Saying Goodbye…for Now

April 29, 2013

I’m sort of weird. I kind of enjoy goodbyes. I can be a super emotional person and I appreciate the opportunity goodbyes give me to express how much I love and appreciate a person. People don’t always listen to my emotional “I love you”s until they understand how genuine I am…and goodbyes are that time when they listen, they understand. It’s a sweet time that isn’t always provided for in day-to-day life.
This year I’ve gotten super involved with the international community on campus…something that has truly made my experience at Mason thus far and blessed me beyond what I’d ever expected! Beginning my involvement with English Corner, however, I hadn’t really thought much about the fact that most international students are here for just a semester. Before I knew it, I’d become best friends with a guy from Taiwan who is leaving in less than two weeks. It’s a scary thing to realize that I might not see him again…this is one my hardest and sweetest goodbyes yet.
In these last 2 weeks, I am trying to enjoy every last moment, to cherish this time with my friends, to hold on to these memories that I never want to forget. Less sarcasm, more heart-to-heart conversations. Hanging out just for the sake of hanging out, not caring where we go or what we do, as long as we’re together. More pictures to help me cling to these memories forever…
My prayer is that these goodbyes will not be for forever, but if not I’m learning to have peace in the middle of this season of goodbyes.

A Matter of the HART

April 28, 2013

The local, no-kill HART Shelter has adoption events at the Chantilly Petco every Saturday, and last Saturday afternoon, I absolutely fell in love with this big guy. Meet Boudreaux (pronounced BOO-Droh) : Total sweetheart, Husky mix, upwards of 75 pounds, & a stone-cold professional Lady Killer.


Well, today the gears in my head were turning fast, and before I knew it I had landed on HART’s website  and was applying to be a foster mommy for him. Alas, I was struck down mid-application by my own parents when I called and told them my fantastic plan. First, I cried because they wouldn’t let me give all my love to him… But then I got inspired! If there was any way to help him, that’s what I was planning to do.

Like I said earlier, HART has these events every Saturday of the year (sans the 2 weeks for a Holiday party and their fundraiser) . I’m planning on going to more of these Adoption Days and seeing where else I can help out in the organization. The planning on this emotional venture is still hot out of the oven, so who knows what else I’ll be doing, but I hope that at the very least I’ll be able to see Boudreaux off to a good family.

Sometimes, by wanting the best for someone or something, they can’t be with you. It’s a tough and recurring lesson of life, but I’m trying to learn. I guess I’m a little shocked that this time around my teacher was a lean, mean, furry machine.

Putting it in the rearview mirror

April 27, 2013

As we all, I am sure know, our freshmen year is coming to a close. To some it is exciting and they are ready to move on but for me (and some others) we are very sad and don’t want to see it go. I literally feel like I just moved in and now they are already telling me “Congrats you’re a sophomore now!” What? Where did my entire year go? I am so upset to be leaving only the best room in piedmont second, my roommate, my hall, my everything. I feel, as freshmen, when we come to college we create a whole new life for ourselves because we have so much freedom and responsibility dumped onto us that we almost have to just to survive. And now we have to leave all of it behind and try to settle back into they old swing of things. As I was packing a few of my things away, I was thinking how hard it is going to be to move out but then I suddenly thought why am I letting myself be so upset when nothing bad is really happening?! I had an amazing freshmen year, and yes there were many bumps and hard times but that is all apart of the experience. I have tried and done so many new thing and I was sad because I thought that leaving where all these experiences took place, I might somehow forget. But in reality the decisions that I made, the fun that I enjoyed , and even the hard times that I pushed through (like procrastination to study for three exams till midnight the night before) I can never forgot that! It’s impossible !!! These memories will always stick with me, and help shape my entire future here at Mason. Even though it will be hard to say goodbye, it always is, I know that putting these good memories in my rearview mirror is going to be okay. So keep calm and know that putting good memories in the past is only a great step towards the future !

Keep Calm & Lead/Volunteer On!

April 27, 2013

As the year is coming to a close and finals are approaching, the clubs and organizations the Leadership and Community Engagement residents are involved with on campus are also nearing to an end. In addition, this LLC only has one class left next week (insert Cleanex wipes). Although this year has been a transitional and self-starting year for everyone, there is much work left to be done. As Piedmont 2nd will all move out, travel back to our homes, start our summer journeys, and let the academia drain from our brains… Let us not forget just how far we have come, but our far we are going to go!


I have full confidence in saying how proud I am of each participant in the Leadership and Community Engagement/Sustainability LLC. This was the first year the LCE LLC was ever executed on GMU’s campus, and I feel we have all been vital in shaping the true Mason IDEA. We are a unique group of dynamic, enthusiastic, and passionate individuals that are all working hard to become leaders on this campus and for our future communities. The skills we have gained this year through the LLC and through our engagement a part of on-campus clubs and organizations or the off-campus opportunities we should not forget to take into our next steps! It has been a pleasure getting to know each one of you on Piedmont 2nd this year, and I will always call every one of you my family.

“I have been changed FOR GOOD.”

Leadership Spotlight: Take One, Bethlehem Addis

April 26, 2013

In March of 2013, I participated in an Alternative Break trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This trip was led by Giulia Manno and Bethlehem Addis. The focus of this AB trip was community activism and education. While on this trip, I developed a special place in my heart for our leaders. They made sure all of the participants, including myself felt safe and comfortable throughout the trip. AB trip leader Bethlehem reflecting on previous trips said,  “leading an Alternative Break trip has improved my leadership skills and has enabled me to grow as a individual. The responsibilities of being a trip leader is rewarding in all aspects.” Being a leader on these trips have caused Bethlehem to grow in more ways than one, which is what AB is all about. This trip has caused her to think outside of herself and realize the true impact community service can have on a impoverished area. When it comes to what inspires her the most on these trips, she explained it was being able to watch participants grow and gain knowledge on the service issue we are working with. Facilitating reflections and spending time with participants really makes the trip complete for me!” Bethlehem clearly gave you a peak into a life leading a AB trip. She goes on to say she gets to have fun on these trips and learn as well, you get the best from both worlds. It is a opportunity that should not be taken for granted.
If you or someone you know is interested in leading a Alternative Break trip for the 2013-2014 school year, apply to do so . You will regret not taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity!


Reflections on Guatemala

April 26, 2013

Are you interested in participating in an Alternative Break trip to Guatemala during the school year? Well Alternative Break trip leader Rachel Nohe has created a web page that summarizes her experience on this particular trip. This web page includes her reflections before, after, and during the trip, pictures, purpose of the trip and history of AB’s partnership with Guatemala. You are sure to learn what AB is all about and the impact of the trip on her after reading this so please take the time to check out her page and be inspired!

Butter Dance

April 25, 2013

This is Melati Suryodarmo, an Indonesian artist who’s ideas are a little more than abstract. This video above is one of her many performances, ultimately designed to explore the relationship found between the human body in terms of the culture in which it belongs and the constellation in which it lives.

But why did I put this on a leadership blog?

I couldn’t help but feel a weird mix of emotions as I watched the video. Beginning with some simple curiosity, quickly escalated to laughter, but then I just couldn’t look away, no matter how many times she fell. I just didn’t understand. The only logic I could apply was that this is what she was passionate about. This is what she felt was the best thing she could do with her time.

I’m beginning to feel like our generation really discourages this kind of stuff. Sure, we’re all about the individual, but when it comes down to it, we’re really all still just trying to fit in somewhere. And as a result I think we lose our passion somewhere along the way. That’s a scary thought.

I find in myself that I’m often scared to express what I’m truly passionate about. Doesn’t make much sense does it? People all over campus are standing up and (literally) shouting about what they’re passionate about. I’m not saying we all need to stand in the middle of North Plaza on a soap box. But really, passion and purpose go hand in hand. Why wouldn’t we be pursuing what we’re passionate about every day of our lives?

So whether it’s dancing on butter or maybe just being the person you’ve always wanted to be. Go do it.

How Do We Stop Climate Change? Party It Up!

April 24, 2013

David Orr brought up a lot of interesting topics in his climate change lecture, “Designing Resilience in a Black Swan World,” earlier this month on April 4th, but one point has still stuck with me: in order to get people to join the fight against climate change, we have to make sustainability one big party! By this, Orr meant that we have to make it fun and exciting, new and innovative. People have to want to get involved and have a great time doing so. And it’s very well possible! Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Leaders

April 24, 2013

In order to make a cohesive group, there needs to be at least some level of happiness.  Read the rest of this entry »

On a Scale from 1 to 10

April 24, 2013

Have you ever been asked how important you think your service work is? Well, I have.


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