Top 5 Memories of My First Year of Grad School

So its technically not completely over, but I just have an online test left, so close enough!!  I thought I would share a few of my favorite memories from my first year of grad school!! It has been quite a year, but I wouldn’t have traded it for ANYTHING!!

This is a pretty recent memory!  My mom (the total babe in the black!) wanted to go to Blue Man Group for her birthday so my dad, my sister (the babe in red), my mom and I (the babe in yellow) had a fun-filled weekend in Orlando.  It started on Friday with a trip to FL Mall, where I converted my mom and sister into Lush addicts like myself!!  On Saturday, we just hung poolside of the hotel they were staying at all day and then went to Margaritaville for dinner and then to the late Blue Man Show!!  I had already seen it with some friends, but it was just as much fun the second time around!!  Even my dad who isn’t usually into that type of thing really liked it!!

Ooooh Relay!  It was a great bonding experience for my cohort and we got 3rd place overall for fundraising!!  It was for a great cause and we really did have a blast!! Special props to Marissa, Tava, Catherine and myself for sticking it out the ENTIRE 18 hours!!  Jana (the babe in the purple in the front!) was a total rockstar and donated 12 inches of her hair to locks of love!!  Such a sleep deprived fueled fun time!!

MARDI GRAS!!  I was able to check off something from my “bucket list” and had an absolute blast.  The trip was something deeper though, my dad’s family is from New Orleans and I felt like I was more connected with that side of my family while I was there.  The fact that I went with two of my favorite DNZ sisters also made the trip that much more fantastic!!

This picture is when I went to the NASPA national conference in Philly, PA.  NASPA is one of the major professional organizations in the higher education field and it was a pretty awe-inspiring experience to meet and hear some of the top professionals in my field.  I learned a lot and renewed my zeal for this field.  Sometimes with class, my assisstantship and everything else going on, I forget what got me into the field in the first place, which was to help students and help them develop.

Of course all the nights out downtown had to make the list!! Every night either out with the cohort, coworkers, or random visitors was always fun and (mostly) memorable!  I have really started to like the downtown scene and must say that Orlandians know how to have a good time!!

Well I’m off to bed, I have to get up bright and early to watch my first rowing regatta tomorrow!!  It should be fun to support my students, plus Lake Pickett always has great weather 🙂


Today’s 3 Positives

Hello readers!  So I really like the idea of ending each day talking about three good things that happened to me that day.

1. Volunteering at Give Kids the World

I volunteered tonight for the pirates and princess party.  I got to speak in a Disney-esque princess voice all night decked out as a princess and it got to paint hearts, rainbows, stars and butterflies on the most adorable and sweet little girls.  They were complete sweethearts and one girl even asked if I was going to the Royal Wedding, you know since I was a princess and all…

2. Watched Friday Night Lights

My dad introduced me to FNL a couple of summers ago and I just have loved the show ever since.  After I went to FSU, I got REALLY into football and realized that I would have LOVED to live in a town like Dillan where the whole social scene and town revolves around high school football on Friday nights.  Plus it always reminds me of my dad and just makes me feel home-y.

3. Watching Nick Pitera’s “One Man Disney Movie

You cant help but smile while watching this movie and the guy’s mashup, voice, and creative skills are AMAZING!  I always get goosebumps when he sings When You Wish Upon a Star at the end…If youre a 90s kid who grew up on Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, etc it will be a great dose of nostalgia!

Stay Happy 🙂

Happy Earth Day/ Good Friday

Hey everyone!!  I’ve gotten so much positive feedback on my first post, that I’m now fully ADDICTED to blogging, like as I was falling asleep last night, I was thinking of blogging ideas LoL  Anyways so onto Earth Day.  My parents (specifically my madre) had always encouraged “being green” even before it was cool.  Before my little sister went off to school, my mom would NEVER buy pre packaged snacks.  My typical school lunch back in those days consisted of:

  • yogurt in a little thermos bowl with  a lid
  • apple juice/water in a reusable thermos cup
  • an apple or orange
  • either pretzels or mixed nuts in a reusable bag

Back then I was annoyed by the fact that I didn’t have all the prepackaged granola bars and stuff that the “cool girls” had, but now that I’m older, I completely appreciate and thank my mom for teaching me such a valuable lesson.  When I first moved out on my own, it was weird for me to NOT recycle and I can’t wait till I have I “real” house where I can recycle and give back to Madre Earth. 

Now Good Friday has a both good/bad connotation for me.  It has a good connotation because it reminds me from when I was a kid and I participated in living stations of the cross and it was the first time that I really felt close to God.  By participating in the living stations, I just really felt like what it could be like to be a person during JC’s time.  Now it has a bad connotation because when I was in high school I participated in the living stations again, but this time, I was wearing a VERY hot costume and actually nearly passed out in front of the whole church.  Luckily an old family friend came onto the altar and saved me before I actually bit the dust.  But mostly I remember that first experience, thank goodness! 

Happy Earth Day/ Good Friday Everyone!!


So this is my first blog post… eeeeek!!  So what kind of spurred this whole blogging thing was a conversation with a friend of mine about living positively.  In the past, like a year or so ago, I was a super positive person.  I honestly thought there was nothing the world could throw at me that would change my attitude.  But the second half of my senior year in undergrad, a lot of stuff happened that just kinda got me down.  I HATED my teaching internship.  The kids I had were just plain mean and made me completely miserable.  I didn’t get into my dream grad program and I didn’t get my dream assistantship at my second choice.  It just seemed that my bright and shiny attitude wasnt cutting it anymore so my bright shiny-ness subsided.  Well now that I am in a program I LOVE and starting to make a great group of friends relatively quickly(it took me much longer to make a good group of friends in undergrad) I am starting to see the positive side of things.  Being a busy grad student, it’s going to be hard to see “the bright side of things” sometimes, but I’m hoping this blog will help me do that 🙂  To kick off the renewed bright and shiny Katie, I think I’m going to blog about positive things that have happened to me, things I love and tips for the “good life”.  So to keep today’s theme of “be positive” here are 3 things that made me happy today:

Ok, so I know this is super girly, but something that made me super happy today was my outfit.  I wore one of my favorite summer dresses and it just made my day feeling so spring-y and dressed up.

So sometimes class can be super annoying, and tonight was no exception, but my group kinda rocked a presentation and our teacher seemed to really like our project that we did.

Ok, so I know this seems a little ridiculous, but I don’t delete songs from my iPod, like EVER! So on my ride home tonight, a lot of O-Town songs were coming up and it really brought me back to like early HS and just reminded me of summers that would last forever and gushing over Ashley Parker Angel and thinking that they were boy band GODS!  I’m actually thinking of making a boy bands playlist for this summer to make summer classes more fun!