I Got That Feeling

2011/10/25

What is home? Is it the structure you live in? Is it where your significant other resides? This philosophical question can only mean one thing: another Let’s Blog Off.

One answer to the ‘What is home?’ question is the cliché ‘Home is where the heart is.’ However, home is more than heart: it is a feeling. It is a warm-fuzzy that you receive when you walk in the door. It is that intangible piece that is indescribable to anyone else but you.

Where is home for me? Sit back and I will tell you. I have moved frequently over the last ten years, and only one place gives me that special warm-fuzzy feeling – Oxford, OH. Oxford is home to my beloved alma mater Miami University. It is true that I reside in Dayton, OH, but Oxford will always be home.

Why is Oxford so special to me? For starters, paying my own way through Miami taught me that I can stand on my own without help. I had good friends at MU that stood by me when times were tough. Oxford was the last place I lived where I felt as if I had a purpose. Lastly, the feeling I get when I go back is one of euphoria. Words can not describe exactly how I feel, but I always feel at home. I feel as if I belong.

I have a different purpose now, to test product and crunch numbers, but it is not the same. Walking into my house in Dayton does not give me the same feeling as walking into a building on campus. It has been awhile since I have lived in Oxford, but it will always be a part of me. It is my home.

Upham Hall


Storytelling

2011/03/18

A while back, one of the Let’s Blog Off topics was storytelling and what makes a good story.  I chose not to participate because I did not really know how to answer this question.  After a few weeks of stewing on the topic, I think I have stumbled upon my answer.

Having spent the majority of my adult life in college, I am used to writing.  Granted, I am not too great at it, but at least I try my best.  College term papers & essay exams are analytical by nature – e.g. compare & contrast, list the x number of qualities, etc.  They don’t really focus on storytelling.  (English & literature majors may have a different experience, but I am not familiar with it.  I avoided those classes like the plague.)

Storytelling, I believe, is like letter writing.  It is a dying art.  Many people are more focused on facts and figures than on creating a narrative.  I wish schools would focus more on storytelling.  Maybe society would be more relaxed.  Who doesn’t love a good tale?  I know I do.


We’re Not Paying for It

2011/03/15

Most of us think of advice as words of wisdom.  Advice should be more than words, it should be something that is meaningful and sticks with you for the rest of your life.  The best advice I received wasn’t advice per say, but it taught me a life lesson.

I was 19 years old and wanted to be a civil engineer.  At the time, Miami did not have a true engineering school, so I applied to the University of Kentucky (UK).  When I received my acceptance letter to UK, my parents could not understand what I was saying because I was running around like a maniac.  After becoming coherent, I showed my mother the acceptance letter.  She told me this: “It’s not Miami, so we’re not paying for it.”

I was devastated.  How could my parents do this to me?  How could they crush my dream of becoming the greatest female civil engineer?  I mean, isn’t it the parents’ responsibility to pay for their child’s education?

Since I am a tad strong-willed, I decided that I wasn’t going to let my parents stop me.  Come hell or high water, I was going to find a way to pay for the exorbitant out-of-state tuition.  I legally declared independence from my parents, which made me eligible for a great deal of financial aid.

Later that year, UK announced that it was raising out-of-state tuition by $1000.  I could no longer afford to attend the school, so I transferred to my family’s beloved Miami and became a paper science & engineering major.  I thought my parents would pay my tuition since it was Miami.  They didn’t.  I was jealous of my friends because they didn’t have to worry about money.  All they had to do was call Mommy & Daddy.  I did not have that luxury.

Nearly 20 years later, I can honestly say that was the best thing my mother could have ever done for me.  I was forced to fend for myself without the safety net known as Mom & Dad.  Being on my own at such an early age taught me responsibility.  I learned I could support myself without anyone’s help and live to tell about it.

Advice.  We all give it; we all receive it.  I am glad I decided to be on the receiving end of Mom’s advice.


It’s More Than a Really Expensive Piece of Paper

2011/02/07

Anyone who knows me in the slightest knows that I love my alma mater – Miami University in Oxford, OH.  All I heard growing up was what a great school Miami is & how it is the most beautiful campus anywhere.  (This “brainwashing” might have something to do with the fact that the majority of my family are Miami alums – 16 total including my mother & #17 is currently a sophomore at MU.)  I can remember being accepted to Kentucky and my mother telling me, “It’s not Miami, so I’m not paying for it.”  After a year at UK, I caved and transferred to Miami.

McCracken Hall

There were some bumps along the way, but I finally got my act together and graduated in December 2006.

I took a job at an electronics distributor a few months after graduation.  Last year, I was laid off  due to the economic conditions.  I was angry at the world.  Even at my beloved Miami.  I looked at my diploma as a really expensive & useless piece of paper.  I have recently changed my tune.

Last night I began to reminisce about my years at MU.  I remembered working 12-20 hours per week for three years, while taking a full class load.  I remembered being deathly ill during Spring 2004.  So ill my DSC professor was concerned.  I remembered the ridicule from a few classmates – and even a professor – because I was not in my 20s like the other students.

Then it occurred to me. My diploma is more than a really expensive piece of paper.  It is a sign; a sign that I survived.  It shows commitment, strength, and courage.  Granted, I do not like the $50,000 student loan debt I have, but I am proud to say that I worked for my education.  It was not handed to me.

My degree from Miami means more to me than people will ever know. Why?  Because I earned it.