This is Happening!

Life

Scripps Graduation

Holy moly! I can’t believe graduation weekend is finally here! There is a whole list of adjectives that I am feeling in equal measure right now so I don’t even know how to describe it. I think the most accurate thing I can say is that I have a lot of feelings about it. Good feelings, bad feelings, scared feelings… All the feelings!

I’m excited, nervous, terrified, ecstatic, relieved, and, most notably, I am unbelievably grateful. Scripps College has been so good to me and has taught me so much about the world and about myself. It has both nurtured me and challenged me, and really has become my home. So while I am ready to move on and embrace the next adventure, I can’t help but look back on the past four years and feel a little sad to leave. All. The. Feelings.

Happy Scrippsies

Graduation with the FamilyNow it’s time to celebrate! (Before the panic sets in…)

Phi Beta Kappa

Life

So I have officially been inducted into what is probably the least secret “secret society” to exist in the United States. Although in their defense, I had never heard of it until I got my invitation… So maybe they’re doing a better job than I thought? My mom was very excited though, so I think it might be a big deal.

Anyway, this is the first of the official graduation ceremonies so it marks the beginning of the end. By the 17th I will officially be a college graduate!

Phi Beta Kappa at Scripps

Reunion Weekend Invitations

Adventures

I am so excited for reunion weekend and I’m not even an alumna yet! Scripps College is a magical wonderful place and I love seeing all the past students rolling through and reminiscing. I work in fundraising and alumnae relations and often get to talk with Scripps women over the phone, but talking to them in person is so much better. It’s fun and festive and gets me totally jazzed to graduate. Plus, I have a couple of friends coming to visit that I haven’t seen since they graduated last spring. There are a couple of Reunion Weekend events which are open to the senior class (for networking and what not) and so the alumnae relations office had me whip up an invite for the Senior class. It gave me a nice chance to flex my photoshop muscles. So here it is!

Reunion Weekend Events Scripps CollegeScripps College Reunion Weekend Invitations

Resisting the Urge to Start Over (Or, the Glorious Temptation of Crafting Introductions to my Senior Thesis)

Life

I turned in my first full draft of my senior thesis today, so now maybe my life will be ever so slightly more sane… Maybe. It was a pretty frustrating process but I am pretty excited to move forward with edits and am pretty sure it isn’t complete crap. So that’s something. This is a little rant I wrote during a particularly frustrating moment. I was trying to wrap my head around how I write and what the implications of that process are. Not sure if it will hold meaning for anybody else but I found it really cathartic, so here it is:

Resisting the Urge to Start Over

(Or, the Glorious Temptation of Crafting Introductions to my Senior Thesis)

The blank page is a huge comfort to writers such as myself who think through arguments as they write them. The blank page offers a fresh place to start, a fresh take on the research I’ve been sifting through for the better part of a year. If my ideas ever feel stale or overworked, I simply return to my introduction and write a new one. Because once you start writing, the words and the connections begin to flow. If you buckle up and brace yourself, you can ride that flow for as long as your computer battery lasts (or until you hit the page limit.) This is usually how I write. I do research, outlines, prewrites, bibliographies, and all those other things that fall under the umbrella of “good study habits.” Then I start my introduction and all of that prep work is thrown out the window. I start over, essentially from scratch, and all of those ideas bouncing around in my head finally begin to come together into something resembling a coherent argument. When I write a paper, I do it all in one sitting. And I always ALWAYS start with the introduction.

This method of writing has served me quite well. It has helped ensure that my writing flows and made it nearly impossible to get off track. Sometimes my later self comes back to read my earlier self’s work and is surprised at the direction our argument has taken. However, I trust that process and trust my earlier self to have written something compelling. As I dutifully read through for grammatical and spelling errors, I usually end up being re-convinced of that original argument after all. Then, I happily turn it in and start thinking ahead to my next assignment. I don’t look back and I really don’t edit, at least not in any substantial way. It’s not the way we’re “supposed” to write, but it works, so I stick to it.

It doesn’t work on my thesis. When a paper is 60-80 pages long, writing it all in one sitting is absolutely insane. Even writing it all in one week is near impossible. However that is what I have found myself doing, because I keep starting over. I wrote my introduction and then followed it for seven pages until I was about half way through my first chapter. Well done, Meghan. You made some progress today. Tomorrow, however, when I return to my writing and find that the argument isn’t complete, that my earlier self has yet to close all of the threads of her argument, I am no longer convinced. I find it impossible to continue because I can’t go back to the mindset of the night before. This old argument is dead and done. Today I have a new idea for an introduction, a new way to weave together the fragments of evidence and analysis into a coherent thesis. So I start over. I write an introduction. I am newly inspired. I follow this inspiration for maybe 9 or 10 pages this time. And then the next day I will repeat this process all over again. But 60-80 pages of introductions do not add up to a single senior thesis. I can’t keep starting over. I can’t keep giving in to the pleasure of a blank page.

Exploring Mazatlan

Adventures

Mazatlan Beach TorresI just got back to California after an incredible vacation with some of my all-time favorite people. We explored the city, tanned on the beach, drank margaritas, sang karaoke, and did a whole lot of absolutely nothing. (Just what I needed!) We stayed at the Torres Resort in Mazatlan, Mexico which was absolutely gorgeous and has some of the nicest staff ever. Plus the whole trip cost way less than I would have expected so I’m not even going to have to starve myself trying to pay for it. Go pesos! Some highlights were touring the old town neighborhoods and shopping in the public market.

Now I am back in Claremont refreshed and ready to get back to work. (So much to do!) But I wanted to take a minute to share some photos and document this incredible adventure.

Mazatlan Old Town

Mazatlan Beach

Mazatlan Cathedral Mazatlan Beach

Mazatlan

Lizard in Mazatlan

Mazatlan Margarita

Cheers!

 

I Need Some Green

Life

Leaf ArrangementI am so ready for spring! I can’t wait for all of the flowers to be in bloom, for picnics on the lawn, weekend trips to the beach, and longer sunnier days. It’s time. Hurry up, spring.

Full disclosure, I already live in Southern California so any winter I have had to endure is basically a joke. But I’m still itching for the new season. There is a rose garden right outside my window and right now they are all little brown stumps in the ground. I keep glancing outside each morning, half expecting the roses to just pop up overnight. But apparently that’s not how it works. Patience has never really been my thing.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to keep my room extra bright and cheerful to make up for the gloom outside and lately that has involved collecting anything green that I can get my hands on. Anything is better than having all of these empty vases scattered around, reminding me that the roses aren’t ready yet. (I probably own six vases. Too many for one dorm room for sure.)

I kind of like the look of these leaves in my oversized vase and have been having fun getting creative. I also hung some sprigs of lavender up to dry on my walls and even assembled a tiny arrangement of wildflowers in a blue shot glass.

Green Plant in vase

I guess I’ll just have to wait for the roses like everyone else. But that doesn’t mean my vases have to sit empty. I think this is a happy compromise.

(PS: I just downloaded the VSCO app for editing photos on my phone and it’s a total game changer. Upping my Instagram game, for sure. Follow me at @hairflipmeghan)

Networking

Adventures, Life

Today I went to a career fair which was crazy and confusing and also really fun! These types of networking events have never really been my thing. I much prefer a nice informal cocktail hour. Maybe with a cheese plate and some Merlot? But that was not the event being offered this weekend, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and brave the sweaty gym full of company recruiters and desperate job seekers.

business cardBelieve it or not, it wasn’t that bad! I actually talked to a bunch of friendly people about their work and learned a lot of interesting stuff. I made some new Linkedin connections, discovered some awesome openings in digital marketing, and got a whole bunch of free stuff. Seriously, I am set on t-shirts and pens for the next year. Another huge plus was that this event gave me an opportunity to hand out my new business cards, which I am super excited about. They came in the mail earlier this week and I think they’re gorgeous.

I talked to some neat companies. Yelp and Dropbox were definite highlights. I also have a friend who is a recent grad and now does recruiting for Medallia. She showed me their Book of Mormon-inspired recruiting video and it’s AWESOME. Is a musical theatre background required for most recruiting jobs?? There seems to be a disproportionate amount of vocal talent featured in this video… Check it out

Anyway, it was a fun adventure and much more productive than I thought it would be. Although I could definitely go for that glass of Merlot… Happy Friday!

Catching Up

Adventures, Life

Life is most fun when you are doing things you love and trying things that scare you. This spring I am attempting to fill my time with all of the things that keep me happy and inspired, only taking on new projects that I feel truly passionate about. Obviously we all have to do things we don’t want to do which is a huge part of being a student and human being. I totally get that. But it is so easy to get stuck doing things you used to enjoy without fully realizing that they just aren’t doing it for you anymore. I’ve been returning to some of my past passions and trying out a lot of new ones and it’s keeping me super busy! Here are a couple things I’ve been working on

Scripps Studying1. I got the official go-ahead on the Media Production Independent Study I’ve been planning which means that I am finally able to get started! I am reading this awesome book on Appropriation Art and am getting super pumped for my first project. I am exploring exploitation in appropriation through four hands-on production projects and I think it’s going to be really cool. (More on this later…)

Scripps Campus Balch2. I’ve also been going to a bunch of lectures and speaker series offered on campus. I always hear about the incredible people coming to speak but it is all-too-rare for me to make it to the events themselves. This is one of my huge goals the semester and so far it’s been pretty inspiring. Just yesterday I heard a talk from the brilliant Peggy Phelan on digital self-portraits and earlier in the week the Guerrilla Girls gave a lecture on their particular brand of art activism. So cool!

Scripps Pool3. I’ve been trying to get as much Vitamin D as possible. I love the Southern California weather and am making pool time a priority. It does wonders for my mental health and is an excellent indulgence.

Scripps Motley Event4. Our local chapter of I AM THAT GIRL had our first event last week and it was a raging success. It was a TEDx style student speaker series where students shared what they are passionate about and answered the question “Where Do We Go From Here?” I was filming the event which was a fun challenge and offered a unique perspective. We had a packed house and were even featured in The Scripps Voice.

Scripps Dorm Room5. I’m redecorating my room a little bit which has been fun. I have way too much wall space in this tiny room and finding creative ways to break up the space has been a neat little side project. I’m not sure I’ll ever actually be done tweaking things and moving things around…

100 Days Party!6. IT IS OFFICIALLY 100 DAYS UNTILL GRADUATION! I am a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee at Scripps and have been working hard to make this event happen. It was a little bit of a frustrating process but I am relieved to say that everything came together and we all had a lot of fun. Let the countdown begin…

Guerrilla Girls use the F-word Feminism

Adventures, Art World News, Artist Obsession

As both an art enthusiast and feminist, I have mad respect for the radical art activists who call themselves the Guerrilla Girls. They wear furry gorilla masks and call out the art industry on its bullshit in a way that demands attention. There are some serious issues of discrimination and marginalization in the art world, one of which being the lack of representation in major modern art museums. I guess the only job more frustrating than being an artist is being a female artist of color.

The group was formed in the mid eighties and has been speaking out against this and similar issues ever since. The Pomona College Museum of Art currently opened an exhibition featuring the Guerrilla Girls’ posters and performances. And last week two of the Guerrilla Girls came to speak on campus. It was awesome to hear them talk about their cause and about how art can be used as a tool for social change.

They way that these women have fought back against an unjust system through art and graphic design is really cool. It was a really empowering show and lecture and I am thrilled that I was invited to attend.