One of the on-campus organizations that I’m involved in is Bruin Recruiters. We work with Belmont’s admissions department to help recruit prospective students and to answer any questions that they might have. It is one of the most rewarding organizations to be a part of, and I have formed so many great friendships with both the people in Bruin Recruiters, as well as the prospective students that I have met.
In addition to being tour guides and working at the Admissions Welcome Desk, Bruin Recruiters also have the opportunity to help at Belmont’s Preview Days. During a Preview Day, high school students who are interested in learning more about Belmont are invited to come for a day of touring the campus, talking with current students (the Bruin Recruiters), meeting with faculty from their academic area of interest, and checking out some of the co-curricular activities that they can be involved in.
Last Saturday, March 28th, we hosted our spring Preview Day and had an awesome turnout – over 370 prospective students came!
The main reason that I am so passionate about Bruin Recruiters is because I remember exactly how stressful the college decision-making process can be. I applied to twelve (yes, TWELVE) colleges, and ended up having a particularly difficult time choosing between my top two choices. When people ask what made me choose Belmont over the other colleges that I applied to, the first thing that comes to mind is the size. I wanted to be somewhere that was small enough to where, when I walked across campus, I could always see familiar faces while, at the same time, still seeing new faces as well. I wanted to be somewhere that I would fit in, yet still have the opportunity to stand out.
Belmont has been the perfect fit for me. I cannot even describe how overwhelmingly comforting it is to feel connected here. Not only to Belmont, but also to Nashville. I could give you endless reasons why I chose Belmont, but the best way for you to understand my love for this place is to visit and to experience it for yourself.
1) Prospective students and their families gather in the Curb Event Center for the Welcome Session during Preview Day.
2) One of my fellow Bruin Recruiters offers insight into student life during the student life panel.
3) Bruin Recruiters (pictured in red t-shirts) greet prospective students and spend some time getting to know them (this is, hands-down, our favorite part of the day).
4) The current president of Belmont, Dr. Fisher, speaks at the Welcome Session during Preview Day.
**All photos taken by Lougan Bishop (thank you, Lougan!).
Once a year Belmont participates in an event called Earth Hour in which millions of peopleacross the globe turn off their lights and other electrical appliances for an hour. Yesterday, from 8:30-9:30 pm, Belmont turned off all of the lights on campus and encouraged the students to turn off the lights in their dorm rooms as well. For the most part, everyone on campus participated in the event so the entire campus was dark during the hour. Now I have never been on campus when it was pitch black but the entire experience was actually a lot more fun than I had expected. There was a live concert on top of the Curb parking garage in which acoustic instruments were used and there were opportunities to recycle electronics. Along with the great music, the view of the stars and the darkness of downtown Nashville made this a positive experience. The reason that Belmont participated in this event is because we are trying to make a statement about our concern for the planet and its changing climate.
I have reached the final stretch of the semester. Now that spring break is over, there are no more days off until the summer. I have already made plans to work at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp over the summer as a camp counselor. I am really excited to be working there. There was a lengthy interview process which included a phone interview and I also had to create a recording of some saxophone pieces that I had been working on throughout the school year. Although I am a little bit nervous about taking this job, I look forward to working in a musical environment and improving in my own playing. Now that I definitely have summer plans I am really focusing on my school work. A typical school day for me consists of many music classes, ensemble rehearsals, and meetings. For instance, on Tuesdays my schedule looks like this:
8:00-9:15 am- Music History Class. I am usually very tired during this class. I have 8′s every day, so I don’t get to sleep-in until the weekend. I try to sit in the front row and take really good notes because this class is very challenging, but I have learned a lot about the different time periods of music.
9:30-10 am- Jog/Run Class. Basically all we do in this class is run for a certain amount of time each day. We are also required to run a 5k by the end of the semester. I actually really enjoy this class. It is a great way to stay in shape and it is really fun.
10:15-11:00 am- After my Jog/Run class I head back to my dorm to relax. Usually I take a shower and then finish up whatever homework I have to do. I spend this time preparing for the rest of the day.
11:15-12:00 am- I head down to the cafeteria to grab something to eat. Most of the time I use the “Take 4″ which is a new feature of the cafeteria where you can get a really good lunch to go. I usually take the food back to my dorm room and eat while I practice my keyboard.
12:00-1:00 pm- I have Class Piano III in the basement of the Wilson Music Building. The piano classroom has about 14 pianos in it. Every week we have a playing test over the current repertory selections. I am determined to do well in this class because at the end of the semester I hope to take my piano proficiency test and test out of piano lessons early.
1:00-3:00 pm- I head back to my dorm and finish any homework that I couldn’t finish early in the day. Sometimes I take this time to practice my saxophone or to relax.
3:30-5:00 pm- I have wind ensemble rehearsal at Belmont Heights Baptist Church. I play the alto saxophone and I really enjoy being in the ensemble. We usually have really intense rehearsals because we only meet twice a week, so each person in the ensemble has to work on their individual parts outside of the rehearsals. Here is a clip from our fall concert: Download file
5:00-7:00 pm- Usually I am hungry at this time so I head down to the cafeteria right after rehearsal. After dinner I usually hang out with friends.
7:00-9:00 pm- I have Brass Methods at night. This is probably my favorite class of the day. I get to learn how to play the trumpet and trombone and I also learn how to teach the brass instruments to other people.
9:00-10:00 pm- My friend, Brock, and I head to the Curb after Brass Methods and get something to eat. Usually there is someone performing live at the Curb so we get to eat while we listen to some amazing songs.
10:00-12:00 pm- Practice, Practice, Practice… the majority of the time I spend practicing my saxophone in the practice rooms. I like practicing this late because most of the practice rooms are available and there are fewer people, so less noise.
12:30 pm- BED. By this time I am exhausted, so I try to get to bed so that I am ready for my 8 am class the following day.
It’s about 70 degrees and the sunshine is pouring onto Belmont’s picturesque campus. Right now I’m waiting for my 3 o’clock class and resting out on the grass in the quad. Before I started this blog I was enjoying a pomegranate Limeade Odwalla and reading a Fodor’s book about Paris, which is exciting because this summer I’m actually going there! I’ve never been out of the country before, but this summer both my sister and I are going to Angers and Paris to study French with Belmont’s study abroad program.
I couldn’t be anymore thrilled! We leave at the end of June and return at the beginning of August. It turns out that I got a little too hasty and booked the wrong dates for our plane tickets… We’re there a whole eight days longer than the rest of the people in the program will be. When I first told my parents about my mistake, and it was an honest mistake, they both said that I absolutely had to change my plane tickets and come home with the rest of the group. However, I think they are warming up to the idea of letting us stay those eight days. I’m hoping to go to Provence, but we’ll see what ends up working out.
Thankfully, many of my friends at Belmont have studied abroad and were quick to suggest places to go and things to do. After spending a month in intense secondary level French classes, I’m hoping that we will be able to speak the language fairly well and be able to make our way around the country. Besides, I’ve always been the adventurous type I’m pretty sure those eight days may turn out to be some of the most memorable days of my life! Plus, how many times do you get to go to France with your sister/best friend and not only learn to speak French, but explore a country you’ve adored for years! My point exactly!!
The trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience;
and so is Dolly Parton’s hometown.
The car radio blasts U2;
and the Rolling Stone with Taylor Swift sits in the passenger seat.
The horses stampede against the wind forming dusty clouds;
and the creamy vegetable soup never tasted any better.
The tossing of the frisbee on the lawn brings back childhood memories;
and the “let’s-take-a-walk-to-see-the-sunset” is already part of history.
The sound of Country Music is a part of life;
and the commercials on TV are disheartening.
The world inside is a log cabin filled with laughter;
and the smell of grilled burgers and sweet potato fries.
The world outside is fearless;
and the landscape is filled with an All-American Boy named Luke.
The rippling stream ruffles against the wilderness;
and the mountain climb brought us closer to God.
So, I had an awesome break. I went home from Tuesday through Friday and experienced amazing weather. I found it quite humorous when on the plane, on the way back to Nashville, the pilot told us the weather in Nashville and everyone groaned audibly. I enjoyed that 80 degree weather. But I’m also glad to be back in Nashvegas. Since I have 4 day weekends I don’t start school again until Tuesday, but I have a test to study for in Latin and some sonnets to read and some poetry to write and I’ll be good to go, basically. I honestly did no homework over the break. Instead I waited until today to really get study. Bad Amaryah, I know, I was just enjoying being able to read without having to rush to do homework. Anyways. It’s time to get back on the grind. After a really rough fall semester it’s great to have a semester that is not extremely challenging, but I still want to finish strong and do my best in all my classes. So, I guess it’s back to work for me!
Spring Break was absolutely wonderful. I went home to KC for a few days before heading to Jacksonville, Florida to visit my friend Sarah! Her mom owns a bakery – Sheila’s Cakes and Specialty Treats – and, since one of my greatest aspirations in life is to own a bakery, I was elated to serve as Miss Sheila’s intern for the week. In addition to icing sunflower-shaped sugar cookies, I also helped with wedding cake consultations and…I GOT TO DELIVER A WEDDING CAKE TO A WEDDING ON THE BEACH! It was definitely the highlight of my Spring Break.
On Friday morning, Sarah and I woke up way to early (6ish) in order drive to the beach to watch the sunrise. I think that we were still half-asleep until we dipped our toes into the Atlantic ocean…at that point we were both wide awake. It was a very foggy and cloudy morning, so we had our doubts that we would actually be able to see the sun.
Around 7:38 am, however, the clouds parted every so slightly to reveal a blazing, tangerine-colored sun. As the ocean glittered beneath it, and rays of pink stretched out across the horizon, I experienced one of those moments that leaves you breathless. I couldn’t help but think of one of my favorite quotes: “Every experience of beauty points to eternity.” That statement is so very true.
Being in Kansas City was, of course, delightful as well. I NEEDED to see my family again. To hug my little Louie; to chase my cat around the house until he gives up and lets me squeeze him tightly; to hear my Dadzo’s wisdom; to hold my Mama’s hand; and, as per usual, to be back in my kitchen. While I was home, Louie made the VARSITY tennis team – and he’s only a freshman! How awesome is that?!?! It was great to celebrate with him. I’m so glad that I was able to go home.
I’m not quite ready to return to school…but I am very eager to get back to Nashville. It has truly become a second home for me and I’m incredibly thankful for that. I’m excited about the week that lies ahead – especially the weekend that lies ahead! Mamaw (my mom’s mom) is celebrating her 85th birthday on Saturday, so Dan and I will be making the three-hour drive to Kennett, Missouri on Friday morning. I can’t wait to see that side of the family again!
So for spring break this year I grabbed several books from my library to read as I take some time to relax. I’m especially excited to finally read Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” but I also got “The Witches” by Roald Dahl, “The Missing Piece,” by Shel Silverstein, “Dear Mr. Henshaw,” by Beverly Cleary, “The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism,” by Louis Bouyer, and a collection of black folktales. I’m uber excited. I don’t know if I’ll finish them all. I’ve already finished “The Witches” but I’ve read “Dear Mr. Henshaw” before, and I don’t have an extremely large amount of homework over this break, so I think I’m in good shape.
Also… I got a bike! Or more accurately I got the bike fixed that’s technically been mine for a few months now. I’m so exited. And it was free. I can’t wait to hit the streets of Nashville now on my brand new baby. Now to to name it… Hmm.
(^Not my bike, but it’s kind of like it)
In honor of the Lent season, I decided to replace the time that I would typically spend putting on make-up with studying the Bible/praying/meditating on various passages of scripture. In other words, I decided to give up wearing make-up for (roughly) 45 days.
It has only been a little over a week so far, but that week has already made a huge difference in the way that I perceive myself. Seriously. I relied on make-up way too much. It was a huge source of confidence. That has been the hardest thing for me to let go of. In order to truly believe that I am beautiful regardless of whether or not I have make-up on, I have had to learn how to be confident in who I am – with or without a “flawless” appearance.
1 Peter 3:3-4 has been such a great reminder for me…
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment; instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
I am excited for the journey that lies ahead. My hope is that in “giving up” wearing make-up, I will learn to rely more on God as my true source of confidence, and to seek the type of beauty that honors Him. The journey never really ends, I think. It takes constant reminders from scripture, encouragement from friends, and the strength that only comes through Christ. The combination of these things offers peace for the moment and joy for the journey.
In other news… I am officially DONE with my 8-week history class!!! I just finished writing my final (it was essay format) and it was so very liberating to attach it in an email and press “send”! It will be even more liberating when I come back from Spring Break and have absolutely nothing to do on Wednesday nights!
Tomorrow morning I’m off to Kansas City for a much-needed week of relaxation! I’ll be in KC until Wednesday, then I will fly to Jacksonville, FL for the rest of break to visit my friend, Sarah! I can’t wait!!!
*Photo caption: Hope and I both decided to give up wearing make-up for Lent; this was our first Friday night without make-up.
This semester I took an internship at a local downtown venue, founded by Christian artist Michael W. Smith, called Rocketown. Now, as an English major a music venue may not seem like the most likely choice, but what makes Rocketown unique is it is also a non-profit, faith-based organization dedicated to impacting the lives of the youth of Nashville. What that means is that in addition to the shows that go on nightly, Rocketown has not only a skate park, coffee bar, and youth lounge, but fosters an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding.
Rocketown is funded partially by the revenue that comes from the events held there, but about 50% of funding comes from individuals, churches, foundations, and other financial contributions. Enter my job. I’ve been working with the Grant Writer at Rocketown and, thankfully and finally, realized what I want to do for a career. The idea of helping people has always been appealing to me, but I’m overjoyed to realize I can use my writing skills to get money to institutions like Rocketown and help multitudes of people for a career is not only exciting, but deeply rewarding.