33 – Public Communications

If you haven’t heard me rave and stress about my Public Communications class, we probably haven’t spoken recently!  Every class has been enjoyable, entertaining, empowering, and exciting in so many ways.  I love and appreciate hearing people’s stories and having to reflect to dig for my own to share.  So far, our speech topics have been introduction, what makes you you, influential leader/person, and occasion speech.

From this class, I have already learned a lot about myself and the ways I process internally and present myself externally through the reviewing and reflecting on recordings of my speeches.  I remember the many thoughts racing through my mind and the feelings I have while I give my speech and how I actually articulate them with the words I choose to speak.  The mix of what you think happened and what actually happened make you feel one way, yet when you watch the footage, you realize that it is nothing like what you were experiencing within yourself.  This is the beauty of grace and self-love.  Plus Buck, the instructor, is incredibly genuine and kind and wants his students to challenge themselves and do well in their own way.

If anyone is considering a class that doesn’t require heavy, theoretical reading and allows them to learn about themselves and others and how to improve their communication skills, public communications is the one.

32 – Classes – Sem 2

It was really difficult for me to choose classes this semester because I was not sure if I wanted to narrow my focus or branch out to explore other interests.  I decided to give myself one “fun” class with Public Communications and settled on the schedule below.

1. Poverty & Child Development “examines the impacts of child and youth poverty and related concerns from the perspectives of ecological developmental psychology and social policy, as well as how children’s resilience can be fostered by program and policy interventions.”

2. Public Communications is a performance course that “teaches the fundamentals of persuasive public speaking while encouraging students to develop their own voice [through] lectures and discussions will focus on persuasive strategies, delivery, and techniques for handling communications challenges such as tough audiences, public meetings and hearings, Q & A sessions, and dealing with the media.”

3. Readings in Educational Psychology: Risk & Prevention “is designed to present largely qualitative approaches to studying and evaluating developmental interventions for children and youth and will present integrative or mixed-methods approaches to help students understand how they might be utilized for particular research agendas.”

4. cont. Master’s Seminar “prepares ECS master’s students to cultivate a narrow area of expertise through the preparation of the ECS capstone” (research literature review).

5. cont. Ethnographic Filmmaking engages the methodological and theoretical implications of capturing data and crafting social scientific accounts/narratives in images and sound.”

31 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Today, We Stand for Diversity of Mind (WSDM) partnered with local organizations to offer Penn students and the community an opportunity to serve in a variety of ways.  People had the option to design and make capes and tutus for local day care centers, create books on tape Philadelphia Reads, package gifts with Helping Hands, and/or participate in beautification projects at Kingsessing Recreation Center.  I opted for making tutus because I wanted to learn to make something new!

30 – semester 1 done

Today, I submitted my final assignment of my first semester of grad school!  Yes!  Relief.  Temporary freedom.

Some reflections of my first semester:

1. Opportunities and choices are plentiful.  And the difficult part about having this great fortune and privilege is realizing that only you can decide which ones you will take and what you will do to live with their outcomes.  I often found myself asking others for and about things only I could have known was best or right for me.  That’s not to say people were not helpful, but rather to stress the need to know and be sure of what you truly need and want in and for your life.

2. Freedom is nice, but discipline…is much more difficult.  I will be the first to say I struggle with the loose structure of college.  I struggle to focus and to make myself work knowing that no one is checking on me.  And I struggle to ask and receive the help I know I probably need.

3. You really don’t know the outcomes of anything until you actually do it.  Life is much like a study where conclusions can only be drawn based on actual evidence–experience.  Do you want to make hypotheses forever or do you actually want to put them to the test so you know?  Stop thinking or wondering about things and go out and do it!

4. Not everyone will agree with you, want to agree with you, or see things how you hope they will.  And that’s okay.  Your job isn’t to convince anyone that you or your ideas are worthy.  If you feel like it is, then you’re only sabotaging yourself.

5. Find good people and wear them out.  It is so important to find people who share common values and/or interests and are able to accept and push you.  Sometimes they’re harder to spot at first, but be open.  You don’t know what people can offer you.

29 – Ethno Film Update

During each of our visits to Carver HS for our ethnography in filmmaking class, we work with three different class periods of students.  Our goal on  our 11/18/16 visit was to get students better acquainted with the equipment and to find out more about different students’ stories and experiences to and at Carver to help us find the story we would help tell about the school.  To that end, we taught small groups of students about the different equipment and/or interviewed students about their stories and experiences to and at Carver.  Below are some moments captured by our team during this visit!  Huge shoutouts to my awesome film teammates–Monique, Lauren, and Daniel–who are such great people and bring so much creativity, insight, and energy to the team and our work!

28 – RECAP of a NYC day trip

What’s one of the best combos one could ask for, especially near the close of the semester?  Free concert, one of my favorite bands, great company, and no classes in NYC?  I did not want to go on this adventure alone so I convinced one of my best friends, Erica, who is studying at Howard to pause end of semester studies to join me!  Not a fan of NYC and with finals coming, she was not too sure, but I guess she was feeling the holidays and deep friendship responsibilities. 🙂  Here’s a recap of our less than 24hrs in NYC.

7am – almost missed my bus after a slow Uber ride to the station, forgot snacks/water

9:30am – arrived in NYC, walked to Barnes & Noble at Union Square, read for class (see, not ALL fun) and waited for Erica to arrive

1pm – headed to Canal Street to meet Erica, enjoyed noodles and dumplings in Chinatown, got pastries from Italian bakery, Erica got bubble tea

3pm – headed to Brooklyn to (try) do some shopping, walked way too much and did not get to do all we planned because I got us lost, finally found the shop and we both got some neat stuff

5:30pm – headed to Pier 36 to line up for concert, struggled to find the venue, had to eat/trash our treats, rain begin to fall

6pm – security took my umbrella, waited in the rain for a long time, got my umbrella back

7:10pm – doors open, nice venue, layout, and decor, more free stuff inside from sponsors

8pm – Bishop Briggs, Bastille, and The 1975 play –jammed and sang

11pm – concert ended, journeyed to Times Square for food and to get out of the rain

2am – headed to Greyhound station to wait for our buses

3am – boarded bus back to Philly

5:30am – got back to my room in Philly, nap time!

27 – Food Trucks 3.0

My food truck adventures have not ended!

1. Nora’s Grill – 38th & Walnut

For $5, you get chicken, rice & beans, a baby salad, & a drink.  You get to choose from a variety of sauces to top your grilled chicken.  Chicken isn’t dry, rice is soft, and beans are beans.  Solid meal.

2. Jamaican – 38th & Walnut

For $5, you get a choice of chicken and rice, plantains, and a drink.  I have tried every chicken dish–stewed, curry (not pictured), & jerk and they are all good, although the jerk is too spicy for my taste.  Their rice & beans are good, but the fried plantains are blah.  You can also get extra sauce on your rice if you prefer that.  The $2 beef patties (not pictured) are also delicious.

3. Kim’s Oriental Next to Potluck

Portion of all of the dishes I have enjoyed are great!  The braised beef is quite popular, comes with a broth, and is not too salty!  The ginger chicken is flavorful and a little sweet.  The subgum chow fun is probably my favorite of the three because I like noodles and the mixed of protein, but it can be salty if you do not tell them no salt.  Everything under $5, but no drink.

4. Shake Shack – 33rd & Chestnut

I know this isn’t a food truck, but it deserves a mention.  Cheeseburger is not overcooked and had just enough grease.  The fries were crispy and the strawberry milkshake was the bomb.  Is it worth almost 3x (~$13) the price of food trucks?  Def a splurge and treat and something for you to decide.

Note: I am not a photographer so keep your expectations low.  Just imagine what could be. 🙂