The Fast Track

Life as a busy college senior

Peace Mob


As my senior year winds down, I have been making an effort to be spontaneous and try new things. I have generally had a “why not” attitude with events happening on campus. Last week I got an email asking if I wanted to be a part of a peace mob. And I thought why not?

The email said the inspiration for the peace mob was a flash mob. I have ALWAYS wanted to be part of a flash mob. A flash mob is when a group of people plan a choreographed dance. Then, they meet up at the same place and pretend like they are meant to be there. All of sudden they start music and break out into the choreographed dance. How fun does that sound? So when I saw the email I got really excited.

On Wednesday, a group of more than 100 students gathered and formed a big peace sign on the University Green. Photo Services took pictures from the Bell Tower and it was even filmed from the Bell Tower. Then, they played music and we moved to a different part of the peace sign. Lastly, the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, who organized the event, gave a speech to end the peace mob. Afterward, there was also a peace fair.

The woman who gave the speech talked about how the Center has tried to organize an event every April. A couple of years ago, I participated in Paint 4 Peace, which was a fabulous event. Several violent acts have happened in April, such as Columbine. The speaker said that we should each promote peace and nonviolence in our lives and that together we can accomplish amazing things, such as forming a giant peace sign.

The weather was beautiful and I even got a button that said “BSU 4 Peace.” It is wonderful to be a part of a university who supports peace and organizes fun events to promote peace. Below is a picture of the peace sign, which was taken from the Bell Tower. If you have questions or want to share an interesting way that you promoted peace, please comment. I have also included a link to the Daily News story below.

A picture of the giant peace sign. I am in the top right area of the circle :)

A picture of the giant peace sign. I am in the top right area of the circle :)

Find the Daily News story here

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A lesson in humanity


I have seen several speakers at Ball State, most of them having to do with my major or my previous major. I gained valuable knowledge from all of them and consider myself lucky to have attended them. However, on Wednesday I saw a speaker that gave me a lesson in humanity and pertained to all students, despite their major. His name was Frank Grunwald. Frank survived the Holocaust and came to speak at Ball State at a lecture called “My Holocaust Journey.” I was lucky enough to attend his lecture and I am incredibly happy I went.

Frank’s story is an inspiring one about survival. I will briefly detail it here. His family was sent to live in Auschwitz. In Auschwitz, he met and shadowed an artist named Dina Babbitt. His life was saved in Auschwitz through the connections he made through Dina. He then went on several death marches and lived in several other concentration camps. He lost his mother and brother in the Holocaust, but his father survived.

I believe that Ball State has prepared me professionally for my career. I also believe that Ball State has also helped me prepare for my future life outside of my career. I feel incredibly honored that I got to hear a Holocaust survivor speak. It was a rare opportunity. Call me old-fashioned or a history-nut, but I think awareness of history is key. I think everyone should be aware of what happened during the Holocaust so we can do our best to prevent it in the future. If I have children, I will definitely share this experience with them. I also wanted to share one of my favorite Holocaust quotes with you.

“First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me,” Pastor Martin Niemoller.

This quote embodies speaking up for what you believe in. As cliche as it sounds, I think Ball State has helped realize what I believe in and encouraged me to speak up. There are several organization you can join on campus to express your beliefs. In class, I am encouraged to be a free-thinker and apply what I have learned. I think Frank Grunwald’s presentation was an excellent lesson in speaking up, survival, and the power of people.

Below, I have posted some pictures of his presentation and a video of some key points in his presentation. Some of the pictures are gruesome, as is some of his story, so be warned. To see the video, you have to click the link at the end and it will take you to youtube. I encourage all of you to learn more about the Holocaust and find out what you believe in. If you have any questions or comments about the presentation, feel free to comment!

This is a picture of the sorting area at Auschwitz

This is a picture of the sorting area at Auschwitz

This is the type of barracks that the Czech family camp members stayed in

This is the type of barracks that the Czech family camp members stayed in

An example of the starvation that took place

An example of the starvation that took place

What the Americans found at the last camp Grunwald was placed

What the Americans found at the last camp Grunwald was placed

\”My Holocaust Journey\” at BSU

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The Dog Days


As the weather is warming up and getting nicer, I find myself sitting in class longing to be outside. Luckily, I have a super cute dog that I love to walk on campus. Her name is Audi and she is a terrier mix that I got at a shelter. I love exploring campus with her. I look around and she sniffs around. So I thought I would share my favorite spots to walk on campus. With or without a dog I think these places are pretty nice. And who knows, you might be lucky enough to run into someone who will let you pet their dog. One of my favorite places to walk on campus is behind Park and then in between Dehority and Woodworth. Park has a beautiful waterfall behind it. You can sit out and study by it or even have a picnic. Between Dehority and Woodworth there is a fish fountain that I think is really cool. And Audi loves to take a drinking break there. There are always people sitting on blankets or throwing a football. To me, it embodies the best parts of college. You can hang out with friends in the nice weather and get a break from the stress of school.

While I enjoy the library on a rainy day in which I have to study, I really enjoy getting some fresh air around campus. As the weather gets nicer you will see people planting flowers. Campus is beautiful in the spring! Below I have a couple of pictures I took. The first is a beautiful picture of the sky. I took it when I was walking by Woodworth. And the other is of my dog. I took that one in front of Woodworth. So I say stop reading this blog and go enjoy the beautiful weather and our campus! If you want any other advice on great places to walk, just comment!

beautiful picture of the sky on campus

my dog Audi

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Spring *Break*


Ahhh Spring Break. It has arrived and left. What a wonderful time. In this blog post, I wanted to emphasize the break in Spring Break, hence the title. I would be lying to you if I told you that college isn’t overwhelming and requires hard work. However, we have little things set up, like Spring Break, that add some relief and make college great. Several of my friends graduated last year and jealously read all of our Facebook statuses proclaiming the joy of Spring Break. I had a mountain of work due before Spring Break. I worked tirelessly the whole week to get it all done and score well on my tests. But I did and I got through it. And on that Friday afternoon I was so proud of myself. And I enjoyed 10 days of no homework, stress, or worrying. I came back refreshed. I got sick for a couple of days over Spring Break and it was a great excuse to lay around and be able to do nothing. It was amazing and I was well enough to catch my plane for vacation after that. So this year I definitely savored Spring Break and was grateful. The Monday after break has been a beast, but it was well worth it for those glorious 10 days. And now I get to enjoy the last two months of college, that I know will be exciting and busy.

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Stack of resources


This week I was thinking about the resources provided to students at Ball State. One that really stuck out to me was the library. I know, I know, super nerdy. Most of my friends would roll their eyes or sigh if they heard me say that the library is one of the best resources for Ball State students. They would think of the countless hours they were stuck in the library working away on an endless project. However, I consider myself lucky to have such a great resource on campus.

The first obvious resource that the library provides is a collection of books. I have rented textbooks from the library and saved so much money. I have also checked out books for my research papers. You can easily search for books on the library’s website, write down the number, and retrieve it at the library. You can also renew your books online. And it’s not just boring books at the library. I have checked out many bestsellers to read for fun.

The next resource the library provides is a quiet place. If you need a place to study away from your TV or roommates, the library is perfect. You can even rent a room and study with your classmates. Student organizations can meet in a room also. And if you get hungry, there is a cafe on the first floor.

Additionally, the library provides technology. If you don’t have a laptop, you can almost always find a computer at the library. You don’t have the Adobe suite on your laptop and you have to use InDesign? Go to the library. I always print my school papers at the library and make copies as I need them. If you are bored, you can rent movies and TV series from the library. I once rented out a season of a TV show from the library. It was free and awesome. Another great technology feature of the library is the website. As I said earlier, you can find books, movies, and TV series that you would like to rent on the website and renew your subscriptions. The website also provides access to several search engines (with your Ball State ID and password). I have used this feature countless times to find journal articles for papers. You can access this feature from the comfort of your own home.

Lastly, the top floors of the library actually have a pretty great view of campus. One of my favorite spots, which incorporates the view, an Apple computer, and a quiet place, is on the 3rd floor by the window that faces the Bell Tower and Architecture Building. It is usually quiet and available. I have some pictures of the view below and the staircase in the library. So if you want to steal my spot, go ahead, just save a spot for me because I would much rather be in the library today than out in the terrible sleet/snow/hailing weather.

view from the 3rd floor of the library

view from the 3rd floor of the library

The Naked Lady (common meeting place) and staircase in the library

The Naked Lady (common meeting place) and staircase in the library

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Fighting February


I always say that February is the worst month of the year. January flies by because we are only in school for half of it. Then, February drags by as a frigidly cold month in which we impatiently wait for Spring Break (the beginning of March). After Spring Break, the rest of the semester moves fast. We really only have a month and a half of school after Spring Break.

This February played hard too. It gave us an iceaggedon and extremely cold temperatures. Walking on campus is less than fun. However, I am holding out for spring. Spring at Ball State is beautiful. Several workers spend hours planting beautiful flower and all the snow is melted. Last summer, I took summer classes. I loved it. Everything was so beautiful and peaceful. My class schedule was less stressful and I could walk my dog on our beautiful campus. I got to see all of the new freshman at orientation getting pumped for college. It was one of the best summers I have had. So for all of you who are struggling through February like I am, remember that spring is just around the corner. And spring is a beautiful thing. Also, if you are a prospective student, I highly recommend a campus visit in the spring!

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Lesson learned


So I know I have taken a long hiatus, but life has crazy and I was on Winter Break. Now that I am back, I just wanted to share something with you that I have learned while at Ball State. My lesson is that hard work pays off. Now I know what you are thinking: how cliche. However, my endeavors at Ball State continue to prove this to me. As an example, I want to talk about my experience in clinic last semester.

For those of you who don’t know, my major is Speech Pathology. I love my major and I love Ball State’s program. One of the wonderful things about Ball State’s program is that they allow undergraduate students to work with an actual client. That’s right, last semester I got to work with an actual client at the Ball State Speech Pathology Clinic. Now I won’t lie to you. Clinic is challenging and very time consuming. I spent countless hours last semester preparing to meet with my client each week. However, at the end of the semester it was completely worth it. I wrote a report about my client’s progress and presented it to him at the end of the semester. I got to show my client well he did and see the impact my work made on his life. It was amazing to see the difference one semester of work made. Now, as I start my second semester of clinic, I have some inspiration to get me motivated! If you have some examples of how hard work has payed off in your life or questions about clinic, please comment!

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College stress = worth it


As the stress levels reach mountainous highs for college students these weeks I thought I would write a small post about the perks of being in college. I sometimes get wrapped up in all the work and stress of college, as do many other students, that I start to take college for granted. When I step back and look at my college life, I realize I have a lot to be thankful for and that being a college student is great.

This morning I turned on the TV and saw that several high schools had two hour delays. I then remembered that I have two hour delays every day, it’s called college. My first class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays is at 10 a.m. My first class on Tuesdays and Thursdays is at 9:30 a.m. My freshman year of college, I didn’t have class until 11 a.m. What a life. In high school I had to wake up super early. Once I’m an adult, I will have to be at work earlier than that as well.

Yes college is harder, but we spend less time in class. The average high school student spends about 35 hours a week at school. Depending on your credit hours, the average college student spends between 12-18 hours in class. And when I’m not in class, I don’t have to eat in a cafeteria, I can go home to eat if I want. I have so much more freedom.

My next perk is about breaks and finals. During finals week, college students don’t have any classes, only finals. In high school I spent countless hours in a class during finals week for no reason. This semester, all of my finals are optional or we are taking them before finals week. Usually, we have three weeks for winter break, which is one week longer than high school students. However, I have a month break because I have no finals during finals week. I just have to get through this week of stress and I’m done. We also start later in the year than most high schools and get out for summer break a month before high school students.

High school students have many more snow days than we do. Delaware County basically has to shut down for Ball State to cancel classes. However, if classes are canceled, we don’t have to make it up. We will never have an extra month of school because we had a bagillion snow days.

Sure being a college student has it downsides. It can be very stressful. However, when I stop and think about it, being a college student is amazing. I have it made. And with that note, I will be savoring my winter break and my last semester of college.

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Turkey Break


Since I started college, the meaning of Thanksgiving and all of my holiday breaks has changed. When I was in high school, I couldn’t wait to move out of my house. I was so excited to go to college and live on my own without my family. As you know, I currently live at college. I love most of the things about not living without my family. I can sleep in as late as I want without my family waking me up. I decide what I want to eat instead of depending on my mom to make it. I can come and go as I please and I don’t have to tell anyone (besides occasionally letting my roommates know). I love that I have my own apartment and my own room to decorate exactly as I want.

However, I always find myself counting down the days until break. Even though I love college and I love living on my own, it has made me appreciate home. I love coming home on break and actually living in a house, not a dorm or an apartment. I love that my mom cooks for me and I don’t have to clean any of the dishes. It also makes holidays special. My holiday breaks are the one time of year that I don’t have to stress about homework or work and I just get to relax with my family. This break, I got to spend time with my little sister and bake with my family. My family loves to make sweet things in the kitchen and I got to indulge in that this break. At the end of the break was I ready to go back to my apartment and college life? Absolutely. But did I love my break from school and my time with my family? Definitely. Sometimes, it takes time away from your family to cherish those holidays and breaks even more than you used to.

Now I have to put my serious pants on because these next two weeks between now and Winter break are going to be absolutely crazy. As all my classes are wrapping up, I am trying to wrap up all of my projects, tests, and finals. Wish me luck and I hope you had a great holiday as well!

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A very presidential semester


As a student at a university, you should know about the president of your university. Before I came to Ball State, I saw President Jo Ann Gora on TV commercials talking about the university. Then, I became a student at the university and she was sort of a celebrity figure. How many people do you know that are in charge of at least 20,000 students and several employees? I have seen her from afar before, but I have never had the pleasure to meet her, until this semester.

My extracurricular endeavors this year have led me straight to the president. During Homecoming, I introduced her at the and Alumni Awards Dinner. Before the dinner, I was lucky enough to meet her with a couple of other students. She was extremely nice and of course, very classy. I was so excited to meet such an important figure at our university.

Then, about a month ago I received an invitation to attend a reception at her house. The invitation was extended to the presidents of every organization on campus. I met several great students and I got to see the president again. Her house is of course beautiful and you can take a virtual tour on the Ball State website. Seeing her house reminded me that she has a family and interests just like me. I loved her library, it is huge and gorgeous. She had several keepsake items from her travels. It was definitely interesting to see the mementos she has collected.

About a week later, I received another invitation to the Bracken House for all 2011 graduates. I plan to attend that reception as well! I think it is awesome that a woman who is so busy takes time out of her day to meet with thousands of students. That is one of the things I love about Ball State, as a student I truly feel valued. I don’t just feel like another number. Instead, I feel so important. The president of the university wants to meet me because I am involved and I am graduating. I think it’s extraordinary and hats off to the president.

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