This past week I had the honor of embarking on a several hour long van ride with 25 new friends from the Honors Program and 2 adult chaperones to Pendleton County, West Virginia. I attended the trip last year and was sooooo anxious to return to one of the most beautiful and serene places in the country. Each year the Honors Program (www.temple.edu/honors) sends 100+ students to various sites in the Appalachia region to enjoy a week of serving those communities through Habitat for Humanity. The goal of the week is to live simply and to live in community with one another. When I went last year, it was my first ever construction experience and I was able to roof a house, demolish an old FEMA trailer, and insulate an attic…all new experiences to say the least! This year, my tasks were slightly different and involved installing soffiting, metal trim for the roof, and reinstalling a door frame.
The majority of students on the trip did not know each other prior to departure, however the 11.5 hour van ride was a great time to bond, although it was only intended to be 5.5 hours. Just a few little hold ups along the way! Once we arrived, the fun began immediately.
Our first full day started with a hike up Seneca Rocks, which is a fantastic hiking spot in West Virginia. It was AWESOME! We hiked a mile and a half up the mountain to an incredible lookout point where you could see for MILES!
While we were able to enjoy our first full day of hiking, of course there was work to be done for the following five days. We had a total of 28 people in our group and we were split between two work sites in Pendleton County. My group was working on a home for Ms. Hinkel, and we had a blast getting to know each other and our contractor, Jay. With his instruction we were able to learn how to do all of the handiwork that was needed to progress with construction. My favorite part of the week was that I learned how to use a circular saw and used it to cut out a doorway in the side of the house!
We also had to melt styrofoam insulation in the process of installing the new door, so as part of that fun, Allora and I had to wear fancy respirators.
While the community service aspect of the trip was obviously the most important, we also made sure that we played as hard as we worked. Upon arriving back to the volunteer site where we lodged, a quick nap was usually in order, followed by an intense game or two of ultimate frisbee or volleyball. What a blast! The van rides were lengthy, but so worth it. While it’s nice to be home and sleep in my own bed, I am totally missing West Virginia and would drive back at the drop of a hat!
I am an adventurous eater to say the least. I have always loved trying new and different foods, ever since I was a little girl. When I was in elementary school, my Papa told me that I should try a raw oyster when we were out for brunch one morning. It looked very slimy and gooey, and I wasn’t sure if I would like it. I tried it anyway, and I LOVED it!
On Friday, a few of my friends suggested meeting at the Oyster House on 15th and Sansom in center city after work, so of course I jumped on the opportunity! This was my first time going inside the Oyster House, although I had passed it many times. WHAT A COOL PLACE! It was absolutely beautiful inside, very chic and elegant to say the least.
The only thing I could possibly love more than raw oysters is a bargain on raw oysters! Each day from 4-7pm during “Oyster Hour” the Oyster House offers one type of oyster for $1 each. AND (added bonus!) if you check in on Foursquare, you get one oyster for free! AWESOME.
I am such a fan of summer. Despite the heat and humidity, it is by far my favorite season. I love the sunshine and the beach and having a sunkissed glow. Summer also signifies the end of classes and finals week and summer break, which is always a welcome ending for most college students. However, this time of the year also brings around the dreaded g-word….graduation! I am honored to have worked with some really really wonderful people over the past few years, and I am so sad to see some of these wonderful people graduate and move on with their lives.
A BIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2011! It was a fun day at the Welcome Center (the hub for our tours) seeing all of the graduated Owl Ambassadors in their commencement garb. Here are a few pictures from the day!
Like I said, it was a bittersweet day. I am so happy and proud of all the new graduates, but so so sad to see them go and to know that my graduation date is faaaaaaaaaast approaching…far too fast, if you ask me! In the meantime…bring on the sunshine!
Last week I had the privilege of hanging out with over 170 high school sophomores, called ambassadors, at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) event. It was held at Temple University – a fine location for such a cool event, if I may say so myself! The weekend was filled with energy, laughter, leadership development, fun, very very little sleep, and, my personal favorite….CHEERING! What a wonderful, wonderful event!
Each year many amazing volunteers take countless hours out of their lives to devote to the development of a life-changing event. This year seemed to be no exception. Last year, my only involvement with HOBY was that I was able to participate in a college fair for the ambassadors sharing my experiences as a real, live college student. This year I was able to serve as a group facilitator, which basically functions as a small group leader for the event. Each of the groups are comprised of a facilitator, a junior facilitator, and 7-8 ambassadors. My group, GROUP T, was obviously the coolest of all of the groups, and included Regena, Claire, Katie, Tyler, Xavier, Chris, and Louis. Our inflatable tiger mascot, Tootsie, was the envy of the entire conference!
The long weekend was filled with all sorts of exciting activities, including a dance, a talent show, and even an opportunity to volunteer at a great organization called Cradles to Crayons! The dance was a safari theme, and was an absolute blast!
When I first arrived at HOBY, I noticed there was a LOT of yelling and cheering and jumping around and dancing. For a minute, I thought that I may have accidentally signed up for cheerleading camp and not a leadership event. However, it didn’t take long before I was obsessed with cheers just like the rest of the HOBY crazies! Here is just one little sampling of what a cheer looks like HOBY-style! This video was taken in response to a cheer off challenge from a HOBY conference that was being held in Ohio during the same weekend as ours was in Eastern PA.
I am truly honored to have been part of such an AMAZING event. I was soooooooo lucky to have an awesome group of ambassadors who really made my life easy for those four days. I can’t wait for HOBY reunions to happen, and to see all of my awesome new friends again soon.
HELLO!!!! I’m new here! I’m going to try my hand at blogging for the first time ever to give you all an idea of what it’s like to be a college student at Temple University. My name is Maggie! Nice to meet you all! I am about to be entering into my fourth year at Temple University (WHAT?! Time really does fly!). Although most college students seem to complete their degrees in four years, I am an exception to that rule! I had what I like to call my “quarter life crisis” about a year ago and decided to become a nursing student….and I am so glad that I did! While my academic work load has tripled (at least), it is so worth it. This blog is a space for you to see what I do as a nursing student and to ask me any sort of questions you have about Temple, Temple’s nursing program, or just being a college student in general. Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email if you ever have any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
One of my very favorite things to do, especially in the midst of times of stress, is to look at old pictures from when I was younger. It never gets old seeing all of the ridiculous haircuts and outfits that my mom mistakenly thought were good ideas. On Easter Sunday, my cousins and I dug up some oldies…but definite goodies! Enjoy!