A Fresh Look

It is the morning of the debate!

by Morgan | October 22, 2012

Good morning Lynn University!It’s debate day!

Finally, after months of preparing for this amazing day, the day has arrived! I received my credentials yesterday afternoon and I am thrilled, over the moon to just be a part of this once in life time chance to be a part of history. The days are ticking closer to election day and it is exciting to know that in the big picture, I got to be a tiny part of it all.

Tammy and  I spend the day yesterday getting phone numbers together for the different media groups as well as handing out laptops to the guys to test equipment around campus. It seems that everytime I turn around, there are even more people with badges, needing something, looking for something, or lost. I took a look around the media center which looks pretty darn cool if you ask me. To think that a little over a year ago I was graduating in that space and to see it now is remarkable. The stage also looks ready to go and it is strange to think that millions of people are going to be viewing that one stage.

Well I need to get running! I know my chance of seeing the President or the Mitt Romney are basically zero, but still fretting over my hair and t-shirt and jeans.

People want to view us as the underdog hosting the debate because we are a small school, but I cannot wait for Lynn University to show the world just what we can do.

Let’s do this fighting knights!

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Categories: Presidential Debate

Controlled Chaos

by Morgan | October 21, 2012

As I was greeted by James yesterday morning in his best movie announcer voice “Welcome to the Inner Sanctum!” I realized for the first time just how crazy it was inside of the fence. Our beautiful campus has been chopped up by fences which are now hiding it’s beauty under metal covered in signs of instructions. It is hard to see the brilliance of living in Sunny South Florida when everything is now covered in tents. You would think the university was soon to be attacked by vampires desiring darkness at all times. If you can walk a path, it is covered in a tent. I suddenly miss my scolding hot walks to my car in the lovely Florida heat we still have in October.

Since I had closed down the Support Services office on Friday for the time being until after the debate, I only took my first glance inside of the fence yesterday. I had been spending the work week informing staff and students that IT was only responding to emergencies or urgent student cases until the Wednesday after the debates when we will resume our normal duties. Most were every understanding, but a few couldn’t seem to understand how their email issues were not considered an emergency. *Sigh* Can’t win them all.

Friday was a little draining of a day. I had a disagreement with my boss which almost never happens so it was kind of surprising. The short version is he forgot to get my credentials to work this weekend and I was hurt that he had forgotten. It was kind of like asking Cinderella to the ball but really mean to clean up after it. So I may have quit Friday afternoon only to have my boss call me Saturday morning to get myself into work ASAP and into HR to get my credentials. I will say my boss is very good a correcting his errors and apologizing when he needs to. Plus I may have been enticed back by being promised puppy time with one of my coworkers absolutely adorable dogs. Although… I think he may just want me to bake chocolate chip cookies for him which is a whole other issue. My boss and I were back to normal by lunch time when he was trying to steal pancakes from me further cementing my theory that IT is really one big family. No one can stay mad at each other for very long and we are very protective of our own.

By the way, who thought breakfast for lunch was a good idea when there are men running around burning up calories like crazy? I walk in with half of the IT guys and they all looked puzzled. They all had had breakfast and were looking for something to fill themselves up quickly since most of them had to eat and run back to work leaving most plates half eaten. Less than 2 hours later I saw most of them munching on power bars. After lunch my boss took me around the area inside the fence to show me all the changes and the temporary names for everything. I finally got to see what the guys had been working on for weeks behind the scene and where all the cables and computers were going. It was pretty cool checking out all their hard work, knowing that they were just one layer within the preparation. I enjoy seeing what they do out of the office since most of the time I am glued to my desk. I hear a lot about what is going on but it is always fun to see everything that I have been hearing about for weeks.

Yesterday I was working with Tammy who is part of IT. She was handling phone lines and had me sorting them with Claudia into media groups. It is insane how many phones are needed just for a single event that will last for less than 2 hours. It is a very controlled Chaos mess in her office. Tons phones, phone cords and other wires with IT guys coming in and out asking about the status of lines and physical phones. There was someone constantly asking for a label maker. Seriously, we need about 5 more of those things. Golf carts were always missing and being radioed for and bosses were always on short demand.

The media is starting to setup across campus on stages they are building up which is pretty cool to see. It starts with a ton of men carrying a whole bunch of cases which turns into a TV stage in what feels like a matter of minutes. It is exciting to think of all the famous journalist that will be reporting from the different parts of campus. It’s like oh I used to drink coffee with my sisters over there but there is currently a stage there a trailer where a lake used to be.

I don’t know if I am the only one losing their car on a daily basis now in the massive parking lot. I try and remember where I park every morning but by the end of the day, nope, I spend about 1o minutes replaying the morning in my head to figure out where I found parking in the wilderness of cars.

I better get going, have to do it all again today. I know it is going to be a very long day full of confusion and hard work but it is worth it. It’s such a huge honor to know that tomorrow night the final debate will be happening on our small campus!

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A Young Voter in 2012

by Morgan | October 16, 2012

Politics in a way is already a large part of my life, seeing as my mother is a diplomat who is currently assigned to Barcelona, Spain and my father is retired army who fought in the Vietnam War. In one way or another over the years, politics has played a big part in my life and shaped who I have become but at the end of the day, I actually can’t stand politics. I only follow politics to see what is happening in our government because what happens in Washington DC matters and touches all of our lives, not just the Americans here but also overseas representing our country but also other countries.

As a recent graduate that is working my masters, education policy is important to me. When I was in my undergrad I heard a lot about student loans from my friends and classmates trying to figure out how they were going to pay for college. My mother stressed me out more than I would have liked over those 4 years about how I was going to pay for school. My classmates were trying to figure out how they were going to pay for medical school since the majority of them were on track to become doctors with big dreams of curing diseases and saving lives. Now that we have graduated and either are looking for jobs or have moved on to medical school and master programs, student loans is an increasing problem. The simple issue is, how are we going to pay them back? It is hard to focus bettering ourselves to make the future a brighter place when we have to decide what bills we are going to pay this month and how long we can last living the way we currently are living. A lot of my friends have moved home which is not an ideal situation since as young adults, we do want to branch out, be independent and responsible job holders, renters, and car owners that pay their bills on time and in full. Is it so much to ask for a decent job so we can at least have a chance to pay down this crushing debt we obtained from student loans?

Speaking of jobs, it seems like no one is happy with the current situation. Yes there has been some job growth, but no one seems to be talking about how the lack of jobs over the years has limited the amount of opportunities for young people to get the big E, experience. Business owners are today are looking for people with experience and detailed sets of skills. I remember when I was still in my undergrad that I had companies tell me that they had to cut their budget back as well as let people go and  at the time they could not afford to spend their resources training people. I had several companies inform that at the time they cut their internship programs due to lack of man power. Constantly I was told to contact the company in a few months to see if things had changed, that they were currently only looking for skilled workers which usually meant 5 to 10 years of experience. I spent months before leaving college looking for a job. I started in January and did not find one until days before graduation in May. When I was laid off from a job that I loved, I was sent an email from Toys R Us that I was over qualified for a position with their company. Seriously? It feels like young people cannot catch a break. After being told for years that the smart thing to do was to go to college, I now cannot even get a job at Toys R Us? I spent 4 long years studying, spending countless hours in the lab sometimes until midnight, skipping meals to get work done, and losing sleep trying to understand organic chemistry to now be competing with 300 to 1,200 people for one job. I love how Career Builder shows you how many people have applied for a job and the average distance they are from the job. When I was laid off, franticly looking for a job before my very tiny nest egg ran out, I was spending countless hours searching websites for jobs that I was qualified for and many times only seeing jobs for manager positions with 5 to 10 years’ experience. I would send my resume out to about 30 to 80 job openings a week. Each one I was competing with hundreds of people for and more times than not, I would not hear from any of the companies since they were so overwhelmed. I like many others returned to school to get my masters and luckily through the grape vine found out that there was a GA position open at the Lynn University Support Services IT desk. My luck finally changed. My stress level decreased drastically overnight, and my hair stopped greying.  (I’m not kidding about the last part.)

I am so thankful that the IT department at Lynn took a chance on me and now I found a job that I love and look forward to going to each day. It may not pay all the bills, but I’m doing a lot better than I was doing almost a year ago. I work with wonderful people who are smart, creative, and extremely funny. We work hard as a team, especially with the debate about to happen next week and we take a lot of heat from a lot of people but we stick together. I know I am one of the few who have a job that they love in today’s economy and I work hard to remind myself of that fact. I try to show my appreciation for job from thanking the guys for doing simple everyday things to bringing in breakfast or baking cookies since I know sometimes we aren’t thanked for all the hard work that we do. How many people actually say thank you when their technology is working? I know only a few know people what it takes to keep a university up and running smoothly day to day and it is not easy, especially since there are constant updates almost every day and new technology is being brought into the fold each year. My experience has shown me that I actually love all the geeky IT stuff and now I want to get more into it once I leave for Spain and have a little more time on my hands. The IT guys at Lynn have been extremely supportive over the last year. There has never been a time when they questioned why I wanted to learn something or told me they were too busy to show me how to do something or teach me about the technology that runs Lynn. Because of they are so amazing at their jobs and are wonderful people, they inspired me to want to learn a whole new branch of skillsets. This is what seems to be missing in America at the moment. Everyone is to busy trying to survive, we are missing opportunities like this to shape young minds and bring new opportunities never before thought of by those who still have their whole future ahead of them. We are missing the opportunity to share passion to the next generation about great fields of work in this country.

Alright so back to the part where I was actually greying from stress. Health care is important to me as well. With aging grandparents, I worry about their health and safety at times. My grandfather just turned 80 and is starting to show his age. My grandmother, she’s a fighter. Her health has been up and down since I was probably 10. She’s very prideful (I was wondering where I got that from.) and sometimes will not let the family know she’s not doing well. We actually won’t find out she’s in bad shape until we show up to visit. Recently, my whole family had to fly to Philadelphia to put our foot down and demand that she let us get her some help around the house and to care for her. I think she only gave in because we all showed up in force demanding that she listen. I have friends who have battled cancer or have had pre cancer scares. Cancer does not play nicely, it does not wait until you have lived a long life to strike, it can happen to the young, jeopardizing their futures, hopes and dreams. I live in Florida, where I sometimes think health care should be tied to car insurance since these people drive like mad men. Sometimes red lights are optional here. Who knew? I have a few friends who have been in bad car accidents and their care wasn’t cheap. Then there are just the times when I have had uninsured friends  who were between jobs end up greatly ill and 2 years later are still paying off the bill for care  that saved their lives.

I also don’t like the idea that people think my generation is lazy. Really, we are lazy? All of us? Either people over 35 are looking under some strange rocks or they need to get their eyes checked. I dare someone to say that to a Lynn student. Many of my classmates are now in medical school, living off of coffee to stay up to memorize signs and symptoms of diseases  so that in a few years they will be saving lives. I have other friends and classmates are fighting for this country as we speak. The marines I grew up around are some of the most noble and honorable people I know who are now in their late 20′s going to college now with the GI bill. These men defended this country and American Embassies around the globe. I have a deep respect for what they do because they really are a few good men. There are many Lynn alumni who are small business owners and successful ones at that. There is one young woman I am extremely proud to know, her name is Steph and she was a fellow Lynn blogger. She created Disabilities Awareness Month at Lynn University which has been a HUGE hit every year. She is one of the hardest working people I know and she has the determination of 3 people. I have a friend who is a teen mom of two little angels that I love dearly. She graduated from high school and college and it only took her an extra year. Her husband, kids and family were supportive of her goals and she did it with an excellent GPA as well. My generation isn’t looking for handouts, we are trying to survive this economy the best we can just like everyone else and I like to think we are doing it pretty well with a hint of innovation all while trying to make our dreams realities. We are burdened with the cost of two wars, social security, student loans, and a horrible housing market. We are expected to fix the problems of today and tomorrow, all while trying to pay bills without a career, find true love and produce beautiful grandbabies for our parents to spoil, travel the world and follow our dreams all while the whole world watches on judges our every move on social media and in the news. No pressure. I know I am following my dreams in the coming weeks but I still feel the pressure of society to the be perfect 20 something of 2 decades ago.

This election is also about equal rights. Now that covers a lot of rights that different people are concerned with and one of them for me is about equal pay for women. Many say well because women are now more often the bread winner that it is even more important now for equal pay. I say that is ridiculous. It has ALWAYS been important. Who cares who the bread winner is? That shouldn’t matter when it comes down to the work. If two people are doing the same work, they should be paid equally. It shouldn’t be about outside conditions about who needs the money because they are feeding children, pets, or aging parents. It should be simply about the work. When was the last time someone asked a man why he was trying to have it all or if he could? The wife, kids and the dream house. If men can do it, so can woman and we have been very successfully for decades now. Enough proving what shouldn’t have to have been proven and now let’s get to the equal pay portion of history. I will pass on talking about womens health and gay marriage because people feel extremely strongly about both topics and I do feel that both sides have the right to feel the way they do about the topics, but I will say that the only way to get your voice and message heard about the issue is to go and vote.

As a young adult, this election is very important to me, I see this country going into two very different directions with either outcome of this election. No one truly knows what the future holds, but I do know I don’t want to see this country torn apart which is what I fear I see happening now. The two parties work so hard to divide when at the end of the day we are ALL Americans. I want to see the country working together as a whole, we need to heal and let go of some of this pain that that this ever growing divide has caused. I fear that if this country keeps on this path of destructive elections, it may destroy what makes this country so beautiful. Basically, politicians need to put on their big boy pants and start acting like role models. The world watches everything we do and if we expect better behavior from 6 year olds on a playground than we do of elected officials, what does that say about us as a nation? Start acting like elected officials and clean up this country together or go home.

 

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I hate September

by Morgan | October 15, 2012

So I realized that I disappeared for a few weeks. Let’s just say that September and I are not friends. It was one hellish and crazy month for me that I am still trying to catch up from. My mom who arrived in Spain at the end of August to start her tour as Counsel General of Barcelona became gravly ill and found herself in the hospital for 3 weeks. It was an extremely frustrating and confusing time for my family since trying to get information about my mom’s status and care was a trying experience since all of the nurses and doctors knew limited to no English and the time difference wasn’t helping. It seemed that everything was always fine, and things are getting better when in actuality, for a very long time her condition kept getting worse and required her to go into the ER three separate times. My family kept calling me every 20 minutes for updates or to see how I was doing which made it very difficult to work. Luckily I have a very understanding boss and work with a supportive team. All I wanted to do was fly to Spain and be with my mom but with the move out of my apartment at the end of September and the plan for me to move out there at the end of October, if I had left it would have messed up my visa application.

Luckily my mom eventually got out of the hospital, still too weak to return to work or eat solids but healthy enough to finally get out of the  hospital. She’s been out of the hospital now for 2 weeks and finally has returned to work which is where she is happiest, she’s a workaholic. I guess that is isn’t all that bad since the morning she was leaving the hospital, she found out she was promoted into the Senior Foreign Service which is a huge honor and very exciting. My mother who was already thrilled to be leaving the hospital was overwhelmed by how much her blackberry was beeping from new emails flooding in from friends and family over joyed that she was leaving the hospital and her huge promotion. This all sounds wonderful and great, but I had to go and tempt fate and ask what other amazing news could we possibly get in one day.

Only two hours after my mother got out of the hospital, my dear cat Krystal passed away. He had been sitting in my lap as I talked to my mom for hours before about her release and the doctors orders, then about her promotion. He seemed weak and tired and I had planned to take him to the vet first thing in the morning since it was still the middle of the night here in the Florida. He seemed so happy and then all of a sudden, he jumped out my lap, went to his favorite spot by the huge window in my apartment and let out four horrible sounding cries. By the time I got to him and figured out he was not breathing, I felt his heart stop beating while I was holding him. It broke my heart. I had had him since I was 10 years old. He had traveled with me all over the world along with my mom and our other cat Soccer who is two years older than Krystal. At 13, he wasn’t a young kitten but he still was pretty active, even for his huge size. When I got my first apartment my mom spent a ton of money to get him flown down to Florida to come with me. Her reasoning was that she was “sick and tired of seeing him mope around house for weeks after I would leave.” I would always joke that I had no idea what she was talking about, he always seemed happy to be with me. He was my buddy, the furry love of my life. I still miss him and am having a hard time sleeping since he passed away. I think it’s because he’s not kicking me or snoring loudly in my ear as I try and sleep. Bobbie, the kitten I adopted 2 years ago was depressed for days, he took Krystal’s passing pretty hard, especiallysince Krystal died 5 hours before the movers came to pick up my stuff and take it to storage. The next day Bobbie and I moved into a hotel where he then became destructive kitty and cried loudly for hours. For a cat that usually does not make a sound, it was a very long three days. He refused to eat and I couldn’t blame him. He lost his buddy, his home and all his stuff (Aka my stuff) in 48 hours.

So that explains why I now hate September. I feel like a whole month through my life into a horrible disarray, I am behind in school, my belongings are all over this hotel in no organized form, and sleep is a distant memory. Luckily, I have an amazing best friend who has been crazy supportive through this all, even when she was out of town for 12 of the madness filled days. Plus I work with a great group of people who understand that sometimes, it’s not just a bad day, but a whole month where life just keeps throwing lemons at you. It has taken me two weeks but I am FINALLY feeling like I am getting back on track, which is good since the debate is around the corner and the move to Spain is just a few short days later. I guess I can kiss the idea of sleeping goodbye until I get on the plane. That and high speed internet. Dial up seems like it would be faster than this hotel internet these last few days.

I am thanking my lucky stars that September is over, I just wish that Krystal had made it to Spain. Although, one of my dearest and oldest friends from childhood told me that it is ok, Krystal traveled and lived a life a great life that some humans don’t even get the opportunity to live and then in his old age, he came Boca Raton to retire. I cracked up, it was just the thing I needed to hear the day he passed away and another reminder of the wild and crazy people I surround myself with who make me laugh even during the worst days that life brings.

I am so thankful that my mom is out of the hospital and getting better, now I can focus on my school work as well as at work before I leave. I took some time off starting at the end of this term from my masters because I need the time away, the last few weeks have been a little too much and have made it feel like I am 3 months behind in my own life. Feeling like I am playing catch up to my own life is not a good feeling at all I am looking forward to these next few weeks of rest and exploring a whole new country. Just wish Krystal was a part of this next chapter, but I know I have wonderful memories and pictures of him which makes his loss a lot easier. Plus Bobbie is good at keeping me company as I stay up late and do homework.

In loving memory of the most loving cat I have ever met who is greatly missed.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Facebook and the Debates

by Morgan | September 7, 2012

As the elections inch closer by the day, it seems that Facebook has turned into an ugly battle ground where friends are arguing with each other over politics. It seems my friends have forgotten the golden rule about not talking about politics in public. And really, isn’t that what Facebook truly is, a big forum to discuss what is on everyone’s mind in your inner circle? (Ok, maybe not that much of the inner circle if you have 500+ friends.) There is a reason it is a social rule to begin with, people get very passionate about it. It is the one thing I did not enjoy the last election, people fighting over Facebook or over coffee, losing friends or starting rifts over politics.  The comments sometimes get rude and nasty towards each other or friends of friends start jumping in and attacking their friends friend that they might not even know. If we are striving for a better country, I think we should start by having civil debates between ourselves, the average American on Facebook. How do we expect politicians to act honorably in the mass public forum when we can’t in our private lives? The beauty about America is that everyone has the right to their opinion and they have the right to voice it. We vote in private and as an individual to insure that each person’s voice is heard on each issue. I just hope all the people arguing so much over Facebook are people going out to vote this November. There is no point in fighting over Facebook, changes are made in polling stations around the country, not with insults over a social website.

I’m not sure if this is just happening in my age group or if this is happening all over Facebook, but really, at the end of the day, there is no reason to being yelling at someone for their political beliefs. Everyone in this country has the right to feel the way they do about politics and they shouldn’t have to worry about being bullied over them. I see many posts in my feed that I don’t agree with and there are posts about the candidate I do not plan to vote for, but I do not write comments booing the post or other rude comments. I remember that everyone has the right to free speech and the person they voted for on November 6th doesn’t overshadow who the individual is the other 1,460 days between elections.

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Maybe not so farewell?

by Morgan | August 29, 2012

So… I’m back. But it’s only for a little while. I am excited to be blogging for the next few weeks about the debate at Lynn! Although, I do hope the weather starts getting with the program. Florida is currently very…. wet. Trying to get to different parts of Lynn the last few days may be easier by swimming or with the assistance of a canoe. One of the theaters, the AG theater in the international building is currently flooded with 18 inches of water. I’m not exactly sure how that happened, but at least Lynn is in better shape than other parts of the country at the moment. Tropical storm Isaac caused some problems for the GOP convention which makes me feel for the planners who spent over a year planning only to have a storm throw their schedule, well, to the wind. At least they are back on track at the moment and hopefully Mother Nature will be more friendly as we get closer to the end of October.

I am still working as the graduate assistant in the IT department and I still love it. Although the last 2 weeks have been extremely busy with new students and staff members as well as the first week of classes, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else but working with Support Services. I’m sure many staff members have seen some strange activity from the technicians the last few weeks, they’ve been spending a lot of time behind bushes with wires and creating tunnels for extremely long cables. Plus there are all the updates that were happening over the summer. I think the university has gotten a crash course in the past few weeks on embracing patience for change. Oh and there have been a ton of changes throughout the campus! It’s slowly becoming nothing like it looked 5 years ago when I arrived at Lynn and even though it makes me sad to see land marks for me disappear, I am thrilled to see where Lynn University is headed and the opportunities that are becoming available to the community since we are hosting the debate. Change is never easy but it can be good as well as very confusing. Trying to figure out how to get onto the campus for about a good two weeks was a huge headache. We now have a new parking lot with a new gate. The front gate looks gorgeous with its two lanes and even the student center had a mini make over which looks great.

A lot of things are happening behind the scenes which I don’t think many of the students are currently aware of but they will be over the next few weeks. The internet has been redone in the dorms, Checkpoint has been updated to now allow Mac computers, and some of the classes have received upgraded technology. Say good bye to the older projectors that liked to make everything a slight green or yellow.

I am off to bed, I need sleep for a very busy day at work in the morning, but I am looking forward to getting back to blogging about the exciting things happening around Lynn University when it comes to the debates before I am officially off to Spain! It truly is a great feeling to be a member of the Lynn community and to know that for this election, along with my university that I am very proud of, I will be playing a small part in American history. I am a very proud American and I plan to exercise my right to vote for the second in a presidential election this November. I was so excited as a sophomore and I am even more so now this year.

Oh and before I forget, welcome freshmen! I think it’s now the class of 2016? (Oh boy… I’m getting old.) Work hard, do your best, make friends, join lots of student organizations and enjoy college for all that it has to offer! I still answer emails from students at my Lynn account  manderson5 at email.lynn.edu or stop by IT Support Services and say hello. We are located on the second floor of the library. Have a great first year!

400 and Farewell

by Morgan | June 13, 2012

After writing through all 4 years of my undergraduate and one year of my masters, I’m not sure how to say good bye but I thought going out on my 400th post would be a place to start.

Looking back at freshmen year at my blog posts, I was so excited and energetic. I was thrilled to finally be in college. I had so much hope for those 4 years and each year I learned more about myself. I learned to become a leader, a sister, a scientist, and a really good friend. I learned that when I am really passionate about something like school or being president of BSU, I will work late nights and be happy about it. I figured out that when it comes to my school work and my involvement in organizations, I want everything neatly organized, but when it comes to my room, it constantly looks like a hurricane just passed through. And if I ever find the time to clean my mini disaster zone, it always happens in the middle of the night when I have a huge burst of energy.

I’m not really sure what to say for my final post. I feel like I am more lost for words than ever before.  I know I owe a lot of people a ton of gratitude. I honestly feel that I was so fortunate to have such wonderful professors who were very supportive over the course of my education here at Lynn. Professor Villaverde was not only my advisor but also my professor for a few classes and she made sure that I never gave up on biology and stuck with it. I learned that when she believes in a student, she doesn’t let go until they succeed. Professor Villa put up with a lot from me and Michelle. We could be a handful every once in a while. Plus he didn’t mind helping me one on one with genetics when I felt I was drowning in all the information I had to learn the first few weeks. Professor Ahmed taught me to enjoy physics and although I struggled with chemistry for two years with him, he was probably the most supportive professor anyone could ask for. Organic chemistry was probably the one of the hardest courses I could have ever taken and he could tell I wasn’t happy to be in it. But if he taught me anything, he taught me the joy of experiments that go boom. He ends up being everyone’s favorite professor simply by how many things you get to blow up in his class over the 2 years you have him as a biology major. And really, what other professor would be crazy enough to set $20 on fire the first day of chemistry? Don’t sorry, it didn’t burn, it had a solution on it, but we sure did scream. Hey, $20 is a lot when you are in college!

Then there is the whole Student Administrative Services department on campus. I don’t know what I would have done without the help of Kimon. Not only has he helped me over the past 5 years with my financial aid, but he has also had to deal with my mothers questions as well. And I’ll admit, sometimes he had to repeat himself, yearly. I’m sure that drove him up the wall but he was always calm and understanding with us which I am very grateful for after all these years. He’s given me great advise when it came to planning out my education and he’s always been supportive when things change or in flux. I don’t think I thanked him enough over the years for all his help. Especially since on the first day I was here at Lynn, I was already in tears after spending 4 hours in the gym for orientation. By the time I had gotten to his booth to talk about tuition, I was just overwhelmed and my mother was in my dorm setting up my stuff. (I still to this day do not understand that was logical) I wanted to give up on college right then in there. I remember saying something like “If I have to sign one more piece of paper to get into college I’m done!” Kimon simply smiled at me, handed me his business card and said if I ever needed to talk I could call him. That small kind act allowed me to survive the rest of the day and make it to my first class on Monday.  Trever and Morgan were also a huge help over the years as well. They both are pretty funny guys and cool to talk to as well. I’ve said it once, and I will say it again, make friends with the SAS guys! They know the ins and outs of college finance and are fountains of wisdom on the subject.

I have few regrets in college, but one of them is that I did not meet Morayma James sooner. She saw that I had potential to become a student leader. I wanted to become the president of Black Student Union early on while I was at Lynn but I didn’t know if it was something that I would be good at or that I would able to do at all. I was so excited and terrified when she called me over the summer before junior year and asked me if I wanted the role. Not only was she an amazing mentor to me, but she became a good friend. I used to spend hours just talking to her a week about everything. She really help me find myself in college when I didn’t even know I was struggling to do so, so for that, I am grateful. It is not easy to inspire sometimes around here, but she seems to do it so gracefully with any of the students she mentors.

Yanatha was my other mentor and now fortunately one of my many awesome coworkers. He taught me to dream big. I used to try and keep things small and simple which was fine but I could have been doing so much more. He inspired me to dream bigger which is a great. He helped me tap into my creative side which has helped me not only when I was a student leader, but now in the “real world” that everyone talks about when we are young. He has a great family that I feel privileged to know. He has a wonderful wife and two little angels. I love babysitting his kids because they are adorable and I have an excuse to watch all the kid shows and movies that I want. :)

Then I have my amazing friends and sorority sisters that I met at Lynn. I met Old Eric freshmen year and even though he transferred schools, we are still good friends. New Eric replaced old Eric in his exact dorm room, which we found highly entertaining sophomore year. Then there is Cristina, my best friend who I met in class and we bounded over how much we wanted to go home the first month here at Lynn before we found things we loved about it. Michelle has been my partner in crime from day one. Although, I’m not sure which one was the master mind…. I think we equally got each other into trouble. They say you meet your friends for life in college, and I believe I have. I don’t know who I could be without my sorority sisters. I am a very proud Sigma and my sisters always make me proud of them. They are more than friends, they really like sisters to me. My big, Brittany, and my grand big Carolina are great role models for me. My big makes me laugh at all hours of the day or night and she brings out the silly in me. Carolina is a wonderful example of how to be a classy sigma and live a balanced life. She makes being a wife and mom look easy. I strive to be more like her every day. Then there are the rest of my crazy sisters, Lauren F, Lee, Tiffany, Nikki, Sarah H. Lara, Tova, Hilary, and Tookie. They each add something to my life and I love them all, even if they are a wild and crazy bunch. They all have been supportive, amusing, loving, embarrassing, frustrating, and above all, perfect in their own way. They are my sisters and nothing is going to change that. We are faithful unto death.

To look over the past few years, I have to pause and think of those we lost. I not only lost a professor, Dr. Bruno, my lab partner Courtney Hayes, but also a beloved sister Ally Petrozzo. I often think of Courtney and Ally, losing them reminds me that tomorrow is not promised and to do things that make me happy. For many years I only did the right thing, now I try and throw in a little fun too. I’m taking more chances now in my life and I’m striving constantly to be a better person. I even have started to dress a littler girlier. I think I have to thank my dear sister Ally for that one. I think she had it right, dresses can be fun. It wasn’t easy losing a classmate and a sorority sister while in college, but I try to remember that it was an honor and a privilege to have known them.

Lynn has become a home for me. I have often told my mom that Florida feels like my first real home since I moved so much growing up. Sometimes students say we don’t have school spirit, but really it sometimes is just hard to see. I am proud to have spent the last 5 years here in this beautiful state and at Lynn University. After I was laid off, I was so fortunate enough to find a Graduate Assistant job for the Lynn IT Department. Boy if only I knew what I was getting myself into. This department is full of characters, but they’ve all grown on me. I may be one of the very few females in the department and truly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The guys keep me entertained all day and make it a joy to come to work. I’m not going to embarrass any of them, because I know a lot of them read my blog but they are all great and I am fortunate to work with this bunch of gentlemen. I have a wonderful boss who strives to create the best team and to only improve on what we have to offer the university. All the other guys allow me to ask all the questions I want and shockingly, they are all great teachers. I have learned so much since I have started working here about computers and technology at a university. I am just grateful that they are all so willing to teach me anything I ask about. Our department is this awesome little crazy family and I love it. I’m actually going to really miss all of them when I leave for Spain. Although, I think they are only going to miss me because I bake pies and cookies for them…

I have some great memories and experiences from college and for that I am thrilled that I made the best of my time at Lynn. I am sad to leave because Lynn has been such a wonderful home for me. It has been a great safe haven for me to learn and express myself while getting to know who I am and who I want to be in life. When I started college, I just knew I wanted to be a veterinarian, but over the years, I’ve learned to not limit myself in my life. I really would like to start my own business selling my inventions which is something I am working on. I realized from all the lessons I have learned here at Lynn is that I want to make a positive difference in this world and to give back since I have received so much. I want to change it for the better, even if it only changes a small portion of the world’s population. I am not sure what the future holds for me besides moving to Spain after the Presidential Debate this October, but I have big dreams now and are set on changing the world.

In my first blog post I wrote “I’m over worked, under paid, sleepy, hungry, and find every way to not get anything done.” Almost 5 years later, I can say that the scared and very overwhelmed person that arrived at Lynn’s doorstep is finally ready to take off and make a positive change in this world. I may be sleepy and hungry over the next few years, but it will be for a purpose. I cannot wait to start my own business and take these ideas I have in my head and hopefully see them come to life. I wouldn’t have even thought about taking this kind of risk without the support I received from Professor Villaverde and Yanatha to make my senior project a reality, so thank you so much for that.

Lynn changed my life and has made me a better person. I am more humble, I think about giving back much more now than I ever did before, I am constantly striving to learn as much as possible about everything, and I have wonderful people in my life that I grow more grateful for each day. Thank you to everyone that touched my life, thank you Lynn for my education, and thank you to everyone who spent years reading my blog and who just suffered through reading all this. lol. Thank you all.

As Sigma’s say “To receive much is to give much.” I have received so much and now it is my time to give back to this world, hopefully through my inventions.

Morgan <3

It’s that time of year again

by Morgan | June 8, 2012

It’s hurricane season! Normally the time of year that anyone who started college with me laughs and say ah yes, that time where we don’t get hit by any hurricanes? Not even a tropical storm. One year it didn’t even rain here for two weeks even though a hurricane was miles off the coast heading up north. For us students who haven’t lived through one, it seems more like a fairytale than an actual reality. Well at least it was until a few weeks ago when just the tail of tropical storm Beryl headed up north dumped a bunch of rain on us. I almost couldn’t believe it. And the storm came through before the official start of the season. Then when I was driving home last Friday, there was a warning for a tornado in the area. I was getting into my car and turned on the radio to hear some horrible sound that wasn’t music and then suddenly it said to seek shelter in doors. I started calling all the IT support guys who hadn’t left or had just left work to let them know to be careful while getting home.

That was all I needed. A storm before the official start brings a ton of rain to the region and on day one of the season we get a tornado warning. I called Cristina and told her soon as she landed from visiting family, we needed to go to the store and buy hurricane supplies. I am now all stocked up on supplies for me and the cats for a few days. I already had a radio, flashlights and lamps, and other stuff like that, since my mother who just had to make sure I had every emergency product on the market when  I  moved into my first apartment. Apparently she didn’t care when I was living in the dorms. lol. At that time she just handed me some power bars and was like you will be fine at school, have fun with the other kids.

I am currently in the process of turning my master closet into a hurricane room. I hardly actually use my closet anyway so it’s not a huge loss. I have so many drawers and I hate hangers. Yes I know it is weird to hate hangers but I do. Anyway, I am trying to come up with interesting ways to keep Bobbie, the not so much a kitten anymore cat distracted if we have one since he hates thunder storms. Krystal I am sure will sleep through it. I think if we actually had a hurricane pass us I would be interested more than scared but who knows. I have dealt with monsoons and typhoons throughout my years overseas which weren’t so bad… mostly because I slept through most of the bad parts. Let’s just hope that if there is one, what I am learning in my emergency management classes for my masters will come into play and be a great learning tool. Hey, what is better than a case study you have seen firsthand? We talk about Hurricane Andrew a lot in my classes because of its impact on Florida but also how much we have learned since then about how to make things better. It is kind of hard to relate to it since I was so young when Hurricane Andrew hit Florida and I wasn’t even in the country so I only started learning about how massive it was in class when half of my classmates lived through it and were working as police officers or firefighters at the time.

I don’t know what the future holds but many people around Florida as thinking this may be the year we actually get hit with a hurricane since it has been so quiet for the last few years. Let’s just hope Mother Nature plays nicely with us. With all the rain we have had in the past month, I’m just not so sure she is on the same page. Does anyone else remember this much rain last year? I remember last summer being super hot and dry, expecially for Florida. I feel like now I spend more time in a hoodie trying to avoid freezing in the rain than anything else.

Well one way or another, it is better to be prepared because as I scientifically discovered in my undergrad, Murphy wasn’t kidding. I mean honestly, how do you blow up a thermometer while testing the melting point of a substance? Fun times in the chemistry lab….

Happy hurricane season everyone! Stay safe!

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Exploring South Florida

by Morgan | June 7, 2012

Cristina and I have decided we want to spend more time exploring South Florida which may sound weird since we have lived here for so long but in college, we found that we kept just going to the same places over and over again so now we are looking for new stuff to check out. So far in the last couple of weeks we found a food truck event in Margate and we checked out the science museum in Fort Lauderdale which was exciting. It was funny how we had been looking for a nearby food truck we could try since we had seen so many shows on TV lately about them and suddenly there was this big event of about 15 trucks in Margate a few days late. The two of us went out to try it and had a blast, although it decided to poor on us. Hungry and soaked to the bone are two things that shouldn’t go together but we made the most out of it. We tried some crazy combos of French fries, cheeseburgers, wings, deep fried Oreos and a few other things. It is crazy the stuff that people come up with when it deals with food. Even a class food can be done in a new fashion which was exciting to try. Then with the science museum, we were just trying to amuse our inner nerds. A lot of the information was about life in Florida including how the water system works,  a stall where you could feel how strong the wind is in a tropical storm and a hurricane one which by the way is pretty strong, and a game that explains what can be recycled which we actually got addicted to playing. They also have a table that has strong magnets in it and a bunch of bolts that you can build with which was probably the best part for me. I had fun building a little bolt guy until Cristina offered to help… and knocked half of him over. Lol. It’s ok, the second try came out better than the first. Here are some of the pictures from us exploring the city. By the way, who know Fort Lauderdale had other stuff besides great clubs??? (Joking…. we have been there before to explore other things and plan to go back to see some theater shows in the next few weeks.)

 

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The Senior Art Show

by Morgan | May 2, 2012

Each year there is a senior art show and I try to pop in and check it out for a few minutes. This year I went mostly because Jay, one of the student workers in IT, had signs covering our whole office so it was pretty hard to forget. A friend of mine, New Eric, was in the show as well so I was excited to see his work. By the way, he’s New Eric even after all these years since in my freshmen year I had a friend named Eric, who lived in Freiburger who later transfered to a different school. New Eric came the following year and he moved into Old Eric’s room, so when we became friends, the only way my friends and I could stay sane when talking about an Eric was to give them nick names.

Anyway, so I went tonight to look around and I was blown away by the talent right here at Lynn that in a week will be graduating and starting a new life, hopefully following their passion and talents. The creativity I saw from drawings to graphic work was great. There was even this projector show in the corner which was pretty cool. If anyone saw Chris Brown’s Grammy performance this year, they used the same idea but with their own art work projected. Here are just some of the pictures I took from the show:

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