Hello again, sisters! As the title points out, my nerdy side is back and ready to parrrrrty. While visiting the Theta Zeta chapter, University of Virginia, I took a personal day to visit DC. Along the way I got to see some pretty neat things, including memorials and my big sister from Epsilon Chi.
Despite the fact that there is always a huge exodus from Blacksburg to the DC area after graduation, I haven’t gotten to visit as much as I would like. Within a 24-hour period and a lot of driving, I was lucky enough to see almost everyone I love in the area including many of my sorority family members and roomies from college!
Here are a few pictures taken along the way to share the experience with you!
After a very long and exciting day, I officially need to get my boots resoled and get out of the rain!
This year, I have learned to do many things – most of which pertain to multitasking and traveling. One thing, however, that I was not expecting to do so often was coming into women’s homes and adjusting to the different cultures, climates and chapters.
Lately it seems that I have come across some “bad luck”: I was hit by winter storm Nemo and was buried four-and-a-half feet deep in snowy Connecticut; my precious purple suitcase was lost for exactly 26 hours; and then, worst of all, I fell victim to a nasty and atrocious infection that landed me a trip to the ER.
At the time all of these not so fortunate events happened, I found it so easy to feel bad for myself and so badly just wanted to throw my hands up and quit. But what kept me going through all of these times of tribulation was the simple and pure compassion of my sisters. While at our Alpha Delta chapter at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, I was completely and utterly blown away by the amount of compassion and love shown to me. The gracious chapter president sat with me for five hours in the hospital just to keep me company while I slept, she fixed me countless glasses of sprite and ‘sonic’ ice, and did everything she could to make me feel as comfortable as possible.
She will never know how much her kindness means to me, how completely amazing her generosity made me feel, and how she, even more than the medicine, made me feel better.
This woman’s unwavering sweetness really made me think about how powerful compassion can truly be. Compassion can completely turn someone’s day around. It can make someone feel at home just when they thought they were all alone; and more importantly, it can make someone feel loved. Compassion wraps you up in the coziest blanket, compassion cues the warm fuzzies inside your heart, and compassion teaches you the power of love.
Recently, I was completing my responses for our monthly staff meeting when I was asked what my biggest lesson from the past month was. Without thinking, I knew what it was.
My biggest lesson from this past month is learning how undeniably powerful compassion and kindness can be.
I am inspired by Jordan’s ability to help heal me. I am inspired by how she took care of a complete stranger. And I am inspired by how she perfectly exemplified our values.
In the past two months on the road, I have come to realize all sorority women have one thing in common: their mutual obsession with Pitch Perfect. I’m not kidding. Everywhere I go, Sigma Kappa sisters flock to this movie, watching it over and over again, quoting lines, and practically drooling over Skylar Astin.
I decided that in order to relate to sorority women everywhere, I needed to watch it. I’m going to be honest…I found it decidedly mediocre. Fat Amy did get a giggle out of me every now and then, but overall I enjoyed the company of the Epsilon Delta Chaptermore than the movie itself.
BUT the last 10 minutes of the movie…that I will watch on repeat. It is the final competition, showcasing acapella groups of all sorts. The music is great, a classic cliché finale to a chick flick. Everything ends quite perfect and the two main characters, against all odds, find love together. There is one clip though, that always gets me:
Benji, the character showcased above, is an awkward college freshman who has no friends, couldn’t make the group originally, and resorts to magic tricks for recreational fun. He is a nerd, to say the least. And in this moment, he embraces what makes him great, why being unique should be celebrated, and the crowd loves him. It is my hope that we all clutch on to the Benji in us, and remember:
There are going to be times where we feel like we don’t fit in. That people are against us, and we are alone. We’re not alone.
Someday, if not today, we will be appreciated.
Some people will take us for who we are, some people will leave it, but the true key to happiness is being content with ourselves. Never stop being the essence of who you are.
Let Benji challenge us all: as we grow older, from 18 to 21 // 23 to 25 // 49 to 50 // 73 to 75 …take time for what makes you happy. Don’t let others tell you what you’re capable of. Let your personality shine through. Keep the magic in you.
The name “Nemo” probably brings to mind images of cute little fish, friendly sharks, and a nice life lesson at the end, right? Nemo’s father swims all over the world to find his son, and it all ties up nicely, in true Disney fashion. Nemo is found. We all walk away smiling.
Up until a few weeks ago, my immediate reaction to hearing “Nemo” was what I described above. Then, Nemo found me.
I am not talking about cute little clown fish Nemo. I’m talking about Blizzard Nemo, also known as the snowpocalypse, also known as the 6th largest blizzard to hit Boston in the city’s history.
Wait, what? I hail from the great state of California, where it rarely gets below freezing and the residents are so unaccustomed to inclement weather that one time, in elementary school, we got the day off from school because it was raining. True story.
So naturally, to celebrate our one-month anniversary, Boston threw me a curveball in the form of 21.8 inches of snow.
This being my first blizzard ever, I stocked up on the necessary supplies, including candles, flashlights, and lots of nonperishable foods. I hunkered down in my apartment with my best friend Netflix from Thursday night to Saturday afternoon and watched nearly two feet of snow blanket my street. I got a call or text from someone in California roughly every 30 minutes, just making sure I hadn’t been buried in snow.
When I finally ventured out into the world on Saturday afternoon, I felt like I was in some end-of-the-world movie. Cars were entirely buried in snow (shown in the picture on the right above–could you even tell that there were cars under there?), people were building snowmen and igloos in what are normally very busy intersections, and kids were sledding down my street. It was a winter wonderland if I’ve ever seen one.
Blizzard Nemo was one for the record books, both for the city of Boston and for this California transplant! While I have come to really love snow, here’s to hoping that Nemo was the only blizzard I’ll have to endure during my semester in Boston!
Sigma Kappa’s chapter officers across the nation have recently transitioned and participated in Collegiate Officer’s Academy. During my last few chapter visits, I have been reminded of how much executive councils go through together before really beginning to excel as a group.
My current movie obsession is absolutely aca-awesome! If you have seen Pitch Perfect, you know exactly what I mean. What could be better than a hilarious chick flick based on a capella?
Earlier today, when I was watching Pitch Perfect for the fourth time, I realized that the main a capella group, the Barden Bellas, go through some situations that are quite similar to those of new leaders of our chapters.
The collegiate women of Barden University have to audition and be selected to become a member of the group. This is comparable to how the leaders of our chapters apply to be nominated and then elected into a position.
After elections, the beginning stages involve learning to work together. Just like the Barden Bellas, executive councils need to form together and start getting a feel for each other’s working styles and backgrounds.
The next stage includes finding your place in the group. At one point, a few of the Barden Bellas struggle with their roles, the balance of leadership and accepting each member for what they have to offer. This storming stage is something that new leaders of our chapters sometimes find themselves in.
It takes a lot of effort to end up working together in perfect harmony. The Barden Bellas reach the ultimate goal of any group by the end of the movie, where they were “performing” and working pitch-perfectly together to achieve their goals through new avenues.
Best of luck to all of the Sigma Kappa chapter leaders out there who are learning to work together effortlessly. You will do great things for your chapters, campus and community. Aca-believe it!
For the first couple of years that I was a member of Sigma Kappa, I viewed ritual as that time when you wore white and the chapter president said some things that you didn’t quite understand. Ritual to me was boring and was little more than a routine the chapter “had” to do. I didn’t have a clear understanding of what ritual meant or its need in the chapter.
It took me until my senior year when a freshman asked me, “Katherine, what does ritual mean to you?”
I had to pause (eek!) because I didn’t have an answer to her question. I didn’t know what it “meant to me” because I didn’t know what it “meant.”
I knew that ritual had to “mean” something if thousands of women across the country and throughout time had performed it. It was in that moment that I realized I needed to learn more. Slowly, but surely, I started to pay attention more when the chapter performed ritual. It, for me, was a start. I began to memorize the prayer and work on improving my knowledge of ritual. The interesting thing is that when I started to learn more about Sigma Kappa’s ritual, I began to feel more connected to my sisters and our values. It slowly started to change me as a person.
Now as I work for Sigma Kappa, I continue to learn. I learn new things, and I appreciate our story more. I hope that this blog inspires you to dig a little deeper, pull out that ritual book, and take time to understand Sigma Kappa in a new way.
I encourage you to check out this video about ritual.
It comes from an article titled, “Secret Thoughts of Ritual” written by Edward King.
Whenever I need some encouragement, I go to my inspiration board on Pinterest, look through pictures of friends and family, and think about all I have accomplished. Here are some of my favorite quotes and pieces of inspiration I like to turn to. Enjoy! Molly