This week I noticed a theme in conversations that surrounded me. The topic of vulnerability came up not only as the subject of a classroom discussion, but also within the confines of a conversation I was having with a friend. While we both agreed and discussed how scary it can be to take that chance to open up to someone in that way, I surprised myself by also adding something else:
“I also think, it’s kind of empowering,” I texted hesitatingly, and ironically for the same fear we were just previously discussing.
I wasn’t sure how I would explain myself, and re- recording probably 5 different voice memos (don’t you love modern technology), I finally got something right. To quote it exactly, this is what I said:
“Being vulnerable is terrifying…but at the same time I feel as if I have surrounded myself with people in college who weren’t as afraid of it as I was. So being able to be vulnerable with someone now feels more of a testament to myself, than a testament to whether or not I can trust that person…” Continue reading “Vulnerability”→
I hope I haven’t already driven past my greatest moments.
I hope there is something beautiful in the horizon That’s just as impatient as I am. Something so eager, It wants to meet halfway. A moment that is diligently staring at its watch, frustrated, Butting at the seams And wondering at the seams And wondering what’s taking me so long to arrive.
Horizon – Rudy Francisco
One of the biggest things influencing me this semester, is the question, “What will I do once the semester ends?”
Truthfully, I have never known what I would like to do after college. All I knew was that I have always had a love for words. I have always had a love for books, but poetry, as I have been expressing lately, is something I really just grew into. When I was younger I didn’t much attention to it. It was stories that that I liked. Nonetheless, poetry has become a rock. Continue reading “Somewhere Towards the Horizon”→
At the end of Fall 2016, we had a workshop creating vision boards for Project MyStory and it was AWESOME! We had a conference table full of magazines, scissors, glue, and various snack ems. Again, I cannot stress how awesome this was.
In mainstream media, many people have been talking about making vision boards. Even Oprah and Steve Harvey have spoken about it! Many people have usually heard of vision boards and there are still a lot of people who don’t understand what they are or their purpose.
First thing, there is no one way to complete a vision board. Vision boards are literally a visual reminder or representation of various things you want to actualize in your life. The goal is to surround yourself with various images of what you want your life to become. You can use magazines, quotes, you can write in words, draw things, put up selfies, whatever you believe would exemplify a goal that you have in your life.
Vision boards can be as large or as small as you want. They can be as broad or specific as you’d like, bottom line IT IS YOUR BOARD, DO YOU! You can have multiple smaller vision boards geared specifically towards various goals that you have (ie. travel, academics, personal life). Continue reading “Creatively Envisioning Your Future”→
The Advisement Services Center will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2017, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The Purpose Of Education by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
Morehouse College Student Paper, The Maroon Tiger, in 1947
As I engage in the so-called “bull sessions” around and about the school, I too often find that most college men have a misconception of the purpose of education. Most of the “brethren” think that education should equip them with the proper instruments of exploitation so that they can forever trample over the masses. Still others think that education should furnish them with noble ends rather than means to an end.
It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.
Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.
The late Eugene Talmadge, in my opinion, possessed one of the better minds of Georgia, or even America. Moreover, he wore the Phi Beta Kappa key. By all measuring rods, Mr. Talmadge could think critically and intensively; yet he contends that I am an inferior being. Are those the types of men we call educated?
We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.
If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, “brethren!” Be careful, teachers!
Let us envision our future and make plans with as many art tools as we can muster up! Finals will be right around the corner and the semester will be over. Let’s get together to get it together.
Ashley Whiteside is a Junior at the University at Albany. She is majoring in Social Welfare and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and is minoring in Education and Africana Studies. Ashley is a member of the Department of Residential Life and loves being a Great Dane. Her theme for this year is “Through the Looking Glass”.
“As you get further along in college it is easy to become less motivated and unfocused. My theme is meant to help all students keep on, keeping on.”
There’s something about beginnings that takes people out of their comfort zone. Starting something new is not always easy and sometimes it can be a challenge; whether you are meeting someone new, enrolling in a new school or starting a new job. However, I truly believe that those moments define who I am. If I spent my life doing the same old things, with the same old people, I would not be where I am today. It’s important to try new things and more importantly different things. It takes a frame of reference to know where you actually are in your life and to realize where you’re going. I could have stayed in school this semester, but instead I branched out.Continue reading “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone”→
Hello. My name is Billy Lang and I am a second year student at the University at Albany. Currently, I am living back in my hometown of Stratford, Connecticut. I have recently been offered the opportunity to pursue an internship in New York City, working as an Intern for the Chief Compliance Officer of Nikko Asset Management Americas. In the upcoming weeks, I will be sharing with you my story. A story that is inspired by education, both in the classroom and on the job. One of the many challenges for college students and graduates is finding valuable experience in the work place. Over the past decade, standards to qualify for entry level positions have been increasingly adding value to internships and relevant experience over degrees alone. As the work force is changing, the way in which I learn must change as well. My blog will about the broad concepts of working with a team, learning by doing, and applying all of the 21st century skills that move businesses and people forward. We have spent most of our life sitting in the classroom, reading text books, and writing essays that will never be read again. Now, I am changing that for myself. I will be spending most of my Spring 2016 working with business professionals who are looking to share their experience and offer their knowledge; these are the teachers that I am looking forward to having. Continue reading “Studying Abroad in NYC”→
This post is for all of my discouraged English majors. I know you have your doubts and sometimes you lose hope but you’re not alone and I suspect that we understand each other pretty well.
I’m going to share a story that might be familiar to you (and not just because I might have shared it before): you might be going through it right now or remember a similar time in your lie. When I first started seriously thinking about college, some time in high school, picking a major was the most uncomplicated detail; I knew I would be an English major. Essays weren’t (aren’t) my favorite activity but I loved reading and writing. It was an easy fit for me. I only started doubting myself when I noticed the condescending tones of “concern” that came from other people when I told them my major. How funny is that? I wasn’t worried the least bit but other people felt like offering me career advice whenever I told them my major. They told me I should do business instead. No thanks. If you really don’t want to do business, then you’re probably going to be a teacher. I’m not going to be a teacher, I’d say politely.
When you tell people you’re an English major, they think you only have two options: change it or be a teacher. When I started doubting myself, I went so far as to ask my advisor if I should consider changing it. She didn’t let me, thankfully (after a good conversation about why I shouldn’t). I’m glad I didn’t. English majors get a bad rep but the truth is that we are in great company. I did some research to show you!
I’m providing a list of 5 well-known and greatly successful people who majored in English for their undergraduate degree! Every person on this list has varying professions in different fields just to show you the wide variety of career options you have for the future.
Barbara Walters: You may recognize Barbara Walters from such popular television programs like ABC’s 20/20 and The View. You may have even seen some of her famous interview specials that include Michael Jackson, Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin, and Monica Lewinsky. But her career started many years ago, long before women were even expected, much less allowed, to have as much airtime as she eventually did. Her career started in 1962 when she became a writer and segment producer for “women’s interest stories” on NBC’s The Today Show. In 1974, she was the first woman on network television to acquire the title “co-host” and eventually she became the first female co-anchor of any network evening news for ABC Evening News. But one of her greatest accomplishments was creating The View, a talk show hosted exclusively by female co-hosts who discuss a wide range of political and social issues. Walters received her English degree at Sarah Lawrence college.
Andrea Jung: Andrea Jung is currently the President and CEO of Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization, “dedicated to helping women who live poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families,” founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Professor Muhammad Yunus. Before Jung’s position at Grammen America, she was the first female CEO and Chairwoman of Avon Products, Inc., a poplar manufacturer and direct selling company of beauty, personal care, and household products, from 1999 to 2012. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University.
Sally Ride:English majors can even travel to space! Sally Ride was a physicist and astronaut. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Physics at Stanford University. Sally Ride became an astronaut after answering an advertisement for the space program in. Though many people questioned her about her gender at the time, she eventually went on to became the first American woman to travel into space aboard the space shuttle Challenger for STS-7. You might be thinking that she didn’t get chosen because of her English degree but instead because of her degree in physics. We may never know exactly why but it’s only important to recognize that your degree in English can lead you anywhere, even beyond Earth!
Steven Spielberg:You may not recognize his face but his name will certainly ring a bell. He is the famed and academy award-winning director of more than 20 films over the course of his career, spanning over 40 years. You’re probably a fan and don’t even know it, as he is the director behind such classic films as Jaws, the Indiana Jones series, the original Jurassic Park, E.T the extraterrestrial, The Color Purple, and War of the Worlds. He is also one of the founders of DreamWorks Studios, the film production label behind movies like Shrek and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. He won the academy awards for Best Director and Best Picture for the film, Schindler’s List, a movie about Oskar Schindler, a man who risked his life and his own money to save thousands of people from the holocaust. Spielberg earned his degree in English at California State University, Long Beach. Though he clearly possesses many different skills, I’m sure his experience with the English major has proven quite valuable to his work over the years!
Diane Sawyer: Similar to Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer is another female broadcast journalist who paved the way for women in television. Her career began as a weather reporter for a small news station in her state of Kentucky. Soon after this stint, she became a White House press aide and then eventually, literary assistant to President Richard Nixon. Sawyer’s big journalist break came as a CBS reporter and correspondent in 1978. In 1984 she became the first female correspondent for 60 Minutes, a popular newsmagazine television program. She has received a Daytime Emmy for Excellence in Morning Programming and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1997. She received her degree in English at Wellesley College.
My message is always the same: a degree in any field is never a sentence to one specific job for the rest of your life. Some people think that an English major will get every door closed on your face. But the reality is that English majors have proven time and time again that their degree offers a unique set of skills that can be valuable for a limitless amount of careers, some you may have never dreamed of. You can be the CEO of a successful company, you can travel into outer space, you can write and direct iconic feature films, and you can pave the way for a new generation and group of people. There is no door that you cannot open. Next time someone gives you that recognizable side eye, show them this article and tell them what’s up. And so they know it’s real, rock one of these awesome t-shirts that you’re sure to love!
UAlbany Class of 2016
Major: English (Honors)
Minor: Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Project MyStory Theme: Dream Deferred Follow her personal blog atwww.EattheCakeBlog.com
If you’ve been following my work, you have heard me talk a lot about “following your dream,” living the life that you want to live rather than following a path that has been set out for you. This could mean a lot of different things depending on who you are and the endeavors you are currently pursuing. This could mean a story that many of us are familiar with: you want to be an artist but you don’t want to be “starving” so you’re enrolled in the business program instead. You want to write “the next great novel” so you chose the English major but everyone thinks you should be a teacher instead. Everyone is in your ear telling you to be “realistic,” some people favor “practicality” so they want to push that on you. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a teacher or earning a business degree and most of these people mean you no harm, but the simple matter is that not all of us have the same perception of what is “realistic” and some of us care very little for “practicality.”
“If you’re anything like me, you want the kind of life that everyone thinks only exists in dreams, the kind of life that people think only happens to others.”
If you’re anything like me, you want the kind of life that everyone thinks only exists in dreams, the kind of life that people think only happens to others. You don’t want the kind of life that you just “get used to.” You want to live exactly the kind of life that you want, doing what you want to. But maybe you don’t know where to start. If you have an idea but you’re unsure of what to do next, this list may be for you. This list may not be for everyone, but I hope that whoever reads this can find something useful to their own life.
Some of you may not want to give something up if it feels more secure and carries less risk. This is totally understandable. Some people dive right in but others need time to figure it all out before they step out of their comfort zone. I will be listing 5 simple steps that you can take to start pursuing your passion today, even while you earn your degree or work your everyday job.
Identify your dream/passion: This seems obvious but it is quite a
significant step. This step can be complicated because some of us may confuse our “practical” goals with our dreams and passions. For example, you may want to be hired to work at a prestigious law firm. This is a wonderful goal to have. But maybe deep down you really
want to open your own firm with your name on it. That is a dream. You might have to dig deep for this one. Some of our dreams have been buried so far down, stifled by external doubts and insecurities, that you might not even remember what once ignited your passions. Or perhaps you already know but you’re too scared to admit it. You’ve been so busy telling yourself that it’s foolish to think about it, that it’s unrealistic to try. I’ll have to use a tried and true cliché for this: Listen to your heart. When you’re doing something that excites you in a way that little else does, tune in.
Gather/Find your “squad”: This step will be different for everyone. For example, when I had the idea to start writing a lifestyle blog, I knew that it would be better if there was a whole team of people to create a variety of content, so I asked my friends one by one if they would be interested in being part of this project. I was lucky because I knew that each of my friends had something special to offer and they were excited to be part of the website.
If you’re trying to create an app, you might need a team of people that can contribute different things like someone to do coding, and someone to design. Or maybe there’s already a team of people that exist (like a student organization) doing exactly what you’re interested in that you can join. Perhaps you prefer to work on your project solo; your “squad” may be people who you admire that you follow on social media or watch on TV. Whoever it is (and however it is), it is important to surround yourself with like-minded people who can help guide you through the process and offer insight and support when necessary.
Find your medium: There is a market for whatever it is that you want to do and that market is waiting for you to reach out to them. It is important to identify the perfect way to reach your market. There are thousands of ways to reach your target audience and it is up to you to figure that out based on the kind of service, product, or whatever it is that you want to provide. I’ll share a few specific examples: If you’re a writer, WordPress is a great place to share your work with others because it’s easy (and free!) to create a website and post content to it. If you’re a makeup artist who wants to film tutorials, YouTube is the perfect place to post your videos, especially because that’s where most people are going to look! If you like to knit hats, scarves, blankets, etc. you might look into selling your products on etsy.com and promoting them through social media. Look around the Internet (or anywhere really) and pay attention to others who are already doing what you want to do so that you can learn more about the field and how to break in and make your own mark.
Invest: This one simple word can be intimidating to many and can seem difficult, even impossible but it can make a big difference in your pursuit. Most of you are college students (and even if you’re not, you’re still on a tight budget) so spending money, especially on something that doesn’t seem that important is not something you want to do. However, I suggest that after careful examination of your passion, you determine what kinds of tools you might need to move forward. If you want to sell or display your artwork, it might be time to move those drawings from sketchbook to canvas. Invest. If you want to make a career out of your photography, you might need business cards to give people your information. Invest. When we started our lifestyle blog, we didn’t want “.wordpress.com” to be our URL. We invested a reasonable amount of money for the more official “.com.” If you need a briefcase, invest. If you need a new suit, invest. Whatever it is, reconsider some of your weekly expenditures, save your money, and find a way to fund your dream when it needs to be.
“A major part of your journey will be believing in yourself and your dream enough that it doesn’t matter what others think or say.”
Spread the Word: This step means exactly what it sounds like. There are people out there who care about what you’re doing, whatever it is. Let them know you’re here! Get involved on social media if that will help your cause. Share your process with your friends and family who are already following you or create new accounts specifically for your project. It will feel good to receive support from others. But spreading the word is even bigger than posting stuff on social media. Spreading the word is a matter of universal energy. What do I mean by that? I know it sounds hokey but it’s really important. A major part of your journey will be believing in yourself and your dream enough that it doesn’t matter what others think or say. Be brave enough to tell your friends and family what you want to do. You may sound silly to them and they might not understand but that’s okay. Let the universe (or God, or whatever you believe in) know that you are ready to pursue your passion. Put that energy out into the world and you will see how everything seems to conspire in your favor (certainly not all the time and not always in the exact way you want, but enough to propel you forward). When you start speaking your passion out loud, you are declaring that you believe it is possible to accomplish what you want, and sometimes that is more than half the battle.
A lot of what I have written may seem specific to people with creative inclinations or people who are interested in entrepreneurial pursuits because I myself am part of that field. However, I think there is a way that each step can be interpreted and molded to fit anyone who is seeking an alternative career or lifestyle. I hope that this list can help you make sense of what you’re thinking and has inspired you to move forward with any ideas that intimidated you before. Good luck with your endeavors. Believe in yourself, and work hard to achieve your goals every day!
UAlbany Class of 2016
Major: English (Honors)
Minor: Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Project MyStory Theme: Dream DeferredFollow her personal blog atwww.EattheCakeBlog.com