Week 3? Week 3?! Week 3!

Hey everyone again!

Let me tell you, it is good to be back. I had a great summer but again, it’s good to be back at RIT! But first, let me tell you about my summer.

I went back home and got to hang out with my family after the school year, and about half way through I left for five weeks…for KODA Camp at Camp Mark 7. I was a counselor this year for the first time. It was quite the change as I had been a camper for eight years as a kid and going back was amazing. I’m hoping I’ll have the opportunity to go back this summer again. The kids I got to work with and the other counselors were great. They are some of my greatest friends. I wouldn’t want to spend my summer any other way.

Now, to the school year. I ended up coming to campus early for RA training before the new freshman arrived. It was fun to see all my old friends again as well as make new friends, too. But before I knew it, the week had flown by and the freshmen were arriving. Amongst those freshmen, my little sister moved in, too! Again, another week flown by and classes had started.

Classes have been great this year so far, although one of which is an 8am class…I am not a morning person but the professor and class are great. I have my 4th year interpreting classes as well as some electives for my Deaf Cultural Studies Minor, which is just as fun. In addition to classes, I also have started working as a student interpreter on campus. While it is hard work, I love it. It’s the first real-world taste to the profession that I have been studying for the past few years. I do some work in classrooms, small meetings, and I even get the opportunity to go on call in case there is an interpreter needed for a short-notice assignment. In just three weeks, I have learned a tremendous amount and can’t wait to fill you all in later about even more adventures!

Sincerely,

Michael Conrad

My Week in a Spin

Hello People!

My week has turned a spin! A fun spin. I was promoted to another level of work and with that, I am able to interact with deaf and hearing people at the library circulation desk! My experience working there was positive. Students and professors were kind and patient. My new job is to find the book for them, give them the call number, and indicate which floor to find the book. Some patrons also come to borrow a laptop, a whiteboard kit, and check out leisure DVDs. We have new furniture to sit on, and guess what it is? It’s a bobbin! I sat on it and swirled in it! Wee hee!

People can sit on it all day and do homework or swirl to have a little bit of fun before heading back to homework

People can sit on it all day and do homework or swirl to have a little bit of fun before heading back to homework

Spin me away!

I live in an apartment for this academic year. I love to cook, even though I kind of don’t feel confidence cooking my own food. I need to relearn it again, and that’s okay. I like to learn! My good friend from back home sent me the most delicious banana muffin recipe. It was so good! I shared some with my friends, and took some for myself as a lunch snack. They liked it !

During the school week, I was very productive, and I am so glad to be back to school. This week my classmates and I learned to use the distillation technique, and made 1x buffer solutions. Organic chemistry is the most challenging course to take. We have to do a lot of math calculations and answer questions online. Especially the lab notebook, I make a lot of mistakes on it and yet it needs to leave it on lab notebook. I had to draw the line through it and put my initial and date on it. Every week we type our lab reports and upload them to the school website that we are assigned to for my courses.

Calculatulated the concentration before making the solution

Calculated the concentration before making the solution

At RIT I am involved with Hands of Fire and Vis Viva Dance Company. Today I went to CRU with the Hands of Fire team to a leadership brunch and we meet with several universities in town. We talked about how we can grow our community and have them involved with us. It was a great way to start our weekend with a warm welcome and free food! For Vis Viva we are doing a jazz routine and I need to practice it. Practice makes it perfect!

Busy, Busy.

I am going to make this quick and short because I have other things to do after this blog!

I am glad that I am back in school because I like to keep myself busy again. Can’t believe it is the end of wee three already. This doesn’t feel like it. Honestly, I feel like this is still the first week of school.

So I recently moved to new apartment. Surprisingly, it is more spacious. I like it better than my old apartment. I am still organizing, cleaning, and selling items to students on campus. Now I am thinking of buying a bike, so I can commute easily to school, but I am broke. It is a good thing that RIT has a bike program, so that means I can borrow a bike anytime I need to get to school and back home. Thank you, RIT, for setting up a bike program when everyone needs a bike.

Anyways It is quite interesting to see old and new faces around on campus. I am sad that I have a lot of homework piling up, tests and quizzes and first exams are coming up next week! But hey, this is college life. You have to learn something while in college. I have a feeling that it is a possibility that I will stay in lab for most times and stay after class to finish experiments for the rest of semester because I am enthusiastic to graduate and go out in the real world and travel.

I have to go now. See you later!

What is Senioritis?

This is week ….. 15? Thus,  my very last blog. So sorry I haven’t been blogging as much, as I’ve been really busy…… having senioritis. The only known cure for this is graduation. However, that’s not necessarily the case for me.

Some of you may know, and some of you may not, but a couple months ago I got accepted to grad school in D.C. for Sign Language Education! This is the perfect program for me since I want to be an ASL Professor. I am more than happy to start my next chapter, but it’s been a challenge maintaining my schoolwork, knowing that I already got accepted. Worry not, my friends, it may have been difficult having motivation, but after all, I am a Polvere and have managed this far. I can do two more weeks.

Before I continue on, how many times can you say you know someone who will be taking grad school courses before graduating as an undergrad? Two schools at once in different locations? Exactly. Only this gal. I will begin my online courses on May 19 as a grad student, and graduate RIT on May 23 as an undergrad. Kudos for me! I am in a hybrid program–I will be taking online courses and on campus courses. I start online until this June. I am so excited to see what D.C. has in store for me.

But leaving Rochester will be bittersweet. Not only has Rochester has treated me well, but I have made a lifetime of memories here. For those of you who are new to Rochester, I highly recommend you to explore and see what’s out there. Go downtown. Go to national parks, like Letchworth or Chimney Bluffs (supposed to be similar to the Badlands). There’s always a bunch of things to do. That’s what the Internet is for. I know that’s one of my few regrets, as I didn’t explore as much as I would’ve liked. Also, please, please take advantage of the variety resources we have available on campus. We really do have incredible services, I can only wish I used it to my advantage more. There are always events happening on campus. I am emphasizing this: get INVOLVED. How often do you get a variety of opportunities being given to you in your face? Only at RIT.

College is supposed to be one of the best four years of your life. It’s the time you get to be “selfish,” and I say this in a positive way. By being selfish, I mean by being able to do whatever you want, simply because you want to. You’re finally on your own and you can make your own decisions and similarly have to take responsibility for all your mistakes and bad life choices. Go ahead and join 10 clubs at once because you’re not gonna be able to do that after college. Remember, everything you do on campus.. is pretty much FREE. How many times can you get to do awesome things for free? Or for a really cheap price? College is a time period where you have no real consequences that will hurt anyone else. You’d be doing yourself a favor, really. Doing things that you normally would never do, is the best thing that you can do for yourself. It’s the only way you can learn about your likes and dislikes and how you want to grow as a person.  

The great thing about RIT, though, is its support system. You have friends, mentors, teachers, advocates, and everyone else that you can think of, all right here on this campus. Take advantage of it and make the best out of that. Because who knows, but it can get you far in life, especially with the beauty of networking. How often can you interact with 22,000 people that’s pretty much on the same page as you at once? Only at college.

Try to learn how to unicycle, or how to juggle balls, or how to play HVZ (human vs zombies). Get involved with the most random clubs, such as the Beard club (if you’re a fan of them). Learn sign language. Learn other languages. Travel a bit. Or sit in your room and learn how to code/program. Or be on Reddit all day long, as long as you’re benefiting from it. Just do what you want for yourself and try everything. I know I did not try everything on campus and I wish I did. 

Here’s an important message: get drunk on some self-love and just do you for the next four years of college. I can promise you one thing. You will learn…a lot.

I love RIT and am more than grateful that I attended here. Go class of 2014!

Cheers,

Marissa

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Jumping in the air at The Grand Canyon of the East Coast-Letchworth

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The T.V. looks smaller than it actually was in person. This guy brought in a 27-inch television to Midnight Oil (kinda like a cafe for those of you who don’t know) and watched cartoons and was on his laptop at the same time. At first, I was surprised. Why not watch it in his dorm or wherever he lives? But then I was impressed. He actually carried that big of a size to Midnight Oil??? Not many would do this. Then I reminded myself.. we have random people like this all the time. Only at RIT. IMG_4832

Downtown Rochester! IMG_4308

This was when I experienced RIT being closed for a snowstorm. The last time RIT closed due to the weather,was almost 15 years ago.. Here’s to making the best out of it on snow days!

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Helloooo D.C.!  IMG_4878

Just for laughs! This is my friend’s goat, named Buck on her car in Michigan.

Peace & love, ya’ll

Lauren and the Technicolor Dreamcoat

I must encourage you, if you’re a junior in high school, to look into the EYF (Explore your Future) Program here at RIT/NTID. Attending that camp gave me the confidence to pursue a degree at RIT/NTID. The idea of attending college intimidated me at that point in my life and I am astonished at the number of wonderful experiences I almost missed due too my lack of conviction. If you’re an incoming freshmen with a hearing loss, and don’t know sign language, I highly recommend you participate in the New Signers Program before your first year of college begins. I know I wish they had that program when I entered RIT/NTID. I envy those who will still be at RIT next year, because the new  hockey rink will be open! I guess I’ll have to come back to RIT for a homecoming game, and check out the new arena! In case you haven’t seen the outside of the arena. IT IS MASSIVE!
On a fun note, this past weekend, I went camping with some of my sorority sisters. It was the first time I had ever camped in my life! It was a blast! Below is a picture of me with my “little” who I will keep mentoring, throughout her college career.
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I can’t believe it’s almost the end of my last semester! Where has the time gone? It’s unbelievable how much I have grown since I first came to RIT. I am truly grateful to everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. When I was born, my parents were told by the doctors that I had three days to live, unless I received a life-saving heart transplant. Here I am today, 24 years later, soon to graduate from RIT.

I am grateful to the numerous professors and advisers who supported me throughout my college career. I can never forget the fact that they helped one of my most ambitious dreams come true: publishing my autobiography. One professor who has been very special to me, Mrs. Toscano, just this week was awarded the Four Presidents Award. I felt honored to witness her accept the well deserved recognition. The professors and staff here are amazing, and they will help you find advantages to prepare you into the future.
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I look forward to signing the National Anthem at convocation. It’s going to be bittersweet! I truly feel like I will be similar to “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat” with the various color stoles that I will be wearing on graduation day, each representing a special set of memories. I’m looking forward to it!
If I could leave you with one piece of advice, I would tell you to try everything available during your time in college. Take advantage of the resources and activities special to your school. College is about discovering yourself. For me, the quote from Ezekiel has been meaningful from my first days of life right through to today: “I will give you a New Heart and a New Spirit.” It was only through the amazing and divergent opportunities here at RIT/NTID that I truly discovered the energy within myself. When I entered the EYF Program, I was recognized at the Spirit Writing Contest. Just recently, I  was awarded the Spirit Award at a banquet. These reveal the hidden meaning in the passage: that while my physical spirit is powerful, the activities here have empowered a bigger spirit within me. Thank you RIT/NTID!

Summer Plans

Hey everyone again,

These last two weeks have been hectic! Everything from on-campus events to just catching up in some classes has been happening. While I’m excited that there’s only a few more weeks of school, I will definitely miss all my friends here at school.

This last weekend was definitely busy for RIT. There was Imagine RIT, ColorRun, and even the Residence Life End-of-the-Year Banquet. While I did not run in the ColorRun, all the pictures I have seen so far are awesome. I was able to be a part of the end-of-the-year banquet as an RA and it was a good celebration to show everything we, as a group, had done this year.

While it has been raining the past few days, I am definitely excited for more warm weather. If I don’t get it here in Rochester soon, I will definitely get it back home in Maryland. That brings me to my new summer plans. Recently, I was under the assumption that I would go home and work until fall. However, I have recently accepted a counselor position at Camp Mark Seven’s KODA (Kid of Deaf Adults) Camp. As a kid, I went to KODA Camp for about eight years, and it has a special part in my heart. Now that I’m older, I have the opportunity to give back to the camp that gave me so much, and let me tell you, I am very excited! It’ll be five weeks in the middle of the summer, where I get to connect with old friends, as well make new friends along the way. I will be counting down the days until it starts for sure!

But as for right now, that’s all from me. I’ll talk to you all in two weeks time.

Michael

Easter Weekend and More!

Happy Easter everyone,

I hope everyone had a good, fun holiday weekend. Let’s see, I’ll update you all of what’s been happening in my life the past two weeks.

First I’ll start with Rockfest! I carpooled down to D.C. with a good family friend of mine and we arrived that Friday night. I stayed at my home in Frederick, Maryland and ended up talking to my family late into the night. My family and I woke up early and started the drive down to Gallaudet to play in the soccer game. The game was competitive and fun and I scored in the dying moments of the first half. However, the second half ended up 4-1 with Gallaudet winning the game. Later on we watched the men’s volleyball game and ate at a local pizza place. Then the very next day we drove back up to Rochester. While the weekend at home was fun, I was definitely exhausted by the end of it.

Now fast forward to the week. I had a few tests in my interpreting classes, and in one of my Deaf culture classes we had a panel of deaf-blind students talk about diversity and their experiences. It was definitely interesting and sparked my interest in getting involved with deaf-blind interpreting. So we’ll have to see if I can take the elective for deaf-blind interpreting next semester.

Then for the weekend, I sadly came down with a sore throat, but still managed to have fun for Easter. I visited my girlfriend’s family for Easter and had a great time. There was great food, and her family is fun to talk to as well. Overall, it was a great weekend and much needed going into week 12 for the semester.

But that’s all I have for now, and the next time I post… it’ll be week 14, almost the end of the semester!

 

Michael

Heart Disease Walk & Relay for Life

I apologize I haven’t posted earlier this past week. I’ve been so busy that finally I have time to drink my chai, and type a blog on my laptop that’s not homework related.

 As I mentioned before, I have been looking for a summer internship. I received two offers since I last typed a blog. I think I am going to take the internship in Washington D.C., working in a congressional office.
Two weekends ago, I attended the Roseball. It was a fraternity dance and one of my friends asked me to be his date. I had a lovely time.
This past weekend, I attended the downtown Rochester Heart Disease Walk. It was so much fun walking 3.5 miles on a beautiful sunny day with friends, supporting a great cause. The same day, I attended Relay for Life on campus. It was quite a productive day. Below are pictures from the Heart Walk and Relay for Life.
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My sorority is in the midst of pairing big and little sisters, whose relationship may go on their whole lives. It’s a secretive but wonderful time!
That’s all for now folks! It’s great to see the sun out in Rochester, finally!

My First Play

Guess what? I was in a play called Step on a Crack and had three performances last weekend. The first and second performances were awful due to crazy drama behind the scenes, and something happened to one of my cast members. It was so embarrassing!

Since this was my first production, it was really awkward at first (because I was nervous to be on stage) but by the third performance it was all great! I showed off my acting skills. I had more confidence in myself. And one of the crew members took over a role and memorized all lines in 30 minutes! Everything is possible. We all managed to make the audience laugh. Therefore, we made it through together and survived as a strong team. I was glad.

Oh, here are a couple of pictures below:

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After the last performance, I realized that it is extremely important to meet more people and get involved in events, so you can learn more about yourself and other people, too. RIT offers many events on campus so that students can get involved and have lots of opportunities to meet each other. There are so many words that I can’t explain about how I feel about RIT, but I know for sure RIT fills me with love and laughter. I, myself, am a student ambassador, and I enjoy telling visitors on campus about all the amazing things RIT has to offer. Choosing RIT was the right choice for me and so worth it!

Have a great evening you guys!

Super Stressed

As we college students say when we’re tired, good morning.

Yep, it’s one of those days today. I am exhausted and I am super stressed. Things coming up that aren’t going the way it should be is very frustrating, but that’s what you learn in college. You learn that you will be tired. You learn that you will be stressed and you learn that you will be frustrated. It’s very normal. Every college student goes through it. There’s no way you can’t avoid it. I’m pretty sure you experience it in high school! But life goes on and you can’t dwell on it. What I always do is, do the best I can do. Sometimes it goes a long way.

With that being said, I have lots of things going on this month, I have the RITz Dinner (which I mentioned before) and a conference called ColorFEST related to deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who may be in the GLBTIQA community and both of them take place back to back of each other this month. So, the RITz is this weekend and then ColorFEST next weekend. It’s a lot of work, but I love it. I enjoy being busy and I enjoy being active. But it’s tough when you’re running out of fuel. Again, it’s frustrating, but I just take it day by day and do the best I can and hope that they are satisfied with what they receive.

Things will come up and things can be disruptive, but sometimes you can’t help but make the best of it. I’m pretty sure that everyone, including our professors and administrators on campus feel the same way, but we just don’t see it because then it may affect us so we just do what we can to not make it an issue. That’s part of college, heck, that’s part of life!

So now, I have to go back to work and take care of things (yes, the same things that I am frustrated with, not work but other things) and go on with my day and again, do the best I can.

You all have a wonderful week and I hope you are somewhere enjoying the spring season because I can’t wait to start feeling the beautiful warm weather! It’s coming around, slowly but surely!

-Stephanie

P.S. I graduate in like 47 days (not the exact number) but I’m not counting! ;)