During the spring semester of my senior year I was lucky enough to be chosen to work as a Laboratory Aide under the instruction of my favorite professor, Dr. Swanson. My role is to attend pre-lab lecture and help the students understand the experiment that they would be conducting later in lab. Then during lab I spent the majority of my time answering questions about the experiment, helping students stay focused and on track to finish in a timely manner and ensuring the lab would run smoothly by providing the students with the necessary materials like ice for ice baths, glassware and spectra for data analysis. Read more
This year I wanted to try something new for community service. Going on an Alternative Break through CMU was something that I always wanted to do but it never lined up right with my schedule. This year though I finally had the opportunity to sign up for a winter break. I set my alarm for 7:00am and ranked all the breaks that were available. When the morning came I was lucky enough to get a spot on the break that focused on Animal Rescue. Throughout our numerous meetings, I was able to get to know the other participants on the break and the site leaders. I also found out that we were going to Florida to volunteer at the Everglades Outpost. Read more
This year I took on two different positions in my sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. The first was as Activities Coordinator. In this role I was responsible for planning paddle parties, practices for IM Sports, and keeping track of the number of activities each sister was involved in. The position was pretty low-key but it gave me experience and insight as to how Alpha Gam was run.
I was elected to take the role of Ritual Coordinator this semester, which is a much bigger and more important position. I am not allowed to say exactly what I do in my position but I am responsible for opening ritual during meetings, dry weeks and for planning the initiation of our new members. This proved to be the most difficult of all the tasks. After getting elected, I started planning for the week, but it is one of those things that you have to wait until the week of to do the majority of the work.
Initiation lasts a full week with events and ceremonies every night. I was in charge of finding volunteers to fulfill the needed roles for each ceremony and for reminding our members about the values that we all strive to live by. This week turned out to be one of the most stressful weeks of my life but it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Seeing the look on our new members face after getting initiated and how excited she was to become an official sister made everything worth it.
As with everything you do for the first time, there was a learning curve that went along with the week. Of course I learned more about the timing of events and how to stay the most organized in order to keep things running smoothly. More importantly however, I learned how to be someone dependable, how to be a good friend, that helping in anyway may not seem like a big deal but to the person you are helping it can mean the world. I learned all these things from others because this is what they did to help me. Having been in that position means I now know the best way to help others out during events, a quality that I believe is extremely important.
For my LEAD Team this year I had the opportunity to volunteer with Special Olympics during the second annual Leadership Launch. It is a program directed by the Special Olympics of Michigan and ran by student volunteers from Central Michigan University. We invite high schools to send their students with disabilities and the students who help these children to come to Mount Pleasant for a day, where we educate them on how to be inclusive and how to promote inclusivity in their schools.
Each we my LEAD Team meet to have trainings and learn how to facilitate the different activities throughout the day. This year, my team focused a large portion of our trainings on how to use inclusive language. I am so happy we did this because it has changed the way I think and talk about others. I learned to put the person before their disability like saying “the child who is deaf” instead of “the deaf child” and that very common sayings such as “Please raise for the playing of the National Anthem” are not considered inclusive language. Since these trainings I have noticed how common it is for people, especially students, to use un-inclusive language.
Instead of leading a group of kids through all the activities during the day, I was chosen to facilitate on the the activities with another CMU student. Our lesson throughout the day was that when we all come together we can make something bigger than ourselves. We did this by having the students color in random puzzle pieces and then place them on the board. At the beginning of the day, no one could figure out what the puzzle was making but as we collected more and more pieces the meaning became clear.
After the first couple groups we realized that the coordinates for the puzzle were wrong so it became an actual puzzle for us to do. With the help of nearly everyone working on it during lunch and at breaks throughout the day we were able to get it finished and show the students what they had been working towards all day. Two very important lessons can be learned from this; how important it is to work as a team and that sometimes things will not go as planned so being flexible and going with the flow is a crucial aspect when it comes to leadership.
For the second day of London we really didn’t have anything planned so after finding some crepes for breakfast we decided to do more sightseeing, starting at Kensington. This is the rich district of London and where William and Kate live. Read more
After getting about 4 hours of sleep we finally got to explore London. We had a (free) tour around all the major tourist areas and our tour guide taught us the history of the city. Read more
Today was amazing. I had the opportunity to shadow a cardiologist (electrophysiologist to be exact) when he used 4 catheters to test for tachycardia in a patient! After the 40 minutes procedure Dr. Igino took the time to explain to me and the 2 other girls that went (Whitney and Bianca) what exactly he was doing and what he was looking for. I never thought I would be able to say that I watched a surgery in another country but hey, ya never know.
An electrophysiologist is someone who studies arrhythmias of the heart through the electrical circuit. We actually meet Dr. Igino last night and he gave us all a two and a half hour lesson on how the electrical circuit in the heart and what types of diseases come along with it. It was extremely educational and made today so much easier to understand.
I would just like to thank Whitney Warner for allowing me to tag along on her visits and Dr. Igino for being so kind to us girls. It is incredible to be able to do this and I cannot wait for the many more visits that are to come! Yes, I realize that I am having a nerd moment.
Ps. I’ll blog about London when I get free time. Ciao ragazzi!