I just got back from a conference in Minneapolis called NACA (National Association for Campus Activities). I attended this last year as well in Boston and have been looking forward to it again ever since then. This is a conference in which there are a variety of teaser shows and market places in which you can visit with the performers and their agents. The point of this is to see what performers you want to bring back to your campus. There are a variety of singers, DJs, comedians, poets, acrobats, and more. There are also educational sessions to attend. I presented at one of them. It was titled “Dealing with Divas: How to Handle Difficult Performers.” I spoke about my experience as the live performance chair on the Fontbonne Activities Board and as an entertainment agent at TalentPlus.
My experience was so amazing; I don’t even know where to begin. I saw so much talent that I am so excited to see perform at Fontbonne. I will definitely come back. I am a huge fangirl and follower now for some of my favorites, such as Two Worlds, Matt Beilis, and Josh Vietti. In addition, I learned a lot of valuable information at the educational sessions. There were five of us from the activities board that attended. We all bonded tremendously and met many new people at the conference that hosted about 1,500 students. We also enjoyed taking some time to see what Minneapolis has to offer. For example, we ate some cool restaurants and visited the Mall of America. Because my career is in the entertainment industry, this setting is definitely my forte. I didn’t want the show-watching and critiquing to end. NACA has provided me so many amazing opportunities, memories, and friends. This is priceless and something I will never forget.
This semester, I am enrolled in an independent study visual merchandising class. This is the first time I have taken an independent study, so it is a very different structure to get used to. Everything is done on my own time, yet I still have to communicate with my classmates because we are completing displays as a team. There are four of us in the class.
There are two windows displays that we work with. For our first challenge, we took a trip to the St. Louis Art Museum as inspiration. In particular, we visited the Nick Cave exhibit. He is an artist that creates pieces out of found objects. Accordingly, we were to do the same and use a very limited budget. We also used the artists Andy Warhol and Alexander McQueen as an inspiration. I worked on the display that combined the Nick Cave and Andy Warhol aesthetic. This was extremely fun to create. I loved having creative freedom to do as many wacky things as I wanted with whatever I could find. Also, I’m a huge fan of bright colors. So, it made me happy using such a diverse color scheme as well.
It can be difficult to see all the elements of this display in the below picture. The materials used are the following. A variety of fabrics in multiple colors are draped and pinned to the entire back of the wall. The side panels consist of poster board covered in buttons, beads, sequins, glitter, and flowers. Suspended from the ceiling are colorful furry pillows, plastic bowling pins, and giant flower petals made out of poster board. One mannequin wears a cape made out of a rug and hat made out of a pillow and yarn. The other mannequin’s dress was made out of flowers stuck into a cage-like structure. Each mannequin then stands on a furry rug. The floor is covered in foil. Then, on top of that, there are layers of beads, buttons, sequins, flowers, and pillow stuffing.
Stop by Anheuser Busch Hall to see these up close and in person, and determine your interpretation of the artwork. They will only be there for a limited time until we put a new display up!
“Art is what you can get away with.” -Andy Warhol
Over the weekend, I participated in what is known as the Leadership and Service Academy. This was a leadership conference for St. Louis area schools, and was hosted at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois. The day started with a motivational speaker, and then everyone broke off into groups to attend various seminars relating to different leadership topics. After that, everyone ate lunch in McKendree’s cafeteria and got the chance to mingle with student leaders from other schools. The day ended with another seminar and closing remarks from the opening guest speaker. I feel like I gained a lot of helpful advice on how to be a better leader in just a short amount of time. Some words of wisdom that stuck out to me the most are the following.
-Leadership is not a position, but a state of mind.
-There’s no such thing as a perfectionist (it’s called being a control freak).
-As a society, we’ve turned the definition of leadership into something much bigger than it needs to be.
-If someone has impacted your life, don’t let them walk around not knowing that.
-When teaching something new, it must connect to something already known by the person.
-Creativity is a choice.
-Admit when you are wrong.
-Leadership is not just about acquiring information, but figuring out how to apply it.
This type of conference is an annual tradition. Being a senior, this was my last one to attend. And what a good one to end on!
My 15 seconds of fame on stage at the opening
Another Tapping Day is here! This has become an Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) tradition since the organization was founded at Fontbonne in the fall of 2013. ODK is a national honors leadership society. In order to be eligible to join, a student must be at least junior status, in the top third of his/her class in terms of GPA, and earn enough leadership points. These points are calculated based on various leadership roles held on other campus organizations or teams, scholarships and any other prestigious honors awarded, community service roles, etc. Like I mentioned previously, ODK is a national organization, and is still fairly new to FBU.
There is a process each semester, in which eligible and interested students submit applications to be a part of ODK. And Tapping Day is the day that these students find out that they have been accepted. On this day, current ODK members go around as a surprise to the soon-to-be members’ classrooms. We give a brief speech about what ODK is, and then congratulate the student with their achievement of being eligible to join Omicron Delta Kappa. They also receive a treat (cupcakes, cookies, candy, etc.), an ODK button, and invitation to the initiation ceremony. And, we might embarrass them a little by taking their picture.
Tapping Day is a great time for current and soon-to-be members. It’s exciting to see the Fontbonne ODK circle continue to grow. Also, baby blue ribbon is tied around campus trees, the sidewalks are chalked, and students are wearing blue attire (blue is the officially color of ODK). Seeing this all around campus is fun. However, it is sad to think that this is my last semester at Fontbonne. Therefore, it is likely to be last semester participating in Tapping Day, even though I am a lifetime ODK member. At least I will leave knowing that the FBU ODK traditions that the founding students started will continue to live on.
Part of the Tapping Day decor you will see around campus