Checking Things Off The List

As this semester quickly comes to an end – I can’t believe I’m actually graduating tomorrow! – I am enjoying the process of checking items off of my to-do list. For starters, I cleaned my apartment today. If you struggle to keep your bedroom at home clean (that was definitely me) then trying to keep your apartment looking decent is on a whole different level. Since all of my family is coming in town tomorrow for graduation, I figured I probably ought to do some cleaning. Secondly, I finished my honors project. Considering I started this process at the beginning of my sophomore year, I am so excited to be finished. I cannot believe the final project ended up being over 33 pages long! It was an amazing journey, but it would not have been successful without my faculty supervisor. As far as class work goes, all that stands between me and officially completing my undergraduate career at K-State is one take-home final and four in-class finals. Sounds like a fun week ahead, right?

On a lighter note, a few years ago K-State produced a deck of cards featuring 52 things to do before you graduate. I thought I would go through the list and check off how many of the things I completed. Below are my results:

1. Participate in Homecoming – Check!
2. Purchase the official K-State Ring
3. Rub the bronze Wildcat’s nose on the Alumni Center terrace for good luck! – Check
4. Cheer the wildcats on in all 16 Division I sports – Not quite all of them, I’ll say 1/2 check
5. Be involved and vote in the SGA elections – Check
6. Tailgate at a K-State football game – Check
7. Help out the community through the K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan – Check
8. Go wild at the Sunset Zoo – Heck yes I have! More than once.
9. Boat, fish, and camp at Tuttle Creek Lake – Check
10. Check out the sights from “Top of the World” or “K” Hill. – Yes to both!
11. Enjoy a picnic in one of Manhattan’s 21 Parks – Check
12. Hike the Konza – This is a regrettable no. I am not an outdoorsy person, but I wish I had done this!
13. Ring in the New Year at the Little Apple’s New Year’s Celebration – Always!
14. Swim or relax at Pillsbury Crossing – Check
15. Attend the Union Expo & Activities Carnival – Check
16. Attend a K-State After Hours Event – If movies in the Union count, then yes!
17. Bow at the K-State Student Union Recreation Area. – Check
18. Bring your family to K-State Family Day – It’s my favorite day of the year!
19. Celebrate diversity by attending a multicultural event on campus – Check
20. Use the K-State Powercat Financial Counseling Center – I haven’t but probably should with graduation so close.
21. Attend the Career Fair each fall at Bramlage – Unfortunately, no.
22. Participate in K-State Open House – Check
23. Participate in Week of Welcome – Check
24. Register with Career & Employment Services – Yes!
25. Research your future career at the Academic & Career Services Office – No
26. Sign up for tutoring – I had to take Calculus when I was Pre-Med. Of course I had a tutor!
27. Attend a Landon Lecture – One of my biggest regrets. I missed out on the opportunity to listen to a Supreme Court Justice speak!
28. Watch a rodeo in Weber Arena – No
29. Catch a show in McCain Auditorium – This is one of my favorite perks of being a student – tickets at least 50% off!
30. Know the K-State Alma Mater – Yes?
31. Enjoy Call Hall ice cream – Too much of it :)
32. Explore your artistic side at the Beach Museum – No
33. Join the official K-State Facebook Fan Page – I’m not sure, but I’m going to ges yes.
34. Use Lafene Health Center – Check
35. Learn the moves to the Wabash Cannonball – Check
36. Words to the K-State Fight Song – Heck yes!
37. Make friends with someone from a different country – Check
38. Pose for a photo in front of Higinbotham or Peine Gates in your grad gear – I will be tomorrow!
39. Recruit a future K-Stater – CHECK!
40. Support K-State Proud – Check
41. Ring the Bluemont Bell – No
42. Smell the roses at the K-State Gardens and check out the insect zoo – No
43. Study in the “Harry Potte room” in Hale Library – OF COURSE!
44. Take a random picture on campus – Check
45. Take your picture with Willie the Wildcat – Check
46. Watch the K-State Marching Band practice at Old Stadium – No, I’ve listened but not watched.
47. Workout at the rec and join an intramural team – Yes, I competed in the intramural horseshoe championship last year!
48. Study abroad in one of 50 countries – My biggest regret is not studying abroad; I think it’s an experience everyone should have!
49. Ask Willie a question – No
50. Succeed at K-State with K-State HD – Check
51. Ride safe with SafeRide – Check
52. Join one of K-State’s more than 475 student organizations – Check

First of all, thank you if you read all of the way to here. Secondly, here are my totals: Check –  37; No – 15. Not too bad, right? Look forward to my final post after graduation – it should be an exciting one!


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Thank you, K-State

As I think about Thanksgiving break, my first thought is “oh my gosh, where did my 9 days off go?” Quickly followed by “wait a minute…I only have two weeks left of school then graduation and finals. WHAT IS GOING ON!” Thinking about the short amount of time I have left as a student at K-State makes me realize the things I am most thankful for from my time here.

1. The amazing friendships I have made. Deciding to attend K-State, work on campus, and participate in various on campus activities resulted in friendships that will last a lifetime. (yes, this is a subtle shout out to you)

2. The connections I made with faculty and staff across campus. From my on campus employer to my professors to my academic and honors program advisors, my life has been positively influenced by numerous professionals at K-State.

3. The opportunities for involvement both on and off campus. Whether it be serving as Chair of Student Review Board, participating as a CASA Volunteer, or my time in a Greek organization, each endeavor turned out to be an amazing adventure and learning experience.

4. The future that awaits me as a result of my decision to attend K-State for my undergraduate career. As I approach graduation, I have an amazing offer from one law school and am waiting responses from the other two. K-State provided me with the academic rigor and opportunities for success to make my career goals a reality.

This list may seem short, but its four components are vastly important to me. I cannot imagine my undergraduate career without any single component. And for that, there is only one thing I would like to say:

Thank you, K-State.


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Campus International Event

This past week one of my roommates and I attended an event hosted by the International Coordinating Council. For a low price we were able to attend an International Food Festival on campus.

Needless to say, the food was amazing! Students from countries all over the world prepared dishes native to their home for attendees to sample. Some of the nations represented included Egypt, Ecuador, Mexico, Pakistan, Cameroon, and others. We were able to sample traditional main dishes as well as desserts. While we were eating the students each presented a 2-3 minute power point describing the food they prepared and the ingredients necessary to prepare it. It was such a cool experience! I loved learning about the different cultures and trying new, unique dishes. Not to mention, it was neat to see a lot of other K-State students and members of the Manhattan community in attendance. I think a great time was had by all! I am looking forward to supporting a group of students traveling to Ecuador by attending their dinner after Thanksgiving break.



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Busy, busy!

I apologize for not posting earlier this week, but the picture below gives you a glimpse into what my life has been like this week.

On top of regular class work, this week arrived with a test, paper, and major class presentation. Needless to say, I spent a large amount of time in front of my computer working on a study guide, conducting research, and writing, writing, writing. I am looking forward to next week when things will temporary slow down before a nice loooong Thanksgiving break. In order for K-State students, especially those from out of state, to be able to travel home to spend time with family and friends, the university transitioned from a fall break to a full week off for Thanksgiving break. I definitely think we are better off! Instead of a 3 day weekend, we virtually have 9 days off to rest up and prep for finals. I could not be looking forward to leisure reading, family time, and lots of Thanksgiving treats more.

What are you looking forward to most as Thanksgiving break approaches?


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Culture in the Classroom – Shakespeare Style

I apologize for missing my post last week, but I have an excellent reason for my absence. I was busy taking in all of the opportunities presented on K-State’s campus last week in relation to Shakespeare’s play Merchant of Venice. Below is a brief rundown of my week.

Monday Afternoon/Night: My Law, Politics, and Literature class recently finished reading Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. To add a little more culture to our classroom experience, our professor was able to have one of the cast members from a London traveling troupe visit our class! He plays Shylock (for those of you familiar with the play) so we spent our class time going over different portions of the play and analyzing their meaning. It was such a unique opportunity to learn from someone who has studied the play for a living!

Tuesday Night: Over the last couple of months, I worked with K-State’s Pre-Law advisor, three distinguished judges, and four attorneys from the Manhattan area to host a mock trial involving Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. The United States Supreme Court hosts a similar event where a few members of the bench preside over the trial of a Shakespearean character. With Merchant of Venice showing on our campus, we were inspired! We selected a character from the play to bring suit against another with each side being represented by two attorneys. Nichols theatre was nearly full! The audience and participants alike were laughing and having a wonderful time. It was truly a success and such a memorable experience.

The Mock Trial Program

Wednesday Night: One of my closest friends and I attended the opening night performance of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice as performed by Actors from the London Stage. After reading the play for class, I had a new found appreciation for the storyline. It was amazing to see the actors interpretation of the play and witness all of the characters coming to life. Receiving discounted tickets for being students was not too bad either! Every performance at K-State offers tickets for at least half price to students.

Although last week was busy, it ended with many wonderful experiences! Once again K-State surprises me with the unique opportunities it presents students. It made reading through some of Shakespeare’s less than clear vocabulary much more enjoyable!


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My Five Favorite Restaurants in Manhattan

Moving from the Kansas City area to Manhattan, one of the things I was worried about was what I would do in my spare time.  Trying new restaurants has always been one of my favorite things to do, but I was concerned Manhattan would not have much to offer. I could not have been more wrong! This post is dedicated to my top five favorite restaurants in Manhattan. I tried to pick a variety of cuisines and price ranges. I also suggest my favorite dish from each – dig in!

5. Coco Bolo’s: This tex-mex restaurant has delicious food and a great atmosphere. It also boasts different specials every night of the week. Plus you can eat inside or outside, with the outdoors being screened in for colder months. My Favorite: Tijuana Trainwreck (you’re intrigued already, aren’t you?)






4. Happy Valley Chinese Restaurant: This is a hidden secret in Manhattan. It closed temporarily and moved locations, but its reopening was one of the greatest things to happen to Manhattan. The food is amazing and incredibly fresh! Everything you order from entrees, to soup, rice, crab rangoon, and egg rolls comes out piping hot, as they are made to order. Recently it started delivering, so I see some Chinese food in my future. My Favorite: Moo goo gai pan with steamed rice and egg drop soup.







3. Kite’s Bar and Grill: A Manhattan tradition, this bar and grill never disappoints. It is filled with big screen TVs with smaller screens at booths, so you can watch the big game while you eat. Not to mention it is home to the legendary cookie bake: a semi-baked chocolate chip cookie topped with ice cream and chocolate syrup. Your mouth is watering, isn’t it? My Favorite: Blue Ribbon Rueben with curly fries.





2. Harry’s: This is definitely a special occasion restaurant. While it is one of (if not the) nicest restaurant in Manhattan, the food is beyond worth it. Every year around Christmas a group of friends and I have a Christmas party here. We do a gift exchange where you cannot spend more than five dollars. This way we can spend money on a nice dinner instead. The goal is to discover the funniest gift. For example, one year someone received a paper mache cat. My Favorite: Meatloaf with garlic smashed potatoes and asparagus.






1. Early Edition: This breakfast/brunch/lunch restaurant is locally owned and always provides amazing service. Every time my boyfriend comes to visit Manhattan we eat here, and regardless of what time it is we order breakfast. With two locations on each side of town, it is definitely worth visiting on your next trip to Manhattan. My Favorite: The West Coast skillet with scrambled eggs and an english muffin.







I hope you are able to visit one of my top five the next time you are in Manhattan! If you do, I promise they will not disappoint! Do you have any local favorites?



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Graduation: Full Speed Ahead!

I cannot believe it. I am in shock. When did this happen!? Graduation is less than two months away. On Saturday, December 8th at 9:00 AM I will be filing into my seat to receive my diploma from K-State. Needless to say, the realization that this big event is sneaking up on me is an understatement. Although I am excited to begin the next stage in my life, I feel like I have so much to complete the next two months. Luckily, K-State hosted a Graduation Fair in the K-State Student Union Bookstore yesterday and today. This afternoon I was able to sit down with someone and go through all of my options for ordering invitations, thank you notes, my cap and gown, etc. I was so thankful to have a real person taking the time to sit down with me and decrease the stress associated with such a big event. Before I knew it, I could check those tedious tasks off my list! It was such a relief to know that from start to finish K-State had someone there to help me out. I can honestly say there has not been a time during my K-State career where a helping hand was not offered. All I need to do now is send out my invitations (once they arrive) and try to find a warm but cute outfit to wear under my gown. December 8th, I’m ready for you!

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A Time for Firsts

Being a college student is basically a whirl-wind of excitement full of adventures and new experiences. In the last 24 hours, I have completed several of my “firsts” at K-State. For example, I pick up the K-State newspaper, The Collegian, daily to do the crossword, and yesterday I completed it for the first time! (please don’t pay attention to my atrocious handwriting)

Yesterday, I also took my first trip into the “stacks” of Hale Library. If you haven’t been to campus to see Hale, you are missing out. This is by far my favorite building on campus! Despite my love for the library, I have never actually ventured into the depths of the stacks to look for a book. I typically use the online data bases and inter-library loan program (borrowing books from other institutions) when I do research. Needless to say, my inner nerd came out, and I was in my element. I loved the smell of the old books as I used my handy library stack guide to find the book I needed. (see photos below documenting my little journey!)

I am hoping for a few other firsts before I leave K-State such as: attending a women’s basketball game, seeing an On the Spot Improv Show (an improv group on campus), traveling to Manhattan hill (this is the hill you see when you drive into the city with large white letters spelling out Manhattan), among others! As always, feel free to comment and share some of your little firsts either at K-State, or that you look forward to experiencing in college.



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The Real Life of an Architecture Student

In 2011 (the 2012 rankings are not yet announced), the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at K-State boasted top ten placements IN THE NATION for all three of it’s programs. Talk about an awesome opportunity in which current and prospective students can participate. Although I am not an Architecture student myself (Political Science probably couldn’t get much further from it), both of my roommates are fourth year students in the Architecture program. This program lasts 5 years and students graduate with their masters. Pretty cool, huh? Not to mention during spring semester of their fourth year all students are required to study abroad or complete an internship experience. These students are definitely exposed to some cool opportunities! However, they definitely work hard for these benefits. Since it is project week (one of a few weeks during the semester when architecture students have all or part of a project critiqued), I thought what a perfect opportunity to provide a glimpse into the real life of a K-State Architecture student

Starting from their first year, architecture students – regardless of their specific program – are placed into a studio. I like to think of this as the place where all of the magic happens. My roommate tends to think of this as the place where she spends the majority of her time toiling over projects. When students move later into their education in the college they have a computer requirement to be able to use certain programs necessary for designing their works of art.

My roommate's desk area in studio. That tupperware contains some yummy dinner I brought her to help her through the upcoming all-nighter.

After using a variety of programs to get all the technical details of their projects straightened out, students then begin to build physical models. Below are examples of a working area for models and some finished first year models.

Although architecture students spend a lot of time in studio, especially during project weeks, it is worth it for the end results. When I asked my roommate how she feels about being in studio so much she told me she gets to watch a lot of movies and tv shows since she can split her computer screen between that and working on her designs. In addition, students form a makeshift family with the other students in their studios. They spend so much time together that studio definitely becomes a home away from home. So if you are considering entering the College of Architecture, Planning and Design be prepared for some late nights. However, keep in mind all of the perks those late nights will bring.

A big thanks to my roommate for letting me interrupt her the night before her project is due!Please comment with any questions you have about the program or comments if you are a current architecture student!



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Honors Project Update

Okay, so here’s the deal – my honors project is at the stage where it is totally awesome and exciting to work on. When I last posted I believe I was prepping to interview attorneys specializing in types of law pertinent to families of individuals with Down syndrome. Well folks, I have completed one interview, have two more lined up, and could not be more excited! After my first phone interview, I was hooked! The attorney was so candid and truly excited to answer my questions. I immediately emailed the faculty member supervising my project, and she said she could just hear the excitement through my email. I feel so invested in my project now and cannot wait to see the end results. Not to mention this project is helping me network with attorneys all over Kansas, Colorado, and Missouri. A way to work on undergraduate research, entertain the possibility of publication, and network all in one? Yes please! As the interviews progress and the project continues to take shape, I will post on this topic again.

As always feel free to comment or share your ideas for undergraduate research.

Next week preview: A week in the life of an Architecture student. What is studio really like?



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