Today we start our training for tagging and collecting samples of loggerhead sea turtles. I have never been so excited in my life! I have been on Bear Island for 4 days now, and I already feel right at home. There are 3 other interns here with me, all boys (Jeremy, Caleb, and David). Jeremy is the only one with experience, and he is sort of the father of the group it seems. But everyone has been really helpful and we all work as a group!
The day I arrived, Saturday, they found a washed up turtle on the beach that was unfortunately dead. This is the turtle we will be doing our training with. I am excited to see how big these turtles get, but I wish my first wild turtle would be living and not dead.
I will be sure to keep everyone updated on my journey through this wonderful internship in Swansboro, North Carolina!
I’m officially an alumni of Augustana College! It’s weird because I think it hasn’t completely sunk in yet. I just wanted to thank all my professors, family, friends and especially my parents for getting me to this point in my life. I couldn’t have gotten to this point in my life without all of them pushing and encouraging me to do my best. I had the best time at Augustana and I’m going to cherish these memories.
To the right is a picture of my graduation cap. I decorated it featuring my favorite building in the U.S., a rose for Sigma Alpha Iota and a picture of my grandpa, so he could be with me on graduation day. It was super fun decorating my cap!
So this is my last blog post for Augustana. If you want to continue to follow my journey, I recently started a blog about trying new things, which you can find here. I am also on Twitter. This summer I’ll be interning for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and then in the fall I’ll be attending Georgetown University to receive my masters in journalism! Thanks to those who read my blog and left comments. I had a fabulous time blogging for the school. Hope everyone has a fantastic summer!
I taped an apple to my ceiling today and waited for hours to see if it would fall on my head and give me a brilliant idea. I stared idly at my wall hoping to learn the secrets of the universe like a Pre-kindergarten level Isaac Newton. After nothing happened I decided to pace around my room for a little saying Spanish Armada in as many voices as I could think of. I noticed on the counter that my roommate Tommy Enke, who I affectionately call “super baby genius”, won a few science awards.
Now I don’t know much about science. The only things I know are what the Frizz showed me on the Magic Schoolbus and anything my TV uncle Bill Nye said. That being said, I have a few things I would love for Tommy to do with his science skills or witchcraft. They’re indivisible.
I would love for Tommy to invent the following things:
Bacon that doesn’t make anyone fat but still tastes delicious. If possible make it easy to call on my phone too in case I lose a slice.
Books that are as enthusiastic about being read as I am about reading them. If I turned the page and Richard Simmons’ voice said “You can do it!” each time, my professors couldn’t give me enough books. More importantly make it so I can choose someone to read it to me while I lay down. It would be awesome if Tomcat could invent holograms like that. Picture this for instance, I’m in bed while Sylvester Stallone is reading me Moby Dick or I’m trying to lift and Ronald Reagan is reading Miami Vice:The Novel.
Invent a way for guys like me to have finesse. Bulls that live in China closets are more graceful than me. When I dance it’s a constant question of whether that kid really hates the floor he’s dancing on and believes there is an imaginary fire OR he’s a human puppet and Geppetto has the shakes. Also, I apologize to all my football coaches and coach Eric Juergens as well for running like Forrest Gump. Not the fast version at the end, but the one with magic shoes in the beginning. I don’t know how Tommy from Omaha would accomplish this but judging by how clean our room is anything is possible.
I think Chimpanzees that are hairless, only wear Jimmy Carson masks, and can only say the days of the week would be pretty cool to have around. That’s on my Santa Claus Science list too Tommy.
If there is a possibility of genetically engineering a 3 month old daughter in the future with: the brawn of Brett Mcwilliams, the poetic wit of TJ Milano, the beard of John Pape, the costume design skills of Sally Kenney, the love of happy meals that Sarah Deicke has, and also the ability to fly over countries ending with “Ussia” that Jenna Hofmann has. Well, that would be just peachy.
Use chemistry skills to make an easy bake oven that makes hot pockets that taste like the ones Great Grandma Alice never used to make. I’m sure she would’ve put rhubarb in them or something cool like trick birthday candles.
I would endorse that in the year 2026 at 3:47 P.M. on September 3rdeth we build a time machine to tell our future selves how ugly they look while we steal candy from our grandkids. Then lets go to the past and wonder how we got awesome girls to talk to us in the first place, also make sure to invest heavily in whatever gets super big in the future.
Finally keep being awesome, I think it’s fantabulous that your hardwork got recognized. I’ve seen you work on homework into the morning while I was up telling ghost stories to myself in the mirror. You go girl.
Only a final reflection paper and a portfolio separate me from graduation! It’s hard to believe that I will no longer be attending classes at Augustana College.
Here is a list of “lasts” I’ve had to endure these past few weeks:
- Last Observer page layout and get-together
- Last oboe lesson
- Last WAUG show
- Last SGA meeting
- Last day of classes
- Last time eating sweet and sour chicken in the CC
- Last time playing tennis with those in Club Tennis
- Last time going to the movies with my roommates
It’s depressing. I hate lasts and good-byes!
Friday night my friend Sarah and I drove to a concert in Hoffman Estates to see You Me at Six, Mayday Parade, Pierce the Veil and All Time Low (Make sure to check out the YouTube videos that are linked!). It was an incredible concert and I had the best time ever! There’s just something about hearing a band live that really is an experience you will never forget.
Then on Saturday morning I took a trailways bus back to school because my roommates I were packing up our house. You don’t realize how much stuff you accumulate until you have to pack it all up. I also saw my big from Sigma Alpha Iota, whom I haven’t seen in two years, so that was super exciting! Then at night we went to watch one of my roommates in her senior recital. She plays violin and it was so nice hearing her play! Despite the fact I’m in Sigma Alpha Iota, I don’t really attend many recitals, so it was nice hearing all the seniors I know play their instrument or sing. We have some super talented performers!
Sunday was the Marini Swingers Spring Showcase! This was my favorite part of my weekend. I had never done Martini Swingers until this term. Winter term, one of the members told me how much fun it was and said they were doing a dance to the cell block tango from the musical Chicago - I was sold.
For about eight or so weeks, I’ve learned the tango. I was in two dances for the spring showcase: the regular tango and the cell block tango. I’ve never learned tango before, so I was pretty excited (and nervous). Honestly, I wish I had joined Martini Swingers my freshman year instead of the spring term of my senior year. Who knew I actually enjoyed dancing? It was so much fun and I met a lot of awesome people!
The show on Sunday went really well. I messed up a little bit in the normal tango but apparently no one could tell. Although there isn’t any footage of my dances on YouTube yet, here is a link of the cell block tango from one of our rehearsals.
And here is a link to my favorite dance from the show, the waltz! I can’t help but squeal because this is just so adorable. It’s like watching a surprised kitten. There really is a YouTube video for everything.
I used to be one of those people… You know, those suburban people who complain bitterly about the small-town feel of the Quad Cities. There’s nothing to do here, it’s a dead town. Boo hoo. I’m so bored.
Then I met some people who’ve actually lived in the area, and they very quickly corrected that notion. There’s a ton of stuff to do here–Rozz-Tox, various theatres putting on shows, local music. Then my problem became that I didn’t have the transportation to get anywhere. I still haven’t solved that problem, but I do want to talk about some volunteering I’ve done for my Sociology class on citizenship.
Did you know that the Rock Island and Moline have a pretty big refugee population? I didn’t. Then my Sociology professor gave us the option of volunteering at Casa Guanajato, an organization that contribute to the development of the Latino population of the Quad Cities, or Blackhawk College’s ESL program at the Church of Peace in Rock Island. I figured I’d leave Casa to the people who actually know Spanish, and decided to go with Blackhawk’s ESL program.
I’ve been volunteering there since week 2 of this term, and it’s been a wonderful experience. The women (the first man I saw at the program was there last Thursday) are mostly Burmese, though there is one Latino woman, one woman from the Middle East and three or four African women. Since I go in on Thursdays, I’m with the higher-level students, the ones who actually have some English. They’re working on things like reading prescription labels, expanding their vocabulary and writing short notes to people.
Every week, though, there’s some time set aside for reading. The teachers cart in books from the library (we’re talking Dr. Seuss and children’s books), which the refugees read silently. I usually sit with the ones who need the most help, and explain words and pronunciations to them when they ask me. I’ve had to come up with explanations for words like “both” and “trade” and “trick,” and phrases like “time passed.” It’s been pretty humbling to think about how difficult it would be to survive in the US without basic English.
Yet it’s incredible how much the women have improved in the two months that I’ve been volunteering. There are some who would barely speak when I got there. Now, they’re reading The Cat in the Hat like old pros. They’ve also become much more friendly since I started, and more comfortable asking me questions. At the beginning, I’d be sitting at their table while they chattered away in Burmese or Karen (that’s a language, not a name), pointing to different words in their books. Now, even if I’m working with one woman, they know they can interrupt to ask a question.
I’d really like to continue volunteering there next year, even after my class is done. I don’t know if that’ll be possible, because I will be taking four classes during the fall and winter and studying abroad in the spring. Also because the bus journey there and back takes about an hour. Currently, a girl in my class who volunteers at the same time as I do gives me a ride, and it’s an under-ten-minute drive. But I’ll figure it out. This Thursday will be my last day volunteering at the Church of Peace this year, and I’ll be sorry to say goodbye to the refugees and the teachers.
I had the best weekend of my whole entire life this weekend. There were so many hugs and smiles and friends. To say it was magical would be an understatement. It basically started on Wednesday night when my friends and I went out to dinner at Blue Cat and then sang karaoke. I also registered for classes at Georgetown! Then on Thursday we had the Political Science Department senior awards dinner. I received the Outstanding Political Science Major Award, which was a real honor.
Then Saturday was Sigma Alpha Iota and Phi Mu Alpha’s formal and to say it was fantabulous would be an understatement. It was 1920′s murder mystery themed, so I had fun dressing up. We went to Bennigans for dinner, which was the same place my roommate and I went for our freshman year formal dinner. Funny how things come full circle. Formal was at Jumer’s Casino and was so much fun! We tried the slot machines and I won 79 cents which was pretty awesome.
Then on Sunday I started out my morning with initiation for Sigma Alpha Iota. My littles are now actives, which is so exciting. After that I went to the Fourth Estate Awards Banquet for the MJMC department. I won the Outstanding Interpretive Writing award and the Richard Whitt Memorial Outstanding Journalism Award, which was a nice way to end my time with the paper.
After that, it was back to Sigma Alpha Iota for our Senior Farewell. I was very proud that I didn’t cry. I was so honored to receive the Sword of Honor and the superlative of “Future President.” These girls have meant so much to me these past four years and it’s sad that I’m officially considered an alumni.
I don’t understand how time has flown by so fast! I’ve done so much these past four years and it’s thrilling to see how far I’ve come. I shall be blogging about my “last times” of everything sometime this weekend hopefully!
Only 20 days until graduation! I cannot believe my time at Augustana is coming to a close. I am filled with mixed emotions. Ever since senior year began I could not wait to receive my diploma. I am still excited, but now the sadness has crept in. A few months ago, I thought, “Oh, I have plenty of time to spend with my friends.” Now there are only 20 days to celebrate and have fun with the people who mean the most to me. Thinking back to freshman year, I really have grown so much. Freshman year was one of the best years at Augustana. That was the year I made most of my friends, learned how to become independent, and tried new things, like joining clubs.
There are so many memories I will never forget: Snow days, dinners in the College Center, late night runs to the C-Store, walking over to my friend’s house, the campus in the fall…the list goes on and on.
These last few weeks will be filled with endless laughter, plenty of tears, and the best friends a girl could ask for
Here’s to making the most of every moment.
Until next time,
Only sometimes? Yes, only sometimes. I confess that I probably spend too much time compaining about how much homework they’re giving me (and when I’m given a week and a half to research and write a ten-page paper at the end of term when I have ten thousand other things going on as well, I feel that it’s justified), but hey, so does everyone on this campus.
But sometimes, there are days and moments when I’m very happy that we have the professors we do at Augie.
Last Friday, for example. I was feeling frustrated about something related to a class I’m taking (and that is all the detail I’m giving, as this is a public blog). One fifteen-minute conversation with the professor solved my problem. Turns out that the professor and I were both equally glad we’d talked. That conversation made me respect and like the professor so much more than I did before.
Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors! They’re human beings too, and they appreciate it when students take the trouble to talk to them outside class! You’ll get to know them better, they’ll get to know you better, and it never hurts to possibly score a reference for grad school/job applications (though that shouldn’t be your primary motive for conversation).