Trying to Conquer Summeritis?

By Mimi Mays

During the first weeks of a fall semester, we all feel the buzz of Meredith’s eager and welcoming atmosphere. Strangers we pass on the sidewalk smile and greet us as if we’re the best of friends and syllabus week gives us that innocent excitement about all the learning to come. But fast forward to the last weeks of a spring semester, and it’s a whole different ear of corn…here are just a few tips for conquering summeritis!

1. Procrastination is so last season. Use incentives! Instead of using Netflix to keep you from your work, let it be a reward. Or if you’ve already finished the Gilmore Girls revival (twice), promise yourself a nice cup of tea after 20 minutes of studying. Put your laundry in and challenge yourself to get a perfect score on a Quizlet set before the washer cycle is done…whatever it takes!

2. If you wouldn’t want your nutrition professor to see you eat it, don’t. There’s something about 11:47 pm that screams, “COOK OUT”, but you can’t deny that there are better ways to take care of your body. Science proves that your brain is like a nice car; you’ve got to give it premium fuel if you want it to keep driving. And you can’t drive your brain through finals to get to summer with crummy gas mileage! (Or your car to the beach, come May 12th!)

3. Look forward! But also, look back. If the path to summer feels overwhelmingly challenging, try to think back to when you conquered worse! For first year students, rewinding a year would bring you back to high school finals (yuck), plus deciding on college by May 1st. Maybe you were taking IB or AP exams, trying to find a summer job, or getting ready to say goodbye to all your classmates and teachers. Look how far you’ve come! For seniors, look how far you’ve come! Good ol’Mereco sure has thrown a lot at you over the years, but here you stand. (Or sit. With good posture, for studying’s sake.) If you could do it then, you can do it now!

 

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Where in the World Did Honors Students Go Over Spring Break?

By Mimi Mays

Where in the world

Orlando, FL (purple pin)image1.JPG

Miranda Ameen, Emily Kelleher, Amy Poonnak, and Vanessa Cupil-Garcia spent six days at Walt Disney World and visited all the parks. It was especially exciting for Amy and Vanessa, who had never been to Disney World before! It was apparently a popular destination, too, because they ran into many current Meredith sisters and alumni.

Washington, D.C. (blue pin)

Junior Alexan Bailey spent her break in Washington, D.C. doing service with the National Baptist Memorial Church, helping facilitate a food pantry that takes place every other Saturday morning for the community. She was proud to use her Spanish-speaking skills to make conversation with some Hispanic people that came through the food pantry because no one else was able to speak Spanish. She was able to find this opportunity thanks to her campus ministry, the Cooperative Baptist Student Fellowship, Raleigh (CBSF Raleigh), which was partnering with the UNC branch of the ministry (CBSF UNC) for the service.

When not working, Alexan visited the Smithsonian Museums, the Supreme Court, Chinatown, and the National Zoo. She also went to a presentation from the Baptist Joint Committee advocating for religious liberty in accordance with the 1st Amendment for all religious affiliates (atheist, Catholic, Sikh, Islam, etc.).

New York, NY (red pin)

Freshman Jordan Stellar went on a mission trip to New York City with her church over the break. The first half of the week brought very cold weather, but it warmed eventually!

Durham, NC (green pin)

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Senior Arielle Boland was able to spend her break with her sister, an ECU nursing student, her brother, an App State business student, and her other brother, a Wake Tech engineering student. They had a blast traveling to Durham and visiting Duke Gardens, even bringing their puppy, Jade, along. The park has undergone some new renovations recently, making it a great place to visit with friends or family. Spring has definitely sprung in Durham!

 

Mooresville, NC (brown pin)IMG_9806

Freshman Laura Jenkins and her boyfriend made a 2-hour trip across North Carolina to the Lazy 5 Ranch, a drive through zoo and petting zoo. They fed ostriches, emu, pigs, bison, deer, cows, llamas, and giraffes, got to pet zebras, and saw kangaroos, a camel, lemurs, and peacocks! Laura highly recommends this attraction to animal-lovers—plus the ice-cream shop nearby that she treated herself to afterwards!

Washington, D.C. (blue pin)

Junior Emily Chilton briefly went to Washington, D.C. with her roommate for a few days of spring break, and was delighted to get a Library of Congress library card while there! She did some thesis research in the Newspaper Reading room and also went in the famous Main Reading Room. She’ll certainly remember this “nerd moment” for a long time!

Catalina Island (yellow pin) and Ensenada, Mexico (orange pin)

Freshman Mimi Mays briefly went home to Portland, OR, before departing on a cruise to Mexico with her mom. The two spent a day at sea before docking at Santa Catalina Island, part of the state of California, and spent the next day in Ensenada, Mexico. They got to see La Bufadora, one of the largest marine geysers in North America, and toured the mountains in a rented golf cart. Nachos are much yummier in Mexico, she says!

 

The Correct Thing

img_1708By Mimi Mays

On Saturday the 11th, Honors and Teaching Fellows FOE participants traveled to Sedalia, North Carolina (near Greensboro) to tour the former Palmer Memorial Institute, now the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum. Dr. Brown founded the Palmer Memorial Institute in 1902 at the age of only 19, and Meredith students were able to witness her amazing contributions to African-American history and music education.

Dr. Brown was famous for her no-nonsense attitude and her expectation of the best from both her students and her family (which were often one and the same). In 1941, she published a book entitled The Correct Thing To Do, To Say, To Wear, a compilation of her most important adages and instructions, aiming to prove that “good manners are color-less”.

Here are 7 of Dr. Brown’s most applicable (or humorous) pieces of advice:

  1. Don’t monopolize the radio. Your favorite program may conflict with the favorite of someone else. Be agreeable and take turns. (From the section “At Home”.)
    • Though the 21st century brings different forms of entertainment, the sentiment remains relevant! Whether it be the parlor television or your parents’ Netflix account, share!
  2. Refrain from boisterous talking or laughing. (From the section “At Mealtime”.)
    • For anyone Meredith girl who eats in Belk Dining Hall, this is particularly amusing! Though the rule is important for fancy occasions, I can’t imagine you could get many people to obey it when Meredith pulls out a chocolate fountain for V-day.
  3. If you meet one of your teachers or your principal, stop and say, “Good morning, Mr. Green.” Don’t fling out a short “how do” while you rush on your way. (From the section “At School”.)
    • I’m always delighted to see professors outside of class, and find they usually have something sincere to say. Take your time to greet them, though I don’t think anyone would forgo this rule if they happened upon Dr. Allen!
  4. Be sure that you know when to laugh. DO NOT MISTAKE TRAGEDY FOR COMEDY. (From the section “At the Concert or Theatre”.)
    • Too true, Dr. Brown! Make sure to go and see Meredith Ensemble Theatre’s Once Upon A Mattress next week–hopefully they will tolerate some laughs.
  5. School clothes should be simple and made of materials that resist dirt, that can be easily cleaned, and can stand hard wear. (From the section “Dress for Girls”.)
    • Luckily Meredith t-shirts fit the bill! (Don’t forget to come pick up your new Honors tees!)
  6. In addition to the ordinary transportation from one place to another, [travel] offers a source of learning and appreciating, of improving the mind and satisfying the soul. (From the section titled “Travel”.)
    • Meredith students are so blessed to have so many opportunities to travel locally and abroad to enrich themselves. Don’t forget, fall study abroad applications are due March 1st!
  7. Suggest to your guest a good hour for rising so that she will not get up too soon or too late. (From the section “The Week-End”.)
    • A dorm resident quickly learns that this is good practice for her and her roommate–without motivation, it’s all too easy to sleep past alarms. Keep this in mind as Scholars’ weekend is approaching!

 

The complete copy of Charlotte Hawkins Brown’s The Correct Thing To Do, To Say, To Wear is available for students to read in the Honors lounge, Joyner 115.

Meredith Shirts Get Lonely, Too

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A Meredith student is known for her obsession with corn, her shiny Onyx, and, of course, her endless supply of T-shirts. Thankfully, the Honors Program has a brand new T-shirt coming your way, just in time to fill up that empty space in your closet.

Select Honors Committee members are hard at work planning the 2017 Honors T-shirt. Annie Morin, a member of this sub-committee, states: “The Honors T-shirt committee is in full swing; we meet about once every other week.” Now, I know we’re all dying to see that shirt design-I definitely am-but it’s to remain a mystery until it’s time for the big reveal. However, we’re given a chance to have our voice heard and to play a part in designing the T-shirt. Each Honors student will have the opportunity to vote in a survey for her favorite quote about education to be presented on the back of the shirt.

Sales are tentatively scheduled to begin early spring semester, so be on the lookout! Your other fabulous Meredith T-shirts are in need of a new friend.

Photo source: http://www.mastertees.com/products/33379.jpg

Political convention news

Note: Mary Kolisnichenko attended the Republican National Convention last week with a group from Meredith College. She is in Philadelphia this week for the Democratic National Convention.
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I arrived in Cleveland on Tuesday evening with four students and two faculty members from Meredith College, and we attended three days of the convention. Our group was interviewed by several media outlets, including WRAL and Buzzfeed! Some of the students from our group saw Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Megyn Kelly.
Generally, the atmosphere was astounding! Even though with our guest credentials we sat far from the convention floor, it was incredibly inspiring to see some influential Republicans speaking in front of us. Seeing the audience’s reaction was quite fascinating to me, as I’ve never seen so many people gathered in one place who were extremely passionate about politics and responsive to what was going on. Most of the speeches were very energetic. There were plenty of excited Republicans both inside and outside the arena, as well as folks who wore Bernie tees or held protest signs outside the venue. Nevertheless, the security was just top-notch. Even though I’d had some reservations about my safety at the RNC before arriving in Cleveland, as soon as we went out on the streets of the city I felt 100% safe.
Apart from going to the convention itself, we visited Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, which was totally amazing as I got to see some of the Beatles’ real letters, instruments, and handwritten song lyrics. We also attended some events with the NC delegation, including breakfast with Eric Trump and his wife, Lara.
It was very motivating to see history in the making and make contacts with people from all over the country. I’m very grateful that I have an opportunity to experience this all over again at the DNC this week!

Timeless

Note: Macy Allen is a 2016 Honors Study Abroad Scholarship recipient. She recently returned from study in Sansepolcro.

At first it looks like a kingdom frozen in time.  Well, it is a kingdom—a kingdom left behind from long ago with a wall keeping the history and aged stone buildings in and the hustle and bustle of the twenty-first century out.  Anghiari sits on a hill overlooking the Tuscan countryside as an old king would sit on his throne overseeing his subjects.  Inside the walls of the town, it is a stone labyrinth that anyone who isn’t a local would get lost in.  The roads, which are more like crooked, narrow pathways, climb and dip, wind and turn up the hillside.  Around every corner there is something to explore, whether it’s the first church of Anghiari or the local art museum.  As you walk along the stone faces of the buildings it’s hard to remember that these semi-ancient doors and windows are the entryways of someone’s home.  It is quiet all around except in the town’s main piazza.  There, people gather to watch football and drink coffee while children play in the square.  Shops and florists and grocers and cafes line the piazza walls, welcoming anyone who passes by their door.  The whole atmosphere of this tiny medieval city is the closest thing to a fairy tale in the twenty-first century.

I walk past the busy piazza, stopping to smell the budding flowers bursting with bright reds, pinks, and purples.  I run my hand over the stone walls, feeling the wear of centuries over its smooth, cool face.  The pathways get steeper and narrower as you climb to the top of the hillside.   I pass the Chiesa Santa Maria della Grazie, its broad face looking over Anghiari with a welcoming presence.  Its tower holds the four bells that ring in the hours of each passing day, standing tall against the pale blue sky.

Toward the back of the hill past the church is a little café that sits on the wall.  It is hidden from the main piazza and the only noise that reaches the patio is the occasional bellow of the bells.  I take a seat in an iron chair that has been warming in the sun all day.  The warmth of the chair radiates from the black cross-hatching of the seat and back, my skin absorbing it like the sun’s rays.  I’ve lost the group and I’ve found stillness.  The countryside is made up of patches of olive green and gold quilting over the ground, stitches of cypress trees holding the squares of orchards and fields together.  I pull out my journal and begin to sketch, wanting to capture every square inch of this beautiful valley on a five-by-eight-inch piece of paper.  It is impossible to represent the beauty of this place on a piece of notebook paper, even if I had all day to try.  Instead, I close my little black notebook and sit, letting the peacefulness of this timeless place surround me.

Catarina’s English lesson

Note: Starr S. is one of four 2016 Honors Study Abroad Scholarship recipients who is currently studying in Europe.

This week, I walked into a liStarr in Italianens store in Sansepolcro to purchase souvenirs for my mother and my aunt. The store had many different tea-towels, hand towels, and scented bags. I fell in love with a hand towel-sized linen hanging on the back wall of the store.

The store owner was a middle-aged woman. Her daughter was sitting beside her, writing in a workbook. I tried to ask in Italian if I could have three of the towels I saw on the wall, but I could tell that my skills in Italian were terrible. The owner gave a look of confusion. I then asked if she spoke English and she said yes. After I was able to request the towels, she asked me if I was from the college and if the towels were a gift. I told her yes and looked down at her daughter.

Her daughter seemed to be really frustrated. The mother looked at me and told me her daughter was working on her English homework. I asked the little girl in Italian what her name was and how old she was. She was a little girl named Catarina, nine years old. I sat beside her and asked if I could help. I felt attached in some way to this little girl because as I am struggling to learn Italian, she is struggling to learn English. For her homework, she was learning how to say numbers and colors in English. Fortunately, I knew how to say numbers and colors in Italian and we were able to communicate using this knowledge. It was a mixture of two completely different cultures, but it worked so well, and I made a friend.

As we had finished up and her mother wrapped my towels, Catarina gave me a hug. Her mother put a small scented lavender bag that she hand-sewn in the bag with the towels. She told me it was a gift and that she could not wait to see me again. She told me that if I needed anything, she would come. I left the little store crying. Here I was in Italy, with not a clue in the world about this culture, but I was offered friendship and was accepted into the culture. I was accepted simply for tutoring a young girl about my own culture.

This story tells me that I care about culture and family. It shows that I value other cultures as my own, and that I am happy when I am helping someone else. This has made me so secure in my career goals because I wish to help people in whatever way I can, which is exactly what the purpose of a doctor is.

–Starr S.