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Trip Report: London

August 27-29, September 8

London was exactly like I imagined it would be — red buses, black cabs, grey clouds, gold E II R monograms. I spent the first three days of my trip doing hardcore touring around London before heading off to Dublin and Paris, and I returned to London for a long layover on the last night of my trip. It was a good transitional city; similar enough to the U.S. that I didn’t feel completely out of my depth, but different enough that it still felt European and a little bit adventurous. Continue reading


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Euro Trip.

In May, I came home to Raleigh to spend the summer teaching swim lessons, just like I’ve done for the past six years. Nothing new, nothing special. Now, it’s nearing the end of August and the fact that I actually graduated from college (and don’t get to go back) is sinking in. Pool season lasts for about three months, and during that time, I’ve taught an average of forty swim lessons a week. It’s time for a break!

In six days, I’ll be leaving for a two-week trip to London, Dublin, and Paris. College grads have been doing the celebratory Euro trip thing for a while now, but my vacation is going to be a little bit different. Continue reading

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Lindsay and Seventeen Magazine.

Let’s put a Notre Dame student on the cover of Seventeen Magazine!

Last fall, I wrote a story about Lindsay Brown. She was a member of the team that won the 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer National Championship, she sold rainbow cupcakes to support girls’ education, she started the first girls’ soccer team in Nepal, she starred in a Notre Dame “What Would You Fight For?” commercial that aired on NBC during a football game, and she established her own non-profit called The SEGway Project. She also lived next-door to me during her freshman year.

Lindsay and the Kopila Valley School soccer team

Lindsay and I became friends when we had a class together the year before she went to Nepal. I followed her blog for the whole summer that she worked at the Kopila Valley School, and I was captivated by the stories she told. Lindsay marked her time in Nepal by the relationships she formed and the friendships she made. Her enthusiasm is infectious, as is her humility. When I interviewed Lindsay for the story I was working on for class, I found myself listening wide-eyed and open-jawed as she described her experience being recognized at the Google Zetigeist conference as one of ten Young Minds who were going to change the world. At Zeitgeist, Lindsay spent time networking with people like Cory Booker, Cindy McCain, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Richard Branson. Even though Lindsay missed class to attend the conference (and to speak at the Orange County Women in Sports Celebration with soccer player Julie Foudy), many of her peers are unaware of the incredible work that Lindsay is doing because she simply doesn’t talk about it.

But now, Lindsay is being recognized on a scale that’s hard to ignore. She’s one of five finalists for Seventeen Magazine’s “Pretty Amazing” contest. The winner will be on the October cover of Seventeen and will receive a $20,000 scholarship. Lindsay is spending the summer in Cambodia with an organization working to stop child sex trafficking, but Seventeen is flying her from Phnom Penh to New York City for a four day photo shoot in a few weeks. After a few days of pampering and press conferences, Lindsay will head back overseas to do the work she loves before starting her senior year of college.

Here’s the link to voting:

Here’s the link to a slideshow of some of Lindsay’s “Top 10 Amazing Life Moments:”

Please pass the links around and share Lindsay’s story and the story of the amazing girls she coaches.

Go vote, and go Irish!

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I guess I kind of lied when I said my blog was back.

Judging by the two posts I’ve written in eight weeks of school, I haven’t been writing as prolifically as I’d hoped I would this semester.

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’m not writing, and I’ve realized that I have imposed a weird self-censorship this fall.

This summer, I didn’t blog because I was interning at an advertising agency with a huge digital component. We were expected to be fluent in social media, and as a result, we were not discouraged from checking Facebook and Twitter (and blogs) at work. I had lots of thoughts and opinions and anecdotes to share from my first grown-up internship, but because this blog is public, I had no way of knowing who might see my musings. I definitely didn’t want to get in trouble with the company’s social media policy for inadvertently revealing classified agency or client information, so I kept my trap shut.

Now, I’m a Resident Assistant at Notre Dame. I supervise 37 women – 12 freshmen, 10 sophomores, 10 juniors, and five seniors. I love being an RA, and the experience has given me great fodder for the blog, but I don’t know quite how confidential I should be. I’ve come across a lot of great stories in the dorm, but a lot of them aren’t really mine to tell.

I had been restricting my blogging because of my career search, but that’s about to change. I was nervous to generate new content because in the past, my commentary has been of a fairly personal nature. I didn’t want to seem unprofessional. But let’s face it – I’m not a professional (yet). I’m a college student. And since I’m not taking the old blog posts down, I might as well keep the content on my home page current and fresh.

Interview season is gearing up, and I think my blog is actually a huge asset when it comes to differentiating myself from other students seeking employment since I have a repository of writing samples (some better than others) ready to share. Frankly, the blog is a really fun conversation piece and it makes a great interview answer about the power of social media  – remember the time I had 24,000 hits in a day?

So I’m going to reboot the blog for the semester. Now it’s really back.


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I was fortunate to be able to live with family friends this summer while I interned in Chicago. It was a great situation – when they were around, we’d hang out, but when they were gone, I had the place to myself and they had a de facto house-sitter. I was fine on my own, but the house was still big and creaky, so rather than blasting reruns of Celebrity Rehab to fill the space with noise, I decided to re-learn how to whistle.

I had braces for two and a half years. During that time I completely lost the ability to whistle – must have been something about the way the braces changed the shape of my lips. When the braces came off, I was too busy being psyched about my newly non-gappy teeth to care much about the lack of whistling in my life.

Anyway, in June, I decided to get back on the whistling bandwagon. I noticed it everywhere – everyone was whistling but me! It seemed like every song I heard had a crazy-cool whistling bit that I just couldn’t imitate.

It was time.

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Waiting for the bus at Piazza G.G. Belli.

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Mobile App.

I’m applying for an internship at a digital advertising agency in Chicago. Part of the application is a writing sample; applicants are supposed to answer the question, “If you were a Mobile App, which App would you be and why?”

“But I don’t want to be a Mobile App. I’m not a Mobile App now, and I don’t forsee myself becoming one in the future,” I lamented to my mom. “Amy, that’s the prompt,” she reminded me. “Fine. I’ll write something.” Continue reading

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