Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bulldog traditions: University of Georgia.

My brother and I on the UGA campus.

"You yell 'Go Bulldogs,' and then you bark," my brother told us.

"Like, really bark?" I asked. "Ruff ruff or ark ark?"

"Megan, you sound like a seal." (This from my sister.)

We were trying to learn the University of Georgia student chants and cheers before the football game on Saturday, and all Michael could tell us was that we had to bark like bulldogs. Well, let me tell you, during Georgia's 19-10 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats, we perfected that bark. And it was more of an "hoo hoo hoo," but in a deep canine-like voice, if that makes any sense.

After learning to be a Georgia football fan, of course I wanted to learn about the other traditions and/or superstitions around campus. When we returned to Athens after Thanksgiving to drop Michael back off at school, we took another tour of the campus.

First, Michael showed me this arch, which is rumored to be cursed. If you walk under the arch, you won't graduate in four years. Well, I was arrogant enough to walk under it because I'm not graduating in four years, so ha! I beat that system. Michael says he hasn't walked under it yet.

After the arch, we visited the bell tower. After the game the previous Saturday, there had been a huge line, so I figured I would just wait until our return trip to participate in this particular campus tradition. Unfortunately (as you can see in the below picture), the rope was tied up so I couldn't ring it. :( But I did get to read about the history of the tower on a nearby plaque, which is included in the below caption.

Originally used to call students to classes, chapel services, and special events, the University of Georgia chapel bell was cast by George Holbrook of Medway, Massachusetts in 1835. The bell's arrival on campus is shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have replaced an earlier bell between 1903 and 1911. Now primarily used to toll Georgia football victories, the chapel bell has weathered stolen clappers, rivalries, and a brief career as a World War II air raid "siren." The bell has been housed in its present location since circa 1913. The tower and bell restoration were completed in August 2008.

Note: I have recently added a new goal to my "bucket list": to visit 100 college campuses (#21). It's fun stories like these that make me so interested in visiting universities, so I hope I am able to share many more posts like this in the future as I complete this new item on my list!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Update on the great unknown.

For those of you who read my "Heading off into the great unknown" post, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Well, after five weeks of submitting job applications, I got an email on Monday from an editor who wanted to set up an interview. Mere hours after the phone interview on Wednesday, I got another phone call offering me the position - an online internship with Outside magazine in Santa Fe beginning in January.

I am so excited for many reasons, including: 1) Outside is a great magazine, which I've been reading for about a year and have even mentioned in my blog several times. 2) The internship will use my skill set perfectly and allow me to develop new skills before I search for a more permanent position next summer. And of course, 3) I actually know what I'm doing after graduation, and that is a huge relief.

When I look back on it, even though I felt like I was floundering sometimes with the ambiguous online career site application processes and my lack of journalistic summer internships, writing this blog is the first time I've realized it only took me five weeks to find a position that was a good match. So, in contrast to my previous duck picture, here is how I feel now, happily on my way!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Back to the South.

Every year at Thanksgiving, I am fortunate to be able to visit my grandparents in North Carolina. This year, that tradition was preceded by a quick trip to Athens to visit my baby brother at school.

We left Athens on Sunday morning the day after the Georgia-Kentucky game for the five-hour drive to my grandparents' mountain house in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I used to call it cabin, but apparently this doesn't qualify as a "cabin" for some people (including my grandparents):

So ... I guess this isn't a cabin?

Our time at the mountain house was filled with card games, board games and four Redbox movies. It was a relaxing few days with a gorgeous view!

The siblings! The river is only a short walk from the house, with a cute
little gazebo near the bank.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My first SEC game.

As you might know, the University of Missouri recently moved to the Southeastern Conference. This means beginning in 2012, my school will be playing my brother's school, the University of Georgia, in the SEC East. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend my first Georgia game, which is also the second-to-last football game during which Georgia can be my favorite SEC team (because of course, beginning next season I'll have to root for my Tigers).

My sister, dad and I all flew into Atlanta on Friday night and drove out to Athens to start our Thanksgiving Break. (The school is much further from Atlanta than I had previously thought - almost 80 miles instead of a mere 45 minutes.) We picked my brother up bright and early the next day (bright and early for a college freshman, that is) and headed to Waffle House for breakfast. Kickoff was scheduled for 12:20, and we made it into the stadium only a few minutes late.

My brother, Michael, headed off to the student section while Abby, Dad and I headed up to our seats in the nosebleed section ... on level 600. I had heard Missouri would have to do a $40 million renovation to our stadium to be in the SEC, but I wasn't sure what that would entail. Now I'm wondering, maybe that entails building our stadium a few levels higher? These seats were insanely high. The stadium also seats well over 92,000 people, so I'm sure the seats have to built that high just to fit around the field. When my dad sent his girlfriend a picture of the field from our seats and joked about how awesome our view was, she texted back:

"Yeah, you and the Goodyear blimp."

As you can see from our view, my dad's girlfriend was pretty accurate.

I loved the pretty autumn colors outside the stadium.

I'm happy to say Georgia won, 19-10, despite the few obnoxious Kentucky fans that were heckling the crowd in our section and periodically announcing the score of the Kentucky basketball game, in which the Wildcats were faring a little better (wrong sport!). The game ended just in time for me to follow the Missouri vs. Texas Tech game on my phone while we went to dinner (more about that later), and I was able to watch our victorious end back at the hotel! We also watched Oregon lose to USC, so those few games combined with Oklahoma State's loss the night before made for one heck of a college football weekend and a great start to Thanksgiving break!

Unfortunately, we didn't quite leave ourselves enough time in the morning to attend an actual tailgate outside the stadium, so I can't cross that off my list yet. But, I can cross attending an SEC football game off #20. Whoop!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Out of Africa.

It seems that ever since I left Africa almost four months ago, I haven't actually been able to leave. I am constantly reminded of my time there, and today has been no exception.

First (warning: self-promotion coming up), I attended a reception for the finalists of Mizzou's study abroad photo contest, where I discovered one of my submissions had won the $100 first-place prize in the "Cross-Cultural Moments" category:

 The winning photo was of me and my roommate Kiela swimming with some local boys in Lake Kivu,
located on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The boys broke into the
"Soulja Boy" song and dance at one point, which was quite amusing.

Then, as I logged onto Facebook tonight, this story (shared by my Rwandan friend Emmanuel), was the first post on my news feed. I mentioned during my trip to Rwanda that the movie Hotel Rwanda is inaccurate and portrays Paul Rusesabagina in a falsely flattering light. This article is a revised version of an earlier post, updated due to the human rights prize Rusesabagina was awarded by the Lantos Foundation yesterday. I don't really have a comment on the post one way or another, I just wanted to share.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Around the United States in five minutes.

This is the coolest video I have seen in a long, long time. Photographer Brian DeFrees created this timelapse video using pictures taken at automatic intervals from inside his car as he drove around 32 states, from New York to California to South Dakota and back to New York again.

Click here to read the full story (and see another gorgeous timelapse video of places DeFrees stopped along the way, including less cars and more sunsets) by Outside online editor Joe Spring.

P.S. - I really want to download that song now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are you having a bad day?

I love Pinterest. As my friend Caroline likes to say, "All I do is pin, pin, pin no matter what...." One of my boards is called Just to See You Smile, and it mostly consists of cute baby animal pictures that I like to repin to save for a rainy day. If this is one of your rainy days, take a look below. I hope it makes your day a little better. :)

Travel finds: United States.

I follow quite a few travel blogs on my Google Reader (22 as of right now, but the list is constantly growing). A few weeks ago, National Geographic Traveler posted a list of 10 fun, free tours available in the U.S. That post inspired me, and I've been collecting a list of other interesting American tours I've happened upon since then (mostly through my Google Reader). Here's a short list of some of my finds:

Photo via Pinterest.

Tour an Olympic Training Center in California.

Visit the world's only Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Tennessee.

Stroll through the Pedway in Chicago.
Play at The New Museum in New York City.
Drive from San Diego to Sonoma on the California Missions Trail.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Does this mean Missouri is Southern?

I woke up this morning to a text telling me the event I was supposed to attend at 4 p.m. had to be rescheduled "due to the press conference at 4:30."

What press conference? I thought. I assumed it probably had something to do with Mizzou's much-anticipated move to the Southeastern Conference, but why hadn't I heard anything about it before now?

Well, within 30 minutes, I had four different emails conveying the same message:

MU Chancellor Brady J. Deaton
invites you to join
Athletic Director Mike Alden,
University of Florida President Bernie Machen
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive

For a celebration and news conference
on the occasion of the
University of Missouri’s
admission to the
Southeastern Conference

Sunday, November 6, 4:30 p.m.
MU Student Center

One was from the chancellor himself, one from Greek Life, one from the Student Recreation Complex where I work and one from the Mizzou Alumni Association.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Waiting for Christmas lights....

I'm usually not one to get into the Christmas hype before Black Friday, but today I found some videos from last Christmas on my computer. In my hometown, there's a house two streets down from me that connects all its Christmas lights to a local radio station. And the lights dance to the music! Isn't that neat? Do any houses near you do this? I chose this particular video because, as you'll hear my sister announce excitedly in the beginning, we like this song a lot (not alot). :) 

(The video is a little long, but it gets really exciting around 2:20. If you can't spare three minutes to watch the entire thing, at least skip to there and watch it to the end.)

Warning: Video contains bright lights and rapid movement.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I've been grading International Exams for over an hour straight now (it's an ADPi thing), and I needed a little break. So naturally, I visited Facebook to help distract me, and I found this:

I'm pretty sure I've been "attending" this event since about 2008, so it's weird to think it's actually happening next week. (Also, why is it happening at 11:10? Does Facebook not allow events to start on odd minutes? Hmm....)

I'm a little bit of an 11:11 nut, I'll admit it. My boyfriend and I frequently text each other smiley faces at 11:11 (which is especially fun because we're in different time zones), and any time I see a clock at 11:11, I'm that girl who stops and yells out, "It's 11:11! Everyone make a wish!"

So let's just say I'll be making some pretty epic wishes next Friday. Happy early 11.11.11, everyone! :)