The Final Stretch!

Since I last blogged I talked about different self-care methods here on campus… well it is time to put it all to the test with finals coming up soon! We just had Thanksgiving break last week and it was everything I needed to get motivated to finish this semester strong! I was able to go home to Maryland and see my family and do a bit of hiking!

It’s the final stretch with only two weeks left of classes and then a week of final exams. In my classes I have presentations, in-class interpretations, projects, and homework left to do until winter break! Only three more weeks! Also since I last blogged I registered for my classes for this Spring. This will be my last semester in the Interpreting program so it is important to finish strong especially with my capstone class! It’ll be a challenging semester but I am looking forward to it… maybe not the 8:00 am classes though!

This winter break I am looking forward to visiting some extended family in Chicago, but also catching up on my reading! Over this semester I have been adding books to my “must-read” list. Some books are like “Mother Father Deaf”, “I Am Malala” and “Because We Are.” I’m looking forward to catching up with some reading and also getting ready for the Spring semester. Maybe I’ll run another half marathon this Spring…hmmmmm 🙂

Catch up soon!

Introducing Susanna

Hey guys!

So, if you’ve been on this blog before, you know that you have no idea who I am. So, I guess I’ll introduce myself. My name is Susanna, and I am currently in NTID’s interpreting program here at RIT. When it comes to talking about myself, I feel so awkward and egocentric. However, I think I can do it for you guys. My life pretty much centers around school and work, both of which I adore. This semester is coming to a close, and it’s all happening so fast. Understand, this was my first semester at RIT and it went better than I thought it would. I didn’t feel so clumsy like I did when I first started college. I feel very comfortable and at home here. Having the semester end is almost a bad thing, ALMOST. When this semester ends, I’ll finally have the chance to breathe and not worry that I’m missing something for my next class. While RIT is large and scary, it somehow manages to feel like a second home. However, not the “I’m always here I might as well live here” second home, but the “I couldn’t imagine my life without RIT” second home.

Now, about work. I love my job so much! It’s so much fun to see prospective students come to open houses or personalized visits. Coming here can be a bit intimidating and I try my best to make it as welcoming as possible. Everyone that comes has a good time and they get everything they need, and that’s what makes me happiest.

I should probably be studying for a test that I probably have. Which test you may ask? Honestly, I’m not even completely sure, but when I can weed out which test I have next from the mess that is my planner, I’ll get to it. I hope your year is going great just like mine!


My ethnic identity is awakening

Hello, my name is Franly. I am a fifth-year student at this university. I finally joined Latin American Deaf Club (LADC) today as the Director of Fundraising! It’s been a while since I was involved in any clubs.

Since freshman year, my instinct keep telling me I should consider joining this club because my Latin identity was ambiguous. However, I was not clear with my priorities for participating in clubs until now. Instead, I grabbed several leadership opportunities like former Student Government (SG) NTID Senator, NTID Student Assembly (NSA) speaker and several other committee positions. These experiences gave me a wealth of experience with Deaf peers and staff.

I also worked as a Step-Up Mentor during the academic year under the department of NTID’s Student Life Team (SLT). This job allowed me to work with students of color and international backgrounds in academic and social environments. I learned a new concept called “intersectionality.” This concept answered my struggle between my identities. My friends and I discussed this idea of having more than one identity. I heard several positive experiences from students of color about events hosted by clubs with ethnic backgrounds including the LADC, Ebony Club, Asian Deaf Club and Deaf International Student Association, among others. These organizations give students of color a place where they can bond, feel comfortable and get a sense of home.

At this time, I decided I wanted to do something for people of color  in return. I wasn’t sure how to go about it. I did some research and found some information on the Internet about my country, the Dominican Republic. I decided I wanted to share my Hispanic history with Deaf students who have a Latin background, so I finally stepped up and joined LADC, a club where I can flourish my Hispanic identity before my time at college is over.

Since joining the club, my Hispanic identity is awakening. I feel a positive vibe and motivation to work with the executive board on LADC before my graduation. I wish I had participated in this club sooner, but at least I joined LADC now than never at all. My lesson is to “to carry your dignity and cherish your ethnic identity.” I am more excited than ever to create different fundraising ideas with Deaf and Latin people. I am looking forward to this journey. My recommendation is don’t wait too long to join a club. Grab the opportunity and do it as soon as possible!

What kind of skills do you have?

Hey hey! IT IS FAATT CHRISTINE!! (those of you are not familiar with the movie called “Fat Albert,” this is one of Fat Albert’s trademarks).

How are you guys? I hope you are doing great! I recently was selected to be part of the Deaf Volleyball Association (DVA) committee. I will be the new DVA commissioner for spring semester. I am kinda excited and nervous, because I will be responsible for making the DVA club run well for spring semester. My deputy commissioner and I will soon be interviewing for positions available on the committee. I realize how many responsibilities apply to my position. I can’t just choose my friends who apply for certain positions, but I have to pick individuals who have the right skills and experience.

Do I have skills as a leader? I can use those I have and apply them to the DVA commissioner position and make DVA be great. Leading the club is not only about having leadership skills but it is also about what ideas I envision for DVA and what can I do to make this club even better than before. I am a very talkative person and friendly. I am very open-minded. These are examples of my strengths. You might be surprised that people who are shy or close-minded also can be leaders. I am going to select people to be on the committee with me that have skills I may or may not have. Each person on the committee will have different strengths that the group can benefit from to form a cohesive team.

For example, recently we had an Open House for RIT/NTID. It was my first campus tour, so I shadowed another ambassador. On this tour I helped this ambassador by sharing my experiences as a student here with prospective students and their parents. Every RIT/NTID ambassador has different skills and strengths, some are more humorous while others are more outgoing.

You don’t need to have the same skill sets as everyone else. People with other skills are not necessarily better than you. The skills you have right now are part of who you are and also part of the strength you have that will help make this world or community better. So tell me, what kind of skills do you have?

Self Care is Everywhere!

Week 12 means tests, papers, projects, and trying to balance self care somewhere in there. As an RA in the residence halls we learn about how important it is to take care of yourself both mentally and physically to avoid burn out in our academics. RIT has so many ways to de-stress and take care of yourself. We have an excellent gym facility with great classes. So far I have taken kick boxing and gotten a personal trainer. Both were awesome experiences and really fun! We also have the Red Barn which is an indoor rock climbing barn here on campus. Another personal favorite is the fish tank at the library. I could spend hours there just watching all of the fish (oops…did that last week).

Personally when weeks get busy (especially this week) I head outdoors. At RIT we have what we call the “loop”. It is a 5K loop around campus that is really nice to run on especially when the weather is cooperating. I also like to head outside to the walking trails. This is definitely one of the hidden gems of campus to me. It’s a great way to shift your focus and take care of yourself. Here is a view from one of my runs this week! Catch up with you all soon! Hopefully by then projects and papers will be the least of my worries:) Happy November!


What is success?

Time flies by so fast! I have been thinking about what it means to be successful. Is failing part of being successful or not? This kind of question makes me wonder and gives me a lot to think about. I know sometimes some of us struggle with classes and can lose motivation. I have to admit that sometimes this happens to me. But it doesn’t stop me from giving up. Being successful is part of who I am.

We learn new things everyday that can help us be successful. It may not be easy and can be difficult. Sometimes failure can help us get back on the right track because we learn through our mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Myself included. The takeaways from making mistakes are some of the most important lessons in helping us be successful.

There is no right or wrong answer about what it means to be successful, because it means something different to each and everyone of us. Everybody has their own colors and personality and how to become successful in their own ways.

I am glad I have support from my friends and RIT advisers who can help us get back on the right track. Why? Because they want us to be successful. I believe everybody can be successful. Just be yourself and don’t give up!

What Fall?

As I am typing this, snow is beginning to fall and surprising many unprepared (me) students! Nonetheless I am excited for winter and looking forward to Christmas break!

I’ve been busy throughout the semester taking 15 credits while managing four jobs! I might seem crazy to some, but I found the perfect balance allowing me to tend to my studies and working. I work at the RIT coffee shop Artesano, the School of Individualized Study as an office assistant, the NTID Admissions office as an ambassador, and finally student coordinator for No Voice Zone.

No Voice Zone is an event held every Wednesday night from 10-11:00 pm and students come and learn sign language from their deaf peers! I’ve loved every second of it and seeing new people learn an awesome language! We recently hosted a Halloween pizza party and students came dressed in their best costumes and we awarded prizes to the “Most Creative” “Scariest” and “Funniest” costumes.

I’m going to hit the books seeing I have several exams coming up…Happy Week 10 and enjoy the snow!