A-N-I-T-Y... before you all start worrying I'm not losing my mind, just working out :) Some fellow RCs / Admin staff have started doing Insanity, the ridiculously hard workout video everyday. It has been going pretty well, so far. The only downside is that I was super sore the next day and well my bed is somewhat lofted... and I'll let you picture me flinging myself on the bed and crawling to get in.

Also, while on the topic of exercise... another co-worker/friend, Danielle and I started power-walking in the mornings. That has been great so far and this campus is so big that you could literally walk for miles on end.

Fourth Update: I'm now officially Mama Minion to my girls. Like what is that? Oh... and while on the topic of my girls (who are T. Swift obsessed) I now know almost every word to every song by Taylor Swift.

So, we are never ever getting back together, like ever and 
I knew you were trouble before you even walked in!

Thanks for stopping by! You all are

Friday, June 14, 2013

Crafty Week at TIP

So, each RC group gets to choose a name or a theme that they want their group to be called.... So, it should have come to no surprise that my girls would want to be minions.

RC13 is now called "Alex's Minions" which I have mixed feelings about! I loved "The Minions" but they said they wanted to be my minions. So, I guess I should be happy they wanted to include my name? hahaha.

So, to the left is our mural. Each girl wrote their name and put a little symbol... something that defines who they are.

{My symbol is at the bottom: peace, heart, cross, and smiley)

We also added quotes from Despicable Me... like "its so fluffy, I'm gonna die!" -- Agnes

One of the evening activities that I helped out with this week was brick painting! We had about 50 tipsters come and it went really well! And the bricks make perfect door stoppers.

 Last night, I had my RC group night! RC group night is when my girls can miss evening activity (7pm-9:15pm) and they get to hang out with just our group.

So, what did we do?

We went to Pita Pit which was a hit {rhyme}! The girls are already kind of sick of the cafeteria food and Pita Pit accommodated our group very well!

Then, we came back to our floor and we colored the About Me sheets (below) and made friendship bracelets. The friendship bracelets are in minion colors to continue with our theme of Despicable Me!

All the girls did different friendship bracelets and I have string left over so I'm gonna teach them all how to do the one on the left!

<--- I made these About Me sheets based off of different ice breakers and activities I have done in the past!

After, we completed our friendship bracelets, sang our hearts out to Taylor Swift and talked for awhile the girls all went around in a circle and shared their About Me's!

It was so cool to learn more about the girls! I think I liked the 3 Words to Describe You section the most because they all used different adjectives... some adjectives I had to google hahaha.

I honestly loved this activity and I would totally recommend it for anyone who needs a fun ice breaker-ish and coloring activity!

It was a great RC Group night and crafty week. 
Thanks for stopping by! Love y'all!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

One Day For Me

As an RC, I work 6 days a week. I work weird hours and cover different duties everyday. So even though I am working almost all the time, it has been such a great experience. I love to work with people so to get paid to hang out with students, play games, do crafts, and work with a great staff is like a dream come true. 

Working for Duke TIP has been a fabulous experience thus far... however, my one day off a week is cherished. 
Wore a new outfit
around College Station
Top: The Loft
Shorts: Banana Republic

Here is a brief recap of how I spent my first day    
off in College Station: 

Well, when an RC is off it is in a 10am to 10am time slot!
So, this morning I took my lovely ladies to breakfast. Then,

.... I came back and NAPPED! Last night I got about
three hours of sleep because I was helping another staff member
create the evening events schedule for today. We both just jammed
to some music and hung out with some RCs. It was a great
time, that was rewarded with a terrific nap.

... then I went to The Pita Pit for the first time ever with two other
RCs who have the day off too! If any of ya have heard of Pita Pit,
its kind of set up like Chipotle, but instead of burritos
they have pitas! It was so delicious and an added bonus was that we
got to eat for free since there was a promotion provided by a local
apartment complex. So, delicious pita for free-- sweet!

... then I relaxed! Caught up on some blogs, sipped sweat tea, watched
a little bit of Netflix until I went to dinner with some RCs that were off!

... then, I got to Facetime with my parents and of course little Juneau
(siberian husky, who I miss dearly). It was great seeing them and talking
with them! After, that me and the other two RCs that are off decided
we would go on an adventure and trek to Sonic. We walked to one that
was closed down (bummer), and then we started walking to another
but it was 4 miles away so we just turned around and came back.

... I then caught up with some of my RC Group in the hallway. Even
though it was my day off I still really wanted to hear about their days! After,
chatting with them I went to the staff meeting to hear about my staff's days.
We ate some sweets and played a couple mind games!

... After the staff meeting, the RCs that were off plus an extra RC and I went
out to Fuego which is a mexican-taco restaurant that only exists in College
Station! Its open 24-7 and we got there around 12:30am? Needless to say it
was a delicious midnight snack! We then jammed to musicals and went to
Walmart to buy Father's Day cards and snacks!

... finally around 2am we made it back to campus. On our walk back to the
Res. Hall we came to an interesting dilemma. Walk all the way around the building
or run through the sprinklers. For those of you who know me well, you could
guess that there was no way I wasn't gonna run through those sprinklers.
Most of us ended up getting soaked and even ran around a little more than needed.
It was just such a simple staff bonding and was so much fun.

It was a great day to just rejuvenate, relax, and run through sprinklers.

Until next time Tuesday!
Thanks for stopping by :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Daily Schedule

I have been explaining to a lot of friends and family what exactly my job is at Duke TIP @ TAMU! I keep getting the question: so, what do I do during the day while all the Tipsters are in class and what do I do with them after class? 

Well, I'll tell ya! 

Duke TIP is a program for gifted and talented students who surpass their classmates on the academic level. Each year Duke TIP invites students who are excelling to attend a three week term where they will get a taste of college through a college level course and a residence life experience. 

I work on the Residential end. I'm an RC which is basically a camp counselor/RA combined! My dream summer job in a nutshell. 

But, what is my daily schedule: (for the first two weeks)

- My mornings are free... but I am going to start running 
around 8am and then have breakfast 
around 9am. After breakfast I'm free to shower, 
work on committee stuff, prepare for evening activities 
and (or) catch up on blogs and other social
media addictions! 

- However, after 4pm I am pretty much going until 2am when
I finish office duty. 
   4pm- Supervise the floors (roam the halls)
   5pm- Escort RC Group to dinner & have dinner
   7pm-9:15pm- Evening Activities 
   9:15pm-10pm- Supervise the lounge (play card with Tipsters etc) 
   10pm-10:30pm- RC Group Time 
   11pm- whenever- Staff Meeting
   11pm-2am- Night Duty (walk the halls, make sure Tipsters are sleeping etc) 

Tuesday: My day off

- Mornings and afternoon I don't have any duty or obligations
except to be in Moses and to hang out with the residents at 
free time. 

- My nights are a little bit more busy: 
   5pm- Escort RC Group to dinner & have dinner
   6pm-10pm- Office and Med Room Duty
   10pm-10:30- RC Group Time
   11pm- whenever - Staff Meeting 

- 7:30am-8:30am- Breakfast Duty 
- 10am-4pm- Transport Duty (run errands for Duke TIP and
supply runs... pick up anything I need for that night) 

- Evenings: 
   5pm- Escort RC Group to dinner & have dinner
   7pm- 9:15pm- RC Group Night (This evening event is just 
Alex's Minions doing crafts or doing other activities) 
   10pm-10:30- RC Group Time 
   11pm- whenever Staff Meeting

- I have the morning and afternoon duty and obligation free. 
I just need to be in the building and work on various committee
stuff and planning evening events. 

  4pm- Supervise the floors 
  5pm- Escort RC Group to dinner & have dinner
  6pm-9:15pm - All Camp Event (Scavenger Hunt, Ultimate Frisbee
Staff vs. Tipster, last dance) 
  10pm-10:30 - RC Group Time 
  11pm- whenever - Staff Meeting

Saturday & Sunday: 
- Saturday Morning- Off
- Sunday Morning- Take tipsters who are interested in going to church

- Saturday & Sunday afternoon: All Camp Event & monitor
the lounge at free times

- Saturday & Sunday night: All Camp Event

So, that is basically my weekly schedule 
in a simplified format! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Minion Central

Howdy friends!! Here is a brief post about my theme for Term 01 at TIP! 

Despicable Me

So, what does this mean? Each RC needs to complete door decs and a bulletin board each term for the tipsters. So, I chose to go with Despicable Me as a theme since Despicable Me 2 is coming out in a few weeks and well, minions are adorable!

 So here is my minion! I needed to make 35 of these so it was exhausting to cut all of them out and then assemble all of the pieces together. But, they are precious. 

For my RC Group... their minions look similar to mine but I alternated the color for their names and added glitter glue to them so they are more fun! 

The girls love them! Even some of the parents commented and said they were really well done. I'm so happy that my hard work paid off and that the girls think they are adorable. 

Because lets be honest, minions are so freaking cute ;) 

So, here is a pic of my bulletin board! Sorry, for the poor picture quality! 

On the left side there is Tipster Information. This basically includes the daily schedule, rules, weekend events and basic information the Duke provided us! 

and the right side... is where the party is at! That is the Despicable Me side! At the top, there is a paper chain that is a countdown to DM2! -- 22 days for all of ya minions lovers! The rest of the board has little pictures from the movie, the DM2 soundtrack, some random trivia questions and facts! 

So, those are my door decs and bulletin board
for TIP Summer 2013 Term 01. Another Despicable Me
note (that I will be writing about this week) is my RC
Group's name is actually "Alex's Minions."
But, I will be putting up a pic of our mural when we finish it 
tonight and give a description! So look forward to that ;) 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Howdy Y'all

Howdy Y'all! -- That feels so weird for me to say! But, I'm currently in Texas living the RA dream! I have been in Texas for a little over 2 days and I'm already in love. I love College Station and Texas A&M. I love how people talk and take the time to enjoy their meals. I love all the smiles and the traditions that encompass this university and Duke TIP. 

So a quick recap of the past couple of days: 

travel... Traveling to Texas A&M was a breeze! I had two flights to get me where I am which was a bit exhausting... for those of you who have been to the Dallas Airport walking to each gate is quite the workout. I ran into no issues traveling though. I am already getting pretty acquainted with College Station, they have literally every store imaginable here (random fact). 

new staff... The people are so awesome! I love the residential team and the academic team so much! All of us come from very diverse backgrounds and I feel like I can learn so much from them. We all hit it off really well too, which is definitely a bonus.

training... terrific! We have gone over the basic stuff like policy & action reports... we also went over "Day in the Life" which I will probably write about next week when I start living it. We have done tons of awesome icebreakers which... I'm definitely gonna bring back to the Mount because they are too awesome to not share--- and I'm a bit of an ice-breaker junky! 

food... dining services has been great! They have a pretty good & healthy variety and Texas A&M has SO many dining halls and options. The res. staff and I also went to a local Texas A&M hot spot called Happy Yogurt, where I tried my first boba shake. It has an interesting texture, but was seriously delicious! Like I want one right now.

living arrangements... Well, I'm living in Freshmen housing... but we have AC and the dorm facility is very nice. Below are some pictures of my room :) Oh... and for the past two days I have taken ice cold showers-- the hot water takes awhile to come on and I can't justify letting the water run for 20+ minutes just to have a hot shower. 

My own sink! I feel spoiled. But,
I'm still living with a community bathroom.
So, hello *howdy* shower shoes!

Last night we took a long walk to the Bonfire Memorial at Texas A&M. This was an incredible and sad experience. For the full story on why there is a memorial and the tragedy behind it... click here! 

So, there is a recap of my first couple of days here in Texas. I cannot wait to meet my RC Group and other Tipsters. As I sit here and type out this post I can't help but feel so blessed for this incredible opportunity. 

Oh and random connection: the grad student who told me to apply to Duke TIP when I went to Next GEN in Las Vegas back in March is actually my boss here. We didn't realize it until yesterday during an ice-breaker. How weird is that?

Stay beautiful readers! 

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