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My Bucket List

There’s a new show on MTV called The Buried Life, a refreshing change to the over-the-top “reality” shows you normally catch on that channel.  It’s basically a group of four Canadian guys that have made their own bucket list of things they want to do before they die. But, for every item they cross off their list, they help a stranger with something they need. The show has only had one episode so far, but it inspired to me to make my own (much shorter and less ambitious) bucket list. It’s pretty short for now, but I hope to add to it and, obviously, cross things off over time!

  1. Open my own cupcake bakery with my best friend, Alyson!
  2. Visit as many countries, on as many continents, as possible (already 14 countries and 3 continents down)
  3. Learn a foreign language and actually use it
  4. Go skydiving!
  5. Live abroad for a year
  6. Meet someone famous
  7. Visit all 50 of the United States
  8. Learn how to surf
  9. Write something that actually gets published (article, poem, book, anything!)
  10. Learn a sport and not suck at it (I’m thinking tennis or badminton or something)
  11. See the Northern Lights
  12. Swim with dolphins
  13. Do something great … I’m not sure what yet, but I want it to be great!
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Unity in the midst of tragedy

The earthquake that ravaged Haiti less than two days ago is, without a doubt, a tragedy to rival Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Thailand. All left massive death tolls and devastation unmatched by other natural disasters, but they all share one positive outcome — unity. Despite people’s race, religion or political views, everyone knows when to put aside their prejudices and pitch in for the greater good. More than $5 million for relief efforts has been raised through the Red Cross $10-texts, amazing proof of the care and concern for the victims suffering in Haiti.

But it’s funny that it seems to take an earth-shattering tragedy to get people to agree on anything these days. Most are willing to drop everything and give as much as they can when tragedy strikes, but are at each other’s throats when it comes to the Leno/O’Brien debacle at NBC. Heaven forbid a Democrat and Republican agree on anything about healthcare or gay marriage, but they’ll join hands to rebuild a fallen city. They say “it takes a village,” but why can’t that same mentality apply to other problems in the world, not just in the immediate face of tragedy?

Millions of people suffer all over the world, every day, but unless something reminds us of those problems they go unnoticed. Haiti is one of the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped countries and nearly 80 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty. Did millions of people give time and money to help the Haitians that have endured suffering for decades? No, it took a natural disaster to bring the country’s problems into the public eye.

It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes the world to rebuild a devastated country and its people. As the relief efforts continue, we should all keep in mind that Haiti is not the only country experiencing tragedy and troubles and that our efforts to restore peace and health should not stop here.

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New Camera!

My awesome sister got me the coolest Christmas gift ever this year — a fisheye camera (thanks, Beanie)! I’ve always thought they create the most interesting/artistic pictures so I found a cute, cheap one I could just play around with. Now, I’ve never actually used one of these before so my first roll of film was totally experimental, but I just got it developed yesterday and wanted to share some of the better ones!

Gazing ball

Front yard foliage

Chairs, of sorts

Goat

Garden retreat

Mini horses
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“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs”

I like to think Ansel Adams was right when he said, “there are only good photographs.” I’ve always loved photography, but have never really been good at it or pursued it like I wanted. Some of my best friends are great photographers and I’m always a little jealous of their sweet cameras and amazing photos. But while looking through some pictures on my computer, I realized some of them weren’t half bad! So I picked a few of my favorites, tweaked them a little and here are my “good photographs.”

St. George, Bermuda

Heidelberg, Germany

London Underground

Botanical garden in Bermuda

Mini-horse

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A New Year

Well, it’s been about a year since I’ve actually used my blog, so I figured I’d try and get back into the swing of things. Since I don’t really have anything exciting to write about 2010 (yet), I decided to rip off an idea from a few of my friends and take a look back at my favorite memories of 2009, and maybe look forward to the great things I have planned for 2010!

2009: A Year in Review

  • Study Abroad was by far the best part of 2009! Exactly a year ago I was galavanting around England, Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria with a group of amazing friends. Over the course of Elon’s Winter Term (the month of January) we visited 12 cities, in 4 countries — all in only 21 days! Although it was probably the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced, it was also the most amazing 3 weeks and at this very moment I’m dreaming of gluwein and schnitzel and all the wonderful memories.
  • Working at The Pendulum was also a great (and exhausting)  part of my year. I started out working as a lowly copy editor during my sophomore year and at the beginning of my junior year was named Copy Chief (aka ruler of the lowly copy editors). Copy editing is a thankless job, and sitting in that office for hours on end on Monday nights got a little frustrating at times, but I made some awesome friends in my two years and learned SO much about journalism and AP style that I could edit a newspaper in my sleep!
  • Over the summer, I had an internship with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. I can’t even begin to explain what a great opportunity this was, and I honestly enjoyed every minute of it — even the entire week I spent standing in front of the copier and making 800 press kits. I got the chance to write press releases, put together programs for the symphony season and attend/plan promotional events. It made me realize what I really want to do once I graduate — public relations for a non-profit arts organization.
  • In July, I celebrated my 21st birthday! It was nothing spectacular, but a big life-landmark.
  • Also over the summer, I enjoyed a 2-week road trip with my family. We drove all the way up the east coast (literally — Florida to Connecticut and back). We visited family and friends and colleges for my sister who is a senior in high school.
  • And last but not least, I started my final year at Elon University. Registered for classes for the last time, took my senior capstone and had a great time!

2010: A Year to Look Forward To

  • My last semester at Elon! It’s a little scary to think that I only have a few more months until I enter the “real world,” but I definitely think I’m ready to move on to something new.
  • In April, I’ll be going to New York for four days to see my sister perform at Carnegie Hall with her high school chorus as part of a huge concert. I’ll stay with my aunt and uncle that live outside the city and get to support my sister in her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
  • Come May 22, I will officially graduate with all my friends from Elon!
  • About a month later, I’ll head overseas for a 2-week European adventure with my family! We’ll be staying with family outside of London, with two side trips to Scotland and Belgium (happy graduation to my sister and me)!
  • And finally (and this is just a hope as of now), I’ll get a job and start the next chapter of my life!
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