Alaska Memories

In 2011, I went to Alaska with my family and cousins on a very special trip. We went through Tauck Bridges. Think of it as a cruise, but instead the boat is a bus. Alaska is one of the most beautiful states I been to, but one of the longest flights. We started in Anchorage and eventually made it to Alyeska. The badge below is the name of the trip we wen on. The whale fluke (tail) was part of a glacier cruise we went on and fun fact: the color of the water was based on color of glacier. Fun facts about Mt. McKinley: only 30% of travelers in Alaska get to see it so that was a bonus, it is also known as Denali, and I only know its height is 20,320 because of the name of a restaurant I went to.

We went to Anchorage all the way to Alyeska. We went on a couple of hikes, and one of them was six miles. We did some geocaching, which is a compass-natured scavenger hunt. We panned for gold, met sled dogs, went on a bush plane and saw many of snow-covered mountains while on the plane, and among other memories.

Alaska is a very beautiful state in so many ways. The different animals and landscapes are beautiful. The odd thing about Alaska is the sunlight. When I was there, at about 9 at night, it was still light outside so it was very easy to stay up even though it was night already. I love these trips when it involves my parents, my sister and I, and cousins.

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State Blog Series

Starting tomorrow, will begin one of my blog series.

I live in the United States and have been to an amazing amount of states. I was thinking what if I do a series where I talk about each state I have been to. I want to talk about why I have been in each state. Some of these states have wonderful memories including the state I have lived in. The first state will be Alaska and they will be in alphabetical order.

What is feels to be Graduated

Graduation is a huge celebration. College is not easy. It is very difficult so graduating from college is a big accomplishment. I may have had some really tough classes, but I managed to get through them. Getting to this requires a lot of hard work and determination. Part of why college is so amazing is all of the social things. You make friends that will last forever.

Graduation can be a bit chaotic. I had to get dressed in my gown and carry my cap to Dover Theatre on Campus. Graduates had to meet there to get rest of the stuff we had to wear. I already was in gown and my two pins were on the gown and I was already wearing my honors cord. But at the theatre, I got my hood and my red medallion. I had no idea what it would like during the graduation ceremony. In the theatre, we were separated by Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. Of what to do, we basically were told treat it like “Follow” the leader.

Below is the top of my cap. So many people at Gardner Webb know me and many know about my obsession for Les Mis so I decided to capture that on my cap. I used the gray and yellow border to represent the tragic and spiritual nature of the show. The letters are written in blue and red to signify France. I was struggling with figuring out what the words should be. I eventually settled down to the romantic “A Heart Full of Love”. Yes, I picked the romantic song of the show but it works. I have such a strong love for the school so it works.

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It was crazy leaving the theatre and heading towards the gym. We all headed in different directions to get there. The Bachelor of Arts graduates basically headed towards backstage and out stage door. It was just when we were waiting to get in the gym, it felt like we were not even moving. I could hear the opening music but we just were not moving. I was so excited when we actually were finally processing into the gym. I felt very excited that I was finally graduating. The slowest part of graduation was commencement. The number of people graduating with a Bachelor of Science was crazy: it felt like there were more than 100 people with that. My group, Bachelor of Arts, we had to get our diplomas last even though we were in the front. I thought during commencement I would feel a mix of emotions from excitement to pride to feeling a bit sad. But the sadness of Gardner Webb did not hit during the ceremony.

Below is a picture of me actually getting my diploma. There is so much pride and excitement in that photo. I have had so many wonderful memories at Gardner Webb and once a Bulldog always a bulldog.

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The sadness did not kick in until after graduation. It was during the reception when I was hugging one of my suitemates, who is also one of my best friends. I realized the two of us weren’t be living together, but I know the two of us will still be friends. While I graduated, Sydney has two more years. The two of us just didn’t want to let to. But while unpacking the room, the bittersweet nature kicked in more. I just cannot believe I am actually graduated. My memories and friends I will never forget.

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Memories of Gardner Webb

Yesterday, I graduated from Gardner Webb with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and minoring in Spanish Cultural Studies and Theatre. I thought it would be fun to have a post about memories of Gardner Webb. Gardner Webb is not just a college: it feels like home to me.

The Gathering- The Gathering is my school’s student-led worship service. I been to almost every single one of them. By singing those Contemporary christian songs and listening to the sermons, I became stronger in spirit. I just cannot believe they are over. Song range from “Fierce”, “Come to the River”, “One Thing Remains”, “Anchor”, “You Make Me Brave”, “Power to Redeem and “You Make Me Brave”. Some of these are songs I only heard in one semester or only heard once.

Snow Days- there are days on Campus when school would be closed due to snow. The very first snow day, I was actually building a snow man without water proof globes, which was quite cold. The most recent snow day, which was this year, my suite mates and I literally went sledding down on cushions from our suite with a garbage bag on top and that was one of the best ways to go sledding and I had snow creme for the first time.

 

Wicked/Les Mis- there are two times where I went with my school to see a musical. Both Greenville and Charlotte are close enough to do that. The first was Wicked, which was in 2016. That would be my 4th time seeing Wicked , which was in Charlotte and I felt the most vulnerable and emotional this time around and part of that had to do with seeing it with my school, a school that has changed me “for good”. One thing that was crazy about Wicked was that after the show ended, the bus we came in was broken so we had to wait quite a while, which was long enough to see the evening show audience start to arrive.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/review-of-wicked/

The 2nd show I saw with my school was Les Mis, which was in Greenville. This would be the 5th time seeing the stage show. This was my 1st time seeing it on tour and my 1st time seeing the 25th anniversary production. I had an understudy as Eponine this time around. I loved this production.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/review-of-les-mis/

 

Theatre- I have attended 13 shows during my time at Gardner Webb and for seven of those shows, I have either house managed or ushered for. Some of those shows were required and some I choose to see. I did not like all of them, but I did either enjoy or love part of them.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/gardner-webb-shows/

Candy and Critters-this happens around Valentine’s Day. We are allowed to make a stuffed animal and get candy. Pictured below are the critters I made. I will name each of them. Beatrice Rose, the bunny, was made in Feb. of 2015 and she is my sleep buddy. I named her Beatrice Rose because of B for bunny and rose for her color. Magenta, the camouflage bear, was made in Feb. of 2016 and she was named due to her color. Rainbow, the dog, was named Rainbow for obvious reasons and I made her Feb. of 2017.

We are only allowed one, but 2018 was very different. I ended up making two because we were told that if we waited long enough and if there enough we could make two. In 2018, I came to the event wanting to name a stuffed animal after a musical theatre character. I did not who the character would be yet because I tend to name stuffed animals after what they look like. Eponine, the brown bear, is named that because Eponine tends to wear a brown color scheme and due to heart-shaped patches, which have stitches around the outside remind me of a broken heart, which both fit the character perfectly. The 2nd stuffed animal, I made was the rainbow bear and her name is Tiedye for obvious reasons.

 

Pinterest Night- this is another memory of Gardner Webb. In the past two Pinterest nights I been to, we were allowed to paint whatever we wanted. In the 2016 Spring Pinterest night, I decided to make a Disney Canvas after experiencing the Leadership Program by Disney where we took two classes and were able to spend the rest of the trip experiencing Disney. It was one of the best Gardner Webb memories of the semester.  My Fall 2017 Pinterest night, I decided to come in having no pre-planned idea on what to paint. I started out with the red dome with the black border. One of my friends said it reminded her of a stage so I went with the musical theatre theme. There are yellow curtains with five stars on the top. I knew I wanted to put Elphaba up there since she is my favorite musical character, but I felt like it needed something related to Les Mis.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/pinterest-night/

 

Big E- this is a place in Gaffney where you can bowl, play laser tag and watch movie. At 11:00 at night, it closes it self off for just Gardner Webb students. There are usually about five to six movies to pick from. Before my last year, no movie has interested so I never went. But in this final year, I finally found movies I want to see. My first movie, Murder on the Orient Express, I did fall asleep during. My 2nd movie, Greatest Showman was wonderful and I stayed awake since it was a musical movie filled with spectacle and dance and wonderful songs and since I am a musical theatre fanatic, I was able to stay awake. The last Big E movie, I Can Only Imagine, was wonderful because it tells the story of how that song came to be written.

 

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/i-can-only-imagine-review/

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/greatest-showman-review/

Skate Night- three times this semester, I went to skate night. Just like the Big E, at a certain time it closes it self off for just Gardner Webb students. Skate Night starts at 10:00 at night.

Disney World- Student Activities every Spring Break would take a group of students to Disney World for a leadership experience. We would take two classes and then just spend the rest of the time enjoying Disney and the rule was outside of classes we had to be with someone. I was so looking forward to meeting Anna and Elsa and Character meals and rides. I got to see more than one firework show and one of them was Star Wars-themed. I got to go to the day and night parade at Magic Kingdom. I actually spent time at all four parks since we were there for a week. I was on a meal plan during that week so I was able to have a character meal every dinner and having that meal plan in some ways saved money and made it not as stressful figuring out where to eat.

 

Late Night trips to Cookout- This year, about twice, my suite mates and I would drive to Shelby at 10:00 or 10:30 at night to get milkshakes at Cookout. Shelby is only about twenty or thirty minutes away from school.

Day Trip to Asheville- Gardner Webb is one hour away from Asheville. One day, my suite-mate and I and one of her friends went to Asheville for the day. We started out on the Blue Ridge Parkway and we ended up in the clouds where we couldn’t see anything and that is when we decided to turn around. Then we walked a bit around Asheville and stopped at Malaprops where I bought a “mystery” book.

 

School dances- I have been to a number of school dance. I have been to three formals among others. The light pink dress was from Spring Formal 2015. The bright pink dress was from Winter Formal 2017 and I look like Glinda since the dress reminded me of her “Popular” costume. The dress with the flowers is from Spring Formal 2018.

 

Hikes- Gardner Webb is close enough to certain hiking places so I went on a couple of those throughout my time here.

 

 

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/seeing-through-the-looking-glass/

Sunset/Sunrises- one of the best things about Gardner Webb is the campus has quite beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The sunset on the bottom right was the last sunset I ever saw.

 

Rainbow in Lake- Gardner Webb has this wonderful lake, which usually has geese and ducks spending time near it and every once in a while through the fountain you catch a rainbow.

 

 

Halloween 2017- just last Halloween two of my suite mates and I dressed up. Here we are as Castiel, Eponine and Padme. I dressed up as Eponine because over the same summer, I dressed up as Eponine for a Les Mis party. So I already had the costume and that is why I dressed up as Eponine. I remember walking around Campus with people not knowing who I was even though they knew I dressed up as a character from Les Mis. I got into my Eponine costume around 3:00 and stayed in costume until about 10:00.

 

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/my-halloween-fun/

Gingerbread House and Meeting Santa

 

Birthday Celebrations- I have been lucky to have friends who celebrate my birthday. My birthday is in January and because my birthday is usually the week it is time to start Spring Semester, I am not able to celebrate my birthday with my family the day of it. During on birthday celebration, one of my friends decided to make me a shirt and knowing me made a Les Mis shirt that says “Keep Calm and Talk about Les Mis”. This year, I lived in the suites and my suite mates celebrated my birthday with me. We went out to FATZ for lunch. To my surprise when I came back, my room was decorated and filled with 24 balloons. They ended up getting me a snow globe with a picture of all three of us. To end the birthday celebration, we ended up watching the movie, Beauty and the Beast (2017).

 

Campus Civitan- for most of my time here, I was a member of Campus Civitan, a volunteer club. I even served as president and I never thought I would be an officer, let alone president. But i stepped up in the middle of one year when the officers all either graduated or stepped down. We were part of the Homecoming parades, participated in Relay for Life and Octoberfest, volunteered at Miracle Hill, Special Olympics and raised awareness for people with disabilities. For Valentine’s day, we would stuff the mailboxes with a note and candy.

 

Pumpkin Painting- once a year, my school does pumping painting. The first year I painted an actual pumpkin. But the other years they used a clay pumpkin-something like that. This year’s pumpkin was Gardner Webb themed. That is why the background is red and why I put black paw prints on the red. Gardner Webb’s mascot is a bulldog and their colors are red and black. I think its funny how Gardner Webb’s colors are red and black and that a song from Les Mis is “Red and Black”.

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Glow Zumba- about once or twice a year, Gardner Webb has an unique Zumba. It is called Glue Zumba where you do Zumba in the dark and you put on glow paint. It is so much fun.

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Easter Egg Hunt- once a year, Gardner Webb hides Easter Egg’s and if you find one you get a prize. It is very hard to find an egg and get a prize. But last year, right when I got an email saying they hid the eggs, I got dressed quickly and started looking. Before the Easter Egg hunt, I saw some of the prizes and was eying this big blue gray and big stuffed bunny. Your prize is based off the number in the egg, but due to being the first to redeem an egg, Students Activities gave me the bunny and I named him Chester.

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Chilling out in the suite- My last year, I moved from living to the dorms to the suites. Some of my favorite memories have been spending time with suitemates in the suites

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Below are pictures of me and Gardner Webb.

 

Gardner Webb is “home” to me. It made me more spiritually strong than I was before. I was spiritually strong before Gardner Webb, but it developed that strength even more. It made me understand the importance of going outside of my comfort. I had to become officer of Civitan let alone president and I see myself as more of a follower than a leader. I transitioned from leaving in a dorm to living in the suite. The suites are still on Campus and still feel like they are part of Campus, but still feels like they are independent. It taught me that sometimes roadblocks can happen when you least expect and I learned that due to having Western Civilization II in my last semester. I learned that sometimes your spirituality can be challenged. It has changed me “for good” due to the lessons I have learned and the people I have met.

 

 

Spring Formal 2018

This was my last formal. There was a theme this year, which was Casino. They played songs such as “Footloose”, “Cupid Shuffle”, “Cha Cha Slide” and so on. I am glad I got to go to this year’s formal. Since it was Casino, there were these big cards set up for a picture station. There were two photo booth areas. One acted like a regular photo booth. The other a picture was taken and placed in a frame.

States I Have Been To

I though I will do another list post today. I decided to write a list off all the states I been to. I love how in the United States each state is very different. I am glad I live in this country due to freedom diversity, and the uniqueness found in the different. Then there is Broadway and love how shows from Broadway get the chance to tour because if they didn’t tour, I wouldn’t be able to see musicals as much and that is because I rely on touring productions.

1. Alabama

2. Alaska- such a beautiful states with glaciers, whales, mountains

3. Colorado- been here in elementary school. Just like Alaska, Colorado is another beautiful state. During this trip, I been White Water Rafting. I don’t know if I remember going to Colorado or not or if I only know this happened because someone told me.

4. Florida- this is 2nd home due to going there since I was really young. Been to Disney World three times

5. Georgia- I was born in this state and lived there for three years before moving to North Carolina.

6. Illinois- in 2015, my family went to Chicago to celebrate my grandma’s 85th bday with first cousins. When I young, I wanted to go to Chicago just because it is called the Windy City- odd reason to want to go. Chicago has beautiful architecture. We went to the Art Institute and saw the bean.

7. Kentucky- there was a year when my family drove up to St. Louis. I don’t remember when it was. But we stopped here for a break either on the way to  St. Louis or on the way back to North Carolina.

8. Maryland

9. Missouri- Like Florida, I have been to this state a lot in my childhood and also have been in my college years. I remember going to St. Louis Cardinal baseball games and going to the City Museum and climbing through all of their cool playground things and going up in the arch,  and spending time with my grandma for a week alone. During my time with my grandma, we went to see Annie, and we were front row.

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10. North Carolina- this is  the state I am from. This is also the state where Gardner Webb is. I have seen most musicals here and they include Rent, Pippin, Sound of Music, Wicked, and Newsies. I been to Asheville, Hendersonville, Charlotte- this is where I grew up, and Boiling Springs (this is literally in the middle of no where and is where my school is).

11. New Jersey- this state was part of my trip to New York with my mom.

12. New York- I went in 2006 with my mom. I was 12 and I saw Wicked on Broadway, which became a musical that meant so much in my life.

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13. South Carolina- this is the states where I saw two musicals in Greenville. The Peace Center is a very beautiful theatre. In 2014 in May, my mom and I saw Phantom of the Opera and were in the orchestra about 19 rows back and I was spellbound by the show and was choked up. Last year, I signed up to see Les Mis at the Peace Center and we were up in the balcony and this was my 5th time seeing the stage show. I saw it on tour for the first time and it also was my first time seeing the 25th production. I love both musicals but love Les Mis more.

14. Tennessee- There was one trip where my family drove to St. Louis, which is a very long ride from North Carolina. Either I went to Tennessee on the way to St. Louis or on the way back to North Carolina but don’t remember which way it was.

15. Virginia- I have been here a couple of times because my grandfather once lived here

16. West Virginia- I have been here for a mission trip one year.

 

My Gardner Webb Stuffed Animals

During my time at Gardner Webb, I have ended up with so many stuffed animals. Every single one of them is connected to Gardner Webb in some way. In this post, I will talk about every single one of them and what I named them. In the picture below, all my Gardner Webb stuffed animals are there. I have two pictures since one of them is hard to spot.

IMG_1707Big Pink Bunny- her name is Rosie and I got her because the staff at Student Activities bought her for me

Gray Blue Big bunny- every year Gardner Webb has an Easter egg hunt. Ahead of time, I noticed this big bunny, which will be one of the prizes, but your prize matches the number inside the egg. I found an egg last year and because I was the first to redeem my egg, I got the bunny and named him Chester.

The Twins- I like to see the two small bears as twins. They both have the same Gardner Webb sweatshirt. The difference is Tucker is the lighter colored bear and Goldie is more golden colored.

Mickey Mouse- during my time at Gardner Webb, I went to Disney World with the school, which is over ten hours away. I was there on a leadership experience and because I there for basically a week, I got to visit all four parks.

Minnie Mouse- I also got Minnie when I went to Disney World with the school.

Sven- I even got him at Disney World as well

Olaf- my mom made me Olaf when I was at school.

Bulldog- her name is Effie. She is a bulldog that was made at Build a Bear Workshop about summer 2015 or summer 2016. I don’t remember when the dog was made and it was decided that she would belong to me and my friends so we ended up passing the dog from person to person during some of the school years. This year starting in December, I was allowed to keep her for the rest of the year.

 

Below is my Candy and Critters batch. One of them was a bit hidden in the group picture so I decided to talk about these stuffed animals separately.

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Pink Bunny- I made her at the 2015 Candy and Critters event and she was the first one I made. She is the stuffed animal I sleep with. She is a very floppy bunny and that makes her perfect for sleeping with. Her name is Beatrice Rose and I call her Beatrice for short. Every year I am only allowed to make one stuffed animal.

Pink Camouflage Bunny- Her name is Magenta and I made her at the 2016 Candy and Critters event.

Rainbow Dog- I decided to name her Rainbow due to her being a rainbow dog and she has a bit of sparkle around her eyes. I made her at the 2017 Candy and Critters event.

Brown Bear- Her name is Eponine. Coming into Candy Critters this year, I wanted to name a stuffed animal after a musical character and I never named a stuffed animal after a musical character before. I was originally looking for an Elphaba, but never found one. Than I came across the bear that would become Eponine. She had a color scheme of browns and those are colors that Eponine from Les Mis tends to wear. Plus, this bear has heart shaped patches, which connects to the love triangle and even better the patches have stitches around the outside, which reminds me of a broken heart. So because of all of this, I named her Eponine. I knew the stuffed animal had to be named after a musical characters. Eponine is one of my favorite characters from Les Mis and one of my favorite musical characters in all of musical theatre.

Tiedye bear- This bear’s name is Tiedye. I separated the Candy and Critters group because in the group picture you barely can see Tiedye. I almost didn’t get to make Tiedye because we are only allowed to make on stuffed animal. But this year, we were told we could possibly make one more if we stayed long enough. My friends and I waited until 4:45 and that took over an hour and I decided to make Tiedye.

So this is a total of 14 stuffed animals