One Foot in the Door, One Foot Out

As a senior it’s kinda weird to think my time at UPS as a student is coming to and end in 4 and 1/2 months. 3 years 4 and 1/2 months ago I arrived to Puget Sound a bright-eyed girl from Hawaii ready to be away from home. With the end so near its easy to always be thinking and worrying about the future instead of enjoying the last of my time at Puget Sound. I only have a few more months to contribute to whatever I would be getting involved in, while a lifetime awaits afterwards. Yet I think seniors have much to offer to our friends, and campus community. Many of have experienced life at the Puge for four years. We’ve seen the ups and the downs of the variety of activity and engagement students can have and what a meaningful impact it can have. Most of us remember a time when we had senior friends who inspired and guided us through our choices at UPS. While much has changed if we seek to restore or uphold the spirit of the extra-curriculars we enjoy, we have much to continue to offer as a member, potential leader and friend.

While its easy to see the end of our time at Puget Sound is coming near, its only the end of our time as students. On graduation day, we become a part of a greater larger community at Puget Sound, our alumni who have gone out into the world and do amazing things. They may have been uncertain about their futures, stumbled and fell, but have continued on with the support of Puget Sound behind them, support of the friends they’ve made here and drive for a better future. These months are a time to cherish my time as a student but once a logger, always a logger.

baby logger

 

Добро пожаловать в русский язык

The title, Добро пожаловать в русский язык, means “Welcome to the Russian Language.”

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Stonehenge rocks!

Yes, you don’t have to tell me. It has been more than a while since my last post. Winter break is about to come to an end for me, so I figured I better write something to preface my last semester abroad. My return flight to Russia is on Saturday. Contrary to what you might assume, I’m actually excited to get back to Russia. The way my semester schedules worked out I had a month+ long winter break, and there is only so much time off before anyone may get a little stir-crazy. Yes, daily living can be hard there, whether it’s waiting at the bus stop for the маршрутка in negative degree weather, or trying to find coffee that isn’t acrid espresso. Most of all I’m excited to continue studying Russian in an immersion environment.

Top of London Eye

View from the top of the London Eye.

Quick overview of my winter break: Tay and I spent our first X-mas in London, and our second in Oklahoma over New Years. I say first and second X-mas because the American, westernized holiday is traditionally celebrated on the 25th of December, but in Russia it is celebrated during the first week of January. By this time of year in Russia the weather is so poor and there is so much snow, that everything closes down. People stock up on food and alcohol, and spend that week drinking, eating, and connecting with family and friends.

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas

When we were in England I took Tay to Cambridge to meet two of my sisters and their families. We also met up with my cousin Scott who lives in Bournemouth. We spent a little over half a month there, but London is such a vast city that we both feel we only scratched the surface in terms of things to do. We AirBnB’d a one bedroom flat in Canary Wharf, with the only downside being the 15 minute or so walk to the local tube station. We went to the Houses of Parliament to try to sit in and observe, but unfortunately it was closed to visitors during the times we could have gone. We rode the London Eye, walked through Harrods, went to the London Museum of Natural History, visited a few pubs, and explored as much as we could. We even tried to go get some borsch one night, but unfortunately that restaurant required reservations. It was nice to be greeted with a now familiar здравствуйте (“zdrast-vui-tyeah” formal version of hello).

Kansas

Kansas

We left London on the 27th, and arrived in Kansas. I’d never visited this part of America before, but I think the couple of pictures in this post accurately sum-up what the majority of the midwest is like. We went to Tay’s Grandma’s house, where she put on quite the feast. I got to meet most of Tay’s family including her mom and dad. I ate biscuits and gravy for the first time, which were delicious. Yes, I did get some Chipotle Mexican Grill when I got back to America, and it was amazing.

Midwest

It’s Brad, my future father-in-law.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma

I had someone email me the other day who is about to study abroad, wondering about culture shock upon returning to the United States. We receive diagrams and information packets about the re-adjustment process from the Study Abroad Office and the program administrators, but for the most part my return hasn’t been so dramatic. I have been eating a bit more because I lost so much weight after living in Russia. Other than that, no depression or feeling “out of place.” Maybe it will be different after next semester… As always feel free email me to ask me questions, or to make requests for things you would like me to do and report my experiences.

Пока,

Андрей

Brotherhood

Every fraternity talks about brotherhood.

“We have such a strong brotherhood.”

“Brotherhood is our top priority.”

But what is brotherhood? Why does it matter? Why do we always talk about it?

Brotherhood is the glue the binds the house together. It’s what drives us support each other in all of our activities outside the house. It’s what makes it okay to express ourselves. It’s what makes memories. It’s what is behind every smile. It’s what makes lifelong friends. It’s what makes brothers.

In my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, brotherhood is something we hold above many things. The bond I have with my brothers is so strong that I know it will last long after we all graduate and part ways.

It’s hard to talk about brotherhood. Not because it’s a difficult topic, but because you don’t talk about brotherhood, you show it. Sometimes, brotherhood is more like a feeling than some type of display.

It’s what we feel when we are having a bad day and talk about it with one of our brothers. We talk for hours and hours about everything and anything, no matter the time of day.

It’s what we feel when we spend a weekend night playing video games and watching weird Youtube videos.

It’s what we feel when we just hop in the car and go for a drive for a little while, just quietly enjoying each other’s presence.

It’s what we feel when we’re all watching a movie and heckling the plot and characters.

It’s… brotherhood.

Transportation

To many people transportation means different things but usually for college students wanting their independence that means having access to a car! And as I journey from Hawaii to the Puge for my last semester I’ve been thinking about the different journeys that have brought Loggers to Puget Sound.

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Some such as myself separated by an ocean must take a plane to travel to UPS, while others who are in the closer vicinity may drive or take a train the Tacoma. Those are on the opposite East Coast could decide to drive or take a train but that may be a longer arduous process than taking a flight to Washington. Some have to take multiple flights to reach Tacoma. Yet there are many, in my experience from California that choose to drive/road-trip a few days with some sights with friends to Tacoma. It’s interesting to imagine all the different modes of transportation that bring us together at UPS.

hogwarts express view

Transportation can be expensive and a cost that some may not be able to afford which determines how long it takes them to get to our final destination. Some don’t have cars that they can bring to UPS while others do which means they have to drive up here with their car (at least at first). Nevertheless Puget Sound has people from many different backgrounds and communities that we are lucky enough to be able to come here and build friendships with others from somewhere else.

I have many close friends who I never would have guessed hailed from such far away places, my little in my sorority is from Australia, I have a close friend from Germany where her father is currently stationed at an American base, a friend who lived in England for a few years, a former crew teammate from South Africa, Chicago, Illinois, Rhode Island and even closer than I expected such as my friend and freshmen roommate Olivia who lives down the street from UPS! Despite where we come from and how we travel to UPS, we’re all on our way, or already back and I can’t wait to see everyone again! :)

Summer Immersion Internship Program

Early last Spring, I heard about the Summer Immersion Internship Program (SIIP). It was new program being offered by the Experiential Learning Program and I was bored one afternoon and I decided to look into it. There are perks to the program: you work 30 hours a week, for ten weeks, at a non-profit organization in the greater Tacoma area. There is a $3,000 stipend for the program and on-campus housing. As someone potentially interested in non-profits as a future career, I was intrigued. I scrolled through the different internships offered and a few stood out: Pierce County Chamber, the Museum of Glass, and the Tacoma Historical Society. I ended up attending the mandatory information session, applying, and receiving an internship at the Museum of Glass.

Each week, I worked Monday through Thursday, and then attended the SIIP meeting on Friday’s at 12PM. The Friday classes helped guide the internship process, each intern would talk about what happened during their week and then a guest speaker would come in and cover a workplace issue (i.e., office politics, diversity, etc.). Internships can be challenging experiences and having a network of people who are having a similar experience is incredibly valuable. Moreover, I took advantage of the on-campus housing and was able to develop friendships with my housemates.

Another program specific aspect was the mentorship portion. Each intern was given an alumni from UPS as a mentor and was encouraged to meet with them throughout the program. My mentor, Missy, graduated in the late-2000’s and currently works as the Community Outreach Coordinator for The Geneva Foundation. Missy was an amazing mentor and an amazing person and meeting her, finding out about different jobs in non-profits, was an incredibly valuable part of the internship program.

I will be the first to admit that my internship wasn’t perfect. This is not the fault of the Museum of Glass, nor is it my fault. Some things just are. But even when I was making mistakes and spending hours researching different things,* I enjoyed the internship because of the people I worked with. The first week of my internship, my boss was out of town visiting family, and I grew close to the grant writer, Becky Downey, who was incredibly sweet and made sure I always had something to do. Throughout the rest of my internship, we would talk about the British sitcom Doc Martin and where she and her husband went out to dinner the previous night. My first day there the Executive Director invited me into her office to ask me about my interests and to see if there was anything the Museum could do enhance my experience. Throughout my internship, my boss allowed me to shift my tasks to things that interested me more (i.e., no longer procuring items for Red Hot Auction & Gala and instead managing the online event program, creating invitations for smaller events, and working with the graphic designer to create the desired Red Hot invitation aesthetic).

My internship was generically focused on Special Events; however, the primary focus was Red Hot Auction and Gala, which takes place every September and is the Museum’s largest fundraiser. I mainly assisted in the procurement of items and other small tasks, which shifted as my internship continued.

This is a photo I took of Lino Tagliapietra working in the Hot Shop during the final week of my internship. One morning I took a break from the hectic events world and sat and admired Lino's work.

This is a photo I took of Lino Tagliapietra working in the Hot Shop during the final week of my internship. One morning I took a break from the hectic events world and sat and admired Lino’s work.

 

Having an internship and the opportunity to stay in Tacoma over the summer was an amazing experience. I know interns are crowned as “that one person who makes the coffee run” but that was the antithesis of my experience, the antithesis of the experience of my peers. I didn’t always have a great time, but there was something incredibly reassuring about knowing I wasn’t alone.

Applications for the Summer Immersion Internship Program are coming up soon in 2017. Here are some important dates to know:

Mandatory Information Sessions:

  • Tuesday, January 31, 12PM
  • Wednesday, February 1, 4PM
  • Thursday, February 2, 4PM

Application Deadline: Monday, February 20, 8AM

More details can be found on the CES website, linked here. Details on specific internships offered can be found here.

If you have any questions about my experience with the application process or the program, feel free to email me at: trgraham@pugetsound.edu.

*I once spent multiple hours researching where the Museum could rent a floating champagne dress in the greater-Seattle area for the Red Hot Auction & Gala

This was the result of my search. The dress was a hit at the auction.

This was the result of my search. The dress was a hit at the auction.