Coming Attractions: SUMMER

The weird thing about working in education is that I still view the year starting at the end of August and ending at the end of May, just like I did when I was a student. Unfortunately, I’m no longer a student and I don’t get that nice summer vacation that my students do. Some professors and administrators (and other people who have no idea what we do in my office) think that we either don’t work during the summer or that the summer is incredibly slow. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! The summer is actually one of our busiest times of year – with fewer students on campus, there’s finally some time to do all the things we couldn’t finish during the school year. The first thing on that list for me is cleaning my office – I don’t even want to talk about what it looks like right now.

But enough about work…what am I doing with my summer?? Check it out below! (Okay, fine, some of these things will involve work…sorry.)

May

Classes just ended, so I’m listing all the fun stuff starting with this coming weekend…which is when I am going to see The Killers in concert again!! After that, I get to attend the annual Junior League dinner and chaperone a trip to Atlantic City. I get to bring a bus buddy, so my friend Kristy will be coming to AC with me. At the end of the month, I’ll be moving into my new apartment.

I saw The Killers last summer in concert. So excited to see them again!!

June

June kicks off with the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse sale. I went last year with both my little and another sorority sister, Jackie. Jackie is coming back down again this year and I’m crossing my fingers that my favorite Lilly Pulitzer dress will be there and in my size.  I don’t think I have any other social plans for June, but I will be working on housing assignments for the incoming students which should take up quite a chunk of time.

This is what happens when sorority girls go to a Lilly Pulitzer sale AND outlet shopping in the same weekend.

July

July starts with a nice long weekend thanks to how the 4th of July holiday falls. I was on duty the last two 4th of July weekends, so I’m going to make sure I don’t have to take duty that weekend this year! I’m not sure what I’m going to do during 4th of July, but I’ve been discussing some ideas with my friends. Later that month is my family reunion in Upstate New York.

Lilly loves getting to go out on the boat.

August

Unfortunately I don’t get to do too much in August…we have RA training. We are changing up RA training so I’m actually looking forward to it. My birthday is in August, so I’ll have to celebrate it before training and after classes start.

Reno celebrating my birthday last year with some random Berks County hipsters.

…just noticed that I didn’t include cleaning my office on here…whoops. I’m hoping to cross a bunch of things off my list and hopefully add some new ones!

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Looking at the List #11

137. Go on a New York Times “36 Hour” trip.

The New York times has been publishing 36 hour trip itineraries since 2002. Recently, they’ve compiled the columns into books by region. I bought the USA version as a graduation gift for someone and I bought myself the Northeast edition. I do want to travel more and I like that these trips can be done with limited vacation time. Maybe I’ll use my copy of the book to explore a city right here in Pennsylvania!

 

140. Donate to RIT.

This picture is from 007. It was on RIT’s website until very, very recently.

About once a week, I get a phone call from RIT’s Telefund Office asking me to donate money. Well, at least that’s what I assume they are asking, I’ve personally never picked up. I know, I know, it makes me kind of sound like a jerk, but I really hate talking on the phone. I really did enjoy my time at RIT and at some point I do want to give back. I’ve helped in the past with different volunteer events, but hopefully in the next few years I’ll be at the place where I can support the school financially. My plan is to donate to a specific department or organization…maybe I can get together with some of my sisters to do something really great for the house!

142. Do the whole tropical vacation thing.

There was a period of two or three weeks this winter where EVERYBODY I knew was on some awesome tropical vacation. The only thing that kept me sane during that time was that I got to go on vacation as well…to Missouri. I’m not the biggest fan of tropical vacations, but in the middle of this crazy, snowy winter, the idea of laying on a beach doing nothing for a week sounded FABULOUS. I added this to the list during that time and since then I found out that one of my cousins might be planning a destination wedding…so this goal might be a bit easier to accomplish than I imagined!

119. Meet all the Littles I Haven’t Met Yet

I write about my sorority occasionally every single chance I get. Clearly I enjoyed my experience. A lot of people that aren’t involved in Greek Life question how a fraternity or sorority differs from any group of friends. There are a lot of ways that the Greek experience is different, but few of them are tangible. There’s really no way to explain exactly what is brotherhood or sisterhood. One thing that’s NOT standard in most friend groups is the idea of Bigs and Littles. And like plenty of sorority women, I think that my big is the smartest human being on the face of the planet and that my little is perfect.

Look at that perfection right there!

Look at that perfection right there!

Thanks to the ever-continuing tradition of Bigs and Littles, I now have a sizable family tree. My aging, post-grad brain can’t handle learning the name of every single new member, but I always get excited for a new addition to the family line. I would love to be able to meet all of them as they are welcomed to the family, but, you know, post-grad problems, I have a job and stuff. The next thing I knew, I had multiple generations of littles down the chain that I hadn’t met yet!

Big Little Night with the fam in 2011

Big Little Night with the fam in 2011

In March, I made it back to Rochester for the first time in ages and was able to meet all of the littles during multiple events throughout the weekend. I felt crazy old…I’m a big to the 5th! (And yes, I just had to count down the chain on my fingers.)

My L4 Jenna, me, my L5 Amanda, and the original little Heather

My L4 Jenna, me, my L5 Amanda, and the original little Heather

RML!

RML!

I hope to see more of my littles (all the littles) throughout this project and include them on some of my goals!

Snow Day!

We’ve had two snow days and a delayed opening this week! The last time I missed this much school because of snow, it was 2001!

RIT was notorious for NEVER CLOSING. My freshman year, the first day of fall quarter was Labor Day and the last day of the quarter was Veteran’s Day. You know, days that my high-school-self was used to having off. After awhile, I accepted never having holidays off. But you know what I really missed? Snow days. There was something special about a snow day. A snow day was always such a nice, unexpected surprise.

But RIT was in Western New York. On average, the city gets over 90 inches of snow each winter. Plus the area around campus was pretty flat, so it was much easier to drive around than my neighborhood in Connecticut. I quickly got used to walking to school in all sorts of weather. I also became a pro at layering! Pro tip? Wear sweatpants OVER your jeans/leggings/normal pants so that if you want to take a layer off, it’s the outer one.

Bye Pam, don’t get lost in a blizzard!

One Martin Luther King Day, I woke up to my roommate Tiffany crouched next to the side of my bed. “School’s closed!” she said. “No it’s not,” I said as I rolled away from her. She explained that there was an ice storm and Monroe County made us close down. I still didn’t believe her, but I reached for my laptop, checked my email, and sure enough, RIT was closed. The next thing I checked was Facebook, which of course was filled with…wait I’m not even sure statuses were a thing. But you know what I mean! I remembered that I set an away message about my day off, to which my non-RIT friends replied, “Of course you have today off, it’s Martin Luther King Day.” Sigh.

 

Found this bad boy on Facebook. Oh the glory days!

Since it was technically an ICE day and not a SNOW day, we didn’t get to do any of the fun things like go sledding, have snowball fights, or build inappropriate snow sculptures. I remember being able to enjoy the day with my roommates. The other thing I remember about that day was meeting our weird neighbors. They set the fire alarm off, so our whole row had to wait outside in the ice storm. Lovely. Luckily one of us was parked nearby, so we waited inside a car.

This is probably the only reason I have pictures of our ice day.

During the rest of my time at RIT, I remember there being a few times that afternoon/evening classes were cancelled, but no whole day events. I’ve been enjoying these past few days, but I’m hoping the weather stops being so crazy in time for recruitment and my upcoming trip to Rochester!

Looking at the List #9

110. Watch every single Daria episode AND made-for-TV movie.

Daria finished its original run while I was just starting high school. How depressing. LUCKILY the N (home to some of my favorite high school shows, like Degrassi) showed reruns on a fairly regular basis. I spent many a track bus ride imitating many of the shows’ characters. Last time I checked, the show wasn’t on Netflix, so I eagerly await the day that someone gifts me a box set of the DVDs.

113. Visit Ground Zero.

I grew up outside New York City. I did all the “tourist” things as a kid. I avoided them more and more as I got older. As a result, I don’t remember the last time I saw the Twin Towers. They were just always in the background and then one day they weren’t. I haven’t been to Ground Zero yet and not because it’s a “tourist” thing. I view it as the opposite. It’s a New York thing. It’s a home thing. It’s a thing for all the people that lost their people that day. I was on a bus that rolled by once six years ago, but that’s the closest I’ve gotten. Now that I live farther from Manhattan, I don’t visit as often. I have a few New-York related items on my list, so hopefully I can find time to visit and knock all those items off my list!

122. Learn to pack like a pro.

I have two ways of packing. I either overpack or underpack. If I overpack, I wind up bringing tons of stuff that I won’t wear or use with me on my trip. If I underpack, I bring the same two sweaters with me and don’t have enough to put together a full outfit. I tend to pack more if I’m going somewhere farther away or plan on being gone for a long time. I’m incredibly jealous of the people walking through the airport with only a small tote. My next big trip is in two months and I’ve already started looking up packing tutorials so it doesn’t feel like I’m a pack mule in the airport. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks!!

“Make It Nice Around the Tree”

I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. I can’t wait to have my own house to decorate. Yes, I decorate my apartment each year, but a house has so much more room!

A few years back, some friends asked if I wanted to go to the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting in Manhattan, I jumped at the chance. Growing up outside the city, I had obviously SEEN the tree before, but  had never been to the tree lighting before. I eagerly hopped on the train to meet my friends. I was excited to see all of the Christmas decorations – not just the tree.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten just how crowded Manhattan gets during the holidays. Everybody knows that New Year’s Eve in Times Square is a madhouse – why would the tree lighting for America’s most famous Christmas tree be any different? I can’t stand crowds of people, so I was a little nervous but still decided to go. After this experience, I know that I will NEVER try New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

My friends and I wandered towards Rockefeller Center in the late afternoon and found the roads had already been blocked to vehicular traffic. There were large projection screens set up – presumably so people standing in those areas would be able to see the show (even though they had no view of the tree). We decided to try and find an in-person view of the tree and luckily enough we did! We came in off of 51st Street and were standing in Rockefeller Plaza. The area was filled with those metal police barricades that separated the crowd into a grid-like formation, keeping paths in between groups. We were at the front section of our section, right up against the barricade. We settled in and waited for the festivities to start. More people kept piling into our little area. At one point, a family with a young child decided to leave. The police let them out by moving the barricade, but the moment that people in the back of our section noticed people leaving, they started pushing forward. I was really uncomfortable with the whole situation. We could see the tree from our section, but not the stage. I had no idea that there was a whole show to go along with the tree lighting! There were a bunch of performers (Celine Dion and Josh Groban were the two I remembered) and a whole thing because the tree was “going green” that year by using LED lights.

The tree before it was lit.

The tree before it was lit.

The tree lit for the first time with LED lights!

The tree lit for the first time with LED lights!

The experience wasn’t TERRIBLE but I don’t think I would go back for it again unless I spent a ton of money to get special reserved seats or something. I think I’ll stick to ooh-ing and aahh-ing as I plug my own tree in.

I started writing this before I went back to CT for break, but needed to finish it here so I could find pictures on my computer. While I was home, we received one of those reverse 911 calls telling us that some roads were going to be closed and that there was a “traffic advisory” for the “downtown” area of my hometown. HA!!!

Looking at the List #5

49. Apply to another job.

People keep asking why I have this on my list. This isn’t a goal I have for right this very minute, but at some point before I’m thirty, I would like to (and am pretty sure that I will) apply for a different job. My current job is entry level – most only stay for two or three years. I’m halfway through that already! Co-workers have already started to ask if I’m looking again and I’m not at this moment. It’s weird to think that I might not be here for a third year and that I’m  planning events that someone else will run. Another weird thing – this is the first job in my life that doesn’t have a set “end” date. This is also something a lot of my friends will be going through around the same time, so I’m glad I won’t go through it alone!

52. Visit a neighborhood in NYC that I have not visited before.

Even though I grew up going into Manhattan regularly, it’s a big place and there are plenty of areas I’ve never visited! When I was younger, I’d go wherever my parents wanted to go. As I got older, I sort of created a “routine” for going into the city – head up 5th Ave to Central Park then wander around the Upper East Side. I don’t have any plans to go Manhattan anytime soon, but next time I do, I’ll be sure to ask for suggestions!

53. Buy my dad Yankees tickets for his birthday.

My dad’s really into sports. Football and baseball are his favorites, but he willingly came to hockey games with me all through high school. My dad and I do not see eye-to-eye on football teams (Go Patriots!) but we DO share a favorite baseball team. My dad’s birthday is also just days before baseball season starts. There have been a few years that I’ve looked into getting him tickets for the home opener, but I can’t afford that. Sorry, PJ. However there are a bunch of other games each season that I’m sure he’d be happy to receive tickets for…I also want to see the new stadium…yes that’s how long it’s been since I’ve been to a game.

55. Watch the entire series of “Friends”.

One of my neighbors was really obsessed with the TV show “Friends” when we were in middle school. I watched a few episodes here and there so I had something to contribute to the conversation. She was also obsessed with Backstreet Boys but that was not a path I was willing to travel. I’m sure that I would appreciate the show much more now as a twenty-something. Is it on Netflix? I don’t think it’s on Netflix…that means I have three and a half years to find the DVDs and watch it.