Taking Time for You

Madison Weissinger
Madison Weissinger

I am a hopeless romantic. I love it, can’t get enough of it, and will admit it. With that being said, a good love story makes for a great book in my opinion.

A good love story is what I read when I need that break from everything else in the world. When I take some time to myself, I read. Nicholas Sparks is a phenomenal author. If you have never heard of him, then click on this link and get reading! http://nicholassparks.com/ Check out my top five favorite books by him!

5: Safe Haven

This is about a young woman who leaves her life to start new in North Carolina, where she tries avoiding a traumatizing past and meets a widowed man with his two children. If you don’t have time for the book, I’d recommend the movie.

4: The Choice

One of my favorite quotes in the book is, “If conversation was the lyrics, laughter was the music, making time spent together is a melody that could be replayed over and over without getting stale.” I won’t say more on this book. You will have to read it to truly understand the choice that was made and why it is a top five favorite.

3: The Rescue

For anyone with a family, this book will hit home for you. A woman and her 4-year-old son with a learning disability get in a car accident. The son then goes missing from the scene of the accident. The search to rescue the son begins and love is rescued.

2: A Bend in the Road

All I will say about this book is it is a phenomenal read. This title of this book really explains what this book is all about. You never know what is on the other side of the bend.

1: Best of Me

This book truly speaks volumes of how wonderful this writer is. It is about a couple who had a young love then suddenly move away from each other. Then to find later in life they reunite for a hometown tragedy. Out of all the books I have read from this author, this is the best one.

Now, take time for you and grab a good book that brings you joy.

If you have read any of these books before, feel free to share below which one is your favorite!

xo Madison

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The Consultant Inquiry

Kristin Ramey
Kristin Ramey

When I step off the plane to meet a chapter that I have never met before, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. With thousands of questions in my head – “What will they be like?” or “Will they like me?”- I am anxiously awaiting their smiling faces waiting for me at the baggage claim.

Although I have hundreds of questions for them, I know that they also want to know a little about the roommate that they have acquired for the next week. I have perfected my answers on several frequently asked questions. The most frequent questions include:

Q #1: Where did you go to school? A: University of Louisville (Kentucky)

Q #2: How old are you? A: 23

Q #3: Are you a Sigma Kappa? A: Yes, thank goodness!

Q #4: What positions did you hold in Sigma Kappa? A: Foundation chairman (Current VPPS), vice president of scholarship, president

Q #5: Do you have a boyfriend? A: Yes! His name is Grant and he is the best!

Q #6: Are you going home after this? A: As a traveling LC, I travel directly from one university to another. I do get to go home for a few days every now and then, but for the most part my home is wherever my suitcases are!

Q #7: Where is your favorite place you’ve traveled? A: I don’t have one! I have loved all the schools I’ve been to thus far.

Q #8: Do you like traveling? A: I don’t mind flying at all. I’ve become a traveling pro!

Q #9: Do you have two cell phones? A: Yes I do; and I often get them confused.

Q #10: Do you ever get home sick? A: Although sometimes I miss my family and friends, I have been able to spend time with so many sisters that I always feel at home during chapter visits.

I’m looking forward to meeting more chapter women as my travels continue.

P.S. How is it already almost March?! AHH!

-Kristin

Women Owned the Olympics

Jacqueline Newell
Jacqueline Newell

As you may remember from a previous blog post, the Olympic Games take up about 40% of my daily thoughts. The other 60% is made up of whether or not I should mail clothes home, upcoming travel plans, officer meetings, and how to avoid hills on my run.

If you’ve been watching the 2014 Sochi Olympics, you would know that women have been crushing records and overall making Sochi their sporting playground. Although they lost 2-1 to Russia, the Japanese women’s ice hockey team broke a 16-yearlong goal-less spell. The USA women’s ice hockey team made history by winning 9-0 versus Switzerland. The referee and linesmen for the game were also all women. [Update: Shout out to Julie Chu, ice hockey, for being elected flag bearer for Team USA in the closing ceremonies!]

Erin Hamlin won a bronze medal in the women’s luge singles. She is the first American, male or female, to ever medal in this event. Natalie Geisenberger, Germany, earned gold in the singles luge with over a 2 second margin – the largest gap in three decades and the fifth consecutive win for Germany.

South Korean figure skater, 2010 gold medalist and record breaker, Yuna Kim, is a superstar in her home country, affectionately called “Queen Yuna.” Creeping up behind Kim this year is 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia, hailed as Russia’s “tiny genius” who pushed Russia to gold in the team events. To everyone’s surprise, a different Russian became the first Russian woman to win gold in women’s figure skating. 17-year-old Adelina Sotnikova came in under the radar and bettered her personal best by 18 points, stealing the gold. Kim came in second and Carolina Kostern of Italy came in third.

I also wanted to include a video of Surya Bonaly, a 1998 Olympian, who wowed the world by being the person to do a back flip and land on one blade. To this day, she is still the only person, male or female, to complete this move. Talk about being a rock star.

Some say you have the same number of hours in a day as Beyonce, meaning you too can accomplish great things. I say you have the same number of hours in a day as these Olympians – so let’s hit the slopes!

How do I get MY DREAM JOB?

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Jaynie Levinson
Jaynie Levinson

It’s almost March, and summer is just around the corner! I know that if most of us aren’t taking summer classes, so a chance to make some money is always a good option!

I hope that not all of you are cringing when people say “so what’s next for you?” like I do!  I’ve been searching myself, not knowing exactly where to start and what I even want! How can I start thinking about my future when I’m still doing the job that I love (or in your case, you’re probably still loving school…lucky ducks!)? Why can’t I be an LC for the rest of my life??

I found a great article on the Huffington Post website “Your Surprising Key To Interview Success!”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eileen-williams/job-search_b_4627952.html

I thought I would share this with all of you, because if you’re not applying for jobs at this time, we can all self-reflect on our personal strengths!

If you don’t have time to read the article, here are the key points to ask yourself:

  • Which qualities distinguish you from the competition?
  • How do you generally approach problems and deal with people?
  • What personal talents tend to come naturally to you?

Fingers crossed we are all successful!
Jaynie

The Emotional Olympics

Taryn Mantta
Taryn Mantta

In addition to being a huge sports fan, I am also an Olympics nut. I love to watch people achieve their goals, and hate to see when things don’t add up and someone sees their hard work slip away. All in all, that’s just the nature of the beast — three people get to stand on the podium, and the others don’t.

When I was little, I used to figure skate. When I was around 7 years old and a budding figure skating prodigy (totally joking), I had a figure skating idol. A 15-year-old American woman named Tara Lipinski was in Nagano, Japan in 1998 trying to win a gold medal in the women’s single figure skating competition. Now if you’ve ever seen the Winter Olympics, you may have noticed that figure skating is usually at night during prime time. As a 7-year-old girl, my parents may have let me stay up to watch it, but I fell asleep on the couch anyway. I woke up to find out that she had won and had become the youngest individual gold medalist ever. In that moment, Tara Lipinski was the coolest person ever.

People achieving their goals is great to watch, but when they’ve got some amazing story, it tugs me in even further.

Some of my favorite/least favorite parts (aka things that have made me cry) from this Olympics are as follows.

1. Three Canadian sisters who competed in the women’s moguls competition came in first, second and twelfth. The youngest of the sisters, Justine, ended up in first place with only her middle sister, Chloe, and the American reigning Olympic gold medalist to go. Chloe took her place at the starting gate knowing that if she was successful and got into first place she was going to take her sister’s place. The emotions running through her must have been crazy. By that time I was already crying (on a Greyhound bus going from Pennsylvania to New York, to put the icing on the cake). Chloe ended up in second place after her run, and after the mistakes by the reigning champ, the youngest sister took the gold medal. 

2. The Olympics bring together people from all over the world to compete in the sports they love. Unfortunately, as much as the games are about brotherhood/sisterhood among elite athletes, sometimes the politics of the world can cause difficulties for these athletes as they try to achieve their goal of competing. India, due to corruption in their athletic programs, was not able to participate in these Winter Games in Sochi, but what does that mean for their athletes? Shiva Keshavan competed in men’s luge without the Indian flag on his arm and participated in the opening ceremonies, not as a member of the Indian delegation, but as an Independent Olympic Participant. Although not able to participate under his flag, he brought a little bit of home to Sochi on his suit, which is adorned with names of people who donated to the cause of sending him to Sochi. He has unbelievable dedication to the country that has caused him difficulties in not only Sochi, but also in Torino during the 2010 Olympics.

3. In men’s skeleton (which may be the most terrifying sport to watch in the entire world) it was amazing to watch Russian Alexander Tretjyakov win gold as the Russian fans cheered him on. It was also great to see American Matthew Antoine win the bronze medal in an event where he had not been the American favorite. The real American favorite was a man named John Daly who had come into his final run of the competition in a race for third. At the beginning of his starting run, his chances of third were dashed when his sled slipped out of the grooves before he assumed the headfirst position for the race. His after race interview showed the devastation that he felt as a rare occurrence for skeleton sliders happened to occur during his Olympics.  

There are many more amazing stories that have happened during these Olympic Games, but if you’ve missed any and you have a television subscription, you may be able to watch full replays on the NBC Olympics website (thanks, Mom).

Although not everyone can be Olympic athletes, some of the emotions can be felt (to an extent) during our time in Sigma Kappa. Sometimes your sister gets that job, test grade or opportunity that you were going for, and you have to fight your emotions between being happy for your sister and upset for yourself. Your chapter may do something that causes your chapter pride to decrease, and it’s up to you to keep your head held high and prove that Sigma Kappa is awesome. Maybe something you have practiced a million times happens to go wrong during the situation that you’ve ultimately been practicing for.

All in all, you just have to remember that you aren’t alone and your sisters have your back. They are there to share in your excitement, console you through your difficult times, and overall, be the best Sigma Kappa you can be.

Keep Calm and Carry it On

Amy Gallagher
Amy Gallagher

Hello, my lovely sisters!

Last night, as I was scrolling through Pinterest (shocking, I know) a pin titled “How to Pack the Perfect Carry-on” caught my eye (also, shocking, yes – I know). Now, we all have our different styles and what we deem as necessities. But some of the things this woman included – and left out – were very surprising to me. So I was inspired to write my own version of what I keep at my feet during a flight …

Productivity:

  • laptop computer
  • cell phone
  • headphones
  • chargers
  • notebook
  • planner
  • fun colored pens/highlighters

Sustenance:

  • water bottle
  • snack
  • Starbucks Via/Crystal Light

Personal Use:

  • chapstick
  • hand lotion
  • lip stain
  • compact hairbrush/mirror
  • hair pins
  • Emergen-C
  • ibuprofen/stomach relief/other medications
  • nail file

Random:

  • sunglasses
  • eyeglasses
  • napkins

For carrying it all:
I recently had to replace my daily work bag after wearing the last one out after a year-and-a-half as an LC. I looked for a bag that has a lot of inside pockets or separators. It helps me know where to look for small items instead of having to dig. Also, I checked the length of the straps and how the bag sat on my shoulder and with a winter coat on. This can be a big comfort factor!

Share your travel necessities in the comments below!

Safe Travels!

Facilitating vs Presenting

Molly Kenney
Molly Kenney

Sigma Kappa has recently re-launched Workshop Warehouse, which is a great resource for chapters! Workshop Warehouse is the hub for workshops to help improve chapters, provide resources, and develop our members personally and professionally. The workshops are laid out in a simple format and give the facilitator speaking points to help enhance the workshop. This allows chapter members to feel confident about facilitating the workshop to the chapter. However, I know it can be scary to get up and facilitate a workshop to your peers. Here are a few lessons I have learned through practice:

When I first started giving workshops, I didn’t understand the difference between facilitating and presenting. I attended a workshop this summer that focused on learning when to facilitate vs present. Once I learned the difference and techniques, I realized I was presenting when facilitation would have been a better approach for the material and audience.

·         Facilitation is giving information in a walk-through process vs presenting information which is giving the audience knowledge.

·         Know your audience because different people and learning types hear the same information differently.

·         Techniques to engage different learning styles:

o   Stress balls, reinforce behavior

o   Note cards, write quick notes

o   Sticky wall, ask questions and place responses on the wall

o   Flip charts, for visual aid

o   Small group discussion

o   Presentations, PowerPoint

·         Read the room and make a judgment call to mix facilitation with presenting depending on the audience and the information.

Check out Workshop Warehouse and utilize these tools to continue to strengthen your members and chapter.

Dove love,

Molly