Let me take you under the sea. That was the inspiration for my most recent (and last) window display in my independent study visual merchandising class. Erika Kuhn and I worked together on this one on the smaller window (you may remember me posting about the bigger one earlier in the semester). We work together in FAB and ODK, so it has been nice to collaborate with her from a class perspective as well.
The process for this display was interesting, because we actually revamped it from our original idea. We had the window about half-way done, and then changed almost everything. We tried to create a display that was upside down, and it would have been an underwater scene. This idea sounded really neat and different, but was very difficult to implement. And it did not look like we were expecting. Therefore, we decided to recreate something that we knew we could be proud of and excited about.
The entire background is covered in blue tissue paper. Green tissue paper makes up the leaves of the tree, while the trunk is painted construction paper. Moving your eye from right to left, you then see the mannequin that has a dark underworld style to her. We painted her hair and makeup in various shades of blue and green. We also constructed her dress out of fabric, rope, and netting to go along with the nautical theme. Additionally, her necklace is made out of a seashell. The train of her dress is draped up and down throughout the rest of the window, until it eventually runs into the ocean and is part of the waves. Additional types of blue fabric create layers of waves on the left and middle panels of the window. There are also strands of fish, seaweed, jellyfish and coral made out of paper, trash bags, and coffee filters weaving in and out of the waves. The entire floor is covered with tan fabric, sprinkled sand, and seashells. The final step we took was painting the border of the windows. We intended it to look swirly and wave-like. It also forces people to peek into the window more since the paint covers some of it.
Like all the other displays, I had so much fun working on this. Hands-on projects are always my favorite. It is also a nice creative outlet. As much as I enjoy this, it does feel nice to be able to say that I am done with one of my classes (I also finished my portfolio for the class). I look forward to coming back to visit and seeing what future visual merchandising students come up with. It’s time to pass the torch!
It is truly hard to believe how fast the year is winding down. The number of student organization events, class assignments, and final projects is getting lower and lower. It is a very bittersweet feeling. I feel good knowing that I have accomplished so much in the past four years of college. But it is also sad knowing that a huge chapter in my life is coming to a close. But it is a chapter that I am very proud of. The memories I have made in and out of the classroom are endless and absolutely priceless. I will forever cherish my experience at Fontbonne. Also, I am extremely excited to say that I have been selected as the commencement speaker on graduation day! This is the perfect way to bring my time to a close, and I am beyond honored to be chosen for this. And, it will be streamed live on Fontbonne’s website. No pressure!
A couple days after graduation I am going on a class trip to New York City. Another very exciting thing to look forward to in the next month! I went on the trip with the fashion merchandising department two years ago as well, and it was an absolute blast. We had a variety of industry tours, as well as plenty of free time to explore the city. And this trip will be set up in a similar way. However, it will still be a different experience with different people. Then, as soon as I get back from NYC, I will officially start working full time at TalentPlus as an entertainment agent. Since I’ve been working there part time this past semester, I will be able to dive right in. While I am upset to be graduating from Fontbonne, I am still looking forward to the future ahead.
It has been another busy week! And, it went really fast because it was shortened due to our little Easter break. FAB hosted their spring spirit week. It kicked off Wednesday with karaoke night. It was a really good turn out! It was exciting to see many people in the audience watching, as well as people performing. Karaoke night is always a favorite of mine, so I’m glad I got to be the host and chair of the event. Also, we had a movie night and watched “Hercules” in the DSAC. Spirit week ended with the decades dance on Saturday night! Students were encouraged to dress in any decade of their choice. Also, there were many decorations and tables themed to each decade. I chose to dress as a flapper from the 1920s. It is so much fun to get dressed up and dance all night. However, it’s so sad to think that this was my last dance to attend with FAB since I’ll be graduating soon.
Sunday was spent with ODK for our end-of-year banquet. Although we still have a couple events coming up, it was still a very nice way for us to all come together and celebrate our accomplishments. We had a nice lunch and ceremony recognizing the current and new executive board, as well as all the graduating seniors. This past week has been full of so much quality time with the people and student organizations that mean so much to me.
Spring has arrived and so did Easter! Another holiday has quickly approached and passed. It was nice having a little Easter break (Thursday, Friday, the weekend, and the following Monday!). I feel like I’ve done a lot in the last few days. Of course I continued to work at my two jobs, and spent time on that thing called homework. But I also made time for fun!
My best friend from high school is in town, so we had dinner together two nights in a row. Also, FAB members and I saw MKTO in concert. We were in the front row, right in the middle! It was so nice outside, and it was a great show. During our FAB exec retreat last summer, we declared the song “Classic” by MKTO our official jam. Therefore, it was an absolute blast seeing this live. And then, of course Easter was nice as well. A couple days before, I dyed eggs with my cousins. And I got to see nearly everyone the day of. Nothing beats eating a big homemade meal with your family. See below for pictures of my eventful little Easter break!
When I was in high school, I was selected to join the honors program at Fontbonne, and I accepted. Accordingly, I was required to take at least twelve credits of honors courses offered here. I completed that after my sophomore year. However, there is one last thing that needs to be done in order to complete the honors program before I graduate. It is required to complete an honors senior project. The meaning of this is very broad and completely depends on the student and their major. It is pretty much up to the student what they want to do for the final project, as long as it is initially approved and extends beyond standard classroom work that is assigned to everyone else.
I knew that I wanted to do a project that required hands-on work because I really enjoy being crafty. The teacher of my independent study visual merchandising class connected me with a store owner named Dorothy. She recently opened her store, Bespoke, at a new location on Cherokee Street. It is a very large space with room for two window displays. Therefore, I helped Dorothy out by building a visual display that she can keep up year-round. Bespoke is not a traditional boutique or clothing store. Dorothy creates custom-made garments for people, and also sews alterations on pre-made garments. Accordingly, I wanted to incorporate tools that she uses daily, such as thread, ribbon, buttons, needles, and measuring tape. I used these items to create screens as the backdrop (and within the store), as you can see from the pictures. Maroon, gray, and tan is the color scheme of the Bespoke logo, so I continued that in the display. Finally, there are two dress forms in one of the windows that are intended to tell a story of how a garment is put together. That is why the first look is partially sewn.
I really enjoyed working on this project and getting to know Dorothy over the last couple months. It was a great learning experience having the opportunity to see her at work and hear all about her background. And like I said before, I love being crafty! Now that the project is done, I need to compile my process into a portfolio. After I turn that in, I can officially say that I completed the honors program at Fontbonne.
On Monday, I had the good fortune to take my PRAXIS examination. It’s the exam all students wishing to obtain licensure to become a speech-language pathologist have to take. It’s nerve-wracking because it’s expensive, and taking it again is a depressing prospect. You can take it as many times as you have to but you can only take it so many times; once you use up those “lives”, you have to wait until the next cycle.
I have been studying speech-language pathology for many years and one thing I definitely learned is that I’m not a standardized test taker. It’s terrifying. One would think that multiple choice questions are easy… not so for me. I am generally bad at math, so no wonder probability isn’t often on my side.
But God was that day. God always is. With a mix of prayer, practice tests, support, and studying, I passed the PRAXIS. And it felt great.
Standardized tests make up a large number of application processes. To be accepted into college, you have to take the ACT or the SAT, or some equivalent. Some students have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language). Of course, in our classrooms, our teachers are merciless when it comes to tests. When you’re thinking about graduate school, signing up to take the GRE is a dismal sign that you’re growing up. Then, certification requirements often include PRAXIS or other tests to make sure you’ve got the chops to be a licensed whatever-you-are-studying-ist.
Yes, those tests are necessary. I understand why they are. It just makes paperwork easier, and the process is simplified. These tests are an objective measure that can be used to determine eligibility. BUT it does not make you who you are. Never forget that. You can pass or fail a test, but it does not define you. That’s not to say, don’t try your best! I think you can trust that you know more than you know… and that you are receiving an education at an amazing institution that prepares you well for all of those tests you will need for your future.
Anyone that knows me knows that I am an extreme fangirl. This means that I have many celebrities that I am a huge fan of (and probably take that fandom to the next level), and tend to talk about those people a lot. And I mean a lot. It can also mean that you buy into any and all products associated with that person. My fangirling habits are why I have three major concerts to look forward to. I am excited beyond words!
First up is Ed Sheeran. He is coming to St. Louis at the Scottrade Center in May, and I have floor seat tickets for him! My cousin Katie (whom is practically my sister) and I are going together. Initially, we were fans of his because he writes songs for One Direction (our absolute all-time favorite singers). However, now Ed is becoming extremely successful with his own solo career. He is such a talented song writer, guitarist, and singer, and never seems to stop giving me chills. This show is sure to be a good one!
Following that, this summer is another round of a One Direction concert! Nothing, and I mean nothing, gets me more pumped up than One Direction. This concert is in Chicago since they are not coming to St. Louis this year. This will be the third time I have seen them perform live. The group going to this one includes my cousin Katie again, Emma, and Kara (which are sisters that I used to babysit for years). This same group of four has gone to all their concerts and movie premiers together. Any event related to One Direction brings us back together. Literally, I spend more of my free time listening to and talking about One Direction than anything else. Also, the amount of One Direction products that I own is ridiculous. Don’t even get me started on that…
And then there is Taylor Swift! She is coming to St. Louis later in September. My best friend, Brooke, and I are going to this one together. I am a huge fan of pop music. So ever since Taylor has become a full-fledged pop artist, I have loved her even more than I did before. I saw her concert in 2011, and it was very entertaining. But I have a feeling that this one will be even better! Being a fangirl, I can hardly contain my excitement with all these huge, amazing shows coming up!
This year our circle received an immense honor by being selected to host one of the regional conferences around the nation. Working towards the conference since August, I was excited, to say the least, for the date to finally arrive.
An employee from the headquarters in Lexington came into town to run the conference the day before, and we were able to show him around Fontbonne and St. Louis. He even got to see Fontbonne play Webster in the division tournament and win!
The conference on Saturday was such a great experience. We had a large turnout from our circle, and it was beneficial for all!
FBUODK only has a few events left this semester, but the Drive-In Conference was definitely one of the highlights from this year!
Spring break is here! And for once, St. Louis is actually experiencing spring weather. It seems like it is always still cold during break. I didn’t go on a vacation, but I still had plenty going on. Here’s what I’ve done so far, and what’s still to come!
My cousin and her daughter are in town from Texas. In addition, my brother and another cousin are home for spring break from college. So, we had a big family gathering at my grandma’s house. It seemed like a holiday! I loved playing with my little cousin. The amount of time that I get to see her is much too small!
My friend’s birthday was over the weekend. So four other friends and I spent the whole weekend together. Typically, I work on the weekends. But it was nice to have some time off and spend it with amazing people in my life.
Other than that, I’ll be picking up extra hours at work, starting St. Louis Fashion Week meetings, and catching up with friends from my home town. Although my spring break is busy (and still in town in St. Louis), it is still nice to mix things up from the usual school routine!
The weekend before last marked a significant date in my dance career. It was the last time I “took the stage” as a Griffin Girl. I’ve been on the dance team at Fontbonne for three years. During my freshman year here, I made the mistake to not partake in any extracurricular activities, and forewent what I had been doing since I was five years old.
Clearly, I couldn’t stay away from dance for long, and joined the team the following year. This decision ranks in the top for the best decisions I have made in my life so far. You see, dance is not just a sport for me. It’s more than a performance or source of entertainment for others. It’s a way I let myself deal with all that life can throw at me. Dance is my catharsis, my release in life.
So I continued, and I met the greatest gals whom I now call my friends. We were more than just a team. We were there for each other. We all needed dance, and we needed each other.
Griffin Girls was the perfect outlet for me to keep dancing and still focus on building the future I so desired. I could dance while focusing on my education, work, and other leadership opportunities. My time here at Fontbonne has been some of the greatest years of my life, due in part to the Griffin Girls.
“Dance with your heart and your body will follow”. Those are the words of choreographer Mia Michaels, and could not be more true. I may not be the dancer with the best leaps, turns, or flexibility, but I dance with my heart in each and every performance. It is my heart that is rooted in dance, and the thought of being done with the art form causes it to ache a little.
Who knows where I will go with dance next, but my heart will always hold a passion for it. That I know for sure.