On Passing Time in Airports

Jordan Archer
Jordan Archer

I am known for being a little dramatic at times (cue head nods from all members of my family), but I do not exaggerate in the slightest when I say this: on every travel day in the month of October, my final flight leg (usually I have three or four flights) has been delayed at least an hour. At least. Sometimes longer. There was one particularly frustrating day in which I boarded my already one hour late plane, sat down, fell asleep, and was awoken by the flight attendant announcing over the speaker that we needed to deplane and board a new aircraft. It was nearing 11 p.m. Needless to say, I was not pleased.

All this extra time I have dealt with this month has given me the opportunity to do some airport exploring. The following is a list of tips to pass the time in some of my very favorite airports:

  1. Eat at Brioche Doree at Chicago O’Hare (ORD). I studied abroad last summer and this was my favorite chain restaurant in Paris. Eating here makes me nostalgic for the days when I was shopping along the Champs-Elysees and alleviates my frustration about a three-hour layover. If French food is not your favorite, O’Hare has other fabulous options! Stop by Garrett Popcorn or this little tea stand that has boba and tons of different pastries.
  2. Get your nails done at Nashville (BNA). There is a cute little shop in the Southwest terminal that has $20 manicures. They even do shellac! A manicure does not take long and makes me feel so relaxed. Definitely a must during a long travel day!
  3. Shop at Vera Bradley at Indianapolis (IND). This little shop has everything! That is where I bought my laptop case and hair straightener holder. The hair straightener holder is particularly useful when I am rushing to get ready for the airport and my straightener is still hot!
  4. Have a leisurely lunch at Café Intermezzo at Atlanta (ATL). I once had a three-hour layover here, so I ordered a cappuccino, a sandwich and dessert. The wait staff was so friendly and the food was amazing!
  5. People watch everywhere. I swear, airports are the best places for this! Every day I encounter people speaking different languages coming from and going to all corners of the world. There are definitely some weirdos out there, but I have learned that if you stick your nose in a book and put in some headphones, they are far less likely to bother you!

Layovers do not always have to be a bad thing! Find something fun to do to pass the time, and if you are feeling frustrated, I recommend finding some chocolate. 😉

Safe travels,

Jordan

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An Ode to Amtrak

Hannah Villa
Hannah Villa

This semester, I have been privy to many once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I have eaten at countless establishments that were featured on the Food Network, I have seen breathtaking campuses, and I have met some truly extraordinary women. However, reflecting on the semester thus far, I must say that some of my favorite experiences have come from riding the train.

Before I arrived in New Jersey, I had only ridden a train once when in Durango on a machine much like the Polar Express. So, needless to say, I was a little freaked out when I learned that I would be using the train to get to my next chapter visit. Growing up in Colorado, I rarely used public transportation. We simply do not have the sophisticated system seen in big cities.

So here I was, in my first legit train station, with a sinus infection, a 50ish pound suitcase, and practically a lit, flashing sign above my head blinking, “This is my first train ride and I have NO idea what I am doing.” You would think that I would have started with a more user-friendly station with only a few tracks. Yep, should have thought about that one before I booked my ticket, because there I stood in Philadelphia’s Grand Central, clueless and confused.

Boarding the train was a bit of a challenge. Lifting my large purple suitcase aboard was not as easy as I had thought. I finally got myself and my belongings on the train and then quickly found a seat. We were off and I was ready for a nap…this train business was exhausting.

Over the next few weeks, I would take the train from chapter to chapter, each time getting more skilled on train riding. Now I consider myself somewhat of a professional. Each time I climb aboard, I whisk my large purple suitcase effortlessly on board, I dine in the cafe car, and I am starting to learn the complicated schedule.

So Amtrak, thank you. Thank you for teaching me how lovely train riding can be. Thank you for the delicious $4 trail mix I devour every ride. Thank you for helping me see this beautiful country.

I look forward to more pleasant rides with Amtrak!

xoxo

Hannah

Bucket List?

Francesca Gomes
Francesca Gomes

Hello friends!

Upon my arrival to the Epsilon Chi Chapter at Virginia Tech, I texted one of my SKLC sisters, Sue Buyrn, letting her know how excited I was to be staying in her old room (and by old, I mean she was living in it less than a year ago). She was thrilled to tell me about the many great things to do in Blacksburg, and even mentioned the Hokie Bucket list.

The Hokie Bucket list includes 72 things that you MUST do as a Hokie before graduation, with 18 being the most essential. This got me thinking about the types of things that I want to accomplish during each of my visits… if time permits, of course. Evidently, consultant visits last a few days, whereas college lasts four years. Given that, the list I came up with is a bit shorter.

Sigma Kappa Leadership Consultant Visit Bucket List:

1.  Eat at at least one local restaurant.

  • You all already know about my love for the Food Network…

2.  Take a tour around campus, even if it is quick and self-guided.

  • Learn about the history and take a picture with something historical or significant to the campus, such as a Hokie bird!

3.  Visit the bookstore and collect at least one thing.

  • For me, this is postcards- easy to travel with, and I love writing and crafting.

4.  Check out a sporting event, if possible.

  • Today I was able to attend some of a women’s volleyball game!

5.  Do something seasonal and/or unique to the city.

  • Last week, I went apple picking in Charlottesville, Va. with the Theta Zeta chapter at the University of Virginia.

Whatever it is that you have time to do, make sure you have fun doing it with sisters! 

Afternoon at the beach with Zeta Mu at UC San Diego.
Apple picking in the fall with Theta Zeta at The University of Virginia.
The Swamp with Beta Tau at The University of Florida.
Burruss Hall during a campus tour at Virginia Tech.

xoxo,

Francesca

The Power of Panhellenic…Part III

Katherine Getty
Katherine Getty

As I continue to work with the Theta Omicron Chapter here at Arizona State University, I encounter many women who are members of other National Panhellenic Conference groups. I am amazed and impressed by them. Working with other Greeks helps me remember why I love Sigma Kappa and the Greek movement so much.

Being Greek has taught me what friendship means, true loyalty, the meaning of philanthropy, and even how to be better person. I know that by having this positive experience and sharing it with others I can break down the stereotypes.

I am much more than a “sorority girl.”

I am more than a rumor.

I am more than a story about what sorority life “is.”

I know that I am one of over four million women who have found a way to grow and develop during college.

I am just like Barbara Bush, Sheryl Crow and Carrie Underwood, who have found a home away from home. I firmly believe that I found a way to handle any challenge that comes my way. I cannot help but be inspired by others in the Greek community and work to continue its mission.

As I work here in Tempe, I continue to believe more in the Greek experience. I see the women of the chapter have “light bulb” moments or take a problem and face it head on. I know that they are able to do this because of Sigma Kappa or their National Panhellenic group. I know that they are stronger because of what they have learned.

It is my hope that they too share their passion for the Greek community with those they meet. I say this because I want people to understand and appreciate what being Greek means.

 

The Little Things

Suzannah Grubb
Suzannah Grubb

It is the little things that bring a smile to my face while working with the new colony at the University of Missouri. Check out a few of my favorite pics from the last month!

Finding Virginia Tech in the most random of places or not so random considering this is my closet!

Getting a package from my grandparents in North Carolina!

Homemade blueberry cobbler and apple cider!

Reaching Silver Medallion status with Delta Airlines!

Hearing from the 2011-2012 LCs, Eliza Scott and Lindsay Farrow!

Meeting the mini Truman the Tiger- this is TJ!

Receiving the best package from a darling LC, Hannah Villa. She knows the way to my heart with note cards and chocolate!

Pinspiration

Amy Gallagher
Amy Gallagher

Social media and networking is something that is constantly changing and developing nowadays. Chapters are regularly facing challenges with Facebook and Twitter in regards to what members are posting and uploading. A challenge that I did not expect to face on the road has actually come from another upcoming sharing site, Pinterest.

For those of you who are not familiar, Pinterest is a public networking website where members are able to share images with the public and “pin” ideas and pictures that appeal to them on their own virtual bulletin boards. The boards are commonly separated into categories. Typical categories for women include weddings, crafts, home design, fashion, and travel.

It is not uncommon to have a board dedicated to one’s sorority. Sigma Kappa boards include dove, pearl, and heart jewelry, t-shirt ideas, recruitment decorations, big/little reveal options, and crafts galore.

This recruitment/recruitment planning season, I have come to find Pinterest both a means for opportunity and distraction. I cannot even begin to count the number of times that I have heard the phrase, “I saw it on Pinterest” in my travels. The means of sharing creativity and ideas is fantastic. It enables fresh trends to cross the country instantly and offers chapters the potential to improve on existing plans, events and decorations.

The hindrance comes when there is more “pinning it” than there is planning it. “Pinning” the idea is only the first step. Then comes making the idea workable for the chapter in regards to what time, budget, membership and sisterhood allows. You may not be able to do it all, so do not get carried away. Remember, there are other women in the chapter who may be able to benefit from the new ideas.

Pinterest is a great way to get inspiration for places to go, hairstyles to try, DIY home ideas, etc., but it is only a website, and those ideas are only pictures that may be attached to step-by-step plans. The inspiration it provides is only as meaningful as what comes out of it. Do not be afraid to take the next step and visit those places, buy those colored jeans, repaint an antique bookcase, and plan the best big/little reveal this (or that) side of the Mississippi.

I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy some quality time “pinning” myself. Some of my favorite things to pin are quotes I try to live by every day, and of course some hairstyles and crafts ..

          

      

Until next time ..
Amy

The Ride of My Life

Mary Margaret Gregory
Mary Margaret Gregory

Hello all!

Looking back on the past two and a half to three months, I realize that being a leadership consultant is extremely similar to riding a roller coaster. You may giggle at this comparison but just hear me out…

Waiting in long lines to get onto a roller coaster.

Depending on the ride, the line is either extremely slow or very quick. It seems that the rides that scare you the most have the quicker lines. This is the same for leadership consultants and the months leading up to getting on the road. To me, I feel like I blinked and training was over. Do not get me wrong, I was extremely excited to head off on my first visit, but at the same time I was a little scared of the outcome of the ride.

Buckling up.

Finally arriving to the roller coaster, you sit in the cart and strap yourself in. Personally, I have always tugged on the seat belt to ensure that I am safely secured. Much like the tug for reassurance, when an LC packs up for that first visit, we make sure that we have all materials that will ensure that we are strapped up for success. Not only do these materials include our laptops, binders and Sigma Kappa related materials but also materials that help us feel a sense of safety when the ride gets tough like pictures of our family and friends, a Bible or inspirational book of quotes, or any sentimental item that motivates us through the tougher days. These items are much like a seat belt, they hold us in when we fill like we are slipping out.

The ride before the peak.

As a roller coaster slowly makes its way to the top, I always look back every so often to see how far we are from where we started. The closer the ride gets to the top, the more anxious and excited I get just like I have with each visit as an LC. After each visit or meeting whether it be with the F/SA, an officer, an executive council, or even a chapter,  I always look back to see where I started to not only give me a sense of accomplishment but to prepare me even more for the next ride ahead.

Most of all, enjoying the ride.

When a roller coaster makes the first plunge, it is a complete adrenaline rush much like walking into a chapter house for the first time. After that first sense of anxiety, the rest of the ride is full of excitement through all of the ups and downs – more ups than downs, of course. As the ride may seem to slow down, it surprises you with sudden changes turning your world upside down much like being a LC. The number one thing that I have learned from this job (more of an opportunity than a job) is that each journey is unpredictable, taking you in all different directions, It challenges you to step out of your comfort zone. Even when the ride gets a little bumpy or scary, I have learned to enjoy and appreciate every second of it because before you know it, the ride is over and you are wishing to do it again.

Being a leadership consultant has pushed me far outside of my comfort zone but with the help of my personal materials (my Bible, inspirational quotes, many pictures of family and friends, etc.), I seem to find a way to feel balanced allowing me to enjoy every second of the ride.

<3,

Mary Margaret