– Join the Conversation

 

Washtenaw Community College hosts a diverse population with varied and valuable life experiences. We want to use our roles as ambassadors to bring these voices together, both on this blog site and through student-organized gatherings on campus. Watch for developing ideas on Facebook, and give us your opinions regarding topics you’d like to discuss and events you’d like to develop. We’re still ‘reinventing’ what it means to be an ambassador, but one of the things we want to accomplish in the coming year is a strong sense of community on our campus. In addition to posting up-coming activities and reminding you about all the great services available here, we’re interested in using this site to discover how students feel about the political climate, the current job market, advancing technology, and the ever-widening global economy. Whether these conversations are in person or take place through social media, we ask that contributors remain civil and demonstrate a level of respect for the differing opinions of others. Finally, we’re looking for opportunities to just have fun and blow off steam. The Student Activities team leads the way on this front, and we’re hoping to collaborate with them to come up with a few new ideas that will bring people together. So, that’s all we’ve got for right now. Official introductions are on the way, but just in case you’re curious and want to put a name with the face, here’s a breakdown left to right in the picture above: Alyssa is our veteran Ambassador. She’s leaving the team in August to pursue medical studies at the University of Michigan. Alyssa is deeply introspective, confident, multi-talented, technology-resistant, and just a tad shy. Ask about her Pug, and she’ll warm up right away. Mimi (Me’ahni) brims with curiosity, is fascinated by cultural traditions, and insists on seeing the positive side of everything. She is completing her studies in elementary education and will transfer to Eastern next year. David is enrolled through Washtenaw Technical Middle College. He holds three jobs while attending college full time. He seems to continually evaluate and apply logic to the world around him. He has a warm smile and a deep concern for the well-being of others. Talk to him once, and you’ll agree he is wise far beyond his years. Loren is a born leader. Everyone on the team claims him as a best friend. He is clever, creative, and has a great sense of humor. Loren is studying business and will pursue his studies in marketing at U of M Dearborn next year. Brandon is currently developing a plan to combine his passion for the healthcare industry with his IT and business talents. Brandon is thoughtful and cautious. He’s an observer who expresses great reflection with a gentle voice. Brandon values family and loyalty above all else. We’re looking forward to sharing more information with you while collecting your thoughts and ideas through this site as well as our Facebook page. Until next time, thanks for logging on!

https://www.facebook.com/#!/WashtenawCommunityCollegeStudentAmbassadors

 

 

My Dog, the Land Shark

As many know by now I am quite fond of my little pug,Madelyn. I talk about her nearly every day as if she were my child :P I’m afraid though, that recently she has transformed into a viscous beast whose sole ambition is to wreak havoc and tear apart everything in sight.

You might laugh but I’m being serious….my dog is a Land shark.

Incident 1: A shortage of Hydrogen.

Alright, so this was mostly my fault because I left my molecular model set out while studying for an Organic Chemistry test, but I swear I was only gone for a half an hour. I then came back to find the Land Shark herself gnawing on one of the hydrogen balls from my butane molecule.It has been days since I caught her doing this, but somehow I’m still finding little gray balls of chewed up “hydrogen” floating around the house.

Incident 2: The Land Shark that stole Christmas.

I don’t know what it is about Christmas, but from her very first Christmas until the most recent one, she has always been a terror. This past holiday she decided that 1) ALL of the presents were hers and it would be okay to viciously rip apart the wrapping paper on everybody’s gifts and 2) She loathed the ornaments on the tree and decided she was going to pull them off. I actually have a video where I catch her yanking on one of my bear ornaments; I’ll post a link to it at the end of this blog just to prove how evil she is!

Incident 3: I do what I want.

This past weekend, I was in the family room studying for my Chemistry test when out of the photo(1)corner of my eye, I caught the Land Shark lurking in the corner. It wasn’t long before she moseyed her way over to me and plopped herself atop all of my papers and books. Each time I would try to move them to a different location she-of course-would follow along and either sit on top of me or stand on my papers. So much for studying….

Incident 4: Wake up call!

Recently the Land Shark has been waking up every morning at 4 a.m. with my mother when she gets ready for work. Where does she go in the wee hours of the morning? Well, you might have guessed it, she ends up in my room. Not just in my room, but in my bed. How does she get there one might ask? Well you see, the Land Shark has strategic methods that she employs when taking over another’s territory. First she scratches and bangs her 15 pound frame on the door until it miraculously opens. Then she slithers her way over to my bed and claws  at the bed until I pick her up. She is relentless,she will not stop until she achieves her end goal. If I don’t do what the Land Shark wants there will be consequences such as the ultimate destruction of anything and everything on my bedroom floor.

As you can see, my dog is quite the mischievous little creature. Yet still I cannot help but to adore her! Perhaps she is a vicious Land Shark after all, but you have to admit, she’s still pretty lovable, and that’s all that matters :P

Here is the link to the video of my dog!

Until Next Time,

Alyssa :)

That Ambassador Life

Hey everyone!

So you may have seen all the cool signs around campus, or heard us talk about it in one of our orientations, but we are in the process of interviewing for our new Student Ambassadors for the 2014-2015 season! A lot of people wonder what it is that we do here, and I thought that there would be no better way for me to explain it to you all than to make it into a blog post. So, read on!

As student ambassadors, we assist in the orientation department here on campus. (Basically, the coolest department. Need I say more?) Our job is to help out in orientation sessions, and take interested students on optional short tours at the end of each orientation. We also help out on high school visits! During the year, various high schools come to WCC with (usually) their junior or senior class, just to check out the school. We help out with those, along with offering a full campus tour at the end of their visit. It’s a lot of fun! (Christmas and I will actually be working a high school visit next Thursday!)

While we’re not leading tours or working orientations, we do a lot of data entry in our fancy Batcave, also known as the back room. We also keep a blog (but you knew that, since you’re reading this), a Facebook page, an Instagram, and even a Youtube page!

Various times throughout the year, we also help out other departments here on campus. During the week before fall semester, we hang out on the second floor of the Student Center, and help people out who are looking for their classes, or answering any questions anyone has. Later on in the year, during the first week of winter semester, we help out Student Activities with their information tables! It’s a lot of fun.

So that’s a little bit about what we do here at WCC. Truthfully, I’ve never worked with a more fantastic group of people, and I’m so glad that I have the chance to work with them and meet all of you. I love this job. :)

Until next time,

Gabby

The Seven Things I Learned from Being a Kid

I’m not sure why, but for some reason I have been reminiscing on my childhood a lot lately. Perhaps the fact that I am no longer a teenager and am almost in my third year of college is finally sinking in. Regardless, the fact that I am growing up is inevitable and it seems that once you are of age you tend to lose your inner child. Well I say that’s bogus! While my childhood wasn’t exactly the greatest time of my life, I definitely think there are some qualities to being a kid that one should never lose.

If I could physically go back, I might actually consider it. Unfortunately though, I’m stuck here solely with my inner child and the memories. So instead I’ll reminisce and remind everyone why being a kid can actually be AWESOME and list all the beautiful little lessons I learned along the way that still help me now in my adult life.

1.Getting dirt underneath your fingernails to build a muddy sandcastle is totally okay. 

In the “adult world” it’s not commonplace to play in the dirt. Let me tell you though, you are most definitely the odd one out in a kid’s eyes if you don’t come in from the backyard covered in mud. In the end, it’s worth it too because you make a beautiful masterpiece for the world (or your parents) to see :P So yes, it’s okay to get your hands dirty sometimes.

images2. You will fall,scrape your knees, and possibly knock over your parents’ pot of flowers when learning to ride your bike for the first time.

Yeah, it’s happened. If anyone was wondering what happened to the flower pot it’s long gone: rest in peace oh valiant protector of the precious Pansies! As adults I think we often forget these moments of failure when we were younger. We forget how many times we fell and got back up only to fall again. It happens. You’re not always going to succeed the first time you start something new. So just remember to keep that mentality of a kid learning to ride a bike for the first time; each time you fall, get right back up, scraped knees and all.

3. Reading is fun.

girl_reading400-15v1qaeNo really, it is. As a child I was shy, so I never had many friends. I often spent my days reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. I even remember a specific time when my grandmother brought down a random medical terminology book that I ended up spending hours trying to decipher. I had fun though, and it occupied my mind. No, I’m not trying to say that everyone should spend their free time reading medical terminology books, but I do think reading can teach you a lot in the long run.

4. Talk to Strangers. It’s okay.

Okay so my parents spent a large majority of my childhood telling me to not talk to strangers, but that was for my own protection against the real dangers in the world. Talking to some random person you meet in class or telling the cashier at a coffee shop that you like her dip dyed hair isn’t going to hurt. Of course, you always proceed on the side of caution and use your best judgement when meeting new people, but that doesn’t mean you deny yourself the joys of conversation. Imagine how great our world would be if everyone was eager to give others just a simple smile or hello like kids often do!

5. Naps are sometimes necessary, even if unwanted.

I hated them as a kid and I still hate to take them now because it takes time away from my day, but sometimes you just need a little bit of extra sleep!

6. Wear what makes you feel comfortable.

I look back on my childhood now and am embarrassed to admit some of the things I wore. I swear I NEVER matched…haha. It’s what I wanted to put on though, and it made me feel confident. I think as you age you become more conscious of the pressures to dress a certain way. For awhile I didn’t dress to make myself feel good, but merely to fit in to society’s standards. Don’t do that. For example, If I’m going out and everyone else is wearing heels but I have these adorable flats that are begging to be worn, I’m going to wear them. In my opinion, it’s more important to feel good about yourself than to please other people.

7. You cannot do everything on your own.

This was probably the hardest lesson for me to learn growing up. I was Miss Independent, I didn’t want my parents to help me make my meals, do my hair, or help with my homework. I remember the days that I would dream of being a “grown up” and doing everything on my own. I guess I didn’t realize that even grown-ups need help sometimes too. While I am a fully capable human being, I need the support and assistance of my loved ones among others as well. I’d like to think that we should all help each other out, no matter the relation to the other individual. It’s just a kind thing to do, and I know that I certainly cannot do everything by myself so I appreciate when others willingly assist me!

So if you haven’t already today get out there and talk to a stranger, play in the mud, don’t worry about what others think, be a kid! :P

Hasta Luego!

Alyssa :)

The Dog in the Night-time

CuriousincidentofdoginnighttimeI’ve never been a bookworm, not even close to a bookworm at that. I’ve always loved to play video games and watch TV; I’m sure that I’m not the only person who is like that. But every once in a while I make the plunge into literature. This time, like most other times, it was for business not pleasure. As I’m sure we’re all aware this is college, and reading and expanding your consciousness is the name of the game here. Little did I know that even though the novel was assigned reading, I would go onto a voluntarily reading binge, finishing almost the whole book in a single evening.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a novel by Mark Haddon that is a fantastic example of all of the things fine literature has to offer. The story is told in first person and follows the life of an autistic young man named Christopher. The beginning of the novel starts off with Christopher finding his neighbor’s dog dead in her lawn and it inspires Christopher to get to the bottom of this mystery. I can’t say much else without adding a spoiler alert, but this mystery leads him to an even larger and more daunting mystery. Aside from the story, the novel has so much else to offer.

Since the book is written as a first-person monologue, we see directly inside Christopher’s incredible mind. It provides so much insight into what it means exactly to have Autism. To not want to touch, or have emotions, etc. It really shows you what it’s like to put on their shoes. It really reminds you that we are all human, and we should all be accepted for the way we are. Just because someone else handles things differently doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. Christopher doesn’t fit in anywhere and isn’t given much credit, but no one knows how truly capable he is of accomplishing great things.

The last and possibly the most important part of this novel is how Christopher’s mind can see the world in a way we never could. He sees everything from a strictly logical standpoint. He doesn’t get wrapped up in emotions because he doesn’t understand them. This unique vantage point gives him the opportunity to make some very profound observations on social interaction and the human spirit. This book is more than you would ever imagine it to be. From one guy that doesn’t like reading to the next; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is worth your time. Give it a read.

4 stars out of 4

Distractions: Valentine’s Day

Hi there, everyone!

As a history/humanities major, one of the fun things that I get to do is dig up all this fun information on things that most people don’t really pay that much attention to. And today, that “thing” is Valentine’s Day! Yep, that holiday with all the hearts, chocolate, and big teddy bears that’s coming up on Friday.

As you might know already, Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, who may have lived in the third century in Rome. His personal history is shrouded in mystery, with all sorts of different stories about him floating around. The one I like the best is this one: During the third century, Valentine was serving as a priest when emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than married men (who had wives and families at home); therfore, he outlawed marriage for young men. The story goes that Valentine saw this as a great injustice and continued to perform marriages for young couples. Eventually, he was found out and killed, but the story lives on. I thought that was really sweet!

From then on, February was seen as a month of romance, till the specific day of February 14th began to be popularly celebrated in Great Britain during the 17th century. During the 18th century, it became common for friends and lovers to exchange small tokens of affection, or valentines. BOOM. Mini History lesson!

So, whatever you choose to do on Friday, make sure it’s filled with love! If you have a significant other, make sure that they know how special you think they are. If you’re going on a date, turn the classy up! If you’re flying solo, be extra nice to the people around you. Friday is a day of love! Make the most of it! :)

Till next time!

Gabby

What I Didn’t Know About Transferring

Hey ya’ll!

I hope everyone enjoyed the Winter break! For the most part, I enjoyed mine but I must say that even over break I found I was very busy. Not only did I spend my month long vacation visiting with family and friends, but I also spent a great deal of time preparing my application to transfer over to a 4 year institution. As many of you may know I plan to transfer from WCC after this Winter semester to the University of Michigan. I thought that the process would be frightening and strenuous, but in reality the application process itself was not as difficult as it was time consuming, and now that I look back I wish I would have started it about a month earlier.

In order to better prepare all of you out there that are considering transferring in the future, I have compiled a few lists to help paint a better picture of the transferring process. The first part of the list you will find is regarding  some of the details of the application. I won’t go over every last detail, but instead just talk about a few things that I found important to mention. Keep in mind that I am creating this list in regards to my experience when applying to the University of Michigan, so if you are applying elsewhere the process could vary :).

The Common App-What’s on it?

  • The Common App asks you personal information regarding the following  categories: Profile (your personal information such as your name,address and contact details), Family, Education, Testing, Activities, and Writing (where you provide a 250-650 essay).
  • One part of the app that I personally struggled with was the “Family” section. In this section you are asked questions regarding your parents and siblings and their education levels and jobs. Sometimes it can be difficult to recall all these details about every single member of your family.
  • The “Activities” section allows you to showcase the type of person you are outside of class. These activities can include participation in clubs, volunteer work, or even job related positions,just to name a few. You are allowed to list up to ten.
  • The Common App for transfers only requires one essay under the “Writing” section. They will ask you to write about why you want to transfer, but keep in mind that you need to keep this essay general because the Common App can be used to apply to multiple colleges, and you wouldn’t want to write an essay pertaining to only one college if you were applying to many!
  • After you complete all the questions to each of the 6 sections on the Common App, there will be more specific questions to follow under the header “Member Questions”. Some of the questions ask your preferred start term, if you wish to live on campus or not, the specific college you are applying to such as the college of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the Univeristy of Michigan, etc.
  • After all of those lovely questions you will next fill out a section under “Assign Recommenders”. It will ask you about the FERPA Release Authorization. Read this carefully. I won’t go into detail about what FERPA is because it is explained on the app, but I will advise to spend some time considering what you want to do regarding this authorization, because once you proceed with a plan you cannot change your mind!
  • You will be asked to invite a Registrar to fill out the registrar report for you. For this part, you will need to print out the offline form, as WCC does not do this portion electronically.
  • You need at LEAST one recommender.
  • You will have two additional essays to write for the University of Michigan. For these two essays you do not have to keep things general, as you are writing them in regards to a specific school.

As you can see the list I just provided was rather extensive. Although it seems like a lot to do, it will go pretty smoothly if you prepare yourself properly. In part two of my blog I will release a shorter and more condensed list of some helpful things to keep in mind when you apply. Hopefully after reading both of my lists you will feel a little more at ease with what is expected of you as well as more comfortable with the entire process itself!

Until Next Time,

Alyssa :D