Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dorm Decor

Meet my new decorations.
In an effort to make my dorm as comfy as possible, I've turned one of my walls into a montage of my favorite things.  


Hopefully the designs, colors, and quotes inspire lots of focus and hard work for my senior year!

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Intern Spotlight: Kim Uslin

Think you did a lot this summer? 
Think again.
Meet Kim.  

"Hi! I'm Kim Uslin and I am a rising senior at Washington College. This summer, I am lucky enough to have three separate internships - one at the Baltimore City Paper, one at Baltimore Style Magazine, and one online internship at Limerence Magazine. I am working hard and learning a lot about the publishing world...but I still have no idea what I want to do with my life."

3 Internships?  Ding ding ding, we have a winner!
I asked Kim a few questions about her summer internship experience(s)!

  • What new skills are you looking to obtain:  While I took these jobs anticipating that I would be learning a considerable amount about the mechanics of publishing, I never could have believed how much I would learn about the people in the publishing world. At each of my three internships, I have learned not only practical skills like fact-checking and phone etiquette, but what it's like to work with the personalities of different writers. Though the internships are drawing to a close, I'm still holding out to see if I can learn how I, too, can posit my personal attitudes to both contribute to the success of the publications for which I work and to put a little of myself in each one

    What environment do you work in best:  I have found that I definitely work best in a more demanding environment. The deadlines for weekly and bimonthly publications are obviously wildly divergent, and while I do appreciate the more leisurely approach of a magazine, there is definitely a difference in how much I get done directly correlative to the amount of pressure put on me. That said, it's nice to be able to interact more with coworkers, and serious deadlines don't allow that nearly as much. 

    What's your favorite work outfit:  While the paper I work for is a more jeans and t-shirt environment, I'm not really comfortable dressing down quite to that extent. I compromise with dark wash jeans, which are a bit fancier, and a pretty floral chiffon top with colorful earrings. For my magazine job, I love to pair a summer dress (not too low cut!) with a cardigan to counter the air conditioning. As for my online internship, well...i'm not above wearing my pajamas

Thanks so much Kim for all of your insight & see you back at WAC for our senior year! :) 
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to School: Dorm Edition

dorm style

It's so crazy when I think about what I would actually put in my room if I had funds compared to what I will actually put in my room next Thursday when I move back to college for my final year. 

Freshman year, everything was pink, blue, and green.  Everything matched, everything was bright, and everything screamed high school prep.  I still have my comforter from freshman year and still have the multi colored pillows and pink and blue flowered totes filled with matching plates and cups.  
If I had money to spend, this is what my dorm room would look like now.  I'd like to think my taste has expanded a bit since I was 18 and that my style is a bit more eclectic.  Regardless of what I have and don't have, there's one thing that I'm so grateful for; a college education.  I'm so lucky to be going to college, so in the grand scheme whether I'm hulling my freshman year wear up the stairs on move in day isn't the biggest issue.  

So, if I could style my room this is a peak as to what I would put in it.  

Big comfy blankets, lots of throw pillows in mismatched designs, candles that smell like lavender or rosemary, sweaters, water colors, tea pots, maps, stationery, flats, and poms.

How would you decorate your ideal dorm room?

New Tunes: Johnnyswim

So, one of my favorite performers, Emeli Sande is coming to Baltimore in October and I'm dying to go. 
I checked out who is opening for her and I am so in love with them and their music. 
I did a little research and it turns out that the female member is Donna Summer's daughter. HEY GIRL. 

Meet Johnnyswim, my other new favorite band. 

I've been listening nonstop at work all week to these guys.  Take a listen and make sure you check out their other tunes.  
Some of my favorites are Make, Adelina, and Paris in June.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Newsroom

I had a weird Monday.  Mostly because I was so sleepy from not being able to fall asleep; sometimes my brain just won't turn off.  I came home from work early to clear my head from cubicle land and start packing.  After a long chat on the phone with Mom & Dad, I felt refreshed and refocused.  As much as I love DC, I think I'm just ready to spend a little quality time with the fam.  Since being home from Denmark, I haven't spent more than a week with my parents.  As we chatted about going on bike rides with Dad and zumba class with Mom, it really hit me that I'm leaving and going back to school for my final year.  My parents are moving me into college for the last time.

Simultaneously it hit me that I have due dates coming up...for my thesis.  (shrill) 
So I decided to take everyone's advice and sit down and watch an episode of The Newsroom
BTW: My senior thesis is on partisan political media and it's effect on American political polarization.

I watched Episode 1 and I know that I am hooked.
I pulled the quotes from the opening scene because it moved me that much and it summed up the inspiration behind the topic of my dissertation.  

“Just in case you wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know.  One of ‘em is there’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world.  We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22ndin science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force and number 4 in exports.  We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies.  Now, none of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are, without a doubt, a member of the worst period generation period ever period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about!  Yosemite?!”

"It sure used to be.  We stood up for what was right.  We fought for moral reason.  We passed laws, struck down laws, for moral reason.  We waged wars on poverty, not on poor people.  We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chest.  We built great, big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists AND the world’s greatest economy.  We reached for the stars, acted like men.  We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it.  It didn’t make us feel inferior.  We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easy.  We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed…by great men, men who were revered.  First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.  America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.

This is why I want to go into public service.  This is why I can't turn my brain off at night. 
This is why I want to change the world.

And Dad, this is why you have to stop asking me when you're going to get some grandkids to play with, I've got a lot of work to do. 

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Guest Post: Sam from Bits and Pieces

It's time for a guest post from my fav fellow blogger friend, Sam from The Bits & Pieces Life.  
Sam has helped teach me HTML and worked on the layout of my blog, which you can read more about here.  I asked Sam to do a guest post so that she can share her story on learning web design and understanding the language of computers.  

Design is such a funny word. In it’s bare bones definition, it’s a creation of a process/plan for an object. When it comes to word “design” people often think fashion or interior designs.  I, for one, still look to my mother to help me out with fashion and I literally just copy the interior designs in Ikea to get a decent looking room. But when it comes to web design, it sort of come natural to me because it blends two of my favorite seemingly clashing worlds, technology and art. 

I got my artistic side from my mother, who encouraged me to sketch and draw, act and sing. And I got my tech know-how from my father, who was introduced me to videogames at the age of two and taught me how to build a functioning computer by the age of seven. As for when I got started in web design, it was in the days of Myspace, where you were able to customize your MySpace profile page with whatever you felt expresses you. I didn’t realize what I was doing was graphic and web design at the time; I just wanted to make my Myspace page awesome. So I learned how to copy the bits of code of profile themes I liked and paste it along with other bits of code until it formed a cohesive profile. I remember tirelessly creating backgrounds with Microsoft Paint (I couldn’t afford Photoshop back in the day.) When I did finish my first profile page that I actually loved, I felt so proud of myself. But then I had a thought creep into my head “I could do more.” Creating something so artful out of little pieces of code lit a fire within me. I remember in high school I spent hours researching and teaching myself basic HTML and CSS, and offering to do my school’s Drama Department site as well as taking commissions online to make blog webpages. However I realized there was only so much I could do with Paints, and with so many talented graphic artists using Illustrator and Photoshop, web design just fell into the background when I started college.

For my minor I had to take a basic computing class, where one of the projects was to actually build a cohesive website. By this point I finally got training in Photoshop and I knew all the basic coding that was covered in class! I remember getting an A- on the project because I didn’t follow the professor guidelines (Even though he made note that I had the one of the best looking sites he has seen a student do.) However, it reignited that spark and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve designed websites for my chapter of my sorority, my father’s budding business, projects my friends started, and I try to keep improving myself every day by looking at other web designers and figuring out piece by piece on how they coded their websites. You wouldn’t think it’s fun, but I actually enjoy designing blogs more than actual blogging!

So that’s how I learned how to do web design and whatnot. If you’re a budding web designer, who has the creative side but doesn’t have the computer chops to back it up, here is my advice. Don’t be afraid of the code. Seriously, it’s just a bunch of characters, HTML is super easy to pick up and if you can’t get something right, there are so many resources that the internet has for troubleshooting, you just got to look. But if you find yourself, knowing the tech sides of things but have trouble getting an artistic scheme to your site, look around! Discover what elements of sites you do or do not like. And just break it down, structurally. No matter what though, when it comes to web design, I just want to say, you might just surprise yourself with how much you actually do know. 

Thanks Sam!  
How did you learn to code?

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